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Touch the Sun

by Electra


Rating: NC-17
Summary: When the bond between the Slayers starts to grow into something more, the Buffy and Faith struggle to deal with their changing relationship while trying to keep up appearances and make everyone else happy. Faith’s POV. Angst.
Timeline: Season 3 AU. Faith comes to Sunnydale but never goes bad. Angel comes back just like before, but a little bit later than he did in the series. Will work through at least two Seasons.
Distribution: Just ask. :)
Print Version: Adobe Reader PDF

I know someday you'll have a beautiful life
I know you'll be a star, In somebody else's sky
But why can't it be in mine? -- Pearl Jam, "Black"

Chapter One - The Slayer Bond

If you asked me back then what it all meant, I wouldn't have been able to tell ya. But I could've told you exactly how and when it all started.

So here goes nothin'.

I had been in Sunnydale for about a month or two. It wasn't really 'home', but it was the only place that had come close to it in a while.

I was really excited when I had first arrived cos I knew that I was gonna meet this 'one girl in all the world' who was exactly like me. However, much to my disappointment, I found that the only thing we shared in common was the unique ability to kick major ass and a weird Slayer bond.

Actually, the Slayer bond wasn't so much weird as . . . comforting. We had discovered that we were both feelin' it while we were patrolling together one night. It was a warm tingle that ran from the top of my head down to the tips of my boot-clad toes. When we weren't around each other, I didn't feel it. When we were in the same area, it would gently start up, just givin' me the slightest indication that she was around. A 'biological honing device', we called it.

But when we were standing right next to each other or if we accidentally touched during patrol, the Slayer bond was off the hook! Warm-fuzzies turned into something much more intense. The 'inner poet' in me wants to say something like 'liquid-fire' or 'electric current' running through my veins, but both you and I know I'm not a poet, so I'll just say that it was wicked hot.

Sorry. Got a little off topic there. I've been told that I don't have the biggest attention span, so you'll have to put up with my ramblin' every now and then.

Anyhow, so I had been in SunnyD for about a month. B and I would do our nightly patrol, y'know, makin' small talk and kickin' un-dead ass when the need be. I wouldn't say that we were close, but . . . that Slayer bond did make us feel kinda attached to one another. Y'know: the comfort factor.

So, this one night, I could tell that things were kinda off with her. She was unreasonably quiet, her reaction times were hella slow, and it seemed like her mind was off somewhere on another planet. And I couldn't be sure, but it looked like she had been crying.

I later found out that she was all upset cos Angel had come back and things were really weird for them or something, but I'll get to that part later.

Part of me wanted to ask her what was wrong, but it really wasn't any of my business. She had Red to do the 'friend' thing for her. Besides, I know that when I cry, I definitely don't like people gettin' up in my face and askin' me what's wrong and all that shit.

I know what you're thinkin', and yes, I do cry. I just don't do it too often, and when I do, I don't let NO ONE know about it. Cos, y'know, once you let down your walls, you leave yourself open for attack.

B once told me that the 'lettin' down my walls' thing was my inner-Slayer talkin', but I think she's wrong. It's not the Slayer that's tells me how to feel and how to protect myself from the non-physical type of hurt; it's the human in me that does that. The only thing I let the Slayer inside tell me is 'go kick that' or 'go punch that' or even 'look down that dark alley'. The Slayer doesn't rule my life; I do. I'm the boss of me.

So anyways, we were walkin' through this one cemetery, not really talkin' or sayin' much to one another, when all of the sudden this vamp came barreling out of nowhere and completely knocked B off of her feet. She just kinda lay still where she fell, so I was thinkin' right away that she was hurt pretty bad.

I let my inner-Slayer take control at that point. I went after the vamp, pourin' all of my hate and anger into him for injuring my sister-Slayer. No vamp was gonna hurt one of us and live to tell the tale. Not now, not ever.

After a short and rough fight, the vamp was dust and I instantly found myself kneelin' at B's side, frantically checkin' her over.

"B? Buffy? Are you okay?"

My frantic search for injuries over her body stopped when I gazed upon her face and saw tears streaming down her cheeks. She wasn't injured . . . but she was hurting. I didn't really know what to do. I'm not really good with words, and I definitely didn't think that it was 'sexual healing' that she needed, so I offered her that only other thing I had to offer: the comfort of the Slayer bond.

I grabbed one of her hands and pulled her up into a semi-sitting position, cradling her against my body. She must've realized that I wasn't gonna judge her and that I wasn't even gonna ask her what was wrong, cos she suddenly buried her face in my chest and began sobbing in my arms, completely lettin' go of her pent up emotions.

I didn't say anything. I just held her against me and rocked slightly, occasionally smoothing my hand down the back of her hair.

I think that part of me was expectin' her to push me away. So, I guess you can imagine my surprise when an hour had passed and we were still sittin' like that. She had stopped cryin' about five minutes after I had taken in my arms, but she made no effort to move, so neither did I.

Sure, my legs had fallen asleep, my butt was sore from sittin' on the hard ground, I was mad hungry, and I had to piss like a fuckin racehorse, but I wasn't gonna interrupt our little bonding session. Besides the occasional post-slayage screw with some random joe, it was the first physical human contact that I'd had in a long time.

It was comforting.

After about an hour, I finally felt her start to move a little in my arms.

I heard her sniffle a few times before she finally looked up, paralyzing me with her emerald-green eyes still wet with her unshed tears.

"Thanks." She said quietly as she looked into my eyes. It looked like she wanted to say something more or like she was waiting for me to do or say something, so I did.

"Anytime." I said gently, looking her directly in the eye so that she knew I was being honest with her.

I couldn't explain it then, but sittin' there and lookin' at her after our hour spent together, I felt bizarrely closer to her. I knew that if she ever needed a shoulder to cry on again, I would definitely be there for her.

Actually, I think it was more for selfish reasons that I knew that I'd be there for her. It was simple really: I didn't want anyone else to get as close to her as I had just been. It felt special, and I wanted it to be just for her and me.

After another moment or two had passed, we had both stood up and began walking' out of the cemetery. Patrol was over for the night, but I wasn't ready to let her out of my sight just yet. Not when she was leavin' herself open to attack like earlier. So, I didn't ask her, but I walked her all the way to her house nonetheless. She didn't question, so she must've understood my intentions.

Either we didn't notice or we didn't care, but somehow during the walk our hands had interlaced, and we walked like that all the way to her house.

When we finally got to her destination, I stood at the bottom of the porch stairs and watched her walk up towards the door. She stood before the door for a few moments, completely still. I couldn't tell what was goin' on cos her back was turned towards me, so I just kept waitin' for her to go inside.

But she didn't go inside. Not right away, anyways.

Instead, she turned around slowly and walked down the stairs to stand next to me. I certainly wasn't expectin' it, but I suddenly felt her arms around me in a tight hug.

I'm not gonna lie: it felt damn good. I could feel her heart beatin' against my chest, and the warm-fuzzies of the Slayer bond were about 10 times stronger like this. It all felt kinda surreal.

Halfway into the hug, I realize that I hadn't yet responded, so I carefully raised up my arms and wrapped them around B's back, holding her protectively against me.

I felt it then for the first time . . . something tuggin' at my heartstrings. But I completely dismissed it, attributing the all-too-new feelin' in my heart to the Slayer bond.

I don't know exactly how long we stood like that but it had to have been quite a while, cos I watched the same strange-shaped cloud travel all the way across the night sky. When I finally felt B stir a little, I realized that our 'moment' was over, so I slowly loosened my grip around her and dropped my arms to my side.

I felt her take a step back, but she still didn't say a word. She just looked up into my eyes and gave me one of the warmest smiles I've ever seen. She took my hand and gave it a little squeeze before retreatin' up the porch stairs and into the house.

A few minutes passed and I found that I was still standin' in the exact spot where she had left me. I felt cold without her next to me. My heart ached a little bit, which I found kinda unusual.

Then, something hit me like a brick. It wasn't the Slayer bond that I was missing . . . it was the Slayer herself. I realized it then and there that I had some kind of feelings for the small blonde . . . maybe like, maybe lust, and yes, maybe even love.

But I would never admit it. In my life, I had learned that love was a weakness, and as a Slayer, I learned that a weakness could get you hurt or killed.

So I bottled up my feelings. I'd be there again if B needed me. I'd never take that away from her, and I wouldn't take it away from myself either. Sometimes a person needs a little human contact or human touch just to get through the day. But I'd never let her know how I felt.

I'd never let my walls down. I'd never let myself get hurt.

The next night, it was bout 9:00, and I was set to meet B for patrol at about 9:30. Normally, we'd just meet up at the first cemetery, but I was still worried about her. What if she was still unfocused and a vamp got to her before she got to the cemetery? I couldn't let that happen, so I left my motel room early and walked to her house, deciding to be her 'personal escort' for the night.

Before I had even walked up the cement walkway leading to her house, I started to feel the warm buzz in my body, indicating that she was close. As I approached her front porch, I glanced up at her bedroom window and saw that the light was still on. Realizing that it would probably be a few minutes before she left to meet me, I decided to cop a squat on the porch steps and wait for her.

She must've felt my presence too, cos I suddenly heard her bedroom window open and her voice calling out into the darkness of the night.


I couldn't help the smile that crept up on my face.

I stood up from my place on the steps and walked to the base of the tree that was in front of her window.

"Yeah, it's me, B."

She paused.

"What are you doing here?" She didn't sound mad or anything, just generally confused.

"I was in the neighborhood. Thought we could walk together rather than meet up later." I didn't want her to think that I was worryin' about her. I wanted her to think that last night wasn't a big deal so that she wouldn't be afraid to do it again.

"Uh-huh." She said disbelievingly, a small smile playing across her lips.

I smiled back.

"So, are ya comin' down already, or are ya gonna make me wait out here alone all night long?" I asked playfully, earnin' another smile from her.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, keep your pants on. I'll be down in a second." She replied back just as playfully, closing the window after she spoke.

I made my way back over to the porch steps and sat down again.

Keep my pants on? Hmphh. Guess I'll have to put that whole 'sexual healing' thing on the back burner for now. I keep forgettin' that B's straighter than an arrow, and I keep forgettin' that I'm not s'posed to like her like that anyway.

I'll just have to settle for the warm fuzzies. On her terms, of course.

After a few minutes passed, I heard the door open behind me. I turned around to see Buffy standin' there, lookin' all cute in her low-rise blue jeans and dark gray sweater, her hair swept up into a loose clip so that some of it fell around her face . . .

Sorry, gettin' off topic once again.

Anyways, she looked cute. I stood up and faced her, suddenly feelin' kind of awkward. I think she must've felt it too, cos she dropped her head down and started staring at her feet.

"Umm, you ready to get this slayin' party on, B?" I asked, just wantin' to break the silence.

"Sure." She answered quietly, and we began to walk in the direction of the first cemetery of the night.

I couldn't help but think, 'Oh joy, another painfully silent patrol', but then I remembered that yesterday's patrol started the same way, and it ended up bein' a pretty good night for me.

As we turned the street corner, I felt her hand brush up against mine. I shivered a little at the sensation, but I realized that it probably happened cos I was walkin' too close to her. I went to take a step away but before I could, I felt her hand sneak into mine. I'm not one to kick a gift-horse in the mouth, so I wrapped my hand around hers, relishing in the feel of the warm fuzzies of our Slayer bond.

We spent the rest of the night like that, hand in hand as we patrolled across the cemeteries of Sunnydale. Of course, we'd let go whenever we had to fight, but as soon as the fight was over, our hands instinctively latched onto one another again.

And it was nice. It felt safe.

After we had finished our sweep of the last cemetery, we began to make our way back to B's house. Along the way, we passed this big, run-down mansion. She stopped and glanced at it with a far-off look, and she actually took a step forward towards it. Only when she realized that she was still attached to my hand did she come back to reality.

"Sorry." She said, startin' to walk with me again.

"No problem." I responded. Then I noticed that she looked lost again like she had the night before. It had somethin' to do with the mansion. So, I casually brought it up.

"You know that place?" I asked, noddin' over my shoulder in the direction of the mansion.

"Yeah." She answered quietly, not lookin' back at it.

"Is that what made you sad all of the sudden?" I asked, not knowin' why I was diggin' into her problems.

She nodded her head a little, but looked like she was deep in thought. I wasn't gonna press it any further, so I just kept walkin' in silence.

A few minutes passed before I heard B speak again.

"Giles told you about Angel, right?" She asked quietly.

Shit. So that's what she's been sad about. G-man told me that before I moved here, B had to kill the love of her live to save the world. He told me about Angel, the vampire with a soul. He also told me that he had tried to kill all of her friends after a night of bliss.

"Yeah, a little." I answered flatly. Didn't want her to think I knew too much. The something dawned on me. "Ohhh. That was his mansion, right?" I asked.

She took a deep breath, and I could hear it shake as it escaped her lips.

"No, it wasn't his mansion, it is his mansion."

'As in now?' I thought.

"As in now?" I asked, surprised.

She stopped walkin' and turned to face me, so I mirrored her actions. She looked up at me with tears in her eyes again, and my heart just about broke for her.

"As in now." She said quietly. "Angel's back." She managed to squeak out before beginning to sob again. I didn't have to pull her to me this time. She just came flying into my arms, wrapping her arms tightly around me. I wrapped my arms around her in return, holding her tightly as if tryin' to stop her sobs from shakin' her body so roughly.

"I killed him . . . but he came back, I don't know how . . . I think he was in hell or something . . . he was acting like an animal when I first found him, and I didn't know what to do . . . I couldn't tell my friends, they'd want to kill him, and I couldn't let them do that . . . and now he's better, but I still don't know what to do . . . I love him so much, but too much has happened . . . we can never be together . . . I hate lying to my friends . . . and it all just hurts so bad." She choked out between sobs.

Again, I just listened. What was I supposed to say? She needed to unload, and I was gonna be there for her, just like I told myself I would be.

I walked us backwards into a little wooded area nearby and sat us down so that my back was restin' against a big tree. Again, I held her close to me, heart to heart this time. I whispered soft 'shhhs' to her and ran my hands up and down her back until I felt her calm down. I was hoping that the feelin' from the Slayer bond would work its magic on her cos she definitely needed a little break from all of her pain.

Again, we sat there for over an hour. But it wasn't her who broke our moment this time, it was me.

"B?" I asked. "Are ya feelin' any better?"

After a brief pause, she looked up at me and stared me straight in the eyes, a small smile gracing her face.

"Yeah. I really am." She said softly, laying her head back on my chest. My body hummed at the contact, and I wasn't about to complain that my butt was asleep and that the dampness from the grass had seeped into the length of my jeans. I had B and I had warm fuzzies . . . what more could I ask for?

In a repeat of the night before, we finally got up and I walked her back to her house. She hugged me at the door again before disappearing inside her house.

I stood there grinnin' like an idiot before I finally started to make my way back to the motel. I felt somethin' strange as I was walkin' away, so I turned around to see what it was. When I glanced up towards B's bedroom, I saw her starin' down at me. She smiled when I made eye contact with her and gave me a tiny wave. I smiled and waved back, then continued walking backward down the street until she finally faded out of view.

And that, my friends, is how the whole thing started.

What 'thing' you ask? Well, I'm gettin' to that. The story is far from over. We haven't even got to the good stuff yet.

But it all started with two Slayers and a special bond that brought them closer to one another than either one of them could have imagined.

Neither one of us knew what lay ahead in our future, but now we knew that at least we had one another to fall back on, whether for comfort or . . . something more.

Chapter Two - The First of Many Bumps

Okay. So things were pretty cool for a few days after our first 'bonding' sessions. Almost every night on patrol, we walked hand in hand, enjoyin' each others' company in a comfortable silence. It was 'Slayer time', and it was just for us.

And I was lovin' it.

But drawin' from my own past experiences, I knew that things could never stay good for too long before somethin' would come along and fuck it up.

Enter Gwendolyn Post.

Man, sometimes I really hate bein' right.

I guess I can't be too bitter cos things worked themselves out in the end, but still . . . it was the first bump in the road that B and I had since we had gotten closer.

So anyways, here's what happened.

G-man had been actin' as Watcher for me and B for a while at that point. On one particular night he was out on patrol with us, not really payin' attention to what we were doin'. He'd look up from his book every now and then, but he knew we had it under control.

After taking out a pretty big group of vamps, I grabbed B's hand like it wasn't a big deal. She tensed at first but after realizing that G-man wasn't lookin', she relaxed and held onto my hand tight, giving me a wink and a little smile.

Yeah. My heart kinda stopped beatin' for a second when I saw it.

But like I said before, I wasn't gonna let my feelings get the best of me, so I gave myself a little punch in the chest to give my heart a jolt. B gave me a weird look, but before she could ask what I was doin', we were jarred apart by the sound of a voice behind us.

It was Gwendolyn Post, comin' all the way to SunnyD to tell me she was my new boss. I mighta been nice to her if she hadn't started to point out flaws in our fightin'.

Whatever. I coulda kicked her ass while blindfolded and with my hands tied behind my back any day of the week. Right away, I didn't like the bitch. Still, I decided to give her a chance.

Okay, it was more like a half-chance, but still, it was somethin'.

After a short meeting in the library, we found out that there was some demon after the Glove of Myhnegon. When G-man and Mrs. Post got into the business talk, I kinda zoned out, but I got the gist of the conversation: the glove was bad, and it couldn't end up in the wrong hands.

I casually looked over at B to see if she was payin' attention. Right away, I could tell that she was kinda distant again, starin' off into space with a sad look on her face. I wanted to help her, but I don't think the sight of two Slayers 'cuddling' would go unnoticed.

I mean, I wouldn't have minded, but she probably woulda freaked.

So, fast-forward a little.

It was later that night and B didn't show up for patrol, so I headed for the Bronze after a quick sweep of the cemeteries. I grabbed a drink and went to sit down, and that was when I saw Xander playin' pool across the room. He looked wicked pissed. I almost didn't wanna go over . . . figured that it really wasn't a sitch that I wanted to get involved with. But still . . . it was B's friend, so over I went.

He ranted for a minute or two before finally tellin' me that Angel was back, which I already knew, but I still pretended to be shocked.

Then he told me that Angel had the Glove of Myhnegon, and that he saw him kissin' B.

Exit the fake shock. Cue the real stuff.

I didn't know which part of what he told me was gettin' to me more: the part where Angel, the guy who she said was actin' like a monster, had the glove, or the part where he was kissing B.

Not that she was mine or anything, but still . . . it kinda stung.

So Xander and I made a decision. Angel was a threat, and that threat needed to be investigated, possibly eliminated. With that in mind, we took off towards the old mansion.

When we got there Angel was in game face and was fightin' Mrs. Post. Right away I assumed the worst, and I decided that Angel had to be eliminated.

I didn't think that it would be a hard fight. He was just another vamp as far as I was concerned.

Vampire. Slayer. Dead Vampire.

But then B jumped in, and things got ugly.

Real ugly.

I had B in my face tellin' me not to stake Angel. Then I had Mrs. Post behind me tellin' me that B was 'blinded by love' and that I needed to kill him, Xander next to me egging me on, and the Slayer in me wanted to dust him real bad. My human side was tellin' me to listen to B and take a minute to think . . . but my inner Slayer won out.

Angel was gonna die.

But B wouldn't let that happen. Not to 'the love of her life' or 'soul mate' or whatever other bullshit she thought he was to her.

She caught me by surprise when she threw the first punch and it caught on my left cheek. To tell ya the truth, I really wasn't expectin' her to actually thrown down with me. I shook off the aftereffects of the punch and just stared at her, a look of disbelief on my face. She gave me a pleading look, and I could tell that she didn't wanna fight me over this.

But how could I let Angel live? My Watcher was layin' on the floor bleeding and tellin' me to kill him and get the glove, Xander was tellin me to kill him and get the glove, and most importantly, my gut was tellin' me to kill him and get the glove.

So we fought. Hard.

Neither of us realized that Mrs. Post was up and back in action 'til we saw the glove on her hand and she was tryin' to zap us. And just like that, we were back to fightin side by side.

So, to make a long story short, Mrs. Post was an evil insane bitch and we took her outta the game fast and hard. I didn't wanna stick around to see B go and coddle her vampire after all was said and done, so I high-tailed it outta there without sayin' anything to anyone.

I was fuming on the way back to the motel. I felt mad and betrayed, but most of all, I felt alone. I coulda been mad that she was kissin' the guy, but that wasn't it. I think I was madder at the fact that after several nights of sharin' the slayer bond and gettin' close, she still chose to defend Angel and kick my ass in the process; she didn't even take a sec to look at it from my point of view.

I mean, I knew that B didn't owe me shit. I helped her out through a few rough nights, but so what? I didn't do that to score points with her; I did it because I wanted to be her friend. It was that very thought that made me forget my anger and decide to just let the whole thing go.

I was tryin' to be her friend.

So fast-forward again to the next day.

I'm sittin' in my motel lettin' the Slayer-healing take its course. I woulda ventured out to get somethin' to eat or drink, but I looked like a big bruised freak.

Now, I don't wanna sound like a baby or nothin . . . but B hits like a fuckin' tank. I'm not gonna deny the stars I saw when she belted me. The left side of my face was all swollen and bruised, a small memento of her killer right hook. She definitely has a lot of power for bein' such a small girl.

Anyways, I'm sittin' on my bed, watchin' TV and just relaxin', when there was a knock on my door. I knew exactly who it was cos I felt the slow tingle coursin' through my body. After a minute, I yelled for her to come in.

She slowly walked in and closed the door behind her before walkin' up and standin' at the edge of my bed. I didn't wanna look at her, so I kept my eyes focused on the TV. She was waitin' for me to look at her, but after a minute passed and I still hadn't addressed her, she decided to start.

"Faith . . . I'm sorry." She said so quietly that I could hardly make out the words.

"Uh-huh." I answered as I continued to stare at the TV, a bitter chuckle escaping from my throat. I didn't mean for it to come out. I really wasn't plannin' on being mean or anything, but I suddenly felt all 'woman scorned'.

She sat down on the bed and turned so that she could continue to look at me.

"I know you don't believe me, but I really am."

I laughed again, finally facing her. She looked so defeated and tired. I felt bad for her, but I just couldn't let it go because she looked all sad and mopey. Yeah, I've got a soft spot for the girl, but that doesn't mean that I'm gonna let it slide when she kicks my ass defending her vampire.

"Okay, B. You're sorry. Now tell me why you're sorry." I said bitterly as I folded my arms cross my chest and sat back against the headboard. I figured that if she got it right, I'd let the whole thing go.

She scooted closer so that she was sittin' right next to me, only an arms length away. She paused for a moment, then spoke. "I'm sorry that I didn't tell you that Angel found the glove and that he wasn't planning on using it. I'm sorry that I didn't see things from your point of view . . ."

Damn. She pretty much hit the nail right on the head there, but she kept right on going.

". . .I'm sorry that I did that to your face . . ." she raised her arm up and gently touched the injured side of my face but I flinched at the contact and pulled away, furrowing my eyebrows at her. She pulled her hand away, looking a little dejected. ". . . and I'm really sorry that you don't wanna be my friend anymore."

She stood up from the bed and turned to face the window, lookin' like she was about to cry again. It melted the hard exterior that I had put up. I hated the fact that it was me who made her sad this time. It was my self-proclaimed job to make her feel better when she was hurtin', not add to her misery.

So I scooted to the edge of the bed behind her and grabbed her hand, hopin' to stop the waterworks before they started up.

"B . . . I never said I don't wanna be your friend anymore. It's just . . . I'm not real good with trustin' people, ever since I was a little kid. Mrs. Post just added to the craziness of the whole sitch. I was a little pissed before, but I'll get over it. In fact, I already am over it. So . . . please don't be upset cos of me, 'kay?"

Something in my head was yellin' at me, screaming 'what the fuck is wrong with you, Faith? This sappy friendly shit isn't for you! You're an action kinda girl, remember?'

But I wasn't tryin' to listen to that voice. I was more focused on the slight pang in my chest when she gave me that little smile and squeezed my hand just a little harder.

"So we're okay then?" She asked me with a small smile.

I squeezed her hand back and shot her my best dimpled smile. "Yeah, B. We're five by five."

"I was hoping you'd say that." She beamed, walkin' towards the door and steppin' outside.

"Uhh, B? Whatcha doin'?" I asked, stretchin' slightly from my position on the bed so I could peek out.

"Sucking up." Buffy yelled from outside before she walked back in the room with her arms full. "Figured that if talking wouldn't convince you that I was sorry, I'd try to buy your forgiveness with goodies and entertainment."

I looked at her arms and noticed a pizza box, a bag of Cherry Twizzlers, the biggest bags of Skittles and Combos that I've ever seen, along with a bag of videos dangling from her left forearm and grocery bag dangling off of her right one.

I laughed. "I hate to say it B, but we coulda saved that whole little discussion if you woulda walked in with these in the first place." I stood up to help her unload her arms, grabbing the pizza box and the stuff on top of it.

No sooner than I had put the box down on the bed did I feel her arms around me in yet another hug.

"Whoa, B," I said with my arms in the air, "what's goin' on girlfriend? I already told ya that we're five by five."

"I know . . . I guess I was just afraid since yesterday that we wouldn't be able to do this anymore. Just wanted to make sure that it was real." She said, her arms still tight around me. I smiled and wrapped my arms around her in return.

"Nahh, I won't take this away from ya, B. Not as long as I know it makes ya feel a little better. I'll be here for ya 'til my luck runs out or 'til ya find somethin' better."

Yep. I really said that.

Don't really know where it came from, but I think it made both of us tense up just a little. After a minute or so of silence, she finally spoke again.

"The pizza's getting cold. Maybe we should eat now."

"We? You're gonna stay and eat with me?" I asked, half expectin' her to run off to her vampire right away.

"Yep. We're gonna gorge on comfort food and 80's Brat Pack movies, and I'm not taking 'no' for an answer." She said with a pouty little smile. I think she was expectin' me to toss her out, but I had no intentions of doin' that.

"Sounds good to me, B. Now let's dig into this food before you wuss out, Skinny."

She playfully smacked me in the arm before settlin' down on the bed next to me. She reached over the side of the bed and pulled up the grocery bag which held a whole shitload of different kinds of drinks.

"Aww, B, YooHoo!" I beamed as she tossed me a cold bottle of the chocolate drink that I loved so much.

"Only the best for my Faith." She joked.

But that just got me thinkin'. Her Faith? Since when? How come nobody told me I was her Faith? Not that I minded or anything, but a girl likes to know these kinda things.

Anyhow, an hour later, we had devoured the entire pizza and the whole bag of cherry Twizzlers. We were both laying back against the headboard of the bed, the bag of Combos resting on my stomach and the bag of Skittles on B's.

"I feel like such a cow." B groaned as she tossed a few more red skittles in her mouth. She would only eat the red skittles, so the rest were discarded into an empty paper bowl for me.

It was kinda cute . . . the dye from the Skittles had kinda stained B's lips, makin' them look redder and cuter than ever.

"Aww, you're not a cow, B. You're fuckin adorable right now, especially with that little red ring around your mouth." I said playfully before I tossed a few Combos in my mouth, chewing loudly.

Before I could defend myself, I felt my body being pelted with the skittles from the paper bowl.

"I'll give you 'adorable'!" She said as she fired skittle after skittle at me, laughin' as she watched me try to defend myself.

"C'mon, B! Stop!" I said through giggles as I lifted up my pillow to block the barrage of candied goodness.

That's right, I giggled. I know, I know . . . what the hell was wrong with me?

Somehow, she managed to pin me against the mattress, one arm keeping my hands down while the other tickled my sides. Ticklin' was worse than the skittle attack. I'm hella ticklish, and I always buckle under tickle-pressure.

She musta sensed that she had the upper hand, cos she was suddenly leanin' over me and makin' demands.

"I'm not 'adorable' Faith, I'm bad-ass. Just cos I'm little doesn't mean I'm adorable."

I scoffed, and she tickled me even harder. I began beggin' her to stop.

"I'll stop, but only if you say 'Buffy is bad-ass and she can kick my ass any day of the week'."

I laughed.

"Yeah, B. You're about as bad-ass as Tinkerbell."

She tickled me even harder and I felt like I was gonna pee in my leathers. "Say ittttttt!"

I finally had enough. "Alright, alright! 'Buffy is bad-ass and she can kick my ass any day of the week!' Now get off me, cow!" I said playfully.

She finally stopped ticklin' me, but she didn't move from my body. Instead, she threw a pillow to me so that I could prop it under my head, and she lay down on her back to that her head was restin' on my stomach.

"Now that that's over with . . . what do you wanna watch?" She asked casually, actin' as if her position was no big deal.

"Umm . . . I don't care B. You pick." I said and I tossed her the remote.

And that's how we spent the rest of the night before we went out for patrol: sprawled out on my bed watchin' infomercials, sheets and blankets tossed carelessly around us as we lay in a pool of Skittles and Combos. She kept her head on my stomach the whole time and I couldn't help but play with her hair as it draped across my abdomen.

We laughed and talked a little, but mostly we just sat there in a comfortable silence, lettin' the Slayer bond do all of the healing that we couldn't work out verbally.

And just like that, we had gone from awkward the night before to bein' totally comfortable around each other again. I tried to ignore the little pang I felt in my chest every time she smiled at me, cos I knew that those kinds feelings weren't good for either of us at that point in time.

Not between two friends.

Still, the more time I spent with B, the more I felt it and it made me kinda scared.

Scared, not because I felt it . . . but because I didn't know how long I'd be able to keep things up without acting on my feelings or getting myself hurt in the process.

But it was already too late to go back.

Chapter Three - The Small Stuff

We're gonna fast-forward a bit again to get to the good stuff, but I'll fill ya in on some of the smaller details first.

First, William the Bloody-Pain-in-My-Ass made a quick detour through SunnyD and caused a bit of havoc. Took Red and Xander hostage and tried to get her to do a little love mojo for him.

But as always happens here in Sunnyhell, things got kinda wacky. Turns out that Red and Xander were havin' some kinda fling. Bein' held hostage musta turned them on or something' cos they started makin' out in the middle of it all. Not that I'm against makin' out or steamy little flings, but I am against gettin' caught, and that's what happened.

Queen C and Dog-boy came to the rescue and walked in on the middle of the peep show. C tried to run, but she got caught up in the dilapidated warehouse and got skewered by an iron rod.

Needless to say, she kicked Xander to the curb at her first chance. Red and Dog-boy stayed together . . . but it was rocky.

Here's the funny part. After Queen C was all healed on the outside, she was still pretty banged up on the inside. I found her drinkin' solo at the Bronze one night and decided to join her. I have to say . . . drunk Cordy was a fun Cordy.

We kinda bonded. She told me about her pain over Xander and yunno what? I let the cat outta the bag and I fuckin told her about what I was feelin' for B.

What's that old saying? Something about 'when alcohol goes in, the truth comes out'. Guess there's a little bit of truth behind that little gem.

I musta been REALLY hammered to get to that point. Either that, or just really desperate for someone to talk to about it. And d'ya know what her response was?


She said that she wasn't blind and that she could see it from a mile away. That kinda took me by surprise cos I never really thought that I let my emotions show about ANYTHING, but I guess that she's just Miss Perceptive.

So anyhow, C and I had a kind of hidden understanding after that night. I knew she was still hurtin' about Xander no matter what front she was wearin', and she knew that I had feelings for B no matter how much I tried to hide them or deny them. But we never talked about it again.

Second, Christmas came and went pretty quickly. Angel got haunted by the First, B ran out to save him, blah blah blah. Someone shoulda bought them a balcony, they were so fuckin tragic. But that wasn't the important part. The important part was when B invited me over to her house to spend the holiday with her and Mrs. S.

Yep. I got a personal invite. Angel didn't, but I did. Me. Faith.

That's right.

I even did a little happy dance.

Anyhow, I went to this little antique store in town to find some kind of gift for B. I ended up buying her a small pewter locket in the shape of a heart and a chain to go with it.

Cheesy, I know. Cliché? Yeah, that too.

But I altered it up a little to make it more personal. I snuck into the metal shop at the high school and welded on a piece of metal so that it looked like a stake was goin' through the heart. I put a picture of me and B inside of it . . . it was from one of those corny $ 4.00 passport photo booths outside of the post office. We were both makin' crazy faces in the picture, lookin' cute and happy at the same time.

I kinda wanted her to remember that moment in the photo booth forever.

Come Christmas day, I didn't think I was gonna be able to give it to her cos almost right after I got to her house, she took off to go save Angel.

I was kinda bitter at first cos she ran out on me for the vampire, but the night didn't turn out so bad. I ate dinner with Joyce and then we just sat in front of the fireplace for a while and watched TV. It was nice not spendin' another holiday alone.

When it started snowin', Joyce decided that it was too late and too cold for me to walk back to my motel. I was about to put up a fight, but she steered me up the stairs and into B's room, tellin' me to sleep there 'til B got home. She gave me a hug before she left the room, and yunno what? Right then, I felt like I was 'home'.

Anyhow, I kicked off my boots and laid on top of the blankets and before I knew it, I was out like a light. Yunno . . . turkey makes you tired. Tryptophan, right? Yeah, that's my excuse.

It had nothin' to do with the fact that I was layin' in B's bed, completely surrounded by her soft scent and her stuff.

Nope, nothin' to do with that at all.

So just after dawn, B came creepin' back into the house and up to her room. I think she was kinda surprised to see me there at first, but if it bothered her, she certainly didn't let it show. I woke up only when I felt her rollin' me over, tryin to put the blankets over me.

She tried to get me to go back to sleep, but I still wanted to give my gift to her. I hopped outta bed and grabbed my leather jacket from the floor. I reached in and grabbed the small box and then hopped back onto the bed excitedly and handed the box back to B.

I love gettin' presents, but I love givin' them even more. People don't expect it from me, so they act all cute and surprised when I give 'em somethin'. Just like B was doin' at that point.

So B opened the box and I swear, I saw tears in her eyes. She removed the necklace and locket from the box and proceeded to open the locket. A huge smile sprang up on her face when she saw the picture on the one side and the little inscription on the other side: The Chosen Two.

I was kinda shocked when she asked me to help take off the cross necklace Angel gave her and had me put on the necklace I got her instead. Once again . . . happy dance. Only, internally this time. She gave me a big bear-hug, and that was gift enough for me.

But the gift givin' wasn't done yet. She reached under her bed and pulled out what looked like a clothing gift box. I tore right into it as soon as she handed it to me, actin' just like a little kid. When I opened the box, I found that it was filled with a whole mess of shit that I liked.

Comic books, Combos, Cherry Twizzlers, Ring Pops, a Nine Inch Nails and a Rob Zombie CD, and the grand finale: The Goonies video tape. I love that movie! It really made me happy that she remembered all of the stuff that I loved.

Then it was my turn to give her a big hug. I pulled her close to me and held her there for a few minutes, big goofy smiles on both of our faces.

"Thanks B . . . this was probably my best Christmas ever." I admitted to her.

Who is this soppy Faith, and what happened to the real Faith? Yeah, that's what I kept askin' myself.

"No, thank you, Faith. For being my sanity. For being there for me when I needed a shoulder to cry on, and for just being here now."

And then it happened. I certainly didn't mean for it to happen, but it did.

I leaned forward and planted a kiss on her.

It was just a quick kiss, perfectly innocent and chaste. But still . . . I probably shouldn't have done it. I pulled back from her and my eyes musta been huge due to the realization of what I had just done.

I musta looked like I was gonna bolt cos I suddenly felt B's hand on mine, stopping me from jumpin' out the window.

"Come on . . . let's go to bed. I'm kinda tired, and we can sort through your goodies in the morning." She said sincerely before standing up and pullin' back the blankets on the bed, holdin' them up for me to hop under.

You better believe that I did.

I got my Christmas wish that year. I went to sleep snuggled up against B and holdin' her hand, and I woke up the same way later that morning.

Thank you Santa-fuckin-Claus! You finally came through, you pudgy bastard!

Third, B survived the Cruciamentum. I never even heard of the fuckin thing 'til after it was over, but you can bet that if I had, I woulda stopped it.

G-man had sent me on a bogus mission on the outskirts of town to keep me from interfering, so I wasn't even around 'til the next day.

They took B's strength away and locked her up with some bad-ass vamp to see how 'constructive' she could be when left powerless. She beat the vamp, but it hurt her relationship with G-man and it killed her relationship with the Watcher's Council.

Yeah, suddenly I'M the good Slayer. Go figure.

But I told 'em straight out that if they were gonna try to fuck with me in any way, shape or form, I'd kick their asses and take out their whole establishment.

Needless to say, the Cruciamentum is now a thing of the past, and needless to say, I was there to pick up the pieces when B fell apart cos she felt betrayed by G-man.

Fourth . . . this is the part where I kinda fucked up.

Y'see, since I had gotten closer to B, I'd been holdin' back on takin care of my hornies.

Wait. Let me rephrase that.

I stopped seekin' out random guys and girls to scratch my itches. But I was still takin care of my hornies. There's no way you can just let something like that go without burstin' after a while.

Somethin' about bringing random guys or girls back to my hotel felt wrong . . . like I was betraying B or something. She wasn't my girlfriend or anything and I realized that, but it still felt wrong. Not countin' the sex part (or lack thereof), our relationship was everything that I coulda ever even hoped for. I didn't wanna lie to myself and try to pretend that I could be happy with anyone else.

But, we all know that self-restraint ain't my biggest virtue. Never was. I'm kinda a 'fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants' kinda girl, and I usually just take what I want.

So this one night, I was out patrollin' when this big bad momma demon popped up outta nowhere. She got the upper-hand somehow and gave me a bit of a whoppin' and mighta done even more damage if Xander hadn't come along and picked me up.

To make a long story short, we ended up back at my motel. I was all riled up from the fight, plus I hadn't had a real sexual release in some time, so I jumped his bones and took the guy for a test drive. I mean, I knew it was a test drive cos I had no intention of keepin' him around for too long . . . but I kinda felt like I wasn't able to stop myself.

After I kicked him out, I felt really bad. Not because I kicked him out; I'm used to doin' that. I felt bad because, using some kinda insane troll logic, I felt like I had cheated on B.

And I was disgusted with myself.

So I did the only thing I could think of at that moment: I got dressed and went out to get drunk.

Betcha you're glad that I did the adult thing, right?

So, I sat that the Bronze for about 4 hours, danced my ass off, and drank myself into oblivion. They didn't even care that I was underage. I never offered them my ID, and they never asked to see it.

I was sittin' at the bar workin' on my second bottle of Jack Daniels when I felt the warm tingles. I was just about drunk enough to think that it was a side effect of the booze, and I was perfectly fuckin comfortable livin' in that state of denial.

But then I felt a hand on my shoulder.

B's hand. Small and soft and warm, and . . . too fuckin good to be touching trash like me.

I wouldn't turn to look at her. I couldn't. I felt too fuckin guilty; too ashamed. I was in love with her but I fucked one of her best friends. What kinda person does that to a person they love?

I didn't deserve her, or her friendship.

As I felt the bar stool spinnin', I realized that it wasn't because I was drunk; it was because B was spinnin' me so that I faced her.

"Faith? What's going on?" She asked, her voice full of concern.

I couldn't answer her. I sat there silent, eyes lowered, chokin' on the tears that were tryin' to spill outta me.

"Faith? Talk to me." She said as she grabbed my hands and held them in her own.

I felt my bottom lip quiver.

I'm not a crier, folks. I don't know if it was Buffy or the alcohol, but somethin' made me all emotional and overwhelmed at the same time.

"Faith . . . you know you can tell me anything, right?" She asked sounding completely sincere and true, and it broke my heart.

I felt the tears start to fall, but there was no way I wanted her to see them. I couldn't let her see behind my mask. My head was still down, so I knew she hadn't seen them yet. I needed to save face, so I did the only thing I could think of.

I ran.

Out of the bar, away from B, and away from the reality where I loved her and could never let her know it.

But . . . here's the funny part. It seems that alcohol can turn the simple act of walkin' into a freak show in motion. Who knew?

I stumbled outta the Bronze and into the alley, trippin' on crates and garbage cans as I felt my way along the wall. When I finally made my way outta the alley, I slowed down my stumble-run into a clumsy walk and let the tears openly fall.

That's not exactly somethin' that they print on the side of the alcohol bottle: 'May cause drinker to have emotional outbursts and function like a complete freak show'.

I hadn't gotten even 100 yards away from the place when I felt a hand on my shoulder again, stoppin' my movement.

"Faith!" It was B again, and she was soundin' kinda frantic now. "Talk to me, dammit! Please . . . tell me what's going on."

Again, I wouldn't turn to face her. I kept my head straight up and looked right ahead of me, not moving an inch as the tears silently fell down my face. Frustrated, she finally came out from behind me and walked so that she was standin' in front of me.

She paused when she noticed my tears. I don't think she knew what to do. She'd never seen me cry; I'm not that kinda person. Guess I conveyed that notion pretty well.

Once I finally looked into her eyes, I couldn't hold it in anymore. Before the first sob escaped my mouth I felt her arms around me, supportin' me as my legs gave out. She softly sat the two of us right there on the ground and held me while I cried.

I was cryin' for so many different reasons at that point. Cryin' because I loved B. Cryin' cos I couldn't have the one thing I truly wanted. Cryin' cos I let down my walls in front of someone for the first time in a long time. Cryin' cos I fucked Xander. Cryin' cos B was holdin' onto me like I mattered.

And mostly . . . I was cryin' just because I was cryin'. Fucked up, right? I know. It's like . . . I couldn't believe that I was cryin', and it was just makin' me cry even more. I felt so fuckin vulnerable, and that wasn't a feelin' that I was used to. Maybe it was the alcohol, cos that surely wasn't me. I was never an emotional kinda girl.

But I realized it wasn't the alcohol. It was B.

With the last bit of clarity I had left, I mumbled into her shoulder, "What've you done to me, B?" Then the alcohol took over, and I slipped into the realm of unconsciousness.

The next thing I remember is hearin' a key chain jingling and the sound of a door openin' up. I realized at that point what was happening. B had carried me fireman-style all the way from the Bronze back to my motel room.

I felt her softly place me on the bed, tryin' her hardest not to disturb my alcohol induced slumber. She took off my boots and covered me up, and she finally noticed that my eyes had opened up.

"Hey." She whispered, cupping one side of my face with her hand.

"Ughhh." I grunted. I was still pretty drunk at that point. "I'm real fucked up, B. Faith drink too much."

"I realized that." She said with a gentle smile. "I stopped to kill two vamps on the way here. You told them both that you loved them, then you cried when I dusted them. I was kinda thinking that you weren't yourself."

Then the alcohol started to talk. Remember what I said before? 'Alcohol goes in and the truth comes out?'

"Did I tell ya that I looove ya too, B?" I slurred, giggling at my words.

"No." She answered quietly, smiling as she moved my hair outta my face.

"Well I do, yunno." I said.

Remind me never to drink again in my life.

She chuckled softly. "Yeah, I know, booze-hound. Rest now."

And I went to sleep, content with the fact that she hadn't thrown my earlier moment of vulnerability back in my face.

A few weeks went by and we really never spoke of that night again. I think B knew that it would make me uncomfortable, so we just let it go.

Fifth (and last) was the day when a big evil was revealed to us.

For a while by that point, B and I had begun to openly hang out. I'd meet up with her and the Scoobies at school and have lunch with them, she'd go shoppin' or to the show with me, etc. Basically, our interaction wasn't really limited to patrol-cuddles anymore.

But the patrol-cuddles were definitely still there.

This one day, I went and got B outta school early so we could go clear out the vamp nest. Her friends gave me death glares cos I was breakin her outta school, but I needed my quality B time, and we had work to do.

So we went and cleared out the nest quick and easy. It was kinda amazin' how much our strength and fightin' had grown since we started gettin' closer to each other. We could anticipate each others' every move, and not a single demon or vamp could stand up against the deadly duo that we were.

It felt hella good.

So we go to the Bronze and decide to celebrate the ass-kickin that we had just dished out. Well, I TOLD B it was celebrating, but I really just wanted an excuse to spend more time with her.

So, to make a long story short, Soul-boy came a-broodin' as always and told B that we had a nasty and powerful old vamp to deal with. Instead of sittin' on our asses, we decided to go and take out the vamp and his minions.

So we went to the factory district where the vamp was said to be holed up and decided to crash his little party. As we were walkin' down this one alley, all of the guys' minions came poppin' out left and right, throwin' down like they had nothin' to lose.

Me and B kicked into our new enhanced Slayer mode, stakin' vamps left and right without breakin' stride.

As this one vamp came poppin' outta nowhere I raised my arm to stake him, but I felt somethin'. It was my bond with B. She was tryin' to get me to hold back before she could even yell the words. As I rammed down my arm, I stopped it about an inch from the vamps' chest.

Then I realized why B wanted me to stop.

The figure in front of me wasn't a vamp. It was a human.

Holy fuck that was close.

"Don't kill me!" He yelled, his voice on the brink of panic.

B ran up behind me and exhaled sharply. "Oh, thank god!" She sighed. "I couldn't sense him 'til the last minute. I was gonna yell out but I didn't have time."

"It's okay, B. I felt what you were feelin too." I said as I pocketed my stake and offered my hand to the guy who was cowerin' against a dumpster. He grabbed my hand and I pulled him up, lookin' at him expectantly when we were finally eye to eye.

"My name is Alan Finch. I'm the deputy Mayor of Sunnydale. I know who you girls are." He said, and B and I both raised our eyebrows at him.

He continued, "Being as that you're Slayers and all, I figured that you girls would be the best place for me to turn to."

He waited for some kinda sign that it was okay to continue, so I spoke up.

"What's the deal, chiefy? Gotta demon problem?" I asked.

"You have no idea." He responded, soundin' kinda grim. "Think demon problem of epic proportions. It's the Mayor."

"What's the Mayor?" B asked with her eyebrows furrowed.

Damn. She looks so cute when she's confused.

Fuck, she looks confused even when she's not confused. In fact, she's adorable on pretty much all of those days that end in 'y'. Yunno . . . Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday . . . you get my drift.

"The demon is the Mayor. The Mayor is the demon. Or at least he's going to be. He's not quite human now, but he's planning some kind of Ascension. I don't know the big details, but I know that he's going to become 100% demon and that the world hasn't seen one of that magnitude for more time than I can account for."

"Why you tellin' us this, chiefy?" I asked skeptically. "If you know 'bout it, you're obviously involved with it all. How can we trust you?"

He sighed. "Because you have to. He's going to ascend, and when he does, not many people are going to live to see it. I can't let that happen."

"So, what do we do about it?" B asked.

"I don't know. And from this point on, you guys don't know me." He said. "He can't know I told anyone. I want to live through this too, and he'll kill me if he finds out. I won't be able to meet with you again, but I wanted to at least inform you on his intentions. Hopefully, you'll be able to look into it and stop it before it happens."

And just like that, he walked outta the alley and left me and B standin' there, completely bowled over.

There was a real big evil brewin' in town . . . but at least we had a heads up.

So there ya have it.

That's all of the small stuff that happened before the real good stuff began. I know it might seem trivial now, but I think that every little detail helps in me tellin' you this story.

So, what's to come, you ask? Revelations, heartbreaks, angst, love, hate, explanations, departures, reunions, old acquaintances, and surprising events. Yunno. Typical kinda stuff for lovin' on the Hellmouth.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

But I'll tell ya this much: B and me were gettin' closer and closer as the days went by. Her relationship with Angel was slowly fallin' apart, and I sure as hell was gonna be there to pick up the pieces.

Cos 'Buffy love' was kinda like a drug, and I was already addicted and cravin' more.


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