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Hard to be Soft (Tough to be Tender)

by nalakaori_chan


Rating: NC-17
Short summary: Faith wonders why buffy still bothers with lip gloss. smut. a little bit of fluff, some angst.
Notes: Prompt was lip gloss. originally posted here.
Oral's Notes: No email address available for author. Please leave a story review at Live Journal. Also, I believe the formatting is intentional, so I left it as is.


"I don't get why you still bother with that stuff," Faith says.

Buffy turns away from her reflection to give Faith a quizzical glance. She smacks her lips once, twice, three times.

"What?" she asks, turning back towards the mirror to dab at the corner of her mouth with a calloused thumb

(she used to complain about callouses, used to gripe at Giles whenever she'd break a nail or get mud on her clothes)

and examine her reflection.

"That damn lip gloss," says Faith. She's not really doing anything, just idly kicking back on Buffy's couch, boots dirtying the fabric. "I mean, we're not exactly goin' out to the mall

(Buffy used to go to the mall, used to peruse the stores for hours on end, used to buy brightly colored nail polish and toe rings and cute little hair ties with flowers on them)

or something, B." She snickers at her own joke. "I guess you never really know where the nasties are gonna show next, though. Like that time with the Judge you told me about. Man, I wish I coulda been there for that. Bet it was a real show."

Buffy snorts. "Yep. A real show." Satisfied with her appearance, she screws the lid back on the container of lip gloss (Wet ‘n' Wild – for full, kissable lips!) and drops it onto the bare countertop. She turns around and beckons to Faith with a nod of her head. ‘Time to go,' it says. Faith, however, shakes her head and sticks her hand up in a ‘stop' motion.

"Hey, B! You gotta answer my question. Why you gotta stop and pretty yourself up before you go out slayin' and get yourself all dirty?" Her lips quirk in a teasing smile, but Buffy can tell she's genuinely curious. She doesn't want to stop and think about when she started to be able to read Faith so well. Probably around the same time they started falling into bed together, she surmises.

"I don't know. Old habits die hard, I guess?" she sighs; she's feeling defensive now, for some reason. No one's ever bugged her about her little lip gloss habit before. No one's really known. Cared to know.

Faith wiggles her eyebrows and saunters over to pick up the tube.

"Ooh, B! This is scandalous," she grins as she skims the label. "'Kissable'? ‘Sexy'? ‘Lasts for up to twelve hours'?" She cocks an eyebrow. "Twelve hours, huh? Well, B, if you wanted that, you could have just asked

(could have asked Angel, back when everything was sweet and good, could have sat there in her fluffy slippers and cutesy pajamas and put on lip gloss in front of him and not felt guilty)

good ol' Faith here." Faith puffs her chest out and smacks it with her fists, whooping. Buffy rolls her eyes.

"Does everything that comes out of your mouth have to be either profane or perverted?" she asks. Faith chuckles.

"Nah, sometimes it can be both at the same time," she says. There's a dark look brimming in the back of her eyes, and when she speaks next, her voice is an octave lower.

"Besides, I happen to know that you can be quite the dirty talker yourself, B," Faith murmurs, and Buffy can't help the shivers running up her back. She stopped trying a long time ago. Faith is, quite plainly, a force of nature; resisting her is like trying to outrun a hurricane on a kiddies' tricycle. Probably harder, actually, now that she thinks about it.

"Yeah, well," Buffy breathes, her heart thrumming quicker and quicker as Faith steps closer and closer. She looks like she's on the prowl, Buffy realizes, all grinning dark lips and fluid movements. On the prowl for me. She shudders.

"Well what, B?" Faith asks, voice low and sultry. She finally stops to rest in front of Buffy, then slowly slides down onto her knees, hooking her thumbs in the loops of Buffy's jeans.

Seeing Faith down there, between her thighs, looking up at her with those goddamn eyes — it's enough to get a girl off, just like that. No touching involved.

But of course, with Faith, there's always touching involved. She's a very physical person; always has been. And as Faith leans forward to tug Buffy's zipper down with her teeth

(Buffy used to think that kind of thing only happed in cheesy romance novels and bad porn flicks, but no, Faith has proved her wrong time and time again)

Buffy can't help but shudder. An absolutely sinful grin spreads across Faith's lips and she roughly pushes Buffy back into the couch, grabbing Buffy's hips and pushing them down. Buffy immediately reaches up and pulls Faith down with her, so she's resting on top of her. Hip to hip, breast to breast, knee to knee. She's not going to go down without a fight

(that's one thing that'll never, ever, ever change)

and Faith knows it. It's part of what makes the sex so good – the constant fight for dominance, the push and pull, two girls imbued with the thousand-year old essence of the Slayer fucking each other into oblivion…well, yeah, it's damn good.

"Don't you want some, Faith?" Buffy asks, pushing her shirt up so that it rests just beneath her breasts. She places one hand over her taut stomach; the other grazes her clothed sex. "Don't you want some of this?" She licks her lips.

"Damn straight I do," Faith growls, sounding absolutely predatory. "Spread those thighs for me, B. Go on." Buffy complies and Faith leans in, lightly tracing a scar on Buffy's lower stomach. When Faith is gentle (like this, smoothing her rough fingers over the raised tissue) it does something to Buffy, pulls something taut inside of her throat, and she has to look away for a second to gather herself.

Soon Faith's mouth is sliding down, over the cloth of Buffy's underwear, and closing over her clit through the fabric. Buffy hisses, rolls her hips, slides one hand into Faith's hair. It's tangled and greasy and probably hasn't been washed in a couple of days – Faith was never one for personal hygiene

(Buffy never imagined herself sleeping with someone who didn't meticulously coif every inch of themselves – or at least bother to shower once in a blue moon – but somehow it doesn't really matter as much with Faith)

and the fact that they've been holed up in this dump for the past few weeks trying to stop another pathetic attempt at bringing about the Apocalypse – this time by a gang of Chy'neah demons famous for both their ability to imitate the last living being they come in contact with and their awful fashion sense – well, it probably hasn't helped.

Still, as Faith roughly shoves Buffy's underwear to one side and immediately slides one, two fingers into her cunt, Faith's grooming habits are the last thing on her mind.

Buffy's pretty sure she's not the first girl Faith's ever been with, because she's so damn good at this, at licking her out and crooking her fingers at just the right angle and putting just the amount of pressure on her clit.

"Harder, damnit, Faith," Buffy pants, squirming and digging her nails into Faith's back. "Fuck me like you mean it."

Faith grins and blows a loose strand of her out of her face.

"On it, B," she says, sliding a third finger into Buffy and gently tweaking her clit.

"Oh, fuck, Faith, just like that, just like that—"

"I know, B, I know that's how you like it, baby. Good and hard and fast, right? I'm gonna make you come so hard that little snatch of yours'll be sore for a week," Faith pants, shifting her fingers inside of Buffy and doing something absolutely incredible with her tongue and then Buffy's coming apart, wrapping her legs around Faith's back and pulling her up and forward for a kiss

(Buffy used to be so ashamed of this, of sleeping with Faith, of fucking Faith and letting Faith fuck her, that she'd squeeze her eyes shut as she came and get dressed as soon as it was done and she'd never, ever kiss Faith; kissing was for Angel, for Riley, for good boys, not for bad girls like Faith, and it took her a while but now Buffy knows that she's a bad girl, too, she and Faith are both bad girls, and it took her a little while more but she's okay with that, now)

and Faith immediately opens her mouth, tasting Buffy's lip gloss, which tastes a little bit fruity and a little bit chemical, but she doesn't mind. Their lips meet again and again, a clash of tongues and teeth, a battle of another kind than they usually fight (but one with a conclusion that is possibly even more satisfying, or so Faith thinks as she kisses Buffy wildly, hungrily, violently, beautifully).

As Buffy bends over to pick up her jeans, giving Faith a chance to suckle lightly on her neck, she can't help but think that sixteen-year old Buffy would have been offended if someone asked her why she bothered putting on make-up. "Don't I have the right to look pretty?" she'd say with a flip of her hair and a smack of her gum. "Just because I'm the Slayer doesn't mean I can't be my gorgeous self." She'd sashay her hips then, and Willow would giggle, and Xander would clap her on the shoulder and make some quip about ‘that's my Buff!' while trying not to stare at her ass, and everything would be normal.

Buffy's learned a lot since then. For example: when you're a slayer, normal is relative. Beyond relative, really; it's complete bullshit. She's learned other things, too. How to kill demons from every Hell dimension imaginable. How to bring Faith to a mind-shattering orgasm with only her tongue. How to say goodbye to people she loves and, when the time comes, to say hello again – and again, and again (here's lookin' at you, Angel). How to wield a scythe, to mourn a mother, to cook an omelette just the way Dawn likes it, to pay bills, to let go and make sacrifices and kill and love and hate and be not just a slayer, but The Slayer.

She still remembers, though, what it feels like to be pretty. To look at herself in the mirror and like what she sees. It's why she tried so hard to be fashionable in high school; it's why she cut her hair all those years ago on that day she turned invisible; and it's why now, before she goes out and lets all of the blood and dirt and muck and slime and violence and anger and hatred get under her nails and under her skin and inside of her, she pulls out her trusty old tube of lip gloss.

It's the small things that count, Buffy thinks.

Faith's pinky locks with hers on their way out the door. Buffy doesn't pull away.



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