She practically begged you to join them, but your aching muscles protested just a little too much at the prospect of all of that jumping around. It’s a wonder any of the rest of them have the energy for it. You’d rather sip your drink and watch the action unfold.
Well, for right now, anyway. If a better song comes on the staticky little clock radio, you might change your mind.
Especially if she keeps looking at you like that.
It’s like the blinds have been drawn and everything you ever hated about each other melted in the sunshine. You smile a little wider, flashing teeth and dimples at the strange turns your mind keeps making. She smiles wider in turn, holding your gaze this time as her hips rock to the beat.
“It’s the ‘doink doink’; take a drink!” Dawn exclaims, pulling your attention away from that swaying body and those flirty eyes.
You poke your head into the next room, just curious enough to try and figure out what the hell they’re doing and if it’s worth joining in.
Giles, Xander, Rona, Caridad and some random newbie whose name you can’t pronounce are playing a hand of poker. The table is stocked with snack foods of every variety and more kinds of beer than you’ve heard of. Could be promising.
“Oohh, look out! New ADA. We’ve got Angie Harmon, people! CHUG!” Andrew squeals, and you’re distracted once again.
Dawn, Andrew, Shannon and yet another no-name newbie are sprawled out on one of the queen-sized beds, drinks in hand. The TV is blaring the “Law and Order” theme song and you realize they’re playing a drinking game. Not really your style.
Poker, it is.
You grab a couple of Xander’s microbrews and look around for a seat. Judging by the pile of salty snacks in front of him, it looks like Giles is winning this hand.
“Now ladies, are you sure you don’t want to turn this into a strip poker game? Things could get pretty interesting.” Looks like Xander’s losing. Desperately.
“More like ugly, you mean!” Dawn puts in her two cents from across the room and you chuckle at the crestfallen look on Xander’s face.
“Thanks, Dawn. Don’t you have Jack McCoy to keep you entertained over there?” Xander asks sarcastically. He frowns at his cards before raising his good eye to you. “Faith, you’re with me on this, right?”
You pause mid-sip and look around at the others.
“Gotta say no, Xand. No offense, but I think I’ve seen you strip one too many times for one lifetime.” You wave at the three Cheetos he has left to bid while Rona tries to recover from laughing and swallowing at the same time. Caridad whacks her on the back a couple of times and they both stand up.
From across the room you hear, “It’s your job, Lennie.” Followed by,“Ohh, Andrew, that’s your drink!”
Peels of laughter reach your ears as Andrew tries to hold down his shot. Giles offers to share his winnings of Cheetos, Chex Mix, and Cool Ranch Doritos with you for helping break up the strip poker game that never was. You munch happily on the snacks, washing down the salty goodness with swigs of beer.
You’re not quite sure what you’re all celebrating anymore, but right now, in this moment, you don’t really care. There are things to be done, that’s for sure. After tonight it’ll be all work, all the time. You’ll have to find a permanent way to avoid going back to jail, somewhere to live. All of the new girls need guidance and training. Most of them are scattered around the world with no way of knowing what’s happening to them. There are plans to be made, friends and allies to be mourned, but not tonight.
Not after being hailed as heroes in every town you passed before settling on this one. Not after getting adjoining suites in one of the ritziest hotels for free. The drinks at the bar downstairs were free, too, but Giles warned about wearing out your welcome and the party moved upstairs.
Buffy didn’t want to chance a celebration at first, but you talked her into it.
‘Just one night,’ you said with a twinkle in your eye. ‘Tomorrow, we’ll work. Tomorrow, we’ll think about the future. Tonight, we party.’
She had a little half-smile on her face and a dazed look in her sea green eyes as she took the drink you offered. It took her a long time to relax, to stop looking over her shoulder like the First was going to pop up in the middle of the crowded hotel bar.
Now, you’ve never seen her look happier, more carefree. She’s been dancing up a storm with Willow, Kennedy, Chao-Ahn and Vi for the better part of an hour and, walking back into the room, you can’t take your eyes off of her.
She’s dancing with her eyes closed, mouthing the words to a song you don’t know, off in her own little fantasy land. When her eyes open, they don’t even search for you. She pins you down without a second’s hesitation, and you’re rooted to the spot. You know she’s drunk, so are you, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that it seems, for one night only, you two can be yourselves and damn the consequences to the morning.
The others start congregating in the main living room, breaking your eye contact and your concentration. You give up trying to follow her around the room, instead opting to follow the myriad of conversations now flowing all around you.
“C’mon, you know you wanna play!” Rona coaxes Vi, who has collapsed on the couch.
“Hey, Will!” Xander slurs with a goofy grin on his face.
“Hey, Xand!” Willow slurs back, plopping into his lap.
“Truth or dare?” he asks, wiggling his eyebrows.
“Oh hell no am I playing that lameness!” Kennedy exclaims, tugging Willow up to standing and pulling her into an armchair. Xander smacks his lips and grabs a throw pillow to cuddle up to instead.
“I’m going to call in to the hospital and check on Robin’s condition. Night, all!” Giles retreats into one of the four bedrooms at your disposal to a chorus of ‘good nights.’
“I’ve never played truth or dare before,” Andrew admits, mostly to himself but you hear him loud and clear. You keep quiet, hoping he’ll say something more. “I’ll pick truth,” he goes on, too drunk to notice that the room has now gone quiet.
“I had a rash once that I thought was Chlamydia, but it was just razor burn.”
You try and hold it in, but it’s impossible to keep the roll of deep-throated laughter at bay for long. The others join in, either to laugh with you or shriek in horror and disgust. Andrew turns beet red as you walk over and slap him on the back.
“Thanks for your honesty, Rash Boy!” You clink your beer bottle to his glass, laughing harder as he gulps down the remainder of his drink.
“We are SO not playing that game!” Dawn squeals, making a face and sticking out her tongue. She’s wobbling on her feet, and you hope that Buffy is too drunk to care that her sixteen-year-old sister is inebriated, too.
“We should play ‘spin the bottle.’”
That seems to be enough to get people moving, and you have to agree that the prospect of playing the game with a drunken Buffy could be promising. You find yourself sitting on the floor in a circle with Willow, Kennedy, Dawn, Andrew, Xander, Vi and Rona. Others are scattered around the room, either watching the debauchery unfold or finding places to pass out.
Xander spins first and you realize as the open neck of the bottle lands on Willow that Buffy’s not with you. You’re about to get up to find her when she comes out of the nearest bathroom, stumbling a little as she squeezes in between you and Rona.
The kisses are fairly chaste at first, and the game is pretty much boring, until Andrew’s spin lands on you.
“Alright, dude, let’s show ‘em how it’s done.”
Your judgment might be called into question, but you don’t really care. With a gleam in your eyes, you pull the panicked nerd to you by his shirt collar and plant a good one on him, tongue and all. You can hear the rollicking laughter of the group as you push him away, laughing and gagging right along with the crowd. You wiggle your eyebrows at him, while he just scowls at you, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.
Kennedy can’t seem to stop laughing, and when you look over at her you realize she’s got her mouth full of champagne. Willow notices too and rubs her back, coaxing “Swallow.”
You feel a leer set itself firmly on your face. “Yeah, Ken, swallow. I know you don’t have a lot of practice with it, but sometimes it’s necessary.”
Kennedy’s eyes bug out of her head and everybody sets off again. Xander falls over, clutching his side and trying but failing to catch his breath. Kennedy finally spits her drink back in the glass, still laughing with tears rolling down her cheeks. You think that this is probably the first time in a long, long while that any of you have felt this free and silly and normal.
Once everyone calms down, you reach for the bottle, giving it a good spin with a flick of your wrist. It lands on Willow, who looks a little intimidated. You catch the warning glare from Kennedy, who’s still recovering, and opt out of the tonsil hockey, instead placing a soft, sweet kiss on the redheaded witch’s lips. She backs away with lidded eyes, humming, and you just smile at her.
The game goes on, reverting back to silly and awkward. Everyone has a good laugh as Vi, instead of actually kissing Xander, places her hand over his mouth and dips him back dramatically, like a couple in an old black and white movie. Andrew and Rona can’t quite get into the humorous mood of the game, barely touching lips when it’s their turn and then squirming away like two little kids.
You think things might get interesting for a fleeting moment when Dawn lands a spin on her sister. They give each other what you can only guess are supposed to be sultry gazes before pecking each other on the cheek.
“Pervs.” Dawn declares, flicking her hair back as she sits back down, eying both you and Xander.
Your eyebrows shoot up, and then up some more as Buffy’s spin lands on you.
The room seems to hold its breath as you slide your eyes to the left, trying to gauge the Chosen One’s reaction. With your heart in your throat, you turn to face her. Your pulse is pounding in your ears and your hands are suddenly clammy. You’ve never been nervous playing this game before, but you know if you go through with this kiss it could make or break you. Literally, depending on Buffy’s reaction.
You find her eyes, boring holes in the tiny space between you. She looks as nervous as you feel.
“It’s just a game.”
You breathe the words out, not even sure you said them out loud until she looks up at you. Her lips tip up in a tiny smile and she nods slowly. Your eyebrows haven’t left your hairline since her spin landed on you, so you stop reacting and start doing.
Leaning forward, bracing yourself on your hands, you kiss her. You try to keep it chaste, innocent, just in case she’s not thinking along the same lines you are. You know she is when you feel her lips part and her tongue takes a tentative tour of your own lips. You oblige, tasting gin and tonic and Buffy’s saliva. She swims in front of you as you reluctantly pull away. You close your eyes and breathe out, reaching and spinning the bottle without looking.
Your drunken mind is refusing to process what just happened, and your attention is diverted as the sounds of the room return to your ears. You hear the others whooping and hollering, your name mingled in there somewhere, so you open your eyes to take stock of all the commotion. It seems your spin has landed on Kennedy, who’s still red-faced and laughing. You can feel Buffy pressing closer to your side, the heat of her body practically making you swoon.
“Okay, Red.” You speak, hoping to distract yourself with the task at hand. “This is all a part of the game. No turning me into a frog or somethin’, right?”
“What?!” Willow’s shriek startles you, pushing you impossibly closer to Buffy. “No! No frogs!” Willow turns to her girlfriend. “Why would she say that?!”
You’re confused by her outburst, but you just want the game to move on for the moment. Looking to Kennedy, who’s trying to soothe her redheaded witch, you steel yourself and start to move across the circle of bodies. You’ve only moved a few inches when you feel a strong hand pulling on your shirt, turning you back around and suddenly Buffy’s mouth is on yours, hot and eager. Your ears are pounding again and Buffy’s sucking on your tongue.
You can vaguely hear gasps, applause, cat-calls around you, but the only thing you can focus on is the feeling of Buffy devouring your mouth.
The next thing you know, you’re being tugged up to standing, the sounds of the others fading as you’re slammed against the inside of one of the bedroom doors. Your hand unconsciously reaches and fumbles behind you to lock the door to the (luckily unoccupied) room.
There’s a heavy pressure in your chest and you’re suddenly gasping for breath. Buffy is still pressed right up against you, panting hard against your neck. Your eyes are open and you think you should stop this, that it would be the right thing to do. You should both back up, cool down, sober up and maybe talk about what you’re doing, but the words never leave your mouth. Instead, your hands move up from where they were resting – without you even realizing it – on Buffy’s ass, around to her front. Your fingertips find the exposed skin of her stomach just between the top of her pants and the hem of her shirt, and it’s all over.
Buffy’s moaning into your mouth, her hands are gripping your hips with brutal force, and then you hear it. She breaks for air just enough to look you in the eye, pin you down with lust-filled sea green and rasp out, “Please.”
Your hands freeze on her stomach and you’re rooted to the spot. You feel like your mind is exploding with each and every possibility that one little word could bring and you don’t even notice as she steps away from you. Her drunken giggle sounds far away.
Your eyes are focused on her smirking lips, hoping they’ll say something else to let you know what to do. Your eyes almost miss it as she pushed a hand into the waistband of her own jeans, where your own hands feared to tread just seconds ago.
Her lips part as you continue watching her mouth. She moans softly, her breath hitching in her throat and you’re still just standing there with your back against the door and your hands at your sides. Your eyes drop from her mouth, seeing through a drunken fog what is exciting her so much.
Her hand moves beneath the rough denim and her scent coats the air. You desperately want to see what she’s doing, no barriers, but as you step forward she stops and you think you’ve ruined the moment.
Instead of a hard fist connecting to your mouth, she places soft, warm fingertips against your lips. Your tongue darts out to taste her and your knees buckle.
You blink and you’re both on the bed.
You’re on top, pulling at your clothes, pulling at her clothes. You wish you had more time, but the need to take, to have, to claim is overwhelming any other sense you once had and your fingers have quickly taken over. You have two, then three, then practically your whole hand inside her hot, wet core and she’s moaning your name, her voice thick and anxious.
Your vision starts to fade in and out, your breath coming in shallow pants and you see stars as she simultaneously screams your name and pushes her fingers inside of you.
Sweat trickles down your side as your eyes open to a somewhat familiar hotel room. The bedside table is standing at an angel against the wall. Luckily the lamp is screwed onto it, all in one piece; otherwise your farewell today might not have been as friendly as your welcome was yesterday.
You smile in spite of yourself. You can feel fresh bruises forming on the backs of your thighs and scratches you know weren’t from any Turok-hahn sting your hips in a pleasant tingle. Buffy feels warm against your back.
She nuzzles against the nape of your neck through your hair and mumbles “Morning.”
You wonder briefly how she knew you were awake before replying, “Mornin’.”
You shift positions, rolling onto your back, your breasts swaying gently in the warm morning air.
“How’d you sleep?” she whispers as she re-settles herself against your chest.
Her index finger traces around your bellybutton as you try to remember how to speak. You blink, watching that finger dip below the sheet draped across your hips. Your breath hitches softly as that finger brushes against your clit, still sore from the amount of action it saw last night. Buffy seems to know as much, bringing her hand back up above the sheet and resting it against your stomach.
“Good, I guess,” you whisper back, not wanting to disturb the mood she’s creating. “‘Cept for the dream I had about butterflies with flamethrowers…” A horrible thought dawns on you as Buffy looks up at you with a puzzled frown. “That… wasn’t a Slayer dream, was it?”
She smiles, relieved, and shakes her head. “Uh, no. Big ‘no’ to that.”
The silence that soon falls over both of you quickly threatens to become awkward. You wonder if you should make the first move to get up, even though you really don’t want to. Cuddling has never really been your thing before, but then again, you’ve never had Buffy, naked, in a bed with you before either.
You stare up at the ceiling and think that if this is what doing the good deeds is all about, you can’t imagine having ever turned to the bad side. Somehow you don’t think she’ll find that as funny as you do.
She shifts against you and you think she’s about to get up, virtue fluttering. Instead, she drapes her arm across your hips and her stomach rumbles against your side. You try not to, but you can’t help the laughter that rolls out of your throat. She joins in, and soon you’re rambling like an idiot about a Denny’s you passed on the way through town the day before.
Buffy pauses in her laughter, propping herself up on her arm to look down at you with the sexiest grin you’ve ever seen.
“I don’t think Denny’s is gonna cover it, Faith,” she purrs.
You ask why not and she leans down. Her lips brush against yours as she replies, “I already had a Grand Slam last night.” She kisses you softly and wiggles her eyebrows.
You reluctantly break the kiss, but you’re not quite sure where she’s going with this.
“Is that right?”
“Mm hmm.” She sounds so sated and sexy that you find yourself playing along.
“You think that was my Grand Slam, huh?”
She doesn’t look so sure of herself now, but this is a game you know you have to win. You barely remember most of what you did last night, especially how the headboard broke, but you’re feeling ready to make some new memories. “I’ve barely rounded the bases, baby!”
Buffy squeals as you flip your positions. Her legs automatically lock around your hips but she’s laughing. “Prove it.”
Even with that twinkle in her eye, you know she’s dead serious. You lean down to kiss her, happy to oblige.