Faith reacts to Buffy’s bombshell. Sequel to You’ve Got Mail.
Category: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Characters: Angel, Buffy Summers, Cordelia Chase, Faith Lehane, Terri McDowell
Genre: Angst, Drama, Romance – Slash
Series: You’ve Got…
Notes: Sequel to You’ve Got Mail, which I left largely unresolved because I couldn’t be arsed. Also, I can’t seem to write in third person today. If you haven’t read You’ve Got Mail, this probably makes no sense.
“That’s all I wanted to hear from you, B.”
“Oh. Because I’ve got one more thing to say.”
“I love you.”
I stare at the ceiling with tears in my eyes long after B leaves my room. I don’t know how long I’ve waited to hear her say those words, and now she has.
Strangely, not the euphoria rush I was expecting. I mean, I’m happy. Sure I am. Who wouldn’t be? But… I’m not a girl who gets her dream. I’m a girl who screws up everything she does and gets upset when the world gets its own back. Then I screw up even more because I’m upset, and the world solidly kicks my ass once more.
I guess what I mean is, I’m waiting for the punchline.
I’m waiting for B to walk in here and say “Just kidding! You think I’d fall in love with you?” then piss herself laughing.
And it’s not just me that’s gotten screwed up over this revelation it’s—
“Purple. Howdy.” I say, meeting her blue eyes. She told me that on the outside she has these funky contact lenses that make her eyes match her hair colour. I’d love to see them.
She’s a pretty girl. And the best thing is, nothing about her reminds me of B. Terri doesn’t remind me of anyone really. She’s unique. Her personality is… well, that’s hard to describe too. Being with Terri is kinda like having backstage passes to an Eddie Izzard show. She’s cute and funny and there’s great intelligence behind the humour… although she probably wears less make-up.
But we’re not in love. Not with each other, anyway. We’ve both got people on the outside who own that title.
So why is this so difficult?
“See you woke up for her.” She says at length, reminding me that I was… was I brooding? Jeez, that must be the Angel effect.
“Sorry, Terri. Wasn’t sure I could handle your hair as my first waking vision.” I grin weakly at her.
“You don’t usually complain.” She says pointedly, then sighs deeply. “I’m sorry, Brown, ok?”
I reach over and take her hand, it’s a warm comfortable action, but doesn’t give the tingles that I got when Buffy touched me.
“What did she say?”
My breath catches in my throat. How do can I tell Terri what she said? I mean, we both knew this was a part-time thing, but damn it! I’ve got feelings for her. I don’t want to hurt her. I squeeze her hand and bite the inside of my cheek to stop myself from crying.
“You got the ‘happily ever after’, didn’t you?” She guesses.
I meet her eyes once more and see she’s smiling. She’s not happy, but she’s happy for me.
“She said she loves me.” I reply.
“And? Why aren’t you dancing around the room? I mean, apart from the fact that you just OD’d and have a drip attached to your arm.”
“I think you just answered your own question, Purple.”
She rolls her eyes at me. “Listen, Brown, the girl you love loves you back. Why aren’t you happy? I’d be thrilled.”
She makes a fair point. Why aren’t I happy? I should be. Part of me is. Part of me is actually ecstatic. Which is pretty ridiculous, since I hate that word. But part of me is really scared.
I’m scared that I’ll lose the two most important people in the world to me over this. Terri and Buffy. Buffy I’ve loved ever since I met her. Terri, well, Terri drove me nuts for a good few months before kissing me. Somehow after that we became friends.
If I tell Buffy that I love her back—not that she doesn’t already know—and then I screw it up I’ll lose her forever.
And Terri, while there isn’t that tingly-totally-in-love feeling, there’s definitely something there.
Terri takes a seat next to me and leans in close. “Look, if Chloe ever told me she loved me I’d be outta here without looking back.”
I give her a smile. She doesn’t mean a word of what she just said, but she’s giving me an easy out. I’m not gonna call her on it, she’s doing me a favour. I’m gonna thank her though. “I’d demand a final kiss goodbye though.” I tell her.
She smiles, leans closer and gives me a kiss.
The kiss reminds me of the first kiss we had. We were having a fight and all of a sudden she pushed me against a wall and kissed me so hard my lips tingled for an hour afterwards. My body tingled for much longer.
Then the most recent, before this. Me crying because no matter what I did B would never love me back. Just a gentle kiss on my forehead.
And now this kiss.
She breaks the kiss and walks out of the room, not looking back.
Flowers. Must get flowers. And a card. But what kind? Faith’s not a fuzzy-bunny kinda gal and that’s all they seem to have in the gift shop. Hrmm. Maybe I should forgo the card for chocolates. Is she allowed to eat chocolate?
Then again, she’s hardly a flower type girl either.
What am I doing?
She loves me. I can go in with any present I want. Can’t I?
The rules of dating are so complex. The only time I ever remember them is moments after I’ve broken one.
I’m going to go into her room now, and we’re going to talk.
About love and life and stuff.
Because we love each other.
I stop and gasp.
If she loves me, what the fuck is she doing playing tonsil hockey with that purple-haired chippie?
I walk slowly down the hall to the nearby officers. Ha, what a joke, they’ve got this place sealed up like a dolphin’s butt. Two cons in the hospital and they’ve got six—hang on—make that seven officers in uniform, not to mention all the ‘undercover’ guys. You can pick them out by their clothes that scream ‘don’t look at me’. And don’t forget they’ve got extra security on all the exits.
I catch eyes with Buffy, she’s just standing outside Faith’s room. She’s glaring at me like I’m Satan’s backgammon partner.
I try to give her a smile. It probably doesn’t come out right. Like I give a shit. She’s won. It doesn’t matter to anyone what Buffy and I think of each other.
I get cuffed, two cops either side of me and one to cuff me. They hold my arms while he does my feet, then I get the wrist cuffs. Then a chain links the two together. Then I get cuffed to a cop.
All this for a girl who got caught stealing a car.
Well, if I’m honest, I wasn’t just stealing it.
I was joyriding.
With several passengers.
Several underage passengers.
They ratted on me and the judge was kinda harsh.
Anyway, I’m outta here in two months. I’m not gonna screw it up by running off now.
Besides, I have nowhere to go.
And now that Faith’s with Buffy, I don’t have anyone to run to.
I’m still speechless. And how dare she smile at me. Smug bitch.
I feel like screaming at her. You think she loves you? She doesn’t! She loves me! She’s always loved me. I’ve got the emails to prove it.
Then I stop.
Six months ago she loved me. That’s for sure. But what about now? Six months ago Purple Girl was the butt of Faith’s jokes.
Six seconds ago she was in deep lip lock with Faith.
I realise I’m holding my breath. I don’t know how long it’s been, but my head’s feeling swimmy. I let it out in a big whoosh.
Right. I’m going to go in there and ask Faith what’s going on.
I’m going to be adult.
I’m not going to fly off the handle.
I’m going to be calm and reasonable.
Yay for the new adult Buffy.
She strides in purposefully. Gone are those few moments when she moved softly around me, for fear of upsetting me.
“Very funny, Faith!” She snaps.
“What?” I croak. Pathetic. She’s losing it, and I’ve lost my voice. Damn those tubes they stick down your throat to pump your stomach. Why don’t they make ‘em out of something softer?
“Oh, yeah. Big laugh. I’m gonna email ‘B‘ and make her forgive me. I’m even gonna pretend I love her. Can you imagine her face when she finds out it’s not true! Big laugh! Wicked cool! Five by fucking five!” She screams, her voice rising on ever single word.
“B—” She glares at me. What the fuck is going on? “Buffy, I don’t—”
“Love me? Yeah, I know.”
“You don’t love anyone, Faith. And shall I tell you why? Because you have to be human to love!” She storms out and slams the door so hard the plaster cracks.
I don’t even bother to fight the tears as I watch Buffy Summers walk out of my life for the last time.
Great Buffy. Wonderful. Amazing. Fan-fucking-tastic.
Amazing, oh, I did that one already.
There are no words to describe how fucking stupid I am.
I did exactly the opposite of what I meant to. I am officially the most stupid person on this planet. I was trying to be the new grown-up Buffy, so what did I do? I acted like I was thirteen. God. I’m so stupid.
And yet, I’m still pissed off with her.
Maybe I’m not stupid.
Maybe I had a valid point.
Sure, there could be a good reason for her kissing that lilac tramp, but let’s face it, it’s not likely.
The best case scenario is that she did love me once, but when I didn’t reply she fell for the violet vulture.
I sigh. That can’t be the best case scenario. Please.
I bared my soul to her.
I told her I loved her.
I told her I forgave her.
They say Angelus was cruel. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much emotional damage done in such a short time.
I knew Buffy had it rough with Faith, but she truly got her revenge this time.
To forgive Faith and then take it away.
I hope Angelus isn’t taking notes here.
The sun will be up in an hour. I should go, but I can’t leave Faith.
To be honest, I don’t think she knows I’m here.
I’m going to have to bribe the guards to leave that purple girl here another day.
She’s a good kid. She truly loves Faith, it just shines out of her.
And we both know the girl on the outside that she loves doesn’t exist.
She was just making it easy on Faith.
Faith deserves a break every once in awhile. She’s hysterical, sobbing in my arms. No-one would believe this is the same girl who tried to take my soul.
She’s learnt to let people in. She learnt how to love, in every sense of the word.
And what happened?
The girl she needed most screwed her over.
When Faith turned herself in I though Buffy understood that Faith had decided to change. And Faith did change. I watched as the bold bad girl that she was dropped back slowly and the real Faith showed herself. It took time. But I saw it.
I saw it in the shame in her eyes when Wes and Cordy visited her for the first time.
I saw that dumbstruck expression that she tried to hide when Cordelia told her to ‘take care’. Two simple words, and Faith’s bad girl persona slipped a few notches back.
I heard it in her voice when she called me to say that Wes had sent her a care package containing pamphlets about retaking classes she had missed while growing up way too fast. I heard the way she choked up when she read the last line, ‘You can do it, we believe in you. Keep making us proud.”
I saw the way her eyes lit up when she was telling me how she managed to meet Cordy online—I’m still not clear on that concept—and how Cordy offered to take Faith shopping as soon as she got out.
And I heard the hope in her voice when she told me about her plan to get Buffy to forgive her. I even encouraged her. It made sense. They couldn’t beat each other up if they weren’t face to face. They could communicate better, or so I thought.
Had I known that Buffy was just waiting for revenge I would have told her that Buffy was a lost cause.
“Angel, it’s time for you to go.”
I turn and look at Cordy. “How can I leave her like this?”
Cordy’s face hardens. “You didn’t. Buffy did.”
“That’s not what I meant.” But she’s right. “I don’t want to leave her alone, she might…” I’m not going to finish that sentence.
“I’m here. That girl with really damaged hair is here.”
“Terri.” I supply.
“Yes, she of the damaged follicles—all that dyeing isn’t healthy.” She flinches at her choice of words, but carries on. “We’re here. She won’t be alone. I promise. Go. Wes is waiting in the car to take you home.”
I kiss the two most important women in my world and walk out of the hospital. What I wouldn’t give for the Gem of Amara right now.
Typical Buffy. She couldn’t have just left Faith alone. Oh no, she had to go in for the kill. Even I wouldn’t have stooped so low when I was Queen C, head of the Cordettes.
I stroke Faith’s hair and forehead. She’s burning hot from all the crying. At least that’s stopped now. She won’t talk. Only she and Buffy really know what happened. I was down the hall—the Doctor here is way cuter than the ones on ER.
All I know is on the first visit Buffy declared undying love, the next she’s hurling abuse and storming out of the hospital at high speed.
“Faith? Are you ok?” Ok, dumb question, Chase. And one I’ve asked several hundred times since Angel left. I’m still waiting for an answer.
I’m gonna try a different tactic. I’m going to pretend she answers me.
“You, my girl, are in dire need of a manicure. Have you ever been introduced to an emery board?”
I get out my manicure kit, perfect for times like this. It was a Christmas present from Angel, the more he shops the better he gets at it. And he’s getting far more extravagant. Someone finally hauled his wallet into the twenty-first century. Thank god.
“Right, I know you’re a hands-on kinda girl, but that’s no reason to neglect your nails. So what you’ve got all those healing powers, your nails need a lot of love too.”
I chatter on as I file and buff her nails, hoping she’s gonna answer me.
I understood the unconscious thing.
But this, she’s physically fine now, but won’t talk.
“And I know you like that vampy nail polish, but that is so over. In fact, it’s so over it got revived and is now over again. So that’s way out. How do you feel about pearl nail varnish?”
Faith in pearl? Who am I kidding?
“Or maybe we’ll just go for clear. There’s a reason why it’s a classic.”
Ok, now I feel sick. I’ve been crying for hours. God knows where I am. I hate hospitals, and now I’m lost in one. I thought I was heading for the exit when I stomped off hours ago, and even now, I still can’t find it.
I reach in my bag for a tissue, my hand closes around a sheaf of paper. Faith’s emails. I consider tossing them in the trash, but something stops me.
I start flicking through them. Then I realise something. Only a week ago Faith said she wanted to be my friend, she would understand if we couldn’t be. That was only a week ago.
And why did she try to kill herself? Well, it was because I didn’t reply. Or that was at least part of it.
So why did she kiss Purple Girl? Maybe I should have asked her that instead of flying off the handle. Now that’s a stupid saying. Fly off the handle. When was I on the handle?
Right. Ok, I’m gonna take a deep breath and find my way back to Faith’s room.
“No.” Cordelia stands in the doorway. “She’s finally asleep, you’re not going to wake her up and yell at her again. I don’t know why you’re so hell-bent on destroying her, but you’re not going to do it now. Not ever, if I have anything to do with it.”
Cordy moves closer to me and lowers her voice, as if she doesn’t want Faith to overhear. “Did you know that she knocked me out? That she tortured Wesley? Well, she did. And we got over it. Wes is helping her make up the grades she missed at school and we all visit her at least once a fortnight. Maybe you’re not adult enough to do that, but if you want to do the right thing now, go away.”
“No.” Her face is hard as nails. Far scarier than Willow’s resolve face. “You hurt her.”
I gape at Cordy. The way she said that, it was like she was protecting a younger sister. There was so much love in her tone.
“You really care about her?” I think aloud, rather than ask.
There’s no getting through her.
I haven’t got a clue what’s going on. Nobody tells me anything. My ass is numb from sitting still on these cheap plastic chairs for so long. I’m dying for a cigarette. Or a glass of water. And definitely something to eat.
Every so often, my buddy in chains—that would be the cop I’m cuffed to—gets swapped for someone else.
That tall dark guy wanted me to stay, I know that much.
And I heard yelling, but I’m not sure who yelled or why. It might have been Buffy.
Ooh, speak of the devil.
Here comes Buffy.
I wonder if she’s got any cigarettes.
She might even know what’s going on.
Then again, wasn’t she the one yelling at Faith?
Should I talk to her? I could ignore her and show a bit of solidarity for my fellow inmate. Then again, if I’ve got it wrong I’ll just make a fool of myself.
“Why did you kiss her?”
Oh! Realisation hits me. That’s what this is all about.
Is she laughing at me? Her eyes lit up when I asked that question. Bitch.
Calm. Cool. No more flying off the handle.
Ok, no more hissy fits.
Hissy fits? Who am I, Dawn?
How about—Wait. No more babbling, my head aches too much as it is.
“Well?” I prod.
“Have you got any cigarettes?” She asks.
I sigh deeply. “No. And stop changing the subject.”
She rolls her eyes at me. They’re ordinary blue, you’d have thought with all that mad hair that she’d have mad eyes to match.
“It was just a goodbye kiss.” She says sadly. “It was for me, not her.”
I take a seat next to her. It’s hard to have this conversation with an overweight cop handcuffed to her left wrist. Even if he is asleep. “A goodbye kiss? Were you two involved?”
“Look, she spent six months emailing you, trying to get your attention, she needed someone… and I… I was there.” Her voice drops, as does her head, hiding her face behind her hair.
“Were you in love?” I ask softly.
“That’s none of your business.”
“Yes it is.” I protest. “She claimed to love me, if she was in love with you there’s no point in me being here.”
She shrugs awkwardly.
“You know I’m making a valid point here.”
She meets my eyes. Hers are brimming with unshed tears. “It wasn’t just sex.” She says in a tight voice. “But she didn’t try to kill herself over me.” Quickly she hides her face before those tears fall.
I blink. Two seconds ago I wanted to kill her, now I want to comfort her. She’s in love with Faith, but she’s stepping back for me. Well, not for me, for Faith.
I want to stroke her back while she cries, but I’m just the bitch who’s taken her girlfriend.
There’s only one thing I can do for her.
“I’m gonna get a pack of cigarettes. You want anything?”
Yeah, pretty damn pathetic.
Follicle girl looks really unhappy. What the hell did Huffy say to her? What’s her problem, she can’t just zoom into my town and upset people left, right and centre. It’s just wrong.
When Wes gets here I’m gonna go talk to her. And then I’m gonna yell at Buffy again. I’m gonna get her to haul her bitchy bleached blonde ass the hell out of my city.
And I’m going to have fun doing it.
Even I didn’t have this much of an attitude about Faith.
I will admit that Angel had to give Wes and I a significant pay rise before we agreed to visit her the first time but it was just that one time. Put it this way, I offered to visit the second time. Neither Faith or Angel asked me. I wanted to go.
Of course, I wish all that sisterly bonding we had is now out of the window because Faith is depressed. Again. This isn’t her first suicide attempt. The first time she tried to kill herself, that little purple girl found her dangling from the ceiling by a belt.
I wonder how much Angel has bribed them to let purple stay here. I really must learn her name.
“Cordelia. How is she?” Wes sticks his head around the door.
I gesture at the bed. Faith has cried herself to sleep, she looks awful. “She’s asleep.” It’s the only thing I can say. “Can you keep an eye on her?”
He nods and I get up.
I walk down the hall towards the purple girl. “Hey… um…” Damn it. Should have asked Wes what her name is.
“Terri.” She supplies in a listless tone.
“Terri.” I take a seat to her right, away from the snoring overweight guard that’s handcuffed to her wrists.
She sighs deeply. “Things are fine. I talked to Fluffy, she understands.”
Fluffy? I hide a grin. “Actually, I came to see if you are ok? This must be boring as hell for you, and the bleached bitch isn’t making things any easier.”
She gives me a look. “Who are you?”
“Oh, sorry, I’m Cordelia, Cordy. I’m…” Who am I? It’s kinda hard to explain. “I’m kinda Faith’s adopted big sister.”
“She talked about you. You’re taking her shopping when she gets out.” Terri nods.
“There’s more to me than shopping.” I feel the need to defend myself.
“I know, it’s just I can only remember a few facts about each of you. Angel broods, Wes is a human library, and you’re the fun one who cheers her up. She’s a little worried about the shopping trip, Faith doesn’t like wearing colours.”
I like her. I like the way she’s talking in present tense about Faith, as if she’s just in hospital for something routine like having her tonsils out or something.
“What about you?” I ask. “Any big plans when you get out?”
She gives me a grin that doesn’t make it to her eyes. “No, I don’t have an adopted sister to take me shopping… besides, I already wear colour. I just have to coordinate with my hair.”
I suddenly want to take her shopping too.