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Coming Home

by Bionic Leg



Summary: Buffy and Faith's relationship takes a different turn, but will Buffy be able to accept it?
A/N: After reading some of the great stories on FF.net, I decided to give it a shot. This is my first attempt at writing a fanfic, so be gentle with me, and feel free to offer up any advice. Feedback would be greatly appreciated, and I hope you enjoy.

"Can't or won't, B?" She asks with a look of hurt and confusion etched on her face.

"Both," I answer and turn to leave her standing alone in the middle of the street, with not so much as a glance back.


Chapter One

There she is again, lifting weights. What does she think this is? Some sort of gym? Ok, so maybe it is a gym, a very nice one, but she doesn't have to come in here and flaunt herself everyday. I know that I'm a Slayer, too, but everything just looks so effortless with her. The way her muscles move under her skin every time she...Ok, I really need to get laid.

I hadn't been with anyone since...that guy...whose name I can't remember. That was over six months ago, so everything is looking really good right about now, including Faith.

"Good daydream?" The girl I had just been thinking about asks, startling me out of said thoughts.

"No, not really," I say with more ice in my tone than I intend. It makes her take a small step back and I immediately regret the words. She really hasn't done anything wrong, other than look sexy with all that sweating and breathing hard. "I'm sorry. I'm just a bit on edge."

That certainly wasn't a lie. After the Hellmouth formally known as Sunnydale collapsed into the ground we were a little lost. Not having a home or a city full of demons will do that to you, and it wasn't until a month later that Giles suggested Cleveland, again.

I wasn't too thrilled about the idea at first, but can you blame me? I had just spent the past seven years of my life living on one Hellmouth, why would I want to run off to another so quickly? It took me another week just to come up with an answer and, with a lot of prodding from Faith, I agreed. So, the extended Scooby Gang, now including a dozen or so new Slayers, loaded up and headed out of LA towards the east.

Wait, where was I? Oh, right, being on edge. It's in large part due to the woman standing in front of me, giving me a 'what the hell' look, and the complete lack of anything evil for the past few weeks.

"Earth to Buffy. Did you go retarded on me? I asked you a question."

Right, paying attention and talking equals good. "Sorry, what'd you say?"

She lets out a sigh but follows it quickly with a chuckle and a shake of her head. "I asked if you wanted to hit the town tonight. It might help with this 'edge' thing you've got going on."

Did I want to go out? Not really and, just when I'm about to decline, she gives me that smirk. A smirk I think she only uses on me, one that she knows will always end in me agreeing with anything she says. Stupid smirk. Stupid Faith.



As the blonde stood there staring at the gaping hole that had once been her hometown, nothing was really going through her mind. She was hardly registering her friends talking behind her. They had done it, they had won, and all that went through her head, as a tiny smile pulled at her lips, was that she was free.

After a few more seconds, seconds that she had to allow herself, she turned from the crater, finally acknowledging that people were actually speaking, and let her smile grow as she looked on at the people who had made it. They really had done it.

A few more jokes were tossed around, not because anyone found the situation particularly funny, but because it filled the silence that no one wanted around them. Each gave one last look towards the hole and started walking back to the bus.

It was made clear, after everyone had re-boarded the yellow vehicle, that no one had a plan. No one knew what they were supposed to do. Buffy's blood soaked top answered that question for them.

Faith had noticed that the girl was a little too quiet but didn't think anything of it. She just figured that she was letting memories flood her mind. When she went to the back of the bus to check on the blonde, however, she saw that she was bent over, her head resting against the seat in front of her, and her hand clutching her stomach.

Without asking for permission, or even thinking about it, the brunette sat down next to the other girl and lifted her hand from the wound. With a gentleness that Buffy didn't know the ex-con possessed, she lifted the garment to get a better look at the gash.

No words were spoken, just creased brows and a look of worry met Buffy's gaze. Before getting up to tell Giles just how serious the wound was, Faith reached up and tucked a stray blonde hair back behind the girl's ear.

Buffy watched the girl walk away from her unsteadily as the bus raced down the road to no real destination. After she reached the front, she turned and gave Buffy a smirk, letting her know that everything would be OK.



I can't believe we've been here seven months and I haven't been to a club, yet. The closest thing I got was that dump of a bar where I met John....Jake...James? At first there was no time, not for me, anyway. We had to find a home big enough for all of us. Giles took Dawn and Andrew with him to London for some Council stuff but the rest of us decided to stick together. Finding a house big enough to fit all of us comfortably had been a little difficult, but we finally found one.

And what did we get as our welcoming gift? A stupid bad guy trying to end the world. Can't anyone come up with something more original? I mean, it gets a little old after the first few hundred people that try it. This guy was actually pretty tough, though. He was some big time wizard that had been wronged by the love of his life.

So, between trying to stop this guy from destroying the world, getting the house situated and taking care of more girls than I would ever want to, I just didn't have the time to check out the nightlife. But Faith had. Of course she had, this is Faith we're talking about.

As I watch her finish her last set, my workout completely forgotten, I can't help but smile. We haven't gotten extremely close over these past few months since Sunnydale fell, but we have reached this comfortable acceptance of each other. Oh, she's finished and making her way back over here. Act like you have a brain. Act like you have a brain.

"You done?" Am I done? Done with what? Is there something I'm supposed to be done with?


"Your workout, are you finished?"

Yes, I have a brain, it just works whenever it wants to, which is almost never. "Oh, yeah. I'm done." That's a lie, I haven't even gotten through half of it before I start drooling over Faith and her...I have to talk to Willow. There's no way I'm not under a spell.

"Do you wanna get out of here, then? I think some of the newbies want to use the machines," she says as she picks up her towel and starts to dab it across her chest.

I can't help but stare, it's like she wants me to. At least this time I can form words, "Yeah, out."

No one said they were good words.



I finally make it back to my room, it was touch and go there for a minute. Twice she accidently rubbed her arm against mine, and twice I had to hold back from shoving her against the wall and having my way with her.

She says that her and Kennedy know of the perfect place to go out to tonight. I'm just glad it's a group outing, I don't think I can handle being alone with anyone right now, especially Faith. Willow and Xander agree to come along, and we all decide to leave around 10.

It's six now, so that leaves me just enough time to eat and get ready. What? It's my first night out in months, I want to look good and maybe catch someone's eye.

And good I look.

After racing through dinner, I ran back up to my room and jumped in the shower. It took me a little while to decide what I wanted to wear but I finally decided on something simple. You have no idea how long it takes to look like it didn't take you very long to get ready.

Tight blue jeans, an even tighter black tank top, my sexy black boots, and a tiny cross necklace resting just above my cleavage. Oh yeah, I look good and it only took me three and a half hours to pull it off.

"Wow, Buffy. You look awesome. I suddenly feel not so hot anymore," Willow says to me as we both exit our rooms at the same time.

"Will, you look great. Kennedy is a lucky girl." Does that sound flirtatious? I guess not because she's giving me one of those friendly smiles.

"Thanks, we should probably head down. The others have been ready for awhile, now."

It's like one of those scenes from a movie. You know, where the girl walks down the stairs with her date waiting at the bottom, thinking how beautiful she looks. Yeah, this is exactly like that except Willow and I walk down the stairs to find the other three in the living room playing Xbox and shouting at each other.

Stupid movies.



The club is called Outer Limits and, for the most part, it looks normal. I really thought the two of them would pick the wildest place they could. We all get in without much trouble. Xander's lucky that he came with four hot girls or no way would he have gotten in without waiting in line with the rest of the people.

The five of us make our way through the crowded club and, to make sure we don't get separated, Faith places her hand on the small of my back. It's not that big of a deal, except that her pinky is resting on the skin between my shirt and jeans. The skin on skin contact is driving me insane, and I think she knows it, too, since she's slowly moving it up and down my back.

I look over at her and give her a glare but am met with that stupid smirk and shrugging shoulders as my response. She does move her hand, though.

We finally make it to a booth towards the back of the club and climb in. Of course Xander sits next to Willow and Kennedy, leaving Faith and I to sit on the other side. As long as she doesn't touch me, I'll be fine.

She touches me. Her hand on my knee to be exact. It's obviously not a big deal to her, but all I can do is sit here and stare at my leg. What is happening to me? Am I really in that much of a need to get laid that suddenly everything Faith does turns me on?

I'm brought out of my thoughts, once again, by her leaning over and talking into my ear. The music isn't so loud where we are, so I think she's doing it just to get a reaction out of me, and she does. I shiver as the words leaving her mouth cause her breath to tickle my ear.

"How about a dance?" She asks me as she slides her hand just a little further up my leg.

Maybe a dance won't be too bad. It'll mean that her hand will stop its inching. I don't even have time to answer, though, as she grabs my hand and pulls me from the booth. She practically drags me out onto the dance floor but, when we make it there, she turns towards me, and it's like we're the only two people in the room.

She pulls me closer and gives me a real smile. It causes my insides to go into more turmoil than that smirk ever did. I guess because she so rarely smiles. All I can do is smile back and let her guide me into the dance.

Our bodies don't even match the beat of the song. It's some fast paced pop song of the week but our bodies meld together and sway slowly. Her leg finds it way between mine, and it fits there perfectly.

I can't help but let out a gasp as she pulls on my hips, causing me to grind down on her thigh. Her hands never move, either. She keeps them there and rubs tiny circles just above my jeans with her thumbs. God, it feels good, and she knows what it's doing to me as she ducks her head down and finds my ear again.

"Did I tell you how sexy you look tonight, B?" She breathes out, just above a whisper. If I was any other person, I wouldn't be able to hear her.

All I can do is shake my head 'no' and sigh when I feel her laugh vibrate through both of us.

I'm so turned on, and I don't think you can call what we're doing dancing. She doesn't even need to pull on my hips anymore, I'm rocking them into hers of my own free will. The feeling of her strong thigh pressing up into me is driving me so crazy that, if this 'dance' doesn't end soon, she'll be the first person since Jason...Jeremy...Josh...to get me off.

The song ends but the dance doesn't. I'm so close to going over the edge that one little thing might just shove me over. And then she kisses me. Not anything major, just a light touch of her lips to my ear. That's all I need, one more rock of my hips and I'm falling off the cliff. Good thing she's here to catch me, though, or hold me up from falling to the floor, it's the same thing.

Faith is still holding me up as we both wait for the aftershocks to wear off, but the only thing going through my mind is: I can't believe I just humped Faith's leg.



Chapter Two

Well, if that's not the most embarrassing thing I've done in my entire life, I don't know what is. Sure, turning into Cave Buffy after having a little bit too much to drink ranks right up there, but somehow I think humping a friends leg, completely sober might I add, takes the cake.

She won't even look at me, either. I know she knows what just happened, but she won't do anything but sit there and smirk. I hate her.

The other three have no idea what's going on, though, and I hope to God they never find out.

"Good dance?" Willow asks us as we sit back down in the booth. I make sure to sit as far away as possible, but she just scoots closer to me. Did I mention I hate her?

"Probably the best dance of my life."

I look over at the younger Slayer and can't believe those words actually found their way out of her mouth. That was a bad idea, though, because now she's finally looking at me, and if I wasn't sure before, I am now. She knows exactly what she just did to me.

"I have to go to the bathroom," I offer up as a lame excuse to get away from the stares.

"That's probably a good idea."

I'm turning evil and killing her. There's no other option.

To my surprise, the bathroom is empty. I'm not sure how that happened, but it's a blessing. It gives me the time to think about what just happened and what's been going on in my head the past few days. I stand in front of the sink and stare at myself in the mirror, hoping to gain some sort of answer.

I know Faith has always been attractive, but I never wanted to cross that line with her in the past. So much for that. Not only did I just cross that line, I ran past it and flipped it off on the way by.

Remember how I said the empty bathroom was a blessing? Turns out it's a curse, because there's Faith, making her way to the sink next to me. This is so not good. If I act like a wild animal in a crowd full of people, how am I going to act when it's just the two of us? I'm actually surprised my clothes aren't in a shredded pile by my feet.

"Quit freaking out," she sounds so calm, but why wouldn't she be? She's not the one going around humping people.

"I can't help it, Faith. That has never happened to me."

She's staring at me through the mirror, and it makes me want to curl up into myself. It's definitely not helping anything.

"So what? It's not a big deal. I know you haven't been with anyone since Jared. It could have just as easily happened with Xander."

Ah, Jared. That was his name...but, wait, what was that about Xander? Just the thought of me relieving my tension by using Xander is comical, and could probably be considered illegal with how much I think of him as a brother.

I guess I relax some because she's closing the distance between us and pulling me into a hug. This is different. Faith isn't the hugging type, but it feels so nice, and I really don't want it to end.

"It was wicked hot, though."

And I come crashing back to reality. Of course she doesn't want to comfort me, she wants to make jokes at my expense.

"I hate you," I say as I shove her away.

She laughs, and I hate her even more because there's that smile again, "But you love the way I make you feel."

"Please don't say anything to them, Faith. I'd never hear the end of it."

I instantly regret saying those words, though, because now the smile is gone, and it's replaced with a glare.

"Don't worry, Buffy. I'm not going to say anything. I know you don't want something like that to happen again, and trust me, it won't."

She doesn't give me time to answer. Instead, she just turns and walks out of the room. I watch as the door swings shut behind her. Forget everything I said about hating her, I hate myself.



The rest of the night was terrible. She didn't say another word to me. All she did was take shots with Kennedy, and I swear it was like she was drinking water. Either that or she has a really high tolerance because she didn't stumble once on the way home.

Now we're sitting at the kitchen table, and it feels like I'm in hell. She's still not talking to me, and the cold treatment from Faith really sucks. She does look really cute hunched over her cereal bowl full of Lucky Charms, though.

"Will you pass the milk?" It's lame, I know it is, but at least it's something to break the silence.

She doesn't answer. Of course she doesn't. She just slides the milk over to me without so much as a glance in my direction.

"Want to go patrolling with me later?" She'll probably say no, but I have to ask anyway.

"Whatever," she says as she shrugs her shoulders.

I really hate this. Faith isn't supposed to be mad at me. I'm supposed to be mad at her, but I'm not. All I want is for her to talk to me and be happy. And maybe let me use her leg again.

No, Buffy! No more using Faith's leg. If I'm going to be using anything, it's gonna be her hands or her mouth. Ooh, her mouth. I bet that would be nice.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" she asks, pulling me out of my dirty thoughts.

"What do you mean what's wrong with me?"

"You're sitting there staring at your cereal with this idiotic look on your face."

Well, at least she's talking to me, even if it is to make fun of me. I'll pretty much take what I can get from her right about now.

"I was just thinking about last night." Probably not the best answer given the fact that I know she doesn't want to talk about it. I really don't want to talk about it, either, but I don't want it to mess up the friendship we've been working on since Sunnydale went kaboom.

I was right, she doesn't want to talk about it because she's grabbing her bowl and taking it to the sink. I should probably stop her so we can just clear everything up, but a grumpy Faith is not a Faith I want to deal with right now. I watch as she exits the kitchen, and I'm suddenly not so hungry, anymore.



I'm sitting in the daily meeting Willow insists on having. She thinks it's a good idea to have everyone report back on their patrols and anything they might encounter. I have to admit, it does make things run more smoothly, but having them everyday is tiresome, especially when Faith won't even look at me.

She's sitting next to Kennedy, and I know she's not paying attention. She has this far away look in her eyes, and I can't help but wonder what she's thinking about. Part of me hopes she's thinking about last night, and the other part is hoping she never thinks of it again.

Kennedy writes something down on a piece of paper and shows it to her. Faith smirks, and it upsets me a little. I don't know when her and Kennedy got so close, but there's no doubt I'm jealous, even if I don't admit it to anyone.

"Buffy?" Great, apparently Willow just asked me something, but I'm too zoned out to realize.

"What?" Do I always sound that rude when I ask someone something?

She looks at me kinda surprised, and so does everyone else in the room. Everyone except Faith, who's just staring at the wall opposite her. Stupid wall, it's getting more attention than me.

"Chloe would like to switch assignments tonight."

I'm not gonna act like I remember who Chloe is. Sure, we've been living with the same group of girls for months now, but I'm really not in the mood to remember names.

"What's wrong with the area you've been doing?"

Now Faith looks at me. I don't know why, though. It's not like I'm going out of my way to be rude. I think it's a valid question considering we've all been doing the same patrol since we got here.

"I have to do research for a school project and your area is closest to the house. I thought we could switch this one night, so I could make it home quicker," a blonde across the room speaks out. I always forget how young some of these girls are and quickly remember that Chloe is just a freshman in high school.

I relax a little and nod. I know what kind of burden it is to be a Slayer and try to juggle school work and normal life activities. She smiles at me, and my mood changes. I'm not gonna worry about if Faith is angry with me or not, but I am kinda glad I switched patrols. It gives me more time to be around her, and I really like being around her.



Seriously, everything Faith does is sexy. She's just sitting there on a gravestone smoking, and I swear it's the hottest thing I've ever seen. I hate the things she does to me without even trying.

We're taking a break from the patrol. It's been pretty uneventful so far, just like the past few nights. That always worries me because it's like the calm before the storm. Oh well. If it means I get to stand here and watch her be all sexy like that, send me the worst kind of apocalypse.

I finally muster up enough courage and walk over to her. She still hasn't talked to me and it's killing me. I really want to apologize for what I said at the club last night, but I'm not sure if she's going to let me.

She's looking at me, and I can hardly breathe, but I know I have to get things off of my chest.

"I'm sorry for what I said."

She flicks the cigarette away and hops of the stone. She's standing inches in front of me, and I want to run away and cling to her at the same time.

"Don't worry about it. I'm glad I made you feel good."

"You made me feel really good." Crap. I didn't mean for that to come out, but it did, and now she's smirking at me again.

"I did?"

She takes a step closer to me, and I about die. The closeness of our bodies is driving me insane, and she knows it. All I can do is nod as she reaches out and grabs hold of my waist, pulling my body into hers.

"Want me to make you feel good again?" Oh, God, do I want her to. In the worst kind of way.

She slips a leg in between mine and the sensations from last night come flooding back to me, but I want more this time. She dips her head down to my neck and trails tiny kisses up to my ear.

"Out here in the open like this?"

I shake my head no and turn and look for somewhere more private. I see a mausoleum about a hundred feet away, and I can't drag Faith there quick enough.

Once inside, I lean up against the wall and pull her into me. I'm way too worked up to be shy about anything. Her mouth finds my neck again, and her hands fumble with the button on my jeans. I can hardly stand with the anticipation of where her hand is about to be. She finally gets the button undone, and the zipper slides down with ease. Without warning, her hand is inside my panties, stroking where I so desperately want to be stroked. I can't take it anymore, and I bite down on her shoulder, letting her talented hand make me feel better than I ever have before.



What the hell is wrong with me? A few months without sex and all of a sudden I'm throwing myself at Faith. At least she's keeping her word and not telling anyone, but the fact that she gives me that smirk every time our eyes meet, makes me worry that she's gonna let something slip.

We're sitting in the kitchen with Willow and Xander, and her hand is resting on my thigh with her fingers tracing over the seam of my jeans. It's unreal how bad I want her to be touching skin instead of the denim over my leg, but I have to pay attention because apparently Kennedy came across something important during her patrol.

"She said there was a group of vampires chanting around a grave, probably a dozen or so. She couldn't understand what they were saying, but I'm sure we can all assume that it wasn't a nursery rhyme."

"Great, I knew things were quiet for a reason," I can barely get the last part out as Faith's hand slides up further, and I can't help but to spread my legs, giving her better access.

"Are you OK?" Xander asks. I know he's worried about me, but if he could see where Faith's hand is, he'd have a heart attack.

"She's probably just worried about what these guys want, but don't worry, B. I'm sure it's nothing we can't handle."

"I don't know. My sources believe that something big is brewing and these vampires are just the tip of the iceberg. There have been murmurs of an ancient evil re-emerging on this plane."

I really don't know what sources Willow has, but they're pretty reliable. It makes me wonder what kind of people she's surrounding herself with, and why she never used these sources in Sunnydale.

"Should we talk to Giles?"

Willow shakes her head, "Not yet. We shouldn't overreact. We still don't know what's going on, and like Faith said, it's probably nothing we can't handle on our own."

"So you two do the research thing, and me and B can get out of here?"

Xander groans and Willow laughs. She's used to Faith not wanting to take part in any kind of research, but I really hope they don't need us for anything else because Faith's constant stroking of my thigh is making it really hard for me to concentrate.

"Yeah, you should probably go get some sleep. Tomorrow should be pretty long. I want to find out as much as possible, as soon as possible."

Finally, she takes her hand off my leg and stands. I follow her out of the kitchen and up the stairs leading to our bedrooms. I pull her into mine and slam the door behind us.

"You have to stop touching me."

"I thought you liked it when I touched you." I love it when she touches me, but that's not the point.

"I can't concentrate when I'm around you. What if this turns into something huge, and I end up getting myself killed because I'm too worried about you?"

She takes a step towards me, and I take a step away. I'm not sure I'll be able to control myself if I allow her to get close to me.

"I can take care of myself, B."

"That's not the point. I'm so confused, Faith. A week ago we were friends, and now we're having sex like a couple of teenagers."

"Do you not want to be having sex because I kinda got the feeling on patrol that you do want to be having it."

My legs bump into the bed behind me, and I've run out of room to retreat to. She sees this, smirks and closes the distance between us. She's not touching me, but she might as well be with how close she is.

"It's just sex." I have to force myself to believe that because anything else will confuse me even more.

"I know." She doesn't, we both know it. She's just as confused as me, but she'll never admit it.

She pushes me back onto the bed and hovers over me, letting her body fall into place over mine, and it's almost like we were made for this, that's how perfect it feels.

Her mouth is inches away from mine, and I want nothing more than for her to lean down and capture my lips, but I can't allow that to happen.

"No kissing."

"I know."



Chapter Three

The entire household is sitting in the dinning room flipping through pages of books hundreds of years old. I'm not really reading anything on the pages, all I'm worried about is whether or not it looks like I'm reading them.

Even if I wanted to research, how could I? All I can think about is Faith and what's going on with us. I'm not gonna lie and say that I hate it, it's actually the total opposite. I love how she makes me feel. Sure, the sex with Spike was good, but Faith takes it to an entirely different level.

But I really can't be thinking about this right now. According to Willow's sources the chanting vampires and the ancient evil are connected, and it's only a matter of time before they accomplish their goal of bringing it back into reality.

That's about all we know, so now we're all sitting here trying to figure out who this big bad is and how we can stop him from coming back. Of course it's not as easy as that. Most of our plans don't work out the first time around, and I'm sure that'll be the same with this guy.

I look up from my book after having finally given up trying to read it and see Faith sitting across the table from me. She's not even trying to hide the fact she's not researching, what with her head on the table and her eyes closed.

I can't believe she fell asleep! This is supposed to be awake time full of helpful researching and information gathering. I can't really blame her, though. We had stayed up most of last night doing other awake time stuff, but with totally different outcomes. I'm actually kind of mad I didn't think of taking a nap myself, but I know Willow would be mad, and we can't have that.

"Ah-ha!" Xander exclaims, jumping out of his chair.

And in an instant Faith is also standing, grasping her unused book like a weapon and looking around the room for the attacker. Xander's victory yell is momentarily forgotten as we all stare at the girl.

"What the hell, Captain Hook?" I can't help but grin at her defensiveness. She hates when she looks stupid, but I think she looks cute. Did I really just put the words cute and Faith into the same sentence? My God, maybe this sex stuff should end if I'm thinking things like that.

"I think I found something," Xander answers in an almost hushed tone. He doesn't even try to pretend Faith's almost attack didn't scare the hell out of him.

"Then can you say that like a normal person instead of screaming and jumping around?"

"Says the crazy lady who thinks a book is gonna do a lot of damage." Sometimes I like Kennedy, especially when she is making jokes at Faith's expense because then Faith glares. I really like it when Faith glares.

"Whatever, just tell us what you found." A chuckle almost escapes my throat as I watch her shake her head and sit down. She sends the glare over in my direction, and all I do is grin, causing her to shake her head again. At least she's kinda smiling, now, and if there's one thing I like more than a Faith glare, it's a Faith smile.

She really should let people see it more often, but now my mind is wondering to all the times she smiled last night, and I miss half of what Xander says.

"...chant to resurrect their leader. Strength in numbers is a plus, so you'll never see less than six. It also says...Oh, wait." And that's exactly what we do...but no one knows what we're waiting for. I guess we're waiting for him to finish reading the page, and that probably takes a little longer with only one eye. "Nevermind. I probably should have read that all the way through before I got excited like that."

"Why? What's it say?" Faith asks and leans over to grab the book. " 'If you see them, call the cops as quickly as possible since they are, in fact, not demons, but bikers with a special interest in the dark magics.' Really, Xander? This says they go around trying to bring their gang leader back to life. What do you want us to do? Go around and slash all their bike tires, maybe get into a few bar fights?"

"Hey, you would have jumped to the same conclusion as me if you had read 'Hell's Devils'. We've dealt with demon bikers before, and at least I'm participating in the research. You're over there dreaming about who knows what," Faith takes her eyes off him for a quick second to throw a smirk over in my direction. I wonder what she was dreaming about, maybe she'll tell me later. Oh, or show me. Showing me would be way better.

"Yeah, and we both came up with the same amount of information, which is none."

I actually feel a little bad for all the young ones sitting around the table. They have to witness these kind of arguments at least once a day. This one seems a little civil, though, which is an upgrade over Faith and Kennedy rolling around on the ground, fighting over which kind of cereal we should buy.

"Do you think we can take a break? All this reading is making my eyes sore." That's Rachel, and she's around Kennedy's age. Faith hates her, especially when she talks. No one really knows why, but the two of them just don't get along.

Her glare is back, and it's not so sexy this time. It's actually kind of scary, but Rachel doesn't flinch. It looks like she's about to speak again, and I know if she does the argument won't be so civil anymore.

"Yeah, a break sounds good. Can you help me outside with something, Faith?"

She looks at me and the glare weakens some. I'm glad because the last thing we need is for a fight to break out. We both stand and head for the door. It's not lost on me how much distance she keeps between us. It's like she knows that I may not be able to control myself if she gets too close, and that was the thing I feared most when I started these games with her.

"I don't wanna hear it, B. She knows I don't like her, but it's like she's too stupid to leave me alone."

We're standing right in front of the still open door, and I know she's talking just loud enough for Rachel to hear.

"All she said was she thought we should take a break. What's wrong with that?" I ask her as I steer her away from the door.

"Nothing. It's the fact that she opened her mouth to begin with."

I can't help but smile, but I don't think Faith likes that too much, "It's not funny, B. How many times have you heard me say, 'Don't touch the TV while the Sox are playing and I'm out slaying,' maybe a hundred times or more."

I'm confused, and I'm almost certain that it's written clear as day on my face, but a "Huh?" escapes nonetheless.

"You and me were out on patrol, and I had the game set to record, but that bitch watched some MTV reality crap, instead. I missed the game, B. I haven't missed one since I've been out of prison."

I laugh. There's nothing else I can do. This is almost as bad as the time Faith ate Andrew's last Hot Pocket. "Oh, my God. So that's what you were yelling about that night. Why didn't you just watch the highlights or something?"

"It's the principle of the matter, B. I didn't even look in the paper the next day, and I still don't know if they won or lost."

We're standing by the side of the house, now, and Faith is leaning up against it. I really think it's because if she wasn't, she'd fall to the ground, that's how depressed she looks, but the laughter is still spilling out of me.

"Poor baby, had to miss her game while she was out saving the world. Want me to make it feel better?" I ask as I step closer to her. She doesn't look as sad anymore, but she definitely looks a little angry.

"Quit teasing," and with speed I didn't know she possessed, she has me pressed up against the wall, leaning her weight into me. "I wanna kiss you so bad."

I want her to kiss me so bad, too.

"You can't."

"I bet Jared got to kiss you, and I know you've let everyone else do it. So, tell me, why is it Spike gets to have that part of you, but I can't?"

Because you have everything else. I want to tell her that so bad, but I can't. Spike had every part of me but my heart, the same as Faith. The only difference is, kissing him didn't open me up like I know it would with her. The only one to ever have all of me was Angel, and that all went to hell, literally.

Everything with Faith has been moving so fast that I know if I give into that last little desire there'll be no turning back. With sex I can pretend that's all it is. Just sex, no love making, no tenderness and no feelings. Kissing takes that all away, and the simplest of kiss would make me hers.

"It's not the same."

It's all I can muster. The position of her leg between mine is making it hard for me to come up with anything better, and I really don't want to get into a long rant about the real reason I don't want her to kiss me. It would just make things more complicated than they already are.

She moves away from me, and I instantly miss the warmth of her body on mine. I want to reach out for her, but I don't. Maybe this is how it should be. Maybe this thing should just end before it gets one, or both, of us killed. And I really think that's where it's heading. I can't take my mind off of her, even when we patrol. Even with everyone in the room I still want her, and that makes it very hard to be a Slayer.

"You're right. I get you don't feel that way about me, but it kinda sucks, you know? I bet it'd be good, though."

Something tells me that'd it probably be the best, but of course I don't say that. I just watch her walk away, back towards the front of the house.



I swear researching is the worst thing on the planet. Forget about all the Big Bads we've faced, books are the biggest of the bad. I think this thing actually laughed at me after the tenth time reading the same sentence.

"Here it is."

The fact that she says it so nonchalantly makes me angrier than the fact that it was Faith who found it, the girl who had been passed out on the table just a few hours ago.

"You know, with how old and bad he's supposed to be, you'd think he'd have a better name than 'Evil Larry'."

"What? Let me see that," Xander says with almost as much disbelieve in his voice as I feel. There's no way that's right. One of us would have come across it, first. He grabs the book and reads over the passage, and a look of realization crosses his face, "I feel so stupid. I read over his name like an hour ago."

"Maybe you should have rested more because here I am, alert as can be, and finding out all the info."

It's a throwback to the argument they had earlier and Xander knows it. He tosses the book on the table and slouches down in his chair, almost like he's trying to hide from all the stares.

"It's because his name is so long that the original has been lost over time. They believe L-A-R were the first three letters, but everything after that no one is sure about. And, I think you're right, Faith. This seems to be the one we're looking for," Willow pipes up from behind her computer screen before pointing and continuing, "it says here that he will rise in Cleveland 500 years after being killed. I feel stupid, too. A source of mine sent me a rather cryptic message just saying E.L. I thought it just meant el, as in el taco."

"Who was your source?" Again, I wonder why she didn't have these back in Sunnydale.

"A wizard. You wouldn't know him."

"Why would Harry Potter be speaking Spanish?" There are more eye rolls than chuckles as Faith stands up and stretches. I don't do either, I'm too busy watching her shirt ride up. She really does have a nice stomach. She has a nice everything, actually, and I would know considering how many times I've run my hands over it the past few days. See what I mean? Here I am in the middle of a pretty important conversation, and all I'm thinking about is Faith's body. What if this had happened while we were slaying? My head would probably be chopped off, which would really suck because then I wouldn't get to look at her anymore.

"Wizards can speak a variety of different languages, I'll have you know. But, good job on the find. I'll do some more research tonight and give a report in the morning. You guys can call it a night if you want."

I know she's hoping some of us will stay and volunteer to help out, but the only one that does is Kennedy, and that's only because she knows she has to. The rest of us are up and out of the room before Will even finishes the sentence.

We really are a pathetic group. It's a wonder evil doesn't prevail more often.



So, I'm sitting in my room waiting for a certain someone to come by. Deep down I know that she won't be by tonight, but part of me is holding out hope. Back in Sunnydale, Faith let me know about her want, take, have practices, and I'm fairly certain she still lives by those rules, to a certain extent. It must be killing her to want something she can't take or have, I know it's killing me.

I told myself after Angel that I could never be that open with anyone else, again. Maybe that's why I never let Faith get too close, even all those years ago. Something in me must have sensed the road we would have travelled down, the road we're traveling down now.

Just in the couple of days Faith and I have been fooling around, I've felt myself start to fall for her. Maybe I was falling before we had sex, and I was just so far in denial I couldn't see it. There's no escaping it now. No more keeping it buried hoping it'll go away.

I love Faith, and whatever we have going on right now will end horribly.



Chapter Four

Two weeks have passed and Faith has barely spoken to me. I hate this, I really do. So what I won't let her kiss me? She still gets to enjoy everything else, and I know she was enjoying it. No way she's that good an actress.

I wish I could talk to someone about it, though, but no one knows. It's not that I'm ashamed of it, like I know Faith thinks, it's just I want it to stay private. Every relationship I've been in I've had to hear the opinions of everyone around me, I kinda just want Faith to myself because I know none of them would understand.

Plus, we have this Evil Larry to deal with, so that's just a little more important than whether or not I should confess my feelings about Faith to Willow or Xander. Willow was able to find out more info on him, like the exact date he's supposed to rise, and what he'll want to do after stepping back on this plane after 500 years.

We have a little over a month left, and the vamps still need to do four more chants before the final one. Supposedly they give him power before bringing him back. We tried taking out one of the chanting groups about a week ago, but more showed up.

I don't know how these dead guys always have an endless following. It's like you kill one and five more pop up. Stupid evil doers, don't they know I'm dealing with some serious relationship issues?

I'm desperate for any kind of interaction with Faith, so I walk up to where she sits watching TV, "Can you help me with something?"

I guess my voice is kinda husky because she's giving me this look like she doesn't know if she should help or not.

"Depends on what it is."

"Can you help me rearrange my room? I'm kinda bored with it."

I hope she says yes. The first thing we did together when we got to Cleveland was get my room together. I'd really like to relive that.

"Can't you get one of the other girls to help? I'm watchin' this, right now." She looks back at the screen and my eyes follow until I'm met with a cartoon. She would rather watch cartoons than spend any time with me. Wow, that's a real ego killer...Ooh, the Rugrats. I used to love that show.

"I'd really like it if you helped." She looks back up at me, and I know it's only a matter of time before she gives in. She's no match for the pout, no one is, really.

She sighs and stands up, not bothering to turn the TV off. I guess she's hoping it won't take long, and she'll be able to come back to finish the show. Sucks for her, though, because I plan on making this an all day activity.



It was their first night in the house in Cleveland. It was nice, but it was nothing like their home in Sunnydale. Buffy figured she would never be able to find a place like that. A place where she could make the kind of memories like the ones she had made with her mother. Nothing else would really compare.

But, it was nice and big enough to house her, Willow, Xander, Faith and a handful of newly called Slayers. Giles had found it for them but had made it clear he wouldn't be able to stay. He had more pressing matters concerning the Council.

The blonde walked up the stairs to the room she had picked earlier in the day. All the furniture that had been delivered sat bunched together in the middle of it. She knew she shouldn't have spent the entire day worrying about everyone else because now she would have to spend most of the night arranging everything like she wanted.

She let out a sigh and started for the bed. At least the movers had been nice enough to put the frame together. It was probably because she was a good looking blonde, and they had a weakness for good looking blondes.

"Need help?" she hadn't even heard Faith come into her room, and it startled her some.

"Geez, could you be a little quieter? And I thought Angel was bad."

"Sorry. You need help or not?" she asked as she made her way further into the room.

Things were still awkward between the two, and Buffy figured they would be for quite some time. Sunnydale hadn't really offered a chance for them to come to terms with everything, what with the First trying to end the world, but now they could have that chance.

"Yeah, I really could."

"Well, then just tell me where you want this crap, and I'll be your muscle for the night. You really shouldn't be messing with heavy stuff, anyway."

"Faith, the cut healed weeks ago in LA. I'm fine, really." It was weird for Buffy to see the girl so concerned about her, but it was a nice change.

"Too bad. Tell me where you want it."

Buffy sighed and knew that she wasn't going to win the argument, so she started directing the ex-con on where everything should go.


"No, it needs to be pushed over this way a little more."

A little smile escapes as I watch her stand upright and stretch out her back. This is turning out to be a lot like the first time. She's getting mad at me because I keep drilling her with instructions, and I'm getting mad at her because she won't listen to the instructions.

"B, I'm trying really hard to be nice, but if you make me move the bed one more time, I'm gonna pick the mattress up and throw it in the neighbor's pool."

"Here's good, then." I really don't want a wet bed.

"That's what I thought." She walks over to my dresser, that still needs to be moved, and looks at one of the picture frames resting on top of it. It's the one of me and Dawn with Mom. "You miss her?"

I don't think she could have asked a worse question, "Everyday." It's all I can manage to utter. Even after all these years, I haven't come to terms with losing her.

"Me too." She sets the picture back down, and I think this must be an invitation to ask about her family.

"When's the last time you saw your mom?"

She's giving me this funny look like I totally misread what she was trying to say, "I don't think I ever saw her, just a drunk who looked like her. I meant I missed your mom."


"There's a lot of things I regret, but probably one of the biggest is how I treated her the last time I saw her. I guess I always figured I'd have time to make amends. You think she ever forgave me?"

I've never seen Faith this open before. Sure, she was pretty open back in Sunnydale when she practically got blown up, but that's probably because she felt like she had to be. This is coming out of nowhere.

"I know she did. Probably before any of us did."

She's giving me another look, and I swear if it could set me on fire, it would. I really hope I can maintain some sort of self control, but if she keeps looking at me like that, I'm not sure I'll be able to.

"I get what this means to you, and it's whatever. I'll do whatever you want," she says as she walks closer to me. God, she looks good. A little bit of sweat glistening on her skin and such an intense gaze make me totally forget about the room. All I want is her.

"Stay with me tonight."

She doesn't nod, she doesn't smile, all she does is step forward and wrap her arms around me, and it's a touch I've missed for days. I melt into the embrace and just let it consume me as she backs me up to the bed and lowers me down to it.



This is so different than anything we've ever done before. It's always been hot and heavy, but this is slow and emotional. I know why she's doing it, she wants to show me everything she feels for me without actually saying it out loud.

And it's working.

A soft moan escapes as she places a tiny kiss just below my ear. It's been so long since I've made love to someone, and I know it won't be long before she pushes me over the edge.

"You feel so good," she whispers in my ear. We've never been this quiet, either. Sure, we've been quiet enough not to draw attention to ourselves, but this is taking it to a whole other level. It almost feels like it would ruin the mood if one of us got any louder, and I'm so close that I really don't want that to happen.

"You make me feel good," I can barely get the sentence out before she has me clinging to her. One last thrust, and I see sparks behind my closed eyes. I ride out the last wave of pleasure and finally open my eyes, again.

She's hovering over me and studying me. I'm sure every emotion I'm feeling was etched clearly across my face while I was enjoying the ecstasy she caused, and I'm a little nervous as to what that might have revealed to her.

She doesn't say anything, though. Instead, she leans down and places the lightest of kisses on the corner of my lips. It's the closest she'll let herself get to kissing me, but at this point, I don't care if she let herself go further. What just happened between us is way more intense than a kiss could ever hope to be, but I don't tell her that.

I don't tell her a lot of things. I just watch as she rolls off of me and pulls the covers up over her. All these things are running through my head, and I want to say them to her. I want to tell her that no one has ever made me feel that way, not even Angel. I want to tell her to forget about the no kissing rule, but I'm so stubborn that I know it's a rule I'll keep.

It's useless, though. I opened myself up so much during those whispers and those touches that now she has all of me.

Including my heart.



Wow, this feels so nice. Faith has never stayed the night in my room before, but after our activities last night, we both passed out from exhaustion. Now, her arms are wrapped around my waist, holding me on top of her. It's not like I'll be wanting to move anytime soon, but the tight embrace feels wonderful.

It's really not like anything I've felt before. There's strength and warmth in her embrace, two things I've never felt at the same time. With Angel and Spike there was strength, but their touch was so cold, and with Riley I had warmth, but the feeling that I might break him was always present. This, though, is almost like heaven.

I snuggle deeper into her, situating myself just right, and sigh. I could really get used to this, and it's something we should have been doing from the beginning.

I guess my sigh woke her up because now I can feel her body moving under mine, and if she doesn't stop, we'll have a repeat performance of last night. I don't think my friends would appreciate it if I had sex all day, so I roll off of her but make sure I still have some sort of contact with her by draping my arm over her hips.

She rolls over and faces me, and she doesn't try to hide the smile on her lips. She seems to be in a much better mood this morning than she's been in the past few days. What can I say? Buffy sex always leads to smiles.

"That was different."

She kind of chuckles, "A little."

She runs her eyes over my still naked body, and I know where it'll lead if I don't change the subject, "Why did you come to Cleveland?"

I know it's blunt and probably the worst subject change in the history of subject changes, but it's a question that's been bugging me ever since we got here. She had every chance to get away from me, from all of us, but she chose to come along and reside over another Hellmouth.

"The two places I've spent the longest amount of time at were Boston and prison, and each were kinda like my own personal hell, so when I try to pick out times that I was happiest, it's kinda hard for me. Before everything got screwed up, though, the happiest I've ever been was probably in Sunnydale because I felt like I belonged," I want to interrupt her, but I know this must be taking a lot for her to confess, so I just listen, "I know that I didn't, and it's not your fault. You had friends, your family and a boyfriend. I just didn't fit in, but I felt like I did. So I guess that's why I came here, so I could feel like I belonged somewhere instead of just running from one town to the next. It's almost the best feeling in the world."

That's probably the most she's ever said to me at one time, but the last statement catches me off guard, "Then what's the best feeling if that's not it?"

"I guess knowing you belong instead of just feeling it. I don't know, though. It just feels like there should be something more." She leans into me, and my breath catches as I wait for what she's about to do. She lingers inches in front of me for just a few seconds before closing the distance and kissing my cheek, keeping her lips connected longer than necessary. I know she's about to put up her walls, again. I can feel it, and I want more than anything for those walls to stay down, but I know it won't happen. We're both guilty of the same crime, never letting ourselves get too close. "I should go get ready. I'm sure they want us to kill something today."

I don't say anything as I watch her gather up her clothes and get dressed before walking out of my room. I don't think I could have said anything, anyway. I'm kinda floored by her little confession and know that I want nothing more than for her to, not only feel like she belongs, but know she does, too.



We're out on a standard patrol. We know that we have to wait for Evil Larry to rise before we can take any kind of action, but there's no point in slacking with our other duties. Will and Kennedy decide to tag along with Faith and I, and I really wish they would leave. I guess that sounds pretty harsh, but there are things I want to talk about with Faith, and I can't really do that with an audience.

The things she said to me earlier are still playing in my head, and each time I think about it, I'm a little less scared of what's happening between us.

I look over at her, and she's spinning her stake around in her hand. She's obviously in deep thought, and I really want to know what she's thinking about.

"Hey, Faith, what's the matter with you?" Kennedy asks, and I'm kinda glad that she does because that means I don't have to.


Yeah, there's something wrong, I'm almost positive. That's just great. I was really hoping for more talking and sex tonight. Looks like that's not gonna happen.

"Right. Is it because you have an itch that hasn't been scratched, yet?"

That gets her attention more than the first question, and she throws me a quick glance before glaring at the younger girl, "Drop it, Kennedy."

Willow gives me a glance, too, and I can't read the expression, but I don't like it. She turns her attention back to the two girls who are about to square off and realizes that things are about to get out of hand and decides to speak up, "Babe, lets go do another sweep of the cemetery and leave them alone."

I watch them walk away and can't shake the feeling that they both know what's going on with Faith and I. All that talk about not being scared just flew out the window because now I'm terrified.

"That girl has a lot of nerve sometime." What she says doesn't register with me as I stand there and stare off into space, so she tries again, "B?"

"She knows."

"Who knows what?" she asks as she makes her way to stand in front of me.

I turn and walk off before she can get too close. Closeness is not of the good when it comes to Faith, right now. Space is good. Really good, but I only make it as far as the street before she grabs my arm and turns me back around.

"What the hell, B? You gonna talk to me or just be cryptic and weird all night?"

"Willow knows about us."

Her hand falls away from my arm, and I know with that simple gesture everything is over between us.


"So? So, I can't do this anymore." It hurts to say, but I have to. I've already opened myself up too much to this girl. To a girl I know will hurt me, has hurt me before, and to a girl none of my friends will understand why I feel the way I do about her.

"Can't or won't, B?" She asks with a look of hurt and confusion etched on her face.

"Both," I answer and turn to leave her standing alone in the middle of the street, with not so much as a glance back.



Chapter Five

"Can I talk to you?"

I turn my head and see Faith leaning against the door frame of my room. I've been waiting for her to ask me that since our fight the other night. I'm still running over everything that was said in my head, trying to see if I could have handled the situation better.

Can't or won't is what she asked me, and looking back, I don't see much of a difference in the two. Right now I can't be with her, and I probably won't be with her in the future. If it was just the two of us, then maybe, but even then I would probably still have a hard time with it.

She's been here for months helping us fight the good fight when she could be anywhere else in the world, but she chose to stay with us. Despite all of that, all of the friendly banter between her and everyone else, I know there is still fear there. Even though she's pretty much been forgiven for all of her past mistakes, there's something that still whispers to each of us that this girl is dangerous, and it's those whispers that scare me from wanting to be with her.

I can't have another Angel type romance that ends with people dead and everyone involved hurt.

Looking at her standing there, though, I don't see that dangerous girl that I know all my friends see, and just for a second it is just the two of us. The thought of that makes me smile, but it doesn't do anything for her. She's just standing there waiting for some sort of response.

"Of course you can talk to me. I've been wanting you to talk to me for days now, Faith."

She glances down at her hands, and I guess it's because whatever she has to say is gonna be hard for her. That doesn't make me feel good, and I really just want it over quickly, like a band-aid being ripped off.

"Right. Um...you know how Giles wanted to talk to me earlier?"

Yeah, I remember. I thought it was weird how he called us out of the blue only to speak to Faith. Of course my imagination went wild with all the theories of what he might want from her.

I just nod my head, the weight of the conversation is making it hard for me to form sentences. I have a feeling I'm not gonna like whatever it is they were talking about.

"He says there's an uprising, or whatever, of vamps in Dallas that should be taken care of. He asked me if I wanted the job."

It's a wonder I'm not dead, what with my heart falling into my stomach like that. I know it's physically impossible, but with how much it's hurting right now, I'm starting to wonder if it is. I knew something like this would come up, that she wouldn't stick around forever, but that doesn't make what she's saying any less difficult to hear.

"Ok." I'm terrible at speaking when I'm in these situations. I really don't know why I even bother trying.

"I told him I'd think about it. There's a lot going on here that needs to be taken care of before I can just leave."

"Yeah, Evil Larry and all that." I can't even look at her because I know if I do I'll lose it and turn into a sobbing machine.

"Yeah, Evil Larry. I told him to give me a week, and he'd have his answer, so I guess that's when you'll have yours, too."

I wish she would move away from the door and come sit with me on the bed. I need to be comforted right now, and I only want her to do it, but I know that'll never happen. Neither one of us will allow it because we're both too stubborn to move past all of this.

She stands there for a few extra seconds looking at me. I know she is even though I still haven't lifted my head. I can feel it, and it feels good to just have her there because I know the feeling won't last. She'll go back downstairs, and I'll miss the warmth of her presence, but even worse than that is that I know it's just the beginning because in a few weeks she'll probably be gone for good.



"We only have a couple more weeks until Evil Larry rises, are you nervous?" Willow asks me as we make our way through the cemetery. We've been patrolling like this for a few days now because I know Faith would rather not be around me.

"Not really. He can't be any worse than everything else we've faced."

"You're probably right, but if the legend holds true, he's supposed to be one of the most evil beings to ever walk this earth."

A bitter laugh escapes my throat, and it catches her off guard, "Will, it's always the same. The next guy is supposed to be worse than the last, but at the end of the day, they all end up dead."

"Is everything OK with you?" I guess she caught onto the attitude, but it's only natural that I have one. I really want Faith to be here right now.

"Giles asked Faith to watch Dallas."

"Well, that is a little random, but it's hardly a reason for you to get upset, Buffy. Who Shot J.R. is a classic." I guess the look I give her makes her realize that her assumption is completely wrong, "Oh, you'd be talking about the city, not the show. That makes more sense."

"It makes no sense. Why Dallas, and why Faith? I really don't see Faith and Texas mixing. I mean come on, I don't think she's ever seen a horse, and don't get me started on all the Republicans."

"You're right. The thought of Faith around a bunch of cowboys is a little disconcerting, but if Giles thinks she's ready to set up base on her own, you should be excited for her."

"Yeah, excited. That's me."

She gives me another look I can't read, and I really don't like it. I wish she would just tell me what she's thinking, but she doesn't.

"I wouldn't worry about it, right now. We have a bigger problem to face."

She's right. I shouldn't be worrying about this right now, but I hate the thought that I might lose her before I ever really had her.



The end of the week came a lot quicker than I thought it would. I'm still waiting to hear from Faith on whether or not she's gonna be leaving Cleveland. I hate this waiting game. I just want her to come in here and tell me everything is gonna be OK, and we can work on whatever problems we have.

I really doubt that's gonna happen, though.

I see her hang up the phone, probably talking to Giles, and I watch her make her way over to where I sit on the couch. I try not to look nervous, but I'm sure I'm failing horribly.

"I just got off the phone with Giles," she says as she sits down on the couch, making sure there's enough room between us for two or three other people to sit there.

"I figured." I really don't mean to be so short, but all I want is for her to tell me what she decided, beating around the bush isn't going to get us anywhere.

"After this is over, I'm gonna go down to Dallas for awhile. He says that my help is really needed."

How about the fact that her help is really needed here? Not just her help, either, I need her here, but I know it won't do any good to try and convince her to stay.


She sighs and runs a hand through her hair. I just sit here in a near catatonic state. "Look, B, I don't know how things got so complicated between us, but they did, and I really think we just need time apart to figure things out."

I don't know how things got so complicated, either. It all started with what was supposed to be an innocent dance, and now she's leaving the first chance she gets. I guess she must have gotten that advice from Angel considering he pulled the same crap in Sunnydale. I wonder if she'll even say bye to me or just allow me to look at her from a distance before walking off.

"There's something else." Great, what could possibly be worse than her telling me she's leaving? "Giles thinks we need some help with this Larry guy, so he's sending...Andrew."

Well, that's definitely worse. I haven't seen him in months, and I really have no desire to see him with all this stuff with Faith going on. I used to have a problem with killing humans, but I can honestly say that I could make an exception for him if he annoys me too much.

"That's great. Like this day couldn't get any worse," I don't want to hear anything she has to say, not right now, so I get up and leave her there.



Andrew is supposed to be teleporting in in the next few minutes, and then we'll finalize all of our plans. I really don't understand why we have to, we've been over it a million times, but Willow thought it'd be best if he was filled in. It's simple, though. Evil Larry rises, Evil Larry dies. I'm pretty sure even Andrew can comprehend that.

There's a loud crash in the kitchen, and everyone runs in to see what happened. Faith and Xander let out a groan when they see Andrew lying in the middle of the floor. He does know how to make an entrance, I'll give him that.

"I told Giles not to rush me while I was trying to teleport."

Faith rolls her eyes and grabs the boy by his shirt collar, yanking him up to his feet. It's really kinda hot how she gets so frustrated sometimes, but those are thoughts I can't be having right now. I need to concentrate on the situation at hand, but how can I when she's standing there looking as good as she does?

"Who is this guy?" I keep forgetting some of these girls came after Giles, Dawn and Andrew left, and I'm not really sure how to explain to Rachel who Andrew is. Do I tell her that he used to be evil but now fights the good fight? Or do I just tell her his name and be done with it. I don't have time to decide, though, before Faith answers.

"Andrew. Where the hell were you when we went over all of this? Taping over more of my games?"

"I really am sick of hearing about that. It was one time, and I tried to apologize. It was just a stupid baseball game."

That was probably the worst possible thing to say to Faith. I may not know everything about her, but I know that she loves the Red Sox. Before things can get violent, though, Andrew steps in between them and extends his hand to Rachel, "I'm Andrew, Watcher of the Vamprye Slayer."

Giggles can be heard throughout the kitchen, and I have no doubt some of these girls think he's cute. I wonder how long it'll take them to realize they're missing a key part for Andrew to be interested in them.

"Shall we get down to business?" He asks the room of blushing girls, and I already can't stand his presence.

"Yes, we shall," oh, my god, did that really just come out of my mouth? He hasn't even been here five minutes, and I'm already talking geek.

We make our way back into the living room, and everyone rushes around trying to find a place to sit. I luck out and have to sit next to Faith. I love when houses are overcrowded because then I get to squeeze in next to the girl that's been driving me crazy these past few weeks, and any kind of closeness is good when said girl would rather not be near me.

She gives me a sideways glance, and a small grin spreads across my lips. I'm actually kinda shocked when she returns it with a tiny grin of her own. Could we be working out our problems without actual words? If all it takes are grins and smiles then there's no way she's leaving for Dallas. I have pretty great grins and smiles.

"OK, feel me in on the plan." Leave it to Andrew to ruin an almost perfect moment because now her smile is gone and it's replaced with a scowl.

"We're gonna kill Evil Larry." She can be such a smart ass sometimes, but I love that about her. There's so much that I love about her that I never told her about, that I'm just now able to admit to myself.

"You seriously underestimate this being. If you do not have a clear and precise plan, he will kill you and make dinner out of your rotting corpses."

"Could you be anymore vile?" Faith tenses up at the sound of Rachel's voice, and almost as if on instinct, I let my hand fall onto her leg, trying to calm her down.

She looks down at my fingers slightly squeezing her thigh and places her hand on top of mine. I'm excited that she's allowing the physical contact, but that quickly disappears when she removes my hand and puts it back in my lap.

I really want to cry. No, not just cry. I wanna curl up on my bed and die, that's how much her rejection hurts, but I'm sure it doesn't compare to me walking off and leaving her in the middle of the street after telling her I couldn't be with her.

"We just need to come up with a better plan of attack. I don't want to see any of you girls, or Xander, get hurt dealing with him."

"I'm going out for a smoke."

I just watch her as she gets up from beside me and stalks over to the door. Every part of me wants to get up and follow her, but I don't.

The door closes and everyone's attention is on me, waiting for some sort of explanation, "She's just stressed about Larry."

It seems to be a good enough excuse because everyone is nodding. I'm glad because I really didn't want to have to deal with lying to them about what's really going on.

"Why don't you come up with a plan, Andrew? I mean, you are a big bad watcher, now. Show us your skills," Xander speaks up from the corner of the room.

"Very well. Here's how it's gonna go..."



Chapter Six

According to all of our research, Evil Larry is supposed to rise tomorrow night. That's great and everything, but that just means I don't have much time with Faith left. There's been no progress in getting her to stay in Cleveland, but it's not like I've been trying that hard. I just sit and watch her and let the memories of the past few weeks take me over. It's easier than dealing with the reality that she's leaving.

She's standing in the kitchen sharpening her knife, and I'm just watching her again. She's concentrating so hard on the already sharp weapon, and it's such a turn on. The world is supposedly ending tomorrow, and here I am wishing she would touch me like she did the night she helped me with my room. It wasn't just sex that night. She showed me how much she loved me, and I want so bad for her to show me again.

It'll never happen, though. She's going to Dallas, and I'm staying here.

I'm pulled out of my thoughts by some harsh words making their way out of Faith's mouth. I stand up from the table and make my way over to her. She's cut herself on her knife, and a steady stream of blood makes it way down onto her arm.

"Maybe the kitchen wasn't the best place to do that." I grimace as a grab a towel and throw it to her.

She catches it and places it on top of the cut on her finger, "Yeah, well, I tend to make stupid choices."

Like deciding to move to Dallas, but I have a feeling that's not what she's talking about.

I move closer to her and take the towel off her finger. It's hard to see how bad it actually is with all the blood still caked on her hand, so I start dabbing at it. She winces, and I look up at her. Her face is inches away from mine, and our bodies are pressed together. It would be so easy to close the distance and connect our lips, but I don't think it would accomplish anything, so I just turn back to her finger.

Most of the blood has been wiped clean giving me a clearer look at her injured finger, and I can't help but laugh at the sight.

"That's a baby cut, Faith."

"Screw you, B. That hurt like hell."

I laugh harder at the pout I know she doesn't want me to see, and it's not long before a small smile starts to form on her lips, too.

"I know what you mean, paper cuts usually do hurt."

She kind of growls at me, and before I know it, I'm pressed into the counter with one of her legs placed firmly between mine. It takes all of my will power not to grind down into it, but it's killing me. She feels so good.

"Laugh it up, blondie, but who's gonna be laughin' when I get blood all over this pretty shirt you're wearing?"

A horrified look replaces my smirk, and I struggle to get her off of me. It's no use, though, she has me pinned pretty tight, and I know I'm not going anywhere, "You wouldn't."

"I so would." It's true, she so would, but she better not. I just bought this shirt, and I'd really hate to have to kill her the night before a big fight. She looks down at me with an evil grin and brings her hand up to look at. It's already stopped bleeding, that's how tiny it was, but there's still blood on her arm that hasn't dried yet. She takes her other hand away from mine, freeing them from behind my back, but I don't push her off of me. Instead, I place them on her hips and wait for whatever is about to happen.

She's still grinning at me, but it's less evil now, "But, since you look so sexy in it, I won't ruin it."

She reaches for the towel again and drags it across her arm in an attempt to wipe it clean. It works for the most part, and once she's satisfied with the results, she tosses it in the sink and returns her hands to the counter behind me.

"You think I'm sexy?"

"Hell yeah."

I smirk at her and tighten my hold on her hips before I start to move against her leg. I bite down on my bottom lip and peer up at her through my eyelashes, "What about now?"

She looks down between our bodies and watches as my hips slowly roll back and forth on her leg. Another growl escapes her throat and she leans in to whisper in my ear, "Especially now."

I moan as her breath tickles my ear and move my hips harder and faster into her. It's just like the dance, only this time we're standing in the middle of my kitchen where anyone could walk in on us. I'm past caring, though. I want this so badly that I don't care if the entire household catches us in the act.

She starts placing tiny kisses along my ear before she catches the lobe between her teeth, and it just puts me more into a frenzy.


She's sucking on my pulse point, now but lifts her head long enough to whisper, "Yeah, baby?"

"Touch me."

She brings her hand around to the front of my body and starts to unbutton my jeans, but the sound of someone clearing their throat sends us flying apart. I whip around from my position in front of the counter and see Andrew standing there with a sheepish grin on his face.

"Um...hey?" He says as he walks further into the room.

I hear Faith groan from behind me, and I turn just in time to see her grab the towel out of the sink and make a hasty escape to the living room. Figures she couldn't stay in here with me to deal with the problem known as Andrew.

"What do you want?" It's not very polite, but damn it, he interrupted almost sex with Faith, and with her leaving soon, I need all the time I can get with her. I assume she's still leaving, everything just now came out of nowhere.

"I just wanted to talk. I've missed you guys."

"Are you kidding Andrew? There are things going on here that are much bigger than you wanting to talk."

I was mad before when I thought he had something important to talk about, now I'm just pissed. Before I can make it out of the room, though, he stops me in my tracks.

"Your secret is save with me. I assume it's a secret considering the fact you two couldn't get far enough away from each other when I walked in," I look at him and nod, hopping it conveys my gratitude, but he's not done, "but for the record, it doesn't need to be a secret."

I don't know what to say, so instead of making a fool out of myself and trying to think of something, I just turn and leave. His simple statement is too hard for me to comprehend right now.

I make my way to my room and collapse onto the bed. The softness provides no comfort for me as I curl up into a ball and hope that sleep pulls me in quick so I can get this night over with.



The sun shining through my window gives me an unwelcome wake up call, but it's a good thing my curtains offer no protection from the blinding rays or I probably would have slept through the big battle. Everything that's been going on lately has been wearing me out, and the sooner we kill this Larry guy, the better.

I groan as I get up from the bed and stretch. Sleeping in my clothes from the day before was probably a mistake, but I've been making plenty of those these past few days, what's one more to add to the list?

Voices from downstairs carry themselves into my room, and one voice in particular sticks out. I rush down the stairs and find Kennedy, Willow, Andrew and Faith lounging in the living room. Faith's feet are propped up on the coffee table, and I glare. She knows how much I hate that, especially when she's wearing her dirty boots, but the glare fades when I see the duffle bag laying beside the table.

"Oh, Buffy, you're awake," Willow says as she stands up from the arm of the chair Kennedy is sitting in.

I hear the younger brunette Slayer mumble a, "Finally," but I pay her no mind.

"We were just talking about the wonders of Texas with Faith."

I eye the duffel bag again and have to remind myself to breathe properly as my heart clinches in my chest.

"Yeah, like she gets to go to the home of the Dallas Cowboys," Andrew pipes up, bringing my attention to him.

"The who?"

Kennedy snickers and Faith kind of smirks before the former finally answers, "It's a football team."

If this were a cartoon I'm sure a tiny light bulb would be going off above my head. I say tiny because apparently I'm not all that bright, but I'm not stupid enough to let a joke at Andrew's expense slip by.

"Andrew, the fact that you even know what football is is beyond amazing."

Kennedy snickers again and adds her own jab, "Yeah, I thought for sure if it wasn't about spaceships or men with pointy ears and crazy eyebrows you wouldn't know a thing about it."

There's just enough room on the couch between the boy and the girl I want to stay more than anything, so I plop myself down. Faith tries unsuccessfully to scoot away from me, but it's no use, the arm of the couch is blocking her escape.

Willow takes her seat next to Kennedy again and steers the conversation in a more serious direction, "But really, we were talking about what her duties would be while down there and if this was a temporary job or something more permanent."

She says the last part while looking directly at me, and it makes me uncomfortable.

"And I was making fun of her for only having enough crap to fit in that little bag."

Leave it to Kennedy to say something rude to get me off the hook.

"This little bag has everything I need to survive. A change of clothes, a pack of cigarettes and a dirty porno magazine."

Everyone is speechless, and I'm sitting here wondering if that sentence actually made it past her internal censors and out of her mouth, but then I remember it's Faith, of course she just said that.

Seeing all of our reactions, she decides to continue, "Oh, and a knife because everyone knows how much I like to stab things."

And it doesn't help. At all.

The silence is finally broken by Andrew, though, "When you say pack of cigarettes are we talking about kings, lights or menthol?"

"Out of everything she listed, that's what you choose to comment on?"

Willow is almost as disbelieving as I am. I can't believe they think I'm the stupid one.

"Moving on," I say in hopes of getting the conversation back on track, "temporary or permanent, Faith?"

"I'll know more when I get there tonight."

When she gets there tonight, and here I thought she would want to stick around after dealing with Evil Larry.

"Well, it's a shame you're leaving so soon after I got here. I was hoping we would be able to catch up more."

"You're not staying here, Andrew."

He glares at Kennedy and looks up at me for some sort of assurance I won't kick him out when we're done. I give him no such thing. "She's right."

I don't think it's much of a fair trade to have Faith leave and Andrew stay in her place. I certainly wouldn't be having sex with him.

"You'll regret it. I promise you." He tries to be cryptic and sinister by giving sideways glances to everyone in the room, but he fails miserably.

"Did I just hear someone say Andrew's not allowed to stay? That's the best news I've heard in a long time," Xander strolls into the room and makes the three of us on the couch scoot over so he can squeeze in. It just pushes me more into Faith, and I could kiss Xander for forcing us to be this close.

"I hope Evil Larry kills at least one of you. Hopefully it's Kennedy."

We all laugh, but part of me wonders if he's actually being serious. The laughter dies down, and it's replaced with an uncomfortable silence. It's probably due to the fact that no one besides Andrew has a clue what's going on with Faith and I.

I want things to be light and funny like they were a few seconds ago. It helps me get over the fact that she's leaving, makes it seem like it's not a big deal. This silence that's weighing down on all of us just cements how big a deal it actually is.

"It's almost like Sunnydale all over again. All of us sitting here before the big fight." Xander takes us all back in time, but I don't think the past is where any of us wants to be. I can tell by the looks of each of their faces what they're thinking about.

For Willow it's Tara and what could have been if it hadn't been for Warren. For Xander it's Anya and what he could have done differently to save her the day we defeated the First. Andrew is almost certainly thinking about Jonathan and Warren while Kennedy is probably recalling her blossoming relationship with Willow.

Faith's face is a little harder to read, but I know her thoughts are of the bad variety. No doubt blame is being tossed around in her head, and it's something I never want her to think about.

"Whatever. I'm just ready to kill this guy." And just like that, Faith brings us all crashing back into reality.

I need time alone with her so that I can try and convince her to stay, but I've never been brave enough to go after what I wanted, and that's not going to change now. Instead, I'll just sit her next to her and pretend that the duffel bag by the table is full of weapons for the fight later, and not full of her belongings ready for her to walk out of my life.



The walk to Evil Larry's grave is much longer than it needs to be. I have no doubt handfuls of vampires will be there waiting for us, and the feeling that not all of us may survive is growing with each step we take.

We decided not to bring everyone along with the thought that the second wave could take care of what the first wave couldn't. Hopefully it doesn't get to that point, but we aren't taking any chances.

Xander, Willow, Kennedy, Andrew, Rachel, me and Faith, with her duffel bag slung over her shoulder, march forward. She could have at least left the damn bag at the house and picked it up on her way out of town. Now it's just going to serve as a reminder of what's coming, and I really don't need that distraction.

We're just a few yards away from the grave and can see 20 vampires or so crowded around it chanting. I figured there would be more. It's kind of disappointing that there's not, but oh well, that just means it'll be easier for us.

Faith pulls out a stake from her waistband, and Kennedy, Rachel and I follow suit. Willow falls behind us and starts a chant of her own. Hopefully a big stream of sunlight will help us take care of these guys quicker.

Xander and Andrew stand on either side of me, each holding a decent sized sword pretty awkwardly. Great, not only am I going to be worrying about that stupid bag, but now I have to worry about these two. We should have just left them at home.

The vamps pick up on Will's chanting and brace themselves for battle. Faith takes a look at each of us before shrugging her shoulders, tossing the bag to the ground and running full speed into the group of undead.

I roll my eyes as that wasn't part of the plan. We were all supposed to go in together. Strength in numbers and all that, but I have no choice but to chase after her.

If she gets herself killed I'm gonna be pissed because that's so taking the easy way out.

The rest of the group catches up with us, and the fight is on. Every vamp, except two, are swinging wildly at our group. The others are standing by the grave continuing on with their chanting. I need to make it over to them, but the fact that they outnumber us makes it a little hard to do so.

Xander and Andrew are fighting side by side, and I'm more worried that they'll slice something off each other than one of the vamps, but as long as I don't hear one of them scream, I can keep my focus on Faith and her ass.

Wait...what? Not her ass. Bad Buffy. Punch, dodge, stake. That's it, get back into the fight and worry about Faith later. That's gonna be a little hard, though, considering she's standing next to me grunting like crazy.

God, I wish we were having sex.



We make quick work out of the vampires not chanting and turn our attention to the two that are. Willow finally comes through on her spell, and a beam of light shoots out of her hand, dusting them mid word.

We all stand around, breathing heavily, not sure what to do with ourselves.

"Is that it?" Rachel asks, bent over with her hands on her knees.

"Don't be retarded. Evil Larry hasn't risen yet," Faith says as she glares at the girl, making me wonder if she's ever going to get over the missed baseball game.

Just as the words leave her mouth, though, the ground in front of his tombstone begins to move, and a very old looking hand shoots out from beneath the dirt. It's quickly followed by the rest of Larry, and very old doesn't even begin to describe what this guy looks like.

Grey wisps of hair hang down to the middle of his back, and most of his head is just skull save for a few pieces of decaying flesh hanging on his forehead and cheeks. It's totally disgusting, and he looks more like the guy from Tales From the Crypt than anything else.

"Feast. I need to feast." His voice is way too high pitched for something as evil as he's supposed to be.

We all just stand there in various states of confusion before Andrew walks up, and with one quick slice, sends Larry's head rolling to the ground. The body falls forward but turns to dust before it ever hits the ground.

"Did I kill it? Did I kill it?" Andrew asks not believing he would be capable of doing such a thing.

"Wow, that was completely anticlimactic." Faith doesn't believe it either.

"So basically I dragged myself out here to dust some vamps and watch Andrew kill this thing. I better get some great sex to make up for this."

Willow looks around at us sheepishly before walking after her fuming girlfriend who is already yards away from us in an attempt to get home quickly.

Xander just shrugs his shoulders and walks off with Rachel by his side. Andrew follows along behind, dragging his sword behind him, leaving Faith and I alone in the middle of the cemetery. She walks over to her discarded bag and picks it up, but before leaving like I figured she would, she turns back around and stares at me.

I know what she wants, so I walk over to join her.

I can't believe this is it. She's actually leaving, and I'm actually letting her. The chill of the night sends a shiver through me, and I can't help but pull my jacket around me tighter.

"I won't make this long, but I just wanted the chance to get a few things off my chest. I've been kinda distant towards you the past few days, minus the groping in the kitchen, and I really don't want to leave things unsaid between us. I know we were just fooling around, and what happened between us didn't mean anything, but...I don't know, it was really nice."

God, she thinks it meant nothing to me. I can't blame her, though, because I know that's how I acted.

"You know, for once I finally let my guard down and allowed myself to try that whole happiness thing, and I guess I kinda liked it. I've wanted to be with you for so long, and maybe my luck is changing because it finally happened. I know you didn't want me to kiss you or anything, but everything else was really good, and despite all the crap we've gone through, I guess I just wanted to thank you for making me happy."

I can't do anything but stand here and hate myself. I must be the world's biggest bitch because I knew that she wanted me, and if I'm honest with myself, I know that I want her, too, but I only gave her just enough of me to satisfy my needs. And that made her happy.

That's when I start crying. She doesn't say anything, she just wraps her arms around me and pulls me in close. The cold I was feeling before is replaced by the warmth of her body, and I never want her to let go of me. I was so worried about what people thought of me and what they would say if they ever found out about Faith and I that I never let myself get too close to her.

I regret that more than anything. I regret that I used her without taking any of her feelings into consideration, and now it's too late. It's too late to tell her how I feel, that I do want her. I want her to kiss me and be with me, but even if I did have time, I know I wouldn't do it. I'm still not brave enough.

So, instead, I cry and let her hold me. When she starts to pull away, I just pull her back to me. I can't let her go right now because I know if I do, I'll fall to the ground.

"We'll be OK. It's just Texas, it's not like I'm flying halfway across the world, and we both know I'm gonna need your help the first week I'm down there."

Her voice is so soothing, and I hate that because there's a finality there. Like she really is leaving and there's nothing I can do or say to stop it. I almost wish she had left like Angel did after graduation, this is too much for me to handle.

She stirs in my embrace again, but only pulls far enough away to lean her forehead against mine. She tightens her grip around my waist, and I've never felt more at home.

"Best time of my life was here in Cleveland," as she whispers those words to me, I know I love her and that it's over between us.

She dips her head down and captures my lips in a kiss. It's the simplest kind of kiss, and it's the best kiss I've ever had.




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