The ABCs of Fuffy
by Bobbi Manuel
Dedication: For ABC...Happy Birthday!
"Don't you swear at me!"
Faith sucked in a deep breath and let it out slowly.
"Sorry. Is this it for this load?"
She was still miffed, but Buffy decided to let it go.
"Yes, just those three."
"I'm on it."
Yeah, she was on it all right. Like white on rice, like shit on a shingle, like a Slayer bored out of her freaking mind and sick of getting bossed all over the place. She hoisted the stacked boxes and plow horsed her way outside to the Jeep that sat mocking her in the driveway. She could barely see where she was headed, but since she'd made the trip about six thousand times in the last fifteen million hours, she figured she could walk it in her sleep by now.
The cargo area didn't have much room left and when she returned to the bedroom, Buffy had two more boxes and a big suitcase full of crap.
"Take these out to the Jeep, please."
Faith did everything she could not to mumble under her breath and she made it out of the bedroom and partway down the hall before she couldn't keep it in anymore:
"Really? I should go to the Jeep? Are you sure, Buffy? I mean, who would have guessed it? Christ…"
She situated everything in tight, then slammed the hatch closed. She wiped her hands on her jeans, her lazy Sunday afternoon frantically calling to her since her lazy Sunday morning had been busier than Times Square on New Year's Eve. Right after an early breakfast, Buffy had had her on the move without a minute to herself, and enough was enough. It was Sunday, a day of rest, a day of football, and her Pats were going to be on pretty soon. She had a six pack of Sam Adams waiting, plenty of munchies to keep her going until dinner time, a comfy sofa, a remote control with brand new batteries, and a big screen TV just waiting for her. Today was the Lord's special day and Faith was all set to pay her goddamn respects.
She headed back inside, ready for the fight of her life, ready to talk some smack, lay down the law, explain to Buffy that she wasn't at her beck and call, that she was Faith Fucking Lehane, the Slayer, and the Pussywhipped Train was departing without her on board, sorry to break it to you, Princess. But as she cleared the door to their bedroom, her taskmaster emerged from the closet – her baggy navy sweats and the old ratty gray t-shirt she'd stolen from Xander hiding her killer body, her hair all messed up, most of it pulled loose from her ponytail or trying its best to get there, her nose red from sneezing over the dust storm she'd stirred up, and her "Buffy" smile showing up the second she laid her beautiful eyes on Faith.
It was a nice try, but Faith knew better than to get suckered in no matter how sexy, gorgeous, and right Buffy looked. She'd fallen into that trap a million times before and she knew the score better than anyone else ever had. But when she felt those arms wrapping around her, felt that perfect body fitting so perfectly against hers, Faith Fucking Lehane, the Slayer, knew she was suckered in but good, and that she was always going to be the conductor of the P. Train.
Their lips met, their tongues touched, and suddenly the crappy morning faded away.
"Did I ever thank you for helping me all morning?"
"Don't you wish I would?"
Faith edged them back and as they fell down onto the bed Buffy tried to be good:
"Faith, isn't the game…Don't you want to…"
"What I want's to be with you. ESPN runs highlights all night long."
It was like watching a sunrise at the beach, like drinking an ice cold beer on a hot summer day, like smelling a new car as you drove it off the lot, like seeing a work of art you actually understood. Blonde hair flowing just right, hazel eyes taking you in with nothing but love even when you were being a jerk, a body always threatening to veer over to skinny, but always resting firmly on the sexy side of things. The strength hidden under silky skin and in a heart so big it couldn't be stopped, not without starting right back up again. The kind of courage that nobody else had ever had and the doing what was right because it was how she was made, all she could do because she was a hero who would always stand tall.
The sense of humor that made you laugh all the time, something you needed more than most people just to be able to live with yourself. The ease with which she made you feel as if you belonged – to her, to her family, to the world, to yourself, and the smarts that saw exactly what you were trying to pull. The firm grasp that grabbed you and wouldn't let you go until you had a hold of yourself, the confidence when she'd let go, positive that you could handle it because she believed in you no matter what. The way her light outshone the sun almost all the time, the warmth, the heat, the inferno that consumed you and recreated you into a better version of yourself, like magic that shouldn't have been possible, but was proven over and over again.
She was beauty, light and hope, constant and true, and she loved you for reasons that never would be completely clear to you. But despite the fact that in the beginning you thought that mattered, as the years went by you found it didn't matter at all. What mattered was the way she touched you, the way her whole being lightened whenever she saw you, how she led you into your life, one that was filled with laughter, love, and a sense of belonging. She made you into a hero, someone important, someone who meant something and had so much to offer. She made you into you and you were never going back, didn't even remember how.
Buffy was…She was Buffy, and that said it all.
You'd think I had cooties or something. Every time I enter a room, she leaves it as soon as she can. And God forbid if I touch her, she acts like she needs to call 911 or get defleeced…defleaed…desomethinged and I don't get it. I'm one of the cleanest people in the history of personal hygiene and I smell great too. Who wouldn't want me touching them appropriately? Lots of people have enjoyed it, at least I haven't heard any complaints. Plus I've been with two vampires, sometimes inappropriately, and they both always told me how great I smelled…although in retrospect, delicious Slayer blood might have had something to do with that. Oh God, do I smell like blood?
That's ridiculous and I know it because I asked everyone I knew and they all said no, I smell great. Well, except for Dawn who said I smell like a monkey, but I know better than to believe her. So my smell isn't the problem. I'm clean as a whistle and so what is the deal? Lately she won't even patrol with me, which is crazy as well as upsetting. We love to slay together, we're an amazing team and it's nothing but fun for us, but lately she finds excuses not to go out with me. Last night was kind of the last straw for me, which is why I've decided to push the issue today.
So what was the last straw?
Last night…Faith went out with Kennedy.
That's right, Kennedy. Voluntarily. With Kennedy. On patrol. Faith. Lehane. It was me or her, and I suddenly felt like I was back in grade school when no one would pick me to be on their team because I was too little. I stood there looking at Faith as she saw me waiting, then she quickly grabbed Kennedy and took off with her. No one was more surprised than Kennedy, she was looking around like the world had gone crazy on her and she needed a rescue. Willow wasn't there, so her eyes fell on me and she looked desperate, like maybe Faith was hauling her away to finally kill her. I saw her this morning so I know she made it back alive, what I didn't know was why.
I've been wracking my brains for weeks now looking for the moment I made her mad, offended her, hurt her feelings that she pretends she doesn't have, and I came up with nothing. In fact, things were going great. We'd been getting closer and closer, even spending lots of free time together, and she was happier than I'd ever seen her – laughing all the time, chatting with everybody, even being nice to Andrew. Then I invited her for a sleepover and she declined kind of rudely. It irritated me, but I just figured she was in a bad mood or something. I didn't realize that it was the start of a month long snit. Well enough, I didn't like the tension between us and I missed her.
I snuck up to her room and used the master key to let myself in. Giles would be furious if he knew I was abusing my position of authority, but what's the point of having authority if you don't abuse it sometimes? And besides, I hardly ever do anything bad, not unless Will and Xander join in and we relive the good old days when we hardly did anything bad then either. Rebels we were not exactly, so this was totally acceptable behavior.
She was sleeping, I could hear this soft snoring noise coming from her bedroom. I was being quiet, almost silent really as I used my Slayer skills to move towards her. I didn't exactly have a plan, but I wanted to ambush her and catch her off guard so I could find out what was wrong. She couldn't just run away from me in this sitch, not without making it wicked obvious what she was doing…and that's how much I miss her – I was talking like her.
As I got to the doorway of her bedroom, I suddenly froze. What if that wasn't her snoring? What if she had a guy over...or a girl? And why I tacked on that "girl" part confused me. I mean, a person's a person, so why I did the big dramatic "girl" moment in my head was weird. Guy or girl, if I got caught I was going to be embarrassed.
I decided the best thing to do would be to just peek in and if I saw more than one body, I would make my escape and no one would be any wiser. I took a deep breath, poked my head around the door frame thing and nope, there was just Faith there. Thank God for that because it would have been really embarrassing, plus just the idea made me feel sort of jealous. Which made the kind of sense that didn't.
I edged closer and oh boy, embarrassing moments are me. Apparently Faith slept topless, which why she'd do that on the day I decided to surprise her, I had no idea. She shifted slightly and I saw a flash of hip and stomach, and I was pretty sure she didn't sleep with bottoms either. I felt hot and a little sweaty and I was hoping she wouldn't wake up, but I was also hoping to maybe see a little more...just to confirm she had no bottom.
Speaking of which: Wow. Her breasts were the prettiest I'd ever seen, I didn't even know they made them that way. Not that I've made a thorough study of breasts, but I am a girl and I've seen quite a few in my life. None of them were as nice as Faith's, and now I was beginning to wonder about something because I was starting to feel things I hadn't noticed I'd ever felt before when it came to Faith. Good things, fun things, sexy things, but things that I probably should keep to myself.
I was just getting ready to wake her up when she moved a little bit and said:
It figures. I can't even sneak up on her and I wondered how long she'd been awake with me just standing there staring at her like a total pervert. Terrific.
"Hey, I know this is weird, but I just wanted to talk to you because you keep…"
She started waking up then and I was out of there just as fast as my Slayer speed could take me. Faith was dreaming about me, and it sounded like I smelled delicious and that there was all kinds of inappropriate touching going on.
We definitely need to talk, but maybe after I've thought a few things through on my end and she's gotten dressed on hers, because those breasts?
Okay, Buffy – hands where you can see them…at least in the beginning.
Yeah, I drive stick and I drive it well. Manual, automatic, straight or curvy, I motor along just fine. Guys suit me. You do it, you get off, then they get out. Nobody gets worked up and I sail on free and easy with no strings attached in any way. It's perfect, just how I like it. So why am I spending every moment I'm awake thinking about doing it with B? Beats me, but I am. Soon as I found out that she hit it with another Slayer, I can't let it go. It pisses me off for a lot of reasons, but damn it…If B was gonna make it with a chick, that's gotta be me. How can it not be?
All the flirting and sexual tension between us for years, all the looks, touches, talks, fighting, getting under each other's skin, trying to kill each other, how the fuck did she bang some other woman? That was ours, and since I met her I've never slept with a woman, even though I'd done it before and under certain circumstances was open to doing it again. But I don't know, I thought she was straight and me and her were never doin' the diddy. It seemed to make sense that I just do boys, and that feeling just got more solid as me and B patched stuff up and became friends. I didn't wanna cheat on her.
It was stupid, I know. You can't cheat on somebody you've never been with and you can't cheat on somebody who hates you because you're fighting on the wrong side and ruining everything between you for years to come. But still, how was it not me? It just seems fucked up beyond anything I've ever heard of, and she must feel at least a little wrong because she's never said shit to me about it. If it wasn't for Dawn's big mouth, I'd still be in the dark.
I wish the bitch she slept with was still here. I'd like to know if B at least mentioned me at some point, although I'd love it if she actually called out my name when she came. Not that I expect Satsu would tell me that part, but I wanna know how B fucked her without thinking about me at all. I can't believe it went down, or that she went down, but apparently she did. Not that it could have been any good, I mean, besides a last goodbye pity fuck, B never went back to her. Word I got's Satsu fell hard for B, true love and all that shit, but Buffy didn't feel any of that. So a little experimenting later, Satsu shipped out for parts unknown, although the parts she did know piss me right the fuck off.
I wanna tell B I know and see if she reacts ashamed or at least a little sorry. But I don't know, maybe I shouldn't push it. I don't know what I'd do if she acted like she didn't know how and why I felt like I do, if she didn't at least share a little of it with me. And I'd want her to sort of apologize, admit that there's something here between us, and I'm not sure she would even if she felt that way and wanted to. But she's gotta know that should've been me, how could she not?
Right here is just what I was getting at with chicks. There's all this emotion and relationship stuff going on. It gets you twisted into knots until you don't know if you wanna cry or smack the shit outta somebody. You don't go anyplace like that with guys, and man, I'm glad I don't have to deal with this crap. But damn…that shoulda been me.
Breath mingling. Skin tingling. Sweat. Fingers entering. Muscles clenching. Voices murmuring. Hearts beating. Strong hands holding on tight. Tongues moving. In and out. Out and in. Hips rising. Hips falling. Dark hair. Light hair. Strength. Weakness. Giving. Taking. Again and again. Breasts. Hardness. Softness. Holding. Releasing. Fighting. Surrendering. Top to bottom. Bottom to top. Forcing. Willing. Exhausted. Invigorated. Satisfied. Giving. Meeting. Parting. Joining. Front to back. Back to front. Heat. Lust. Sex. Desire. Need. Touch. Smell. Taste. Feel. See. Heart. Mind. Body and soul. Love. Buffy and Faith. Again.
She's all motion. The kind of motion that makes you follow her. Your eyes track her, your body moves with her, your heart stays in stride with her. She dances like sex, her movements like the ones you know so intimately between the sheets. And on the floor and in the closet and up against a crypt and anywhere else she wants you. You can't deny her, you never even try and why would you? Being with her is where you feel most at home and during sex is where you feel the most like you. You belong to her, you know that and it doesn't scare you. It makes you feel safe, makes you feel loved, makes you feel all is right with the world.
She is moving even when she's not and you love the moment of stillness before she explodes into action, all power and deadly grace out on patrol and in your bed. She's still dangerous, a woman with just enough of the animal in her to excite you. She can be rough, she can be demanding, but then so can you and you often are. She loves those times, you can see it in her beautiful eyes, eyes so expressive, you can see everything she feels in them. You love when they look at you and you swear there are sparks flying out of them as her desire for you skyrockets. Her hands and mouth do things to you that you never knew were possible, lifting you to heights you doubt anyone has ever reached before.
She can stare at you from across the room, your back to her and still you know she's there. Your heart always beats faster when you see her, the happiness she brings to you increasing every time you see her, whenever she takes your hand for no reason other than to be connected with you. The tenderness she shows to only you, the gentleness, the way she worships you and makes it clear that she loves you. Her hands strong and firm, your heart held safe in their grasp.
She makes you melt, makes you strive to take care of her, to protect her, to fill her life with only love and happiness now, desperate to balance out what came before you. You wish you could go back, scoop her up and carry her to safety, save her and take away the pain. She always smiles and kisses you when she knows you're feeling that way.
"Relax B, you have."
It makes your eyes tear up, how loving her turned out to be the easiest thing in the world, something you never would have believed when you started out. But it is easy, easier than anything you've ever done and it's by far your favorite thing in life. You love watching her move, love hearing her voice, love feeling her touch, love seeing her smile. And when she laughs, God, you could die happy right then. It's a gift each and every time, no longer rare, but the effect on you is just the same.
The years have built up and they've comforted her. They've rolled by one day at a time until they've added up to security, a confidence that your love is real and for always. Time has worked its magic along with your words and your deeds and she has faith now, and so do you. You won't ever be giving her back and the beauty is: she knows that. She's Faith and she is what you need.
It's a funny thing. You do shit all your life, then you stop, but the past clings to you like you wouldn't believe. You try to let it go, to live in the moment, focus on the good things you do, but that crap holds on tight and won't let you go. At least it doesn't let me go.
Some days are better than others and today's a bad one. I had nightmares last night, not like I don't deserve'em. It always starts off the same: I see me outright murdering Professor Worth, just taking all kinds of pleasure in sliding the knife in while he begs for his life. I'm in the dream, but I'm watching it from the outside too, like it's somebody else doing it and man, how I wish that was true. Then it changed and he was Buffy and she was dying. Her eyes looked at me so sad, so betrayed, and she was bubbling out blood and fighting to say:
"I love you."
Then I woke up and there's no way I can ever get back to sleep after one of those. I always lean over to check on her, just to make sure it wasn't real and that she's safe and sound, then I either just lay there and remember everything or I head over to the window to smoke about fifty packs and maybe drink half a bottle of whiskey to settle my nerves. I try to be careful not to wake her, she needs her sleep and she worries about me too much as it is.
The days after those nights are always rough, but I think I've gotten better at hiding them from her. I don't like keeping secrets and I'm always aboveboard with her otherwise, but this stuff…I figure it's just the price I gotta pay for being a murderer, for letting evil take charge of me when I had another way to go and just chose not to. Buffy already had to live it once, there's no reason she should have to keep going through it, so I do my best to fake it when I'm feeling this bad.
We're meeting in the park today and I have no fucking clue why. It's a pretty autumn day and the leaves are red and gold and orange and falling all over the place. There's a snap in the air and I like that 'cause I like wearing a jacket when I'm walking around. Everything is better out here, it feels crisp and fresh, like everything's starting over, and I definitely don't mind being around that.
And here she comes, walking towards me with the leaves falling all around her like something beautiful from a book. Her blonde hair blowing just a little, the green coat she's got on makes her eyes show up even at this distance, and she waves when she spots me and picks up the pace. She's so beautiful it takes my breath away sometimes, and I know I love her more than I will ever love anything. I also know I don't deserve her, but I've got her and I can't give her up, even though days like today make it clear to me that I should. She's so much better than this shit, better than me, and she should have somebody as wonderful as she is.
"Hi, pretty lady."
She smiles as she says that, then puts her arms around my shoulders and kisses me. It's pretty intense, at least for her in public. It's not that she's afraid to be affectionate in front of people, but she doesn't usually go that far with a crowd around and there's definitely a shitload of people out here today. That's how it goes in a park on a beautiful fall day.
Nobody seems to pay us any attention, not that I care. The gay thing is their problem if it bothers them, I just worry they'll look at us and know she got stuck with a loser like me.
Her hands are in my hair and she pulls a little to make me look at her.
"Stop eying that cute girl."
I look, but I don't even see anyone I'd look twice at.
"Sorry, B. I was just wondering why she wasn't as hot as you."
Buffy laughs and lets go, linking our hands together as we start walking. I don't say anything for a while, she doesn't either 'cept to sort of lean into me.
"So what's the sitch, B? Why we meeting up here?"
"No reason, I just thought it'd be nice to take a walk together. It's so pretty out."
No argument on any of that from me. We go a ways with her just talking about shit like she does: Willow's new shirt that B wanted for her own even though it went better with Red's hair, how Dawn was sweet on some kid she just met, how Giles makes the best tea in the world, and how Xander had built the perfect weapons chest for us after we accidentally busted our old one because B was feeling way too frisky after patrol.
Now she moves onto the newbies and asks me how the training is going. I explain it's a good group and it's going smooth as silk. She points out that we haven't lost a girl in two years and that Giles was just telling her how important I was.
"He said, and I quote: 'Faith is almost solely responsible for saving 58 girls since we began this endeavor. She's done quite a remarkable job and is absolutely vital in our continued success."
It's way nice to hear, I don't usually imagine anybody talking about me in a positive way.
"So how'd that topic come up?"
Buffy catches a red leaf out of the air and hands it to me with a smile:
"A red rose for my stunningly wonderful girlfriend."
I smile back at her as I take it, playing along by smelling it.
"Mmm…smells just like you, B."
"I assume that's pretend smell, not musty or mildewy or whatever leaves smell…"
I kiss her to shut her up, then stick the leaf behind her ear.
"So, why was G-Man singing my praises?"
"A mother called in to thank us for saving her daughter and Giles let her know it was 'Ms. Lehane who did the yeoman's work. She's our very best'."
I don't say anything, but I feel my face heat up. Despite being embarrassed, I love hearing that I'm doing something good and Giles and B know it. It makes me feel like…like maybe I do have something good to offer sometimes.
We go back to holding hands with me listening and Buffy rambling on about Buffy shit, just shifting my mind to better things, lighter things. Her fingers feel warm next to mine, and her thumb rubbing on the back of my hand relaxes me. We're just strolling around, not a care in the world and I feel the breeze blowing against my face.
"…so I explained to him that, no, he had no chance with me because I am in love with the best person I've ever known. He couldn't really come back after that, so he finally just left. Can you imagine?"
I look at her and finally I see it. There's love in her eyes, concern, and determination, and I nod.
"You were talkin' about me, yeah?"
She laughs and swats me on the shoulder.
"Of course I was talking about you."
I feel it lift, then blow away. It'll show up again, but not today and not any time soon either. My girl has kicked its ass but good all with a simple walk in the park. I kiss her and she kisses me back, the red leaf falling all the way down to the ground.
"Lost your rose, B."
"There'll be others. Besides, I've got you."
Hungry and Horny
It had been a busy patrol, a couple of the skirmishes had been way too touch and go for comfort, but now the night was winding down. Maybe the word had finally gotten out that the Two Original Slayers were out looking for dust, but whatever the cause the vamps and assorted demons had gone to ground, most likely under it.
"What the fuck, B? Buncha pussies."
"They are definitely less than eager now."
Faith looked around.
"Yeah, well wouldn't mind a chance to…"
The night exploded as several vampires rushed them, but the Slayers fought back to back and it took them only minutes to deal with the latest barrage. The clouds of dust drifted away on the slight breeze and they high fived as they continued on, searching for any other stragglers.
The demon population was still bitter about the recently thwarted apocalypse, especially the vampire community. It was always the same: some demon got visions of grandeur, then got his ass handed to him Scooby style. For some reason, even demons who'd had no hand in the specific events took the defeat personally, and vampires especially got the "red ass" as Faith referred to it. They apparently counted their victims before they were bitten and didn't share Spike's philosophy on what a great unlife it was:
"Like this world. Plenty to eat, plenty to do, don't ever want it to end, luv."
A seemingly obvious enough sentiment: the end of the world would most likely mean the end of people, but vampires tended to react, not think, and it always led to an active week of patrolling for the Slayers.
"What'd ya think, B?"
"I think it' s over, at least for the night."
Faith was standing close, too close, but Buffy didn't step away. She moved closer, not meeting Faith's eyes. They stood unmoving for a few moments, clearly violating the "Personal Space" rule with neither minding in the slightest, until Faith made the first move. Her fingers slowly trailed up Buffy's bare arm towards her shoulder and it was Buffy who made the second move. She reached up and grabbed Faith by the back of her neck to pull her mouth into reach and they came together a little painfully, teeth banging, lips smashing as they began losing themselves in each other.
It was Buffy who woke up first, pulling away and placing her hand on Faith's chest to keep her back.
"Not here, F. It's too danger…"
Faith yanked her back into position.
"Don't care. Want you, B."
Her mouth began exploring Buffy's neck and Buffy's moan made it clear she was enjoying herself a great deal, but once again she struggled to put some distance between them.
"Too many vam…"
Faith kissed her again, then moved herself back.
"Fuck, you're right. Come on."
They held hands as they ran back to Slayer Central, glad it wasn't that far away. They entered the lobby casually, trying to look calm to everyone gathered there, but they were in luck and the normally busy area was completely deserted. Buffy headed for the stairs and their room, only to almost have her arm dislocated as Faith pulled her in the opposite direction.
"OW! Where are you going?"
"Can't wait for a bedroom."
And with that she led them to the supply closet. The door was locked, but a firm twist solved that problem. Faith shoved Buffy in, then followed her, pulling the door as closed as she could. She stripped her shirt off as she approached Buffy, unbuttoning her pants and literally walking out of them as she kept her eyes locked on her intended prey. Buffy's smile was nothing but seductive, and she let her gaze roam freely over the nude body fast approaching her.
Then Faith was there, her mouth ravishing Buffy's, her hands shoving under Buffy's clothes to find the most sensitive spots. Buffy leapt up, her legs wrapping around Faith's hips, her hands grabbing Faith's head as her lips met the challenge and her tongue tried to gain the upper hand. Faith groaned loudly at the impact, staggering slightly until she could catch her balance and adjust to supporting Buffy's weight. Her hands tore free from Buffy's shirt and pants to wrap around her and she slammed her against the only vacant spot on the wall. Tools and other supplies clanged to the floor at the impact, but neither Slayer really heard them.
Buffy's shirt was gone, her bra ripped aside so that Faith's mouth could replace it. She licked, bit and sucked, and Buffy urged her on, her legs tightening painfully around her until Faith moaned and decided to sample something else. She kissed Buffy and tried to move her over to the table, but Buffy didn't want that. She slid her legs down Faith's body, the contact making Faith pause, then using the momentum she'd gained, it was Faith's turn to smash up against the wall. Before she could complain, Buffy was on her knees, urging Faith to bring her legs up to rest on Buffy's shoulders.
It didn't take long, Faith's yell sounded out and Buffy ignored it, adding fingers until Faith began thrusting against her, shaking and swearing as she began seeing stars. She came again, violently, and although Buffy eased up, she didn't stop until there were no more tremors left to tremor. She was smiling up at Faith, but that didn't last long.
Faith pushed down with her legs, sending Buffy backwards to sprawl out on the floor, her knees on either side of her head.
"More, F? Not a prob…"
And then Faith was gone, down between Buffy's legs, tossing pieces of jeans and underwear back over her shoulder without taking her eyes off her prize.
"Mine. You're mine."
And she then set out to prove that claim was indeed true. Her mouth took control and she let Buffy come almost instantly, then with a way too familiar smirk she set about torturing the woman she loved. She brought her to the edge time and time again, over and over, always pulling back at the crucial moment until Buffy fought her. She threatened Faith, shoved Faith, grabbed at Faith, tried to do it for herself, but Faith evaded her and smacked her hands away.
"B...I wanna hear it."
Buffy was sweating, squirming, crying out, pleading and finally she surrendered:
With a grin Faith finished it, and Buffy proved that a woman could indeed have multiples multiple times.
When it was over, Buffy looked like she didn't have a bone in her body and Faith sat next to her and waited. Her hand trailed slowly along the body she loved in every way, her own heartbeat racing and everything in her wanting to do it all again.
"Okay, that was pretty good."
"'Pretty good?' You fuckin' kidding me, B?"
Buffy gestured at Faith to come closer and when she was within range they kissed, slowly and passionately, the kind of kiss that said they had all night.
"Wanna head up to our room now?"
"That's sounds good, F. The only problem is you ruined all of my clothes."
"Yeah, got a little excited."
"No, you were hungry and horny."
"Still am, even though the edge is off for a sec."
"Check over there in the locker, Xander probably has a shirt in there."
He did, an old gray one that was big enough on Buffy to cover what needed to be covered.
"Fuck me, you look so fucking hot right now."
She moved in, but Buffy held her off.
"Stop! We've already torn up this room and my clothes, we need to get to our place."
"Should we clean this up first?"
Buffy looked around at the nails and screws all over the floor, the hammers and screwdrivers clumped together in piles instead of neatly hanging on their pegs, packets of computer paper strewn on the floor, ink jet cartridges broken out of their boxes, two major dents in the wall, scraps of her ruined clothes all over the place…It was obvious what had happened and it was embarrassing.
"Yes, but um…I can't wait, Faith. I still need you."
Faith's grin was huge:
"Aww…my girl's a nympho. Tell ya what: Nobody's gonna be in here tonight, so I'll get up early tomorrow and ask Red to magic it right for us."
"That could work, plus it leaves me out of it."
"Good, yeah? Okay, hold here and let me make sure the coast's clear."
It only took a few seconds before Faith was back:
"C'mon, baby, let's blow this popsicle stand!"
Then they were out and practically flying up the stairs, no one any the wiser…except for Giles, Willow, Xander, Dawn, Kennedy, and Andrew who slowly and tentatively emerged from the den, their research long forgotten.
"Yes. Well thankfully that's over with."
"But it's not really, is it, Giles? It's just the location that's changed."
"And who are we all thanking for the soundproof spell I cast around their room when they first got together?"
"She means her, Andrew. God, does anyone care that I'm probably scarred for life from hearing my sister going at it like that?"
"Will…uh…Can we go upstairs now? I…uh…yeah…I'll go up and wait for you. Take your time…but hurry, okay?"
Kennedy had the decency to blush as she left and Giles couldn't go through it all again.
"I believe I shall turn in and leave the clean-up in your capable hands, Willow. Night, all."
He headed quickly up the stairs to the safety of his own room and Dawn piped up:
"Well I'm not going in there ever again, let alone so soon after that. Goodnight."
She was off without a look back, mumbling that blackmail this time should be worth at least an entire outfit, shoes included.
Andrew seemed nothing but happy with the circumstances:
"Just leaves us, guys. Let the supply room clean-up begin!"
They approached gingerly, snapped on the light and saw that the mess was far worse than even the noise had prepared them for. Willow decided frivolous magic was definitely called for, but Andrew wasn't happy to hear it.
"But Willow, I wanted to put Xander's tool where it belongs…I mean, put him…I mean, I wanted to handle his…I have to go to bed!"
They watched him run for his life, tool-less all the way.
"I told you, Xander."
"That you did, my little wiccan, and we are never talking about it again. Ever."
With a laugh, she murmured a few words and things began returning to their proper places. Xander picked up Buffy's torn clothes and stuffed them into the large trashcan, assuring Willow he could handle the broken doorknob and dented wall in the morning. He offered her his arm, hit the lights, and walked her up the stairs with a smile.
"You know, I think our lives are a lot different than most people's."
"Yeah, Buff kinda brought the freaky deaky right to us."
"In spades. And stakes. Lucky us, huh, Will?"
Okay, so right off the bat let me confess…although first I need to know what that means. "Off the bat". Does that relate to baseball or flying rabies? I don't get it either way. I suppose I could ask Giles or Willow, but if I ask him it's a twenty minute lecture on the antecedents of the English language throughout time, then probably some algebra, and an "oh so fascinating" tie in with the Pergamum Codex and cricket, and if I ask her she'll insist on looking it up on the computer which will lead us right into a whole: "Boy, word expression origins sure are fun, aren't they? I'll bet we could spend all day doing this, right, Buff?" thing, and what was I talking about? Oh right, my confession.
So Faith and I have been a couple for three years now and living together for a little over two of those, much to everyone's surprise. I don't think anybody was shocked that we slept together; the sexual tension had been humming a show tune between us since the first time we met, and yes, I'm inventing my own crazy sayings. Why should other people have all the fun?
Anyway, once I got outed with Satsu, well, there wasn't any reason to think I wouldn't sleep with Faith at some point. I was already all gayed up, how was it not going to happen somewhere down the line? It's not likely I'd let her just slide by unmolested, and since she's Faith, the only thing that ever held her back is that she didn't know I could do that sort of thing. I didn't know either, not really, but then there it was and I went with it. And it wasn't bad, she just wasn't Faith.
The main point I'm trying to make here is that Faith and I gaying it up together while sort of big news, certainly didn't shock anybody. What did shock them is that we ended up as a couple in a relationship. A pretty solid one too with way more ups than downs, and a really easy time of making up and working out our differences. We fight all the time, anybody dealing with her would. She's just so unbelievably annoying sometimes, especially when she's being a jerk and has that stupid smirk on her face. I just want to punch it off of her, but we promised not to hit each other anymore, so I have a rich fantasy life now.
But in reality, here we are – a couple who live together and are very committed to our relationship. We love each other, like each other, and count on each other for all kinds of things. We work together and play together and she's the only person I've never gotten sick off, not even for a little while. I've never been happier in my entire life and neither has Faith.
Everyone congratulates me for making a real relationship happen and not just settling for only a sex thing like Faith undoubtedly was aiming for. They tease her about it sometimes and she just smiles and says something like:
"How'd I know B'd be so great?"
"Yeah, well had to settle down sooner or later, Just lucky it's with B."
Or this huge crowd pleaser:
"Hey, always gotta do what the Head Slayer tells ya."
Yep, that's right –I tamed the dangerous Rogue Slayer. I showed her the benefits of sticking around and not hauling ass after doing the diddy, I taught her how to snuggle with me in my bed and like it. Thanks to me, Faith and I have this wonderful relationship that is going to last us our entire lives. Except I didn't.
Back to when we first had sex. It was crazy good, so crazy good I wondered what I'd actually been having before. I finally felt satisfied and worn out and all I wanted to do was go to sleep for the night, but I wasn't going to be rude. I could stay awake for a bit longer, but then as the time ticked by, Faith still wasn't budging. Okay, I thought she might be feeling like I did, all wiped out. Sure I'd recovered enough to move by then, but maybe it was taking her longer for some reason.
Minutes dragged by before she finally rolled over to face me:
"So, ya wanna cuddle or somethin'?"
I laughed right out loud until I quickly saw she wasn't kidding. I must have looked shocked, but to her credit she didn't back down.
"Isn't that what you do, B? Been lookin' forward to it."
So I tried to explain it to her, how I wasn't in the market for a relationship with her and how I was really counting on the World Famous: "Get Some, Get Gone" approach.
"Oh, well yeah, about that…Ain't gonna happen here."
"'Cause you're you, Buffy. My approach with us is: 'Get Some, Stay For Some More Later and on a Regular Basis'."
I totally freaked on her, yelling she couldn't just change now and I wanted her to leave. She stayed really calm and got dressed, and I knew she was hurt. But when I finally got up the nerve to look at her, she didn't look hurt at all. She just tugged on her boots, stood up, walked over to me and kissed me in way I could only call "tender".
"I know you're scared of getting hurt, B. I understand, but you gotta understand somethin' too: I love you and I've been waiting a long time for this. We can take it slow, but I want it all with you and sooner or later…I'm gonna get it."
My mouth sort of hung open in shock. This was Faith? Was this Bizarro World? She just smiled, kissed me on the forehead, and walked to the door.
"Gotta tell ya, B – I'm really psyched about this whole 'cuddling' shit. Never done it before, and I can't wait for you to teach me how."
And that was the way it went for months. I couldn't resist her, but we usually did it at her place so I could leave the very second I wanted to. The odd time we did it at mine, she would stay until I told her to go and then she'd get dressed, kiss me goodbye and leave, usually whistling. It was crazy. Faith, Faith Lehane wanted a relationship. I couldn't believe it.
"I always wanted to be with you. Back when I was a crazy kid, I'd have fucked it up, but not gonna now, no way, no how. But hey, for real, B – don't feel pressured. Just take your time. You'll get there and I'll be waiting."
So I did and she was, and here we are.
See, I didn't know I was scared. I didn't know that getting left every time one way or another had scarred me as deeply as it had, but Faith knew. She understood me, saw me clearly without any trouble, so she waited for me, and when her chance came she took it without even hesitating.
The official story is that I tamed her, but it's totally the other way around. The Golden Girl was captured and she's never been happier about anything. Oh, and I should mention: Faith Lehane? Best cuddler in the whole wide world. Ever.
She was being a bitch and I was getting pissed.
"Just asking a question, Buffy. Nothin' wrong with that."
"There is when I don't like your tone."
Her face was all like it gets whenever this topic comes up, but too fucking bad. I wanted an answer and if I got one, we wouldn't have to keep talking about it.
"Ya know, you not answering me over and over makes this a bigger deal than it's gotta be."
"No, you asking over and over and refusing to respect my privacy is what makes this a big deal."
"You tryin' to say I don't have a right to know?"
She sighed and looked like she wanted to punch me.
"A 'right' to know? Faith, you are being absolutely ridiculous and just like I've said a million times already, I'm not discussing this with you."
"So you want I should ask him?"
She stood up and got right in my face:
"If you want to make a fool of yourself, go ahead."
"Don't think I won't!"
"Oh, I have no doubt about that at all."
Then she walked out of the room, which pissed me off even more. I thought about it for a second, maybe she had a point. But no, it was her fault for saying right after we'd just had a great fuck and were doing the snuggly part, that that was the best she'd had in a long time. Excuse me?
In a long time?
What the fucking hell did that mean and what was I supposed to do with it? Just take it laying down? No way was I just letting that slide.
"Yeah? So when was your best?"
"You said it was your 'best in a long time'. Means someplace you had it better. When?"
She lifted her head to look at me:
"Are you serious?"
"As a heart attack. Who gave it to you better?"
"No one, just you."
"Was it Spike or Angel?"
"Faith, this is insane. I'm not discussing it any further."
I sat up, moving her all the way offa me.
"Fine, just gimme a number. I know Soldier Boy and that college dickhead aren't in the running, so that leaves Angel and Spike. Rank the three of us, ten being the best."
"Rank you? You're being so stupid right now and ruining my basking in the afterglow. You're a fantastic lover, the best I've ever…"
"Okay, so what number do I get? Am I a ten overall? Break it down in categories."
Now Buffy was up and looking for her clothes.
"You seriously expect me to break down each and every sex act I've done with every lover and then assign all of you numbers?"
"Well don't hold your breath and don't expect me in your bed again anytime soon."
Then she got dressed and left, and that's where this shit had been sitting for almost a week now. She doesn't wanna answer, but that's just too bad. I take great pride in my skills and I wanna know. And she'd better be factoring in that those fuckers don't gotta breathe which gives them a big time advantage in the eating her out department.
She's barely speaking to me and she hasn't slept with me since, but come on, what else does she expect when she says, and I quote:
"Yeah, you're okay, but I've had better."
Or somethin' like that, I don't even remember what she said exactly anymore. I just know I was left with the impression I'm lucky she doesn't fall asleep when we're goin' at it. Christ, if I had any balls they'd be shriveled up to about acorn size by now. Enough is enough. One of her perfect lover boys lives right in the house and I'm gonna find out what made him so fucking special.
I thought he'd be in the basement, so I charged right by him watching TV in the front room before it registered he was on the couch.
"Spike! Wanna talk to you!"
"Sure, but hold on a minute, Dark One. Jessica Fletcher's gonna explain how the…"
"Fuck 'Murder, She Wrote'. Gonna be a murder right here and now if I don't get some straight answers from you."
I turned off the TV and he was nothing but confused. We're mostly buddies and take our TV watching seriously, so me shutting the works down on him was wicked unusual.
'Was talkin' to B and I want her to rank her lovers. She's refusing."
"Yeah, she's actin' crazy and I'm…."
"Well, let me know if I'm in the one or two position, yeah? Now move, I wanna…"
I yanked him up, my hand around his throat, but before I could get any further, B spoke up:
"Are you this determined to make a fool of yourself?"
I hadn't even heard her come in and I let him drop back onto the sofa as I turned to face her.
"Yeah, where ya rank me on that?"
"All alone in the Number One spot. Spike, are you okay?"
He was rubbing his throat as he reached for the remote:
"'Sides you crazy birds draggin' me into one of your marital spats, I'm fine...Bollocks, credits are rollin' already! Happy now, Dark One?"
He huffed out of the room and we didn't say anything until we heard the basement door slam.
"Faith, what are you doing?"
"I wanna know, B, and if you're not gonna tell me, somebody is."
She took hold of my hands and sat us down on the couch.
"Listen to me: I am not ranking anybody because it doesn't matter anymore. Besides, I doubt I could do it even if I wanted to. You're so good, you satisfy me so perfectly in so many ways, I can't even remember another lover. You're the best, Faith. No one else even comes close."
I stared hard at her eyes.
"Yeah, F. Now will you stop being such an idiot because I really miss you."
I could tell she meant it, that she wasn't just shining me on. I kissed her, trying to make it clear that I was also apologizing for being so fucking jealous over something so fucking stupid. We went upstairs and made love, and once again I satisfied her so perfectly in so many ways…
So many ways?
"B, I got a question and I want an honest answer."
Okay, yes, so I mix-up weird words sometimes. But come on, I do a weird job and some of the names involved are just crazy, plus I sometimes get my information while I'm fighting for my life. Under those kinds of conditions, I think it's perfectly understandable I might think the bad guys are saying they live for kissing toast or for taquitos. Besides, I was close enough that Giles could figure it out, wasn't I? I call that a job well done.
Together Faith and I staked Mr. Khaki Trousers right into dust, although talk about somebody needing an overkill. I staked him perfectly, but he was so old and thick, it took Faith running a giant deadwood tree…redwood tree through his chest to end him. She was so scared, but just like Faith always does, she fought right past that to get the job done. The whole thing left me with my mouth hanging open, but then that's always been the effect she has on me.
That started from the second I first saw her dancing with a vamp at The Bronze, to when I saw her beating him to a bloody pulp and dusting him, to when every single second after, right up until a few minutes ago. Especially just a few minutes ago when we were kissing each other. She's the world's best kisser, I'd rank her at 5000 on a scale of 1-10. It's something best experienced though, because I mean, really, what can a number tell you?
Let me break it down: It starts with her lips which are hands down one of her sexiest features, especially the bottom one. All soft and full and moist, but not squishy or spitty. And the bottom one has a little line in it that matches up perfectly with the little line between her eyes, above her top lip, and the cleft in her chin, all lined up in a line with her beautiful dimples on the sides. Like lines.
She does all the right things with her tongue, but she never goes crazy or too far. I've been kissed by a lot of guys who had no clue what they were doing, but that's not Faith, not even when her control slips and she kisses me hard. I love that, it's like she wants me so bad she can't wait and sometimes it's just because she wants to dominate me, but not in an icky way. In a Slayer way that I fully understand. Regardless, it makes me hot, so there's no downside to it at all.
Sometimes she kisses me so soft and slow it makes me crazy. No matter what I do she won't speed up. She acts like she's got all the time in the world and even when I go looking for her tongue, she barely plays along. It makes me so crazy because I can't make her do anything unless I go all out and start tormenting her, which I sometimes do. But I usually like to play along with her when she's playing with me, it makes me hot.
I don't feel like I'm explaining this right at all. I guess I just have to leave it at Faith is the greatest kisser ever, she does it just right every time and it's always different, but the same. She makes me see stars, makes me feel safe, makes me feel like I'm on dangerous ground, and she makes me feel like I'm the most desirable woman on the planet. Which is ridiculous because we all know she's the most desirable woman on the planet.
Every time she kisses me I want her again and again, and I know she feels just the same way about me. And I know it's weird, but I can't help it: I love that when I met her, we had to kill the bad guys because they lived for kissing toast. I understand, after all – I live for kissing Faith.
Or big fucking tool. Or dipshit. Take your fucking pick.
We met when we were kids and it was lust at first sight, leastways from my end it was. I can't pinpoint when it turned into love because that whole deal was new to me back then. I'd never felt that way about anybody before, not even close, so I didn't have the first clue what the fuck was happening to me. I just knew my heart pounded whenever I saw her and I wanted to make her like me.
So I softened myself, tried to open up and get her to open up to me, and I tried to learn how to be her friend. It seemed to be working, so I ramped it up, doing some crazy ass shit so she'd think I was cool. It was stupid and reckless, but that's what kids do and I did it. It didn't take me long to realize that I wanted more than friendship from her, and it surprised me what I was willing to do to get her.
It seemed to be going my way, but then here came Angel back from the dead and she left me in the dust so fast it was like a sick fucking joke. I hated him so much and it made me go crazy 'til I crossed right over into batshit mental. I lost everything then: her, me, my superhero status, and every bit of decency I'd somehow managed to hang onto over the years. Whatever, it's ancient history now. I got past it, reformed and became one of the good guys again. Go, me.
I'm pretty together now, that fucked up kid from back then wouldn't even recognize me. I do what's right now just because it's right, and I know what I want and I'm not afraid to go for it. And go for it I did, just three weeks ago. They always tell you no guts, no glory, but they never tell you the flip side. You know, how when you miss your grab for the brass ring it just sails right by, taking all the hope and dreams you've been living on right with it.
It's all gone, there's no more pretending or daydreaming about all the ways you might one day, maybe, be able to make it work. The big steel door slams shut right in your face and you can hear the triple locks sliding home. End of story forever.
What was I thinking? No clue. It's not like I didn't know I was the snowbell in Hell, not like I didn't know she's a hero and people like me don't ever get people like her. And even people way better than me can't go after a girl that straight and expect any other outcome than the one I got.
So what happened? I don't have anything really, no excuses, no defense, nothing except three simple words: I love her. It doesn't get much more complicated or much more simple than that. I thought I saw my chance, so I took my shot and I blew it. I totally misread the signs, thought she felt something for me too, thought it was time to lay my cards on the table, and so I laid my lips on hers.
Her expression was shocked and filled with pity, probably disgust too. I didn't keep looking or even stick around long enough to see it all. I just laughed, not like it was funny, but like it was case closed.
Then I was gone: out of her room, out of the house, out of the state, and out of her life. There was no way I could stay and keep breathing. Faith has left the building and is never coming back. Thank you very much.
I don't blame her and I hope with enough time I won't blame myself. I was going to keep moving, but I got tired way too fast. I've hunkered down here, working at a diner clearing tables. It sucks, but I don't care. It passes the hours in the day and leaves my nights free to slay, but I haven't managed to get that up and running yet. It reminds me too much of B and I can't face it, not now anyways.
The good news is I'm not gonna go mental and kill anybody this time around. I might hand somebody their ass if they push me too far…..like the asshole knocking on my door. Gotta be the manager's nephew again, the little fucker keeps finding excuses to stop by. I just wanna ignore his dumb ass, but last time I did that he used his key and waltzed right in claiming he was checking the smoke alarms. Yeah, they always do that at nine thirty at night.
I tore him a new one to take future key abuse right off the table, but I knew the way I felt tonight, I'd better not take any chances. If he did it again, I probably wouldn't be able to stop myself from pounding the living crap out of him. I wish I could just go someplace where there's nobody else around. I opened the door and got the surprise of my life.
Just that one word had me panicked, mad, embarrassed, scared, confused, happy, dazed, and alive all at once, and that combo had me acting even stupider than normal.
She smiled so pretty when I said it, I wanted to say it over and over like a little kid who can't stop saying "fuck" because he's making the grownups laugh. Crazy how right from the get go we'll do whatever we can to make people love us.
"Can I come in?"
That snapped me out of it and my knees almost buckled. So that was why she was here. She needed an invite; did that mean she'd already killed everybody else or had she motored here after me because she knew no one would have bothered to give me the heads up?
My face must have gone funny because she grabbed my arm:
"Faith, are you okay?"
Okay? No, B was a vampire and I had to try to kill her. I was definitely not okay. Then it dawned on me: she'd grabbed my arm, she was already in, no invitation necessary.
"Thank fucking Christ. I thought you were a vamp."
"Me? No, why did you…Oh, I asked if I could come in."
"Yeah, couldn't figure why else you'd…"
She walked in and closed the door.
"I'm still among the breathing. Can we talk?"
What was I supposed to say? She'd come a long ways, it had to be important, and I could tell she wasn't taking "no" for an answer. She sat herself down on the bed, I sat in the crappy chair.
"You've been hard to find. Did you know Will can't locate a Slayer very well? Somehow because our essence is the same, I keep throwing her off. The best she could do was a hundred mile radius."
"So how'd you find me?"
"She found you with the computer, also not so easy since you've been paying cash for everything."
"But I ran out and pulled some yesterday."
She smiled again, but this time it looked a lot shakier.
"Yep, and here I am."
"And why's that?"
She looked surprised, but I really didn't know.
"Why? Faith, we can't just leave things like we left them."
I stood up, I wanted out of this.
"Look, I messed up and I'm sorry, okay? I wish I'd never done it."
She stood up too:
"God, Faith, don't say that."
"B, what else can I say? It was bad enough, but now you're here outta pity. I can't take this."
She moved closer to me, so close I could feel her breath breezing along my face.
"I'm not here because of pity, I'm here with my answer."
And then just like that she kissed me. For a long time. For long enough that I could get over my shock and kiss her back, and when it ended she looked me right in the eye:
"I'm sorry I acted so stupid that night. I was just shocked and it took me a little time to figure out that I felt that way about you too. I went to your room, but you weren't there, so I waited for you. When you didn't come home, well, I thought you'd be back in a couple of days. When you weren't, Will went to work."
"I thought…I thought you…"
She wrapped her arms around me:
"I was shocked that you kissed me, I didn't have a clue about how you felt. Then I didn't have a clue about how I felt and…I was totally clueless, Faith, but I'm not now. I think maybe I love you."
"So what's that mean for us?"
She blushed, but she didn't break eye contact:
"Well, I'm hoping it means you'll come home with me and we can start dating."
"I sort of need to ease into this first and I've never been the kind of girl who just hops into bed."
"Really? No clue."
She smiled all shy and happy:
"You're teasing me, aren't you?"
"Yeah, I am."
"I like it."
I kissed her:
"Okay, I'm fine with taking it slow, but I've never dated anybody before so you'll have to teach me."
"I can do that, F."
"Cool, 'cause I can teach you some stuff too."
We slept together in my bed, yes "slept", and then headed home the next day. 'Member what I said happens when you miss your chance? Well, when you get a firm grip on that brass ring, the gravy train's flowin' rich and easy and life is grand. It's like magic, and they're gonna have to NRA it outta my hands. Good luck with that.
Buffy hated waiting and the DMV was nothing but a waiting place. She was number 1067 and Buffy was positive they'd just called number 9. She wanted to kill herself, but decided instead to just relax. She pulled out her phone to play a game, but somehow her battery was low. Terrific. Okay, they had magazines, she'd read one of those. Unable to decide between "Field and Stream" and the latest "AARP" issue, she thought maybe she'd make a list of things she wanted to get done. She pulled out an envelope and pen from the bottom of her purse, as well as a pack of orange Tic-Tacs. Yea! Maybe things were going her way and…stale. She wrote on the back of the envelope:
"Things To Do:
1 Go to DMV
And a big blob of blue ink as the pen literally shot its wad all over the envelope and her hand. She tossed it angrily into the trashcan way across the room, the loud clinking noise causing several people to look up and around to see where the amazing shot had come from. Buffy casually picked up a magazine, hiding her secret identity from any inquiring eyes, and when the room settled down again, she covertly wiped the ink off on the smarmy face of some older man smiling about the wonders of Cialis.
She glanced at the clock – three whole minutes had gone by and now she was convinced that number 6 had just been called. Maybe she was in a Hell dimension, stranger things had happened…and just like that, it all changed.
The door to the outside opened and the room suddenly brightened. Faith was lifting her sunglasses and looking around the room until she'd spotted what she'd come for. With a grin she headed over, her glasses perched on top of her head and a large bag in her hand. The only seat next to Buffy was taken, but Faith soon solved that problem.
"Hey, mind movin' to that seat over there?"
"Yeah, I mind. Why don't you…"
Faith's free hand lifted him to his feet by his shirt front.
He stumbled in his haste to go, looking back over his shoulder at the crazy strong woman.
She leaned over and kissed Buffy, then sat down and started digging through her bag.
"Figured you might be hungry, so I stopped at 'Tony and Pat's'."
She handed Buffy two subs, pulled out an assortment of chips and four cans of Coke.
"Got us a ham and cheese and a roast beef. Figured we could split if ya can't decide. "
"I don't think we're allowed to eat in here."
"Please B, these assholes can't even do their jobs let alone patrol the waiting room. We'll be done before they even look up."
Buffy put everything down on the table next to her, then took half of the ham and cheese. They ate quietly, the sandwiches delicious and filling, and Buffy thought it was the best food she'd ever tasted. When they were finished, Faith walked over and dropped all of the trash into the can, then handed her old seat mate a bag of unopened Doritos.
"Sorry 'bout before. Was just dyin' to see my girl. You understand, right?"
He nodded and smiled back when Faith gave him her normal smile instead of the crazy one he'd received before. She walked back over and took her seat, holding Buffy's hand in hers.
"So what number ya got?"
She laughed when Buffy told her.
"Damn, B, you're screwed here."
They talked about nothing for a while, then Faith said she had to go.
"Time to motorvate. Just swung by on my way to someplace Giles has me goin'. No big, just gotta pick-up some old book. See ya tonight?"
"Yes you will. Be careful."
"Always, B. Here…"
She handed Buffy her phone:
"Gimme yours. Got enough to make a call, right? I'm full, so you can play games out the ass."
With a last kiss, she was out the door, her glasses back in place, the room dimming as she left. Buffy saw she'd left the bag on her chair, but it wasn't empty like she thought it would be. There were four magazines she liked and two fresh packs of orange Tic-Tacs. Buffy smiled like a goof for the rest of the time she was there.
I was positive I was right on the verge of doing something completely unprofessional. Maybe if everyone would just stay quiet for a couple of min…
"But Ms. Lehane always lets us pair off with whoever we want."
"Really? Well Karen, do you see Ms. Lehane anywhere?"
She actually looked around, like this was some special Newbie test.
"No, I don't."
"Me either, so pair off with your assigned partner."
"Her name's Sharon, Bunny."
I heard the muttered comment, just one of many, but I let it go like I'd been doing for three long days now. I did glare though and the class went quiet, but not the good kind of quiet. This was the kind of absolute silence that said the students hated the substitute and wanted the real teacher back. The only problem with that was I was the real teacher, not Faith.
It wasn't the first time she'd filled in for me and it usually worked out pretty well despite the fact that our styles don't exactly mesh…a fact this class of troublemakers kept pointing out to me in every way possible. It'd been three weeks of Faith and now I'd appeared out of nowhere to take over. They didn't know me from a hole in the ground and didn't want to, but that was just too bad.
Normally Faith would have stayed with them, but she was leaving for Germany in the morning, so because I was finally ready to head back to work, I drew the short straw. I really should have been handling the whole situation better than I was, after all, I knew what was going on. Our staff psychologists compared this type of behavior to what troops going off to war experience. They bond quickly and intensely with their instructors and each other, it's simply a self-preservation thing, and they do not welcome outsiders into their group at all.
Fine, but how that meant disrespecting me was okay, I was not okay with. I was sorry not to have been there for their first three weeks of training, but it wasn't like I was off vacationing in the Bahamas. I was busy saving the world again, in Kalamazoo, Michigan of all places, and I'd nearly had my legs torn off for my efforts. So excuse me all to Hellmouth, you little brats.
The Staff had decided when we first opened for business that it wasn't a good idea to share our horror stories with the newbies, and I wholeheartedly agreed with that policy. But God knows I wanted to scream out all the gory details right into their juvenile delinquent faces. That would more than shut them up, at least for a little while.
I was tired, which is why I think I wasn't dealing. It had been a tough and pressure packed assignment and I suspected I was maybe feeling a little sorry for myself. It's not exactly easy to almost get killed, and maybe somewhere deep down inside I was questioning whether I'd actually lost a step or two, like this group of budding thugs kept insinuating. It had definitely been too close of a call in Michigan, closer than anything had been in more than a few years and maybe…I don't know. I just knew I was mad, upset, and sick of these loudmouth know-it-alls.
"Okay, half strength, hand to hand."
I walked up and down the line observing, correcting positions here and there, offering suggestions, demonstrating the proper technique, and after several minutes I felt like it was a never ending uphill battle. The girls weren't listening to me in the slightest, and I felt like the new kid in school who had all the wrong clothes on and didn't know where anything was. I wanted to start crying, so of course that was when Faith decided to stroll in.
"Hiya, B. How's my girls doin'?"
The class stopped to greet her, responding to her like she was a rock star.
"Ms. Lehane, look at this move!"
"Watch how I use my left hand, Ms. Lehane!"
"I worked on my kicks, Ms. Lehane, see?"
"Nice, you guys. You're all lookin' wicked good."
They beamed at the praise and I wanted to smack her wicked hard.
"If you're done interrupting, I'd like to get back to…"
"Nah, hang on one sec, B."
Then she was telling them all some ridiculous story about her patrol last night and I just managed to grab her by the shoulder instead of tearing her hair right out of her head.
"May I see you in the hallway, please?"
The smartass expression on her face told me she knew exactly why I was pissed, but I contained myself until we were outside the soundproofed room with the door closed tightly behind us.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?"
"Well, I think I'm…"
"Exactly, and I'm not going to put up with it."
She laughed right in my face.
"Damn, B, you hearin' voices?"
She held a hand up to her ear:
"Nothin' for me, but figure since you're havin' a conversation with yourself…"
"I'm warning you, Faith."
"Yeah? 'Bout what?"
"I'm going back in there and you're not."
Then I opened the door and strode in confidently.
"Okay, now that that's done, let's get back to…"
I heard the door open again, but I knew Faith couldn't possibly be that stupid.
"Hey, you guys wanna see me and Ms. Summers spar?"
The class erupted with excitement and the girls all stepped back. They took seats on the floor, ringing the mats.
"Are you insane?"
"Probably never all goes away, Blondie."
"Fine, you want your butt kicked so bad? That works just fine for me."
We went at it full speed and it lasted a long time. The class cheered at first, for Faith of course, but then as we displayed the strength, speed, and skill they'd only dreamed about, they got quiet. It was the good kind this time, the kind that came from respect and an understanding that they had a lot to learn. When the fight came to a close, I was on top of Faith, literally sitting on her with her arms pinned to the floor.
She grinned up at me:
I smiled back and offered her a hand up as I hopped to my feet. She took it and brushed herself off, straightening her clothes before she turned to face the class.
"Figures. Never have been able to take her. Consider yourselves lucky you got the best teaching you."
And then she was out the door, leaving me staring after her.
"Class, pair off again. Half speed only."
They moved so fast, it was like a new group of girls. There were no comments, just a determined look on all of their faces.
I caught up with her a few doors down.
"So what was that, Faith?"
"Just me being the usual pain in the ass."
"No, I don't think it was."
"Think what ya like, B. I can't stop ya."
She turned to go, but paused when she heard my voice.
This time her smile was warm.
"No problem, B. Little shits were gettin' way too big for their britches, ya know?"
She kept walking and I returned to my class.
One Night Stand
So what does she find so fucking hard to understand? I don't like attachments and I don't give a shit about anybody's feelings. I figure I'm giving them enough just by having sex with'em, no way am I sticking around or letting them lay claim to the place. We already did the only laying that's gonna happen, so hit the bricks, me or them, it doesn't matter. So long as we part ways, works perfect for me.
But oh no, little Miss Matching Ensemble looks like I just said I raise pit bulls to attack babies.
"I…It's just so…cold."
"No, it's just the right temp. B, why would I want somebody I don't even know hangin' around?"
Again with the "Tossing Puppies to Great Whites" look.
"Well, that's why you shouldn't sleep with strangers, Faith."
"It works out just fine for me. I got an itch, I get it scratched and we're done."
"But it's supposed to mean something."
I couldn't believe how immature she was sometimes.
"Says who? And if you're so worried about it, I can tell you what it means. Means I like sex and I get fucked. Simple as that."
She was shaking her head, but there wasn't any comeback for it. I had it wrapped up airtight.
"I just…I just think you're worth so much more than that, Faith. It makes me…"
Now for some reason I was pissed. Before I was schooling her, now I felt like I was letting her down or somethin'.
"Makes you what?"
"It makes me sad."
That hit me someplace, I guess some things made me sad too.
"Is what it is, Princess. Not all of us live a charmed life."
I saw it in her eyes, I'd just hurt her, and I knew why. We didn't speak for a few, then Buffy's voice came out all soft:
Faith, I know when we compare lives, if you'd ever tell me anything about yours, that you've had it a lot rougher than me. But my life isn't exactly charmed either. God, my life isn't even easy, don't you know that?"
I did know that, in lots of ways she had it way tougher than I ever would, and I was an asshole for making her feel, I don't know…Like I didn't understand her when I did. I get Buffy, and I think she's fucking amazing.
"I didn't mean it like that, B. I was just, you just…I don't want your pity, you know?"
So then she had to smile and light up the dumpy little room we were in. For the life of me I couldn't figure how she did that.
"Okay, I'm sorry too. I wasn't judging you, I was just trying to say you could do things another way."
I laughed because I saw how we could get outta this mess and I went for it.
"Me? Stop sleepin' around? B, let's not ask for miracles here. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, Faith gotta fu…"
Two of her fingers landed on my mouth to shut me up, and her smile was still all Buffy and still full force.
"I get the picture, F, you can't be tamed."
"Nope, they haven't made the person yet who can do that."
But they had, and she left a coupla minutes later to get home to her mom.
It wasn't easy being with Buffy around the gift giving holidays. She was like a little kid in her eagerness to get presents, and as the years had rolled by, her excitement and joy had only increased. She searched for gifts weeks in advance and if she found them she either shook them to pieces or blatantly unwrapped them, then came up with some ridiculous excuse for how it had happened. It was crazy that a grown woman would act the way she did, but Faith found it nothing but adorable.
Not that she would ever admit that voluntarily. Part of the fun for Faith was acting exasperated as she watched Buffy sneaking around, trying to maneuver her way closer to the presents. She'd attempt to pump Faith for information, search the house relentlessly for any and all possible hiding places, and then there was Faith's favorite manipulation: Buffy would try to seduce her into telling her what she'd bought for her.
Now with Buffy's birthday looming in just one day, The Birthday Girl was getting desperate. She had never not been able to eventually find her presents, and it had now become about something more than excitement and curiosity – Buffy Summers was responding to the challenge.
Faith appeared not to notice as they turned in for the night.
"Did you even get me anything?"
"Faith, you know perfectly well my birthday's tomorrow."
"Yeah? Guess I'd better head out tonight and get you somethin'. Grocery store's open 24/7, right?"
Buffy was on the floor, looking under the bed for at least the tenth time in the last week, her voice muffled:
"Ha, ha. Where is it?"
"Probably on Aisle Six. The mac and cheese always looks delicious and they got those fancy silver sink strainers too."
Buffy was back in sight, wearing nothing but her most seductive smile. She started at the foot of the bed and leisurely slinked her way towards Faith on her hands and knees.
"Baby, don't you want to tell me?"
"B, you get it tomorrow. Think you can wait that long."
"But I've already been waiting forever. Come on, F, I'll make it worth your while."
Faith had already decided to let her have it…the present…but she figured it would be just be plain rude to interrupt Buffy right in the middle of a seduction. There'd be plenty of time after some wickedly passionate sex.
And there was. Buffy was snuggled up tight in Faith's arms as they recovered, but once they did, it didn't take her long to get back to the mission.
She placed tiny kisses along Faith's shoulder and neck in just the way she knew Faith liked best.
"B, you just rattled my brains. Can't expect me to make any sense right now."
Buffy slid over on top of her, her lips at her ear. She kissed all around before whispering directly into it:
"Alright, it's in the closet."
Buffy sat upright, shaking her head.
"No it isn't. I've checked there a million times. I even looked when we first came up here to go to bed and you were in the bathroom. You couldn't have put it in there since then because you haven't been anywhere near it all night."
"B, ya asked, I told. It's in the closet."
Buffy was up in a flash and Faith was happy with the view. She propped some pillows behind herself, her hands behind her head as she watched the show. A totally nude Buffy bounced and swayed all over the place. She leapt up repeatedly to check the various shelves, bent over for some revealing "Behind the Slayer" shots that had Faith turning her head this way and that to get the most for her viewing pleasure.
After a few minutes, Buffy turned around to face her:
"Hey, Liar Girl, there's nothing here!"
"No, not where you were looking. Tell ya what; bring me my robe and I'll get it for ya."
Buffy snatched the robe, the hanger banging against the back wall of the closet as it swung violently in place.
"I've already seen everything you've got, could you quit stalling?"
She handed Faith her robe and watched as Faith dug around in one of the pockets.
"Here ya go. Happy Birthday, B."
It was a bracelet, a crazily expensive bracelet that Buffy looked at with longing nearly every time they went downtown.
"Faith…what…Oh my God, I love it! I love you!"
Buffy hugged her, then let go.
"Put it on for me?"
Faith's smile couldn't have been any bigger as she encircled Buffy's wrist with the jewelry and hooked it closed.
"Fuck, look at that. It looks just right."
Buffy held her arm up and let the light from the lamp illuminate it.
"It's so beautiful…But Faith, how can we afford…"
"Hey, it was pricey, but I made it work. Sold some extra weapons I never use, got G-Man to get me some freelance work, and Xander invested in some of my comics. No big."
"No big? It's a very big 'big' and I couldn't be happier."
"I like making you happy, B."
Buffy turned her arm this way and that, the bracelet gleaming and sparkling, then her attention turned exclusively to Faith. She kissed her lightly, a tease if ever there was one.
"I like making you happy too…whenever I get the chance."
"Yeah? See any chances anywhere near?"
More barely there kisses that trailed along her neck.
"When it comes to you, F, I make my own chances."
"Liking the sound of that."
Buffy pulled the pillows out from behind Faith and encouraged her to slide down on the bed.
"Hopefully you're going to be liking the feel of it too."
"Thinkin' that's a definite."
Buffy kissed her way softly down Faith's body, her fingers trailing behind and her bracelet dragging against Faith's skin. She relished every quiver and twitch as well as the moans Faith was unable to contain. She stopped at Faith's bellybutton and the eyes that looked up at Faith's were filled with happiness.
"So F…Does that mean I won't be getting any mac and cheese?"
Faith had to fight to come up with a coherent response as Buffy had resumed her journey.
"Didn't…check…my other…pocket…did ya?"
Buffy's head lifted:
"No, I didn't! Let me just…"
Faith's hand grabbed her wrist before she could get off the bed.
"B, after you finish giving me my present."
"Okay, I guess that's only fair. Happy Birthday, F."
"Oh for God's sake, I merely said I find it queer."
"Yeah, I know what you said and I'm not takin' it anymore. I'm outta here!"
Faith made a move for the door despite Giles' objections, and it was only Buffy's voice that stopped her escape.
"Faith, will you knock it off? If I have to research, so do you. Now sit down."
"B, maybe you didn't hear, but G-Man just called us…"
"I did not! I merely said that I find your `behavior queer'."
Faith headed for the door again.
"I don't gotta put up with this!"
"Faith Lehane, you'd better sit your butt right back in this chair."
"You wanna take abuse, B, go ahead. Me? I got respect for myself and I'm not gonna…"
Buffy finally looked up from her book, her hazel eyes threatening violence.
"If I have to get up and get you, you're going to regret it. Now sit down."
Faith saw the smirk Giles gave her as she sat down, her demeanor much like that of a child being forced to take a timeout. All was quiet again, except for the grumbling she was now doing under her breath at the unfairness of having to do research as well as slay.
"How many fucking jobs I gotta do? Hard enough killing…"
"If you don't be quiet, I'm going to make you be quiet."
"What're ya gonna do, B? Kiss me in front of the queer hater or…"
"I am bloody well not a homophobe!"
"…knock me out? I'm so bored, I wish you'd punch me unconscious."
"Buffy, I insist you make her apologize for such a heinous accusation! I've been nothing but supportive of your relationship as well as of Willow's. I must say, I even did a tad of experimenting in my younger days, so I'd be the last person to cast a stone in anyone's direction when it comes to this particular topic."
The sound of Buffy's book hitting the table as she sat up straight was loud in the quiet of Giles' office. Her mouth hung open and her eyes were huge as she looked at him.
"You're gay, or you've been gayish? You're not just gay friendly, but gay friendly? How has this news never crossed your lips before?"
"Well, normally I don't think my sex life is the most proper of topics for us to discuss, but when Faith accuses me of behaving so atrociously, I feel I must defend myself since you clearly can't rein her in."
"So you're gay? Or you've been gay? Or gay adjacent? With another man? Who? Oh God, tell me it's not Ethan Rayne!"
"Damn, B, soundin' a little homophobic there yourself."
"Buffy, I'm must say I'm surprised at your reaction. And what, pray tell, is so wrong with Ethan Rayne? I know I'm not necessarily the best judge, but I believe he's still an attractive man and in his younger days he was quite the…"
Buffy was horrified.
"Please tell me they've invented 'Brain Bleach'! Ethan is a pig, Giles. Plus he's crazy evil and…You slept with Ethan?"
"No, not exactly."
Faith stood up:
"So, gonna leave you gay haters to it. Catch ya on the flip side, suckers."
As she cleared the door she heard:
"That's hardly the point, Buffy. You're no longer a child and surely you understand human sexuality isn't set in stone. Next you'll be threatening to gag over Angel and Spike's relationship."
Faith smiled, yep she had all afternoon to herself. Maybe she should give Soul Boy a heads up. Nah, he could handle himself and probably did.
Right from the start, Faith has been what most people would consider rude. She burst on the scene at Sunnydale and sort of "ruded" it up. She dressed rudely, she spoke rudely, usually saying the stuff best left unsaid. Stuff like:
"What is it? The Angel thing?"
Oh my God, I wanted to kill her dead, then spend some time pummeling her lifeless corpse. "The Angel thing"? "The Angel thing?" I'd just sent the man I loved to Hell after months of being tormented and terrified by his demon, and this rude, trashy bigmouth was calling it "The Angel Thing? Killing was too good for her.
Of course a lot of stuff happened after that and I'd say rudeness was the least of Faith's problems. When she finally returned to Sunnydale, she was different. I still didn't trust her, but…Okay, the problem was I did trust her, but I didn't think I should. Clearly I didn't feel like I could trust anyone but Spike and I certainly wasn't about to make her the other exception. Even though everything in me could sense that she'd changed, I still needed to keep my guard up. The fate of the world was at stake and it wasn't the normal, run of the mill apocalypse. It was the big one, and I just couldn't risk putting my faith in Faith and getting us all killed.
But everything worked out in the end. World saveage ensued, Spike proved himself to be the hero I thought he was, and those of us still living started all over again. It took us awhile, some running away, some difficult conversations, some compromising and learning just to let some things go, but we did it and made something new of the world. Well, at least the Slayer world.
Faith stayed with us, and she was a huge help. She was more mature, more dependable, more than I'd ever imagined she could be. She was still her though, I'm not going to pretend she was a saint or something, but she was different and a lot better when it came to doing our job. She was a Slayer and I came to count on her. A lot.
Willow was often gone doing Wicca work, and the good thing about that was she usually took Kennedy with her. The not so good thing was that my best girlfriend wasn't here with me and as much as Xander's a complete girl, sometimes it just wasn't the same. Now here's the part of the story where everybody named "Faith" should please take one step forward.
I'm not sure how it happened, but then I'm not sure how much of anything has ever happened between Faith and I. I can't really pinpoint the important moments, I can't really spot when the changes occurred. I just know that things went on, they still go on and always will when it comes to us. It somehow seems to be our fate in this life.
I used to think it was the Slayer thing, what else could it be? But there are many Slayers now and I don't share that connection with any of them. Then I thought maybe it was because we're the old-fashioned Slayers, the ones made the old school way, but then I realized that as much as I liked Kendra, we didn't have that between us either.
What I've come to realize is that Faith is just one of those people for me and I think I'm the same for her. We've all got them, those important people you can't explain, they just stay with you throughout your life for as long as they can. It feels like fate or destiny or karma…Is karma right? Well, whatever. I know what I mean.
So we stuck it out together. We worked together, hung out together, and little by little we made an almost perfect friendship. She's still crude, still rude, still so infuriating sometimes I want to smack her. She drinks and smokes and swears, she still dresses a little too trashy, and she's still a little too hot tempered. She still gets a little too…enthusiastic when we slay sometimes, but it's nothing crazy like it was before. Everything about her remains the same, just a little less so you can actually appreciate her instead of being scared.
She claims it's a combination of two things: sanity and maturity, and I can't really argue with that. She's still herself, just better, and I appreciate her like I did when we were kids, only so much more. I guess that's because I've matured too. I think I always had the sanity thing working for me, so I can't count that as a big change, but I know I've sometimes been immature, despite being way too old for my age in some areas of my life.
But I know me now, know what I want, what I need, where the people in my life fit. I'm happy, content even, and I don't expect any more surprises in my life. Which is why when I kissed Faith and told her I wanted to fuck her, well you could have knocked us both over with a feather.
The shocking part for me wasn't that I wanted her sexually, I've wanted her that way since I first saw her dancing with a vampire at The Bronze. Back then I didn't know what it was that I was feeling, although by the time I got to dance with her myself, I definitely had way more than an inkling. It also wasn't a shock to me that even though I don't have a gay bone in my body, every single one of them has always been nothing but when it comes to Faith. I've known that for a really long time though, so whatever.
I didn't really find it shocking that I was willing to make the first move and put myself out there. Nope, none of that stuff was that big of a deal to me, and I certainly wasn't surprised that Faith instantly took me up on my offer or that we had the best sex either of us has ever had. Faith has had the hots for me forever and she knows her way very well around the human body. Those two things tend to lead to fantastic sex, nothing unexpected there.
So then just what was the shocking part for me?
"I want to fuck you, Faith."
It was so unlike me to say something so crude and so graphic. I mean, I never say the F-word. In fact, I don't think I've ever said it again.
But as I sat there on the couch with her, watching her watch some stupid TV show, seeing her laugh until her dimples were creases and her eyes were so happy and carefree, well, there she was. My Faith, and I just didn't want to waste another second of our life together.
Absolutely…every fucking chance I get.
I think about her a lot. I've never told anybody that, not even B, but how can I not? If she didn't get capped so early, I wouldn't be here. Oh sure, I might be alive, but I sure as hell wouldn't be here with B and the rest of the Scoobies. I'd be someplace just as shitty as where I came from, and I wouldn't know what it felt like to be loved and to have a place I can call home.
It took a long time for me to get here because I chose to take the roughest path there was and I'm not recommending that approach to anybody. It just about killed me every step of the way, and I wouldn't have made it if I hadn't had Angel and B in my corner. But I did make it and I found a purpose in life.
I also fell in love and Buffy is everything to me, a fucking miracle I don't really deserve. But even though I'm all reformed and rehabbed, I'm still just selfish enough to refuse to ever give her back. The good news there is she doesn't want to go back either, so I feel pretty secure that she's mine until I die. I can live with that.
But back to the girl before me. B talks about her sometimes and I can tell she really liked her. She talks about how she'd get all tongue-tied around Xander because she wasn't used to guys, how she was all business without an emotion in sight until B pushed her and showed her there might be another way. What a difference between us: I'm nothing and never have been anything but emotion. Getting me to calm down is usually what B pushes me towards.
She gave B "Mr. Pointy", and Buffy also tells this funny story about how the two of them beat the shit out of Spike as well as killed a library lamp. She was way to hell and gone from someplace in maybe Jamaica, and she got shipped off way too young to her Watcher. Her parents took her calling a little too serious and because of that she was a way too serious girl, totally by the book, but B got through to her and was hoping that one day they'd meet up again and get to do a little hanging out together.
It really hurt B when she found her dead. It was a blow because she knew that the poor kid never really got a chance to shine: not as a Slayer and not as a person. It sucked, for sure, but right then my life was changing for the better. I remember feeling a little surge, but I thought it was just a bump from whatever junk I'd just shot into my arm. When I slammed my hand down on the coffee table and it busted apart, I figured it for a piece of junk or maybe I was on PCP or something like it.
My Watcher found me not too far down the road, and it was like winning the lottery. I was finally outta there, no reason to stick around, no more somebody just taking what they wanted from me whenever they wanted to. It was the good life I'd never had and I sure didn't have it for long. My Watcher and me got grabbed, she got killed and I hightailed it to the real Slayer to save my ass. Everybody knows the rest of the story by now and how, despite all looks otherwise, it came out just like a perfect fairytale.
But I think about her and I hope that she's someplace good. I think she was hero, even though she didn't get a lot of chances to do something really big while she was here. Still, she was a Slayer and she had guts, enough guts to do her duty, and she went out fighting, which is more than most people can say. And Buffy liked her, really deep down liked her, and that tells me all I need to know about who she was.
I'm hoping to stay alive for a wicked long time, I like my life way too much to leave it any time soon. But when I do kick it for good, I'm looking her up. I think we'd like each other and I've got a huge thanks to deliver to Kendra, the Vampire Slayer.
Alright, I know what you wanna know, and even though I've never told a soul before, I'm gonna trust you not to spill the beans here. Just make sure to keep your mouth shut or you'll make yourself sorry, and that's a promise.
So back in my bad old days, I woke up from my coma. I wasn't anywhere near my right mind and what I shoulda done was hand myself over to B. Not a normal choice maybe since the last time I'd seen her she'd knifed me, then watched as in a total dumbass move, I tossed myself off a building onto a truck. Not so bad, except I led with my head all the way.
I was all twisted up when I woke up: confused, pissed, it was like that fight and her putting Angel first had happened just an hour ago. But here's where I could have turned it around: I met up with her on her campus and despite everything, she asked me if I was alright. She meant it, I could see she did, and I should have gone with that and told her I was scared and sorry for most of what I'd done. I should have just stopped the whole deal right then and there, but I was nuts and I was hurt and I was determined to make her pay. Not my most brilliant move ever.
When I found out the Mayor had left me a little somethin' somethin', it was a mixed bag. I felt good somebody gave a shit about me, but my first instinct was the right one. I didn't trust it, thought he was just trying to use me to get some revenge on B because she'd killed his ass dead. And him saying there wasn't a place for me in the world now? Ya think about it, it's a pretty shitty thing to say to somebody you're supposed to care about.
I knew all of that, but I wanted to make B hurt like I did, so I ignored it. I used his fancy magic gizmo just as soon as I could and BAM! I was a whole new me, only it was even better than that. I was a whole new B, not too shabby.
I took a bubble bath, took Joyce's credit card to town, and then took B's ass to the airport. I was free and clear, least as much as a body thief can be. I was pretty psyched that there might not be a place for me in the world, but there sure as fuck was a place for me in B's body. I was figuring to get along just fine. But then my conscience kicked in, or maybe it was Buffy's conscience. Whatever, I just knew I had to go back. There was a hostage sitch at a church and I was the only Slayer on the clock since the regular one was all tied up with her new pals from the Council.
Everybody knows how it went from there and that brings us right up to today. B and I were all cozy in bed together after making love and she started reminiscing about the first time we ever did it. She said she was amazed by how good it was, how I played her like a fiddle from the first touch.
"I mean, of course I knew you were going to be good, but wow, you know? It felt like we'd done it before."
Yeah, I guess it did, because we had. And while I'm not proud of it and mostly wish I hadn't done it, well, when I took that bubble bath so long ago? I did exactly what you think I did.
B's never figured it out and I'm never gonna tell her – partly 'cause I feel bad that I was so creepy and outta line back then, and partly because those are private times between you and your body…whoever's you happen to be in at the time.
As in she doesn't wear it. She usually doesn't seem to want me wearing it either because I've had more torn off me than…than…sheets of paper torn off a note pad. Ha! Just when you thought I was stuck. But back to Faith and her undergarments or lack thereof.
I will admit that it's hot – way, way hot, just like it's hot that she wants me so much that she tears mine off at least 50% of the time. Some things just rev your motor, jump your gun, start your…gentlemen…no…engines. Ha! Buffy's on fire today! And she's also on fire whenever she's around Faith. But it gets a little frustrating and expensive too.
I love fancy underwear and sometimes I spend a lot of money on it. It's girly and it makes me happy, and I feel like I'm dressed up and pampering myself a little bit every day. But boy, have I ever learned to enjoy it while I have it because sometimes it turns into a rag just hours after I put it on. The fastest time I ever lost a set was in six minutes. I'd just showered and was putting my makeup on in the bedroom. One second I was standing there in front of my dresser in this beautiful matching pink panties and bra combo, then suddenly I was lying naked underneath Faith on our bed.
The sex was perfect, it always is with Faith, and I certainly wasn't thinking about my underwear at the time. It was only afterwards when she went whistling out the door to start her day and I was picking up expensive pieces of lacy silk that I realized she'd set a new "Underwear Obliteration" speed record, not to be confused with her "Most Underwear Destroyed in a 24 Hour Period" record. That one was four sets, well to be fair: three and a half, since I only managed to get my bra on for one of the times.
But what am I supposed to say to her? I mean, I have talked to her about it, but it's not like I want to inhibit her. I like what she does to me way too much to want her to make any real changes, but I can't exactly afford the cost either. And I am not going "commando", as she calls it. Like I said: I love that look on her, it's just not something I can feel comfortable doing myself. But her not wearing any? Did I mention how hot…how hot that makes…
I'm back from Daydream County now because that's not going to get this problem solved. I just need to talk to her about it and there's no time like the present as I can hear her coming up the stairs.
I'm sitting at the desk and she comes over and kisses me until I see little stars and hearts floating all around us.
"So whatcha doin'? Thought you got your term paper done already."
She jumps down on the bed and stretches out on her back, her arms propped behind her head, her body all relaxed as she smiles at me, and oh boy, I need to speed things up because I'm already dying to join her.
"Faith, can I talk to you about something?"
She leans up enough to slide my pillow behind her head and smiles at me again.
"Sure, B. Did I fuck somethin' up or somethin'?"
How is it possible for a person to be so stunningly gorgeous? Right now my focus is on the underside of her biceps, they're so tan and tight, but I know that the skin there is as soft as a baby's…a baby's…everything, probably. I can't imagine too many babies have calluses or tough skin anyplace. They're brand new and don't do anything, how could they have any…
"B? Ya wanted to talk?"
She's grinning at me now:
"Much as I appreciate the once over, you said ya wanted to talk to me."
"Yes, yes I did say that."
"Okay, so shoot. I'm a captive audience."
Oh my, that called to mind a whole new set of images and was I drooling?
"Got somethin' on your chin."
It took a lot of effort, but I made myself concentrate on the here and now. It wasn't easy since I kept seeing her naked and tied to the bed, but the current reality of her sprawled out all comfortable, her hand under her shirt as she slowly stroked her stomach and…Focus, Buffy!
"I wanted to talk to you about underwear."
"I don't wear it. Good talk, B."
She was doing that smirky thing that either irritated me or turned me on. Right now it was doing both.
"I'm not talking about you, I'm talking about me."
"So wear it, don't wear it. I'm good either way."
This wasn't going right at all.
"Yes, I know I have free underwear will, but I was…"
"Hahaha! Sorry, just you said 'will' and it made it sound like you were nuts and thought I was Red."
"So I was wondering: do you think maybe you could maybe not always tear up…"
"This about me rippin' off your panties? Yeah, cool, I'll try to be more careful, but seriously B: I see you and it's like the best Christmas ever, ya know? I just gotta get the paper off to get to the present inside 'cause I know it's the best thing ever."
So what was I supposed to say to that? I couldn't say anything, I was too busy feeling like the luckiest woman in the world. It's tough to be that loved and desired and complain about anything, and I wasn't going to ever again.
I buy things in bulk now. It takes a lot of money, but I've learned that the cheaper stores have some nice stuff too and you can get a lot for a lot less. I also don't let myself get attached to any of my purchases, after all they're just things. My attachment is to the crazy woman who sees me as a Christmas present every time she looks at me. Pretty underwear doesn't and never will compare to that. So she tears it off me and it makes me hot. Happy Holidays to both of us. Ho Ho Ho!
Whatever, okay. I mean for real: what the fuck is that hoity toity shit? It's "vampire", just like it's "magics", not "magicks". And yeah, I know it's ancient spelling, but who give a crap? We don't spell other shit old timey, what's so special about vampires and why won't she fucking look at me?
Red and B are sitting at the other table together doing some research in the big book of "Vampyres and Dark Magicks". Xander's at my table where we're carving stuff into the table when Giles isn't looking and reading "Batman" comic books when he is. Xand's only over here to be nice, and the Slayer and the Witch aren't too happy about it.
Okay, maybe Willow's doesn't really give a shit one way or the other, but I consider her the enemy because she's sitting with the enemy, not with me. Not that I'm mad at her, B's her best friend, what else is she supposed to do? But Xander's B's best buddy too, so she keeps shooting him these mean looks that have him sweating it out. I'm not sure how much longer he's gonna last.
"Knock it off, Blondie. You're not scarin' anybody."
She doesn't say anything, just ramps up the intimidation and he's not gonna make it. He's all twitchy and keeps looking from her to me, and I actually feel sorry for the guy. B's being a real bitch…and there he goes, but he surprises us all. He just leaves, right out the front door and into the street.
"Nice goin', B. Proud of yourself?"
"Willow, tell Faith that yes, I am extremely proud of myself."
"Faith, Buffy said to tell you…"
"I fucking heard her, Willow. I'm sittin' like three feet away."
"Yes, you are. Buffy maybe you should just…"
Her sentence petered out because B gave her the look. This was stupid, the whole thing was stupid and I was wicked sick of it.
"What d'ya, want, B?"
"Willow, tell her she knows what I want."
"Faith, Buffy says you know…"
"Still sittin' three feet away, Red."
Everything was quiet again until I spoke up:
"You ever consider it takes all kinds?"
"Willow tell Faith that…"
I was up and moving then. I approached their table, murder on my mind, and Willow was up too and heading for the door.
"I have to do that thing with that person sometime. Good luck, guys!"
Buffy never moved, so I sat down across from her. I couldn't take much more and I told her so:
"B, it's been almost a week now. Would you just talk to me? Directly."
I thought she wasn't going to, but then she did this big sigh and lifted her head to finally look at me.
"I'm not trying to change you, Faith, not the 'you' you. But I know how smart you are and I know what you could do if you'd just try. I think you'd like it."
"I appreciate the confidence, but I'm…"
She looked mad again.
"If you want me to keep talking to you, stop lying to me."
"Lying? I didn't even say anything!"
"Were you or were you not just going to say that you're not interested?"
That was exactly what I was going to say, but no way was I going to admit it.
"No, I wasn't. I was gonna say…uh…"
She got to her feet and started packing up her stuff.
"Fine, you do what you want, Faith, but understand I won't talk to you if you're not going to be honest with me."
I just sat there feeling boxed in and she was almost out the door.
"B, wait! Please."
She stopped, but she didn't turn around.
"You really think I can do it?"
"I know you can, and Will and I will help you."
This was the stupidest thing ever. I didn't belong there and it was fucked up that I kinda wanted to give it a try.
"Okay, one semester and if I don't like it, I can quit with no blowback from you."
She turned around then.
"But you have to give it 100%, Faith."
I stuck out my hand and she took it.
And then she pulled me to her and we sealed it with a kiss. Great, I was college bound, train wreck dead ahead, but this little voice way deep inside was celebrating to beat the band.
We walked out hand and hand, and I was smiling big. My girl was back and all was right with the world. It was just like magick.
I sit and watch, which how's that for a funny? I watch the Watcher and his Slayer and I watch the rest of 'em too. I used to get jealous, but that passed a long time ago. I know G-Man cares about me, guess if I was feeling mushy, I'd say he even loves me and it's mutual for sure. I can go to him whenever I gotta and he's there and ready to help if he can. Hell, Giles is ready to help even when he can't.
He loves Willow and Xander too, and that's cool to see. He kinda looks at them like they're his kids, but he trusts them and counts on'em too like they're grownups. He knows just what they can do, the good and the ugly, he's been seeing it for years, and he knows that without them, him and B woulda been dead fifty times over by now. Can't spell "The Scooby Gang" without Willow and Xander.
The newer people fit in too: Dawn because she's B's little sister and we were all trained like circus animals to give a shit about her. But now with a few years behind us, nobody needs some fucked up Monk spell to love Squirt. She's made a shitload of real memories with all of us by now and there's nobody who knows Dawnie who isn't crazy about her. She's off the charts great and just keeps getting better. And personally, I love watching her wind B up.
Andy, well he is what he is, and he grows on you like a fungus. Somebody's always pissed at him, but you just can't stay mad. He's weird and annoying, but it turns out once he shook the Hellmouth vibes off, the guy's actually got a good heart and he's completely in love with the Scoobies, 'specially one of'em. He always means well and he's funny as fuck, mostly when he's not trying to be. And personally, I love watching him wind Xander up.
Kennedy, well she's not so bad now. She's sorta settled down and she keeps making Willow wicked happy. I'm so crazy about Red, we all are, that I'd deal with Hannibal Lecter if I had to, and Kennedy's never eaten a liver or even any fava beans as far as I know. She gets a little snotty on and off, starts trying to throw her weight around, but then me or B put her back in her place. It works out okay.
That leaves the Golden Girl herself and man, oh man, do I ever watch her. It's a sight I'll never get enough of and my favorite thing ever is when she's doing something simple: reading a book, pouring milk on her cereal, talking to Willow, pretending to help Giles with boring stuff, eating some pizza, whatever, and then she feels me looking and smiles all shy just for me. Whenever I see her doing that, it makes me so fucking happy sometimes I forget to breathe. It's like a secret between us because she never even looks over at me, just keeps doing whatever she was doing, but I know she knows I know and it makes me act stupid sometimes like nothing else can.
I love watching her interact with everybody else, like the way she teases Giles and gets away with murder because he loves her so fucking much it'll make you cry if you think about it too deep. And everything she ever says to him has so much respect in it, even when she's giving him the gears. Their relationship is past beautiful.
She's got the whole comrades in arms thing with Red and Cyclops. They've been through it all together as equals and they've come out on the other side a little dinged up, but okay. And Buffy never acts so young and immature as when she's with them and they start goofing around. She looks so much lighter and carefree, like she never did when she was a young girl, and I love seeing her like that and I love the two of them for giving that to her. Those three got the Musketeers beat all to hell.
Buffy's always there for Dawn and she can't let go of the whole "big sister" thing. Dawn always bitches that Buffy treats her like a baby, but it's Buffy she always turns to. No better choice anywhere because B will move a mountain to make Dawnie happy. They're always arguing, nobody gets under B's skin faster than her baby sister. She loves pushing Buffy's buttons and she always looks about twelve years old when she does it, but it's Buffy's arms Dawn runs to for comfort when she gets her heart broken or has some other rough shit go down. Sisters. It looks like a good gig if you can get it.
Andy hero worships her, still spinning stories about everything she does, embarrassing the fuck out of her most of the time. He still calls me the Rogue Slayer and what are ya gonna do? The guy's got a screw loose , but you've never lived until you've heard him make up a heroic story on the spot about B only eating the red Fruit Loops. Add in she goes about as red as the cereal, it's a good time being had by all.
Kennedy is just there, but I think she hero worships B more than a little bit too. Despite all of her bullshit, Kennedy is a good Slayer and she knows that Buffy is the best one ever. She's always taking her in, asking her questions, practicing her moves. She smarts off way too much, but if somebody else gets outta line with B, Kennedy puts a stop to it right now. Sometimes I catch her staring and I can see that since she's been a Slayer herself for a while now, she gets it and really admires what Buffy's done over the years. It's all over her face and in her eyes, and it makes me like her more than I'll ever let on.
Yep, I like to watch and who'd have ever figured that? I'm all about the action, I hate sitting still, but watching the Golden Girl and her Scoobies has become my favorite thing over the years. Okay, wait, my second favorite thing. Because being with Buffy trumps everything, how could it not? You get loved by a woman like that, you never go back. Get some, get gone…It got long gone a long time ago.
I don't get pissed off at life anymore, don't feel like it's all shit, don't feel like I'll never have anything good. I don't feel worthless or like I can never make up for all the horrible stuff I did. I don't think about my past much at all anymore, except to use it to keep me focused on the now and what I hope is to come.
I live my life with Buffy and I follow her lead if I ever get confused. Doing the right thing and knowing what that is gets easier the longer you look for it, but I know I can't get cocky about it. It helps that I've got the best role model right next to me and in my bed every night. It also helps to feel that warm glow, that rock solid belief in me no matter what's going down, and to know I'm right where I should be.
I'm her Watcher and she's my Slayer, and what G-Man doesn't know? Trust me – it ain't gonna hurt him a bit.
I cannot believe what is going on. If I wasn't here to see it, I wouldn't believe it at all. I'm sitting here with Faith, watching some old ex of hers drooling all over her. I can't even tell where Faith begins and this slutbag begins.
We started out on a fun day, a relaxing day, a "just me and her" day. We had breakfast at our favorite place and Faith was overjoyed when I couldn't finish my hash browns and our waiter placed a pitcher of orange juice on our table.
"See why I dig this place so much, B?"
We went window and real shopping at the stores nearby, holding hands as we slowly walked off our breakfast. Faith isn't a big shopper, but because she knows I love it she fakes it enough to make me happy. Plus she had a cinnamon toothpick to chew on, so she was at least partly enjoying herself.
After shopping we walked down by the waterfront. It was so pretty, an early summer day which meant it was just warm and not too hot. We sat on a bench and watched the boats and ski jets go by, the sun bright and beautiful, the breeze just enough to keep us cool. Faith kept smiling at me; she loves it when my hair blows in the wind. Not like a crazy blowing all over the place until I resemble one of those big orange monkeys, but just when it lifts a little off my shoulders.
She leaned over to kiss me and right as my eyes closed, I heard:
"Faith? Faith Lehane!"
And then there was a body bumping me aside to throw itself around Faith….Faith Lehane!
Faith looked confused, but she hugged back, and as the body pulled away, Faith got a big smile on her face:
"Wow, what a surprise!"
"I know, can you believe we ran into each other like this? I haven't seen you since that night two years ago."
Finally my presence was remembered and Faith sat up straight, her eyes for me only and I was mad. "Two years" ago? Oh no, that had better not be true because Faith and I had been together for two and a half years. Before I could kill them both, the Whore of Stupidity corrected herself.
"No wait, I think it's been three years now. Isn't it crazy how time flies, Fai?"
Faith didn't look as terrified anymore, but she still looked a little nervous.
"Yeah, wicked crazy. So how's it goin'?"
"It's going great."
I wanted to be tagged in:
"Aren't you going to introduce us…Fai."
"Huh? Oh yeah, yes. Uh…this is B…uffy. Uh…Buffy. We're…"
"We're a couple and you are?"
She laughed and bared all of her teeth at me like a killer ape and oh yeah, bring it. I'm in the orangutan family, just look at my hair, bitch.
"Still single. Once this one got away, well, it's hard to settle."
She sat down, settling just fine as she squished in between me and Fai. I was close enough now to accidentally break her neck.
"Always were a sweet talker, weren't ya?"
She batted her eyes at Fai's compliment and then put her hand on Faith's bare arm. Faith didn't seem like she saw any reason to remove it.
"You look even more beautiful than I remembered. What have you been up to?"
Faith shrugged, her smile still firmly in place.
"Not much. Same job, same address. Did get lucky and…"
"That's wonderful! Hey, I've got a great idea! Why don't we go have lunch and get caught up?"
"Oh man, I'd really love to, but I can't do it today. Heading out of town in about…"
Fai checked her non-existent watch.
"…35 minutes. Damn."
"Okay, then let me give you my number and you can call me when you get back."
"Don't have my phone on me, so…"
Trampy McStampy actually asked me if I had a pen, but before I could tell her – "Why yes I do and it's embedded in your forehead" – she found one in her purse.
"Damn, got no paper either."
"No problem, Fai…"
Her voice went all low and sultry and I began counting to a billion. Was Faith losing her mind? She was letting this slut write her number…no correction: her numbers on her hand right the hell in front of me. I was going to kill somebody, starting with Fai.
"Now don't forget and get your hand wet."
She climbed out of Faith's shirt and stood up. Faith stood with her and they hugged goodbye as I just stood there waiting for their full body clinch to end.
"It was wonderful to see you again. I'm really looking forward to…catching up and… talking about…old times."
"Yeah, be a blast and a half."
She finally turned to me:
"It was nice meeting you, Bonnie."
She fake smiled, blew a kiss at Faith and left. Finally.
Faith grabbed my hand and dragged me off in the opposite direction. We made our way into and out of a crowd gathered around a street musician, Faith dropping a ten into her guitar case as we passed. We cut down an alley out of sight before she stopped and turned to me.
"So, what time's it? I'm starving."
"Really? Are you horny too?"
"Could be persuaded, but I thought you really wanted to eat at 'Cap'n Jack's'?"
She was looking at a cat that hopped out of trashcan, and I grabbed her arm really hard and yanked her back around to face me.
"You've got one minute to explain who the hell that was."
"B…She doesn't mean shit to me. Look…"
She rubbed her hand against her shorts, smudging the numbers into a smeary mess. I felt better, but still…
"Was it too much to ask for a proper introduction?"
Faith is always pretty direct when she speaks, but this time it wasn't working very well for me.
"I see, so I'm not worth being named to one of your whores?"
"B, I did introduce you."
"Yeah, after hemming and hawing like you couldn't remember who I was."
She laughed then:
"Awww, baby, you're jealous."
"Wow, aren't you the observant one."
She tried to hug me, but I shoved her away.
"Buffy, I was acting like such an idiot 'cause I have no clue who she is. I don't remember her name, hell, I don't even remember her at all."
Again that made me feel much better and if I put that slant on it, it did explain why Faith had seemed a little nervous and overly friendly. She was just trying to bluff her way through the meeting which would also explain why she never did tell me the slutbomb's name. It was just one of those way awkward encounters where someone knows you, but you don't know them.
Okay then, I'd overreacted and…No. It was beyond gross that the love of my life had had sex with so many people, she couldn't even be bothered to remember them.
"And before you head there, I never slept with her."
"Oh, so you don't remember her, but you remember that?"
She grinned at me:
"Damn B, you're pretty hot when you're like this. Look, I've never let anybody call me 'Fai', not even a one night stand, and unless you fucked me ten years ago, I never told anybody about my job or where I lived. She's just some hanger-on, wannabe."
"Yeah. Okay, so what's it gonna be? We gonna do it in this alley or head to the restaurant? I vote for food, then we let'em know we won't be home 'til tomorrow and get a ritzy room with a water view. Then I'll spend all night showin' you what I was trying to tell her."
She had me now and I was starting to feel more than a little embarrassed about how I'd acted.
"How I got lucky when I got you."
"Better knock it off, Blondie."
And I did…for a while.
I adjusted the bag on my shoulder, weapons aren't exactly the lightest of supplies to carry around, but at least I was almost there. Faith's apartment building was dead ahead, I just hoped she was home. That's the down side to "surprise" visits: there's no guarantee who's going to be the suprisee. Just as I walked up to the door, a cute man came out. He was little rumpled looking and trying to tuck his shirt in, and what came to my mind I put right out because no, and it wasn't my business anyway.
He held the door open for me so I didn't have to buzz ahead, a dumb move as far as security went. But then I don't suppose he saw a tiny, freshly scrubbed young woman as much of a threat to anyone, and I was living proof you definitely shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Or a blonde Slayer.
The elevator was waiting and I pushed the button for Faith's floor. Again I shifted the bag and was tempted to put it down, but the elevator was already dinging at the fourth floor. She was at the end of the hall and it looked just like I remembered even though I'd only been here twice in the year since she'd moved in. That was about to change because I didn't like what I sensed was going on with her.
There was no bell, so I knocked and the door swung open. I was instantly on alert, I'm a Slayer, she's a Slayer, we've got way too many enemies not to be ready for trouble at all times. I slid the battle axe out of my bag and made my way slowly through the apartment until I heard the water running in the shower. I stood down most of the way, but not all of the way. It was better to be safe than sorry, so I swung the door open and jumped back and off to the side. It was all steamy, but after letting most of it out into the cooler bedroom, I could see just fine. It seemed to be Faith gyrating behind the door, but it was fogged up as well as opaque, so I wasn't positive.
Her scream echoed all around the bathroom, followed closely by the sound of fifty thousand plastic bottles hitting the tiled floor. The door opened and yep, it was Faith all right. She looked at me in shock, then realized everything she had was on display and she quickly slid the door closed.
"What the fuck are you doing? Tryin' to give me a heart attack?"
"Sorry, I knocked, but the door was open and I wanted to make sure you were okay."
The water shut off and I heard her swearing:
"Big mess in here now."
"It's okay, better to be careful when it comes to us. Go grab something out of the fridge and have a seat in the front room. I'll be out in a few."
"Do you want me to help clean up?"
"Nah, it's not that big a deal. Ones that opened are going down the drain, the rest I just gotta rinse off. Won't take long."
I caught myself nodding like she could see me.
"Okay, I'll be on the couch."
"See ya there."
I went out into the hallway and got my bag, locking her door as I shut it behind me. Her kitchen was so clean it sparkled and her refrigerator was nicely stocked, although I didn't see any yogurt. It was a good thing I'd brought enough for both of us. I opened a can of Coke and headed into the front room, once again impressed with how clean it was. Some clothes were spread around though, so I thought I'd tidy up for her as a way of apologizing.
Pretty soon I had a good sized pile and I put it on an empty recliner that looked incredibly poofy and comfy. Some of the clothes tried to fall off, but I caught all of them except for the one that made it down to the floor. I bent over and picked up a man's flannel shirt. A man's flannel shirt was what I picked up and I was positive I knew whose it was.
"Didn't have to straighten up, but thanks, B."
"I wasn't sure what to do with them, so I…"
"Fine right there, I'll take care of'em later. I'm starvin', want somethin' to eat?"
I nodded again, trying to keep my eyes off what was rapidly becoming the most offensive shirt I'd ever seen.
"Come on into the kitchen. Can tell me why you're here while I make us some chow."
She led the way and I followed her…right after tossing "his" shirt onto the floor as I passed by. There was a table for two and I sat down facing her as she got the sandwich fixings together.
"Chicken salad, okay?"
"Okay, so what's the what?"
What "the what" was, was awkward now since I wasn't exactly happy with the man she had hanging around her apartment at all hours of the night and day. I was surprised at myself, but not totally. I mean, I knew underneath I had a few feelings, I just didn't expect them to rise to the top because of some gigolo.
"The what, 'member?"
I smiled at her and she smiled back, but she looked suspicious. It made sense that she wasn't comfortable with me being in her apartment, I think that Haley Comet thing had shown up more than I had.
"Faith, can I speak honestly?"
"How would I know? Figure you usually do, you sayin' you been lying all this time?"
Her eyebrows twitched and her dimples deepened, and she relaxed me just that fast.
"Okay, I don't like what's happening between us."
"Yes. I mean no, before."
She had the sandwiches made and piled high on a plate she sat down in the middle of the table. She reached into a cupboard and tossed an unopened bag of chips over to me, and then grabbed two more Cokes from the refrigerator before sitting down across from me.
"So when now?"
"Not this second, this second's fine. I mean lately."
That was all she said before she took a huge bite, followed by almost half of her Coke. I ate some of my first sandwich too and it was delicious and I told her so.
"All hinges on the mayo. Skimp there and you can taste it."
We ate in silence for a little bit and then I spoke up:
"It feels like you've been pulling away and I didn't know why. I guess it's because of him, right?"
"Him? B, I think you…"
"I know, it's not any of my business and if you're happy…I know I'm supposed to say I'm happy, but I'm not."
"No, and I know that's terrible of me. I'm mean, what kind of friend does that make me? But I'm being honest and I'm honestly not happy."
"Okay, well, how can we change that?"
I went back to eating because despite being in her apartment and opening up this huge can of worms, I wasn't prepared for this talk. I'd simply come over to hang, then patrol, then come back here after for some more hanging. I missed her and didn't want her getting away, not without making it clear that I…something. I hadn't thought it through much more than that, at least not consciously.
"B, this 'him' guy?"
"I got no clue who you're talking about."
What? So she was going to lie right to my face? Not even remotely acceptable, and I wasn't going to let her get away with it.
"What are you doing, Faith?"
"I thought we were past this."
Faith was looking so confused, it confused me. I reached across the table and took her hand:
"I'm only saying this because I care about you."
"You're being an idiot and I'm going to kill you."
"Good to know. Thanks."
She tried to pull free, but I wouldn't let her.
"Faith, I didn't come here for this, but…"
"Buffy, did you hit your head or somethin'?"
"…I miss you and sleeping with him isn't...."
"Alright, that's it!"
She stood up looking fed up with me.
"I don't know what the fuck is going on, but let's clear some shit up: I am not sleeping with anybody, and by sleeping I mean 'fucking'."
It was a nice try on her part, but the evidence was all on my side.
"Then how do you explain the guy who let me in and why you were showering and whose man shirt is that?"
"I don't have to explain any of it, but I will this once. I got no clue who let you in, it's a big building and a buncha people go in and out all the time. I was showering because I do that every day, they call it 'cleaning up', and the shirt's Xander's from maybe three weeks ago when he came over to play some games."
"But your door was open…"
"Because sometimes the three year old two doors down stops in to say hi after her breakfast."
You could have heard a pin drop.
"So my bad then, huh?"
I was relieved that she wasn't so mad at me she wouldn't laugh, and she sat back down and picked up another sandwich.
"Now that's squared, eat up."
I did and when we finished, she got out half of a chocolate cake.
"Kid's mom gave it to me and no, before you get it going – none of her clothes are here and we're not sleeping together."
"I'm really sorry I jumped to conclusions, Faith."
"No big, happens when you're jealous."
I nodded, relieved that she understood.
"You know, I've never considered myself to be a jealous person, but clearly I…"
And then I realized what she'd said and what I'd admitted.
"Um…Uh…Can I take that back?"
"Nope, finally got you to talk honest, B. No going back."
I was a little panicked, but not as much as I thought I might be. She just kept eating her cake like it was just another day in our lives, and in some ways it was.
"So what d'ya think we should do?"
"I didn't think that part through either."
"Wow, really flyin' by the seat of your pants, yeah, B? I like it."
She took my hand in hers, just holding it lightly unlike my death grip from earlier, and her thumb rubbed softly along the back of my hand and across my knuckles.
"Well, pretty sure you planned to stay after patrol."
"How'd you know that?"
"Got enough yogurt in there to choke a Slayer."
"Oh right, I forgot."
I looked up to see her smiling and looking me right in the eye:
"I'm glad you're here. We'll just play it by ear and see where it takes us."
"I'd like that."
Her grip tightened and her eyes were so beautiful.
"I'd like it too. Been waitin' a long time for you…to drop by."
Xena With a Capital Z
"Xena, this was our only frying pan. Why do you do that? You do have weapons, don't you?"
"I like to be creative in a fight. It gets my juices going."
"Can we cook with your juices?"
*Oops, my bad, wrong pairing.*
Definition: A complete and absolute peace.
A backyard filled with flowers of all types and colors and smells. Grass lush and green. Butterflies floating randomly through the air. Birds and squirrels playing in the trees. A reclining lawn chair. A young woman in her prime. Skimpy clothes. Skin soaking up the sun. A broad brimmed straw hat. A pile of magazines. A glass of Diet Coke on the table. Nowhere to go, no one to be. Quiet. Peace. Contentment. But not zen, no.
That came ten minutes later with the sound of a roaring motorcycle and its rider tackling her out of her chair, tipping the table, spilling the Diet Coke. Ripping through the magazines. The broad brimmed straw hat crunched. The skin covered in shade. The skimpy clothes riding up. The reclining lawn chair rolled empty on its side. Birds and squirrels scattering in alarm. Butterflies purposefully flying off to safer pastures. Grass leaving stains. Flowers getting smushed.
Buffy smelled leather, smoke, and the road, all laced with the perfect aroma that was Faith.
"Hiya, B. Miss me?"
Zen had come home and was in her arms.