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Reply to Gale

Posted to the Roswell Slash list October 2, 2000

TITLE: Bitch
AUTHOR: Gale Dumont
RATING: R, because I use one stinking F-word. Sue me.
DISCLAIMER: If they were mine, I'd never get out of bed. I'd just let them go to work.
PAIRING: Isabel/Faith. Just letting y'all know, in case you're not Buffy fans. *So* not canon.
SUMMARY: You know what's fun? Crossovers. God knows I'm writing enough of the damn things these days. And for some reason, these two work for me. Maybe it's the attitudes. They both make being a bitch look so *good*...<eg>
DEDICATED: To Eliza and Katherine, for the lovely mental pictures; and Morphea, for making me drool via e-text.

Faith didn't even look up from polishing the sword at the statuesque blonde's entrance. "I hate my job," she snarled, stomping over to the couch and throwing herself onto it.

"Poor baby," the brunette mock-pouted, unable to keep from smiling. "What did Eduardo do this time?"

"Photographed my bad side." An evil grin crossed her lips. "So I broke his car."

Blood-red lips returned the grin. "That's my girl," she said, reaching over to run her hand along sleek blonde hair.

"I learned from the best," Isabel murmured, and leaned in to kiss her lover.

Champagne and wildflowers and fresh grass. Faith always wondered how someone from a sparse desert state like New Mexico could taste like grass, and summer, and all the innocent things that Faith -- dark-haired, dangerous, ferally beautiful Faith -- had stopped believing in when she was a child.

Isabel drew back, and Faith noted with pleasure that her usually impeccable makeup was mussed. "You dreamt about her again last night," she said softly.

Faith's lips thinned. "You said you weren't going to go into my dreams again."

"And you said you were over her," Isabel shot back. "You said you didn't miss --"

"Don't say it."

" -- Buffy," she finished, meeting the other woman's gaze. "Do you still love her?"

"We've been over this," Faith said wearily. "I love you now. Can't that be enough?"

"No," Isabel said, and the steel in her voice was evident. "Not if there's going to be a corpse between us."

The corpse of a tiny blonde girl, brimming with life and joy; everything that Faith herself was not. Christ, she'd loved her, loved her with a passion she reserved for Slaying.

And she'd left her.

Because, boys and girls, Buffy had a True Love, and his name was Angel; and, in a cruel twist of fate -- were there any other kind? -- he was a vampire. Her sworn enemy; the embodiment of all they were designed to kill.

And far more deserving of her love than poor, dark-hearted Faith.

"There's not," she burst hoarsely. "There's not, baby, I'm not going to leave you, don't even *think* it --"

"Ssh," Isabel murmured, drawing her lover into her arms. "Babe, no. I wasn't thinking that. I just..." She trailed off for a moment. "I just thought that maybe I'm a substitute for her," she finished softly.

The thought horrified Faith. A *substitute*? No. Fuck, no; never. Buffy was bright an young and eternally hopeful. Isabel was not. She was blonde, yes, but there the differences stopped. She was tall, and cat-sleek, and everything Faith had ever wanted.

And for once, what she wanted wanted her right back.

"Hey," Faith said gently, turning the other woman's face towards her. "Buffy...yeah, maybe I loved her. Maybe I just wanted to fuck her. But you -- *you* I love, bitch." Not insult, but endearment. "You got a present today. It's on the kitchen table."

Chocolate-brown eyes lit up. "Really?"

"Go see."

She darted off the couch and came back a few seconds later. In her hands was a brown manilla envelope, not terribly thick. It was postmarked from Alberquerque.

Inside, they discovered, was a smaller envelope. Faith peered over her shoulder. "'You are cordially invited to' --"

"They want me to be a bridesmaid," Isabel said hollowly, staring blankly at the handwritten note with it. "Liz actually asked me."

Faith's gaze fell on the picture resting on the mantel above the fireplace. All of them were in it -- Michael and Alex (she always got those two confused), and beside them Maria, who was rolling her eyes at Isabel. On the far right was Max; Faith would have known him for Izzy's brother even if she hadn't seen other pictures. They had the same eyes -- sorrowful, dark, deep.

And standing in Max's arms was Liz.

"You loved her, didn't you?" she heard herself ask, still staring at the picture.

Isabel shrugged. "Does it matter? She...if I'd intruded, no matter how happy we were -- if we even got together -- I'd have my brother between us?"

"So? *You'd* be happy. Fuck him if he couldn't handle it."

Perfect red lips curved into a miserable smile. "Could you have come between Buffy and -- whoever he is?"

"Angel," she answered absently. "And yeah, I could have. I wanted to, so many times."

"So why didn't you?"

The words were ash in her mouth. "Because it wouldn't have made any goddamn difference. They were born to be together. I just would have been in the way."

"Exactly. Liz..." Isabel closed her eyes, and spoke again. "She was born for Max, and he was born for her. You'll see that when you meet them."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa. What do you mean, 'meet them'?"

Isabel smiled again, a trace of her usual wickedness in it. "I can bring a guest. You're it."

Oh, no. No way. This was *so* not going to work. Faith opened her mouth to protest.

Isabel stretched across the couch and placed her hand to Faith's mouth, silencing her. "Listen to me, Faith: Slayer or not, you are going with me to this damn wedding. We are going to smile, and you are going to meet my family, and we're all gonna get along just fine. I'm gonna introduce you to my parents, and they will love you."

"And if they don't?" Faith asked around Isabel's hand.

She shrugged again. "Not my problem. Or yours, really. You don't have to go home with *them*."

Faith grinned and nipped at Isabel's fingers. "Fine. You won me over."

"Oh, I did that months ago." She pulled her hand away. "Get your jacket. I'm starving."

Faith shook her head. "Can't, babe. I gotta work tonight."

"C'mon," Isabel wheedled, pouting. "Look, leave your weapons in the car. On the way back, I'll drop you off and you can kill things."


"I promise." Isabel kissed her again. "Now go get your jacket."

Faith was up off the couch like a shot. Isabel grinned, and, getting to her feet, followed her lover to the door.

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