Breaking and Entering
Buffy didn’t know how long it was they waited for Faith to show up, standing outside her door clutching trash bags of borrowed and new clothes, but it was pretty damn long. An hour passed and Buffy gave the door a helping hand in opening. Much to Spike’s displeasure. Funny to think he used to be a varied breaking and entering offender himself.
Faith’s apartment was empty. Still. Void of life. Not surprising really, but still somewhat sad. The girl didn’t even have a bed, just a mattress on the floor. There was no couch, no furniture of any kind. Just a TV, a fridge and a few belongings scattered around the place.
Buffy gave Spike a look.
He had the good grace to look sheepish. “I’m sure she’s in the process of…renovating?”
“Yeah,” Buffy dumped her bags in the middle of the room. “I think she should start by tearing the place down and rebuilding it.”
Spike laughed softly and looked around. “Play nice, Buffy.”
“Can’t promise that.”
“Give it a trial run?” he looked her in the eyes.
She saluted him. “Aye, aye, boss.”
He hauled up her bags and she watched as he moved them to one side of the room, clearing a path for her stuff. He began looking around the apartment for something but she didn’t know what. Eventually he sighed and walked over to one of the windows, pulling the blind up he opened it. It was so stiff he had to exert some force.
“Sweet fresh air,” Buffy mused, the stale smell of the apartment immediately lessening. “Where could she have gone? It’s bright daylight.”
Spike spent a moment looking out the window, feeling the sun on his protected skin. “Maybe she didn’t come back last night.”
“More than likely.”
Spike glanced at her over her shoulder. “Girl likes to have fun. Nothin’ wrong in that.”
“Sleeping around isn’t exactly right, either.”
He turned around. “Says who?”
“Jesus and Santa Claus,” Buffy responded off-handed as she began to explore Faith’s belongings nosily.
Mostly it was CD’s and old newspapers and magazines. She came across a silver bracelet with her name engraved on it and wondered who had given Faith such a thing. Buffy crouched down and still fingering the bracelet looked up as the door swung open with a creak.
“Settling in?” Faith folded her arms loosely and looked over the rim of her sunglasses at them.
Buffy stood slowly and let her eyes run over the vampire. Tight jeans, scuffed brown boots, a dark red tank top. She carried in her arms a brown bag.
Spike took a step towards her. “Sorry to impose. It’s good of you to do this for her.”
“Her is right here,” Buffy said, assuming a defensive pose.
“Isn’t she just,” Faith walked into the room, around Spike, past Buffy towards the fridge. “I went out to get some stuff to eat.”
Buffy followed her with her eyes. “Mmm blood. Yummy,” she said with distaste.
The muscles in Faith’s back tightened visibly, her shoulder blades jutting out, as she began to pull things from the bag. Normal things. Carrots. Apples. Juice. All very human things to eat.
And very obviously for her and not Faith.
Buffy opened her mouth but nothing came out mostly because she had no idea what to say. Spike shot her a look of strong disapproval and went over to Faith, helping her unpack. The Slayer was met with both their backs and nothing more. She felt incredibly embarrassed and also like a heinous bitch. This was Faith. Faith was not her best friend, Faith had done a lot of bad things to her in the past…but Faith was letting her stay. She had to be at least civil.
“Spike, you should get back to Mya,” Buffy said as levelly as she could.
He turned around, looked at his watch. “I can stay a bit longer. Get you settled in.”
“No, I’ll be fine.” She smiled in what she hoped was a reassuring way.
Faith leaned against the wall, taking her sunglasses off. “The girl will be fine. I’ll give her the grand tour and then we’ll roast marshmallows and have pillow fights, ‘kay?”
Spike mumbled something underneath his breath but made his way out. As he walked past he gave Buffy’s arm a soft squeeze and then left and she watched his exit. A long moment passed and the Slayer turned back to the dark-haired woman who stood across the room from her.
“He’s protective,” she found the strange need to explain.
Faith shrugged with one shoulder and went back to unpacking the food she had bought. Buffy felt about as awkward as she’d ever felt in her life. She shed her jacket and draped it onto…the floor. There was nothing else to drape it onto. Then after a moment of deep breathing she walked up beside Faith with an expectant look upon her face.
Faith glanced at her then away before doing a double take. “What? I got somethin’ on my face?”
For once, not Buffy thought but didn’t voice it.
“Thanks for the invite,” she managed to croak.
Faith sighed and shrugged her shoulders. “Spike pretty much saved my life a bunch of times. I couldn’t say no. Even if I really, really wanted to.”
Buffy scowled. “Well, thanks anyway.”
They said nothing for a while and Buffy pondered again at how crappy this situation was. She reminded herself to never room with Faith again. And what with prison looming that probably wouldn’t be an issue anyway.
Faith seemed to read her mind. “You think you’ll get off? The charges, I mean.”
“Spike and Norman seem optimistic,” she answered distantly.
The vampire cocked her head. “And you?”
Buffy sighed and shrugged slowly. “I’m…not really thinking about it. Blocking it out. I’m sure it’s the worst thing I can do but...”
“But it’s easier that way,” she nodded. “Keep your mind off it. Willow and Xander are around right? That should help.”
Buffy nodded slowly. “I haven’t seen all that much of them. I should make more of an effort…I’m being an asshole. But…but all I can do right now is try and keep things simple. I’ve got a lot to find out about. It’s hard to be around people I used to know so well who I don’t really know at all anymore.”
Faith paused. “Makes sense,” was all she said before kicking off her boots and slumping down onto her mattress.
“I wish it did,” Buffy said softly to herself.
+ + +
“So, what’s the plan?”
Spike continued to stare at his beer bottle as he answered his daughter. “For what?”
“Getting Buffy off.”
He did look up then, eyes wide. “What?”
Mya frowned then made a face. “Eww, dad. Off the murder charge. Ack, scar me for life why don’t you.”
“Oh,” he breathed, looking back down at his beer.
In truth he had been wondering the same thing. About the murder charge. And nothing else. At all. He honestly didn’t know what to do. Sure, they more or less had The Council’s backing but that wouldn’t be enough. They needed something else, something more. They’d need excellent character witnesses too. Which wasn’t the problem. The problem was that Buffy had killed that vampire and they had a dozen or so witnesses to the crime, plus bodily remains.
And they had Norman Wagner, wonder lawyer.
This was all going down the crapper.
Spike met her eyes. “I don’t know.”
Mya’s eyebrows rose. “Oh. Okay. I thought you’d have an ingenious and devious plan.”
“You are,” she nodded. “But you’re also resourceful. You’ll come up with something.”
Spike smiled. “How’d you know?”
“’Cos I pretty much rule.”
Spike’s smile widened and he was granted an equally bright one from his girl. Still, he couldn’t help but wish he had more faith in himself. This was going to be far from easy. Nothing with Buffy was ever easy. He should have remembered that. He remembered everything.
He wished she was with him right then. Sitting across from him and pretending not to care that she was in trouble. The house was already beginning to feel empty without her.
“She’s very pretty,” Mya said.
He blinked. “Who?”
“Oh,” he nodded. “Right.”
She sat down on the arm of his chair. “I wouldn’t…I mean, you can…it’s alright that you still love her.”
And there it was. Someone had said it and it was his daughter. He didn’t know what to say, what to think, how to act. He and Buffy were always very much just him and Buffy. No one else had ever really been involved, been privy to what went on with them. He’d never really had anyone to talk to about her, about what he felt for her. For that person to come along and for it to be Mya seemed strange and unusual.
Spike looked away. “Mya, it’s complicated.”
“It always is. Deal with it.”
“Why do you act like an annoying know-it-all?” Spike asked.
“I learnt it from my dad,” she grinned.
He grunted, sipped his beer. “I think it’s bed time for you.”
“It’s six o’clock, I’m sixteen, so you can go to bed but I’m staying right about here,” she flopped down onto the couch next to him.
Spike sighed and slipped an arm around her shoulders. “You’re the boss.”
“I am, aren’t I?”
“…Now that was just unattractive…”
+ + +
Buffy slept on Faith’s mattress with Faith snoring next to her and looked up at the ceiling. She sighed.
“This is just unattractive.”
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