Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy, but I do own Sophie :)
AN: This is the last chapter folks. Don't worry though, 'cause as you know I have another sequel planned. I've also written a little sub-story, titled 'Family Reunion' that is set between this story and the sequel.
When Faith materialised in the middle of the chanting coven, the first thing she saw was Sophie sitting at Giles feet playing with Tara Bear. The teddy, as well as a pair of pyjamas, had turned up on Giles' desk along with a note in Cordelia's handwriting saying that Sophie would need them when she arrived. The little girl looked up, beaming, running to the Dark Slayer as she stepped out of the Witches' circle.
"Auntie Faith!" she cried happily. "Are you okay?"
"Five by five, Little Red" Faith smiled, giving Giles a quick wave before scooping the little girl into her arms and ruffling her hair. "How're you holdin' up?"
"I'm good" Sophie replied. "Have you seen my mommies?"
"Nah, but I don't think you have to be too worried about them kiddo. Your Mommy Willow is the world's most badass wicca, and your Mama Tara's a hell of a lot tougher than anyone gives her credit for."
"I knows they're both safe, but I'm worried abouts..." before Sophie could finish her sentence, Buffy appeared in the witches' circle, distracting a certain Dark slayer.
"B!" Faith beamed, dimples in full display. She shifted Sophie to one arm, and wrapped the other around her lover as she approached. Her smile faded a little when she noticed the slight worry on Buffy's face. "Are you okay baby? Is somethin' wrong?"
"No" said Buffy, shaking her head to pull herself out of her current mindset of 'I think I just witnessed myself going into labor'. "I'm fine, still just a little wigged out from all this time travel stuff." The slayer smiled, but it did nothing to erase the concern that was now present on the faces of Faith, Giles, and even Sophie. "Really guys, I'm okay." Buffy was aved from any further questions by the appearance of Willow and Tara among their fellow witches. Faith set Sophie down to let her run to her mothers.
"I hope you wasn't too worried about me Mama Tara" the little girl smiled as Tara lifted her.
"I was little worried" Tara admitted, smoothing down her daughter's hair from when Faith had ruffled it a few minutes before.
"I'm sorry" Sophie pouted, upset at causing her parents any distress.
"Hey, it's not your fault, sweetie" Willow added, tickling the little girl's stomach. "Besides, we're your mommies. It's our job to worry about you." Sophie giggled, and Faith smiled to see her little niece happy, when her eyes were drawn to the bandage on Tara's head, and a flood of memories rushed into her mind. She felt a little dizzy, and it was now Buffy's turn to be worried.
"Faith, what's wrong?" she cried, panicking a little. "You don't look so good.."
"I feel really dizzy all of a sudden" Faith replied. "I think I need to go lie down..."
"I hear time travel can be quite disorienting" said Giles as he began to lead Buffy and a now very pale Faith to the room he had set up for them. "You're probably having a delayed reaction.." Willow raised an eyebrow as she watched her friends walk away.
"What was all that about?" she said, frowning slightly. Tara of course had some idea what it was about, but couldn't really be sure. Sophie knew exactly what was going on, but said nothing. At the tender age of four, she already had more tact than Anya and the young Cordelia combined.
"Okay, what's up?" Buffy asked, snuggling up next to Faith.
"Nothin', B" Faith replied. "Just got dizzy, that's all." Buffy looked skeptical.
"I know you Faith, and you don't start looking all sick and pale like that for nothing." The slayers voice softened slightly. "And I thought you didn't hide things from me anymore." Faith sighed, giving in.
"Okay. You know that bandage Tara had on her head? Well, she's got a pretty nasty lookin' cut under there, it'll probably leave a scar."
"And.." Buffy interrupted, not reallyn understanding where this story was my going.
"And it's my fault, B."
"You mean you did it?"
"Well no, not exactly, but it is my fault. One time when I was eight my mom threw a vodka bottle at me. That was nothin' unusual, only this time Tara was there and she got in the way tryin' to protect me."
"That is not your fault, Faith. It's anything but your fault, and Tara wouldn't want you thinking it was."
"But she'll have that scar forever, B" said Faith quietly, silent tears streaming down her cheeks. "Scars don't go away."
"Maybe not" whispered Buffy, kissing her girlfriend. "But they do fade over time."
Later that night, after making a call to inform Dawn that they had made it back unharmed, Tara crept into the bedroom she was sharing with Willow and Sophie. Sophie was curled up against Willow, who was gently stroking her daughter's hair.
"Sometimes I wonder if I deserve this" the redhead whispered.
"Deserve what?" asked Tara, slipping into bed beside them.
"You, Sophie, the baby" Willow sighed. "I mean, what if I somehow turn evil again?" she gazed down at Sophie. "I could hurt her."
"How can you be sure?"
"Because you didn't" Tara explained. "Sophie met evil you and you didn't hurt her at all. You saved her life." She paused to let her words sink in. "Besides" she added, leaning over to kiss her wife, "You only became Dark Willow last time because of my death. I'm not going anywhere, so we should be safe." Willow grinned. She liked those odds.
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