She was still fuming when she found herself knocking at yet another door – Giles' this time, at least she knew she'd get an answer here. "Come in."
She smirked a little as she pushed the door open, "Giles, inviting people in willy-nilly? You know that better than that."
He glanced up from the book in front of him with a dark smile. "Faith, three things. First, it's a motel – public accommodation renders the need for invitations obsolete to those who might otherwise require them. Second, the door is relatively thin – did you realise you were swearing all the way up the hall? And third, `willy-nilly'? Where on earth did you pick that one up?"
The answering smile was on her face before she realised it and she took a moment to think about that. If anyone had told her a few months ago that she would soon be sharing jokes with Rupert Giles she would have laughed out loud at the absurdity of the suggestion. When she'd arrived back in Sunnydale it was clear that no one had forgotten her actions, they'd just chosen to ignore them in order to concentrate on the upcoming fight. Afterwards though, she'd gradually reconnected with them and been pleasantly surprised to discover they were actually giving her a second chance. None more so than Giles, he'd believed in her when she doubted herself and that thought alone brought a lump to her throat.
Swallowing past it, she felt the smile slowly slip as she realised his belief had been misplaced - again. He'd asked one thing from her and she'd blown it, instantly. It looked as if she'd been right all along; there was no connection between her and Xander. She'd just been a convenient shoulder for him to cry on. Drawing a slightly shaky breath, she told him all about her failure culminating in Xander's outright rejection of her.
"And he hasn't spoken to you since?" Giles' face was inscrutable and Faith again felt the bitterness of failure as she shook her head. "I see." The watcher walked towards the window and stood with his back to her. "Have you tried speaking to him?"
"Where do you think I just came from? He didn't even open the door."
"Yes, but did you speak to him? Have you actually had a conversation since then?"
The question threw her for a moment, of course she had, but he'd made it pretty clear he wasn't interested. Gradually, realisation began to dawn in her, she hadn't actually spoken to him other than the occasional "hey" or "what's up" had she? Without even realising it, she'd let his lack of response make her believe there was no point. The new and improved Faith prided herself on not giving up and yet that's exactly what she had done.
She looked up to see Giles watching her with a knowing expression on his face. "No. I guess I haven't, have I?" she mused. There was no answer from him, not that she really expected one. "So, I should go speak to him shouldn't I?"
She didn't wait for Giles' response; instead she was on her feet and heading for the door, a new sense of resolve driving her. As she opened the door and stepped out into the hall, she gave no outward indication she heard the quiet comment but inside she was glowing. "I knew you could do it."
Her confidence boosted, Faith climbed the stairs once more and stopped outside the non-descript door. She raised her hand to knock but changed her mind; she'd never really been one for the softly-softly approach. Making a fist, she pounded a tattoo on the door and called out, "Xander Harris, you don't get rid of me that easily. Get your sorry ass out here now."