Banner made by Bloodytearsoflife

In Pieces

By Ariel Dawn

Summary: Buffy and Anya talk.

Disclaimer: All hail Joss

Author’s note: Thanks to the wonderful BTL who beta’d and made me realise that after such a long time on hiatus from a fic, I really should reread previous chapters.

______________________________

Chapter 10: Movies with the ghost

The sun was setting as Buffy and Spike pulled up outside of Cordelia’s apartment.

“You alright, love?” the vampire asked.

She’d told him everything that had happened at Angel’s office, explained that she hadn’t acted like Faith all, yet. Getting Anya and Xander back together was more important to her than returning to her own body at this point.

“I think you have your priorities in a muddle,” he observed.

All Buffy could do was shrug as she exited the car on her way to talk to Anya. Spike was staying in the car once again, only this time it wasn’t because of Angel, but because Anya couldn’t invite him in.

A knock summoned Anya to the door, her eyes teary and red, her nose runny. Frankly, she’d looked better.

“Oh my god, Anya! How are you?” Buffy said straight off, ignoring the former vengeance demon’s shock at seeing her.

“Go away Buffy. I know why you are here. I’m not going back.”

“He misses you, he’s so sorry! Please Anya, it was all my fault.”

“Really?” Anya questioned. “Did you make him say he’d do you after he ditched me?”

“N…no.”

“Did you make him fall in love with you so that no other girl would be worthy?”

“N…no, but that’s not…”

“Oh, isn’t it? Xander has been fixated on you from the moment he met you. Unattainable you. Cordelia, me, we’re just temporary until you finally change your mind.”

“That’s not true Anya. He loves you.”

“No,” she sniffed. “He misses me, like he misses a security blanket or a teddy bear. And the sex, a teddy bear he can make it with. He never loved me. If he had, he wouldn’t have thrown it all away for a tumble with you.”

“If I hadn’t offered…”

“I would get my heart broken later…”

“I …I really didn’t know…” Buffy concluded.

“That doesn’t surprise me,” Anya responded. “I was going to eat Ben and Jerry’s with the ghost, you want to join us?”

“The ghost?”

______________________________

Faith danced as conservatively as she knew how. The night at the Bronze was turning out to be fun, in a totally sedated way. In a ’there is no way in hell I’m going to get laid’ way.

Xander danced half heartedly beside her as Tara and Willow cuddled against each other on the couches nearby.

Even though there were men she would dance with in a heartbeat next to her, Faith kept her attention on Xander, her pseudo friend. He was supposed to be her focus.

As the song ended and another one started, Xander moved towards the couches that the group had claimed, leaving Faith alone on the dance floor.

Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea, getting him out here so soon after his break up, Faith noted as she followed him back to the couches, forsaking potential company of maybe cute boys.

“No,” directed the brown haired teen. “You should stay, dance.”

A smile graced Faith’s lips, before she shook her head.

“No, you need company…and support. I’m supporto gal,” Faith responded. “Ooh, do you need a beverage? I could be beverage gal too.”

“Beverage girl can stand down,” smiled Xander.

“You sure?”

“Completely. I’m just going to sit and be seated. You go dance the dance of the carefree and body snatched.”

“And supporto gal?” Faith asked.

“Supporto gal can remain on standby.”

Faith smiled. “Can do.”

Over the din, neither Faith nor Xander noticed that Faith’s voice had changed.

Faith headed back out to the dance floor with Xander’s blessing.

She was out there a total of two minutes when she felt hands around her waist. This is more like it, she thought.

She moved with the music and against this unknown groper. Buffy like movement of course.

Spinning around to see her dance partner, Faith looked up into brown eyes that held her fast within his gaze.

Riley eyes.

Faith gulped, casting an insecure glance at Willow. Willow who had told Riley to back off. But Willow was busy with Tara and Xander.

“Riley, you really shouldn’t be here,” Faith noted cautiously pulling away from the hulk of man dancing with her.

“I was here when you arrived, you look…you look good, Buffy,” he whispered in her ear. “You look beautiful.”

“Riley,” she complained. “I’m not…”

“Look, I know what happened, you might not forgive me for it, but I’m willing to grovel. I love you. Please don’t cut me out of your life because of something that happened during a spell. Please…” he begged.

“I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“’Cause I’m not Buffy, I’m still Faith.”

“What?” Riley questioned, astonished. “You can’t be Faith, you look, all over, like Buffy. You sound like Buffy. I watched you for a half an hour trying to decide if you were Buffy or not. You are Buffy.”

“What colour are my eyes?” Faith asked in a leap of hope that at least those had stayed the same.

“Brown,” Riley answered, confirming what she hoped.

“What colour are Buffy’s eyes?”

“Blue?” he replied as if not absolutely sure.

“Green, Riley,” Faith corrected. “Her eyes are green. No wonder she doesn’t like you right now.”

“When is this thing going to be over?” the former soldier complained.

“I’m thinking soonish,” Faith observed walking off the dance floor and towards Xander and Willow.

Ignoring Riley was a little difficult, given the fact that he kept trying to grab her hand and pull her back towards him. Flicking his hands away, he still didn’t get the hint. With one last attempt, he grabbed her upper arm and pulled her harshly towards him.

Faith spun around and faced him, not at all happy.

“Don’t touch me!” she barked at him, her voice now exactly like Buffy’s.

He didn’t release her.

Narrowing her eyes at him, she stared him down. “If you want to keep that hand, you’ll let me go, ‘cause the next thing I do will be to rip your arm off your body.”

“Overload on the imagery, Faith,” piped up Xander stepping towards the two demon hunters.

“Only the truth,” she added still staring at Riley. “I’m the psycho one.”

With a look of resignation, Riley finally let her arm go, and stalked off towards the bar.

“He doesn’t ever get the point does he?” Faith asked.

“He’s what we call dense,” added Xander. “How about beverage girl and I blow this popsicle stand? I’ve got a fridge full of fruit punch, and a selection of Jackie Chan movies in my basement.”

Faith smiled. “That sounds like a really great plan, Xander. But I can’t.”

“Not into the Jackie Chan oeuvre?” he asked.

“No,” answered Faith, “I’m stuck to one of the cuddling lesbians.” Faith pointed to Willow on the couch with Tara, both engaged in close conversation. “I have to stay here until Willow leaves. It’s the way the spell works.”

Xander nodded.

“I’ll just go back to my hovel then.”

“Sorry.”

Faith watched him go and it seemed that he looked sadder as he stepped away from his friends, or pseudo friends. Willow hadn’t even said good bye to him.

______________________________

The movie credits rolled on the screen of Cordelia’s TV. The ice cream had long since been eaten, except one last spoonful that neither girl could eat.

“So you aren’t coming back at all?” Buffy asked, her voice now completely Faith’s dulcet tones.

“Well maybe to get my clothes,” Anya responded.

“What are you going to do?” Buffy questioned. “You’ll have to start a new life here.”

“What exactly do I do in Sunnydale?”

Buffy paused before answering, but Anya cut her off.

“Nothing. I do nothing. I am nothing. I was the quirky ex-demon girlfriend of one of your friends. No one will miss me. Willow doesn’t like me, Giles thinks I’m annoying. What is there left for me?”

There was another pause as Buffy tried desperately to think of something to say.

“So ya, I’ll stay here. Cordelia seems to think that I could be useful to Angel Investigations.”

“You could be useful to us,” Buffy finally said.

“I’m not coming back to soothe your feelings of guilt.”

“I know,” Buffy responded sadly.

The apartment filled with a sad silence and Buffy thought that perhaps it was time to leave. She had accomplished nothing and Spike was probably really bored. She was about to push herself off the couch when the door to the apartment opened, revealing Cordelia, Wesley, and Angel in the hallway.

“Faith!” Angel exclaimed in that way of his, causing Buffy to roll her still green eyes.

“Hello, I thought we went over this earlier,” said Buffy, annoyed, as Angel strode into the room. “Not Faith.”

“Oh, sorry,” Angel answered. “I mean, it just throws me, you know.”

Buffy stood up and pirouetted in place, giving Angel a good look. “Fine, whatever. You found me, happy now?”

“No,” he said with a grumpy look on his face.

Buffy looked at her former boyfriend with pity. He looked so annoyed and distraught.

“Are you going back with her?” Angel finally said, breaking the silence.

It took a moment for Buffy to realise he wasn’t speaking to her.

“No,” Anya answered.

Buffy watched the reactions of the people around her. The mood seemed to lift a little bit. Apparently the AI crew wanted Anya too.

“So I’m done here. I’ll go back to Sunnydale to find my body all magically bound to Willow. I don’t want to get back to find my hands have committed murder.”

“There’s no guarantee that Faith is going to start murdering people again,” Angel countered.

“Well, if sleeping with my boyfriend and trying to kill my mom was any indication, I’d say she’s on track,” Buffy complained. “Look, I didn’t come here to talk to you or even to get the prerequisite lecture on how you think Faith can be reformed, because, hey you were reformed. I came to talk to Anya. That’s the long and the short. ‘Kay? And now I’m done. So I’ll just go back to Sunnydale and work on getting back in my own body.”

Angel reached out and grabbed her hand. “Are you sure you don’t need help?” he asked.

“They had it all figured out before I left,” Anya added. “They don’t need any help, in fact I’d say that Buffy is finally getting some stuff right. She dumped that Riley boy. He was insipid.”

Cordelia laughed and muttered something about Buffy’s taste in guys. Buffy smiled, her agreement to Anya’s words lit up Faith’s face.

“Glad to hear it,” Angel grumbled.

“Yep, I’m all realization girl. Now, I’ll just go back to my town, and get out of your town, and fix this.” Buffy stepped out into the hallway past Wesley and Angel only to be confronted by a worried Spike.

“What the bleedin’ hell is taking so damn long?” he asked, before realising who was in the doorway of Cordelia’s apartment.

Both Angel and Wesley’s eyes went wide. This was not going to go well.

“What’s he doing here?” Angel barked.

“Buffy dumped Riley for Spike,” Anya answered when no one else would. “They haven’t had sex yet, from what I gather, but it’s only a matter of time. I think it has to do with the whole looking like Faith thing.”

“And here I was looking to make a clean getaway,” Buffy sighed. She turned to Cordelia. “You think the ghost could make a distraction so I could get out of here?”

“He really doesn’t like to be called ‘the ghost’,” Cordelia answered.

The two vampires started their posturing.

“I can be where I bloody well choose to be, Peaches,” Spike spat in Angel’s face. “Helping the Slayer out with her friend, aren’t I?”

“Buffy would never let you help her out,” Angel stated matter of factly. “Maybe Buffy isn’t working on all cylinders, maybe you did this to her?”

“Oh my god, would you two quit it?” Buffy yelled. “I am in my right mind,. I asked Spike to drive me here. Would you please just…”

Buffy didn’t have time to finish what she was saying before a wave of dizziness over took her, sending her to the floor of Cordelia’s hallway.

_________________________________________

Tbc…

Next Back