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". The Scoobies have moved their new headquarter to Cleveland. It does not really bother with the comic books and their storyline. This story is part of my "Running Universe". It takes place a few days after "Late Night Meeting". Several people watch Faith and Willow. This story does contain love between women and not just of the platonic kind. Please see the end of the story for further notes.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To gxtw[at]gmx.de
Views from the Outside
Giles looked at them, full of pride.
Both of them had fallen to the dark side, had fallen deeply, but yet they had managed to return. His eyes centered on Faith. Just that she was here, five minutes before the meeting would begin, told a lot about her changes. In the past, she had been notoriously late for any council activity that did not involve slaying. She disliked administrative topics just as much as research. The reason it had changed sat next to her, Willow. The redhead, now head of the New Council's department of magic users, loved to be prepared and well in time for their meetings. And ever since they had become lovers, it was reason enough for Faith to be early as well. It might not look like much, but Giles saw it as a clear sign of the love between them.
He was happy for them to have found this love. They both deserved this, not least for the way they both had managed to recover from their fall into the darkness. He knew they would never be completely free of it, just as he himself would never be free. Anyone seduced by the darkness would always be marked by it. The important part was to keep going anyway, to keep fighting the good fight. And he knew both of them would do it. The love they held for each other and the little family they had created were a good motivation. It would help them from slipping. He smiled, watching Willow going one more time through her notes while she played absentmindedly with the right hand of her lover.
Amy felt grateful.
She just had had a talk with Faith, about the darkness inside and about its seductiveness. It had taken her a couple of days to follow Willows suggestion, but now she was glad for it. She felt relieved, as if a burden had been lifted. Her fellow witch was right, Faith was a good listener, but she had also talked about her methods of fighting the darkness, of therapy back in jail and of the exercises she did to calm her mind. She mentioned the help she got from her friends, especially Angel, and how it was important to accept the help. She also said how lucky she was, for the love she shared with Willow was nowadays a great protection against sliding into darkness. Knowing that she had to care for her lover and her daughter was great motivation.
Amy thought about those two together. Remembering her shy friend from the past, Willow and the dark slayer seemed like an odd couple. However, she had witnessed their love and knew it was real. It was also proof that people could change. In some ways, she envied them for their love, but mostly she was happy for them. Deep down, she also knew that she herself was not ready yet for such love. First she had to get better control over her dark side. Therefore, for the moment she was simply grateful that she had friends who were willing to help her and to trust her.
Xander watched Willow and Faith with mixed feelings.
He and Andrew had organized a barbecue as welcome for the latest arrivals, two young slayers from Argentina, brought to Cleveland by Kennedy who had found them. Andrew had prepared the salads and dips, while Xander was responsible for the barbecue itself. He had just turned the steaks and now watched Kennedy, one arm around her girlfriend, while she chatted with Willow and Faith. It amazed him how she and the witch had remained such good friends after their break-up, although it had been amicably. With Faith there was sometimes a bit of a rivalry going on, but it was always good-natured and more for fun than anything.
There were moments, when Xander wished it would be as easy for him. Of course, most of the time Willow was still his best friend and with Faith he had a good camaraderie going. Yet sometimes, he missed the kind of love they shared, remembering Anya. Would they have had a family by now as well, if she had survived the fall of Sunnydale? His thoughts were further confused by the fact that for a time he had had feelings for both of them. With Faith it had resulted in that one-night stand back in high school. And with Willow? Could they have gotten together, if he had realized her feelings earlier, before she met Oz? He shook his head. Better not to dwell on it. Despite his mixed feelings, he was truly happy for them. Their love was real, especially now that little Joyce was part of their family.
Andrew was excited.
Their barbecue was quite the success. He had just checked the food table to make sure that nothing was needed. The people had eaten a lot, but there was still plenty of reserve left. Not like the dinner a couple of days ago, when somebody had stolen some of the gourmet cheese. He still had not found the thief. His eyes fell on Faith, one of his suspects. She had changed over the years, but there was still a certain lack of respect for other people's property. It just showed how difficult it was to return completely from the dark side. Who would understand it better than him, since he had once been a villain as well before starting on a path of redemption?
He contemplated if that was also the reason why Faith and Willow worked so well as a couple. He had watched his games buddy fall in love with the redheaded witch who was now kind of his boss as head of the department of magic users. Willow was still his hero, since she had fallen so deep, but then returned to become more powerful than anybody else. He could even forgive her for taking away one of his games buddies. But that was okay. He understood that Faith had less time now than in the early years before she had a family. He was also very excited, because they had promised to join him and Xander next Sunday on a games night, the first one in months. It would be fun and it always delighted his inner romantic to see them together.
She looked at them full of love.
In her invisible form, Tara had made a round through the mansion. She checked in on Xander, always thankful for the way he brought her Willow back from the brink. Next was Kennedy, who had shown Willow how to open up and love again. Then there was of course Buffy, who had not only saved all her friends so many times, but who had stood up for Tara when she had no reason. She would have loved to see Dawnie as well, but the young woman was still at Harvard. She was such a smart girl.
As always, Faith and Willow were the last ones she visited. Even in the afterlife, she still loved Willow and wanted her to be happy. And she loved Faith for making it happen. Their awkward first meeting was long forgiven and forgotten, even before the dark slayer announced her part of their daughter's name. Though it was a nice gesture and one Tara appreciated. With a loving smile, she watched the couple cuddling in their sleep. Tara was unaware that it was her capacity for love that had given her the chance for her visits. The Powers That Be had seen into her heart and given her this position as their watcher. Tara saw Faith stir in her sleep and decided to leave for now. With one last smile she faded away.
Her slayer senses had woken up Faith, but she instinctively knew there was no danger. She listened for a moment, but Little J was quiet as well. With a contended sigh, she decided to go back to sleep. Faith pulled Willow closer and buried her nose in her hair. Life was good.
Hello, I hope you liked this little story, even though it is more about the people around Willow and Faith. While the main purpose of this story was to show those two through the eyes of their friends, I also took the opportunity to expand a bit on my little "Running" universe.
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