And it hurts when you're lonely
And I'm standing right beside you there
"Louisiana," Faith grinned happily seeing the blonde Detective waiting by her car when Faith exited Miami's Slayer central. "I thought you were working today?" She asked. Not that she minded, she liked Calleigh's company. Over the past eighteen months they had become good friends what Faith first thought would be unlikely because of the police-thing.
"I was," Calleigh nodded "but I took the day off." She gestured for driving Faith back to the apartment. Faith usually ran her way to the school, it wasn't that far from where she lived and Calleigh could always drive Faith to working the morning if Faith wasn't up for running. If everything went like Melinda told her then she'd be sure she would be staying the night at Faith's again. For a woman who tries to stay away from personal issues, Calleigh found that Faith was a good listener. Today however was a chance for Calleigh to repay the favor.
"You took the day off?" The brunette furrowed her eyebrows as she got in the blonde's car throwing her bag with her training wear in the backseat. "You never take a day off." Faith grinned but was inwardly worried about Calleigh. If the Detective took the day off it meant that it had to be serious.
"Today I did," Calleigh shot the brunette a smile as she turned on the ignition then shrugged "I was feeling friendshippy." She said and drove away in the direction of Faith's apartment.
"Friendshippy?" Faith asked grinning widely. "You've been emailing with Red again." She laughed and leaned back in the passenger seat. Though Calleigh didn't know anything about their supernatural activities she was getting along with most of Faith's friends, especially Xander. He visited Faith about three times a month, sometimes more when he offered his help with the new Slayers.
"How are things going with the school?" Calleigh questioned. She knew it was a branch of the Rupert Giles Campus for Gifted Girls and Young Women but she was yet to find out what they teach at this school. When Faith told her that the school would be named after Buffy it was the first and only time she mentioned Buffy's name.
"The dormitories are finally done so tomorrow I can give the girls their sleeping arrangements." Faith replied feeling a sense of pride go through her. She was reluctant at first when Giles came with the idea of opening a Slayer school in Miami named after Buffy but who was she kidding anyway, she loved slaying and she loved helping the new Slayers. It made perfect sense that Giles appointed her as the Head of the Buffy Summers Memorial School.
Calleigh had a million questions to ask Faith. About the school, the girls that enrolled in said school, about Faith’s late night strolls and more but she knew that if she asked questions about those things that Faith would just give her an evasive answer turning the table’s to talk about Calleigh. Just like now, Faith was asking her all about John Hagen, a Detective that Calleigh briefly dated.
"Faith, shut up for a minute.” Calleigh said in a joking tone when they reached the brunette’s apartment. They entered the building but instead of going to Faith’s apartment they went to the roof. This worried Faith even more causing her to wonder why exactly Calleigh took the day off and picked her up from work.
“I actually wanted to ask you something." Calleigh said when they almost reached the roof access. She turned to Faith and looked at her with concern. "Can I see your arms?" She needed to know if what Melinda said was true.
"Why do you wanna see my arms?" Faith asked defensively stuffing her hand in the front pockets of her jeans. Calleigh realized it was true otherwise Faith wouldn’t be acting so self-protective.
"Please Faith?" She needed to see it; she had to see it to really believe it. Faith stood perfectly still for a few seconds then held out her arms in front of her. She cursed herself or getting soft, for letting Calleigh see her weakness. "Judging by your quick healing I'd say these are a day maybe two days old." Calleigh mused aloud checking the barely noticeable cuts over the length of the brunette’s arms. She was used to Faith’s quick healing, the brunette refused to explain how come she had such quick healing but Calleigh knew it had something to do with her nightly strolls and the girls in that school.
"Bullshit." Faith pulled her arms back and crossed them angrily. She didn’t need this, not after that woman earlier that said she could talk to Buffy.
“Faith, I’m a CSI and I’ve been taking care of some of your inexplicable injuries over the past year, I know you did this to yourself.” Calleigh sighed when Faith turned away from the blonde. “Look at me, Faith.” She gently took Faith’s chin between her thumb and index finger to make Faith face her.
"I just," Faith’s eyes softened as she looked in Calleigh’s green ones. She wasn’t sure how to explain her urge to inflict pain to her own body. She didn’t even know exactly why herself, she just knew it made it easier.
“You don’t have to justify your actions to me if you don’t want to.” Calleigh said with a small smile. If Faith was ready to tell her, she had no doubt to brunette would tell her. Besides if Melinda could really talk to Buffy she would find some things soon enough.
"I was never gonna kill myself." Faith stated clearly. She couldn’t do that to her friends, her family. Faith didn’t even know how Calleigh figured it out. She always made sure the cuts were practically gone before she met up with the blonde CSI.
"I never said you would." Calleigh replied and opened the door to the roof. "I didn't believe her but now..." She said more to herself but Faith overheard the blonde.
"Believed who?" She asked suspiciously then looked up seeing the brunette from earlier that day standing a few feet further. "What the fuck is she doin' here?" She asked turning to Calleigh.
"Faith, just talk to her." Calleigh took Faith’s hand in hers making Faith look at her instead of glaring at Melinda. "Please?" Faith didn’t say anything; she turned her glare on Calleigh but kept quiet. "Do it for me."
"Fine," Faith snapped after a few moments of silence. She walked up to Melinda with Calleigh still holding her hand. "Okay, fine, what did B have to tell you?" Melinda cautiously took a small step back from the goaded brunette.
"I told you that wouldn't be a problem." Buffy said looking smug. "Now comes the tricky part, that's where Calleigh comes in.” Melinda glanced at Calleigh who gave her a curt nod “She needs to keep her here and let’s hope she can keep the punch throwing Faith in." Buffy muttered the last part but having heard it Melinda to take another step back.
"Buffy can't move on." Melinda said clearly. She expected Faith to be angry, disheartened or even quiet but the curvy brunette just snorted and rolled her eyes.
"She's B, she can do anything." Faith replied with a shrug "There's nothing keepin' her here." Melinda could see Buffy flinch at the harshness in Faith’s voice. "Ya hear that, B? Just go." Faith pulled her hand out of Calleigh’s and ran it through her long brown hair.
"It doesn't work that way, Faith." Melinda replied apprehensive. Buffy was close to tears seeing the hurt in her lover’s eyes. Calleigh saw it too and placed her hand on Faith’s lower back for comfort but Faith didn’t seem to notice.
"Of course it doesn't, 'cause that would be too easy." Faith replied irritated. "So what, you wanna do like a séance now so I can say goodbye?" She asked chuckling bitterly.
"She doesn't want you to hurt yourself anymore." Melinda answered with Buffy standing besides her telling the brunette what to say. Faith laughed humorlessly.
"I don't want this conversation but we’re still havin’ it.” She replied rolling her eyes just a little. Calleigh took a deep breath and turned to Faith. She thought of herself as a good friend to Faith but she had no idea what kept going on, in Faith’s mind.
"Faith, just listen to her.” She said sternly. Faith looked at her taken aback but didn’t say anything; she just frowned at the blonde. “Stop pretending you’re not hurting.”
"Thank you Calleigh." Buffy said smiling. "Better get a whip, you’re gonna need it.” She added getting a mildly surprised look from Melinda. "Okay fine, she can have mine.” Buffy sighed, throwing her hands in the air defeated.
"Buffy." Melinda didn’t exactly know how to respond to something like that. Two women in a relationship, sure why not but she didn’t need to know certain details, like whips. “Too much information.” Melinda turned to Faith “Has she always been this open?” Faith shrugged at the brunette. She knew the odds of Melinda seeing Buffy were very big, she’d seen, lived through, enough supernatural things to think otherwise.
“Her punches are harder though." Faith smiled bleakly. "Were." She corrected getting a solemn expression on her face. "They were harder." Calleigh took Faith’s hand and gave it a comforting squeeze before turning to Melinda.
“Is she talking to you?" She asked.
"She said 'thank you Calleigh'." Melinda answered then added in a softer tone. "And something about a whip." Two women and a ghost looked surprised at Faith when she started laughing.
"She's laughing.” Buffy exclaimed happily “It's been so long since I heard her laughing." She sighed relieved Faith let out a real laugh and not a fake one like she did so many times then moved to stand in front of Faith when her lover had stopped laughing, letting out small snorts of amusement instead.
“B?” Faith whispered when Buffy lifted her hand up, her ghostly fingers stroking Faith’s cheek lovingly. Faith was afraid to move, not wanting the barely detectible touch to end. Unknowingly she squeezed Calleigh’s hand just a little harder.
“Sweetie, I’ll always…”
"She says that she'll always be with you and that she hates to see you hurting." Melinda said compassionate repeating Buffy’s words. "It hurts her to see you do those things to yourself, that she can't be there to make things better." Faith’s eyes began to tear up but she wasn’t letting them go.
"Can you tell her-" She started but Melinda interrupted her before she could finish.
"You can tell her yourself, she's standing right in front of you." She said. Faith’s eyes were going all over the place but she couldn’t make out any form. She wanted to see Buffy just one more time.
“Tell her, Faith, it’s time to let it out.” Calleigh said softly cupping Faith’s hand with both her hands. Calleigh’s hand was getting sore from Faith’s grip but was happy Faith held some control over her strength. She could feel Faith refraining from saying anything but from the force she put in clutching her hand Calleigh knew Faith needed to let it out.
"I'm sorry for not being there, B." Faith couldn’t keep the tears in anymore. "For not telling you about my dad, I should've told you." Melinda had a few tears running down her cheeks as well. Faith held so much guilt inside her, all her previous opinions about the brunette vanished. She hoped her love with Jim was the same kind these two had.
"It wouldn't have changed.” Buffy had tears running down her cheeks as well as Melinda repeated her words.
“Things happen for a reason." Melinda continued saying the exact words Buffy was saying though it became harder to understand. “But she’s sorry for not marrying you when she could.” Faith vaguely felt Calleigh stroking her hand with her thumb but her mind was filled with Buffy.
"She loves you with all her heart but she knows you'll be okay." Melinda carried on trying to keep up with what Buffy was saying. "You've got a loving family and friends." Faith smiled faintly at the last sentence thinking about her Slayers at school and her friends in Cleveland and Miami.
"She's still not letting go." Buffy turned to Melinda with a mixture or worry and impatience. Part of her wanted to stay with Faith forever but another part of her wanted to find her peace again.
"You have to let go, Faith. It's her time to be in heaven." Melinda didn’t want to seem impatience but she knew Buffy needed to move on. "She loves you and she'll love you again in another lifetime." She let out a small chuckle and added out of her own accord “She’s your B.”
"There’s no one like you, baby." Faith spoke softly. Buffy stood just a little on her toes and pressed her ethereal lips against the now oldest Slayer’s lips. Faith closed her eyes, imaging Buffy standing in front of her. When Buffy moved away Faith opened her eyes again letting out another tear when all she saw was air.
"You will love again and she'll keep you safe." Melinda was looking at Buffy who had moved to stand in front of Calleigh with a smile but it seemed like she was looking at Calleigh. Which was probably Buffy’s idea, Melinda thought. “Tell her, she’ll keep your secret.” Faith turned her head to the blonde CSI next to her and smiled grateful that she was here.
"There’s the light." Buffy all but whispered staring behind Melinda. “Thank you, Melinda.”
"She can go now.” Melinda breathed in deeply, steadying her emotions.
“See ya later, B.” Faith said smiling a little wider knowing that she’ll see Buffy again one day. In her type of lifestyle that wasn’t a misleading notion. “I love you, baby.”
And we hurt
And it hurts
A/N: Sorry about the late update… I’ll see what I can do for another sequel and/or making this a series. Thanks to all the readers and reviewers especially.