DISCLAIMER: See Part 1
Two roads, one path
By Christopher Andrews
"And she's coming here to stay with us?"
Damn it Buffy, why didn't you call me and ask me if it was okay?
"No, no thanks Xander. No I'm not gonna turn Faith into a rat not without knowing how to turn her back anyway."
"Turn her into a rat?"
"Oh we've had troubles in the past with witches turning people into rats in the past."
"And you don't like this Faith person?"
Right, sometimes I forget Tara hasn't known me that long. I love her so much I feel like I've known her forever.
"Faith, well how can I put this? Faith isn't like most people. She acts all nice and interesting but underneath she's a raving lunatic with homicidal tendencies."
"Homicidal tendencies ?"
"Yes, she has a tendency to kill people every once in a while."
"So that's why you hate her?"
"Yes well no, not entirely. I didn't like her much BEFORE she went all homicidal."
"Well she seemed nice at first but Well, Buffy and I are best friends. We have been for years "
"But Faith changed all that? Was she more important to Buffy than you?"
I don't think so, at least I hope not.
"They were both slayers they understand each other on a different level than me and Buffy "
"So you were jealous?"
"I-no I wasn't jealous they just, they spent a lot of time together. You know like slaying, training, destroying the forces of evil, slayer stuff."
"So you were jealous. You were afraid that Buffy and Faith would be better friends than you and Buffy because they share something you and Buffy can never share. Am I close?"
"Y-yeah I I guess you're right."
She knows me so well. She probably understands me better than I'll ever understand myself, but then, that's why I love her. More than I could ever love anyone ever.
"Even after Faith went psycho Buffy still wanted to help her, I guess they were closer than I thought."
"Why would that be a reason to hate her?"
"It's not it's just I guess Buffy has never really been able to think straight when it comes to Faith."
The door opens. I turn and Buffy walks through.
"Hey Will "
That might've been a little too direct.
"Jesus Will, direct much?"
I guess it was.
"Xander called he told me what happened at Giles'. Where's Faith?"
Buffy points toward the door.
"I asked her to wait outside so you didn't freak out when you saw her, but obviously you're already freaking out so she might as well come in."
Whoa, whoa, whoa I gotta stop her.
"Wait, hold on no "
I stop before she gets to the door.
"She isn't staying here."
"Why not ?"
What the hell kinda question is that? I think it SHOULD be pretty fucking obvious why the hell not.
"Buffy she's evil. Plus I'm kinda sure she's sorta a few chess pieces short of a full chess board. She is NOT staying here."
No I am not gonna cave on this. I WON'T let her stay here.
"Willow she's got nowhere else to stay."
"So what ? The police can give her a nice comfy slab of stone to sleep on for all I care there is no way I'll get any sleep with her anywhere near me."
"Will please try not to yell, she'll hear you."
I wasn't yelling. Besides, what does it matter whether or not she hears me? It's better if she does in the long run anyway. I don't want her thinking we're going to be friends, I don't like her and that is the way it's gonna stay.
"I'll be as loud as I wanna be. Besides, Xander told me what happened. What happens if she goes all weird and tries to kill you again? How are we gonna stop her if she drags your rotting carcass in here to add to her pile of 'friends'?"
Yeah that's a good point to bring up. Let's see her get out of this one.
"Look, that's not gonna happen. I'll make sure of it."
"How, how can you guarantee she won't get the best of you again? If she did it once she can probably do it again."
"W-Wesley said that whatever's making her go berserk is some sort of drug. We, we just have to wait until the drug goes through her system. Then we can help her get her memory back, I'm sure you could find a spell or something couldn't you?"
Hmm, what kind of spell would whoa wait a second she's changing the subject.
"Don't change the subject. I'm not staying here if she is. This is my place and I live here, she doesn't."
"Will this is our place and I live here too and I say she stays."
"Damn it Buffy "
"Hey, it's okay. Willow you can stay with me if you like."
I look at Tara.
"Thank you Tara."
I look back at Buffy.
"It's good to have people you can count on when you need them."
"Buffy, it's late, I'm tired and I don't wanna argue about this anymore. Come on Tara."
I was kinda tired before she came in, and now I think I'm gonna pass out.
I take Tara by the hand and we leave the room. As we go down the hall I notice Faith sitting in the hall, elbows perched on her knees, hands on head.
She must've heard us in there; hell half of Stevenson must've heard us. Good, at least she knows where I stand.
We head off down the hall and round the corner.
Answers to questions you never asked
I look up and Buffy is standing over me.
"It's okay now, you can come in."
She puts her hand out and I take it as she helps me up. We go into Buffy's dorm room.
Okay? Things are okay? How can things be okay? She just, she just threw her roommate out of her own room for me. How can I be okay with that?
"I'll be back in a second okay?"
"Y-Yeah, I guess yeah."
She goes into her dresser and pulls out what looks like her pyjamas.
Is that all she's gonna wear?
She closes the door to the bathroom.
Why is she doing this? All I've done since coming to this town is cause problems for her. Her friends are abandoning her over their hatred of me. Why would she do some thing like this? If these dreams I keep having are memories then Buffy and I weren't the best of friends, maybe even enemies, so why is she going out of her way to help me? I've done nothing but destroy her life. I-I can't let her do this; I have to do something to stop her from ruining her life. Buffy told me she and her friends have known each other forever. They're probably just really concerned for her because they hate me so much. She's a good person, I can tell, she wouldn't listen if I told her to stop being so nice to me but I've gotta do something. What if I just left? I could just disappear and start a new life somewhere else. I don't have any I.D., I could just make up a new name and no one would ever find me. It It's the only way.
I start toward the door and I hear one open. I grab the doorknob.
"Faith ? Where are you going?"
Tell a lie She'll believe it.
"I-I was just gonna, gonna go see if there was another bathroom down the hall."
I look over at her.
She doesn't look like she believes me.
"You could've just waited until I was finished."
She takes a few steps out of the way.
"Nah, it's cool."
Great, you just blew your whole lie.
"Faith ? Why were you really leaving?"
I take a deep breath.
You fucked up the lie, time to be honest.
"Why are you doing this?"
Who said I was the one being honest?
"Doing what? Going to bed?"
I take a few steps away from the door, towards Buffy.
"You know what I mean."
She looks at me weird.
"No, I don't."
"Y-you just threw your own roommate out so I have a place to sleep, how am I supposed to feel about that?"
"She decided to leave on her own I didn't throw anyone out. I would think you'd feel better knowing you had a place to sleep tonight."
"This isn't about having a place to sleep. I'm ruining your life."
"Ruining my why the hell would you think you were ruining my life?'
Why? What the hell kinda question is that?
"All of your friends hate me, and I'm pretty sure they're starting to hate you because you're going out of your way to help me. How am I NOT ruining your life?"
"Me and Will have been through worse together and we've come through okay. A few bumps and bruises but it's nothing we can't handle. Life goes on you know?"
"Well no I don't know I mean your friends you told me before that you've known them for years and I can barely remember anything that happened before a couple days ago "
Oh shit, you probably shouldn't have said that, change the subject.
Yes change the subject before
"Faith, are you saying you're starting to remember stuff?"
"I-yes-no Buffy I'm tired."
I turn away from her and take a few steps.
Good, get away from the topic.
Buffy grabs me and spins me around to face me.
"Faith, be honest with me. Are you getting your memory back?"
"I don't I'm not sure I don't know. I-I keep having these dreams "
"Having dreams? Having dreams about what?"
"I said I'm not sure, I-I'm not sure if they are memories or not."
I don't know, I really don't know.
"Well what were they about? Maybe I can tell you if it was a memory or not. Was I there?"
"It was really blurry I don't know."
I never promised I was gonna be honest with her.
"You don't remember anything?"
"No I look, I'm tired I I need to-to pass out or something."
"Okay, let's go to bed."
Wait she totally avoided my question.
"Wait, you never answered me."
She never answered me.
"I asked you why you were doing this and you didn't answer me."
"Faith I did answer the question but if you want to argue about it we can do that tomorrow, right now I'm tired."
She totally avoided it again.
"No, hey I answered all your questions and you didn't answer mine. Why are you doing this?"
She steps away and starts toward her bed.
"Let's talk about this tomorrow okay Faith?"
"No, why are you doing this?"
She wouldn't let up on me and I'm not gonna let up on her.
"This isn't something we need to talk about now."
"Why are you doing this? Just tell me."
"Because it's my fault !"
Her fault ?
"What's your fault?"
"I'm the reason you're even here in the first place."
"What do you mean you're the reason? Did you do this to me?"
Okay maybe that's going a little too far.
"No, not really but I might as well have. I-I put you in a coma."
"What are you talking about?"
"You and I didn't get along that well "
"We were enemies?"
"No it it wasn't so much that we, we weren't enemies we were just we were starting "
She's trying not to upset me, why?
"We were starting to get along but but then "
"But then I killed someone "
That dream, with the alley that was a memory? How many others are real? What if they're all real?
"Y-Yeah and then the whole thing with the mayor "
"The mayor ? What happened with the mayor?"
"He was evil and tried to destroy the town. I had to stop him."
"And and you got in the way."
I was in the way?
"In the way how ?"
"Faith I'm not sure this is such a good idea."
She's still trying not to push me, just get it out already.
"Look Buffy, I can't apologize for what I did to you if I can't remember what I did to you."
"This isn't about what you did to me, this about what I did to you. Y-You and I started fight-fighting because you joined up with the mayor, and "
"And what ? What happened between us?"
"You tried to kill me, and eventually, I tried to kill you, except well I got closer to killing you than you did to me. I pushed you off a four story balcony."
She pushed me off a balcony? I feel that boiling feeling inside me. No I won't do it. Not again.
I clench my fist and try to stop the boiling feeling inside. I take a deep breath and feel the boiling slowly simmer down.
"You pushed me off a balcony?"
She comes up to me and takes my hands. I look into her eyes and she looks into mine.
"Yes and and I'm sorry."
She's sorry? I can see it in her eyes that she means it. She shouldn't be sorry, it's my fault.
"Buffy if I was helping an evil monster then what happened is my fault and I deserved it."
"But but I didn't, I didn't have to try and kill you We could've talked about what happened, worked through it like we're working through this now."
She's still blaming herself, I have to stop her.
She looks down at the floor in shame. I put my hand under her chin and raise it so she's looking at me.
"I'm sure you did everything you could. Besides, you can't blame yourself for my mistakes."
"That's what Giles said."
He may not like me very much but at least we agree on something.
She sort of half smiles at me and chuckles.
"It's just, well, you don't sound like the Faith I know."
"I'm not the Faith you know. I don't remember anything about the person I used to be, except what you tell me. It's not your fault for what I did, it's mine."
"I know but "
"Buffy, it's not your fault but if you feel so bad "
I put my hands on her shoulders.
"I forgive you."
"Thank you Faith but you may feel differently when you get your memory back."
She's right, I might feel differently.
"Maybe I will, maybe I won't, but for right now I forgive you."
Things might change tomorrow but for today I forgive her, if only to stop her from helping me out of guilt.
"Thanks Faith, I appreciate that. Okay it's late, we're tired, and I think it's time to go to bed."
I feel kinda light headed. Yeah I'm more tired than I thought.
Yup, I'm definitely tired.
"Okay, but I'm not sleeping in the other bed."
"Why not ?"
"Well if Willow came in and saw me sleeping in her bed "
"I get it. Where are you gonna sleep?"
"The floor will be fine. All I need is some sheets."
"I got that covered."
She goes to her closet and takes out some sheets and an extra pillow. She comes back and hands them to me.
I take them and start getting ready for bed. She gets into bed. As I lay down I look up at the ceiling.
"Good night Faith."
"Good night Buffy."
I guess I'm not the only one with a past to get over.
I close my eyes.
Turning the proverbial cheek
"Argh ! She makes me so mad sometimes."
I start pacing around the room.
Faith is a threat and Buffy knows it.
"Baby, you heard her. Buffy says she won't let Faith do anything to hurt her or anyone she cares about."
"I know but that never stopped her from hurting us before."
She's always found a way to screw up our lives and now she's doing it again.
"Willow, can I ask you something?"
"What did she do?"
"What do you mean?"
"Faith What did she do to you?"
"I told you about what she did."
"No you didn't. All you said was that she made you jealous, that doesn't mean she was evil."
"She is though."
"Well, she helped the mayor try to destroy the town."
"Yeah, plus she tried to kill each of us."
"Okay so she used to be evil "
"Used to ?"
What does she mean 'used to'? She's actually defending Faith.
"What do you mean 'used to'? She is and always will be evil."
I can't believe she's defending someone she's never met.
"She's not anymore, I know."
"What are you talking about?"
"I can read auras. Faith's aura is well, it's very translucent."
"So what does that mean?"
"Well for most people their auras stand out because they are more defined. But for people like Faith, for people who've lost their memory, their auras are less defined."
"So you're sure she's got no memory?"
"Yes a-a person's aura is created by their memories and how they deal with the experiences they go through. But someone with amnesia a person has no memories and so their auras are very weak. Faith's aura is very weak."
Yeah well that doesn't change what she did to me.
"So then why are you defending her?"
I'm still not sure.
"I'm not defending her. I'm just you have an opportunity to make things right "
Make things right ? How do I have anything to make right?
"Why am I to make things right? She's the one who tried to kill me remember? I shouldn't be doing anything of the sort."
"Okay so maybe I said it wrong. What I meant to say is that you have a chance. A chance to show Faith the person she should be, the person she can be."
Why the hell would I wanna do that?
"And what happens when she gets her memory back and tries to kill us?"
"That's why you have to be her friend. If you show her the good person she never was she'll remember it when she gets her memory back."
"So what ? It doesn't mean she still won't try and kill us."
She still can if she wants to.
Tara walks up to me and takes my hands in her own.
"Yes but if you can be a friend to her, if you can get past your anger and jealousy for her, maybe, just maybe, she won't want to kill anyone."
Maybe That doesn't fill me with confidence.
"Why do I have to be her friend? What about Buffy? She already wants to help her, why doesn't she be Faith's friend?"
"Buffy she has, she has something more important, things to teach Faith about."
More important things, like what?
"What kind of things? How do you know?"
"I-I don't know I just I can feel it."
"What should I do?"
I'm at a loss I don't know what to do.
"Maybe you should kill her."
Okay that's not the kind of advice I was hoping for.
"Anya I can't kill her."
"Why the hell not ? You told me she tried to kill you. Why can't you just return the favour? That's what people do isn't it? We do favours for each other."
Okay I think it's time for another lesson in being human.
"This isn't the kind of favour you return. Not unless you're evil."
"What are you gonna do then?"
"I don't know that's what I'm trying to figure out. Buffy seems to think what's happening is real, and I trust Buffy's judgment but well, nothing is certain when it comes to Faith and with our history "
Crap, bad timing Xander, bad timing.
"What do you mean history?"
"Well Faith and I me and Faith we and then there was, well "
I take a step back.
How do I explain this to her? She has a way of taking things badly.
"You dated her?"
"Well not exactly."
"But you had a relationship?"
"I don't think it qualifies as a relationship."
"So you were just in it for the sex, like with us."
"Anya it was just one night."
"But you love her?"
What? No of course not.
"No I don't love her I just she tried to kill me, I can't lover her."
"So you just fucked her and left her out in the cold."
Left her in the?
"No I didn't leave her in the cold. If anything it was the other way around."
"So what happened?"
I'm not so sure myself. It was a year ago and I'm still not sure.
"We were involved."
"Involved how? How am I supposed to feel?"
"An, hun, I can't tell you how to feel."
"Well you should. Should I be jealous? Should I be afraid that you're gonna leave me for her?"
She's kinda cute when she does this.
I take her hands in mine.
"You don't have to worry about anything happening between me and Faith. There isn't anything between us anymore."
"If you say so let's go to bed, I'm tired."
It's a good thing she's learned to focus.
I'm standing in front of Faith; I think I'm squaring off with her. What's going on?
I throw three easy punches and she dodges them with ease. Before I have time to react she ducks down and my legs are kicked out from under me. In seconds I'm flat on my back and she crawls on top of me. She grabs my hands and pins them above my head.
I love it when she takes control like this.
She leans into me so close I can feel her breath on my face. The warmth of her breath makes me squirm. Suddenly, she notices something and turns her head slightly.
"Is that where it happened?"
I feel her hot breath shift and glide over my neck. It makes me shiver.
"Where, what happened?"
What is she talking about?
"Is this where I bit you?"
Before I can do anything I feel her tongue against my neck and she licks my neck. I squirm under the feeling of her tongue.
I sit up in my bed and rub my forehead.
What the hell was that? My dreams aren't usually so vivid. They are usually all blurry and make no sense. The, the only dreams I have that are that real are those vision things I keep getting from the Powers That Be.
I look down at Faith.
Why are the Powers That Be giving me visions of Faith? Are they trying to help me get over what happened between us? Trying to help me get over the whole us trying to kill each other thing? But why would they give me a vision like that?
I run my fingers down my neck and feel the marks.
Where she bit me?
"N-no it's, no "
I look down at Faith and she's tossing and turning.
I wonder if the Powers That Be are giving her dreams too. They could be just memories though; they took her memories for a reason. Maybe they're giving it back to her gradually so she can see what she did wrong.
"N-no, somebody somebody stop me."
Maybe she's reliving her memories of hurting someone, or even killing someone.
She starts really tossing and turning.
Should I wake her up? Would that interrupt what the Powers That Be are trying to do?
"N-no, no I can't, stop, stop me."
This can't be good.
I get up off my bed and kneel down next to her.
"Faith, wake up."
I put my hands on her shoulders to stop her from thrashing.
"Please, stop me, please Buffy, no "
It could be a memory of us fighting; we did that all the time.
"Faith it's okay. I'm right here and I'm okay. Everything's okay."
She tries to move but I'm holding her down.
Her eyes open and she looks up at me.
"Faith, are you okay?"
She's breathing real heavy. It must've been one hell of a dream, whatever it was.
"Y-Yeah, I think I am."
I take my hands off her shoulders and she sits up.
We're sitting so close I can feel her breathing on me. It's literally a matter of inches between us but I don't mind. Why don't I mind? All of the sudden I notice my breathing is getting heavy as Faith's.
She takes a deep breath and all it does is make me shiver.
"Are you sure you're okay?"
"Yeah I'm sure."
I get up and sit up on my bed.
"Okay good I just wanted to be sure."
She lies down and pulls the covers up to her shoulders.
"Yeah, I-I'll be okay."
I lie down on my bed and stare at the ceiling.
What was that? Was I turned on? N-no I couldn't be, I'm with Riley. But that feeling, it was a good feeling, that feeling when we were close. It felt almost like the way I used to feel around Angel but it's more than that. I felt something else, something I've never felt before.
I close my eyes.
What the hell is up with me lately?
Is she asleep?
I peek up over the bed and Buffy is lying down with her eyes closed.
Good, she's at least trying to sleep.
I lie back down and try to relax, but it's hard.
I had that dream again, the one where I kill Buffy. Why do I keep having this dream? I don't wanna kill Buffy do I? No she's been so good to me and gone out of her way to help me I don't want to kill her, I don't. But then why do I keep having these dreams? Angel said that slayers have visions about things that are supposed to happen. Am I supposed to kill Buffy? But I don't want to kill Buffy.
What if I get my memory back? Will I want to kill her then? No, no I'll stop myself, I know I will. I won't hurt her, I won't. These vision things though; they're what are supposed to happen. How do I stop what's supposed to happen? I don't think I can. But what happens if whatever's making me go berserk and try and kill people makes me kill her? But then what about what just happened? We were so close and, and I think I felt something. I don't know what it was, but it was something. God I don't have a life I remember past 3 days and already the life I DO remember is screwed up. Damn it I won't hurt her, I won't.
I close my eyes.
What the hell is up with me?
You can always depend on the kindness of strangers
"Yes sir, I'm sorry sir. Yes sir, the losses were severe sir. Yes sir, it was, it's my fault sir. I never should've gotten myself captured sir. You'll be happy to know that I didn't give them any important information they could use "
I am so glad I made him call the boss. Plus it makes me look better that he got caught and I saved him.
"Yes sir, I'm sorry sir. I realise how you could've been compromised if I had revealed any pertinent information."
I should've left him there to die like the useless corpse that he is. Yeah sure he created the formula that will probably save us all but now that we have it why not just dust the fucker already? I'd do it myself if the boss hadn't ordered me not to.
"Yes sir, I understand sir. We will not receive any additional forces until confirmation that the formula is fully integrated into her system. Yes sir, I understand sir."
Fucking bastard I think it's time we look for some other type of help.
I wonder if it was a good idea to leave her there alone. I told her where I was going but after what happened last night I hope she'll stay till we figure out how to help her; hopefully Riley can do that for her. More specifically, the initiative can help Faith. They know about chemicals and research and stuff like that.
I walk into Lowell house and look around, Riley is nowhere in sight.
"What do you want Summers?"
I look up.
"It's nice to se you too Forrest."
Every time I see him he gives me the cold shoulder.
"Are you here to see Riley?"
"Yeah, is he in his room?"
"Yup, just be sure not to wear him out before his watch tonight."
"I'll be sure."
I start up the stairs.
Shut up Forrest, man sometimes I wish there was an exception in the 'slayers don't kill people' rule.
I reach Riley's room and knock on the door.
I turn the knob and walk.
"Hey Riley "
"Hi, how are you?"
I walk up to him and give him a kiss. He gets up out of his chair and hugs me.
"I'm okay I guess."
He starts pacing.
"How'd the slaying go last night?"
"I wasn't out slaying last night."
"Why not ?"
"Well that's why I wanted to see you."
He turns around and looks at me.
"What's up? Adam troubles?"
"No, something else I have this friend she's a slayer."
"A slayer how'd that happen? I thought the only way to get a new slayer was when the old one dies."
"Then that means "
"Yeah, it does. But that's not important right now "
Wow, when did I get so non-caring about dying? Ah well.
"Faith she, she's in trouble."
"Is it a supernatural kind trouble?"
"I think so, I'm not sure. Something's happened to her and well she's supposed to be resistant."
"What do you need?"
"I need your help. I need you to test her."
"A friend of mine noticed that she was convulsing we think she's got some kind of drug or something, and it could be magical. I need to find out."
"Why not just ask her?"
You think I would've thought of that.
"I would but it won't help."
"She has amnesia."
"Do you think that's part of the drug thing?"
"No it's more than that. There's nothing we can do about that."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah it's a whole higher power conscience thing."
"Okay then just bring her to the house and we'll test whatever's in her blood."
I wrap my arms around his neck and kiss him.
"Thank you Riley. You'll never regret this."
"I better not."
He smiles and chuckles at me.
I turn around and start down the stairs.
I knew this was a good idea. It's time to get Faith.
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