When Lightening Strikes
"Geeze…. what is this, a vampire convention?"
As one vampire exploded into dust, Buffy realized that someone had seriously miscalculated the number of vampires that were supposed to rise in the cemetery tonight. Her information from the morgue had indicated two, not six, evil demons coming alive. ‘Damn!' She cursed this ill advised mission. It was definitely not going to be an easy night.
As she struggled with the remaining five vampires, Buffy was abruptly distracted by a different kind of tingling sensation than vampire detection. Suddenly she was not fighting alone. A blur in black tackled three of the vampires, wrestling them to the ground. The slayer continued fighting while trying to observe the leather-clad woman who had come to her aid. Two vampires were no match for the experienced slayer. She dusted her opponents quickly and turned in time to witness the other three vamps throwing her fellow fighter hard against a tombstone. Knowing the woman would very likely be unconscious, if not dead, she quickly started toward the remaining adversaries. When they saw the slayer approach, they left their prize and ran.
By the time Buffy reached her, the brunette had already scrambled to her feet. The slayer found it hard to believe that the girl was conscious, much less standing. And she was bleeding from a gash across her cheek.
"Are you ok?" Buffy asked.
"Five by five."
Buffy had no idea what the woman meant. So she stepped closer to appraise her as best she could in the dim cemetery light. Despite the leather, an aura of cockiness and some rough fighting skills, Buffy guessed that she was probably still in her teens.
"You're hurt." Buffy stated the obvious. "I don't live very far. I can help you with that."
"Don't bother. I'm staying close by." The stranger started to walk away from her. "No big."
"Please." The slayer lightly caught the young woman's arm. "It's the least I can do."
The brunette looked down at the hand touching her arm. She gave a small tug and freed herself.
The women walked in silence to an inexpensive motel a few blocks from the cemetery. Buffy followed the stranger inside a room that had absolutely no decor. The furnishings were worn, but somewhat clean. There was a duffel bag in the corner. Nothing in the room revealed anything about the girl. The brunette walked into the bathroom and flipped on the harsh light. "In here," she said over her shoulder.
Buffy followed her into the bathroom. There was an extensive first aid kit already opened on the counter. A quick glance at it and the wastebasket told Buffy that the girl had been hurt often and recently. The young woman sat down on the closed toilet seat. She looked up at the blonde and waited.
When the slayer turned from the kit and got her first good look at the young fighter, she could only stop and stare. Even in the unforgiving glare of the cheap bathroom lights, the young woman looking up at her was gorgeous. There was a deep gash across her cheek and an ugly bruise darkening around the wound, yet she was still absolutely stunning. The brunette had long wavy hair and thick lashes framing eyes the color of semi-sweet chocolate. She had a strong jaw line that ended in a dimpled chin and her mouth was sensuous with a small cleft in the middle of a soft looking lower lip. Buffy thought that most women who were this beautiful would be running to the nearest plastic surgeon for an injury as bad as this. They certainly wouldn't be allowing some stranger to attend to it with some gauze and a bottle of disinfectant.
The young woman waited patiently for Buffy to finish appraising her. She was used to the reaction. Unless the person was some jerk off, she usually just rode out the effect she seemed to have on men and women alike. Wasn't her fault, she mentally pouted. She couldn't help the way she looked.
Buffy shook herself from her stupor and began to clean the wound as best she could. Though she knew attention to the cut must have hurt, the brunette didn't even flinch. A thought occurred to her as she closed the cut with paper strips.
"I don't even know your name."
"Faith." She answered. After a few moments, she asked. "What's yours?"
Faith looked skeptical. "You're kidding, right?"
When she finished, she thought what a shame it was that the injury would mar that exquisite face. "I'm afraid that'll leave a scar…"
"No it won't." Faith replied with certainty. She got up and closed the first aid kit. "Thanks."
Buffy walked out of the dingy bathroom to leave. At the door, she hesitated, looking back at the stranger. "Good night, Faith."
The pretty brunette leaning against the doorjamb of the bathroom merely nodded in response.
The next morning, Buffy was drawn back to the motel. She knocked on the door, but got no response. A stronger knock made the door slowly swing open. The room looked even more impersonal and dreary in the morning light. Buffy closed the door and approached the bed.
Looking down at the woman sleeping on the bed, Buffy was once again struck by her beauty. Before she realized what she was doing, she reached out and gently caressed the cheek she had attended to the night before. To her amazement, the bruise had disappeared and the gash was almost completely healed as well. Buffy was confused. ‘How could she have healed so fast….'
Before the slayer could contemplate anything else about the sleeping woman, Faith grabbed her and flipped her across the bed. Within seconds, she was straddling Buffy and pinning the blonde's arms above her head with amazing strength.
"What are you doing here?" She growled.
Buffy was too stunned to respond. Faith was completely nude. The heat of embarrassment and an unexpected jolt of arousal clouded her mind. There was no alternative but to appreciate the powerful arms, shoulders and the lovely breasts that were directly in front of her eyes. She could feel Faith's muscular legs trapping her thighs. And a delicious sensation was permeating her pelvis where Faith sat astride her. She didn't respond. She could barely breathe.
When she was finally able to speak, she answered. "I just wanted to make sure you were all right."
Faith observed her captive for a few moments more before dismounting. She got off the bed and reached for a pair of jeans. Pulling them on and donning a tank top, she sat down on the only chair in the room and frowned at the blonde.
"Don't do that again." She admonished. "You could get hurt."
The watcher looked up from his reading. "Why do you ask?"
"I met someone." Buffy replied, pacing a bit. "She fights in cemeteries, she's amazingly strong and she heals faster than I do."
Giles thought for a moment. "I can check with the Council. But I would think they would tell me if there was another slayer."
"Thanks." Buffy replied.
In the evening, Buffy, Willow and Tara were watching a movie when Giles came to the house. "I have some rather startling news." He said as he joined them. "Apparently two years ago, after Kendra died, another slayer was called. In Boston. A watcher from that area was on her way to take charge of the girl. However, unbeknownst to the Council, the watcher died in a traffic accident on the way."
"Oh no…" Buffy whispered.
"Yes." Giles said in agreement. "Overnight, a potential, with absolutely no training or guidance whatsoever, received her powers and her instinct to fight. The Council has been trying to locate her using reports of unusual vampire activity. But she always moves too fast and too often for them to track her." He hesitated. "And to tell you the truth, without her knowing who and what she is, the Council considers her dangerous."
Buffy shook her head. She couldn't imagine how terrified and lonely Faith must have been. "She's not dangerous." The slayer insisted looking over at her watcher. "And they can't find her because they can't feel her." Then more to herself than to her friends, Buffy murmured, "I can."
When Buffy arrived at the cemetery the next night, she found Faith fighting several vampires. She watched the rogue slayer annihilate the evil beings. Her combat skills were raw and untamed. But she had an almost animalistic sense of survival that Buffy knew she didn't share. When the vampires where all destroyed, she joined the vision in black leather as she was walking away.
"You're very good." Buffy commented as she fell in step with the brunette.
Faith didn't reply. So Buffy decided to take a direct line.
"I know who you are, Faith." Buffy paused. "What you are."
Buffy's last words stopped Faith in her tracks and got her undivided attention.
"Whadda ya mean?"
"You're a Vampire Slayer."
Faith's eyes narrowed with suspicion.
"I know because I'm the slayer that came before you."
The rogue slayer's reaction was so quick that Buffy almost missed it. Faith swung at her and Buffy caught her fist mid-strike. Her super strength and speed were the only things that kept the punch from knocking her senseless.
Faith looked surprised for a moment, then lowered her fist and resumed her guarded expression. "Ok, so there are two of us….." She thought for a moment. "Are there more?....... Like us?"
"No." Buffy replied gently. "There are thousands of potential slayers all over the world. But only one is called at a time."
They started to walk together again, Faith obviously trying to digest this new information.
"I've always had a watcher, a sort of counselor, to help me." Buffy watched the young woman carefully. "I'd really like you to talk to him. He can explain so much more about how and why all this happened to you."
Faith wavered at the pretty blonde's imploring. There were so many questions she had about how her life had changed. As wary as she was, her desire for answers won out.
As they headed out of the cemetery, Faith asked. "If there's only supposed to be one slayer at a time, then what am I doing here?"
Buffy briefly cast a sideways glance at Kendra's replacement. "Because I died."
At the Summers' home, Faith was introduced to Willow, Tara and Giles. The watcher spent a good portion of the evening explaining the legacy into which Faith had been born. Buffy informed her about the life she'd led since she'd been called, including her momentary death at the hands of the Master. She told Faith about Kendra and how her death had resulted in the next slayer being called. It was a lot of information for Faith to absorb.
After Giles left, Buffy turned to the silent young woman. She had asked no questions nor made any comments during the dissertation. She looked somewhat dazed. "It's late, Faith. Why don't you stay here tonight? There's an extra bed set up in the basement." Buffy sat down next to Faith. "Maybe this will all seem less overwhelming in the light of day."
The next morning Tara looked up from putting the dishes away to see a sleepy slayer standing in the doorway.
"Sorry I missed breakfast." In the soft morning light, Tara thought she looked so young. "I'm kind of a late sleeper."
The witch smiled at her. "It's ok. Buffy and Willow had an early class. Are you hungry?"
The slayer nodded. "I could really use some coffee."
Faith sat at the table while Tara poured the coffee. "What would you like?"
Tara chuckled. "Well, I'm afraid there's not much spicy in this household."
"Oh, I don't know about that." Faith disagreed. "Buffy's pretty hot."
Setting the mug of coffee down in front of her, Tara smiled at the slayer. "How about pancakes?"
The slayer watched Tara whip up the batter for pancakes. Faith liked her. She was pretty, kind and gentle. And she got the feeling that Tara had made no judgments about her like people usually did.
"Are you and Red……..?"
Tara looked over at Faith. "Yeah, we are."
Faith nodded. "Thought so." After a moment, she asked, "And Buffy?"
"No." Tara set a big plate of pancakes down in front of the slayer. "She's completely available."
Tara wasn't sure if Faith's expression lit up because of the pancakes or the news that Buffy was single. Either way, Tara was completely enchanted by the first grin she'd seen grace the younger woman's beautiful face since she'd arrived.
That evening Buffy managed to talk the rogue slayer into staying with them. Getting to know the young woman was not going to be an easy task. She was not very forthcoming with any information about her past. But after being in the friendly household for a few days, Faith agreed to move out of the dilapidated hotel permanently. She moved into the basement room at the Summers' home with the understanding that she would only stay there for as long as she was in town. And she didn't indicate how long that would be.
After two weeks of being with the three women, Faith thought she had figured them out. Tara was warm, encouraging, and easy to talk to. Willow was really smart and funny. Buffy was just plain hot. She was an incredible woman, irresistible and so fucking hot.
But she had a lot of questions about Buffy. So many things she wanted to know but couldn't bring herself to ask the blonde beauty. So she confided in Tara. Whenever she was unsure, the Wiccan often soothed away many of the uncertainties that she had about being a part of the slayer's life. She appreciated the comforting effect Tara had on her.
One afternoon in the dining room, Tara and Faith had just finished yet another quiet chat about Buffy. "Thanks T." Faith got up from the table. Leaning down she gave the witch a chaste kiss of gratitude.
Buffy walked into the room just in time to see the seemingly intimate display. The sick feeling that immediately took up residence in her stomach was unfamiliar. But anger overtook her almost as fast and she didn't have the opportunity to recognize the strange emotion. Jealousy.
The dark slayer looked up and smiled. "Hey, B." Almost immediately her smile faded. She sensed intense negativity coming from her counterpart, though she had no idea why.
"We need to talk." Buffy said gruffly.
Faith followed the irritated slayer to the basement where Buffy turned on her suddenly.
"What was that about?" She accused.
"What?" Faith was confused.
"You kissed Tara!" Buffy raised her voice.
"Yeah, so?" Faith still didn't understand.
"She's with Willow!"
"I know that!" Faith was beginning to feel frustrated by Buffy's behavior.
"So what did you think you were doing?!" The blonde was shouting now.
"It was nothin'!" exclaimed Faith finally shouting back. "Why are you yellin' at me?"
For that Buffy had no answer. At least not one that she was willing to voice. But then Faith finally recognized what she was seeing in Buffy's eyes. She had been the reason fueling people's jealous rants practically all her life.
"Oh... I get it." The gorgeous brunette purred, calming considerably. "Why didn't ya just say so?"
Before Buffy could even react, Faith reached out and pulled her close. Her lips descended on the blonde's while their bodies were caught in a crushing embrace. Buffy's mind was backpedaling as fast as it could, urging her to break away. But her body had taken charge and all it wanted was to be intimately entwined with Faith's. The kiss was intense and invasive. The extreme pleasure of the exchange was coupled with intimate feelings being revealed. Buffy knew if she didn't stop, Faith would know everything she couldn't yet express, even to herself. Buffy panicked. With a great force of will she broke off the kiss, pushed Faith away and slapped her hard across the face.
Faith was momentarily stunned at the open-handed blow. She had clearly seen jealousy in the smaller slayer's eyes and felt desire evident in her body's response. So she didn't understand why Buffy had hit her. No one had dared to slap her in years. Anger rose in her eyes and set itself in her expression. But she did nothing as Buffy turned and escaped up the stairs.
A little while later, a white napkin waved around the open door to Buffy's bedroom. It was followed by Willow leaning in around the doorjamb. "Is it safe to come in?"
"Yeah." Buffy was on her bed, sitting up against her headboard, looking dejected.
"You and Faith have a little fight?" Willow asked sitting on the bed.
"More like me making a complete and utter fool of myself." The slayer grumbled.
"You know that whatever happened, it was innocent." The witch assured her. "Tara's been trying to gain Faith's confidence and get her to open up. She's comfortable with Tara."
"I know that. But when I saw them together, I just lost it." Buffy was still rocked by her reactions. "I've never felt like that before. Not even with Angel." Buffy tried to explain to her always sympathetic friend. "I feel a pull toward her that I never felt with Kendra." Buffy stared at her hands while she struggled with her emotions. "It's more than wanting to be with her, Wil. I'm beginning to feel like I need her." Buffy looked up into the Wiccan's eyes. "And that scares me."
Faith didn't look up when she heard Buffy come down the stairs. Buffy saw immediately that Faith was stuffing her few possessions into her duffel bag.
"What are you doing?"
The dark slayer didn't answer. But she did stop packing.
"Faith, look, I'm sorry. I overreacted." Buffy implored. "When I saw you and Tara together....."
"I wouldn't do nothin' to hurt them." Faith turned and indicated the witches with a toss of her head.
"I know." Buffy admitted. "That's not what it was about."
"I know what it was about." Faith snapped. Returning to her packing she added. "And I don't need that shit either."
The rogue slayer was obviously still angry. Buffy could feel it. But she was also hurt. And that was something Buffy hadn't expected. Her voice softened.
"I'm sorry." She repeated approaching the young slayer. "Don't go.... please."
Faith stopped packing again. She seemed to have no defense against Buffy's pleading. And she really didn't want to leave. This was as close as she'd ever felt to actually belonging somewhere. But her fellow slayer's behavior had upset and confused her.
"I wasn't wrong." She insisted, sounding like a stubborn child.
Buffy put her hand gently on Faith's arm, turning her so that she could see her face.
"You." Faith answered holding Buffy's gaze. "And me."
The blonde sighed, reached up and softly brushed her fingers though a lock of silky brown hair. If she wanted Faith to stay, Buffy would have to be honest with her.
"No, you weren't wrong."
They sat on Faith's cot, leaning their backs against the wall.
"I've been on my own since I was 14." Faith confided. "I got tired of the beat…." She hesitated, stealing a quick glance at Buffy. "I mean, things just didn't work out where my mom was staying. So I took off. Worked odd jobs and crashed wherever I could."
"Then one night when I was 16, I'm walking down the street after work and I suddenly feel kinda strange. I lean up against a wall and some guy comes along thinkin' he's maybe gonna take advantage, ya know?" Buffy put her hand gently on Faith's thigh. "I went to push him off me." Faith grinned at the memory. "And I wound up throwing him clear across the street…."
Buffy laughed softly and shook her head at the image.
"After a few days of like breakin' everything I touched, I started having this really strong urge to fight. I mean stronger than the one I usually had." Faith looked at Buffy's hand on her thigh but made no move to touch her in return. "I started going to cemeteries at night and running up against these really ugly types." Faith thought a moment. "I didn't know exactly what they were, but yet I must have known. I've been killing vampires and demons across this country for over two years. Never quite belonging anywhere, I guess. But always headin' west. Maybe I was supposed to come here all along."
Faith had never had the opportunity to talk to anyone about her life. She'd never had friends, never had anyone in her life who'd meant anything to her. She felt out of place being with people who cared so much about each other. But even though she was unfamiliar with these unusual family ties, she desperately wanted to fit in.
After having patrolled together for several more weeks, Buffy had learned Faith's fighting methods. She fought with absolute rage against the evil undead who dared to rise in her world and prey on the innocent. She was brutal and careless. She really was an animal when it came to slaying, truly a hunter of the night with no regard for her own safety. The Chosen One could see why Faith's first aid kit had been used so much. It seemed to her that Faith thought she was invincible. She was surprised that Faith had survived so long on her own. Buffy hoped that Faith would be willing to work with her so that she might teach her the skills that she'd been taught. She desperately wanted the young woman to be hurt less often and live longer.
One night, after a particularly busy patrol, Buffy went down to the basement to see Faith. The brunette was tending to several wounds she'd sustained during the night's encounters. Buffy watched the young beauty clean and bandage her injuries with efficient nonchalance.
"Ya know, Faith, just because you heal fast," Buffy hesitated, "really, really fast in fact, doesn't mean you shouldn't be careful."
Faith gave her a puzzled look as the older slayer crossed the room and sat beside her on her bed. She took both of Faith's hands in hers before looking up into the expressive brown eyes of her counterpart.
"Faith, you're fearless... and you're reckless." Buffy admonished gently. "And that makes you vulnerable." The brunette watched Buffy with interest. "I don't want to lose you." Buffy continued. "So I was thinking that maybe we could start training together. Then we can learn from each other how to be the strongest and most prepared slayers that ever lived. Would that be ok with you?"
The thought of spending more time with the blonde, sparring with her, touching her, was all good in Faith's book. "Sure, B." The rogue slayer smiled. She was not above learning a few more fighting skills. But it was the thought of being close to Buffy that filled her mind. They'd never talked about that "hungry and horny" thing that always affected Faith so strongly after she fought. But maybe they could help each other out in that department too.
A few days later, after a particularly intense sparring session, the slayers were resting against the cool cement surface of the basement floor. Buffy seemed merely out of breath after the workout. But Faith felt the lustfulness that she always felt after throwing her body into the fray.
"Can I ask ya somethin'?" Faith looked over at her fellow slayer.
"After you fight..." How could she put this. "Do you get.... hungry?"
"God, yes!" Buffy laughingly admitted. "Starving, usually."
‘That was a good start,' Faith thought. ‘Might as well find out the rest.'
Buffy watched her counterpart thinking. She could tell there was more she wanted to know. "What?"
"Do you also get...." Faith faltered briefly. "Ya know….. hot?" She looked at her hands for a moment before looking back up at Buffy. "I mean.... do ya need to.... you know.... get off.... ?" Damn… B. would think she was such a moron.
Buffy blushed slightly as the question sunk in. Faith wanted to know if slaying turned her on. She should have known the sexy young slayer would eventually ask her that.
Taking a deep breath, she faced Faith. "Yes, slaying…..excites me." She smiled at the young slayer. "I guess hungry and horny go with the territory."
Faith nodded in agreement. But she wasn't finished. "So, what do you do about it?"
Again Buffy hadn't expected Faith to ask for such intimate details. Wanting to know how she got her sexual release seemed so, well, so personal. "Well, I don't have a girlfriend," Buffy confided, "so that makes it difficult."
The young slayer frowned. "Oh, a girlfriend…."
Buffy tried to read Faith's expression. "What do you do?"
"Oh….not much." Faith answered without looking at Buffy. The blonde knew she was lying.
"Faith." Buffy brought her fingers up to Faith's chin and gently made her face her. "Whatever you do, it's all right."
The young slayer avoided Buffy's eyes again. "I'd go to bars, find a chick that I liked the looks of and go home with her. I did a couple of guys at first. But that really wasn't my thing."
"And the women…. they'd just go with you?" Buffy was slightly shocked. "Always?"
Faith nodded. "Yeah, pretty much." Looking back up at Buffy, she added. "It's probably a slayer thing, huh?"
Buffy laughed softly. Smiling at her stunning companion, she answered. "No. I think it's probably a Faith thing."
The next evening was busy and involved a large amount of slaying prowess. The two slayers were completely wired by the time they arrived back at Buffy's home. That accounted for the massive pizza delivery at such a late hour. Faith alone had devoured two large pies. Buffy marveled at her ability to eat. As she ate a whole pizza by herself, she wondered how Faith had survived for so long with such a voracious appetite and practically no money. She watched the brunette finish her post slaying feast. Particularly watching her mouth move, her lips….
Faith looked up suddenly from her slice of pizza. She caught Buffy's stare. She could feel the heat generating between them. The mere idea of getting her post slaying release with the knock-out blonde sent her already overactive sex drive into turbo charge. She put the food down and started to stand up.
‘Oh god… What am I doing?' Buffy practically knocked her chair over in her haste to put some distance between her and Faith. She could feel her own needs pushing her toward the luscious brunette. Suddenly she could understand what all those women must have felt when Faith walked into a bar after she'd been slaying. Never in her life had she felt a sexual pull so strong. No relationship in her experience had ever been fraught with this kind of craving. No other woman that she'd had the slightest interest in had been this addicting.
"I'm tired. See you in the morning." Buffy managed to say before fleeing to her room.
Faith sat back down at the table, trying to figure out what had just happened. Here she was, wicked horny, and so was Buffy. She could feel it. Fuck, she could practically taste the passion radiating from the petite slayer. So why weren't they hitting the sheets about now, taking care of business?
Faith cleaned up the remnants of their snack and headed downstairs. She dropped her clothes quickly and lay down on her cot. Damn, it would have been so hot to have Buffy under her right now. But it looked like it was gonna be another night with her own hand and thoughts of that sexy slayer sleeping upstairs. She closed her eyes and let her fingertips start their familiar path over her nipples. Gently stroking and pinching, she felt them begin to harden. Damn, that felt so good. Even better if Buffy's fingers were doin' it. She thought back to the way she'd felt after all the vampires were dusted tonight. Her breathing heavy, her heart racing, her whole body still aching for action. She remembered the way Buffy had been watching her mouth earlier. She envisioned that pretty blonde's head buried between her legs. She bent her right knee, propping it up against the wall. Spreading her left leg, she braced her foot on the floor. Still teasing her nipples with her right hand, her left hand traveled to where her imaginings were creating the most delicious torture.
Buffy returned to the kitchen. She felt bad about rushing off and leaving Faith to clean up after them. How long had it been since she'd acted like such an adolescent? Looking around, she realized that Faith had already cleared away the remnants of their meal. She was about to go back upstairs when she heard a low moaning sound coming from the basement. Her conscious rationale told her that Faith might be hurt or having a bad dream. But her subconscious libido knew exactly what she was hearing. She quietly descended a few steps into the basement just enough to see into the room. The moonlight coming through the windows high on the wall illuminated Faith quite clearly. One look told Buffy that she should go and let Faith have some privacy. Yes, she should go….right now…. before Faith realized she was there…. Yes, she was leaving…. any minute….
"Oh god, B…."
The blonde froze, thinking at first that Faith had discovered her. But then she sank down onto the steps in comprehension. Faith was calling out her name not because she was aware of her watching, but because she was on the slayer's mind as she touched herself. Buffy's already tingling crotch took a giant leap toward carnality.
‘Fuck… so hot….' Faith had slipped her fingers inside her soaked center to gather all that slippery goodness up over her clit. Bringing her right hand down between her legs as well, she spread herself open as her fingers teased her hungry node. She was unaware that since she'd been here she often called out Buffy's name when she masturbated. And when she was hot like this, the blonde was all she could think about.
Buffy avidly watched the ardent exhibition because she literally could not turn away. She was mesmerized by Faith's sensuous body, the uninhibited demonstration of her desires and Buffy's barely controlled yearning to join the lustful slayer. She longed to take Faith's hands away, replace them with her own and make Faith call out her name for real. Buffy pressed her hand between her legs trying to stop her own throbbing.
The stroking was paying off now. Faith's hips were moving and she had plunged two fingers into her vagina. She continued rubbing her clit faster while she fucked herself with her fingers. "Oh god…." she cried out loud as her impending orgasm gathered strength. "Oh god, B…. please…" Faith was begging and panting now, her fingers flying over her sensitive places. "Fuck, baby!…. need it… oh god…. B…. fuck… so good...... B… fuck!"
The moaning and calling out to Buffy reached a crescendo and the beautiful slayer climaxed. Collapsing down onto the bed afterward Faith stopped all movement but left her fingers buried deep inside her. As Buffy silently made her way back up the stairs she heard Faith whisper. "Want you, B…. want you so bad….."
It was always ominous when vampire activity came to a standstill. Several nights before, it had been busy. But since then the slayers had encountered none of the undead. Willow and Tara had joined Buffy and Faith to see if their Wiccan powers could detect what might be coming. By the time they reached the last cemetery, clouds had begun to gather quickly. Rain threatened and the air felt charged. As soon as they stepped inside the gates, the group noticed a lone vampire standing on top of a distant mausoleum. As they approached it, the skies opened up and it started to rain. The downpour distracted the slaying party from the currents in the sky. Suddenly there was a loud clap of thunder that got everyone's attention as lightning crashed down, breaking off a nearby tree limb. Willow looked up and saw the vampire's eyes glow as another bolt of current descended from the sky. The vampire held out its hand and instead of the streak of electricity hitting the ground, it changed its course, aiming directly at Buffy. Willow screamed Buffy's name, but that only caused the slayer to turn toward her best friend's voice. Faith saw the flash and where it was heading. She launched herself at Buffy with speed she didn't even know she possessed. Buffy was knocked out of the way and the bolt connected with Faith's right shoulder. The force threw the brunette clear across four rows of graves. She rolled to a stop and was still. When Buffy looked back at the mausoleum, the vampire was gone. She rushed to Faith's side, but Tara and Willow were already there.
"Oh god…. please, Wil." Buffy was so frightened. "Please tell me she's not dead….."
"No, she's not. But getting hit by lightning, even a glancing blow, can't be good. Even for a slayer." Willow answered. "She's out cold. Can you carry her home?"
"Yes." Buffy replied as she picked up the unconscious slayer.
As they started back, the rain stopped just as suddenly as it had started. Tara voiced all of their concerns. "Since when does a vampire have the power to direct lightning bolts?"
"I don't know." Buffy muttered through gritted teeth. "But I'm damn sure gonna find out."
"How is she?" Willow asked as she came into Buffy's room later. The slayer was sitting on the bed in her robe watching Faith.
"Still out, but her muscles aren't twitching anymore."
Willow came over and looked down at the brave, young slayer. "You know Buffy, that lightning bolt," the witch frowned. "I saw it. It was meant for you."
Buffy looked up at her friend. "What?"
"That vampire was aiming that lightning bolt at you." She said gently. "That's why I yelled at you. If that bolt had hit you directly in the chest, my guess is that it would have stopped even your heart cold." Willow put her hand on Buffy's shoulder. Nodding to the unconscious slayer on the bed, she said. "That girl just saved your life."
Pain finally woke Faith. Buffy was still sitting by her side in a robe, her hair damp. There was an icepack on Faith's shoulder. "Hey," Buffy whispered. "How do you feel?"
Faith tried to do a quick inventory of her body. The first thing she noticed was that she was in Buffy's bed dressed only in boxers under the covers. She also noticed that her nerves were still tingling and her shoulder hurt. "Like someone cranked up the wattage on a stun gun." When Buffy frowned, Faith clarified. "I know what that feels like…." then added, "don't ask."
Buffy explained to Faith what little they knew so far. Faith listened intently and then commented somewhat sheepishly. "I seem to have lost my clothes."
The blonde blushed slightly. "You were soaking wet," she explained. "The leather pants may recover," she smiled down at Faith. "But I'm afraid the jacket is toast." Faith groaned. She didn't mention that Faith's tank top was fine, as was the red lace bra she'd also carefully removed. Despite her worry, Buffy was not about to confess how pleasurable it was to undress Faith. Especially after she'd witnessed such an intimate Faith moment a few nights before. And she certainly wasn't about to admit her chagrin when she found that Faith didn't wear anything under her leathers.
"You need to rest." Buffy announced, distracted by the memory of Faith's delicious body. Then the idea of losing Faith flashed across her mind and she involuntarily shuddered. "I thought you'd be more comfortable in a real bed." She got up to leave, but Faith caught her hand. "What is it?"
Buffy sat back down on the bed. "You saved my life tonight." Buffy acknowledged trying to keep her voice even. "But you could've just as easily been killed."
Faith watched the emotions play across Buffy's face. Yes, she would have without a doubt given her life for Buffy. She took Buffy's hand, lightly caressing it with her thumb. Faith wanted Buffy to stay with her. She wanted Buffy to lie down beside her so that she could try to convince herself that she had a real place in this incredible woman's life.
"You said that if I die, another slayer will be called, right?"
"But if you die," Faith reasoned. "There won't be."
Faith searched the hazel eyes of the woman who'd already come to mean so much to her.
"I don't wanna be alone anymore." She said softly. "And I don't wanna do…. this……" indicating the life she'd been chosen to lead, "without you."
The subtle, revealing admission made Buffy feel as though her heart might break from wanting to protect her fellow slayer. She wanted nothing more than to lock the bedroom door, take Faith in her arms and keep her safe. Instead, she leaned down and kissed Faith's cheek. "It's true that in the past slayers have led notoriously short lives, Faith. But you and I are gonna change all that. You're not going be alone anymore."
Early the next morning, Willow answered a knock at the front door. She opened it to a very pretty young woman. Not your typical southern California girl. Her hair was probably naturally platinum because her skin was so fair that it was practically transparent. The most colorful thing about the girl was her brilliantly bright blue eyes. But her serious expression and her words contradicted her benign appearance.
"I was at the cemetery last night. I think the Slayer may want to hear what I have to say."
"But our attacker was a vampire." Tara said gently.
"Yes, I know." Jenny confirmed. She explained how over the last five years her brother had become obsessed with lightning. "He studied and researched meteorology, metaphysics, and even certain black magic trying to understand and control it. He spent practically every night at that cemetery trying to harness that aspect of nature's power. I never believed he'd be able to do it. But he practiced for years until he had perfected his abilities."
"I'm surprised vampires didn't kill him during all those nights he spent at the cemetery." Willow commented.
"That's how he became acquainted with the vampire world." Jenny conceded. "They may have found him amusing at first. But once he convinced them that he could actually possess such a deadly weapon, he was able to offer the vampires a deal."
"What kind of deal?" Buffy asked.
Jenny dropped her eyes for a moment before speaking. "If the vampires would agree to turn him, he'd use his power over lightning to kill the slayer."
Suddenly Buffy felt the now familiar tingling sensation and turned her head toward the stairs. As she did so, the other three women followed her eyes and focused on Faith silently coming down the stairs. She was still dressed in the light gray boxers and had donned one of Buffy's tight white tank tops. Her smooth, muscular legs flexed with every slow step and her breasts strained at the thin white cotton. Her only imperfection was the fading bruise on her right shoulder. Unbeknownst to Faith, the entire ensemble brilliantly displayed her tantalizing aura of sexual magnetism.
The young woman was the first to break the silence as Faith reached the bottom of the stairs. "I thought you were dead."
"Yeah? I get that a lot." Faith grinned as she crossed the room and perched on the armrest of Tara's chair.
Faith did a quick assessment of the stranger. It took only a moment for her to decide that the sweet young thing on the couch was about her age, very pretty, and had that sexy virgin thing goin' on. Definitely do-able.
Then her gaze shifted to Buffy. Their eyes locked as Faith ticked off the items on the mental list she had of her:
Looking back at the young woman seated between Willow and Buffy she asked. "So who are you?"
The young blonde just continued to stare at Faith, so Willow answered for her. "This is Jenny. She was telling us that the vampire who attacked us last night was once her brother. His intent is to kill the slayer."
Buffy turned her attention back to Jenny again. "Why is it so important to kill me? Another slayer will just be called to take my place."
"But.." Faith started to add that another slayer had already been called. Buffy shot her a look and Faith frowned at her, but fell silent. Buffy didn't trust this girl yet. If Jenny didn't know that Faith was a slayer too, then she wanted to keep it that way.
Jenny finally tore her eyes away from Faith and looked at Buffy. "Well, the vampires told Michael that the current slayer had proven to be quite… resilient and effective. Apparently you're the most successful slayer the vampire world has seen in years. They believe that they'd fare better with a new, inexperienced slayer. And if Michael can kill you, they also think he'll be able to kill any other slayer that comes after you."
The statement riled Faith. She was the slayer that came after. And she was no slouch in that department. Ok, so she'd not had the advantages that Buffy had. But she was still damn good at what she did. And she had a string of demon and vampire deaths across the country to prove it. This "Buffy's the only worthy slayer" crap was pissing her off.
"Even if you have help from your friends and your…" Jenny paused to sweep her eyes over Faith again, "athletic girlfriend, they still believe he can make good on his promise."
"She's not my girlfriend." Buffy mused absentmindedly as she considered the threat. Then she noticed that Jenny continued to observe Faith way too closely. "Faith, why don't you go get dressed."
"Sure B." Faith practically smirked. "If you'll tell me where you put my clothes."
Tara tried to hide her smile and Willow snorted out a laugh before she could stop herself.
"They're downstairs, on your bed." Buffy answered, blushing furiously.
Faith gave Jenny a sly wink and got up off the chair's armrest. Both blondes stared after her as she walked out of the room.
When Buffy excused herself to call Giles, Tara and Willow took Jenny into the kitchen for coffee. Once she thought that Buffy was out of earshot, Jenny asked. "So, are they involved or not?"
"It's complicated." Tara acknowledged, bringing Willow the coffee cups.
"I've never met anyone like her." Jenny confessed, obviously referring to the dark seductress without having to say so.
Looking over her shoulder as she picked up the coffee carafe, Willow stated. "That's because there isn't anyone like her."
"She's just so……" Jenny faltered trying to come up with a word to describe Faith.
Setting the steaming cup down in front of the clearly smitten young woman, Tara smiled gently. "Yeah, we know."
After Jenny had given Buffy her phone number and left, the three women gathered around the dining table. Tara was already consulting their spell books. Willow was at her computer researching meteorological anomalies. Buffy was going over the layout of the cemetery that Michael had chosen for his assassination attempt.
Faith came up the stairs to see that everyone was working on something. "What do you want me to do, B?" Faith asked, eager to assist.
"I want you to keep Jenny occupied for now." Buffy replied without looking up from the map. "I don't want her to have a chance to contact her brother before we come up with a plan."
The comment stung the young slayer. Just when she'd started to feel like part of the team, they cut her out. Her quick temper flared. "Oh, I see. All I'm good for is fightin' ‘em and fuckin' ‘em, right? Shit." She abruptly turned and disappeared back into the basement.
Buffy sighed. She hadn't meant to sound like she was excluding the new slayer. She had a very specific and crucial goal in mind for her. But obviously Faith had no idea how important her role would be.
Descending the stairs, Buffy could hear Faith pounding on the workout bag. Buffy watched her for a moment. Sleek and powerful, her fellow slayer was angry and unhappy. Buffy came up behind her and stopped her attack by gently encircling her arms and waist.
"Hey." She said softly. "I didn't mean to shut you out, Faith. But we all have our strong points."
"Well, I'm sure you don't want me to fight Jenny." Faith countered. "So I guess that means you want me to ‘distract' her in another way."
‘I didn't mean…"
"It's ok B. She's got that sexy virgin thing goin' on." Faith's tone dripped sarcasm. "That's always fun."
Faith still had not tried to move out of Buffy's embrace. "Don't what?"
"Don't sleep with her." Buffy replied. "There's so much more to you than that."
"Yeah, right." This time Faith did break away from Buffy's hold. "You tell yourself that next time you watch me gettin' myself off."
Buffy sighed as Faith climbed the stairs. "Damn."