Girlfriend

That Thing That Happened… Chapter 5
That Thing That Happened That Time That’s Really No Big Deal
Chapter 5: The Big Deal

A rather firm knock is heard on Faith’s door and she gets up to answer it.

“Yeah…?”

“One eyed maid service, guaranteed to clean your room without depth perception.”

Faith smiles at Xander’s greeting and goes over to open it. The door swings open and Xander is standing on the other side with a slightly serious smile on his face.

“Hey Faith, how’s it going?”

The way Xander seems intently interested in the answer as if finding out would determine anything he might say next has Faith raising one eyebrow at him.

“Uh, can’t complain, I guess…”

He seems happy with the answer.

“Well, you could, but I don’t think it would do much good.”

Faith sorta half grins at Xander’s joke and shrugs.

“Yeah you’re probably right. So, what’s up? Is there something to kill creeping around somewhere?”

Xander smiles without any of the nervousness of earlier.

“Nope, just me and the one-armed man, and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t kill this Cyclops.”

He points to his good eye to make his point.

“Don’t worry, you’re safe.”

“Okay, cool, but uh… the reason I came by is because Buffy’s kinda hoping that she could speak to you about something.”

Faith’s curious look finds itself more curiosity.

“And you’ve gone back to being B’s errand boy?”

Xander’s slightly offended by the implication but shrugs it off.

“I made an exception in this case because Buffy’s kinda hoping to talk to Satsu too and she thought the idea of coming to get both of you herself might make things look bad. Willow’s off looking for Satsu.”

Faith makes an attempt at being confused.

“Why would B need to talk to me and Satsu? We barely know each other.”

Xander smiles at Faith’s attempt to protect what’s going on between the three slayers.

“Buffy told me all about what’s been going on and it’s okay. I wanna put it out there between us that I don’t hold it against you for what happened and I’m not gonna come down on any of ya. I’ve made my fair share of colossal relationship mistakes. Better the three of you and not me.”

The dark slayer can’t help but agree with his logic on the subject and sorta shrugs.

“Guess that makes sense.”

Xander motions towards outside with his head.

“So, you gonna come with me to see Buffy or am I gonna have to call in a few slayers to carry you?”

Faith smiles and shoves Xander gently to try and get him out of the way. He gets the message and steps out of the doorway so that Faith can walk through and then Xander starts leading the way. A few moments of not really uncomfortable silence pass as they walk down the hall together.

“So, since you know everything and all that. I’m guess you’re okay with Buffy going muffy diving?”

Xander shrugs and sorta smiles.

“Hey, if I can live with my best friend who I’ve known from when we were in footy pyjamas and broken yellow crayons doing it, then I think I can deal with my other best friend who it feels like I’ve known just as long doing it.”

Faith cocks her head and smiles in agreement.

“And, you know, if Buffy happens to choose to record the next time she decides to do that with someone and the tape just HAPPENS to end up on my desk in my room… I’m not sure I would object.”

That makes Faith laugh a little since something tells Faith he’s telling the truth.

“Right…”

“And I’d be more than happy to extend that random chain of events that might NEVER happen to anything you might wanna do.”

Again, Faith laughs a little.

“Well, if I ever get that urge and I’m fairly certain it won’t since I’ve been there and done that without the last part, I’ll be sure to let you know.”

He points at Faith in an attempted cool guy pointing kinda way, his thumb and forefingers in an L shape, as he responds.

“Much appreciated…”

“I’m sure you’ve got the same deal going with Red.”

“Yeah, not so much. And by the way, I’m gonna give out some pre-emptive advice about dealing with the Willster. Do your best to be diplomatic around her would ya?”

Faith looks at her walking partner curiously.

“Why’s that?”

Xander shrugs a little.

“Will’s got her own issues about Buffy’s current sexual escapades, and hearing that you’re making it more complicated doesn’t make her like you any more than she already does.”

The one-eyed man with an eye patch slows down as they come up on a particular room and Faith assumes that they’ve made it. Just as they stop in front of it, Willow and Satsu are seen heading their way and they stop to wait for the other two to get there.

“Gotcha, thanks for the heads-up Z-man.”

“Any time…”

Two less than happy expressions meet Faith as the other two in the hallway catch up and stop at the doorway to the conference room. Faith makes an attempt to give Willow a serious smile without seeming smug.

“Hey Willow…”

Willow’s eyes sorta narrow at Faith a bit.

“Faith…”

They don’t say much more to each other as Satsu doesn’t even bother with pleasantries and goes right inside the conference room. Faith looks at Xander and Willow while she shrugs.

“I guess that means we can go in.”

She follows Satsu inside to a rather small conference room, a not terribly long table in the middle with chairs on all sides and a couple couches and chairs on the other side of the room from the table. It’s in one of the chairs that’s facing the couch that Buffy is sitting. She looks up to see Faith and Satsu have come in and stands up to meet them.

“Uh, hi…”

Silence follows Buffy’s greeting and she eventually shifts her weight uncomfortably back and forth on her feet at the silence.

“C-could we sit?”

Satsu heads straight for the couch opposite Buffy’s seat and even completely cuts Faith off in the process. Buffy and Faith glance at each other but Buffy quickly looks away, trying not to look like what Satsu just did bothered even though it’s clear on her face. Faith makes her way over to one of the chairs opposite Buffy, choosing not to sit with Satsu for safety reasons, and sits down.

“Thanks for being here, I wasn’t sure you’d come. It kinda seems like I’ve made both your lives worse since I came along. I wouldn’t have blamed you if you’d just said `Screw me’ and not come.”

Satsu decides now is a good time to comment.

“Been there, done that…”

Buffy looks at Satsu with a painful expression and feeling before lowering her gaze from both of them and attempts to talk about why they’re all here.

“So, uh… I wanted to talk to both of you, partly because I wanted you both to know that I feel really horrible about what’s been going on the past couple days because I know it’s been mostly my fault and I hope that on some level it makes you both feel better to know how bad I feel about everything.”

She looks at both of the people sitting across from her separately and neither of them says a word to respond, both of them with slightly ashamed expressions on their faces.

“I’m sorry for any hurt that I may have caused either of you because I was trying to act like what happened… between the three of us… wasn’t a big deal. That was wrong, and I’m sorry. Because it WAS a big deal and still is, and trying to act like it wasn’t made life harder for everyone, especially me even though this isn’t really even about me. I hope that you can forgive me for it.”

Again, Buffy is greeted by nothing but silence at her words. Faith looks down with more shame and Satsu just seems to tense up while looking less angry but sadder than before.

“And… since it is a really big deal I’ve been thinking a hell of a lot about what to do about this so that everyone can live with themselves afterwards. So, after thinking about it a lot and trying to see it from all different kinds of angles, I’ve come to a really important decision about everything.”

Buffy pauses before continuing.

“Faith…”

Faith and Buffy look at each other across the space that’s between them and both of their expressions are kinda unreadable which makes Satsu tense and really nervous.

“What happened the other day, with the kissing? Obviously, there’s something there between us and it’s really powerful. I’m not sure how powerful exactly and to be honest, it scares the hell out of me, so I don’t really want to go anywhere near it because I’m not sure finding out is such a good idea. But with our history and everything, I don’t think it really goes beyond something physical, and I can’t do only the physical again. That only leads to badness.”

Buffy turns her attention to Satsu, who has absolutely no idea how to feel about what Buffy just said and is suddenly deathly afraid of what Buffy might say next.

“Satsu… the night we had together was incredible. I’ve never felt so completely connected to someone even though I didn’t realize at the time how connected we were to each other.”

Satsu smiles, suddenly expecting a lot of what Buffy says next.

“But I don’t think I feel the same need to connect with you the way we did that night anymore. Because connecting to you like that isn’t the kind of connection I want to have with you. It’s something different. I think… more than anything what I feel for you is friendship. A deep friendship which is something I’ve never really felt before. I don’t hate that part of us and I’ve probably ruined the friendship by letting things go where they went, but I’d really still like to try and find a way to have that with you. I know that’s probably not what you were expecting, and probably not what you really want, and I’m sorry for that, but it’s the way I feel.”

Tears well up in Satsu’s eyes for what’s probably been the hundredth time in the past few days and neither of the two people in the room with her are entirely sure what she’ll do next. Suddenly, she gets up and faces Buffy, looking at Faith briefly before coming back to Buffy and exploding.

“SCREW YOU!!!”

Then Satsu takes off, leaving the two of them behind in the conference room. There’s nothing but silence in the room for a while before Faith speaks up.

“She took that well.”

Buffy glares at Faith before getting up and heading for the door slowly.

“Shut up Faith, before I go find myself a really sharp knife.”

And for the first time in a while, Faith is the one to be left alone in a room all by herself to deal with the long, unending silence.