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The next few days, I break our routine.

Oh, I mean we still do our regular stuff; training, hanging out, patrolling. But I don't call her any more.

I just don't know what to do.

I could continue to call her and play the sit-up game, but what if I call one night and she doesn't answer?

I'd just be torturing myself wondering where she was or if she was really home, but too busy fucking somebody to answer.

Oh my god. I can't tell you how much that thought kills me.

I want to be with her.

There, I said it.

But that doesn't mean I'll do anything about it.

In every other area of life, I'm Action Girl. Got a problem? I'll solve it. Need me to kick someone's ass?

Consider it done.

But with matters of the heart, I become passive. Anti-active. I just can't bring myself to make the first move. I'm horribly insecure that way.

You know the saying, "You can't win the Lottery, if you don't buy a ticket"?

That's me. Hoping to win, but waiting for someone else to buy me the ticket.

Have you heard of anything more pathetic?

After the first night of not calling, Faith was a little hesitant around me. She kept asking everyone in general what they had done the night before. They pretty much looked at her like she was touched.

"Uhhhhh, went patrolling? Funny thing, Faith, as I recall, I'm pretty sure you were there," Xander kidded.

Faith tried to save herself.

"Uh...yeah, I mean, duh. I meant after patrolling."

They still pretty much looked at her like she was a talking fruit basket. She's never asked them before about what they did after patrolling.

"Pretty much went to sleep. Kinda like I always do. Of course, I'm speaking for myself, here. Wills? Oz? Did you guys get all gussied up afterwards and go to a winter formal?"

Willow and Oz look at each other, and then shake their heads and say "no" to Xander.

"Well, Faith. There's your answer. We mere mortals, of the non-slaying kind, need our beauty sleep. But now ya got me thinkin'...what did you do, huh? Did ya go out for some post slayage action?"

He mock leers at her.

Okay, so that really got my attention.

She just leers back at him and says:

"Wouldn't you like to know?"

To which Xander says:

"Actually, I would." And then he throws an arm around her, and they walk off whispering.


I purposely tune my hearing down. Or at least turn it in another direction. I focused on a bird chirping outside.

On Willow sucking on a mint, and Giles boiling tea...I focused on Xander's OBNOXIOUS guffaws as Faith tells him something TERRIBLY funny.

Oh, that's great. Just look at the two of them laughing it up like a couple of schmos bonding at a bachelor party.

I'm not calling her tonight, either.

The next day was worse.

I managed to maintain a normal attitude around her, but now she's hot and cold. One minute she's distant and broody and the next she's living it up, like she just had the best sex of her entire life, or that she was planning to.

It's making me insane.

I just can't stop picturing Faith in bed with another person.

I say person, because sometimes I picture a guy, and sometimes I picture a girl.

Sometimes I picture both, and that just makes me certifiable.

I need to make a decision. I need to do it now. Either make a move or get over it.

But I can't seem to do either.

I decide not to call that night, too.

Did I say the second day was worse than the first?

Ha. That was a cakewalk in June compared to the third day.

On the third day, all of my insecurities decided to show up and pay me a visit.

"Hey, how ya doin'? Just thought we'd stop by and FUCK with you for a while."

I am barely able to get through the day. She's there, but she's not there. I know she thinks she's pulling it off, and to an extent, she is. No one seems to notice but me.

And Cordelia.

What is it with that girl?

She keeps looking at me and then at Faith.

Like she thinks she knows something.

Oh god. Has she been talking to Faith??

Come to think of it, even though she's looking at both of us, she's looking an awful lot at Faith.

That fucking bitch.

I have no idea if Cordelia swings that way, but the girl knows quality when she sees it.

Her sense of style has proven that.

From her handbags to her hose
From her perfume to her clothes-
That girl knows style.

And only the best will do.

So what if Faith is a little rough around the edges? It only adds to the bad-girl allure.

Someone Cordelia can seduce with her worldliness...her French lingerie and her Perrier Jouet.

God, I need to stop rhyming.

But that's how I picture her seducing a girl from the wrong side of the tracks.

MY girl from the wrong side of the tracks.

That bitch better not even think about it.

When I get home, I call her.

I hadn't planned on it. But I couldn't sleep and I couldn't get her off of my mind.

Or Cordelia.

So I suck up and call.

She's what?? She's walking out the door??

"It's 2:30 in the morning, Faith," I tell her.

Like she doesn't know.

"You going to get something to eat?" I pray, "You need to take care of your hungries?"

God, I sound pathetic. But I don't care.

"No, B. I already ate."

And I feel all of my internal organs shifting, ready to turn inside out.

My tongue has gone numb and I don't know what to say.

"Ya need something, B?" she asks.

"No," is all I can manage.

Say something, Buffy.

She's telling you that she's going to hang up and leave now.

"Where are you going, Faith?"

Please say you're going for cigarettes. Please tell me something...

"Just out, B."

...but not that.

"Do I not wanna know?"

"No, B. Probably not," she sighs.

And just like with Angel, my whole world falls away.

She's leaving me.

Faith was supposed to meet with Giles and me to train the next day.

I got there early, since I hadn't slept all night.

After her leaving me and all.

I started out with my normal routine; a little yoga, some tai chi, but it wasn't working for me. I couldn't achieve the "stillness within" that is critical to these types of disciplines. So I opted to kick the shit out of a sawdust bag and whatever else caught my eye.

I was in The Zone.

I never heard Giles say he was leaving, and I certainly didn't hear Faith come in.

I was too busy killing the bag.

Oh, a bag is still a bag, by any other name...

Unless it becomes the person Faith is sleeping with.

That ungrateful bitch. How could she be sleeping with you?? Punch, jab, kick.

Are you the one who cooks for her? Are you the one who mends her clothes for her? Goes dancing with her? Laughs with her?

Are you the one who does "sit-ups" with her?

...of course not.

You're the one who makes love with her.

The real deal.

Punch. Jab. Roundhouse kick.

I can't see Faith, but I know she's there.

In the same sort of way I can sense vamps, I can sense her.

Giles explained it's a Slayer Connection.

Something unprecedented, because nothing has been documented about this before. Of course, there had never been two Slayers before me either. Kendra and I had touched on it briefly, but she died before we could find out any more. Even then it was vague, like an old tune you'd suddenly catch yourself humming and you had no idea why.

But with Faith, it had been immediate and it wasn't vague or subtle by any means. There is nothing subtle about Faith.

Her presence announces itself the minute she walks into a room.

I've seen it happen. People start to look around and wonder what's different. Something had changed from the minute before. And then they see her and go back to whatever it was they were doing. Like it just made sense somehow, without them even knowing to ask why.

But I can feel her a mile away.

We share dreams sometimes, too. Sometimes it's hers and sometimes it's mine. Either way, we're both in them and are aware the other is having it too.

I stop beating on the slut-bag and turn to look at her. A stream of sunlight caught me in the face, so it took a moment for me to focus. But when my eyes adjusted, what I saw took my breath away.

She was standing there, stock-still, with this look on her face.

If one facial expression could express multiple emotions at the same time, then I was looking at it.

Awe. Desire. Need....Love.

It was so intense, it made me blush.

We greeted each other, and then I grabbed a bottled water and moved out of the way so she could pass.

She looked good.

Black sports top and cut off Levi shorts.

She was both soft and hard in all the right places. I could see her abs flex when she reached down into her bag for a towel, and her triceps move when she zipped up the bag.

Trying to keep my expression neutral, I suggested that she warm up first before we started sparring.

That was a mistake.

The muscles in her legs kept drawing my eyes to them. She was doing lower-body stretches, and every time she'd move, something else would stick out. Her quads, a hamstring, a calf...her glutes.

When she started doing leg lunges, I almost lost it.

This beautiful body was sharing itself with someone who was not me.

But did she? Has she? Could she do something like that if she loved me? Does she love me?

Look at her. She's so beautiful. She's just breathtaking, really. Everyone wants her. Xander wants her. Cordelia wants her. The guys from the Bronze want her. That twink from the Espresso Bar still wants her.

Oh, yeah. I know about her. And a few of the others, too.

Everybody wants her. I want her.

And with that last thought, she turns around.

Oh my god. Can she read my mind, too?

No, she can't...can she??

I make a mental note to ask Giles about this.

- and I mark it urgent.

Something is pulling me toward her, compelling me to draw near, like iron shavings to a magnet. I put my bottle down and approach her. I feel my nipples growing hard and I see that hers already are.

I stop to look at her.

Her eyes are so warm and her lashes are like velvet. Her lips look so soft, so full...so inviting. So sexy and pouty, like after a night of unbridled sex...

I snap and lunge at her.

She ducks under, catching me with her shoulder and tossing me up over her. I spin and come back before she finishes turning and I'm on her again. She barely has time to react, grabbing my shoulders and pulling me down with her as she falls backwards and rolls me over her. I land on my feet and assume the position. I hurl myself at her with a roundhouse kick to the head, but she ducks. I try again...and she ducks.

We both assume the position, eyeing each other warily, chests heaving from exertion.

And then she blows me a kiss.

CRACK! My foot connects with her chin. Her head snaps back and she's on the mat looking up at me as I leap on top of her, holding her shoulders down with my hands.

Seconds later, I feel her abs flex underneath my ass where I'm straddling her and I start to feel a tingle. I look in her eyes and she seems just as surprised as I am. But then I see her eyes grow darker and I know she's feeling something that I'm not. She's breathing hard and I begin to feel heat rising off her body. We're looking at each other, questioning...and then I see an expression cross her face like I've never seen before.

Ecstasy, joy, wonderment.

And then it hits me.

A static current surging through her body and upwards into mine, sending shock waves of energy that electrified me.

In a heartbeat, I was gone.

I ran into Giles on the way out, he looked so startled I almost laughed. And I would have if I hadn't been so freaked out.

What was that?

And why does this stuff only happen when I'm around Faith? Why is she constantly being thrown in my face?

I gotta go.

I told Giles I wasn't feeling well enough to patrol that night.

No big, just a stomach flu or something. He said it wouldn't be a problem for Faith to go alone. In fact, he'd call the others and tell them to go ahead and make other plans.

Giles and I share the same notion about Faith patrolling alone with the Scoobs.

"Yes, you're quite right, Buffy. Faith is a bit of a loose cannon. No need to put the others at risk."

There's nothing good on TV.

I surfed all 150 channels and there's not one thing. Well, maybe the Iron Chef, but that just makes me sad.

And Beaches.

I decided to do a little lightweight reading, so I grabbed a magazine and started reading my horoscope...and Faith's.

"Someone new or an exciting change could be entering your life" for me, and "Learn from past mistakes" for her. I look at the cover and it's from last month. Oh. I flip backwards and get to a quiz "'5 Sure Ways to Please Your Man" but I see someone has already beaten me to it.

Each question was a multiple choice. A, B, C or D. But each question had an E written in pen with an answer next to it.

1. E) Feed him.
2. E) Fuck him.
3. E) Feed him.
4. E) Fuck him.
5. E) Fuck him.


Food and Fucking. Good old H & H.

Oh, come on. You think it was my mom?

Classic Faith.

I sigh and flip through the rest of the pages. I see a few more examples of Faith's handiwork.

Horns and a goatee drawn on Martha Stewart.

A cartoon bubble with the words "I need a sandwich" above a picture of a runway model.

A caption next to an ALWAYS ad:

"New for the plus size woman. Jumbo Wings. Co-sponsored by Boeing 747."

And a K-Y jelly ad:

"Honey, if you need this, you're with the wrong girl." God, she's an idiot.

I wonder if she's home yet? No, it's too early. She'd be out for a few more hours at least. I idly pick up the cordless phone and dial her number. I walk around the house while it rings. To the kitchen to nibble on some cheese. To the front door to make sure it's locked. To the back door to check that it's locked. I sit on the couch and start flipping through channels.

I hang up.

Ten minutes later, I hit redial. I walk into the kitchen for more cheese. I drink a glass of milk. I recheck both doors to see if they're still locked. I sit back down and watch TV.

I hang up.

Ten minutes later, I dial again. I walk to the kitchen and look in the fridge. I straighten the silverware drawer. I walk upstairs and brush my teeth. I check the first-aid kit.

I hang up.

Ten minutes later I hit redial.

I hear a click.

"Buffy, what are you doing?" I hear my mom ask, on the extension phone.

"Uh, nothing, mom. Why?" Oops.

"Well, I'm reading in bed, and I keep noticing the red line-in-use button light up every ten minutes."

"I'm trying to be the 96th caller, mom. I'm trying to win tickets."

"Really, for who?"

"Bette Midler."

Bette Midler??

Why'd I say that? Oh right, Beaches was on cable.

"You're kidding. I didn't know she was performing in town. How many tickets? Because, you know, Buffy, I'd really like to join you."

"Butt-Hole Surfers!" I blurt.

"I beg your pardon??"

"I meant to say Butt-Hole Surfers."

"There's a band called 'The Butt-Hole Surfers'?"

"Yeah, they're really great, mom. Sorry about the mix up. But if I win, you're welcome to join me."

"Ah, no, Buffy, that's alright. Good luck and try not to stay up too late."

"Okay, thanks mom. Good night."


I put the cordless back in its cradle downstairs and go up to my room. Thank god I have a private line in there.

I lie in bed and pick the fuzz off my pajama top. I rearrange the photo frames on my nightstand.

I pick up the phone and dial.

What started out as comfort has now become a compulsion.

I know it doesn't make sense to call someone when you know they're not there. Especially when they don't own an answering machine. It's not like you're calling to hear the sound of their voice.

But I don't think it's any different than driving by someone's house when they're not home.

People do that.

Crazy people.

Well, have you been paying attention?

Hello, loony-tunes, here.

Faith has finally driven me to complete insanity.

Here's a rock and here's the bottom.

Yep. Rock bottom.

And now I've convinced myself that Faith is really home, but she's hurt and lying unconscious inches away from the phone. The only thing that saves her is a neighbor who's annoyed by the incessant ringing that he hears next door.

See? It could happen.

Of course, another scenario is Faith got home early and is attempting to have earth-shattering sex, but is constantly interrupted by the incessant ringing of the phone...

...but she could have pulled out the cord.

Oh god, why do I think so much? I hang up.

I look at the clock.

I tap my fingers on the nightstand.

I pick up the phone and dial.

"Yeah?" she answers.

Yeah? What does that mean??

Instead of focusing on the fact that she answered, I'm more concerned by the way she answered.

Is that a "Yeah? I just walked in the door" answer?

Or a "Yeah? Why are you bugging me while I'm trying to get a piece of ass" answer?

I shake my head to clear it.

"Oh, that's charming, Faith," I state instead.

"Yeah. That's me, B. Prince Charming."

"Prin-cess," I correct.

"Whatever," she mumbles.

Um. Okay. So now what do I say?


"You just get in?" I ask.

"Something like that."

What? What's that supposed to mean?

Did she or didn't she? Has she been there the whole time?? While I was making an ass of myself calling over and over?

"What do you mean? How long have you been home?"

"Like you said, I just got in...how long you been calling?" she asks casually.

"Oh, I don't know...I...What do you mean??"

She's such a sneak! I almost admitted I've been calling!

"Nothing, B. So what can I do you for?"

Dang! I hadn't gotten that far in my head yet. What can she do me for...Oh! Hungries!

"I was wondering if you wanna get something to eat?"

She got a pizza.

So, hungries was out...

...hornies. She probably took care of that too, but I say:

"Hey, you do your sit-ups yet?"

We're gonna do sit-ups together!

Oh my god, I can't believe how happy that makes me. I'm such a loser.

I shut my bedroom door. No need to get mom all involved with this.

"Okay, I'm back," I say, and "You first."

And then she asks me what my goal was.

It feels like she's playing with me, and I don't like it.

Now my mood has changed. At first I was just happy that we could ignore the last few days and get back to normal. I'm tired of being confused. Let's forget about that weird thing that happened today. Let's pretend none of it ever happened.

Let's be happy.

But who was I kidding? I was right back where I had started, doing "sit-ups", wondering how much longer it's going to be enough for her. Or worse yet, maybe it wasn't and she's already found someone else. Maybe the "sit-ups" are like an after-dinner mint or something.

Maybe she got her five-course meal last night.

She tries to get me to start talking.

I pull an Oz and do the semi-mono syllabic thing.

"Uh-huh", "Not much", and "Fine", I answer.

I hear her breathing into the phone, playing her little game with me.

"How many you done now?" I say.

Get out of that one, Faith.

She can't say one, and she can't say none.

The jig is up. She's gotta know I'm on to her.

"I dunno, B. I'm not keeping count."

Oh, no. Not tonight. She is not gonna beat me tonight.

" 'Why don't you just start and not worry about it?' " I mimic her.

Okay, I admit it was childish. But I don't care.

And we get into a verbal sparring match. She's twisting my questions around and throwing them back at me. She's nailing me pretty hard. Every time I ask something, she ignores me and turns it into something else…and each question gets closer to the truth. She's winning again and I can't stop it.

I pull out the big guns and purr into the phone.

"When you were fucking her, Faith, were you thinking of me?"

"When you were picturing it, Buffy, did you wish it were you?"

"Fuck you, Faith."

"Yeah, okay, come right over."

"You'd like that, wouldn't you?"

"Yeah, B. And so would you."

She's won. I've been defeated. But I keep going.

"Never gonna happen." And I hang up.

I am Buffy, Queen of Denial. Feed me sour grapes.

The next day, we're all hanging out at the table listening to Willow and Giles talk about magick. Faith and I made pretty sure we stayed clear of each other. If she was on one side of the room, I was at the other. I was fine with that. Besides, I had all the good people at my end of the table.

She had Cordelia.

"Jesus, Faith. As tempting as it may be, I will NOT be anyone's second choice. Make up with her already!"

Come again??

We all look over at Faith, who has a surprised yet suspiciously guilty look on her face.

What did she do??

We all then turn to Cordelia.

"Come on, people. This has been happening for days. Am I the only one who notices things around here?"

Then she breaks it down for everyone.

"Faith craves Buffy. Buffy teases Faith. Hello, ring a bell?"

Then she looks at me.

"Whatever. You really need to handle this, Buffy. Either give the girl what she wants, or cut her loose already. I can't take her getting all moony-eyed at me."

Faith was eyeing Cordelia??

Right here in front of me? Not 20 feet from where I'm sitting?

And now everyone knows about it? And about us?

Cordelia gets up and leaves the room. Shortly thereafter, so does the rest of the gang, leaving me alone with Faith.

I don't know what to say, I can't even look at her. Cordelia is right. I really need to handle this...

...just not now.

I get up and leave Faith alone in the room.


We all meet up later that night to go on routine patrol. It was painfully awkward.

Willow kept stuttering and stammering, never quite finishing a complete sentence, looking at Faith and me. It was really annoying.

And Xander kept getting these weird looks on his face. One second he'd be all serious looking, and then the next he'd have on some lecherous grin. And that was extremely annoying.

I guess it finally got to Faith too, cus the next thing I hear is:

"Can I help you with something?" Followed with:

"Well, then, how 'bout you keep your fucking eyeballs to yourself, and your mind outta the gutter."

We all look at her.

"Fuck this," she says and leaves.

Cordelia makes a sarcastic comment, and I just want to kill her.

I knew it!

I told the gang to go home shortly after Faith had left, that I could handle things from there. I cruised by a couple more cemeteries before I finally stumbled upon Faith and Cordelia.

Okay, maybe not stumbled, exactly, more liked sneaked upon. I spotted Faith standing near a tombstone, and I hid behind the bushes. But then I noticed Cordelia coming my way, like she had just come from Faith's direction.

I sweep my legs and Cordelia lands on her ass with a thud.

"Oow," She looks up at me. "Oh hi, Buffy," she says sarcastically, "I see you're still having those involuntary muscle spasms. What's the matter, medication not working?"

"I'm sorry, Cordy," I reply, "I thought you were a blood sucking vampire."

She gets up, rubbing her ass.

"What are you doing here, Cordelia?" I ask.

"Well, isn't that just turning out to be the million dollar question."

I look at her.

"I was just having a chat with a friend. In fact, I think you might know her. Goes by the name of 'Faith'. Sound familiar?"

"What are you up to, Cordelia?"

She gives a short laugh.

"What am I up to? Oh, that's rich. But then again, maybe not, coming from the mouth of the 'do nothing' girl."

"I beg to differ, Cordelia. I'm the 'do everything' girl. I'm Action Girl," I say, ignoring her implication.

"Don't beg, Buffy. It's really not becoming."

"What were you doing with Faith?' I say, finally getting to the point.

"Wouldn't you like to know?" she says, repeating Faith's words from a few days ago, pissing me off even more.

"Well, seeing as I asked, yeah, I guess I do," I say with attitude.

"Well, it's none of your business. You go around acting like everyone owes you an explanation, but I've got news for you, Buffy. You don't own me...or Faith either, for that matter."

She looks at me and continues.

"Okay. Listen up, Buffy. Seeing as it's just us girls here, let me be perfectly blunt with you."

She looks and I give her a 'go ahead' shrug.

"You ready? Okay. That girl is a primo piece of ass. I mean, just look at her, Buffy. Oops. Silly me. What am I saying? That's all you've been doing."

"What's your point, Cordelia?"

"My point, Buffy, is that Faith is a lean, mean, fucking machine. Every line of her body, every curve, was just built for sex. You don't leave a turbo charged Ferrari F60 locked up in your garage. You take her out on the road, open her up...see what she's got under the hood. But if all that power is too much for you, if it scares you, then throw the keys to someone else already."

I smile sweetly at her.

"Nice speech, Cordy. And as for the 'keys'...to whom would I be throwing them to, exactly? You?"

She laughs again.

"Oh, Buffy. You really are quite naive. It's adorable, really. In a Rainman sort of way. I don't need your keys. I have a set of my own."

And she flashes me an award-winning smile.

"First off, Cordelia, Faith is not a Ferrari. And I'm sure if I was a fifteen-year old boy, I would have thoroughly enjoyed the metaphor, but-"

She cuts me off.

"Of course she's not a Ferrari, you dink," she snaps, "She's a hot-blooded, fully fleshed female. I just thought the car analogy would be a little less threatening to your sensibilities. You really need to get it together, Buffy. A girl like that is not gonna wait forever. And what exactly are you waiting for anyway? Afraid of the stigma? In case you haven't noticed, Buffy, girl-on-girl action is still very fashionable. That was one trend that wasn't a flash in the pan. And yes, I do occasionally accessorize my arm with a hot girl on it. I just usually do it out of town. Slim pickings and all. But now that we've got our little Faith here, it looks like my days of trolling for trout are finally over. In other words, I can order in and still eat out, and never have to leave the house."

And with that last comment, I slap her.

She brings her face back to look at me, hand on her cheek.

"Sorry to be so brutally blunt, Buffy. But you need to wake the fuck up. I repeat, what are you waiting for exactly? Permission? Xander's not gonna argue. He's been dying to get a piece of her again. Giles? I doubt he'd even notice. And as for Willow and Oz, what exactly can they say? Their relationship practically borders on bestiality, anyway."

I have nothing to say. I just stand there.

"You know I'm right. Think it over. And, Buffy...if you ever touch my face again, I'll kill you."

And she walks away.

"Two Mocha-Chinos, please," I tell the counter girl.

It's that little tramp that's hot after Faith. She looks excitedly behind me, fully expecting to see her there. I see a look of disappointment cross her features.

That's right, ya 'ho. She's not here. She's at hers, where I'm on my way to, right now.

I had stayed up most of the night, going over the last few days and dwelling on what Cordelia had told me. I wasn't completely sure about what I was going to say to Faith, but I knew we had to talk. Time to take the weasel by the horns.

I order some pastries and pay up. I smile at the girl and say:

"I'll be sure to give her your regards." And she smiles gratefully at me.

Not! I smirk to myself.

It's early. Barely past 6 a.m. The sun hasn't even come out yet.

Best to hit her while she's still defenseless. Faith requires more sleep than I do. She'll still be groggy from the lack of it.

I'm standing at her door, trying to summon up the courage to knock.

It comes out as pounding instead. Oops.

"Who the fuck is it??" I hear through the door.

"It's me, Buffy," I reply, heart in my throat.

I hear her moving around, and then feet shuffling as she nears the door. I bang again. She's taking too long!

"Open up, Faith."

"Yeah, yeah, hold up a sec, B. Geez."

She opens the door.


Tousled bed-head hair, faded Levi's...and no shirt.

God, she's got beautiful breasts.

"Nice look," I say, as I move in past her.

I sneak a glance back and she's still rubbing her eyes.

Good. She's sleepy.

I put the goods on Faith's 'antique' table that she'd found and dragged upstairs. Antique. Yeah, right.

Brady Bunch wood veneer design circa 1972-1974.

"What, B? Early 70's? That's ancient."

I see her sitting on the edge of the bed from the reflection on the glass of her poster frame.

Two hot blondes sitting on top of a Harley. "Put something wild between your legs" printed on the bottom.

She's waiting.

I take a deep breath and say:

"We need to talk."

"At 6:16 in the morning, B?" she asks.

I turn to answer and hand her a Mocha.

I freeze.

What's that on the bed next to her?

It kinda looks like...no, it really looks like...

Oh my god, it is-

A dildo???

I look at the thing, and then find my eyes registering on the whole sickening truth.

Lube on the nightstand...

...harness on the floor.

She's been entertaining. She's been ENTERTAINING.

She gives me a panicked look.

Oh my god. Is the bitch still here?

"No, B, it's not-"

I cut her off.

"Is there someone here?" I look toward the bathroom.

"No, B. I swear," she sounds scared.

I put down the coffee and head for the bathroom.

Show yourself, whore, I think to myself, as I fling back the shower curtain.

Nothing. No one. Just me.

And I lose it.

I sit on the toilet seat and sob into my hands.

I can't take it anymore. I'm broken.


I feel a waft of air as Faith rushes in to kneel at my feet, hands on my knees.

"B, what's wrong? Why are you crying?" she asks, upset.

I can't.

I can't answer. I don't want her to see what a wreck I've become.

"B, come on, baby. Talk to me."

And I cry harder. Baby...I'm her baby? I want to be.

She strokes my hair.

"Baby, don't cry, okay? Just tell me what's wrong and I'll fix it."

She can't fix it. It's not her, it's me. I'm the one who's broken.

She pulls me into her arms and lets me weep.

My crying has subsided now.

I still experience the occasional body rack, but I'm much calmer. It feels so good to be held by her. I tighten my arms around her shoulders, and bury my face deeper into her neck.

She smells so sexy.

A combination of sleep, body products, and my tears. I move my face closer to inhale her scent, and my lips accidentally graze her neck. I feel her twitch slightly and I am aware of her nipples against me, reminding me that she is shirtless. I'm suddenly conscious of my arms around her bare shoulders, and how our skin sticks together where they meet.

She's stroking my hair and massaging a muscle on my lower back. It's my trouble spot, and it moves me that she knows this about me. I feel another tear slide down my cheek and land on her neck.

She feels so good to me.

I take a ragged breath and sigh near her ear. I feel safe.

She stops her movements...and then starts again.

I feel goose bumps ripple across her back and shoulders. Her nipples are hard through the fabric of my blouse.

I am overcome by a wave of longing. A whimper escapes my lips as I move my head down slightly and pull back a little.

I want to see her.

Cool air rushes between us and spills over her naked skin. Her excited nipples tighten and then harden some more.

I'm so taken by the sight, it transfixes me.

Her body is responding to my touch, to my breath.

She continues stroking my hair. She's aware that I'm looking down at her. She knows I can see her react to me. I bury my head back in her neck and crawl onto her lap.

She pulls me gently, firmly, across her legs and leans back against the wall. She shifts and moves me to sit between her thighs, pulling me closer to her. I sigh.

I wait a moment, and then tentatively reach up to touch her hair. I run my fingers through it, loving the silky texture of her curls. I shift my head so I can look at her. I see her profile, her eyes are half closed and her lips slightly parted.

She's beautiful.

I take a finger and trace her features. Her cheekbone...her jaw...her full lower lip...I run my finger along the length of it. It's so soft. I feel her breathe against it. She tightens her arms around me.

I move the tip of my finger in farther, to the moist part of her lip, wetting my finger with her saliva. I pause, waiting, and she responds with a small flick of her tongue against it. She opens her mouth, and I slip my finger inside. Her lips close and I feel her tongue sucking at it, gently, slowly. It feels so incredibly erotic. Every nerve-ending in my finger is connecting with my groin.

I feel an ache in my jeans.

I move my face back into her neck and kiss it, pulling my finger out of her mouth and drawing a wet path down her chin...under her jaw...down her neck...to her breast. I kiss her neck again. I lick the pulse under my lips and I suck, my finger continuing its tour of her breast, and I rub her nipple, pulling it with my thumb and forefinger.

The thought of what I'm doing excites me so much, that I cup the swell of her breast into my hand and squeeze it. She lets out a groan and lifts my chin to look at her. Her eyes are dark and smoky, like that unforgettable moment during training. She raises an eyebrow for permission. I smile and pull the back of her head towards me, seeing the cleft on her bottom lip as it comes closer to me.

And she kisses me.

Her lips are soft and firm, supple and full. Her mouth is on mine and I almost lose my mind. My lips part and I feel her tongue slide in, bold, assured, not an ounce of hesitation. A wave of emotions shoots through my body.

Oh my god.

Her tongue is searching for mine and I respond. Fully, no hesitation, meeting each of her thrusts with one of my own. I push against it, lick it, and run the tip across her teeth. She catches it gently and draws me into her mouth, sucking softly.

The pressure on my tongue from her warm mouth is making me so hard. My nipples hurt against the material of my bra. I pull back and look at her. My eyes move to her bottom lip, and I lean in and run my tongue across it, taking it between my teeth and slowly sucking on it. I pull back and her lip retracts, falling back with a little wet sound.

It makes me batty.

I bury my face in her neck, suddenly shy, and I whisper:

"I love your lips."

I feel her kiss the top of my head, the back of my head, and my shoulder...and then she showers my face with a myriad of tiny butterfly kisses.



"Come on, B. Get a move on, we gotta motor."

I glance at the sky and look back at the porch.

"Just a second, Faith. I'm talking to my mom."

Buffy looks like she's tryin' to make her escape. One foot on the bottom step and the other on the top, her backpack slung over one shoulder. She's partially turned around, talkin' to her mom, as Joyce stands in the doorway. They continue for a few seconds, and then I see Joyce look up over Buffy's head, directly at me.

I push my sunglasses up and flash her a smile.

Even from here, I can see a blush creep up over her face. Joyce still hasn't gotten over our little entanglement.

I have that affect on people.

What can I say?

B told her mom a few days ago that we had started dating.

It was kinda funny, cus Joyce just said:

"Started? I thought you were already dating."

It was really pretty cool.

But Buffy has arranged for Joyce and me to have another talk over dinner. Less heart-to-heart, more business.

This time Joyce is goin' to lay down the rules for dating her daughter. She had hinted, blushingly, as to how far we'd already gone; and Buffy just told her flat out that we hadn't gone past second base, but as soon as we did, she'd be the first to know. Joyce just blushed even harder and said, no, that wouldn't be necessary. There really wasn't much more for her to say, really, cuz she already had the birds and the bees speech with her years ago.

Besides, it's not like she could accidentally get pregnant by me. I may be a lot of things, but a sperm donor I'm not.

There was a brief moment when I could tell she was a little concerned for Buffy. The whole social "stigma" thing. Like it might have been better if I'd had some tackle danglin' between my legs or something.

So I decided to ask her to set another place at dinner next week. I plan on puttin' Richard, harness and all, smack dab in the middle of her wedding china.

That should make her happy, don't you think?

Plus, she still doesn't have to worry about unwanted pregnancy.

Nah. Only kiddin'.

No mother wants to see what her daughter is gettin' at night...

It might make her jealous.

Heh-heh. I crack myself up.

Buffy finally gets down the steps, and in a flash she's in the car next to me. Giles had rented a car for us. We wanted to do this in style, so we went to one of those exotic car rental places. I had my eye on a sweet Ferrari F60, but Buffy just kept pullin' at my hand. I guess she had her heart set on a Mercedes SL Roadster.

It's not a bad ride.

The gang seemed pretty okay with everything. Red and Oz were typical. Red sputtered out congratulations and blushed, and Oz gave a two-syllable approval.


Xander...well, the Xan-man is just beside himself.

Or more like on himself. I'm sure his mental images of us together keeps him very warm at night.

And Giles just "tut-tut"ed for a moment, and then he got pretty excited about it.

"Why of course, Buffy...Faith. It makes perfect sense, actually. The Slayer Connection is remarkably strong. It only follows that a sexually romantic affinity should develop. Umm...I hope you don't mind, but I must inform the Council at once. This may be extremely useful for the future generations to come. Ah...yes. Well done then, er...Buffy...Faith."

Everything was great.

I just had one more stop to make before we left. I looked up at the sky and said:

"Okay, B. One more, and we're on our way."

Buffy didn't think it was a good idea at first. She thought I'd be askin' for trouble. So I explained that it would actually be helping to avoid trouble. But I think the thing that made up her mind the most was the symbolism I kept tellin' her about.

We pull up to the entrance and wait for the gates to open. Buffy looks troubled, so I lean over and give her a quick kiss. She brightens up a bit, but then returns to lookin' doubtful.

"Trust me, B. This is a good thing."

I steer the car up the long drive. I pull in front of the cobblestone steps that lead up to the massive front doors. I put it in park and reach over to take Buffy's chin in my hand. I lean in close and look deep into her eyes. I bring my lips to hers and give her a soft kiss.

And then I tweak her nose.

She laughs and I wink at her.

I take three steps at a time, and when I reach the top, I ring the bell.

I almost shit, it was so loud. Hello, Big Ben. I look back toward the car as I wait for an answer.

Buffy's lookin' straight ahead. Her profile looks stern and unforgiving. I smile. She's just so cute when she's jealous.

My attention goes back to the door as it opens.

"Hey, Cordy," I say.

"Hello, Faith," she responds.

I had called Cordy ahead of time, tellin' her everything I had planned on doin'. She didn't laugh at me or give me grief, she just said:

"Fine, come on over."

"Uh, so. I guess you know why I'm here," I say.

"Well, seeing as you told me ahead of time, yes, that would be correct," she answers dryly.

I look up at the sky. I better hurry.

"Right. Okay, then. Let's get to it."

She lifts an eyebrow and waits.

"Uh, Cordy...I gotta tell ya. That night at the cemetery was...um...well...it was pretty fuckin' sexy. I couldn't stop thinkin' about you that night. And when I got home, I kinda let my mind wander and well..."

She smiles at me.

"...well, let's just say it was some of the best sex I've had by myself. But most importantly, I kept thinkin' about what you told me about B. About how she isn't like us and that if I wanted it, I had to make a move. But the more I got to thinkin' about it, the more I realized that's why I couldn't make a move. See, you and me are clearer about takin' what we want. But B's different. She had to come to her own understanding in her own time. It was the only way it would have worked for her. If I made a move and she freaked, it would have been all over. Before you said that to me, I was seriously thinkin' about just jumpin' her bones, ya know, to get it out and over with. Plus I was fairly certain she'd let me get away with it, too. But I knew emotionally she wasn't ready yet, and eventually she would have lost it and blamed me. I didn't want to risk it. My 'Get Some, Get Gone' policy doesn't apply where B's concerned."

I pause to look at her, and she's not smilin' any more. But she does have a slight thoughtful look to her.

"So, I dunno. I guess what I'm tryin' to say is thanks, and to let you know that as much as I wished we could have done more, I'm with Buffy now. I mean, if things were different-"

"-but they're not," she interrupts.

"Yeah," I say.

She takes a deep breath, and then looks me square in the eyes.

"Look, Faith. I'm not going to lie and say I'm not sorry. I am. I'm sorry that we'll never get to be together and have incredible mind-blowing sex. I know it would have been hot. I'm sorry that Buffy finally came to her senses before I made my move on you, because I know it would have been hot. And I'm sorry that you'll never get to feel my legs wrapped around you, because, well, you know."

"Yeah," I say, "It would have been hot."

"Yes, Faith. It would have been hot."

We both pause and look at each other. Then I look back at the sky.

She continues.

"But I respect you. And I care about you. You're my friend, Faith. More than Buffy ever was."

She steps closer to me and looks over my shoulder at Buffy.

"You really aren't such a tough guy, you know. I think what you're doing is incredibly romantic."

She leans towards me and gives me a soft kiss on the lips and whispers:

"So, go already. Your 'girlfriend' is waiting for you."

She gives me a little shove and then walks back into the house, closing the door.


I turn around and Buffy is staring at me. Then she turns her head away and looks straight ahead of her.

Oh shit.

I leap down the steps and hop into the car.

"Ya ready, B? Ready to motor?"

She ignores me.

I reach over and tweak a nipple.

She whirls her head around.

"Faith!" she exclaims.

I look at her with mock horror and then give a goofy grin.

Finally, she relents and gives me a smile.

"All done? Tie up those 'loose ends'?" she questions.

"Yep. All done, B."

"Good." And she turns to look straight ahead of her.

Man, she's just so cute when she's jealous.

I pull the car out of the drive and Buffy puts in a CD.

WHAT?? I look at her with real horror.

"The Carpenters, B? Are you kidding me?"

"What?" she says defensively, "You're the one all big on symbolism. We said goodbye to all our friends, you 'tied up loose ends', and you rented this car to-"

"No, B." I interrupt, "You picked this car. I wanted the Ferrari or the convertible Mustang. That would have been symbolic."

"Whatever. My point is I get to pick out the tuneage. Listen carefully, you just might learn something." She turns up the music and sits back with a huff.

Aww. She's so fuckin' adorable. Look at that.

I reach over and pull her next to me. I put my arm around her, and she puts her head on my shoulder.

I look up at the sky, and I estimate we've got about an hour of sun left. Besides, the almanac said it wouldn't set until 6:23 p.m.

See, after Buffy and I decided to start dating, I already planned on us havin' a happy ending. I wanted Buffy to know that I was sorry for anything that upset her before, and that we could have a new start.

I told her I wanted us to ride off into the sunset.

"Faith? I told the gang we'd meet them at the Bronze later. Is that okay?"

Oh, and yeah.

It was only until the sun actually set.

Then we're turnin' around and comin' right back.

What can I say?

I have a thing for the drama.

"You bet, baby," I tell her.

I got the wind in my hair, and my girl on my arm. I crank up the volume and I laugh...

Oh, B.

"We've only just begun..."


Life is fuckin' good.


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