If Only You Knew
by Whistler's Girl
Rating: R

Disclaimer: I disclaim to own the creations of Joss. Or anything else for that matter.
Spoilers: References to general BTVS/Angel.
Author's Notes: Sequel to `Love You Enough (To Leave You)', `Gone But Not Forgotten' and `The Right Place To Stay'. This is the final part. Enjoy.

	"When sorrows come, they come not single spies.
	But in battalions!"

		- Hamlet, Shakespeare

Love is term that is thrown around so casually it drives me insane. Love isn't a word you just toss around at anybody just because you feel like it – or at least it shouldn't be. If you're gonna say it, you have to mean it. That's what I believe, anyway.

I'm looking at Faith who's sitting nervously on the edge of the bed, twiddling her thumbs, tapping her feet on the floor. I can feel the nervousness coming off of her in hot waves and even though I wanna comfort her, I just won't let myself. I'm standing against the wall across the room from her, just watching. That's all I can do. Maybe I'm still in shock, I don't know. The silence is deafening.

What makes her think she is welcome here anymore, anyway? It's been a *year* since I heard a word from her, saw her face other than in a photograph. I never bothered trying to contact her in first half of our break up…Faith is the type of person who, when she doesn't want to be found, she won't be found. But I couldn't keep it up – I missed her too much, I loved her too much.

The only connection I've had to her since she left has been through Angel, and even then I learned nothing. He never disclosed anything out of his respect for her and I hated him for it. I knew he saw her occasionally, it was explained in the way he disappeared for days at a time. When he'd go I'd ask Wesley and the others to tell me where Faith was they wouldn't tell me – I begged, I pleaded, I threatened, I bribed. But to no avail – even my world famous incentive didn't work.

It was just recently I really had started to give up on her…and then she came back.

She's avoiding eye contact with me at all costs, like it hurts her to look at me. I know it does – she's easily exposed to guilt, and as far as I'm concerned she can damn well feel it. Yeah Faith, feel the guilt…feel it hard. I hope it strangles you.

I prayed she'd come back, it was all I ever wanted when she said goodbye. And now I'm looking at her, I don't think I can stand the sight of her. It hurts so bad to look at her, it's stomach churning, heart wrenching.

She glances up at me but swiftly looks away again. Damn I missed those eyes, those lips, those hands. I want her to stop trembling, but I don't think she can. Good, suffer.

When I look at Faith I see the reason why I'm living, why I came back. I need to talk to her, I want so much to tell her what's happened to me over the past year. I wanna tell her about Xander and Anya's baby, about how I'm Godmother to the sweetest little thing in the world. I wanna tell her about Dawn's honey of a prom date and her upcoming Graduation. I wanna tell her about Willow and Tara's engagement. But I can't. I just want to talk to her to hear her respond, to hear her voice, or hold her to convince myself that she's real; that she is truly right here, right now.

What do I care? She'll just leave again. It's what she's good at. I said it didn't matter, but I lied. It matters more than anything.

It felt like she literally punched her fist through my chest, grabbed my heart, tore it relentlessly hard from my body and threw it against a brick wall. And when I remember the throbbing pain she left me with, all the blood in my veins rushes to my head and I can't see straight.

Angel told me Faith left me for my own good, but I don't see how that would work? I was happy with Faith, happier than I had ever been, and then she takes it all away because she thinks I can be more content with someone else? I knew Faith never really understood the concept of love before I came along, but I thought I helped her comprehend it. I screwed up real bad somewhere along the line. Story of my life.

She tucks back some stray hair behind her ears and exhales shakily. She wants to say something, I can feel it. If she says `sorry' I'm gonna throw her through that window and watch her hit the steps beneath.

Hell yeah, I'm pissed off! Whadaya expect? She's messing with my emotions – doing exactly what I was warned not to do with hers. There was a point where the love I felt for her turned into pure, passionate hatred. I was seething with hate, true *hate* and I figured that she meant nothing to me in the first place.

That could never be true.

Deep down, I knew I was wrong – as much as I hate to admit it. I can never hate Faith, no matter how much I want her to hurt for tearing my heart out. So she did it for my own good, she thought she was doing the right thing…maybe I'm being irrational when I think she was being selfish. Because I damn well know better than that. Faith was never selfish when we were together, she was always the giver.

I can't help but smile when I remember the daft little things she'd do that made me love her more and more. Like when she'd leave a rose in my shoe for me to find before I left for work; leaving post-it notes on the fridge reading `I love you' and then another on the milk carton reading `No, I really do'; the way she'd play with my hair when watching television; the way she'd lay on top of me if I started snoring, and stay there until I decided to wake up and throw her off; the way she'd write apologetic love messages on the window with her favourite lipstick after we'd had an argument.

Damn – it's choking me up. No, I won't let her do this to me again. I'm not gonna let her waltz back into my life and then waltz straight back out once she gets bored of this whole `missing me' thing. I know what she's like with phases – and I'm not gonna let myself get attached to her all over again just so she can abandon me in a couple of months.

Faith looks up again, finally holding a gaze between us and I know that this hasn't been easy for her either. How could I even contemplate that it could've been? After all this I've been thinking about myself, about how much she's hurt me and not once did I seriously consider whether or not it was killing her inside, too.

Angel told me that it wasn't easy for her to make the decision she made, but being the stubborn ass bitch that I am I was having none of it and refused to believe that maybe – just maybe – she was feeling even a minute bit of pain. Turns out she's been pretty tortured during the break up.

It seems like forever passes us both before either of us speak, and of course I'm the one to break the silence. Forever the chatter box, heartbroken and tormented or not. I ask her why she came back and she tells me she could never stay away forever. I scoff at her, crossing my arms against my chest and daring her to tell me if that's true, then why she left in the first place.

"I left you, B, because I loved you." She sighs. "And I'm back because I still do."

And in their own twisted, demented way those words make more sense to me than anything else. But I still can't keep my mouth shut. I yell at her, screaming and shouting and sobbing, running at her and punching her square in the face. I tell her what she put me through, how she destroyed me completely, how much I hate her for doing what she did, how many tears I've spent on her.

I grab her by the collar of her jacket and throw her across the room into the wall. She slides down easily, sitting on the floor silently. I grab one of the pillows from the bed and throw it at her, demanding that she gets up, threatening her to fight back. I grab another and throw it harder and she lets it hit her. Why isn't she fighting back?! I can't stand this hurt! I just want her to take it all back, I want her to feel it.

I jump across the bed and grab Faith by the arms, pulling her to her feet. I slam her hard against the wall and she lets me, her eyes never connecting with mine. I punch her in the face again, and again. And I want so badly to punch her again but instead I collapse against her, my face burrowed into her shoulder, my fingers clinging onto her – never wanting to let her go. I don't hold back the tears, I just let them flow along with the sobs that barge through my chest.

She wraps her arms around me and brings me down to sit on the bed, holding me, rocking me. I never want to let her out of my sight again – I've lost her so many times now I don't think I could survive it again. I want her to know it. I so badly want her to know it.

"I know," she whispers, "I know."

...continued in For The Moment...

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