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Chapter Two

Monkey on a Wire

I had to motor, so I left without saying a word to her. Fact is, if I didn't go when I did, there were gonna be a lotta words said and I knew she probably wouldn't wanna hear any of them. So I took off.

I'd been thinking that this asshole might really be the one. She'd stayed with him the longest, plus he kinda looked like the Wooden Soldier. She sure was all:  "Greg, this, Greg that", long enough to make me wanna hurl. Even just one of those moments always makes me sick and this went on for fucking ever.

Then outta nowhere, it wasn't like she'd been complaining about him or anything, he was gone. Just like that, Mr. "He's the One" is toast, and B is just sitting there wide-open. Okay, poor choice of words because just thinking about that has me daydreaming to the point that aliens could anal probe me and I wouldn't even notice. But what I'm trying to say is that she's uninvolved and that will last at least few weeks, maybe a few months if I get lucky.

B's not the type that's absolutely gotta have a guy, she's fine going it alone. And of course I way prefer it when she does go solo because we get to hang together a lot more. Bachelor B is basically all mine, but that always has to end sooner or later. Because even though she doesn't gotta have it, she likes being in a relationship and as much as she gets hit on, well, Prince Charming's always just waiting in the wings.

She doesn't even have to do anything except be herself. She draws them in because she's "Buffy" – all class, but not snotty or untouchable. Even though she's way friendly it still takes some pretty big balls to make your approach. But anybody can see just how special she is, and they come to her like they've just been waiting for their chance.

They hover around her trying to suck up the courage to go for it, and sometimes they can't quite get there. No problem, there's always somebody else ready to cut in and take their place. B doesn't notice them, but I do. They're always there, always circling her, doing their best to catch her eye.

Whenever we go out to our favorite place, they're there. Some just nod, a few say hi, a couple might even call her by name, and Buffy always smiles back. Sometimes she'll stop and talk for a minute, and I watch their faces turn red and their eyes glaze over at the direct attention. Most of them look like they don't know what hit'em.

Greg was just one of those people. Dude used to sit at the bar right where it bends so he could stare at her. One night a bunch of us were out and he came up to the table all nervous and stupid.

"Hi. My name's Greg Manson…Mason… and I was wondering if maybe you'd like to dance…with me, I mean."

She smiled and stood up:

"I'd love to."

Then they were gone and didn't come back to the table for eighteen fucking minutes, which gave me plenty of time to file away the most important info: Act like a fucked up moron and B will fall for you. And definitely BYOD, she likes the natural ones. Yeah, my next drink was a double…twice.

But they're over now and there's a disturbance in the Force, leastways there is in mine. Because I'm thinking and the question running through my head on a loop is: Just how many more fucking times is Buffy going to be unattached? Sooner or later she's gotta find some fuckface she can love, somebody she's gonna wanna hitch herself to. They'll date, get engaged, get married, have kids, and live a life filled with love and family and happiness.

And what's that say about me that just the thought of all that really happening makes me wanna die and take somebody with me? What kinda rotten person am I that I get pissed at the thought of my friend finally being happy? I mean, even I know if you love somebody, you're supposed to wish that for them, and on my best days I do, no matter how it has to happen. But my "best" days aren't as often as I need'em to be and I can mostly only feel like I do.

I know I'm wicked glad that Greg bailed like a dumb ass because he was too stupid to gut it out. He couldn't see that having most of B is better than anything else he's ever gonna have, and I'll bet anything he thought she was gonna beg him to stay. But I know her and I know even though she was tempted to, she didn't.

I can see her just like I was there, her eyes filled right to the brim as she tried to let him down easy. I know she never wanted to hurt him, but I also know she didn't lie and try to get him to stay either. And that's the thing that's gotta hurt "Riley Lite" the most: she didn't try to hold on.

All it would have taken was the tiniest sign and he'd still be all over her, drooling and smiling and carrying on like usual. But he overestimated what he meant to her, and by the time he found out how it really was, it was way too late. She didn't have anything else left to give him, she'd already gone all in, and he was history.

Nobody can feel what they don't, and even though B's got the biggest heart of anybody I've ever known, she can't lie worth a damn. Greg pushed the sitch to where she had to be honest, and the idiot got his walking papers handed to him. Grab a tiger by the tail, you have to be ready to get scratched the fuck up, and I don't think he understood that until the very end. I almost feel bad for him…almost.

Anyway, back to my current sitch. I hightailed it away from B because there was no way I could stay, not and act like I'm supposed to. I needed some alone time because what I feel for her is right on the surface, and I have to get that shit pushed back down. Once I do, I can sit with my thumb up my ass and watch the contenders gather their courage and go for it.

I'll watch while most of'em pussy out or get shot down, then I'll brace myself for the one who finally makes a legit play. They'll be scared shitless, but they'll still go for it, and I'll just sit and watch while they do what I'm too gutless to try myself. Then I'll fantasize about snapping their spines in half.

It's getting harder to live with, and now even my alone time's letting me down. Because my alone time? It's been just that – me, all alone, all day and all night. No partying, no fucking, no fighting, just me sitting in a little room on the beach watching the water come and go while I keep thinking and wondering. 

I'm not getting any younger and nothing's changing at all. I love her and as the years roll along, I just fall deeper and deeper. I keep thinking there's nowhere left to go, but there always is. Like the other day when she did this crazy dance after she kicked my ass at "Mario Kart". Yeah, I know, but Mario's classic, plus B likes the pretty colors and cuteness of it all.

Anyways, she beats the fuck outta me, tosses her controller, and then does the dorkiest, weirdest dance I've ever seen anybody do. She looked like she was having a seizure and I just sat there watching, so turned on and in love I was hypnotized. I'm telling you, if she was still doing it, I'd still be right there taking it in. I cracked my controller from hanging on too tight, and then when she leaned down to kiss the top of my head like I was a poor sport kid, I busted that piece of plastic beyond repair.

"Oh come on, F…don't be a bad loser."

And that's what I keep thinking about now: Exactly why do I have to be a loser, bad or otherwise? How come I got stuck in with the chumps? Who says I have to just watch everybody and their brother make a play for the woman I love? Where's it written that all I can do is pray that she'll shoot'em down? Why do I have to be a coward when I know I can outdo any of them any day of the week?

I'm thinking now and I'm thinking hard. There's a lot at stake for sure, but I'm not gonna change, I know that. I'm not gonna meet somebody else, I'm not gonna forget about her, my feelings aren't gonna change. It's her, it's always been her since the day we met, and the only difference I can see is that I'm sane now and I love her even more.

Here's the thing: I can keep doing what I've been doing, just stay the course and watch'em come and go. But I see her every single day and I see that she's waiting for somebody to make it through, to actually connect with her. It's not easy for her to keep trying, B's romantic history isn't exactly the best, but she keeps doing it because she's Buffy and she's not a coward or a quitter.

Maybe I've been looking at this sitch all wrong all this time. Maybe I'd be doing her a favor because I know I can connect with her, I can give her what she wants and needs. I know her inside and out, the good and the bad, and I love every bit of her. Her sweetness, her toughness, her willingness to put herself on the line for other people day after day, year after year…and right there's one of the big sticking points.

Buffy is a hero, the kind they don't make anymore. She does the right thing just because it's the right thing. She cares about people and she sacrifices herself for them all the time. She always does the impossible, the girl's a legend like somethin' out of a comic book. And me? Well, not so much.

Sure, I've done okay these last few years, but I know somebody somewhere's keepin' track, and I've got some big time strikes against me. Lighting a coupla candles every month for a coupla dead guys doesn't wash their blood off me. Nothing ever will, but I keep going anyway. Angel taught me that it's never over and B has taught me how to live with that. I do okay.

I know now it's about putting yourself on the line because you're all that's standing between good and evil. If you're not willing to throw yourself into the mix and do what you can to help, then you're nothing. Win or lose you gotta be there, and it's not about the final tally either. It's about who you are, what you'll hold firm for, what you're willing to die over.

I'm a Slayer and a damn good one too. I fight the fight and maybe it erases some of my sins, maybe it doesn't, but it does let me sleep at night. It gets me a place I can call home with people who care about me, and it lets me look at myself in the mirror and stand the view. That's way more than I ever imagined I'd get.

But my main point here is that a hero should have somebody by her side who's worthy of her, and as much as I wish that was me, it's probably not. But the thing is, none of those other guys were either, and it didn't stop one of them from going for it. I'm thinking now that maybe that's just a big obstacle I made up because I'm scared when it comes to my feelings for B.

Which then just leaves the biggest problem of all: the whole gay thing. If I was a guy I'd have already made my move already, probably, but I'm not a guy. I'm wicked obvious a chick, so how do I stand any kinda chance with her? But again with the wondering if I haven't just been shoving shit in the way. Sure B's never been with another girl, but what's that mean exactly?

Because I keep remembering back to Sunnydale when I went to her class and drew a heart on the window for her. I figured I could cover if I had to by saying it was just a vamp thing, but nobody in that class except Willow and Xander could know that. To everybody else it was simple: a sex on wheels, leather wearing dyke was coming on to the prettiest girl in the whole fucking school.

And that pretty girl? She just sat there looking scared, all pink and embarrassed because she knew what it looked like, what they all thought. But B didn't leave me hanging. She gathered up her courage and smiled, like something was decided for her… and she came to me. Pretty as you please, and I was riding as high as I've ever been.

We went slaying, then dancing, and I thought we were on our way. But who knows now what the fuck really happened. Maybe I was dreaming, maybe I just saw what I wanted to see. What I can say for sure is that accidental murder fucks everything up, `specially if you go nuts on top of it and keep making it worse in every possible way.

Anyway, I've lost track of what was real and what was just in my crazy head. What that means now when it comes right down to it is: I don't really know if B's against girls. I know she supports the hell outta Red, and she almost always goes to those Gay Pride deals. I don't get the point of that shit, but I do love that every girl at every one of those things is so fucking jealous of the hot blonde whose arm is always linked with mine.

It's my favorite time of the whole year. Red and Ken think I'm the biggest supporter of lesbians in the country because I get so keyed up about it, and oh yeah, I'm wicked huge with the gay rights. Especially the ones that get Buffy to spend hours touching me left and right.

She always scores us some rainbow hats right outta the gate, and she makes me wear one while she talks to everybody she sees. Before it's over, we're always decorated like we've been to Mardi Gras topless, and Buffy looks so freaking happy and gay…like in a "no cares" kinda way too. She doesn't seem the slightest bit worried about somebody thinking she's queer, in fact she loves to goof around with it.

"Hi, I'm Buffy and this is Faith. I know, isn't she so beautiful? Mmm…baby, how long have we been together now?"

I can never even remember my name, let alone come up with an answer for her. She just squeezes me tighter, her arm around my waist and her tits smashed up and rubbing against me. Sometimes she actually kisses me on the neck, playing it up to the hilt:

"See how bad she is? It's lucky she's so good at…other things."

Her voice goes all sexy when she says stuff like that, and when it does, I don't have a clue who she's talking to or what anybody else is saying. I just stand there until she leads me off, and I have to work hard to keep my legs from wobbling. As soon as we get out of earshot, she always laughs all bright and sunny, looking like a little kid at the best party ever.

"I told you if you wore that top, you'd be getting hit on all day. You're lucky I'm here because she's totally crazy if she thinks I'd ever share you with anyone. And you crack me up how you were acting all love struck!"

She signs petitions, carries posters, eats way more junk food than she oughta, and she fits right in way better than I do. She always tells me the story about how she realized she really liked Riley when she saw him helping some lesbians hang up a banner on campus. Just like with most everything when it came to him, he was so sweet about it, and to be fair, I guess that sums him up just right. He wasn't very exciting and he wasn't right for her, but he was a good guy. Even I get that.

Anyway, the question for me to answer now is what does any of that stuff actually mean? Obviously B's not an idiot when it comes to lesbians, not much of a surprise there, but it's a pretty big leap from her being lesbian friendly to her being open to falling for a girl. Still I don't really know anything, so yeah, thinking straight…clear…would be a big fucking help.

I've never seen any evidence that she finds women attractive, but just because she hasn't said anything doesn't mean she doesn't. I'm just assuming, which is pretty stupid when it comes to something this important. They even got a saying about this kinda sitch: "You assume and somebody turns into an asshole". I'm guessing that might be me. 

Of course my brain's not exactly working right. I just can't stop hearing what she said to me five days ago, and it's been the main thing running through every thought I've had since then. There's no way I can stop thinking about it, and believe me I've tried.

I came in late that morning from a crazy patrol, went straight to my room and got cleaned up, then headed back downstairs for lunch. It wasn't long before I heard Greg was toast. I took my time eating so I could be sure I wouldn't start smiling like the selfish bitch I am, and then I tracked her down in her room.

She was glad to see me. I'm always there for her when this stuff happens, and I wanna be. I hate seeing her down, so I help out whenever and however I can. Of course I'm also only human, and I spend a wicked chunk of my brain power calculating just how much time we're gonna be spending together over the next however many weeks. Unless she's really upset, I tend to drift a little if I don't force myself to focus on her words because I keep picturing what we're gonna do.

But this time it was all cool, I was in the moment. She told me how it went down, how she knew it was for the best, but how he'd really been hurt. She felt way shitty about that and she cried a little when she was explaining it to me. I hugged her while she did, and I told her it was going to be okay, that he'd be okay.

I felt her nodding against me, probably secretly wiping her nose on my shirt, and then she pulled back with a little laugh. She looked so beautiful, all flushed with her eyes so green it was like she'd invented a new color. I sat there trying not to slobber all over her, and then she said:

"Maybe I should just give up on guys and be with you."

What? What the fuck did she just say?

That was all I could think as I tried to act normal, but I was nowhere near normal. I was so shook up I felt crazy, and I kept waiting for my chance to motor. When she did a huge yawn a few minutes later, I was all over it. I told her she should try to get some sleep, and she nodded. She thanked me for always being there for her and knowing just what to say to make her feel better. At least I think that's what she said. All I could hear was:

"Maybe I should just give up on guys and be with you."

She hugged me again and then I left her room, went to mine and threw some shit into a bag. I hauled ass right then and there, and I didn't stop running `til I ended up at this little fake wood table, staring out the window and watching the waves roll in and out.

The more I go over it, the more I wonder why I can't just take my shot with her. I'd have to be really careful because I can't lose her as a friend, but I could put out some feelers, maybe test the waters a little bit and see how she reacts. I'll be like a Lesbian Stealth Bombshell, just sniffing around and ready to back off at the first sign of trouble.

I know how to play that game, I used to do it with her all the time. And although that went to hell way too fast and took me with it, the actual flirting part wasn't the problem. B seemed kinda into, at least before I started slaughtering half the town and working my way to Crazyville. But was it the sex thing she was digging or just that I was paying her some attention?

Besides, we were wicked young, so that doesn't really tell me all that much either way. Being maybe attracted as a kid doesn't mean shit when you're all grown up. Although if she did want me back then, maybe they could make it a law that she has to want me now. Yeah, everybody get on the horn and call your congressman.

Sure wish I had somebody to talk this sitch over with. I don't though, so I'm not gonna waste time whining about it. The main thing is that even though I'm scared, I wanna do it. I just need to remember to be careful and start slow. I'll just keep going a little further every day and see how far I can get.

But "slow" is gonna be the key thing, and it means I can't just walk up to her and say:

"I'm in love with you, B. Can I eat you out for the rest of my life?"

Instead I have to try to make her aware of the possibility between us, and I have to keep the rest of the wannabes off her until I see which way the wind's blowing. If she's not interested, I'll back off and spend the rest of my life wishing for more and taking what I can get. It won't be any worse than what I've got now, and at least this way I've got a fighting chance.  No matter how it goes, there won't be any "what ifs" in my future.

Decision made, I'm heading back tomorrow and I'm gonna have some guts. Tiny guts, maybe, but they're mine and I'm gonna use'em to help me nail B…one way or the other.

"Maybe I should just give up on guys and be with you."

Fuck, my hands are shaking.


They make no sound
They ring no bell

Leaving no traces
They got no tales to tell

They find no home
They make no love

Casting no shadow
While balancing above

Ohhh…here I go, me and my desire
Everyone's got their own monkey on the wire

Ohhh…down below, leader of the choir
Is waiting for the next monkey on a wire

They keep no fear
No second prize

Walking like Jesus
With voodoo in their eyes

They come in green
They leave in black

Holding dead roses
With bullets in their back

Ohhh…here I go, me and my desire
And everyone's got their own monkey on the wire

Ohhh…down below, wrapped up in the fire
Waiting for the next monkey on a wire

They make no sound
They ring no bell

Walking like Jesus
Going straight on into Hell

Ohhh…There you go, you and your desire
And everyone's got their own monkey on the wire

Ohhh…down below, leader of the choir
Is waiting for the next monkey on a wire

Ohhh…down below, wrapped up in the fire
Waiting for the next monkey on a wire

Waiting for the next monkey on a wire…

-Monkey on a Wire - Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson




I can't seem to stop looking at her. It's stupid, but every time she catches me staring, I blush. I don't know what the deal is, it's not like we don't look at each other all the time. But it's been different lately, like she knows something and is just waiting for me to know it too, and tonight's been the worst. She knows it's bothering me and her grin is getting smirkier, her body language is getting cockier, and the sexual energy or whatever it is between us, is skyrocketing to the point that even Willow is noticing.

She keeps darting these "Willow" looks my way, and it won't be much longer before she comes over here and starts asking "Willow" questions that I don't want to…

"Hey, what are we blushing at?"

He sneaks up behind me and wraps his arms around my waist, pulling me back against him. His voice in my ear would have made me jump, but being held in Xander's arms is probably the least scary place in the world.

"I'm not blushing."

"Au contraire, my little Buffster. I know your color and red it is not."

"I'm just a little hot and…"  

He bends down to rest his chin on my shoulder, obviously seeking a Buffy's-eye view.

"Okay, so you're going to make me work for it. I respect that. Now let's see what we have in sight…We've got Giles sitting at the table drinking a beer, Andrew desperately trying to throw even one dart remotely near the board, and Dawn doing her best to attract the boy at the table next to her. Is that it? You're mad because Dawnie's not going to be a nun after all?"

I laugh because he's Xander, and I swat his arm because his Xanderness is in full swing.

"I'm not mad about anything and I am not blushing."


His grip tightens and he turns us just slightly so that he can see from another angle.

"Okay, over there are some good old boys polishing off another pitcher, two couples dancing, and Faith."

"See? I told you I wasn't…"

Faith looked over at us then, her arms raised about her head as she swayed to the music. She grinned at Xander, then gestured with her finger for him to come over. She looked like an ad for hot sex and I felt myself getting warmer.

"Hey, Faith!"

He yelled over to her like a dork and one of his hands lifted to wave at her. I tried to make my escape from him, but he spun me around until we were face to face.

"And just where do you think you're going? We've got a mystery to solve, nobody leaves until we have our answer."

I looked him in the eye with what I hoped was an intimidating stare:

"You do know I can break loose any time I want to."

"Of course you can, but only if you choose to use your Slayer muscles. And since this is a 'Buffy' thing and not a 'Slayer' thing, you have to play fair."

"Xander, I don't want to play, I just want…"

He was completely ignoring me and my wants.

"Sorry, Tiny Girl. Now, where were we? There seems to be nothing for you to blush at and yet you're…"


Her voice was right at my ear, so close I could feel her breath skimming across my skin. I went still, hoping she wouldn't notice me. Xander spoke up without delay:

"Hi, Faith. You sure were shaking it up out there."

"Yeah. So how come you didn't come over?"

I stayed quiet, wishing I could move away from her as I waited for Xander to answer. He didn't say anything, then I felt Faith nudging me with her shoulder.



"How come you didn't come over?"


Thankfully Xander jumped right in and no one commented on my squeaky answer.

"The Buffster and I were too busy trying to get to the bottom of something."

Faith laughed and this time the sound was on a frequency that raised goose bumps on my neck and shoulders.

"'Less it's the bottom of a bottle, not sure I can help you guys out."

"Xander, let go of me."

"Say 'please' and maybe I'll...."

I shoved him back and he smiled.

"Fine, be all Slayery, I need libations anyway. Ladies?"

"Nah, I'm good."


I shook my head and with a parting grin he headed off for the bar. I watched him go for as long as I could, stalling for all I was worth.


I let out a deep breath and turned to face her. She looked so good in her red sleeveless top and her black jeans.

"Why didn't you come dance with me?"

The question was so absurd I laughed, then tried to pick a fight because I was scared.

"And why exactly would I do that, Faith?"

"Not sure on the 'exactlies', but why wouldn't ya?"

Yes, that probably was the question, but the way she was looking at my lips and wetting her own had my legs turning to jelly and my heart beating way too fast to ask myself anything even slightly sensible.

I went back to trying to pick a fight.

"Pardon me, but I'm not at your beck and call. I was talking to Xander and…"

Just like she'd been doing for the last twenty-three days, she ignored my bitchiness. She stepped closer, her breasts actually brushing against mine as she took hold of my arms. Her grip was solid, but I could have easily moved away if I'd chosen to. I'd have to make a point of it though, and at the moment there were other points that were taking precedence.

"You don't gotta be scared, B."


Damn, the squeakiness was back, but she didn't seem to notice. She let go of me and extended her hand.

"Come dance with me. We've done that before, so no big, right?"

But it was a "big", a much bigger big than it had ever been before, and it had been a big back then too. She was gently tugging on me, and her smile almost blinded me as I went with her out onto the dance floor. The song changed right as we got there, and we started off slow.

We just stood with my hand in hers, and after a few moments, she moved a little closer and put her free hand lightly on my shoulder.

"See? Just like ridin' a biker."

That made me smile and nod. She smiled too, then brushed the hair off of my face. Her left hand lingered against my cheek for a moment before sliding down to my waist in tandem with her right one.

My arms draped themselves loosely over her shoulders and we began swaying together. I was very happy with all of the sensations that was causing, even though I still wondered just exactly what I thought we were doing.

She leaned in and inhaled deeply:

"How do you always smell so good, B?"

"Body soap and shampoo."

"Nah, I think it's just you."

We didn't talk anymore. It was kind of like a basking moment, even though I technically had nothing to bask about, and I started thinking about how we'd arrived at the moment we were now in.

I'd broken up with Greg about a hundred years ago, and after making me feel better about it, Faith had taken off for five long days and nights. It was weird that she left right then, but what was even weirder was how she acted when she finally came back home.

She started playing with me, and at first it was nothing but fun to be flirted with without any pressure. It was also major fun to watch Faith being silly in a way she hadn't been in years. It was like reliving the good old days without any of the bad old parts, and it lifted my mood right up into "Giddy Territory", just like that.

But then it all got…different. Everything she said seemed to maybe mean something else and her eyes felt like they were following me everywhere I went. She stood a little too close to me, and the mixed signals we used to have were back with a vengeance. We'd somehow resumed a familiar routine I'd forgotten all about, and I was completely rattled.

For years we'd had a neatly defined friendship with borders we were careful not to cross. Suddenly Faith was crossing those borders, every single one of them, and way faster than I could set them back up. The energy that always used to crackle between us started up again, and it was like a living, breathing thing. I suddenly remembered just how attracted I'd always been to her, and it freaked me out.

I got grouchy with her, jumping on every word she said and trying to pick a fight with her every chance I got. It was stupid, but I couldn't quit doing it no matter how much I wanted to. Faith didn't seem to care, she just ignored my craziness. All of my attempts to argue with her went nowhere, and I started to sweat whenever she was near. She had me totally off balance, but at the same time a big part of me felt totally at ease.

It felt like something big was building, something wild and new, yet old and comforting too. I didn't understand it at first, but I knew I felt more alive than I had in years, and it felt wonderful. I couldn't sleep, and when I did I dreamed of…things. I was all worked up and my mind wouldn't stop thinking about her.

She gave me a slight shake that pulled me out of my thoughts.

"You're not gonna punch me, are ya, B?"

"What? Why would I punch you?"

She laughed a little, but I could tell she was serious too.

"Just that every time I have this fantasy, it always ends with you slugging me."

I eased back slightly so I could see her eyes.

"That's the ending of your fantasy?"

She was a little embarrassed.

"Well, no, sometimes there's another ending. A way hotter, better ending."

I leaned into her again.

"Definitely no punching tonight, promise."

"…So does that mean the other ending…"

I hit her hard on the ass, and her laughter caused my goose bumps to return, except this time my arms joined in on the fun.

The song ended and seamlessly blended into the next one and the one after that, and I found myself becoming more and more comfortable with her. When a fast song started up, neither of us moved away, preferring instead to stay right where we were, dancing to our own music.

Some say "dancing", I say potato. We were moving together in a perfect rhythm and at one point I saw Willow and Xander blur by. They were sitting side by side at the table with their mouths hanging open, Xander's even more than it usually did whenever Faith and I were together. They didn't exactly look shocked, just blown away and totally confused. Like it had all come out of nowhere and they'd had no warning, which it kind of had and they kind of hadn't, hence the shock.

I didn't exactly feel bad about it, it wasn't like I'd had that much warning either. I tried to read their expressions, but Faith was already sailing us past them and besides, that was a worry for another time. I knew they liked Faith now, they liked her a lot, but I wasn't naïve enough to think that there might not be some lingering issues.

Faith and I together have always been a volatile mix, and even as friends we're all sorts of explodey. But at least as friends we're in control, and I could easily imagine everybody a lot less at ease if we started a romance. Right now though, that possibility was still firmly in the "possibly maybe" stage, and I didn't even pretend to look at Giles or Dawnie.

At least now Xander knew what I'd been blushing at.

"B, can I ask you a question?"

"Sure, I guess so."

My lips brushed against the warm, smooth skin of her shoulder when I spoke, and I felt her shiver. For a second her grip tightened enough to hurt, but almost instantly she relaxed again.


We danced in silence until I found my voice again, and this time I lifted my head away from her:

"So what were you going to ask me?"

She made a sound somewhere between a laugh and a sigh.

"I don't remember anymore."

"Oh. Well, I've got one."


"What's happening here?"

"I want you, B."

At first I didn't say anything. We just continued to move together as I thought it over. The idea didn't upset me, but it did scare me, although in an exciting way. Could we really do it, could we maybe be together? And how did she mean it? As just a sex thing or as a relationship…although just between me and me, I think if she pushed it, I'd go for just the sex thing if I had to. That's how worked up I'd become over the last few weeks.



"I still want you." 

"I know you do, I think I do too."

She laughed like only Faith laughs before she says something off the charts inappropriate.

"Damn, that mean you're gonna play with yourself? Can I watch?"

"Do you always have to act like a pig?"

"No, just sometimes when I wanna see ya all flustered."

She was certainly getting her wish. I hadn't felt this crazy in forever. Everything seemed different and scary, but thrilling and somehow right too. I was pretty sure it was something I wanted to explore, crazy enough in and of itself.

We continued dancing, just getting used to being so close with things sort of out in the open between us…at least that's what I was doing. I didn't think for a second that Faith was feeling what I was. Her confidence was practically oozing out of her, not that that's anything unusual. She always exudes sexual confidence, like she knows she can have anyone at any time, and I guess she can.

I mean, it's not like I'm the end all, be all, but here I am with my arms around her and acting totally unlike myself. I'm practically just waiting to be taken by her, basically willing even if it's just sex, which is not exactly the standard "Buffy" operating procedure. That train of thought wasn't helping me calm down, but then not many trains took me anywhere near calm lately.

I could feel everywhere she was touching me and it had my mind all swirly and…

"So how's this work?"

I had to laugh.

"Gee, Faith, I was really counting on you to know. I'm not exactly experienced when it comes to this sort of thing."

She grinned and pulled me to her tighter and…hello. New parts and places touching, and it seemed wicked likely I was getting the vapors or their more modern and kicky cousin – the swoonies.

"Smart ass. I know how that works, I just don't know how we get there from here."

"I don't know either, I guess we just…"

My voice sort of petered out, the anticipation making me feel all kinds of things. Was I really going to do this? With Faith? How did this happen? How did we get here?

"We don't gotta take it any further, B, not if you're not ready."

I could hear the disappointment even though she tried to hide it, but when I pulled back to look into her eyes, I could see that she meant what she said. She wanted me, but she was going to be okay with it if I couldn't. That understanding let me make my decision.

"I never knew you were so sweet."


"I want this, Faith. I'm just a little freaked is all, but I definitely don't want to go backwards."

Her eyes lit up and the smile on her face was huge. She leaned in then and delivered the softest kiss I've ever felt. It lasted forever, but not nearly long enough, and when she drew back, her tongue peeked out just a bit to lick her lips like I'd left chocolate behind.

"Damn, B."


They don't much care for you
No they don't like your kind

The way you look, walk
Or the way you talk

The way you always speak your mind
But you wanna be my friend

You're not anything like them
You could show me things I've never seen

You say "Ooh child, what a waste if we never took a taste
Of everything we find in between"

Ooh you make me nervous
Ooh you make me wanna run away and hide

You make me nervous
When you look at me I just can't lie

Ooh you make me nervous tonight
Feels so wrong and feels so right, it feels like insanity

Oh I keep acting strange, hoping that I'll change
Waking in a sweat from a burning dream

And then look at all my friends, I keep on pleasing them
Caught up in the chaos of their minds

Ooh child the fear I have
Keeps me bound and keeps me gagged

Pushing harder all the time
Ooh you make me nervous

Ooh you make me wanna run away and hide
Ooh you make me nervous

When you look at me I just can't lie
I wanna shovel all the blame

And I wanna shoot out all the lights
I wanna call you names and start a fight

Because you make me nervous tonight
Heart pounds, hands wet, mouth dry

I shake, I scream, I cry
No eat, no sleep all night

I build my lonely cell with secrets I can't tell
Frozen in my fright

Ooh, you make me nervous tonight
You make me nervous

You make me nervous
You make me nervous

Oh you make me wanna run away and hide
Oh you make me nervous

When you look at me I just can't lie
I wanna shovel all the blame

And I wanna shoot out all the lights
I wanna call you names and start a fight

Oh you make me nervous
Nervous, nervous

Ooh you make me nervous tonight

-Nervous - Melissa Etheridge



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