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Faith stared at the far wall of the bedroom, listening to Kira's breathing. The little girl had been so quiet during the last part of the story that she'd almost thought her audience had fallen asleep. Not so, however; Faith could tell from the pace of her breath, from the feel of her as Kira leaned against her shoulder, that the girl was still awake. Well; that wasn't as hard as I'd thought it would be,
she mused, gazing at the 'Final Fantasy VII' poster that hung beside the door without really seeing it. All that time I spent in that 'safe room' at the hotel, and in cars being driven to jobs for the Mayor; it gave me a lot of time daydream about me and B. And the things that really
did happen to me, like 'Smiley' coming through and me having to kill 'im, that gave me lots of stuff to twist around and make into a happier version of things.
Faith sighed, tilting her head to gingerly rub her aching jaw along her shoulder; with Kira leaning back against her good arm it was the only way she could touch the injury to her face. Man; I never
dreamed I'd be telling somebody this little fairy tale; me and Buffy, discovering our true and undying love in eight neat little episodes.
She paused, frowned, and considered. Or is it seven episodes? Crap, it's too long since I've thought about it; been too busy living a real life here lately, instead of a fantasy….
Someone walked quietly past in the hallway outside, just beyond the closed door of Kira's bedroom. By reflex, Faith tuned her senses higher, matching the sound of the movements against her mental catalog.No danger, it's just Kelly.
With that done, she increased the sensitivity of her hearing to its ultimate extent, taking a quick inventory of every living creature in the house, making sure all was as it should be.
And it was, with one exception. Where's Buffy?
She wondered, faint unease tugging at her despite a growing fatigue from the long day, plus the nagging almost-pain that didn't quite reach her from her injuries. I can hear everyone else, and I should be able to hear her too, unless for some reason she's sitting so still that not even her clothes are moving when she breathes.
There was no reason why the Slayer would be doing that, none she could think of off hand, anyway, but-
"That was nice," Kira said, breaking Faith's concentration and bringing her awareness back the small bedroom. (Fortunately, the Warrior's hearing had the ability to compensate instantly for the nearby sound and it dropped back to normal levels. Otherwise she would have been temporarily deafened by the child's voice in her ear). The little girl raised her head, looking up at with eyes as dark as the Warrior's own. "I liked the part where Buffy couldn't hurt you; I mean, couldn't hurt that other Faith." She frowned, though, and looked troubled. "At the end, though, when she got that kiss, Buffy still didn't love her, did she? She still wants to fight her, and maybe even kill her, over the Mayor and stuff."
Faith nodded, stroking the girl's hair with her good hand.
"Yeah, you're right. Even after all of that, Buffy doesn't love Faith. She could, maybe, if she lets herself see what's going on. In that last part she at least starts to wonder why Faith did what she did… but love isn't the kind of thing that happens quick and easy, no matter what some people might try and tell you." Even in my own little fantasy-land there's no way B would fall head-over-heels for me; it's a big fucking stretch to even have her starting to think about it.
Kira's look of uncertainly turned into a full-fledged scowl.
"Then that's not a happy story at all, and you promised!"
A highly-pissed Kira wasn't something Faith felt up to facing just then, so it was lucky for her that she had a good explanation.
"No, you said you wanted a super-happy-ending,
remember?" A hesitant nod bumped against her shoulder, and she shrugged. "Well, then, you'll have to wait until the end of the story to see how it all turns out super-happy."
The girl gave her an incredulous look.
"You mean there's more
Faith gave her an embarrassed look.
"Yeah, actually; a lot more. This was just their first kiss; their first for-real kiss, I mean, not that peck on the forehead from earlier. There's still this sort of date thing that happens, and their, uh, first time-" Kira was looking too interested in that part, much too interested for a little girl, so she hurried on. "And a little more fighting, and then Buffy's friends eventually start to figure out what's going on and of course that's
a fu-frigging nightmare all by itself even before it starts getting close to the Ascension, and the whole time the Mayor is trying to get a handle on what his girl is thinking, doing all this stuff with their sworn enemy…." Shit,
She thought glumly. I used to spend way too much time daydreaming about what could have happened between me and B. Good thing I don't do that any more.
Faith frowned, trying to figure out why part of that hadn't sounded so convincing.
Kira had pondered the explanation for a few moments; now she gave a firm nod.
"Okay then. Tell me about the date thing."
Faith gave a start, looking down at the top of the girl's head.
"What, now?" She got a look
in reply, and shook her head. "I thought that maybe we could do the next part tomorrow night. It's time for you to go to sleep you know," She said, weakly. Lame try, Faith,
The young woman thought. She doesn't
have a bedtime; you let her stay up as long as she wants, so long as she eats her veggies and reads at least a little every day.
As expected, Kira wasn't having any of that.
"I'm wide awake, and your arm probably hurts too much for you to sleep anyway, right?" Faith nodded, and the girl gave her an elaborate shrug that she must have learned by watching Faith herself. "Okay then, keep going. What happens next?"
It took a minute, with Faith trying to get her thoughts organized before she could even begin.
"Okay. Okaaay, it went like this: A few days go by, and Buffy's not real sure about what happened there at the end in the hotel room, or how she feels about what Faith told her. At night, when she's patrolling, she's sort of looking around to see if she can spot Faith doing whatever it is she does as an evil chick, but it's no good. So eventually she gets tired of waiting around for something to happen. One night, without telling anybody, she decides to scout out the Mayor's office in City hall. She gets in, too, even though there's guards and stuff there now. Nobody sees her going in, but once she's inside there this surprise waiting for her.
"See, the Mayor happened to be working late that night, and when Buffy rips the lock out of his door and eases inside, he's not real happy with her…."
* * * * *
This story continues in Book II: 'Sort of a Date Thing'.
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