Letting Love In
by Sarah Meyers
Author's Notes: I decided that in this, the events of Who Are You never happened and Faith never met Riley. As soon as she got out of her coma she started on the track of being good and her and Buffy hadn't seen each other since then. The song used in this is by Garth Brooks called 'When You Come Back' from the movie Frequency.
"Do you ever miss her?" Willow asked Buffy as they were doing their nightly sweep through the graveyards. Buffy looked over at her best friend curiously and immediatly noticed the pain reflected in her eyes. She took Willow's hand into her own as they continued to walk in silence for a minute. "I'm sorry Buffy. I probably shouldn't have asked."
"No it's okay Will. It's just hard sometimes, to remember all that we went through. I do miss her but sometimes I wonder if it's wrong of me to miss her. After all she did to everyone." Buffy paused for a minute and looked at her best friend. "She hurt you Will and I'm supposed to protect you. She went after all the people I love most and hurt them."
"So you think that it's wrong that you've forgiven her?" Willow asked curiously.
"I suppose. I mean, I haven't forgiven her really for hurting all of you. I just miss her so much sometimes." Buffy stopped as she felt her eyes tear up. It had been a year since it all happened but it still hurt. Buffy would never be able to forgive herself for stabbing Faith, for pushing Faith away when she needed her the most.
"You know this isn't really the place to be having heart to heart talks," a male voice called out from behind the two girls. Buffy spun around immediatly ready to fight.
"If you wanna live for another day I suggest you get out of here because I'm really not in the mood right now."
The vampire stopped and looked at Buffy, then her companion. "She's not the other slayer," he said flatly.
"Ya think?" Buffy asked loosing her patience with the vamp. "Seeing as that Faith split town a long time ago it would be kinda hard for her to be here," Buffy said as she charged the vamp. She landed a hard blow on his jaw and he fell to the ground but was quickly on his feet again.
"Might be what you think but that bitch is still here. She probably works harder than you do," he growled at her. Buffy quickly ran at him and punched him again. She grabbed him by the neck and lifted him to the air. The vampire just laughed. "You know choking me might actually do some damage if I actually breathed." With that he kicked her in the stomach and she lost her grip on him as she fell.
As soon as she hit the ground she was back up again. She ran at the vampire and kicked his feet out from under him. When he landed on his back she was fast on top of him, stake poised right above his heart.
"And just what the hell makes you think Faith is still around?" The vampire didn't answer but continued to struggle under Buffy's firm grasp. When more vamps started approaching she realized she didn't have time to play his games and quickly staked him. It didn't take her long to finish off the other vamps due to the fact that the first one pissed her off.
The walk back home was too quiet for Buffy to stand. She knew the news of Faith being in town most likely shook Willow up. Faith did hold a knife to her throat after all. There was no way the redhead could move past that like Buffy. But what really troubled Buffy was the fact that she could move past it so easily. Maybe it was because of the fact that they were both slayers. After all, as screwed up as Faith may have been, she was the only to truely ever understand Buffy. Maybe it was simply guilt from what she had done to her fellow slayer.
"Will?" Buffy said her friends name so softly the redhead almost didn't hear her. Willow took Buffy's hand in her own already knowing what the other girl was thinking. She had spent many nights holding Buffy while she cried over what she did to Faith. She tried to convince Buffy that it wasn't her fault Faith joined the mayor and went psycho. "Do you think it's true?"
"It could be true but it doesn't make much sense. Why would she still be here when the cops have been looking for her? And if the vampire knew about her it meant she had to have been slaying and it would be pretty hard for you not to notice if someone else was slaying don't you think?"
"I guess there's only one way to know for sure then isn't there?"
"Your not gonna..." Willow trailed off knowing exactly what Buffy was thinking. She looked over at Buffy and saw the look of pure determination in the blonde's eyes. "Be careful Buffy."
"Always," Buffy shot Willow a confident smile. She gave her friend a brief hug and took a deep breath. As she turned around to walk towards Faith's old appartment she was so lost in thought she hardly noticed her hands shaking. "Please be there Faith," Buffy whispered as softly as she could.
When Buffy reached Faith's old appartment building she realized she had no clue what she was doing. Painful memories flooded her as she stared at the building and she found herself crying. 'What if she is here? What can I possibly say to her?' Buffy found herself more confused than ever as she walked into the building heading for Faith's appartment.
"Get it together Buffy," she softly said when she reached Faith's door. Her slayer hearing picked up on some noise coming from the other side of the door and taking a deep breath she lifted her hand up and knocked on it softly.
It seemed to her that time stood still in that moment. She heard someone walking to the door but it felt like it took forever for them to answer it. When it opened and she saw the brunette standing on the other side, she lost it. "Faith..?" she whispered almost inaudibly as tears flowed from her eyes.
"It's about time you figured out I was still here B. Guess you've been too busy with your boy toy to notice someones been helping with the slayage." Faith's voice was cold but her eyes betrayed her. "What do you want with me anyways? Come back to finish the job?"
Buffy looked at her puzzled. "What job?" she asked as she wiped the last of her tears from her eyes. Faith lifted her shirt up slightly so Buffy could see the scar on her stomach. When the realization hit Buffy a shaking hand reached out to touch the scar. "I'm so sorry Faith...I'm so sorry."
"Well it's not your fault I went all psycho bitch and joined up with the mayor." Faith walked back into her apartment and sat down on her bed. "But if you came here expecting an apology you aren't getting one so you should just leave."
"Thats where you're wrong Faith," Buffy said as she walked over to the younger slayer. "I'm the one who needs to apologize. If I were a better friend none of this would have happened. I've wanted to tell you for so long but I thought you left."
For the first time she could think of, Faith was speechless. All this time Buffy had blamed herself for what happened? For the first time Faith finally felt remorse for what she did. As much as she hated to admit it and wanted to say 'serves you right' she really cared about Buffy. Hell, she's always loved Buffy and that's why she was still around.
"It's not your fault B, there was nothing you could have done." Faith reached up to let her fingers softly trace the outline of Buffy's jaw. "I missed you though," Faith said so low that Buffy almost didn't hear it. She could tell Buffy tensed when she did and turned away laughing to herself. "Sorry B. I guess being alone all this time made me soft or something."
"Why did you do it Faith?" Buffy asked as she sat down on the bed next to the brunette.
"Do what? Tell you I missed you?" Faith knew what the older slayer meant but she was trying to avoid the real question.
"You know what I mean Faith," Buffy stopped and put her hand on Faith's. "But I have missed you too. But I meant the mayor, then making us all think you took off while you've been here the whole time." She saw the pain in Faith's eyes and squeezed her hand softly. "I guess this isn't really the kind of reunion either of us had in mind is it?"
"Well it's much better than what I had in mind. I don't get it B, why don't you hate me? How can you blame yourself? I did this all on my own. I joined the mayor because I wanted a challenge. I never meant to go against you guys but you know what they say, you play with fire you're bound to get burned. I got so lost in it all and I lost myself. Story of my life really.
"So that's why I stuck around here. Tricked everyone into thinking I left and eventually the cops figured the same. They forgot all about me so I fixed this place up and started over. I wanted to make up for what I did so I guess I've been kinda watching out for you all this time."
Faith had no clue why she was opening up to Buffy so much. She had never planned on talking to the blonde again and now within minutes it was all flooding out and she was helpless to stop it. Just one more chance was all she needed and she swore she'd never screw it up again. She looked over at Buffy and saw that she was crying once again.
"Turn off the water works B. Your already ruining my rep by coming here and making me get all soft."
"I still don't get it though. Why didn't you tell me you were here?"
"You stuck a knife in my gut! How the hell was I supposed to know you'd want to see me again? That you blamed yourself for something that was completely my doing..." Faith felt herself on the verge of tears so she stopped to try to hold on to what little dignity she thought she had left. "I couldn't tell you anyways. Even if you wanted me around because there's no way of knowing I won't fuck up again and..." she stopped to turn away from Buffy as she felt a stray tear fall from her eye. "I'd rather kill myself than ever hurt you again B."
That's when Buffy realized it. The reason she felt guilty for what she had done to Faith. The reason she was there now sitting with the girl that once tried to take everything she loved from her. She loved Faith. She walked up behind Faith and gently placed her hand on her back. "We both messed up before Faith. More times than either of us can count probably. But we can still start over and do things the right way this time."
"But I'll mess it all up B. There's a dark side in me and I'll only screw things back up. And even if you want to be my friend again think about what I did to your friends. To Giles and your mother. I'll never be able to make that up. I've spent all this time alone thinking about things and I realized it's best if I just stay alone. It's what I deserve."
"You don't deserve to be alone. No one deserves that. All you have to do is one thing."
"What's that?" Faith asked as she turned around to face Buffy.
"Just trust me. Let me be your friend again and I won't let you fall."
"That simple huh? Trust you and all is forgiven? We'll just magically be friends and all our grudges against each other will be gone? Why the hell should I trust you? Your probably only doing this out of guilt and as soon as its gone you'll ditch me again." Buffy winced and Faith caught it. "Damn B, I'm sorry. I didn't mean for that to come out like that."
"I know it's not easy Faith. Not for either of us but I want you back. I want us to be friends again."
Faith just nodded. After a few seconds she finally said she'd be willing to give the friends thing a shot. She knew it would be hard to be so close to Buffy again without letting the other slayer know her feelings but she was willing to settle for friends. "So uh... What is it that friends do B?"
"Well they could start by going slaying together tommorow night."
"I don't know about that B. If they all started going slaying the graveyards might get too full for us."
"I didn't mean all the friends in the world, I meant us. I was trying that humor thing but obviously it doesn't work this late at night."
"So that means I'm supposed to laugh right?" Faith smirked when Buffy swatted her arm playfully.
"I gotta get out of here or Willow's going to get worried about me. See you tommorow?"
"Wouldn't miss it for the world," Faith replied and she sure as hell meant it. "And tell Red that...I'm sorry about what I did to her before and all."
"Not a problem," Buffy gave Faith a quick hug and headed towards the door. "I'm really glad I have you back Faith." Then under her breath she added, "you don't even know how much."
On her way back to her dorm Buffy's mind was going crazy. She was still trying to make her heart slow down since it still felt like it was about to beat out of her chest. To say she was confused would have been the understatement of the year. Here she was, walking home after just visiting Faith for the first time in what seemed like years. A part of her had always wanted to see Faith again to make amends, but she figured that was just a dream.
She didn't even want to remember the dreams she had. The nights she spent crying in Willow's arms wondering why she let herself loose Faith. Willow never understood, but like any good friend she was there for Buffy. All the anger, resentment, guilt, longing... Every emotion in the slayer seemed to combine and somehow lead her to one, stronger more absolute feeling for her companion. Somewhere along the way she came to love Faith and this time she wouldn't let her go.
Finally her slayer sense kicked in telling her that someone was following her. "I'm still not in the mood," she called out to whatever it was that was behind her as she continued walking. When she made it to the next block she was more than slightly peeved that whatever was following her hadn't stopped. When she turned around she was taken aback by her new found friend standing in front of her.
"Hey B," Faith smiled lopsidedly.
"What are you... I just left and..." Buffy's eyes looked confused as her words had come out.
"Well I figured I've spent all these months doing this. The watching over you all the time thing. And I got so good at it I didn't want to stop." Faith flashed Buffy her best smile as the two began walking again.
"You know you could have just offered to walk me home like a normal girl right?"
"And since when am I normal?" Faith raised an eyebrow as she looked at Buffy. She couldn't believe her luck. After all she had done to the blonde she was still given another chance. She spent so many nights dreaming of this day. "B?"
"Hmm?" The shorter girl looked at her friend curiously.
"This isn't a dream or anything is it?" Faith tried not to let her words get stuck in her throat. She felt her voice crack but she was hoping Buffy hadn't noticed it. She knew she didn't want to go back to being the hard ass, playing it tough all the time girl she was before but she wasn't used to showing any emotion to anyone.
Buffy stopped once more and pinched her friend softly, just for good measure. "Nope, seems real to me. Besides my dreams were never as good as this," she linked her arm around the brunette's and led her back to campus.
"So you dream about me huh?" Faith smirked trying not to sound too cocky.
"Yeah well nothing major. Just about the past really. I figure there's a lot we'll have to talk about eventually but I know your not the type to open up and stuff. Besides I'm in no rush to bring all that up again and I really just..." she trailed off wondering what was happening to her. She knew it was probably wrong to let herself suddenly realize she loved the brunette but she'd spent months in agony over what happened. Waiting for this one chance. 'To hell with it,' she thought to herself. "I really missed you Faith and you better never leave me again."
"I haven't gone anywhere yet, and I'm not planning on it either. Way I see it is, I've got a lifetime of mistakes to make up for around this place." Faith stopped when she saw Buffy shiver from the cool night breeze. She wrapped her arm around the blonde's shoulder and continued. "And there's this one girl you see. I did a lot of really mean things to her when all I wanted was be her friend and I gotta make it up to her."
"You already have," Buffy leaned in closer to Faith and wrapped her arm around the taller girls waist.
"So then what are you thinking right now?"
"Really wanna know?" Buffy saw Faith nod in response and figured that was answer enough. "I was wondering how you managed to be following me all this time without me ever noticing. Your even better than Angel was at it."
"I wouldn't say I'm better than he was. He had the vamp thing going on and that automatically gave him away, souled or not. I suppose practice makes perfect though. But speaking of the big guy, I bet I could beat him in a brooding contest hands down now," Faith practically beamed.
"And you're proud of that?" Buffy teased.
"Damn straight," Faith squeezed Buffy closer to her as they walked the last few feet to Buffy's door. "Looks like we're here so now that I've seen you home safely I'll catch you tommorow." Faith turned to walk away but stopped when she felt Buffy's hand on her shoulder.
"It's pretty late and I was thinking maybe..." Buffy paused as Faith turned around to face her. When she looked into those brown eyes her heart automatically picked up its pace. "Well you went through all that trouble of walking me home and if you wanted to stay here tonight you know I wouldn't mind."
Faith tried not to smile but knew it was pointless. But then suddenly she remember Buffy shared the room with Willow. "Uhh, I don't think Red would like that too much B."
"You told me to tell her you were sorry, so if you just tell her yourself I don't see a problem with it."
"Your serious aren't you?" Buffy just nodded in response. "I guess redemptions never easy is it?" With that Faith felt Buffy take hold of her hand and drag into the small dorm room feeling totally unprepared for making amends with the redhead.
"Buffy!" Willow exclaimed as she hopped off her bed. "How did things with..." Willow's eyes darkened as soon as she saw who Buffy had drug in behind her. "I suppose she was there," the redhead laughed nervously.
"Hey Red," Faith gave Willow her most brilliant smile. The slayer noticed Willow's nervousness right away and it made her feel awkward immediatly. "I guess now's as good of a time as any to apologise for everything I did huh? I am sorry about everything before Red and I can tell you're obviously really uncomfortable with me being here so suddenly so I'll just," she stopped and pointed at the door but before she could get anywhere she felt Buffy's hand firmly holding on to her own. When she glanced at the older slayer there was a look in her eyes that basically said, 'I'll kick your ass if you don't stay.'
"No, you can stay. I'll just go out. Yeah out is good and I can go to Tara's and maybe her and I can go out because that's what people do at night right?" Willow grabbed her bookbag and shoved some clothes in it while she babbled. When she finished she smiled at Faith who was just nodding, unaccustomed to the redheads babble.
"You know you don't have to go anywhere right Willow? I was kinda hoping maybe we could all stay and work things out. I know it's kind of sudden and all but I was still hoping." Buffy's dissapointment was written all over her face and Faith, who was still holding her hand, gave her hand a soft squeeze.
"I feel like I'm kinda ruining the mood around here," Faith said softly, almost regretting letting Buffy know it was her that had been following the slayer earlier. "Are you sure you don't want me to leave?" When both Willow and Buffy let out a harsh 'yes' in response she just put her arms up in defeat and sat down on what she assumed to be Buffy's bed. She looked at the clock that read 12:38am and she knew there was no way Willow had plans with Tara. She knew her being there wasn't the best idea but obviously she didn't have much choice in the matter.
"Look I just gotta go," Willow said as she headed out the door without even taking one last look at Faith. Buffy looked at Faith who was sitting on the edge of her bed nervously. The look in the brunettes eyes was purely apologetic and Buffy winced, and regretted forcing Faith to come in.
"I'll be right back," Buffy said softly as she headed towards the door. "Don't you dare go anywhere." Faith just laid back on the bed figuring Buffy went to apologize to Willow. Faith couldn't believe that this was anything more than a dream. If she hadn't been such a troublemaker she might have even thought she was somehow in heaven. Here she was with everything she's wanted since she first came to Sunnydale. Well, almost everything...
'Don't even start thinking crap like that,' she told herself. Buffy's friendship was more than enough. Definitely more than she deserved. And not only had Buffy become her friend again but she was trusting her to be alone in her dorm room. Sure she was probably only a few feet down the hall, but it was trust. She rolled over on her side so she was facing the small night stand between the two girls beds. Much to her suprise she found a small framed picture of herself staring back at her.
She would have spent more time wondering why it was there if the sudden realization that she was laying in Buffy's bed hadn't hit her. She buried her face in the pillow and took in Buffy's scent. 'I've definitely missed this,' she couldn't help but laugh at herself. 'Not such a tough ass at all anymore are you?' she silently asked. She let her eyes scan the room and she noticed several candles scattered throughout it. She knew they were probably Willow's because of the whole wicca thing, but she needed a distraction so she searched around for some matches. "Play with fire, you're bound to get burned. Story of my life really," Faith repeated her earlier words to Buffy to herself as she lit the candles. Only this time she had no intention of getting burned, because she spent too long trying to make things right.
"Willow will you just stop for one minute?" Buffy asked as she grabbed her friends arm. "Why won't you stay and let her apologize to you?" Buffy sounded almost desperate.
Willow was amazed that Buffy didn't get it. "Have you forgotten what she did to me? I can be there for you through the nightmares Buffy, but those are fake and this is real. She's been gone and now within a few hours you act like everythings just forgotten. I'm sorry but I can't do that. I need time to process this stuff. To get used to the idea of Faith being around again."
"I'm sorry Will," Buffy lowered her head slightly. "I guess I just got too caught up in it and I wasn't thinking about everyone else. "Forgive me?"
"Of course," Willow said giving her friend a hug. "You should probably get back to her before she gets all fidgety and stuff."
"Thanks Will. I'll see you tommorow," she hugged her friend one last time. "Tell Tara I said hi, and don't do anything I wouldn't do," she said with a wink and laughed when she saw the blush creep over Willow's face. She quickly spun around and headed back to her room, trying not to let her smile grow any wider than it already was. She couldn't help but be a little excited that she got more alone time with Faith. 'Probably a little too excited,' she thought to herself as she came to stand back outside her door. Taking a deep breath to calm her beating heart she went opened the door and stepped back in.
"Hey B, hope you don't mind but I kinda made myself at home." Faith flashed the blonde a classic smile.
"I can see that," Buffy smiled as she looked around the room. All of Willow's candles were lit and all the other lights were turned off. After making a brief mental note to get the wicca more later she couldn't help but melt a little at the romantic atmosphere. She knew what was happening, and she knew it was happening *way* too fast but at the same time she stood helpless, not wanting it to ever stop. Maybe in reality this hadn't happened fast enough.
The older slayer walked over to her bed where Faith was sitting but before she could sit next to her friend she felt Faith's hand in her own. "Dance with me?" the taller girl asked as she stood next to Buffy.
Buffy noticed the vunerability in Faith's voice and found that words of her own were impossible. When she looked in the brunette's eyes she saw the unshed tears, the regret and love that was probably reflected in her own eyes. When she noticed that speech would remain temporarily impossible she just nodded her head softly as she wrapped her arms around Faith's neck. At first she hadn't noticed the soft music playing in the background and for a few minutes she wasn't sure if she was even standing on the ground.
After she turned the music up a little Faith wrapped her arms around Buffy's waist and gently pulled her closer. "I've been waiting for this all my life," she whispered softly in Buffy's ear. She tried her best to hold back the tears threatening to overtake her but it seemed impossible as softly sang the song playing on the stereo to Buffy.
||There's a ship out, on the ocean At the mercy of the sea It's been tossed about, lost and broken Wandering aimlessly And God somehow you know that ship is me 'Cause there's a lighthouse, in the harbor Shining faithfully Pouring its light out, across the water For this sinking soul to see That someone out there still believes in me On a prayer, in a song I hear your voice and it keeps me hanging on Raining down, against the wind I'm reaching out 'til we reach the circle's end When you come back to me again||
Buffy couldn't help but smile as she looked at Faith through her tears. "This is really happening right?" she managed to choke out as she rested her head on Faith's shoulder.
"At this point I'm really not even sure myself B. Could I really be lucky enough to have you in my arms after all I did?" Faith rested her head on top of Buffy's and resumed singing before the blonde could answer her.
||There's a moment we all come to In our own time and our own space Where all that we've done, we can undo If our heart's in the right place On a prayer, in a song I hear your voice and it keeps me hanging on Raining down, against the wind I'm reaching out 'til we reach the circle's end When you come back to me again And again I see my yesterday's in front of me Unfolding like a mystery You're changing all that is and used to be||
"You know I never would have pegged you as the twangy type," Buffy said with a smile as she tightened her hold on Faith.
"People change B." Faith kissed the top of Buffy's head. "Love changes people," she added softly.
"Love?" Buffy asked silently but Faith just continued singing.
||On a prayer, in a song I hear your voice and it keeps me hanging on Raining down, against the wind I'm reaching out 'til we reach the circle's end When you come back to me again When you come back to me again||
The song came to an end but neither of the girls noticed. They stayed, softly swaying in each others arms letting the emotions sink in. Finally Faith was the one to stop and she released her hold on the blonde. She thought she heard a small whimper from the shorter girl and slid two fingers under Buffy's chin to lift her face up slightly. When their eyes met, they both knew what the other was thinking and words weren't necessary. Pushing all her fears aside, Faith took Buffy's hand in her own and placed it over her heart.
Never breaking eye contact with Buffy, Faith prepared herself to give the speech she'd spent months practicing even though she never thought the day would come when she'd be able to give it. She knew it probably wouldn't come out like she practiced but she at least hoped she wouldn't sound like a bumbling idiot.
"I know this is all kind of happening fast considering we just made up tonight. You haven't even seen me in so long and now here we are," she paused to make sure Buffy was listening to her. "I definitely wasn't prepared for this to happen so fast, or for me to even be able to open up to you like this but I guess I've changed more than I even realized. I don't want to ever hurt you again Buffy. I'm sorry for all the wrongs I've done and if you just give me the chance I'll make it up to you and your friends. I might fall, but with your help I know I'll be able to get back up. Your the reason I'm still here. I love you, and I always have. I just want to protect you and..." Faith's voice softened considerably. "I just thought you should know," she said as she felt a wave of insecurity and panic hit her. Opening up to people had never been one of her stong points but she knew she'd have to start if she wanted to make things right.
"Faith..." Buffy whispered so soft that if Faith hadn't been a slayer she wouldn't have heard it. She wrapped her arms around Faith with and held on to her as tightly as she could. "I don't care if it's too fast. It should have happened a long time ago. I should have told you I loved you a long time ago and I would have never lost you but I was to caught up in myself. But I'll never let you go again. And I won't let you fall, I promise."
"C-can I kiss you?" Faith's fingers traced the outline of Buffy's jaw and at that moment she realized it didn't matter that she went soft. She got Buffy and that's all that mattered. Buffy didn't say anything in response but she gently titled her head up and wrapped an arm around Faith's neck and softly pulled her forward. Their lips met in the softest of kisses but in that moment it seemed as if the two of them melded into one. Soon the kiss deepened and they found their tongues in a duel. Not one to conquer or dominate, but to convey their every emotion and their love for each other. From then on the past seemed to wash away, because despite everything that happened, it led up to this one kiss when everything seemed right.
When they finally broke for air they still held on to each other tightly, both afraid of their legs giving out on them. "Stay with me tonight?" Buffy asked as she kissed Faith's neck softly.
"I'd stay with you forever if you'd let me," Faith said in response as she led Buffy over to the bed. Faith sat down and pulled Buffy into her lap and wrapped her arms around her waist. "I love you Buffy."
"I love you too," Buffy replied giving Faith a quick kiss as she stood back up. She heard the soft whimper Faith let slip from her lips when she got up. "Don't worry I"m just getting changed. Did you want something to sleep in?"
Faith just smiled at that. "I'm used to sleeping in the buff B." Buffy blushed a deep shade of red as Faith had expected. "Don't worry I'll leave the panties on just for you." Buffy just nodded furiously and turned to get some pj's out of her dresser. She noticed it was getting darker in the room so she figured Faith was blowing out some of the candles, which she was thankful for. Making sure to keep her back to Faith, she changed into her pj's as fast as she could and was more than a little suprised when she turned around to see Faith laying on her bed in nothing but her underwear. "What?" Faith asked innocently as a predatory smile formed on her lips. "I told you I'd leave the panties on for you."
Buffy's blush was back on her face in a heartbeat as she walked back over to her girlfriend. Buffy stopped at that thought. Girlfriend? Is that what Faith was now? "Uhh Faith?" Buffy asked as she looked the other slayer in the eyes. "Does this all mean you're my girlfriend now?"
Faith just laughed at that. "Well we admited we loved each other, kissed, and now we're spending the night together so I'd assume so. I mean that is if you'd want to be my girlfriend," Faith felt that sudden shy awkwardness come over her like it always did when she was with Buffy. Not that it was a bad thing though.
"I'd like that," Buffy smiled as she sat down on the bed next to Faith. "A lot," she added as she let her eyes roam over Faith's body appreciatingly. When she saw Faith's underwear however, she couldn't help but laugh. "Taz?" she questioned as she looked up at Faith.
"You know how I am about my cartoons," Faith said defensively. "I would have worn the sexy stuff but I honestly had no clue I'd end up in bed with the girl of my dreams tonight." She wrapped her arms around Buffy and pulled her close.
"Well I like it," Buffy added. "It's cute and shows just what a softie you're becoming." She knew that would get some kind of reaction out of Faith. And sure enough, within seconds she found herself pinned under Faith who was demanding she take that back.
"I am not cute. I am a big scary tuff slayer." Faith stated matter of factly.
"Is that so?" Buffy giggled as she felt Faith tickling her sides. "Okay, okay you win," she said when she couldn't take the tickling any longer. "So what are the odds of that very big bad slayer giving me a kiss and telling me she loves me again?"
Faith leaned down so her face was just inches from Buffy's. "I'd say pretty good," she whispered as she bent forward and closed the distance between them. This kiss wasn't as cautious as the first and became much more passionate in a matter of seconds. Faith was the first to pull away and as she pulled Buffy into her arms she whispered a soft 'I love you.' Faith knew if she didn't stop then her and Buffy would really go too far too fast and as tempting as it was to make love to the blonde she had to admit that even she wasn't ready for that.
Buffy blew out the rest of the candles that remained lit and pulled the blankets up over her and Faith. She gave the younger slayer one last kiss before resting her head on Faith's shoulder and wrapping an arm loosely around her waist. "I love you Faith," she murmered before she let herself fall into a contented sleep.
Faith didn't get any sleep that night but she didn't mind. She watched over Buffy all night feeling their hearts beating as one and passed the time absently playing with Buffy's hair. 'Redemption may not be easy, but it sure as hell was worth it,' she silently mused to herself as she saw the sun beginning to shine into the room. "Here's to hoping I get to spend many more nights just like this," she whispered. She knew Buffy was still asleep but she felt Buffy's arm tighten around her waist when she said that and she took it as a good sign. A damn good one.
"Mmm...Faith?" Buffy's soft voice brought the younger slayer out of her thoughts. Faith felt the smile returning to her lips as she tightened her hold on Buffy slightly. "You're still here," Buffy mused out loud. But when she felt Faith's body tense she knew she said the wrong thing.
"Yeah well I could always leave if you wanted." The tone in her voice was a little harsher than she intended it to be.
Buffy let go of her hold on Faith and shifted in the bed so she was propped up on her elbow. "Faith, I didn't mean..." she trailed off as she saw the hurt in Faith's eyes. She let her hand reach out to softly caress Faith's cheek and bent forward to brush her lips against the younger girls. "I never want you to leave me again," she whispered softly into Faith's ear.
"Then what? You think this was just another get some, get gone thing to me?" Faith asked as she tried to get up from the bed, but Buffy just pulled her back down. "Last I checked I didn't even get any, and it's certainly the last thing I'm worried about getting at this point B."
Buffy couldn't help but smile, even though she knew she shouldn't. Faith had completly taken her words the wrong way. "Faith, I didn't mean it like that. I know it probably wasn't the greatest line to wake up with, and yes I was relieved that you're still here. Not because I think you just wanna mess around with me, but because last night when I fell asleep I was scared I'd wake up alone, to find all that great stuff was just a dream. That I'd have to go back to life without you."
"Really?" Faith asked as a small smile formed on her lips. Buffy just nodded and kissed her once again, knowing that Faith was the kind of person who needed that kind of reassurance. "I'm sorry I got so defensive like that then," Faith said as they broke apart. "I guess I'm just new to having people care about me and I don't know how to handle it."
"I more than care about you, I love you Faith. Just don't forget that okay?" Buffy smiled when she saw Faith nod in response. "And I want you to trust me Faith. Let me into your heart and I promise I'll show you just how amazing love can be."
Faith took hold of Buffy's hand and placed it over her heart so the blonde could feel it beating. "Your already in my heart B. You always have been." Buffy kissed her girlfriend and climbed out of bed. "Where are you going?"
"I was planning on brushing my teeth. That is unless you really enjoy kissing me with morning breath," Buffy smiled at her as she dissapeared into the bathroom. Faith just shruged. 'As long as I'm kissing you I don't care how your breath is,' she thought to herself.
When Buffy finally returned from the bathroom she kissed Faith again, long and passionatly. "Better?" she asked her girlfriend with a smirk.
"Oh yes, I just love the taste of listerine. Gets all the juices flowing," Faith replied sarcastically.
"Yeah well I aim to please smartass," Buffy poked Faith in the ribs to show she was just playing around. Faith, instead of continuing their banter pulled Buffy back into her arms. "I missed this," Buffy kissed Faith's neck.
"You were only in the bathroom for a few minutes," Faith said, once again not getting what Buffy meant. She thought the blonde meant being in her arms so she was caught off guard when Buffy started laughing.
"Has someone been slipping you stupid pills lately?" Buffy just laughed more. "I mean being able to joke with you. Your the only one I can be like this with, and when I pick on you I know you don't take it seriously or at least I hope you don't. But I don't think you do because," she was suddenly silenced by Faith's finger on her lips.
"And I see Willow's been slipping you her babble pills." Buffy smiled up at Faith and Faith's heart seemed to skip a few beats like it always did when Buffy smiled at her. "Want me to let you in on a little secret?" Faith asked as she played with Buffy's hair.
"I want to know everything." Buffy layed her head on Faith's lap and looked up at her.
"Last night I didn't sleep at all. I just layed here watching you sleep and it was the most amazing thing. And I realized that as much as it scares me I want to open myself up to you completely, because the thought of losing you scares me even worse."
"You won't ever loose me Faith," Buffy choked out, unable to find her voice after hearing what her lover just said to her.
Faith's fingers continued to absently play with Buffy's hair as she smiled down at her. "There's still a lot we haven't seen of each other Buffy. I haven't lost my temper yet and, you already saw me get upset for nothing this morning. And I'm stubborn and all these other things." Buffy started to say something but Faith just shook her head and continued.
"But above all that, I love you Buffy. And I realized something last night. That everything in life comes full circle. All the bad I did, it came back to bite me in the ass and I've payed for it, and I know I'll continue to pay for it. But the good didn't go unnoticed either. At least you saw it and you never gave up on me. I realized as scared as I am, if I can't trust in the one person who never gave up on me all this time then I wouldn't be living much of a life. So I just wanted to tell you that I trust you Buffy and I feel really lucky because I know that even if I screw up along the way, you'll still love me."
Buffy was trying her best not to cry but she couldn't help but let a few tears fall. She was amazed at how much Faith was opening up to her. "I'll never do anything to break that trust Faith, and I love you so much." she sat up and kissed Faith tenderly. "I'm really lucky to have you, and I can't even tell you how much it means to me that your opening up like this."
"Then how about you kiss me again?" Faith asked with a suggestive tone. Buffy moved so she was sitting on Faith's lap and wrapped her legs around the brunette.
"I think that could be arranged," she whispered as she wrapped her arms around Faith. The two mouths met in a hungry kiss and Buffy slid her tongue over Faith's lips until they parted and their tongues met in what seemed to be a sacred dance. Faith's hands moved up and down Buffy's back as she deepened the kiss with her.
When Buffy pulled away for air she felt Faith's tongue sliding across the smooth skin of her neck and she let out a soft moan. She brought her hands up and her fingers found their way into Faith's hair as she gently held Faith to her. When Faith finally realized she needed oxygen she pulled back to look into Buffy's eyes. They were full of so much love and passion she knew her greatest fantasy was about to come true.
With trembling hands she reached out to lift Buffy's night shirt off and Buffy couldn't help but melt when she saw how nervous Faith was. Maybe it was soon for them, but it would be perfect. When the shirt came off Faith smiled as she planted small kisses along Buffy's neck. She pulled the blonde who was still sitting in her lap closer to her and she felt Buffy wrap her legs around her waist tighter.
Faith let her kisses go lower and lower as one of her hands moved up between them. She kissed her way down the valley between Buffy's breasts as she let her thumb caress one of Buffy's taut nipples. Buffy's head fell back in pleasure and she soon felt Faith's tongue dart across the other one, sucking it into her mouth slowly. Never breaking her contact with Buffy, Faith slowly shifted so Buffy was laying on her back on the bed.
"Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?" Faith asked before returning her mouth to Buffy's neck. Her hands trailed across every inch of Buffy's exposed skin taking in every curve of her body. Finally they settled at the waistband of her pants and she looked up at Buffy for permission.
Buffy nodded at her and Faith smiled as she slowly pulled the pants off, taking Buffy's underwear off with them as well. She layed on her side next to Buffy and recaptured her mouth in a passionate kiss as her fingers trailed slowly up Buffy's inner thighs until they reached her wet center. She slid a finger into Buffy and when she felt the older slayer moan in her mouth she slid another finger into her.
Faith thought she would almost die from the pleasure of being able to make love to Buffy. She increased her speed, sliding into the slayer faster as she trailed kisses along Buffy's jawline. When Buffy's breathing became more ragged she slid in a third finger and let her tongue dance across Buffy's nipples. After a few minutes she could feel that her lover was close to the edge so she let her thumb rub across her swollen nub while pumping into her. She moved her head so her mouth was close to Buffy's ear. "That's it, just let go baby. Let it all go," she whispered softly. And the blonde did, climaxing as Faith whispered in her ear.
When her breathing became more steady Faith pulled out of her, and pulled Buffy into her arms once again. Faith didn't notice she was crying as she whispered I love you's to the blonde. "Just relax now, I won't let anything hurt you Buffy."
"I love you Faith," Buffy buried her face in Faith's neck as she tried to get her heart to stop racing. Just as she was about to fall back to sleep the door swung open and the two new lovers were left staring at a very suprised redhead.
"Uhh, welcome home Red," Faith couldn't help but grin as she looked at the speechless Buffy.
After a few moments of Buffy and Willow staring at each other with their jaws hung open, Faith decided to break the silence. "I take it that you like what you see," she stated as she raised her eyebrow in question as she looked the red head in the eyes. She thought Willow's eyes were about to pop out of their sockets and while she managed to choke back the laughter, the cocky grin was once again plastered across Faith's face.
Finally Willow managed to make her body work again and she quickly rushed out of the room. As soon as Faith heard the door click shut, she broke into laughter. A few moments later she had to release her hold on Buffy and hold onto her sides from laughing so hard. "You shoulda seen your face B. That was priceless." Faith sucked in a few quick breaths trying to calm down. When she looked back into Buffy's eyes however the laughter quickly faded away. "Oh come on B, you can't be mad at me. That was funny."
Buffy just sent an icy stare in her girlfriend's direction. Faith just shruged. "I thought it was funny. I haven't laughed like that in forever." Faith knew Buffy wasn't really mad at her, but she knew that awkward situation really got to Buffy. All she wanted was to get her love to lighten up a bit. "Oh come on B, you know it was funny. Sure it's not the way either of us wanted Red to find out but still..."
"You only think it's funny because she didn't notice you have Taz undies on," Buffy stuck her tongue out and tried her best to pout. Faith decided that was good enough and she pounced back on her lover and pinned the smaller girl underneath her.
"Making fun of Taz?" Faith loosened her hold on Buffy's wrists and tickled her again.
"Stop!" Buffy yelped betweens fits of giggles.
"Really want me to?" Faith did stop tickling her girlfriend but now her fingers were sliding up Buffy's body in a suggestive manner.
"Not really, but you have to." Buffy saw Faith frown so she pulled her down into a tender kiss. "We have to go deal with Willow."
"Already?" Faith had a pleading look in her eyes and Buffy felt bad for her...almost.
"Yup, and of course you had to go make things worse with your little comment so now your stuck coming with me to tell her." Buffy laughed when Faith groaned.
"Aww, come on B. She'll be blushing 'till Tuesday so we should just leave her alone."
"Nice try, really." Buffy smiled innocently at Faith and continued. "You know though, if we get her while she's still distracted from the events of this morning, she'll be a lot easier on us because she won't be properly focused."
That argument did it for Faith. "Put your clothes on, we've gotta go find Red." Buffy looked at Faith, astonished. "Yes, I'm actually telling you to put your clothes on. But don't worry, I don't plan on it ever happening again." She kissed Buffy and started pulling on her clothes that she came in.
"Your wearing that?" Buffy looked at Faith like she was crazy, then was confused when Faith just started shaking her head.
"It's not like I've got much of a wardrobe here B. This is your place, not mine." Buffy smiled sheepishly as Faith pointed that out, then she blushed when she thought about telling Faith she should just leave some clothes there for when she did stay over. "Whatcha thinking about?" Faith asked as she walked over to the now dressed Buffy and wraped her arms around her waist. Buffy tried her best to not blush and just shook her head. "Oh no you don't. Tell me what your thinking B. If it were nothing you wouldn't be blushing."
Buffy knew there was no way of getting around telling Faith what she was just thinking so she took a deep breath and told her. "I was just kinda thinking maybe you should leave some clothes here so when you stay you won't have to put back on the ones from the day before."
Faith's smile grew and she kissed Buffy's neck and the blonde relaxed in her arms. "Only on one condition. You gotta leave some at my place too."
"I think I could handle that," Buffy moved from her lovers embrace and walked to the door. "Are you ready to go now?" She held out her hand, which Faith happily accepted.
Their fingers intertwined and Faith smiled at her. "Lets motorvate and get this over with." The two walked out of the dorm room hand and hand with broad smiles across both of thier faces. "So where are we going to find Red at?"
Buffy gently tugged at Faith's arm getting her to follow. "She's most likely over at Tara's. She said she was going there last night and I don't think she has any classes today."
"Tara's the girlfriend right?" Buffy nodded in response and Faith smiled. "I can't believe Red of all people stopped driving stick. Not that anythings wrong with automatic," she said as she kissed Buffy. "Hey whatever happened to that Beefstick I used to always see you with?"
"Beefstick? Oh you mean Riley. He was a nice guy and all but he got kind of boring after a while." Buffy stopped walking and Faith assumed they were now at Tara's dorm. "You ready?"
"As ready as I'm gonna get." Faith gave Buffy a quick kiss before the blonde knocked on the door. Tara was quick to answer it and she blushed as soon as she saw who was there. "I guess Red told her about what happened," Faith whispered to Buffy.
Buffy found that she was blushing too, remembering how Willow caught them earlier. "Is Willow around Tara? We kind of need to talk to her about some stuff."
"Yeah, c-come on in," the shy blonde moved out of the way so the two could enter her room.
"Nice place," Faith commented as she looked around. "I'm Faith," she said holding her hand out to Tara.
"T-thanks, and I'm Tara." The blonde shook Faith's hand. Faith looked over at Willow who was obviously very umcomfortable with the idea of Faith making friends with her girlfriend.
"Will, we need to talk," Buffy walked over to her friend and sat down beside her on Tara's bed. "As you uhh, saw earlier Faith and I are now together and we really want you to be happy for us."
"How can I be happy for you?" Willow stared at Faith for a minute before looking at Buffy again. "She was going to kill me and you just forgive her? Have you forgotten what she did to your mom? That she worked for the mayor who was trying to ruin the world. How can you forget that stuff?"
"I haven't forgotten Willow, and neither has Faith. She's not the only to blame in this. It was both of our doing. I love her now, and I realize I always did. I was just too afraid to admit it before. We're in love Will. I'm not asking for you to forget what happened, or to forgive her right away but just give her a chance. Let her prove to you that she's changed?"
Willow didn't say anything to Buffy, but instead got up and walked to Faith. As she looked deep into her eyes she saw fear, and insecurity instead of the hatred and disgust that were once there. "I swear if you ever do anything like that again, or hurt her, not only will I beat you to death with a shovel I'll do some really...bad witchy stuff to you."
Faith smiled a little, and Willow relaxed. "I promise I'll make things up to you somehow Red. I love Buffy and I only want to do the right thing here." Faith glanced at Buffy. "I really do love her Red." Willow smiled at the gentleness in Faith's voice. She knew the brunette wasn't lying. "And while I'm here, I know it's not much but I am, you know, sorry about before and all. The stuff I did is unforgiveable but I'd like another chance if your willing?"
"I think I can do that," Willow smiled and turned her attention to Buffy. "And I'll start knocking from now on or something." The two best friends both blushed at that comment and Buffy just nodded.
"We should get going," Buffy said as she walked over to Faith and took her hand. "I want to go tell Giles Faith is back." The two started to leave but Faith stopped and turned back to Willow.
"Thanks," she smiled and the two left, closing the door behind them. As soon as they began walking away from Tara's, Faith looked at Buffy seriously.
They stopped walking and Faith kissed her. "Please tell me that once we're done telling everyone about us I won't have to be so soft around them all. It's killing me."
Buffy couldn't help but laugh. "I guess some things never change do they?" The two began walking again toward's Giles' house. "And as long as you don't shut yourself to me, I don't care if you're soft around them or not. Besides, I kinda like being the only one who can see you like that."
"Aww, your blushing again." Faith teased her. 'One down, the rest of the world to go,' Faith thought to herself. She glanced at Buffy who was trying to hide her blush. Faith knew that if they had Willow on their side the rest of the scoobs shouldn't be too bad. Or at least she hoped.
As Faith and Buffy walked hand in hand to Giles' house Faith was lost in the sensation of simply holding Buffy's hand. "You know, I never thought I'd enjoy something so simple," Faith said as she squeezed Buffy's hand.
"What do you mean?" Buffy asked as they continued walking.
"I was never the affectionate type B. With everyone else it was just screwing. No cuddling, no affection or `just because' kisses. The whole `get some, get gone' thing, ya know? I never thought it would feel so nice just to hold someone's hand. And when we, you know this morning, that was the first time I ever made love to anyone."
"You know, you look adorable when you get that goofy grin on your face Faith," Buffy placed a soft kiss on her girlfriend's lips. "I think I'm just lucky to have you love me."
"I still think I'm the lucky one here B. I know I haven't done anything to deserve you, but I plan on spending the rest of my life doing everything I can to make things right, and to make you happy." They kissed again briefly and found that they were only a few feet from Giles' house. Faith stopped for a minute and looked at the house, trying to push her fears about facing the watcher down.
"Uhh, Faith?" Buffy asked softly causing Faith to loose her train of thought. "Xander and Anya just went in there so I guess we're going to have to deal with them too."
"Oh no way. I so can't handle dealing with Xander and Giles at the same time." Faith crossed her arms and went into her stubborn kid mode.
"Think of it as killing two birds with one stone," Buffy shook her head knowing that wouldn't be enough to convince Faith.
"I don't wanna kill anything anymore B," Faith said with a smile. "And I still have on dirty clothes so if we just swing by my place I can get changed and get a shower and then we can come back later or something."
Buffy gave Faith her puppy dog eyes. Still, Faith wouldn't budge. "Well we're going to do this first, then we'll go by your place and get your clothes and shower and stuff."
"But I want to be clean," Faith pouted, trying her best not to laugh at herself. Pouting definitely didn't suit her.
"Like I said, we'll shower after we do this," Buffy said with a suggestive tone in her voice. "I'll make this worth the effort." She winked at the brunette and started walking the rest of the way to Giles' house.
Faith quickly caught up with her, goofy grin once again plastered on her face. "So you'll make it worth my time huh?" She took hold of her girlfriend's hand again and shook her head. `I'm so whipped already,' she thought to herself. Before Buffy answered her she knocked on Giles' door and smiled at Faith. Faith heard someone coming closer to the door and tried to relinquish her hold on Buffy's hand but the blonde wouldn't let her.
"We might as well just tell them everything. Get it all over with now."
Just then the door opened and the English watcher just stared at the two girls as if they had grown another head. "Buffy…and Faith?"
The blonde just walked past him, dragging Faith with her. "That's why we're her Giles, well because as you can see Faith is here."
"Yes, I can see that," he said as he closed the door behind him and followed the two girls into his living room. He saw that they were holding hands and quickly became confused. Of course he assumed they were here to explain things to him.
"Hey Bu…" Xander's mouth snapped shut when he saw who was standing behind Buffy. He stood up and immediately got defensive. "What the hell is she doing her?"
"Just sit down, and I'll explain." Buffy said flatly. The whole time Faith was still trying to release her hand from Buffy's but the blonde still wouldn't let her. Buffy knew Faith was scared about facing them again and didn't want to make things worse for Buffy, but Buffy wanted Faith to know there was no way she would hide the one she loves from her friends.
Xander quickly noticed they were holding hands and became angrier. "Last I heard she was our enemy, tried to kill us and end the world so why should I sit down? Now your holding hands with her like she's been your best friend since you were five. What the hell is that?" Anya stepped up behind him and placed a hand on his shoulder trying to calm him down.
"They're orgasm friends. What's wrong with that?" she asked almost too innocently. Faith almost choked with the girls bluntness and Buffy just blushed. Xander and Buffy both knew that Anya could sense that sort of thing.
"Is that really true?" Buffy's silence answered his question. "I can't believe you Buffy! How can you forget what she did to us?"
"I didn't forget Xander. If you'd just calm down and let me talk I could explain it to you," Buffy said trying to hide her anger over her friends reaction. He finally complied and Buffy explained how Faith had wakened from her coma and tricked everyone into thinking she left just so she could stay behind to protect Buffy. "She's changed Xander." Buffy glanced at her girlfriend and smiled softly at her. "I love her. Even if you don't like her, can't you at least be civil? I don't want my best friends fighting with my girlfriend."
Xander just threw his hands up in defeat. He really didn't want to fight with Buffy knowing that it would only cause him to loose a friend. "I don't like you Faith," he stated as he looked her right in the eyes. "But if Buffy thinks your different now and loves you, then I'll do my best to get along with you for her. And maybe in time I'll be able to forgive you, but don't expect it anytime soon."
"Fair enough," the brunette said feeling relieved that he didn't rip her apart more.
Giles' who stood behind them the whole time cleared his throat reminding them all that he was still there. "Well that's certainly quite a shock to us Buffy." He then turned his attention to Faith. "And it is always beneficial to have two slayers instead of one."
"So your okay with this?" Buffy asked hopeful. She looked at Giles' as a father figure and his approval was important to her.
"I don't see why it should harm anything. If you love her well, just whatever makes you happy Buffy." As soon as he finished he found Buffy hugging him.
"Thanks Giles, that really means a lot to me." She let go of her hold on them and walked over to Faith and took her hand in her own again. "I know this was really short and all but we just thought we'd stop by and let you know what was going on. Faith needs a shower and stuff so we're just going to go now." Buffy tried her best not to blush as she remembered what she had said to her girlfriend earlier. "We'll talk about it more later okay?"
"Thanks," Faith simply said looking at Xander, then Giles before she was pulled out of the house by Buffy. "Are you that eager to get your hands on me again?" Faith let a cocky smile form on her lips as the door shut behind them.
"No, well yes, but no that's not the reason we left. I just thought I'd try to make that as short and painless for you as possible. And aren't you glad we got it over with now?" She poked Faith playfully in the stomach.
"Well I suppose it is nice knowing that the scoobs won't try to kill me while I'm sleeping one day." The two girls walked until they were out of the sight of Giles' house. As soon as they were Faith stopped to pull Buffy in her arms and kiss her tenderly.
"See, and now all you have to worry about is loving me," Buffy said giving her girlfriend a gorgeous smile that she knew would melt the brunette.
"Well that should be easy enough," Faith said softly as she kissed Buffy's neck. "I could do that forever and a day."
Buffy turned so she was looking Faith in the eyes and a serious look spread upon her features. "Promise?" she asked very softly.
Faith took Buffy's hand in her own and lifted it to kiss her palm. She returned her gaze to Buffy's and smiled softly. "I promise B. I thought it would scare the hell out of me. And I know I'll mess up along the way, but I'll never stop loving you. I want to be yours for all time B."
Buffy wrapped her arms around Faith and held the taller girl to her tightly. "I really like how that sounds Faith," she whispered.
"Yeah, it is pretty nice huh? But you know, we gotta seal the deal with a kiss now."
Buffy pulled Faith into a kiss and put as much love into it as she could. "For forever," they both said in unison as they broke apart. They stayed in each other embrace in the middle of the street for several moments lost in thought. Both knowing that they were now free to move on from their past, and that the hardest parts were already done. They were both ready to start their new lives. Together.