(and okay, so they don't exactly know this is what I'm doing with my time, but hey it's not like I've got anything else to do...)
They’ve got a routine going, a schedule, and they’re keeping to it despite what happened, despite who’s been hurt. Maybe it keeps them sane.
She’s not part of it. She never has been.
She watches the sun filter through the kitchen blinds, she knows it’s striping her face with darkness and light, not one or the other. She guesses it’s how they all see her.
She guess it’s why they keep her shut out.
It doesn’t matter though, not really, she’s here to do a job – to make a difference. So she’s not part of the routine, who needs routine?
Buffy’s ready to snap, Faith can see it in the way she’s standing, the way she’s holding herself. But not in her eyes because she hasn’t looked up since she walked in. Dawn pushes for an answer and Faith knows it’s the wrong time. She talks to the younger girl, deflects the question, distracts her.
She doesn’t know if it’s the right thing to do, she knows neither will thank her for it, but she also knows how precarious a line Buffy’s walking. She made a mistake, other people paid for it. Other people got hurt.
Buffy’s ready to snap.
The music flows over her, seeping into her soul. She wants to let it, but she holds herself back. She can’t afford to cut loose, can’t afford to lose herself. Not here, not now. Maybe never.
She focuses on the girls; laughing, losing themselves in the moment. Would it be so wrong to do the same? To let the world fade away until all that’s left is the driving bass matching the need in her to be free? She shakes her head, not here. Not now.
She can’t let the music take her. She’s got too much to do first.
What if someone had gotten hurt?
She saw the warning flag but she didn’t let it stop her. Someone had gotten hurt, Faith had, but that didn’t matter did it? Just like it seemed like Molly and Rona and even Xander getting hurt didn’t matter. All Buffy saw was that she’d gone behind her back. Taken the initiative.
She knew that Buffy was closing down, shutting herself away, she’d both been there and done the time for it, she knew she should walk away but she couldn’t stop herself. She was tired of being the good little soldier. She retaliated.
He was trying to figure her out, trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. She almost wanted to make it easier for him but she realized that would depend on her knowing who she was in the first place.
She wasn’t even close to figuring that one out.
He had this whole mysterious act going but she had him nailed from moment one. Guy was an adrenaline junkie, out for the thrill of the fight, trying to prove something. Trying to get himself killed. She knew the feeling.
She dropped the cigarette and smiled. Two of a kind.
She reeled in shock. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go down, she was here to help them – not to lead them. That was Buffy’s job.
Faith watched as Buffy walked away holding her head high, defiant, cut to the core but hiding it. She wanted to follow her, to make the connection, to bring her back home. But something stopped her.
She wasn’t a leader, she didn’t want the power, the burden of being the one to send these girls to what would likely be their deaths. But she didn’t want to force it back onto unwilling shoulders.