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Receiving a Gift

by Gcm_Guyver
Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: I own nothing here. All thanks to Joss for such great characters
Spoilers: Almost every Faith ep i.e season 3, Season 4 end and Season 5's ending.
Author's Notes: My first fanfic, so please read/review. Any feedback, inc critisism, but not flames, is appreciated. Hope you like it. Basically, Faith thinking through things.

It all started with a dream.

No, that's not right, it all started with the other girl dying so that I could be called.

I never knew her, but I heard about her from B a lot, saying how she barely knew her, but yet at the same time did. I think her death was only one of the few things which B wished she could change.

When I first met B, she helped me face my demons, literally in this case. Kakistos, a name I'll never forget, but at least I know he's dead. But after all I've done now, I've really fucked her over.

When I realised that I couldn't have her love me in the way I wanted, no needed, I felt betrayed. I knew I shouldn't as I never had her heart, but by hell did she have mine. I was too envious of her lover, the only guy she loved, the only one to get so close, he was inside her. Not just the sexual innuendo here, but he really had her, y'know. But after the curse was restored on him, and his return from hell, he just couldn't give her what she wanted.

But even then, I still couldn't get her, no matter what innuendos I threw her way. I don't think she ever felt that way towards me, but she did take the teasing well.

Then I killed a guy. Not a vamp, a guy. That had been the start of my descent into my own personal hell.

After hooking up with the wrong side, me and B got into one hell of a fight, with her nearly killing me. I ended up in a coma. The first thing I saw was B, in my room. I knew that all I was telling her didn't come from me, as I didn't even understand the half of it. However, I knew I had to make up what I had done to her, had to set things straight. So I gave out some help, and just before she disappeared, I leaned in close, held her and whispered into her ear "I love you Buffy". Just as she winked out, I heard her say, "I know Faith. I love you too."

This was too much. She had said the words, but I didn't feel the feelings behind them. Just the words should of made me happy, but, as I soon realised, I wanted or needed, not sure which, the feeling.

As I lay in this state, things came and went, and as time kept going, I thought B had won, as she always did. However, something in me changed. I don't know what it was, but it was like all my negative emotions had just all collided together and forced their way into my head.

The next thing I know I'm awake.

Reality is here, back, and what do I do. Try to redeem myself as I always hoped I would be able to, with me coming back and saving her and finally being accepted fully, knowing I had paid for what I had done and maybe, just maybe, I could hold onto her heart, not cruelly but lovingly, as I'd always hoped.

Well, I blew it. I don't know what possessed me, but I go back to my old ways. Fighting with her again, but I always held back, as I knew that deep inside I didn't want to do this but something was driving me here.

Then I did the worst thing I could possibly do to her. I took her body.

What I mean is that with this device I had acquired, we switched bodies, me in hers, her in me. The thing inside me was still driving me here, so I let her be carted away in my body, and suddenly I was her.

I knew this couldn't last, especially after I found out that she had a current boyfriend, and it wasn't the one she nearly killed me for. That was strange, but the thing in me wanted to hurt her, and so I screwed this guy. It was good, but it still wasn't what I wanted. I wanted her.

Without going into too much detail, we switched back, and I hightailed it out of there to L.A, close but still far away.

There I met up with him again, her old flame, the one who had almost dies at my hands. And he was still trying to save me. And as always it was from myself.

After trying to kill him again, I just broke down, and I thought I just couldn't live like this anymore, so I begged him to kill me. And he didn't. He just held me and told me it was all right.

He helped me. He helped me see that the thing inside me was just the side of me I really wanted to reject, but was always coming up dominant. He made me feel like a person again, and I loved him for it. Not in the way I loved B, but the kind of love you feel for someone who saves you. Given willingly, without wanting anything in return.

I almost screwed up again, cos B came to see him. He told her she shouldn't of come, as he was here for me now.

When I saw her I wanted too many things. I wanted to hold her, to apologise, to run away so I could never see the hatred I had put in her. A hatred of me. I couldn't believe what I'd actually done to her in retrospect.

I try to say sorry, to start building the bridges back between us, but she won't have it.

It's about here that the shit hits the fan, and I end up running again, but this time with a purpose.

I go to the police and confess my sins.

That's the condensed version of how I ended up in here. It's not bad, but it can really get on your tits sometimes. The boredom, the confinement, it's like being back in that coma. But at least here, he come by every so often to check up on me, bring me small gifts of food and drink, and just keep me going on my road to rehabilitation. It's a long and winding road, but I think I can deal now, and keep the road straighter now.

Recently, I started to wonder where he had gotten to, he hadn't been round in almost a month, which was out of character. I felt it must have been, as someone once put it, a big bad on the rampage. That I was stuck here while they fought the good fight. It was galling but I knew I still had to stay here and hope that they could handle it.

Then the dream came.

In it I saw B talking to her lil' sis on top of some big metal tower. I see her sis is bleedin', and I swear then that I will kill the bastard who did that to her, she's just a kid, y'know. Also, she always tried to reach me, maybe just cos she thought I was cool just for being different. Whatever, I still liked her.

I can't hear the words, but by the tears I can see falling on both sides, I think they think the end is here. I want to scream at them, hold on, I'll help, but no words come. I look round and see the Sunnydale I knew was in trouble, god knows what half the things were but they were coming through this portal from behind B and D.

Then the moment I can see coming, but never want to see. B jumps off the platform, passing through the portal and closing it somehow. Then all I see is her body, lying on the ground, peaceful, innocent once more, but ......

I wake up gasping, knowing it was more than just a dream. I knew it had just happened, leaving me the only slayer.

It's only 4 in the morning, but the sun is already coming up, but it's blood red, as if to mock me, saying I know all about you, and this is how you feel. Big, red and angry.

But strangely, there was no anger, just desperation, wanting to hope, hoping that the dream was wrong, but I knew better.

She was gone, and I hadn't had a chance to set things right. I curled up into a ball and wept from then till god knows when.

As soon as I can, I get to a phone and try to call him. No answer. So I try a couple of the scoobs no's. I got through to red at B's. All I could hear was sobbing on the other end and I knew right there it was true.

As soon as red realises who is on the line she starts yelling at me, saying how I was still crazy and what had happened wouldn't ever mean shit to me. As she started to hang up I started to talk, just to not get her to put the phone down. I told her how sorry I was about everything I'd ever done to them, and how I was sorry for the loss, and then, oh god no, I told her everything. How I loved B, but knew I couldn't ever make it up to her, and now especially. More apologising for sounding selfish, but explaining how much I wished I could change what had happened.

And then the miracle starts to happen. Red actually starts to talk to me, so that when I run out of credit and the beeps sound, she says to me "We're all here for each other now. It's what Buffy would of wanted."

"Thanks" I manage to croak out before the line goes dead.

The next few weeks are a blur. I know I go to the funeral, as it's the only fresh air I really breathe during my time here. I know the rest of the gang are starting to come round about me, even though they shouldn't. After all my grief is gone and I've let it go, I realise that the baton has been passed to me, that no other will be called till I'm gone. I think that B, no Buffy has actually given me a gift as well, she has given me the gift of responsibility and trust to take over from her and keep her loved ones safe as she watches them from another plain.

Still, occasionally I give myself to the pain, but never completely, as I know I need to come back to be able to accept this gift, and to make the most of it. Most people don't get second chances. Technically, this is my third and it will be made up for.

I go into training in the gym, knowing that when I'm out, which is sounding a lot sooner now than before, I know I have the legend to live up to, but I decide to not try, but just to let her spirit guide me, knowing that in death she knew I loved her and that her presence would comfort, console and even just give me the strength to get through each and every day.

I will stand tall.
I will fight the good fight.
But I will not love that way again, as my heart will never let her go.

*****

As the rain soaks my skin, I look to the sky and thank her for looking out for me, and I promise her that she will never have any doubts about me again.

The End

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