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Keep It Simple, Stupid

by Dan Spector
Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Weirdly, Joss Whedon forgot to give me ownership of BtVS for my birthday (cheap bastard!). So this stuff still all belongs to Joss, the Kuzuis, sundry production companies, studios, and networks.
Spoilers: Just "Revelations", as mentioned.
Author's Notes: As to where Faith is sitting, the script has her on the couch, but in the show she's on the bed. I've put her back on the couch, as that makes the blocking easier. I guess that, and not what happens in the fic, is where this diverges from the canon. Don't sweat it.

"Come in."

Buffy stepped cautiously into Faith's dingy room, charmingly located in the urban blight that was the Sunnydale Motor Inn. The brunette slayer sat on a ratty couch, never taking her eyes off of the T.V.

"Place looks nice," Buffy joked feebly.

"Yeah, real Spartan." Faith replied.

There was an awkward pause as Buffy tried to understand the tone of hurt in the younger girl's voice.

"How you doing?" Buffy tried again, more direct this time.

"Five by five," Faith replied, her too-casual tone mixed with a small taste of sarcasm, still not looking at Buffy.

"I'll ta—" Buffy started, then cut herself off. What the heck was she going to say? If she tried to sympathize about Gwendolyn Post, all she was going to do was remind Faith how the evil ex-Watcher had played on Faith's trust and used her against Buffy, making Faith feel like the idiot Post had called her. And if she tried to talk about Angel, Buffy would simply remind Faith that Buffy had kept that secret from her for all these months, and how would Faith be able to trust anything, even an apology, that Buffy gave her now?

It's hopeless, Buffy despaired. Nothing I say is going to make this any better. Wait a second, the blonde decided, maybe that's it, Faith's not all verbal like Willow, maybe I can be there for her without doing the whole conversation thing.

Acting on instinct, Buffy walked to the couch and sat down, to Faith's left.

Faith kept her eyes on the set, flipping through the early-afternoon wasteland of soaps and court shows with the remote in her right hand.

After a little while, Buffy reached out with her right hand, slipping it into Faith's left. She felt the muscles under the skin go rock-hard as Faith tensed, felt the pulse in her palm race as she gently grasped Faith's hand and held on tight.

For a second, Buffy thought Faith was going to violently yank herself away from Buffy's grasp, but she didn't. Neither did Faith relax, her eyes still locked on the television in front of her.

A minute passed.

"Let go," Faith said, quietly.

Another minute went by.


Time moved on…

The End