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The Queen (BtVS - Chapter sixteen)

There once was a girl
Always so many thanks to    slaymesoftly   for the grammar.




16. Touched





Buffy returned to the house with Spike. Smiling, she picked up her daughter. Faith and Angel had taken care of Annie while she was gone and now the vampire was free to go out in the garden. Annie wanted to follow him.

“The uncle looks sad,” she murmured worried.

“I’m going to talk to him,” her mother replied.

Faith was sitting on the couch, silent and almost indifferent.

“I’ll go talk to Angel,” Buffy replied a little louder.

“Go ahead. You don’t need my permission.”

“Listen …”

“Go talk to Peaches, pet. We’ll stay here with Annie.”

Buffy gave her little girl to Spike and went into the garden.






The wild plants in the garden were glowing like emeralds in the dark. Buffy closed the door behind her and walked toward Angel. He was sitting in an old rusty swing. His expression was melancholy and his skin was pale and luminous.

“We should think about taking care of these plants,” he murmured at some point. “We could have a real garden …”

Buffy took a deep breath. “I’m sorry,” she said sincerely. “I was feeling … I shouldn’t have said those things. I really am sorry.”

Angel sighed.

“You hurt me,” he confessed in a low voice. “I know it’s difficult for you to accept Faith but I really wanted a different reaction. I wanted to know that you’re happy for me – that you understand. I did it, with you …”

“And I know and I’m grateful for that.”

“Is it so hard to accept that I’m happy with another person? My joy a burden too great to bear?”

Buffy shook her head. She sat down in the swing and took Angel’s hands in her own.

“No, it’s not like that. I’m happy if you’re not too happy.”

The vampire chuckled.

“I guess that some part of me still wants to hold you tight forever,” she explained honestly. Her eyes were still shiny with tears. “You were my first love; I’ve never forgotten you. Yet I found the right person for me and I want the same for you. You deserve it. With Faith it’s very complicated … we fought so much and whenever we try to be civilized adults there is still this feeling of defeat or something. It’s stupid – I realize it. But I can promise that I’ll work to change things, if it makes you feel better.”

Angel took a deep breath.

“We’re not … exactly lovers, you know?
It’s really complicated. You know what I become when my relationships go too well and I’m no longer used to … it was you and then Cordy and … I don’t know, really! Faith helps me. She understands and she acts just as a friend. I don’t know if we’re ever gonna be a couple … but I would like to let things go on their way.”

“That’s all right. I promise to contact Willow to solve … your problem. Maybe she’ll fix you for good now. She’s a goddess.”

“I noticed.”

Buffy smiled despite her red eyes.

Angel kissed her hair.






Spike and Angel were entertaining Annie in the main room, while Buffy was in the kitchen slicing some potatoes for the salad. The dinner was almost ready.

Faith went into the kitchen.

“So, B … what I should do?” she asked in her best neutral tone.

“You can take the lettuce salad and add some lemon to it. Do you like lemon in your salad?”

Faith bit her lips, puzzled.

“So am I supposed to stay?”

“Yes,” Buffy answered. “I’m a guest as much as you, and Angel and Spike invited you in. I have no right to send you away,”

“But you want to.”

Buffy dropped the potatoes and turned to look Faith.

“No,” she said simply. “No, I don’t want to. Things between us have always been … problematic, I guess. And confusing, no doubt. I tend to see you as the person who tries to steal my possessions or affections or whatever. And you probably see me as a spoiled child who doesn’t deserve all the things she’s got. I think we should solve our issues. For starters, I’m sorry I acted like a bitch. Seeing you … made me shake a bit,”

“It always does. I have the great skill to piss you off even from a long distance!” Faith joked. “Angel cares about your approval,” she said more seriously. “I wouldn’t be able to replace you in his heart.”

Buffy shook her head.


“This isn’t about replacement. It’s creating new spaces. And whateve you two will have … would be different from him and me in the most amazing ways.”

“I understand now,” Faith murmured. “For I long time I hated and envied you. In a way I believed that you were responsible for all my failures and I thought I had the right to be loved just like you. That’s the reason I took your place and – uhmbody.”


“I know.”

“But this envy stuff is childish and stupid. And hating you so much kinda destroys my liver. I just only hurt myself in the end. I just know now that I don’t want to be Buffy … because being you is the equivalent of another high degree of solitude. Every day, now, I see you sacrifice so many things for our army and I can understand most of the pain. I admire you for that.”

Buffy nodded her thanks. A tear slipped down her face.

“Thank you,” she replied. “I admire you too.”

“For what?”

“For your courage,” she said sincerely. “Because you always face your demons. I know from experience that it isn’t the easiest task. And you can kill a bunch of vamps but it would be easier than dealing with a personal problem. You are strong.”

“I’m a slayer.”

Buffy smiled. She picked again her knife and finished her job with the potatoes.

“You’re different,” she murmured thoughtfully.

Faith stroked her hair. “I have a few scars and a …”

“You’re an adult, I mean.”

“We both are.”






The dinner was peaceful and intimate. Around midnight the guests made their way into the garden to admire the fireworks. Buffy picked up her daughter and rested her head on Spike’s shoulder. He made her wish for something showing her the bright lights in the sky. Angel walked over to Faith and hugged her timidly.





Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
batheart83
Feb. 14th, 2013 09:25 am (UTC)
I love this part so much. Your story is amazing. Sincerely yours Batheart83.
kikimay
Feb. 14th, 2013 11:09 am (UTC)
Grazie mille!!
batheart83
Feb. 14th, 2013 07:27 pm (UTC)
De rien <3
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )