Good Enough
by daneorange
Rating: R

Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its characters belong to Joss Whedon. I believe that Angel belongs to somebody else as well, I just can’t remember. Point is, they’re not mine. Just borrowing, no copyright infringement intended.
Author's Notes: Again, this one’s title goes to that amazing woman named Sarah McLachlan. Oh, a short one -- It’s Faith/Buffy AU. Buffy’s with Angel. Faith POV. And yes, it’s a song fic to Sarah McLachlan’s ‘Good Enough’. Not-so-traditional formatting rules apply – lyrics set off with “::”.
Feedback: Marshmallows, anyone? Pretty please…

:: So don’t tell me I haven’t been good to you
don’t tell me I have never been there for you
just tell me why
nothing is good enough… ::

‘Buffy,’ I call out softly. You don’t even turn your head to look. Damn you. You just ignore me, you just ignore what’s happening around us, you just ignore what’s happening to you. And I sure can’t fucking understand why.

‘Buffy,’ I call out again, insisting. You break into a brisk walk. Faster and faster, away from me. I break into a run myself, after you.

I can’t let you slip past my fingers again. I can’t let you fall into his filthy hands again. I know, I’m not too clean myself…

But I would never hurt you.

‘Go away, Faith…’ you say, under your breath even. As if you are in hiding.

‘Come on, Buffy…’ and I extend my hand towards you. ‘Take my hand, let’s get out of this place.’

And you stop walking, turning to face me. ‘You know there’s no escape,’ you just say, despair evident in your voice.

I shake my head. You don’t trust me. You know I can hold both our lives with one hand, and handle it just fine… all those years, still you couldn’t find it in your heart…

‘Please, Faith,’ you beg. ‘You can get out, you still can. You know I can’t. He won’t let me.’

Angel. Fuck that bastard.

‘No,’ I insist, and I guess, I have to push a little harder. I grab you by the arm, pull you closer against me. I shake my head. ‘Not leaving without you, girlfriend.’

I stare harder, you stare harder back, and eventually burst into tears. I look closer, and the bruises on your face show inevitably.

You can’t hide things like that from me, B. No amount of powder, of make-up can…

:: It’s not the wind that cracked your shoulder
and threw you to the ground
who’s there that makes you so afraid
you’re shaken to the bone
you know I don’t understand
you deserve so much more than this… ::

You bite your lip, and try to deny. ‘No, I’m okay here, Faith. Really. Angel’s…’ and your voice trails off.

And you expect me to believe that? You expect me to believe good ol’ vamp guy Angel’s been treating you well? I push the sleeve of your top up, and reveal not only bruises but cuts as well.

‘You expect me to believe that?’ I ask. And I’m just… just angry, you know? Angry and frustrated… angry at Angel for being such a son of a bitch, angry at myself for letting this happen in the first place…

:: So don’t tell me why he’s never been good to you
don’t tell me why he’s never been there for you
don’t you know that why is simply not
good enough… ::

‘What about this, B?’ and I run my fingers lightly over your arm, tracing the bruises and the cuts, taking care not to put undue pressure anywhere…

But yeah, what the fuck for, eh? What the fuck for, taking care right now, right now when the damage has already been done…

And you snatch your arm from my grip, lowering the sleeve immediately, looking all around, as if checking if anybody else saw what horror I just witnessed.

‘I can take care of myself, Faith,’ you just reply. ‘Thanks for the concern, but…’

Concern!? This is not concern B, this is not pity… ‘I still love you, Buffy.’

You stare back at me, and I almost feel your bitterness as my own. ‘If you loved me enough, maybe I wouldn’t be here in the first place. Remember that.’

I wince. Of course I do remember. And then it strikes me again, the fact that I am indeed to be blamed… for being so impulsive, being so reckless, being so… so me. I am to be blamed for leaving you out here then, I am to be blamed because if I hadn’t left…

Then maybe you would never have considered him again.

‘I’m here to make amends,’ I just say, grabbing your arm again. ‘Let me.’

‘Not good enough, Faith,’ you shake your head. ‘Too late.’

:: So just let me try, and I will be good to you
Just let me try, and I will be there for you
I’ll show you why
You’re so much more than good enough… ::

But I am here now, can’t you see? Let me save you, let me take you away from this godforsaken place, let me just… make amends. My grip tightens around your arm.

‘Never too late, B. Never…’

:: Don’t ask me why he’s never been good to you.
Don’t ask me why he’s never been there for you.
Don’t you know that why
Is simply not good enough… ::

‘I love Angel,’ you insist.

Lies! They had to be! How the fuck can you love someone and receive this in return?! Bruises, cuts, pain… hurt.

‘How could you?’ I ask.

And my arms are wide open, you’re safe with me, can’t you see?

‘Because he loves me back, that’s why.’

I shake my head, and fall momentarily into silence. ‘Can you explain why he hurts you if he does?’ I ask back.

‘We hurt the people we love the most, always been that way,’ you say in reply.

I close my eyes as I recognize the allusion. ‘I never meant for that to happen, B,’ and I start breaking into an instant explanation. ‘I meant to come back sooner.’

‘But you didn’t.’

Hits me, right on. I didn’t. Not soon enough. ‘But I’m here now, B. Look at me. I’ve changed.’

And you give me the once over, smiling a little. ‘So you have.’

I smile back, though the sadness has never left me. The sadness, the worry… ‘We’ll leave this place, and when we do, we leave it in shambles…’ I ramble. ‘And Angel, he will have to pay, for every single fucking thing…’

‘No, Faith, no…’ you interrupt. ‘I thought you have changed.’

I shrug. ‘Well, not much, I guess.’

I stare at you as you stand there emotionless. What wouldn’t I give to just hear you laugh?

:: So just let me try, I will be good to you
Just let me try, I will be there for you
I’ll show you why
You’re so much more than good enough… ::

I breathe in deeply. Again. ‘Buffy,’ and I try my luck harder, extending my hand a second time. ‘Please?’

If only you would let me…

:: Just let me try… ::

Your uncertain eyes, your tentative stance – I watch as slowly you put your hand into mine. My eyes still wide in disbelief, I squeeze it tightly, as if checking if it were real.

:: … I will be there for you. ::

‘Let’s go, B?’ I ask, still tentative.

You grip back tighter. ‘Let’s go…’ you breathe.

I exhale, finally realizing that I was holding my breath in the first place. I pull you in closer, and put my arm around you protectively.

Mine now. Always was, always have been.

:: I’ll show you why you’re so much more than good enough… ::

The End

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