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Find Yourself

by Davids21
Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: Joss owns the characters. I am merely taking them for a spin.
Spoilers: End of season 5 and wild speculation.
Author's Notes: This is the sequel to my first story 'Pictures'. You should really read that first because will make no sense. < > = means that Buffy and Faith are using their connection. ** = means regular thoughts.
Thanks: Once again to Sasha for making Slayer Pride and writing 'A whole new Scene'. Without that story I never would have wrote this. Thanks to Sway for giving crazy support and being my biggest cheerleader. Thanks to Nikita for the detailed feedback and the support.

Rain lightly tapped against the window. There weren't too many people awake in the city of Sunnydale in this early morning hour. So, this rain would be a surprise to all the next morning. There were, however, a select few who were up and saw the shower. Faith was one of them.

She looked out of the bedroom window and watched the rain hit the ground below. This was becoming a common trend in her life. It had been two weeks since the fight with Kendra. Two weeks since she had died and been brought back to life. At first, the thought of it didn't really bother her. It was new start but then she began noticing changes in herself.

In that first week, she and Buffy had spent as much time together as humanly possible. It was all so new to her. Waking up next to someone and not having to jump out of bed before the person woke up. Things were great. One night, the slayers decided to go out dancing. While at the club, Faith decided to smoke a cigarette. When she took a drag off of it, it burned her throat. Like the first time she smoked one when she was twelve. She blew it off as a side effect of not smoking in awhile.

Then, a few days later, she was training with Angel. And nothing was going her way. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't keep up with him. Her natural slayer reflexes help her hide the change. It felt as if her body had completely forgotten everything about fighting like the slayer.

These little things, Faith found ways to justify them in her mind. Maybe she needed more practice or maybe she should quit smoking but there was one more change that scared her more than anything.

Four days ago, she was drying off after taking a shower. As she dried, Faith looked at her shoulder. The scar that her father gave from putting out a cigarette there was gone. It had always been there, her healing powers didn't really affect it too much but it was gone. She looked in the mirror and traced her hand across her stomach. Looking for the one scar that meant something to her. The one Buffy gave her. It, like the others, was gone.

Faith went downstairs and into the kitchen to make herself a cup of coffee. She leaned against the counter and looked around the kitchen. This was her home now. She had her own mug, a favorite plate, and a day to do the dishes. The apartment, the flea bag motels and the trailer were her homes too but this had something the others didn't. People who loved her.

*****

Dawn climbed out of Xander's backseat and waved goodbye. After getting to stay over her friend's house an extra week, she was finally home. Her sister had to go to LA for some business, which apparently involved her blowing up the jeep. It didn't matter to her though. She was just glad to see Buffy and ask about her adventure in LA. Dawn unlocked the front door.

When she walked in, she saw a trail of clothes leading up the stairs. She recognized some of them as her sister's and the other set she assumed belong to Spike or somebody. And as that thought entered her head, she shuddered. "Eww." She noticed a pair of leather pants draped over the banister in front of Buffy's room.

Dawn held them up to her waist. They were too small to belong to Spike. Then she heard Buffy screaming from inside the room.

"OH GOD…" Dawn ran to her room and got her baseball bat from behind the door. She ran back to her sister's bedroom door. "Hang on Buffy!"

"No, Dawn don't open…" Buffy yelled but it was too late. Her sister came crashing into the room swinging her baseball bat wildly. Dawn opened her eyes and saw Buffy sitting in her bed naked with a sheet wrapped around her.

She ran over to her sister and gave her a hug. "Are you ok? I heard you screaming and who is in the bed with you."

Dawn pulled the sheet off from over the person lying next to her sister. To her surprise, it was another girl. A girl she remembered. "Faith?"

The dark haired girl smiled at her. "Hey, D. Long time, no see."

Faith smiled to herself. After that, she and Buffy waited until they were sure Dawn was asleep before they did any fooling around. It was nice to have a place that she could call home.

She poured a cup of coffee and walked out onto the front porch. The uneasy feeling that had waked her up was coming back again. Faith slowly drank from her cup. It seemed help. What was it that was keeping waking her up these last few nights? Was something bad about to happen? Was there another apocalypse brewing?

*You're working yourself up over nothing.* She thought. Life was finally going her way and now it was like she was looking for something wrong. There was no reason for to feel this way. She had everything she could ever need. Even Buffy's Scooby gang was back on her side. Sort of.

*****

Dawn, Faith and Buffy stood outside of the magic shop.

"Are you sure about this?" the dark-haired slayer asked as she nervously shifted back and forth on her heels. Buffy placed her hand on the small of Faith's back.

"I told them you were coming with me. But, if you aren't ready to deal with them say the word and we'll go home. This is your show Faith. I just want you to be comfortable around the people I love." Buffy slid her hand up and down Faith's back.

Dawn walked in front of her new sister and smiled. "Don't worry. Just remember that they let Spike hang around and he has killed way more people than you have."

"Dawn!" Buffy glared at her little sister.

Faith laughed and kissed Dawn on the forehead. That was the reason she liked Dawn so much. Because she was as honest as you could want someone to be. "Thanks for the support, D."

She looked at Buffy again. Those hazel eyes staring into her soul. She had to go in there and do this. One way or another. "Okay. Let's do this."

And with that three girls walked into the shop.

*****

"Hey."

Faith turned to see Buffy standing behind her. She was wearing a pink bathrobe.

"Hey, B."

Buffy walked over to her girlfriend. She looked so distant. Like something had shaken her soul. This was the fourth time she had to come out here looking for Faith. Each time the younger slayer acted more detached from the world. Buffy knew there was wrong with her but she couldn't figure out what had bothered Faith to make her act like this.

The blonde gently brushed Faith's hair behind her ear. <Faith, what's wrong? You know you can tell me.> Buffy continued running her fingers through Faith's hair.

Faith smiled as Buffy sat down next to her. <You are getting better at this thinking at me thing.>

<Lucy said we have a mind connection. Which is why I know something is really bothering you.>

The dark slayer took another sip of her coffee. She wanted to tell Buffy everything. About the scar, the smoking, the loss of fighting abilities but she just couldn't. It wouldn't be right. Faith shook her head. <Nothing's wrong. I just needed to get some air.>

<Ok.> Buffy gently kissed her on the cheek. There was no point in pursuing the matter any further. Faith wanted to figure this out on her own and as much as she wanted to help, she wasn't going to force her to accept the offer. <I just wanted you to know that whenever you need me, I'm right here.>

Faith continued looking out at the rain. <I know.>

Buffy got up and walked towards the door. She stopped for a second. This wasn't right. She loved Faith more than anything and all she wanted was to help her. Buffy turned and looked directly at Faith. <Faith?>

<Yeah?>

Buffy closed her eyes and spoke out loud. "I love you."

Faith turned around and looked into Buffy's eyes. "I love you, too."

The older slayer walked inside and quietly pulled the door shut. She went upstairs and sat on her bed. Buffy put her hand over her face as she started to cry. Faith was pushing her away. It hurt so much. How could Faith do this to her? How could the person she destined to be with push her away?

Buffy lay back onto her pillow. Crying wasn't going to help Faith. Buffy wiped her eyes and got under the covers. Faith needed some space so she would accommodate her. After all it was what was needed.

*****

"…and now she staying with me and Dawn. Any problems?" Buffy folded her arms and did her best resolve face. Surprisingly, no one was saying anything at all.

She glanced around the shop. Willow and Tara were reading a spellbook. Xander was working on building a new shelf in the corner. Anya was counting the day's profits and laughing to herself. Spike lit cigarette and kept looking on the shelves.

Buffy shook her head in disbelief. "So, no one has anything to say about me and Faith living together in the same house? At all?"

Spike walked over to Faith. He looked her over once and shrugged his shoulders. "As long as she isn't looking to kill us, welcome home." He patted her on the back, pulled his coat over his head and ran down the street.

Buffy walked over to Willow. Certainly, she would have something to say about Faith being back. "Willow, I could really use your input about this."

Willow looked at Faith. The dark slayer cautiously walked over to the red-haired witch.

Faith smiled. "Willow, I know words cannot begin to make up for what I have done to you in the past. I am truly sorry and I hope that you can find it your heart to forgive me."

"I forgive you, Faith. Besides, if you ever try to hurt any of us again," Willow's eyes darken and lightening crackled inside of them. "I will make you pay."

Tara stood next to Faith and put her arm around her. "I-I know that sounded a little scary but w-we are glad you are here and hope that things work out better for you this time."

"Or something like that." Willow said as her eyes turned back to normal.

Buffy smiled at the two witches and gave Willow a kiss on the cheek. "Thank you."

Buffy gestured that Faith go and talk to Xander. Faith nodded slightly and went over to where he was standing.

Xander turned around. "Look Faith. You have tried to kill me. That doesn't sit too well with me. But then again so has Spike. And he's killed way more people than you. So as long as you don't get the urge to kill me, welcome back." He gave Faith a handshake and continued working on the shelves.

"Told you so." Dawn mumbled as she walked past her sister. Buffy looked at Faith.

<This is going well.>

<Well after the year they had, I guess nothing really bothers them anymore.>

The slayers smiled at each other. Things were starting to look up.

*****

Faith finished shoving her clothes into her bag. As much as she hated it, the only way she would be able to find any answers is by leaving Sunnydale and leaving Buffy. The slayer turned and looked at the blonde sleeping in the bed. She looked so peaceful. Faith sat on the bed and gently kissed her on the cheek.

She looked at Buffy for as long as she could. Buffy would have to understand. Faith needed answers and she needed to find them on her own. Buffy had to understand that this was the only way for her to understand what happened to her.

Faith put an envelope beside her so, Buffy would see it as soon as she woke up. The dark slayer quietly slid out of the room and down the stairs. She looked around the house again.

For two weeks this was her home. She closed her eyes as if to take a picture of the way it was. Then there came a voice from the kitchen.

"You leaving us?"

Dawn came out of the kitchen. Her eyes already were swelling with tears. Faith stood at the door.

"I just have some things I need to work out. I'll be back as soon as I'm finished."

"My dad said that the last time he left. I haven't seen him since."

"I'm not your dad, D. I love you guys too much to stay gone."

Dawn grabbed Faith and hugged her as hard as she could. "Don't go. Please stay."

The slayer gently embraced the girl. "I have to go. Promise me you'll look out for Buffy until I come back."

Dawn shook her head.

"Ok. I have to get going. I love you Dawn. You're the best sister ever and I need you to be strong for me. I'll be back. I promise." Faith broke the embrace and kissed Dawn on the forehead.

She turned and walked out the door. Faith looked at the house one more time and began walking down the street. She needed to find herself and when she did, there would be house for her to come back to, a sister to take care of and a girlfriend to love.

It was raining in Sunnydale but it didn't matter to her. She was the only one up to see it.

...continued in I Never Thought...

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