DISCLAIMER: Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel the syndicated series and all other characters who have appeared in both shows are the sole property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy & UPN. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices. All song lyrics are used without permission and for my own amusement. There is no intention to profit from them in this work or to defraud the composers and publishers.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: All works remain the © copyright of the original author. These may not be republished without the author's consent.
Thanks for all their help must go to three wonderfully talented women who I am honoured to consider friends: Michele, whose magical work "Complement" turns all who read it into abject Fuffy 'shippers and inspired me to write. Carola, who writes so many things so well, gave me great advice and then was kind enough to tell me this wasn't all bad and insisted I write some more. And finally Amanda who was the first to read this and say she liked it, and whose wonderful "Back to the Beginning" made me so mad I had to write to her and tell her so. It's funny how friendships start.
SPOILERS: Series 3 and 4, (What do you mean you haven't seen them yet?)
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Would She Make of Me
Some weeks into her first College semester Buffy was feeling decidedly wigged. Apart from her ex- roomy, she hadn't seen a decent sized demon or even a full-fledged vampire almost since she had started College. Granted, there had been that nest on Campus that she had eventually dealt with and Spike had just recently made another unsuccessful attempt at killing her, this time using the Jewel of Amarra to make himself invulnerable. However, after fighting her to a standstill and then having to dive down a manhole when she took the jewel off him, even he'd disappeared off her Slaydar completely. She had more recently however, noticed guys in what looked like nifty black military-type uniforms lurking about her graveyards who gave her a very bad wiggins all on their own and started her wondering about just who might be keeping things quiet. Thanks to Slayer senses they hadn't seen her. She wanted to keep it that way.
Buffy was also feeling guilty. She hadn't told anybody but Willow about Faith and although she still patrolled, she couldn't remember the last time she had been together with the rest of the Scoobies, or trained with Giles, or seen any of them in a meeting or at the Bronze. In fact she couldn't remember the last time she'd been at the Bronze. She still hung with Willow at Sunnydale U and since the departure of Buffy's previous roommate back to a hell dimension, she had been rooming with her as well. Xander was doing a variety of jobs that never seemed to last very long, (at least according to Willow) and had been spending most of his free time simultaneously trying to avoid and court Anya the ex vengeance demon. Buffy thought they'd make a cute couple if she ever got to see them together. This new sensitivity to the love life of her friend surprised her too; it wasn't as if she had one of her own.
It was just that none of the guys at SU seemed to measure up, although several had indicated an interest in dating her. Two in particular including Riley Finn and a handsome older student called Parker Abrams had been very persistent, but for some reason she felt no attraction to either of them. Neither of them came close to Angel for a start, but that didn't seem to be the main reason, she admitted to herself on her hurried walk back to the dorm. The evening's slaying, quiet as it had been, had left her with an itch to scratch, and if the communal bathroom was free during what was a very necessary shower, Mr Pointy's battery powered friendly little brother would be earning his keep. She thought it kind of funny/sad that Faith had been right about that too. She was starting to think that Faith had been right about a lot of things
When Buffy finally got back to the dorm, she found a very angry looking Giles waiting for her outside. "Buffy we need to talk," he said curtly.
"Hi Buffy, Long time no see. Hows your evening, kill any interesting slime demons?" she asked sarcastically. "And a very good evening to you to Giles."
" Good evening Buffy, we need to talk." He repeated in a more even tone.
"Fine, but inside, cos I'm cold, sore and covered in vamp dust. Contrary to popular belief I do still do my job! Ya know? Killing things that go bump in the night? Risking my life to keep the good people safe in their beds?"
As they snuck quietly inside to the ground floor common room to avoid notice, Giles hissed at Buffy, "Yes, yes you've made your point."
"First I need a low fat yogurt. Giles, do you want anything?" Buffy asked sweetly before going into the communal kitchen and returning with the yogurt and a spoon.
As Buffy started noisily slurping dairy food, Giles officiously clasped his hands behind his back and stated, "I've had a call from Quentin Travers."
"Oh?" said Buffy in the same deceptive, sugary tone, "what about? Do you and him want to try and kill me again?"
"I think you know what it's about Buffy, and it wasn't like that."
""Oh, so then you and the council taking away all my powers and putting me and my mom in a locked room with a psychotic master vampire, that wasn't trying to kill me Huh?", demanded Buffy, poking Giles with the spoon.
"Well yes, I mean no," said Giles who had the grace to look sheepish, "but that's not the issue now."
"Oh but it is Giles. See I just don't trust the Council any more. I'm not sure I trust you anymore. Why should I do or believe anything they say? Especially after they sent that useless waste of oxygen Wesley, here. He's to blame for fucking up my last chance to help Faith, before ." And Buffy's voice broke, then steadied, "Anyhow, I thought they fired you."
"Buffy, language", squeaked Giles in outrage. "As you've brought it up, Its Faith Quentin rang me about. He has rung me as a last resort. I am, as you so kindly point out, no longer employed by the Council, but unlike you it seems," he said acidly "I do owe them some loyalty. He told me you prevented an identified Council operative retrieving Faith from the Hospital for ah, retraining, and t-t-hreatened to break his legs, is this true?"
"Yep" said Buffy tersely.
"He also said", continued Giles doggedly, that you had warned hospital security about further attempts, which they then stopped."
"Also true. You're 2 for 2 here Giles, and the 3rd question for $1million is ?"
"Why didn't you tell me about all this?" Giles complained. I know I'm not officially your Watcher anymore but I felt a complete fool hearing it from that windbag Travers." Giles took his glasses off and wiped them on his tie, "Furthermore Buffy, please remember you are still the Slayer, not an, an enforcer for the Mafia! You do not go around threatening to break peoples' legs! Added to which, Quentin is furious and is threatening to declare you a rogue as well if you do not let the Council deal with Faith properly. Surely even you can see that the Council is the correct body to ah, look after her."
"Déjà vu all over again Giles" snapped Buffy impatiently, "Willow said the same things, and I'll give you the same answers. I don't trust the Council to keep Faith alive, I owe Faith this and more, and no I'm not going to stop seeing her, or protecting her. I'm the only person on this planet who seems to give a damn about her, and I won't betray her a second time."
"But Buffy," started Giles.
"But nothing Giles. I put Faith in that coma and she's my responsibility. Not your's, not Willow's and definitely never the Council's. That loser I warned off the first time more or less admitted that they planned just to kill her. That's so totally not going to happen." Buffy's face then hardened in a way Giles had never seen. "Not even if I have to kill some of them to show I'm serious."
Giles blanched, "Now Buffy think of what you're saying. You can't kill humans. You're not "
"Capable of it?" Interrupted a now openly pissed slayer. "I cold-bloodedly hunt beings with human faces down every night and I kill them. I sent Angel to Hell with his soul, I tried to kill the only other person like me in the world, and you think I couldn't kill a lowlife working for Quentin Travers? Huh Giles, come on, tell me. 'Cos I'm telling you, if they try to hurt Faith I will definitely hurt them. If they get past me and kill her, I swear, if I'm not dead as well, I won't be slaying just demons anymore."
"I've never seen you this um aggressive Buffy", said Giles, rubbing his glasses furiously. "What's happened? Are you still thinking about that demon room-mate of yours, I may be able to help."
"No, nothing recent Giles," Buffy replied sadly. "Its just I've been really able to think about me and Faith, yanno and what trying to kill her meant to me. A part of my soul broke inside me when I stabbed her. I think it was my 'nice girl' bit," she said with a pathetic attempt at a smile. "It's a hell of a thing to find out that given the right circumstances I can calmly take a human life, even one from somebody who saved my life, and just feel regret for the why. I know that I could kill one of those Council slugs and not feel a thing, beyond relief he's dead and I'm not. Now I know I should feel bad about that, but the only thing I feel a little bad about is that I don't. Feel bad I mean."
Buffy looked at Giles then with haunted eyes that had seen far too much. "I can't put that thing inside me back together Giles, I don't think I want to, but I can undo my mistake. My problem is, it's not the knowing I could have killed Faith. Actually knowing I can kill another human, knowing that ability is there, makes me feel stronger in a sick kind of way. It's the knowing I didn't have to that's eating me up inside." Tears spilt down Buffy's cheeks and she impatiently wiped them away. "And Giles, if I have to use the lessons I learnt that night to protect her, I will." This last was said in a much firmer tone.
Giles sighed. "Ah well, I suppose I've got no real chance of stopping you, if you've made up your mind. Just make sure you don't kill anyone. I will not condone that under any circumstances."
"I don't want to kill anyone, unless I have to Giles. But can I bruise or break some of them?" Buffy asked playfully as though her previous outburst had never happened.
Giles replaced his glasses on his nose. " If you must. This isn't a game Buffy," he said sternly, not trusting her tone.
"Chill Giles. I don't want you going all Watcherly on me. Anyways I'm taking Faith's advice, if I have to fight off Council baddies, I'm going to find the fun doing it! And believe me, if they try to hurt Faith, hurting them back will be fun with a capital F and cherries on top."
"I just want you to be careful Buffy. The next team the Council sends won't be so easily repulsed. These men will be highly trained, ruthless professionals. Despite your recent ah epiphany, these men will have far fewer scruples than you. They will stop at nothing to finish their mission, if that is what it takes."
Buffy's face went hard again. "Just because I do this for free doesn't mean I'm not good at it. Do you know what the dictionary says about the word Slay? I looked it up; it says 'Slay, -kill violently.' That's my life, killing things violently. And as for being ruthless, well just ask Faith when she wakes up." The Slayers _expression then lightened, "By the way," she teased "why don't I get paid? You'd think I'd be due some money just for the laundry bill, given the number of clothes I ruin doing this gig."
Giles looked scandalised at the change of subject. "Slaying is a sacred duty, Buffy. It's a vocation that you are born to and you shouldn't need or want to be paid. As it stands anyway very few Slayers " he trailed off realising what he was about to say.
Buffy refused to let him off the hook. " Go on, finish it. You were going to say few survive long enough to want it, weren't you. I suppose with the Council killing most of us off on our 18th birthdays to save money, that's true."
'Now Buffy, you know," He gave up at the look on his Slayers face. "Well yes I suppose you do know. Be that as it may, I'll try to persuade Quentin to leave the two of you alone. I can't promise he'll listen, in fact he'll probably do the opposite of whatever I suggest, but I do this on two conditions. You need to tell the rest of the group, Buffy. You have to call a meeting and let them know things have changed between you and Faith. I warn you now they won't like it." Giles then smiled, " I also want you to have a little um down time. Go to the Bronze, see your friends. Its not that long ago that I can't remember being eighteen and you are a first year University student Buffy, enjoy it, go to a few parties. You also need to train, and you haven't been, have you?"
Buffy grimaced and then looked up at Giles, "alright already, you got me. More party girl Buffy coming up. There's a Halloween party at a frat house in 6 weeks or so, I'll try and make that. And I do try to train but it's hard yanno, without the library. I can book gym space here, but I really don't need the spectators and without someone to spar with, it gets real boring, real fast. I can't ask anyone here to spar, because I'd hurt them the first time I forgot to hold back."
Giles looked sympathetic. "I suppose you're right. I'll try to think of something and in the meantime see if you can get a private fencing salle or something similar that might serve as a stopgap."
Giles moved as if to go. "Be careful Buffy. I know you think your feelings towards Faith have changed significantly, but others haven't. Just consider the consequences of protecting her the way you are. We cannot afford to lose you too and you can't afford to lose your friends. To be honest they're one of the reasons I think why you are still with us. And thank you for being so honest. I miss the chats we used to have."
Buffy smiled back. "You mean I can't put my survival down to my good looks, talent and killer fashion sense? No? Giles thanks for listening. You know there's things I can't tell anyone else. Even Willow has started judging me."
"Good night Buffy." Giles replied as he quietly left the common room and headed home to talk to Quentin Travers.
Buffy, her slayers itch still not scratched, headed to the showers. The anger she had felt during her discussion with Giles had only intensified the tension low in her body and she didn't bother trying to find Mr Not-so-Pointy when she went back to her room to fetch a robe and towel. After she stripped off her dusty pants and tank top and underwear, she got into the hot shower and for a second closed her eyes and just let the steaming water beat the tension out of her neck. She started to dream about being with Angel, her hands touching her, lips kissing and then loving her. Her? Angel's face had disappeared and instead she saw someone else in her dream, her long dark hair stroking across Buffy's body, gentle lips and hands moving and touching, big dark eyes looking at her with love.
"NO!!" Buffy opened her eyes in shock and saw her right hand was between her legs. She could feel she was already very wet and not with water. She had recognised the face and the body, and felt combined lust and self-disgust, "how the fuck did that happen," she thought. " It's just so wrong, stop it now". But almost involuntarily she continued to let her hand work in her centre until it found her clit and started stroking it slowly. It felt so good, far too good to stop. She started to moan as she rubbed harder and harder with one hand, while with the other she pushed 2 fingers inside herself. It felt wonderful and got even better when she started to pump them in and out. She knew she needed this feeling to last but she also knew that she would come any minute now. She tipped her head back into the streaming water and let out a deep sigh. Her fingers worked harder now on her sensitive nub and moving her other hand, she started to twist w her nipples as she totally lost control of what she was doing and feeling. Her body started to shake, then the need for release got impossible to fight as she came as hard as she ever had, screaming Faith's name out loud, unable to get an image of large brown eyes veiled by long dark hair out of her mind.
Giles' discussion with Quentin did not go as well. In fact to call it a discussion at all, thought Giles a bit ruefully was going much too far. Giles had said 5 words and then Travers had started shouting. It went downhill rapidly from there. It finished with Buffy being declared a rogue, Travers threatening to do the same to Giles if he didn't help them bring Buffy to heel and a final promise from both angry men to see the other in hell.
Buffy took Giles' advice and asked all the Scooby gang to meet the night after their chat. She also booked one of the small training salles attached to the main gym for some lunchtime training of her own. Set up for fencing, it had 2 fully mirrored walls, a long narrow padded mat running down the middle and stationary targets available. It was perfect in fact for the more esoteric training needed by a slayer.
Following her warm up stretches, she went slowly through the kata that had been drilled into her by her Watchers everyday since she had been called. Done properly it resembled a dance as much as anything else, and like a dance Buffy could tell by her lack of rhythm and timing that she had let her form get sloppy. She went through it again and again until she felt everything click. Then despite the fatigue creeping into her muscles, she did it again at full speed and strength, finishing off by decapitating one of the target dummies with a flying kick that had been launched a full 5 yards from its target. After turning her landing into a combat roll, from a kneeling position she threw Mr Pointy, burying him deeply in the middle of the target on the second dummies chest. Panting slightly she rose gracefully from the floor and curtsied to the loud applause coming from the doorway. The next users of the salle had entered just as she was finishing, and while she was aware of them, there had been nothing she could do to avoid them catching the show.
They stood silently while she collected her gear and then as she went past them and out, the younger of the two guys waiting, said in awed tones, "shit girl you can move. Ain't ever seen anything like that before. Remind me never to run into you on a dark night."
Buffy replied sweetly as she left, "Why thank you, I hope you don't run into me either" and headed to the showers.
"Who the hell was that?" the speaker asked his partner.
"No idea, but I don't ever want to make her mad at me."
When Willow and Buffy arrived that night at 1630 Revello Drive, to their surprise they found Giles already there in the sitting room, talking quietly with Joyce. The two elder members of the team went quiet when they saw the two girls come through the door, immediately raising suspicions in Buffy's mind. Just then Xander turned up with Anya and she didn't feel like calling them on it. Oz had a gig, but had promised to swing by when it was over to collect Willow for some quality together time.
Once every one had a drink, Buffy immediately opened the meeting with an apology. "I'm really sorry I haven't seen a whole lot of you guys outside of Willow, and I include you in that Mom, but I've had a lot going on. Xander, everyone else knows now so you should too. I've been visiting Faith everyday at the hospital, and protecting her from Council attempts to grab her. I made some threats about what I'd do if they tried again. I know," she said quickly as Xander's face took on an _expression of shock and what looked like betrayal, "it seems a big change of heart, but I've thought a lot about it and it's the right thing to do. I let her down badly last time Xander, I won't do it again."
"Dammit Buffster, are you completely nuts, what do you think you're doing?" shouted Xander. "I mean heellllo, stop me if I've got this wrong, but isn't this same Faith with dark hair, yea tall and a leather fetish, who's criminally insane and tried to strangle me after sleeping with me? Remember that Faith, Buff? Or is this some other alternative dimension Faith who's all sweet and nice and non-strangly? No? Didn't think so."
Anya looked accusingly at Xander, her voice rising dangerously, "you slept with her?"
"Now Baby, we weren't together then, at least not like we're not together now" said Xander quickly.
But Anya was on a roll. "And why did she try to kill you? You're not that bad, in fact the night when we had sex you gave me several quite acceptable orgasms."
Xander just hid his face in his hands. Buffy's sensitive hearing caught the words "every time, she does this to me every time." More loudly he said, "welcome to life with Anya."
Trying not to smile, Buffy called the meeting back to order. "No Xander I am not nuts."
Anya though couldn't be stopped, "didn't Buffy stab her?" she asked the room at large. "Was that because she wouldn't have sex with you too Buffy, when she did with my Xander?"
This time Buffy blushed, "Anya! No, No, No. Xander didn't you explain what happened?" Suddenly a flashback of her unwanted fantasy in the shower came to her and she blushed even more deeply. "Xander? Xander!"
A blow to the back of Xander's head brought him back to the room. "Hmmmm, sorry I was just in my happy place for a minute, Faith and Buffy hmmm .". This time he was shocked to get two whacks to the back of his now sore head. "Xander that's eeeeww," and "Why aren't I in your happy place?" clued him into his error.
" Hey watch the head, it's the only one I've got," Xander protested. "I was just away for awhile but I'm back now. And I have no idea what exactly I'm apologising for but sorry, sorry, just don't hit me any more."
Buffy just looked at him. "Pathetically inadequate apology accepted, but only for the sake of getting to bed before tomorrow and because we all know the problems you and Giles have with testosterone poisoning. Now back to what passes for reality around here. When Faith wakes up ."
Willow interrupted, "Um Giles, will she wake up?"
Buffy answered for him, "Of course she's gonna wake up Will, she's a Slayer."
"Yeah, well that's too bad. This has been the funnest coma ever," said Willow. "Ok, what do we do with her when she does?"
Before Buffy could open her mouth, the Scoobies all started talking at once.
"What about the Council?", suggested Willow.
"Been there, tried that. Not unlike smothering a forest fire with napalm, as I recall," replied Xander.
"Well we can't hand her over to the police, they'd be helpless" interjected Giles. "I could ask a psychiatrist friend of mine to get her committed, properly sedated, she'd be .."
Even Xander looked shocked at that idea. "One word Giles: evil!"
At this Buffy stood up. "Shut up!! When Faith wakes up she is coming here to recover and live with Mom like we should have made her do when she first arrived." She looked at them then in turn. "I expect your support and help when she does."
"But Buffy," they all said at once.
"But nothing. She deserves this from me. OK, OK , I know there's things she's done to all of us and others; very bad things, but putting her in a hole and forgetting about her won't fix them. I know that given a chance she'll make up for those things. She's a Slayer dammit. I also think that gut stabbing her and putting her in a coma is punishment enough for what she did to me anyway. Anyone disagree?"
Nobody looked happy at this, but no one disagreed. "OK, I've got to go patrol, anyone want to come with?"
Unusually there were no volunteers, even Xander demurred, but that may have been due to Anya nibbling on his ear. Xander and Anya then left to, as Anya so delicately put it, work on Xander's orgasm-inducing skills.
Giles looked hard at Buffy. "I do hope you know what you are doing. Given her history, Faith, if she wakes up, is going to be very unstable. And I don't wish to belittle your efforts, but you've only been studying Psychology for a month. Do you really think you can cope with a girl as strong and fast as you who showed every sign of being a complete sociopath? Also, can I assume you are aware that the Council aren't going to sit still for this plan of yours?"
Even Joyce was looking a little worried at that, but Buffy answered confidently. " It's no big. Giles, I can deal. I've done a lot of study over the break and I know what I'm facing. I've also been a Slayer for 4 years. I know what a Slayer needs cos it's what I would need. And as for the Council, they have no place here anymore."
Buffy's voice grew harsh and Giles, Willow and Joyce exchanged worried looks, "They have to learn that Sunnydale is my town and that if they want Faith or anything else they'll have to come through me."
She turned to Willow and in a more even tone asked another favour. "Will, when she does wake up. I'd like her to finish high school." Willow looked shocked and started to speak but Buffy cut her off, speaking very fast. "Since Sunnydale High blew up, her transcript will be easy to fake and with no paper trail left you could hack her a new computer record. Enough people saw her hanging around to recognise her as being there even if she didn't ever go to class. I need you to check the police records too. Mom agrees with me that we need to give her as normal life as possible if we're ever going to change her mind about me, us" she quickly corrected herself. "We need to give her a life and a future worth caring about. Without a diploma and a with an arrest record she can never have that."
Buffy got down on the floor beside Willow's chair and looked Willow in the face, "Pleeease Will, for me?" she begged.
Willow never could say no to that particular look. "Alright, alright. You look so cute when you beg. I'll do it. But Buffy, if this all turns bad "
Buffy got back to her feet, "It won't Willow. I'll make it right. I have to."
The Council had also quickly worked out that the older Slayer was the major stumbling block to their retrieval of the rogue. Two more teams were dispatched to the US from Britain and the teams already there were given very specific missions.
Christopher Blackman was sent on the next mission with three others to Sunnydale the very night that Buffy had called the Scooby meeting. They were to stake out a graveyard and capture the older rogue while she was on patrol. En route he tried to impress on the others how dangerous this Slayer was. He knew he wasn't getting through to them but he determinedly continued to try until they arrived at the site. They then hid, lying in some bushes set in a thicket of trees for four very cold, uncomfortable hours armed with tasers and a trank rifle. Christopher was just beginning to think it had all been a waste of time when he got the shock of his life and it wasn't from his taser.
A voice dripping with venomous sweetness came from high in a tree right above them, "Hello boys, were you waiting for me all this time? I'm so sorry I'm late."
With that the Slayer leapt down and before the 4 men could move, she had grabbed the rifle and shot a dart into its bearer, rendering him unconscious. As Christopher tried desperately to get to his feet and trigger his taser, the Slayer connected with a side kick to the head of another of his colleagues which flattened him. She then took out the third man with three quick short punches to the ribs, finishing with an elbow strike that smashed his nose and knocked him out. Whirling to meet the threat from the fourth operative, Buffy relaxed and smiled evilly when she saw who it was. "Ohhh colour me happy, It's C, C, Christopher" she purred.
Christopher still hadn't gotten a spark out of his taser, when the blond suddenly leapt at him and wrenched it out of his hands. Christopher was suddenly paralysed with fear. It only got worse when the rogue hearing a noise from the man she had kicked, casually walked back to him still smiling, and with equal casualness kicked him hard in the head again as he was trying to get up. This time he stayed down as she turned back to the terrified, petrified Christopher.
Her cold smile widened "Now you remember what I said last time, don't you?"
Christopher could only nod feebly.
"Well, it's pretty obvious the Council didn't get my message isn't it? You can't of delivered it properly C, C Christopher," Buffy scolded him mockingly.
Christopher just nodded helplessly again.
"Well I promised someone I wouldn't break your legs this time, but you know I have to do something don't you? I mean, I need to use you to send another message to Quentin as the last one doesn't seem to have gotten through. So I think I'll just beat you up, I do hope that will be a loud enough message for Quentin to hear since I think he must be going a bit deaf in his old age. Oh well, your bad, not mine."
Matching her actions to her words, Buffy, giving into the cold, predatory rage that engulfed her, proceeded to use Christopher Blackman as a punching bag for the longest 5 minutes of his life. She ignored his frantic defensive efforts while breaking some of his ribs and loosening a lot of his teeth in the process. Finally, as the rage receded and feeling a little sorry for him, she delivered a short punch to his nose, smearing it all over his face and leaving Christopher curled up in agony on the ground. She then calmly picked up the discarded rifle and put a dart in Christopher's ass, mercifully knocking him out. With that she bent the barrel into a U shape and then broke the stock across her knee.
Leaving the four now broken men where they fell, she started to run back to campus. The Scooby meeting and subsequent fight had made her very hungry and very horny. Easy as it had been, the fight had left her with a fierce, frightening sense of satisfaction overriding any sense of guilt and an equally fierce need for release. As she ran an unbidden thought crossed her mind, "Faith would have loved that." In much the same way, Faith's face and touch were all Buffy could think about as she rapidly brought herself to orgasm 30 minutes later in the shower.
As Christopher lay in the Council infirmary a week later, his temper and terror were not improved by the delivery of a small stuffed Pooh Bear with a note saying "I hope you passed my message on, now keep thinking about the crutches". It was signed with a little staked heart.
For the next week Buffy's life was pretty much routine except for 2 more encounters with the Council teams stalking her. During the hours she spent with Faith, holding her hand and talking to her, studying College textbooks or just gazing at the other Slayer, she did a lot of soul searching. She realised slowly that there had been so much she hadn't done to help Faith. So much she could have done, but didn't, through fear of what the Scoobies would think, ignorance and sheer, thoughtless selfishness. These things were too hard, got her too close to someone she shouldn't have feelings for. But now she watched over Faith like a guardian angel and with an increasingly uncontrollable rage, fought off the Council teams that came for them both. As that rage had left 8 men bloody and broken in the last 5 days, she had to accept that she did have some feelings for the dark Slayer. Even Buffy could figure out that she wasn't stopping the Council attacks because she hated Faith. As she guarded Faith with her life, she wondered exactly what those feelings were and where the hell all the terrifyingly intense anger she felt was coming from.
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