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Rating: NC-17

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Chapter 1 - My Inner Battle

Buffy Summers walks up the stairs and through the large doors of Sunnydale High.  There are teenagers walking all over the place, talking with their friends, getting their books out of their lockers, and waiting for the bell to sound announcing that school has begun.  But there is still a good ten or fifteen minutes until then.

Buffy heads for her locker not seeing Willow or Xander anywhere.  They’re the only friends she’s made since coming here three weeks ago.  Thanks to Willow she’s caught up in all of her classes and the redhead is still slightly expecting the blonde to ditch her and Xander to hang out with Cordelia and her gang.  It isn’t often that potentially popular people hang out with the nerds for long.

Buffy opens her locker and pulls out her math book.  Math.  What a stupid subject.  You learn all of these formulas and for what?  To never use them in real life and cause stress and anxiety taking a year or two off of your life.  Well that’s a really dumb concept.  And if it weren’t for her redheaded friend she would be seriously behind.  She sighs and looks around again as she closes her locker door.

She looks around at some of the other students, scanning the hallway lazily for any sign of her friends.  She sees Cordelia and her goons, some jocks, a couple of nerds, some girl studying for an English test and some of the ‘bad boys’.  Yep, every school has ‘em, the kids that wear the leather jackets and ripped jeans and think they’re better then everyone else.  The ones with the reputations for being troublemakers.

Her gaze locks with one of them and she freezes.  Staring back at her is the only girl in that group, the leader, the one with the worst reputation of them all.  Faith Lehane.  In her very short time at this school Buffy has heard so many rumors about this girl she’s lost count.  If she can believe the rumors that are whispered in the halls about this leather clad bad girl then she’s a person to avoid.

One rumor is that when she got into a fight with Percy West she slammed his head into a locker so hard he was in a coma for two weeks and can’t remember seven letters out of the alphabet.  Another one is that she makes all her money by selling cocaine every other week when she goes to L.A.  Another rumor is that she served two years in juvenile hall for beating the shit out of a cop when he tried to frisk her.  But these are just rumors, they could very well be tall tales of the imaginations of the kids at this school.  But one thing is for sure, Faith isn’t the monogamous type.  Nope, she’s the fuck ‘n run kinda girl.  Or as she calls it ‘get some and get gone’.

Buffy’s breath hitches in her throat when she sees Faith turn to one of her friends and tell him something before leaving the group.  The blonde isn’t sure what to do.  Faith’s never come up to her before.  Sure they’ve seen each other in class and passed each other in the hallways but they’ve never talked, never even waved to each other.  So why is Faith walking towards her?  Buffy has no idea, and she also has no idea why she was getting so damn nervous.

She clutches her book to her chest, using it like a shield, but she isn’t sure why.  If she can believe some of the other rumors going around the school then Faith isn’t the kind of person to hit a girl, or be mean to a girl for no reason.  She’s definitely known as the ladies’ girl.  Rumor has it the reason she beat Percy up is because he was getting a little...rough with a girl and Faith saw it and did something about it.  It would have been considered heroic if she hadn’t hospitalized the basketball team’s only hope at winning the state championship.

“Hey, you’re Buffy, right?” she asks and leans her shoulder up against the locker in front of Buffy and folds her arms across her chest.  The blonde stands there for a few seconds not sure what to do.  There are just so many things she doesn’t know about Faith, and if any of the rumors are true then Faith should be considered bad news and Buffy should just stay away.

“Yeah, I am. Weird name I know, but we can’t help what our parents name us, can we?” she babbles nervously.  Faith smiles a small amused smile at her.  “And I usually don’t talk that fast or that much in five seconds.”  She closes her mouth and watches as Faith’s smile gets a little bigger.  ‘At least my stupidity is amusing her,’ she thinks and shifts her weight from one foot to the other.

“I guess we can’t.  I’m Faith, by the way.”  They’re quiet for a few seconds.  Faith stands up straight and uncrosses her arms.  “You got any plans for Friday?”  Buffy freezes.  ‘Is she asking me out?’ she asks herself.  ‘Am I freaked because she’s a girl or am I freaked because of her reputation?’  She doesn’t know.  She’s never dated another girl before, never even toyed with the possibility, but she doesn’t find herself wigged by either of those things.  It was nervousness, but for a completely different reason.  She shakes her head no and Faith smiles.

“Well since you’re free, I was kinda wondering if you wanted to go to the fair with me.  I know this is way last minute, but opening night is Friday, there’ll be horrible food and smelly carnies, but I heard it can be fun when with the right company.”  And she flashes those dashing dimples.  And Buffy is finding herself smiling back.

“Well....I’m not too sure.”  She watches as Faith’s smile falls for a couple of seconds, but she puts it back up and leans up against the locker again.  “I mean, a fair: crowded, smelly, noisy...the only reason a girl would want to go is if her date would try to win her something, say a giant teddy bear for example.”  She smiles one of her trademark flirtatious smiles and Faith stands up straight again.

“And I have to ask my mom of course, but if she says yes then all I’d have to do is find someone who’d be willing to try and win me a big bear, or some other type of stuffed animal.”  She smiles again and watches as Faith seems to be thinking about it.  She very casually leans a little closer to Buffy, the blonde hardly notices until Faith starts talking and she is able to feel the other girl’s breath gently brush against her face.

“How ‘bout you ask your mom, and we meet tomorrow same time, same place and if the answer is yes then I’ll try to scrounge up someone who’ll be willing to spend an obscene amount of money to win you a stuffed bear, how’s that sound?”  Buffy nods her head yes and gives another little smile.  She watches Faith smile wide, showing off those dimples again and the taller girl takes a step back.  “Alright, see ya tomorrow, B.”  And she starts to walk away, leaving Buffy in a daze.

“Yeah, tomorrow,” she says absently to Faith’s back as the other girl walks back to her group of friends.  The bell rings and all of the students start to scurry off to their classes.  Buffy decides to sit in the back row of her math class that day.  Normally she tries to sit somewhere in the middle of the room so she can see the board but not be in the front where the teacher will be more likely to call on her to answer a question.

But today she feels like being in the back so she can think.  She could always have Willow help her with this later.  But she isn’t sure if she wants to involve her friends in this or not.  ‘No, they’ll ask too many question.  I’ll just keep this to myself for a while,’ she decides and continues to doodle in her notebook.

That night, Buffy paces in her bedroom, back and forth at the foot of her bed.  She still isn’t sure what do to.  She can do either one of two things: ask her mom if she can go to the fair with Faith, or she can go to school tomorrow and tell Faith she asked her mom and her mom said no.  She isn’t sure if she wants to go out with Faith or not.  She doesn’t care what other people think of her so the whole Faith-being-a-girl thing doesn’t bother her.

And homosexuality isn’t really considered a bad thing at Sunnydale High.  As long as you’re comfortable with yourself people tend to leave you alone.  Well, except for Cordelia and her goons, but they pick on everybody in the lower social ranks.  As long as Larry is still out and proud Cordelia will back off on the rest of the out and prouds and pick on them simply for the way they dress or the way they do their hair.

But back to the point, does Buffy want to go out on a date with Faith?  It’s so clear that it would be a date, complete with a goodnight kiss at the end and a potential second date.  And a second date with lead to a third and third dates usually lead to making out.  Is she ready for all of that?  Is she ready to be in a relationship?

‘Ok, Buffy, calm down.  One date doesn’t mean commitment.  And besides, Faith’s reputation doesn’t scream ‘I wanna settle down’, so I don’t have much to worry about.  I can do this.  I can go out on a date with her.  Have her dote over me for a night, get a stuffed animal, a goodnight kiss and that’s it.  Just one night of fun.  I can do that.  Besides we might not even get along.’

With her mind made up she walks downstairs where her mother is sitting at the breakfast bar looking over an artifact for the gallery.  Her mom is very optimistic about settling down in Sunnydale.  The divorce from Buffy’s father was a rough one, so rough she had to leave L.A. to get away from all the memories.  But they’re slowly on their way to getting better.  Buffy sighs and walks into the room thinking, ‘I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.’  She sits down across from her mother and clears her throat.  She waits for her mom to look up and then she starts her little speech.

“Ok, mom, as you know we’ve been in Sunnydale for three weeks now.”  Her mother nods her head yes.  “And as you also know I’ve made exactly two friends since moving here.  Well, today I think I made another, and she wants to know if I can go to the fair with her this Friday.  And since we’re trying to start out fresh here, which involves me not getting into trouble, I thought I’d make sure it’s ok with you first before I give her an answer.”  ‘There, that was pretty good’, she thinks and entwines her fingers together.

“Oh, is Willow and Xander going too?” her mom asks as if it’s no big deal.  Buffy can’t really believe it but she has to answer this question very carefully.  Her mom could either be interested whether or not they are going or she could do what parents to be and say something like ‘well you can’t go without them, I don’t want you alone with a stranger’.

“No,” Buffy says and tries to gauge her mother’s reaction.  “Well, I don’t know.  They’re not going with us but they might be there.”  Her mother puts down the artifact and nods her head a couple of times.

“Oh, ok.  Well, it’s ok with me as long as I meet her before you leave.  I don’t want you driving around with a stranger.”  She gets up out of her seat and grabs her purse off the counter and turns back to Buffy.  “Here,” she says and hands her some money.  ‘Thirty bucks, what a rip,’ she thinks and looks into her mom’s eyes.  “This should be enough for admission and something to eat.  And Buffy don’t waste all of it trying to win a stuffed animal.  They’re always dirty and usually fall apart.”  Buffy blushes a little because every fair she’s gone to since childhood she’s tried to win some type of toy and always fails.

“Alright, I won’t,” she says and holds back the smile that wants to creep out.  ‘I have someone to try and win it for me’, she thinks and takes the money from her mom.  “Thanks mom, you’re the best.”  She leans over the breakfast bar and gives her mom a kiss on the cheek.

“I know, dear.  Now, go to bed, it’s getting late.”  They say their goodnights and Buffy runs upstairs.  She still can’t really believe what just happened.  That her mother said yes so quickly and that she’s actually going out on a date.  Three weeks in a new town and someone’s already asked her out.  She does feel pretty good about herself.  ‘But just remember who this someone is.  Someone with a reputation for getting into girls’ pants and then running off.  But that’s not going to happen to me.  Nope.  I’ll go out with her a few times, if the first date ends ok, and then I’ll break it off’, she thinks as she changes into her pajamas.

Chapter 2 -  My Moment Of Doubt

The next morning greets Buffy with birds chirping and blue skies showcasing a bright sun.  She slowly flutters her eyes open and looks out the window, a big smile spreading across her face.  She quickly jumps out of bed and rushes to her closet.  Today she’s going to tell Faith the good news and she is slightly nervous.

She hasn’t done much dating in her time, and certainly not with another girl.  The latter part doesn’t matter to her, but she is a little confused about some things.  ‘How am I supposed to act?  Do I wait for her to open the car door for me or just go ahead and do it?’  Those types of thoughts are dragging her down a little this morning.  But she refuses to let them get in the way of being in a good mood.

She decides to doll up a little bit for Faith.  ‘I hope she’ll notice,’ she thinks and slips on the purple, lavender-ish dress.  Having showered last night she decides to go ahead and get ready since she woke up a little later then she would have liked.  She does her hair, putting it up in a nice bun, and uses a beret with a pink flower to keep her bangs back.  Then she does her make-up which is taking longer then she wants.

‘I need to leave in five minutes, dammit!’  Her curiosity is struck when she hears the doorbell ring.  Her mother yells out that she’ll get the door but Buffy still wants to know who it is.  ‘But the make-up is more important,’ she decides and puts on her eye shadow.

“Buffy!” she hears her mother yell from downstairs.  “Honey, someone’s at the door for you!”  ‘It’s probably Willow.  She said something about walking to school together.  But I thought we were going to meet on the corner?’ she thinks and puts on the finishing touches.  She slips on her shoes and grabs her bag and runs downstairs.  She almost falls when she stops cold near the bottom when she sees who exactly is at the door.

“‘Morning B, you look nice today,” Faith says and eyes her up and down.  She’s standing in the doorway, leaning against the door jam with a small smirk on her face because of the blonde’s shocked expression.  There’s an awkward pause as Buffy stares at her, but then the blonde seems to realize she was complimented and snaps out of her little mystification.

“Thanks, you look good too,” she says and glances down at the younger girl’s body.  She’s wearing her usual clothes: dark skintight jeans, dark t-shirt under a dark jean jacket.  It’s practically her uniform.  Then Buffy realizes something she should have thought of a few minutes ago.  Her eyebrows knit together a little bit and she stands up a little straighter.  “Not to be rude, but what are you doing here?  And how do you know I live here?”  She watches Faith’s smile drop just a tiny little bit.  ‘I hope I didn’t say that too harshly, I think I did.  Way to make her feel good Buffy, God you’re dumb’.

“I know I said we’d meet at school but I thought I’d pick you up.  And you’re the biggest news in this town since the new water cooler was put in at the bank, everyone at school knows where you live.”  There’s silence between them for a few seconds and Faith seems to be getting nervous which is strange for her.  “Look, if you don’t wanna ride I’ll just go.”  Buffy practically jumps down the last three steps and smiles really wide.

“I would really like a ride.  I’m just being blonde today I guess.”  She smiles a sweet smile and it seems to put Faith at ease.  She finally notices her mother standing in the doorway to the dining room and she smiles at her.  “Faith, this is my mom.  Mom, this is Faith.  She’s the one taking me to the carnival this Friday.  If you still want to go,” she quickly adds and looks at the taller girl.  Faith’s smile brightens and she nods her head.

“Definitely still wanna go,” she says and then looks over at Buffy’s mom.  “It’s nice to meet you Mrs. Summers.”  She offers her hand for the woman to take and Joyce smiles and shakes Faith’s hand.

“It’s nice to meet you too.  Now this car, is it safe?  I don’t mean to sound untrusting but I just need to make sure that my baby is going to be safe.”  Buffy’s cheeks flush crimson with embarrassment at that.  Faith doesn’t even try to fight her smile when she sees it.  Then she focuses her attention back to Joyce and gets very serious.  She’s dealt with these types of parents before, the ones that are fiercely protective of their daughters.  She sees it a lot with divorced parents who win the custody battle.  All they have left is their children and they’ll kill to keep them safe and sound.

“You don’t have a thing to worry about Mrs. Summers.  It’s not much of a looker, but she runs pretty good.  I got her a couple weeks ago from my uncle and he’s had her for years.”  ‘Understatement of the year,’ Buffy thinks as she looks outside at the bucket of bolts parked in front of her house.  Rust stains, peeled paint, duck tape holding the tailgate up, worn tires and a crappy muffler, this truck has it all.  “The only thing that doesn’t work is the air conditioning.”  So with Joyce firmly reassured that everything will be fine the two girls say their goodbyes and head out.  Faith opens the door for Buffy, and the blonde smiles.

“Thank you, but you didn’t have to do it.”  She’s nervous and also feeling a little flirtatious   She was so damn shocked to see Faith at the front door that she never go to fully appreciate the fact that Faith was checking her out.  If her brain hadn’t been in a haze she would have made a couple of double entendres, maybe even call attention to the look on Faith’s face when she was eyeing the blonde up and down.

“My pleasure, B,” Faith says and shuts the door when Buffy is seated comfortably.  Her plan is working better then she hoped.  She’s been around girls enough to know what they like.  And surprising them with a free ride to school is always a nice surprise.  She does feel a little bad for lying to Mrs. Summers since she seems so nice.  She didn’t get the truck from her uncle, she stole it the last time she went to L.A.  It was dumped on purpose, she knows that.  She spent an good half hour disposing of the drugs she found under the passenger seat.  She hops into the diver seat and starts up the engine.  Buffy’s eyes widen in surprise.

“Jeez, doesn’t this thing have a muffler?” she asks and tries not to act too snobby about the noise.  But Faith just smiles and tells her it’s about ready to fall off.  “Well, at least it gets you from point A to point B.”  Faith agrees and puts the truck into drive and slowly eases out onto the road.  “So, did you have a particular time you wanted to pick me up on Friday?  ‘Cause any time will work for me.  Well, I have to be home by eleven so no later then that.”  Faith smiles and stops at the stop sign and glances over at the blonde.

“Gates open at five, how ‘bout I pick you up at six?  We can grab some dinner on the way there.”  Buffy watches as Faith steers the truck to the right.  She doesn’t know why but she really wants to feel Faith’s hands.  They look so soft and she wants to find out just what they’ll feel like against her skin.  ‘Woe there Buffy.  No fantasizing of any kind until after the second date,’ she chastises herself.

“That sounds great.  So, what’s your hardest class this year?  I have trig, it’s pretty hard.  If it weren’t for Willow I’d still be weeks behind.”  ‘Stop babbling you idiot!’  “Have you met Willow?  If you haven’t you should.  She’s really nice.  A little shy and she talks down about herself a lot, but she’s super nice.”  She chances a glance at Faith and looks away when she sees the other girl trying not to smile.

“I’ve seen her around.  Everyone knows who she is ‘cause she’s the big brain.”  Buffy can’t help but notice the tense tone of Faith’s voice.  “Helped me with some chemistry home work last semester, that’s the hardest class I’ve had this year.”  This is said much more relaxed.  Buffy nods her head and doesn’t say a word.

‘We’re almost there so if you could just keep your trap shut maybe you won’t embarrass yourself again.  Oh look, there’s the school.’  Faith pulls into the parking lot and parks in ‘her spot’.  It’s not official or anything but everyone knows not to park there if they still want a working car at the end of the day.

“Well B, this was nice, we’ll have to do it again,” Faith says and shuts off the truck.  Then she eyes Buffy up and down and a small smile appears on her face.  “You look wicked in that dress but word of caution wear some jeans or somethin on Friday.  Just trust me, ok?”  Buffy isn’t sure what to say so she just nods her head.  Then Faith opens the driver door and hops out and Buffy follows suite.  “See ya later.”  She walks off to join her friends.

“Yeah, see ya,” Buffy yells after her.  ‘Well that was weird.  Why doesn’t she want me to wear a dress or skirt?  I was going to wear a skirt but whatever.  I can wear jeans and still look feminine.  I don’t have to be all Butch Cassidy like her.  Ok, that was mean.  I don’t want to be mean because she’s been so nice.  Whatever Buffy, get a hold of yourself.  She’s only doing all of this to get in your pants,’ she argued with herself.  ‘Sure sign of insanity.’

Her first two classes went by rather quickly, mostly because she wasn’t paying attention and at lunch she found herself in the library with Willow and Xander.  She mostly listened as they went on and on about their plans for the weekend, Friday being the day after tomorrow.  She doesn’t really know what to think about her date.  Sure Faith seems sweet and nice and everything she usually looks for in a prospective date, but it could all be an act.  Faith could be with her friends right now laughing at how girly Buffy is being and bragging about how easy it’s going to be to ‘hit that’.

“Guys, I need some advice,” she blurts out, interrupting Xander’s rant about some comic book.  Neither girl had been listening to that one.  They both look over at her with anticipation and Buffy takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. “I have this friend.”  Willow and Xander look at each other with a ‘friend meaning her’ type of look.

“Ok, so no friend, it’s me but for now I’ll refer to myself as a friend.  So, I have this friend and she got asked out by someone and they seem really nice and sweet, and this morning they showed up at her door and gave her a ride to school, and they even took the time to reassure her mother that the car is safe.  But the person who asked her out has a bad reputation according to everyone at the school they go to.  And my friend doesn’t know what to think.”  Willow looks a little excited while Xander looks...disappointed.

“A date?  You have a date for this weekend?  So that’s why you don’t want to go to the Bronze.  That’s great Buffy, three weeks here and someone’s already sweeping you off your feet,” the redhead babbles and then calms down when she realizes how over the top she’s being.  She looks around a little embarrassed and then looks back at Buffy.  “So, who’s the lucky guy?”  This is the part that Buffy wanted to avoid, that’s why she went for the ‘I have a friend’ story.

“No guy,” she says and Willow looks confused and Xander looks...hopeful.  “It’s Faith.  Faith asked me out yesterday.  And I said yes.”  She could tell they are both going to freak out by the way their jaws are hanging open and breathing seems to be an issue.  “But she’s been so sweet.  And the things that people say about her, they could just be rumors.  I mean, she hangs out with the ‘tough crowd’ and all of them are probably misunderstood.”  She was met with silence that she was afraid to break.

“Yeah but Buffy,” Willow is the one who breaks it.  She has a concerned look on her face and Buffy is a little uncomfortable with this conversation already.  “She has this reputation for a reason.  Sure she doesn’t usually ask people out on dates, she’s more of a one-night-stand person.  She picks girls up in the Bronze and takes them home but she doesn’t date.  And I don’t want to sound mean or anything but she’s probably trying to date you because of a bet or something.  Her friends do that sometimes.”  ‘A bet, I’m a bet?  No, it can’t be.  Faith wouldn’t do that to any other girl.  It’s just wrong.  Only guys are that perverted.’  But she wasn’t sure and doubt was starting to cloud her mind.

“I have to go,” she says and hops off the table she was sitting on.  “I’m fine, don’t worry.  I just need to clear my head.”  She grabs her bag and jacket and rushes out of the room.  She needs to find Faith.  She might look insane but she wants an honest answer and she’s going to get one.  She found Faith sitting outside in the quad laughing and joking around with her friends.  She seemed at peace and Buffy almost turned around and walked away because Faith looks so happy.  ‘But I can’t let that get in my way.  I will not be made a fool of.’  So she marches up to the group and they all stop what they’re doing and look over at her and she’s never felt more out of place in her life.

“Can I talk to you for a minute?” she asks looking into Faith’s eyes.  The brunette can tell that something is wrong.  Anyone with a brain and see that.  Faith hops down off the rail she was sitting on and walks off with Buffy.  They walk to a deserted part of the outdoor area where their conversation will go unheard, but not unseen.  “Why did you ask me out?”  Anger is in her voice even though she’s trying to fight against it.

“‘Cause I wanted to,” Faith says and gets a little defiant.  But she quickly realizes she’s not going to calm the blonde down with that type of tone when she sees that Buffy is just getting more and more upset.

“So it wasn’t because you and your friends made a bet?  What you have a week to get into my pants or something or you’re out twenty bucks?  Is that it?”  ‘Maybe that was a little too harsh.  I mean, I don’t know for sure it was because of a bet, I’m just going off of what Willow said.’

“No it’s not because of a bet.  I don’t do shit like that.  I asked you out ‘cause I think you’re hot.  Honestly didn’t think I stood a chance and I’m sorta lookin forward to taking you out on Friday.  And believe me that is a big deal ‘cause I don’t date.  Who told you it was a bet?”  ‘She thinks I’m hot?’  Buffy can’t help but blush a little but she fights against it.  “B, who told you me askin you out was a bet?”  ‘I can’t tell her the truth, what if she beats Willow up?’  So instead of saying something she casts a guilty glance towards Cordelia and her goons and lets Faith come to her own conclusions.

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t believe stuff like that, but I don’t know you and you don’t have the best reputation.”  Faith glares at the Queen C and then looks over at Buffy with a somewhat surprised look on her face.  “I know I seemed like a bitch just now and I’m sorry but...I just don’t want to be made a fool of.”  Faith wants to reach out and caress Buffy’s face but she knows it’ll be too much, they haven’t even gone out on their date yet.

“Don’t worry about it.  You won’t look like a fool.  And don’t listen to the shit these people have to say, it’s all lies.  I gotta go, so I’ll see you later ok?”  Buffy nods her head yes and says goodbye and Faith leaves.  She watches as Faith walks up the stairs and out of sight.  She doesn’t have a good feeling about what the brunette is going to do.  The look in Faith’s eyes was intense and angry and Buffy hopes to never see it again or be the cause of it.  ‘She’s just pissed because she thought someone was spreading rumors.  Besides most of what I heard came from Cordelia so she has this coming.’

Chapter 3 - My First Date With Faith

The following day didn’t prove to be any better or worst then the previous.  Buffy was a little giddier about her date since it was only one day away.  Her friends are still trying to talk her out of it but she’s choosing to ignore them.  She is being cautious, she isn’t stupid or naive by any means.  If people are spreading rumors that Faith gets around there’s a reason for it.  In every rumor there is an ounce of truth.

‘But what’s true about this one?’ she asks herself as she changes for gym.  ‘She might be a woman of the world or whatever the polite term for it is, but is it completely true?  Does she have one-night stands and never date.  Well she told me herself she doesn’t date.  But does she pick up girls and just use them?  It’s way too soon to ask her.  I mean, awkward moment party of one.  No, I think I’ll wait.  I’m still a virgin and it’s not like I’m going to be giving that up anytime soon.  I’m not going to just give that up after a couple of good dates, no matter how good they are.’

Buffy spins around when she hears the high-pitched scream from across the locker room.  She has to bite her lips to keep from laughing at loud when she sees Cordelia standing in front of her locker and falling out of it are very realistic looking rats and spiders.  They’re fake, however, made out of plastic and fibers.  At least everyone in the room is hoping they’re fake.  Buffy allows herself one small satisfied smile because she has a very good idea who is responsible for that.

‘So she didn’t resort to violence, that’s a good thing.  I thought Cordelia was a dead girl walking.  And I would’ve been partly responsible for it.  I mean, I know I didn’t tell Faith that it was Cordelia who said it might be a bet but I implied it.  I manipulated the situation so she would think that.  Ok, enough of this moral stuff, it’s starting to get depressing.’

With the fiasco calming down, the girls head into class almost all of them talking about who would be depraved and stupid enough to pull a prank on the Queen of Sunnydale High.  ‘My potential honey-bunny, that’s who,’ Buffy thinks to herself and smiles.  ‘Is it strange that I’m proud of what she might have done?  No, I don’t think so.  And truth is in the eyes of the beholder or whatever, so I’m right.’  She stands in the line along the wall while the teacher does the roll call. 

‘Why haven’t I seen her today?  She didn’t pick me up and her car wasn’t in the parking lot.  Not that I’m trying to track her down and we never made plans for the picking me up to become a regular thing, but it’s just weird.  Her attendance is almost as good as Willow’s, except when she goes to L.A.  And what does she do while she’s in L.A.?  She can’t be a drug dealer, at least I hope she’s not a drug dealer.  I don’t think it would be a good idea to get involved with someone like that.  So I’ll just proceed with caution.  I’ll be ready to bail the second things look shady.’

“Let’s see, she told me not to wear a dress or a skirt, so what do you think about this?” Buffy asks and holds up the light blue hip hugger jeans and the pink shirt.  “Now I know it might get a little cold tonight so I’m going to wear this over the shirt.”  She holds up the gray sweater.  “I know it’s thin and I might get a little cold but I’ll deal because I don’t anything else that goes with this.”  She looks at Willow and she can tell the redhead is a little uncomfortable.

“I think it’s the best choice so far.  Everything else seemed a little too...revealy.  I mean, have you seen some of the things girls our age are wearing nowadays?  Whatever happened to leaving some to the imagination?”  Buffy looks over at the pile of clothes lying on her bedroom floor.  Half of the tops she’s worn to school, one of the jeans, and two of the shorts.  ‘My clothes aren’t that bad.  Sure, some of the shirts are cut a little low but it’s not slutty or anything.’

“Will, what’s really bugging you?” she asks and sits down on the bed next to the redhead.  “Whatever it is you can tell me.  I know you have a problem with my date with Faith and it’s ok to talk about it, I’m not going to get mad, I just want to understand.”  ‘Bingo, she’s so guilty now,’ she thinks and puts the clothes down on the bed.

“You don’t know her Buffy.  You don’t know her reputation.  You haven’t seen the damage she’s done.  When she sees a girl she likes it’s like she gets tunnel vision and all she can see and think about is that girl and getting into her pants.  But after that it’s like they don’t exist.”  The watery tone of Willow’s voice caught Buffy’s attention.  “You just don’t understand what it’s like.”  She definitely can’t ignore the tears that are building up in Willow’s eyes, especially now that they’re leaking out and landing on her comforter.

“Willow,” she tone is soft and low.  “Faith did that to you?”  ‘Please say no, please say no, please say no.  I can’t date someone like that.  Please say no.’  And much to Buffy’s relief Willow shakes her head no and wipes away her tears.

“No, not Faith.  But someone like her.  Same breed of person.”  Her expression darkens for a second but then she looks up at Buffy with a little bit of determination.  It’s starting to freak Buffy out.  “I’m trying to be happy for you, I am.  You’re new here and it’s great that someone asked you out, just promise me you’ll be careful?  People like Faith will do or say almost anything to make you trust them.”

“Don’t worry Willow, I promise.”  The two share a hug and when they pull back Buffy glances over at the clock.  “She’ll be here in twenty minutes, do you want to stick around or do you want my mom to give you a ride home?”  She would rather have Willow leave now because she doesn’t want to feel guilty about leaving her when Faith shows up.  And to her relief Willow stands up and picks her back up off the floor.

“No, it’s fine.  I can walk.  I only live a few blocks from here and I need to stop by Xander’s to help him with his math homework anyway.  Have fun on your date, and call me as soon as you get home ok?  I want to know everything, and I have my own phone line so don’t worry about waking my parents up.”  They say their goodbyes and Willow leaves.  Buffy took her shower when she got home and blew dry her hair so the only things to do are get dressed and put on her make-up.  ‘I got the outfit and I’m going to wear pretty much no make-up.  Little eye shadow, some cover up and some gloss and I’m done.’

“Buffy!” she hears her mother yell from downstairs.  ‘Damn, time sure flew.  I still need to tie my shoes.’  “Faith’s here!”  ‘But I didn’t hear the bell, maybe she knocked.’  Once Buffy finishes tying her shoes she runs down stairs and sees Faith standing in the foyer holding a single red rose.  Buffy’s breath hitches in her chest when she gets a better look at the brunette girl.  ‘Faith really dolled up for this date,’ she thinks and walks down the last five stairs.  ‘Her hair is straight and she’s wearing more then just black make-up.  She must really wanna impress me.  At least I hope so.’

“You look great, B,” Faith says and smiles, flashing her dimples and making the blonde blush.  She smiles to herself, and makes yet another mental note about how cute the blonde is when she blushes.

“You look really nice,” Buffy says and smiles a little flirtatious smile.  Joyce stands back in the living room waiting to be acknowledged as well as watching the exchange of words and body language between the two girls.  She can’t help but feel like this little outing is more then just Buffy wanting to make a new friend.  “So, Mom, I’ll be back by eleven,” Buffy says with a smile and gives her mother a little kiss on the cheek before leaving.

The sun is low causing the sky to be a beautiful assortment of oranges, pinks and a couple of purples.  Venders call out to the people of Sunnydale daring them to play their games to win a prize.  Children are running around hopped up on sugar from the cotton candy and other sugary treats the noisy and crowded fair has to offer.  Couples walk hand in hand as the first stars start to appear in the sky.  All in all the carnival is a huge success.  Everyone is enjoying themselves for the most part, especially a certain blonde.

“So, what ride do you want to go on first?” Buffy asks and takes a look around.  So far they’ve gotten something to drink, and walked around a little bit to get the lay of the land but haven’t played any games or gone on any rides.  Then Buffy spots something out of the corner of her eye.  “Oh, lets go on the Ferris Wheel.”  Her voice is full of enthusiasm and childish glee.

“I was thinkin we’d hit the roller coaster first.  Let’s wait for the Ferris Wheel ok?” Faith says and has to resist the urge to caress Buffy’s cheek when the blonde frowns.  “Trust me on this, B.  The Ferris Wheel is an after the sun goes down type of ride.  So let’s wait, ok?”  Buffy lets out a very disgruntled ‘ok’ and they make their way to the roller coaster.  After a stomach turning, nauseating ride they walk around for a little while and Faith has an inner battle while Buffy babbles on and on about what it was like in Hemery.

‘I shouldn’t hold her hand that’s too fuckin girly, you got a Goddamn rep to hold up here.  Yeah, but chicks like that kinda shit, right?  I mean just look around at all these girly-girls holdin onto their guy’s hand.  But this is just the first date so she might freak.  You need to do somethin her voice is gettin so annoying I might kill somethin if she doesn’t stop talking soon.’

“Hey, didn’t you say somethin about a giant teddy bear?” Faith asks and Buffy stops talking and looks at her with a very happy look on her face.  “That’s what I thought.”  ‘Ok, now is the perfect time.  There’s a crowd that we could get separated in so if she freaks out or asks what you’re doin you have a good excuse.  And stop talkin to yourself in third person, it’s a sign of insanity,’ Faith thinks and casually reaches over and takes Buffy by the hand.  And the blonde doesn’t freak out or ask what Faith is doing.  Instead she lightly grips back and allows herself to be lead through the mass of people.  On the outside she seems fine, relaxed and having a great time but the inside is a different story.

‘Oh my God, she’s holding my hand.  And they are really soft!  I knew they would be.  I’m going to have so many dirty dreams about these hands.  No!  Bad, Buffy, no fantasizing about her.  Didn’t we already go over this while she drove you to school the other day?  You’re just now calming down from that roller coaster ride, no need getting yourself all worked up again.  So stop it.’

“Step right up, that’s right, step right over here, knock down the bottles and win a prize!” the carny shouts out into the large crowd.  It’s your typical set up for a carnival booth: stuffed animals behind the booth in sight but out of reach, a stack to bottles sitting on a table ten feet back from the front of the booth, a wire basket containing four baseballs on the counter area of the booth.  The man himself is dressed in nice clothes considering he’s been on the road for the last two months.  A red t-shirt and dark blues jeans, a little faded but still nice.

“Oh Faith, the pink bear, look at it, isn’t it the cutest thing?” Buffy asks in a very girly babyish voice.  Faith looks over at the pink teddy bear that’s hanging in the booth.  It’s the biggest toy there, very large, very pink but with a white spot on the stomach, and in the middle of the white spot is two interlocking hearts.  “Ahh, Faith, it’s a Care Bear.  I want that one.”  ‘Of course you do,’ Faith thinks and tries not to shake her head.  ‘The girliest one of the bunch.  But whatever, as long as she goes home happy.’

“B, it’s almost as big as you are,” Faith says and they stop about five feet away from the booth.  And Buffy looks at her with the biggest pout Faith has ever seen.  ‘Chicks,’ she thinks as she rolls her eyes.  ‘They think if they stick out a lip and water up their eyes they’ll get whatever the fuck they want.’

“I know Faith, that’s why I want it.  It’s big enough to cuddle with when I go to sleep.”  Faith raises an eyebrow and Buffy blushes.  “And I can’t believe I just admitted that to you.”  Instead of teasing her or smiling wider, Faith gently caresses the back of Buffy’s hand with her thumb and the blonde’s blush disappears.

“I did promise to try and win you a giant stuffed bear and that definitely qualifies,” she says and eyes the rest of the toys.  All are small and meek compared to the giant Loves-A-Lot bear.  ‘I bet I could get one of those at a toy store for way less then what I’m gonna pay to win it.  And if I get it from a store I could spray my perfume on it and she’ll think of me when she cuddles up to it at night,’ she thinks and a small smile spreads across her face.

“Try your luck, knock down the bottles and win a prize,” he says and looks at Faith and then Buffy and then their joined hands and then at Faith again.  He smiles really wide and starts to shout again.  “You,” he locks eyes with Faith.  “Try your luck and win a prize for your lovely lady.”  ‘My lovely lady...I like the sound of that,’ she think and glances over at the blushing Buffy.

“How much to play big guy?” she asks as she walks up to the booth and the answer doesn’t make her happy but she hides her little bit of anger.  ‘Five bucks for four fuckin baseballs.  This is bullshit, I better knock those bottles over the first fuckin try.  I hope they fuckin break.’  She throws the first ball and it’s a miss.

“Oh so close.  Come on, you can do it,” Buffy says.  ‘Might as well cheer her on.  God, she looks so cute now that she’s all determined.  I should have her play these games all night just so I can see that face.’  Faith throws another ball and knocks down two of the bottles.  “Yay, just three more.”  She knocks the down the rest and Buffy squeals with joy.  Faith points out the bear she wants and the carny quickly takes it down and hands it to her.

“Alright B, here’s your bear,” she says and hands it to the very happy blonde.  Buffy scoops it up in her arms but has a little trouble doing so.  It’s hard to carry something that’s only nine inches shorter then you.

“Thank you Faith, I love it,” she says and leans over and gives Faith a little kiss on the cheek.  She pulls back and smiles at her and then giggles when she sees the surprised look on Faith’s face.  “Come on, let’s get something to eat.  Only I’m paying.  You’ve paid for everything else so far.”

“No B, I’m taking you out tonight so I’m paying for everything.  The only way you’re paying for something is if I run out of money.  So, what do you want?  I’d go with the corn dogs, everything else looks passed it’s prime.”  They start walking again towards the concession stands.  The crowd isn’t as large so there’s no need for hand holding, but Buffy misses the feel of Faith’s soft hand in her own.  ‘But I shouldn’t.  She might want to make all the moves.’  But she goes against her inner voice and slyly takes a hold of the other girl’s hand and she’s met with no resistance whatsoever.

The sun has fully set and all the lights have come on.  The rides look down right godly now that the flashing multicolored bulbs can be seen because the lack of the sun and everything seems surreal.  The two girls walk along hand in hand, Buffy’s bear is firmly but gently tucked under Faith’s arm and they’re eating their third corn dog.  Then Buffy looks over and spots the one thing she’s wanted to do all night.

“The sun went down about two hours ago, do you want to go on the Ferris Wheel now?  You said it was a night time thing and it’s night time, so what’s stopping us?”  Faith just nods her head so she won’t have to talk around the large bite of breading and something that tastes close to a meat product.  By the time they reach the Ferris Wheel their meals are gone and they’re both very impatient to get on.

“Alright B we can go on this but you have to close your eyes until we get to the top,” Faith tells her and Buffy looks at her with a little distrust.  “Don’t worry, you’ll see why when we get there.  But no peeking, ok?”  Buffy agrees and Faith pays for the ride and they sit down in the seat and pull the bar down until it locks into place.  “Ok, close your eyes.”  Buffy does as she’s told and grips the metal bar very tightly when the ride starts to move.

“Don’t worry B,” Faith says and holds onto her hand.  “I won’t let anythin bad happen to ya.”  Buffy relaxes and enjoys the feel of Faith’s soft hand.  ‘I know I said I shouldn’t but there’s no way in hell I’m going to be able to go home and not fantasize about her hands.  They’re so soft but so strong at the same time.  And this bear is really soft too.’  The bear is sitting on the other side of Buffy and she has her arm wrapped tightly around it.

“Alright, B, open your eyes,” Faith says when the ride stops moving.  Buffy slowly flutters her eyes open and gasps when she sees the sight.  She can see almost the entire town from the top of the Ferris Wheel.  The lights are twinkling like a billion little stars and everything looks serene and perfect.  “See, it was worth it, huh?”  All Buffy can do is nod her head yes.  Then she feels Faith let go of her hand and she looks over and watches as the other girl slowly lifts her arm into the air and lets it settle on Buffy’s shoulder.  The blonde freezes for a second but then allows herself to melt against the brunette.

They sit in silence and just watch the lights of the town and the rest of the people down below.  But then the ride starts to move again so the other people can have their turn at the top.  And by the time the two girls get back to the bottom the little serene moment is definitely gone.  But they’re still comfortable around each other and Buffy can’t believe how well this date is going.  ‘Hopefully there will be a second,’ she thinks as Faith helps her out of the seat.  They start to walk around again but then Faith stops and looks down at her watch.

“We need to get goin,” she says and smiles at Buffy.  “If we leave now you’ll only be five minutes late.”  Buffy rolls her eyes a little bit and sighs.  Her mother is going to be mad.  Probably not enough to ground her because it isn’t a school night and as long as she doesn’t come home drunk or on drugs or hours passed her curfew her mom won’t give her too much grief about being late.

The ride back to the house is filled with lighthearted chatter and plenty of laughter.  Mostly about the other people who they saw at the carnival, and the gross carnies.  But Buffy also makes comments about the good parts of the date that she liked the most.  Like when they went into the house of mirrors, and the hall of illusions.  She forgot how fun it could be just to go to a carnival, but she likes this one the best because she was with great company.

Faith parks the truck and then opens Buffy’s door for her and helps her out.  She walks her to the door and they stand on the porch in silence for a few seconds.  And in those few seconds Buffy can’t help but just look at Faith.  She notices every little detail about her face and she can’t help but conjure up some fantasizes.  She really wants to run her tongue along the little cleft on Faith’s bottom lip.  She wants to gently rub her thumb against the barely there scar by Faith’s right eyebrow.

“I had a lot of fun tonight,” she says and subconsciously holds her breath when she sees Faith lean forward.  This is the moment she’s been waiting for.  She wanted to make the move herself but then she decided to let Faith do it since she’s been the perfect ‘gentleman’ all night long she figured Faith would be the one to kiss her, and she was right.  It isn’t much of a kiss, it hardly qualifies as one.  The brunette lightly brushes her lips against the blonde’s and Buffy barely puckers hers in response and then it’s over.  Faith pulls back and smiles a little half smile and Buffy is left in a land of swirly feelings.

“I had fun too.  Good night B.  I’ll see you later, ok?”  All Buffy can do is nod her head.  The feel of Faith’s soft lips on her own has left her speechless.  Words have no meaning so she doesn’t even try to use them.  She watches as Faith walks back to her truck, hops into the driver’s seat then blows her a little kiss.  Buffy smiles and does the same and then Faith starts up the engine and takes off down the street.  The blonde stands there for a few seconds with a dreamy smile on her face and then she goes into the house to find her mom sitting in the living room watching T.V.

“How was the fair?” she asks and Buffy gives some vague reply and then heads upstairs.  She goes into her room and closes the door and leans up against it and sighs heavily.  ‘Best date I’ve ever been on,’ she thinks and hugs her bear a little tighter.  She can still smell the fragrances of the carnival.  The cigarette smoke, the food, a little B.O. but she can also smell Faith’s perfume from when the brunette held the bear for her.  Buffy inhales deeply and smiles to herself.  She puts the bear down and changes for bed thinking about the other girl the entire time.

‘Definitely going to be dreaming about more then just her hands tonight.  Jeez, what is this girl doing to me?  I’ve never had these kind of dirty thoughts about a boy after the first date.  But I’ve never been attracted to anyone as much as I am to her.  And her lips are so soft, I’ve never felt anything like that before, and it only lasted seventeen seconds.’  She crawls under her covers with a small smile on her face and she wraps her arms around the bear and inhales deeply one more time before drifting off to sleep.

Chapter 4 - My Hopeless Arguments

On Monday morning Buffy shows up at school around the same time as always.  To everyone else this is just an average Monday, and Buffy looks like your average teenage girl, walking up the stairs to an average high school.  But today is different because today she feels downright giddy.  Now Buffy has been all types of giddy before.  She’s been a little giddy, somewhat giddy, positively giddy, and outwardly giddy, but never downright giddy.  The difference between all of them....well, I’m just a narrator, I don’t know everything, but downright giddy is what the main character of this story is feeling.

“Hey B,” she smiles when she hears Faith.  She looks over to the left and sees Faith walk up to her and they fall into step.  “So, I was wonderin if you wanted to eat lunch together.”  Buffy looked over at her and smiled.  Over the weekend she didn’t have any time to track down Faith’s phone number and call her because her mother planned a bunch of mother daughter bonding sessions, and the blonde has missed the sound of the brunette’s voice.

As happy as she is for the invite, and how sweet she thinks it is, she can’t help but feel conflicted about it.  She was so busy over the weekend that she never got around to calling Willow and she feels mondo-guilty about it.  She stops walking when they reach her locker and she starts to twist the lock according to the number combination.  Faith can tell something isn’t right but she doesn’t press the issue.

“I would love to...but,” she pauses and takes out her history book.  “I was so busy this weekend that I couldn’t call Willow and I promised I would and if I don’t have lunch with her she’ll feel rejected or something.”  She thinks about asking Faith to join her for lunch but then decides against it.  ‘I can’t talk about Faith with her sitting right there, it’ll be weird and uncomfortable’.  But Faith is completely understanding and gives her a small, reassuring smile.

“Not a problem.  How about we meet right here tomorrow?  There’s this great little place a couple blocks away that I know you’ll love.”  ‘A couple blocks from here?  She wants me to illegally leave campus to eat somewhere else?  Somewhere that’s not here?’  “Unless you don’t wanna leave campus.”  Faith sounds a little confused.  ‘Who wouldn’t wanna leave this dump for something better?’  And Buffy just smiles at her.

“Yeah, we can do that.  Just as long as we don’t get caught.  I don’t want to be labeled as a trouble maker my first month here.  I’d rather wait until month two before the teachers label me as anything.”  She smiles mischievously at Faith and the brunette girl just smiles back.  “So, I’ll see you here tomorrow at the beginning of the lunch hour.”  ‘Ok, what’s with the awkward silence?  It’s like she doesn’t want to leave me or something.  Maybe everyone is completely wrong about her.  Maybe she does want to commit and I’m what she wants to commit to.  Wait...did that sentence make any sense at all?  I think I’m losing my mind.’

“Yeah, that you will.  See you then.”  And she walks off leaving our favorite blonde utterly confused.  When the bell rings Buffy walks to her first class and purposely avoids the glares that Cordelia Chase is sending her way.  Ever since the incident of the fake spiders and rats the young fashion diva has been on a tear trying to hunt down whoever did it.  From the amused look on Buffy Summer’s face only seconds after the incident the Queen of Sunnydale High suspects the perky blonde had something to do with it but she is unsure.

Buffy takes her seat in the middle of the class.  She usually tries to sit in the middle of every class but sometimes it’s hard to do if you have an assigned seat.  Luckily this isn’t one of those classes and today she gets her way.  ‘Wait...I didn’t know Faith was in this class,’ she thinks as she notices the dark haired girl who is currently sitting by the window and scribbling something on a piece of paper.  She’s only two seats to Buffy’s right, surly the blonde would have noticed her before.  ‘But maybe I didn’t because the only time I noticed her before the date was in the halls.’

“Well class,” the teacher says and almost all of the students pay attention to him.  The only one not looking up at Mr. Seeder is Faith.  “It looks like we have a student joining us.  Everyone please give a warm welcome to Faith Lehane.”  He stops talking and the students all look at the brunette girl and say ‘hi Faith’ but not all of them sound too happy about her being in the class, especially some of the girls and Buffy can’t help but notice that. “Faith, why don’t you stand up and tell us a little about yourself.”  Faith looks up from her paper and looks at the teacher like he’s insane and he gives her a little glare.  Then she catches Buffy’s eye and gives her a little wink.  ‘What’s she up to?’ Buffy asks herself and watches as Faith stands up.

“Hi everyone, as you all know by now I’m Faith.”  She gives a little wave and a fake smile, and her voice is that of a very enthusiastic prom decoration committee president.  So she’s basically channeling Harmony Kendal right about now.  “Tell a little about myself?  Well, my mother was a Swedish prostitute, and my father was a Danish businessman just looking for a good time.  My mom became a milk maid and saved up enough money to send me to America so I could get a good education and not end up like her.  My favorite color is black, my favorite band is Godsmack, my favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz, yes this is my real hair color, and my favorite thing to do is dance.”  Then she takes a little bow and sits back down.

‘Ok, so how much of that is made up and how much is true?  ‘Cause all of her favorites is useful to me only if it’s true.  I doubt that stuff about her parents is true because she winked at me before she stood up and started talking, a wink that like usually implies the winker is going to say a sarcastic comment or something and the winkee should pay special attention to it.  Wait...did I really just use the word winkee?  What is wrong with me?  I don’t think a whole team of highly qualified psychologists could answer that question.’

“Well, wasn’t that....colorful,” the teacher says in a not so amused tone of voice and then turns to his lesson plan.  Almost every student in that class tuned him out as he droned on and on about the Revolutionary War.  Nobody but the geeks and goody-goodies cared about it, as long as they get a passing grade they’re fine with being ignorant to everything that has to do with American History.

Buffy glances over at the clock and tries not to outwardly groan when she sees that only fifteen minutes has passed.  But then a welcomed distraction is placed on her desk in the form of a folded piece of binder paper.  She looks over at Faith and the brunette gives her a little wink and then looks out the window.  The blonde tries to silently unfold the note and prays the teacher doesn’t notice her for fear of being forced to read it out loud.  And in some rather sloppy handwriting she reads to herself:

Hey B, what’s up?  Not much over here.  Just lookin out the window wishin I could sit closer to you.  ‘Aw, how sweet,’ she thinks and keeps reading.  So, how’s the bear doin?  Did you name it yet?  No, I’m not makin fun of you, if that’s what you’re thinkin, I’m just curious.  So Buffy Summers, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself?  ‘Hmm, she wants to know a little about me?  I am so taking that as a good sign.’  She picks up her pen and in very girly handwriting she scribbles her response.

Not much is up, F, just wishing lunch time would hurry up and get here.  The bear is doing fine, since she is a Care Bear she already has a name.  I can’t remember it at the moment, but I’ll figure it out and get back to you.  Tell a little bit about me, huh?  Well, my mom and dad met in college and married after they graduated, and then had me.  I grew up in Hemery, but my mom and I moved when she found out that my dad was cheating on her with his secretary.  I’m a little glad that they’re divorced because all they ever did was fight.

My favorite color is yellow, I don’t have a favorite band, I don’t have a favorite movie but I like romantic comedies and dramas, no this is not my real hair color, and my favorite thing to do is shop.  Yes, I do realize how much of a girly-girl I am.  You still interested or has my girliness made you want to turn around and run the other way?  It’s not like I have cooties...that I know of.  What are cooties anyway? 

She doesn’t bother signing it and she skillfully passes it to the kid on her right, who then gives it to the other kid, who then gives it to Faith.  She watches out of the corner of her eye as Faith unfolds the paper and then reads.  There are smiles at some parts, a serious look at one and a little chuckle at the end.  All in all it was a good read, and Buffy is pleased with the way Faith reacted.  And she can’t wait for Faith to finish writing her reply because passing notes back and forth with Faith is the most excitement she’s ever had in this class.  When the note is finally handed to her almost forgets to be quiet as she unfolds it and quickly reads.

I think cooties is lice, but I’m not sure.  ‘Gross.’  Oh well.  Sorry about your parents, mine never got along either I know how it can be.  Yellow is a good color to like, I’m just glad you didn’t say pink.  How can you not have a favorite band?  What kind of music do you listen to?  Every great once in a while I’ll watch a romantic comedy or a drama, but I mostly watch action and horror.  Surprise, surprise I know.  We’re all shocked by that one.

‘She is so sarcastic, I bet it’s her first language.’  So what is your real hair color?  I’m not seein any different colored roots.  Are you a brunette?  You’d make a sexy brunette.  ‘Woe, I can’t believe she wrote that.  So does she not think I’m sexy now?’  Don’t worry, B, you’re still sexy, I’m just sayin you’d look damn fine as a brunette, that’s all.  Yes I’m still interested, no amount of girliness is gonna make me not interested.  Unless you try to paint my truck a girly color, or tell me to change the way I dress.  I like the way I am and nobody’s gonna change it.  How much longer til lunch?  I’m wicked starving.

Buffy decides not to write back since the teacher is now facing the class and asking questions about the lecture he just gave.  The only students to raise their hands are the geeks and the goody-goodies.  But Buffy wasn’t paying any attention whatsoever because when she wasn’t busy reading what Faith had to say or writing her response, she was thinking about Faith’s soft yet strong hands, and her incredibly soft lips.  She’s been trying to avoid thinking about that seventeen second kiss because it sends chills down her spine in an oh so good way, and she doesn’t want to feel like that at school where people might catch on that the little angel looking girl is thinking impure thoughts.

Finally the bell sounded announcing a fifteen minute break.  Lunch wouldn’t be until after the next class.  Buffy was out the door before Faith, and she waited for her because she wanted to talk to her, tell her about how good of a time she had on Friday.  But the brunette didn’t walk out of the class like everyone else.  Buffy’s eyebrows furrow with concern and she looks around to make sure no one is watching before she sneaks a peak inside the classroom.  Through the little window on the door she can see Mr. Seeder lecturing Faith, and Buffy can only assume it was about the little ‘tell us about yourself’ speech that Faith gave.  ‘Well, he asked for it,’ she thinks and make her way towards her next class.

When lunch finally does roll around Buffy finds herself sitting in the library with Willow and Xander, wondering why the hell they always eat lunch in the library.  It’s not like they’re avid readers or anything, so why do they spend a lot of their time here?  She was about to verbally voice her concerns when Willow not so smoothly asks about Friday night with Faith.  Buffy tries not to roll her eyes because the redhead is only concerned about her, and her well being, so she lets it go for now.

“Friday was great.  We went to the fair, and went on the roller coaster, and the Ferris Wheel and ate horrible carnival food, and she won me one of those giant teddy bears.”  While telling about her night she can’t stop the smile from creeping its way onto her lips. “We went into the house of mirrors and were in there for so long one of the carnies actually came in to shoo us away.  And Faith is so funny, and sarcastic and she made me laugh almost the entire time.  There were a couple of moments were if she laughed I probably would have cried and for not so good reasons.”  ‘If she had laughed at me while we had that moment on the Ferris Wheel I definitely would have cried.  Or hit her, either one.

“And she drove me home, and when we walked up to the front porch things were a little tense, and I almost started babbling.” ‘Oh, you mean like that thing you’re doing right now?  If it were any more obvious that you’re crushing on her you’d have it written on your forehead.  Ok, this whole talking to myself in third person needs to stop.’  “And then she kissed me, and the tension went away.  And her lips are so soft and I almost kissed her again, but I didn’t want to come on too strong or anything.”  When she finally stops talking she notices that Xander is literally drooling and Willow is looking a little concerned for her health.

“You ok?  You need me to get an oxygen tank or something?  I’ve babbled before Buffy, a lot, and for long periods of time, but I think you killed my record for most words spoken in two and a half minutes.”  The small smile on the redhead’s face lets Buffy know that she’s just joking around.  “So you’re date went good, that’s good.”  Buffy gives her a suspicious look and she over compensates.  “No really, it is good.  We were all hoping for goodness.  We didn’t want you to have a bad date, we just want you to be careful because Faith has hurt a lot of people.  She makes promises that she doesn’t keep and there are a lot of girls at this school who would rather see her bruised and bloody and lying in a ditch somewhere, and I think I got my record back.”  Buffy can’t help but get very irritated by what Willow just said.

“Look, I know I don’t know her, and I know she has this horrible reputation, but I didn’t get any of that when we were together.  She was so sweet, and respectful, and the kiss only lasted seventeen seconds.  I’m sure if she wanted more she would have made it last a little longer or at least used some tongue.”  Both girls bite back the laughter as Xander loses his balance and falls to the floor.  “Maybe she was like that with those other girls, but I’m just not getting that vibe from her.  I’m not saying that she isn’t like that anymore, but the least you can do is give her a chance.”  Willow and Xander exchange a look and Buffy wants to smack them both.

“Buff, everyone has given her every chance in the world to change.  Faith likes to sleep around, this is common knowledge.  Now I know you’re new and don’t understand because you haven’t seen how hurt most of the girls end up, but trust us when we tell you that it always ends bad.  She’s just using you.  You should get out before you get hurt.”  Buffy stands up and grabs her bag.  She’s not going to sit here and let them bad mouth the girl that she is developing a crush on.  Not no way, not no how.

“How well do you two really know her?  Maybe there’s a reason why she’s never gotten close to anyone.  Maybe no one has cared enough to find out because they look at her and the way she acts and they just assume that she’s some slut bomb that they can have fun with.  Well I’m not going to just sit here and listen to you two judge her when you obviously don’t know anything about her.”  Buffy storms out of the library leaving Willow and Xander behind.  They exchange another look and Willow’s expression is a sad one.

“I guess she’s going to have to learn the hard way,” she says and sighs.  Xander just nods his head before he gives himself over to the Buffy on Faith fantasy running around inside of his mind.  They’ve given every warning, spoken every cautionary word, but if the blonde is too stubborn to listen to them then she’ll just have to experience it for herself, because there seems to be no other way of getting through to her.  In the meantime the two will hope for the best, at least Willow will be.  Xander will be fighting against the hot girl on girl lovin fantasies that are going to be scampering through his brain for the next couple of weeks.

Chapter 5 - My Stubborn Mother

When Buffy got home that afternoon she was still angry.  After she stormed out of the library Cordelia Chase confronted her about the gym locker incident and she was not at all nice about it.  The spat with Cordelia only added to her angry and she just wants to curl up under her cozy covers and cuddle up to her Care Bear and take a nice long nap and forget this crappy day ever happened.

She walks up the stairs to her room and pulls the binder paper out of her back pocket.  The folded piece of binder paper that she and Faith had been communicating on.  She can’t help but smile at the memory of the look on Faith’s face when she was concentrating on making her handwriting look better.  And you can see it.  In the first message by Faith the writing is very sloppy, but after Buffy’s passage her writing is neater, and it’s clear that she took her time to make every word look a little better.

She stops cold in her bedroom doorway when she sees her mother sitting on the edge of her bed.  Not only is she sitting on the edge of her bed...‘shouldn’t she be at work?’...but she’s idly toying with the right foot of Buffy’s stuffed bear.  The same stuffed bear that one Faith Lehane had won for her at the carnival just last Friday.  ‘Ok, this is not good, what the hell is going on?  Why is she in my room and why is she messing with my bear?  Oh God, did a family member die?’

“Mom, what’s going on?” she asks startling Joyce a little.  She gives her mom a small apologetic smile and walks into the room.  She sets her bag down on the floor and becomes nothing but serious when she sees her mother’s expression.  She looks a little uneasy, a little worried and Buffy is taking that as a very bad sign.  She sits down on the corner of her bed, a couple feet away from her mother and she waits for the explanation.

“Nothing’s going on.  It was a slow day, and we didn’t get any shipments in so we closed the gallery early.  I wanted to talk to you about something, and I’m not sure how open you’re going to be about it.  Honey, you do know you can talk to me about anything right?”  ‘Oh God, she knows.  She must have seen Faith kiss me.  That’s why she went way overboard with the mother daughter bonding time over the weekend!  She wanted me to open up to her, and I didn’t even see it.  How dumb am I?  Please don’t answer that.’

“Is this about Faith?”  Buffy didn’t mean for her voice to sound so small and scared, but it did and she’s mentally kicking herself right now.  Joyce nods her head and gives her daughter a knowing look.  Buffy tries to swallow down the lump forming in her throat.  She did not think this conversation was going to happen so soon, or like this.  In fact, she never even thought this conversation was going to happen.  It’s still too soon for her to figure out Faith’s intentions and she never planned on telling her mother that they are more then just friends.  “Well, how much do you know?”  ‘Figure out all the information she knows, there’s no need giving away details that she doesn’t need to know about.’

“I saw you two kiss when she dropped you off.  But it’s more then that, Buffy.  The way you two act around each other it’s obvious there’s more then just a potential friendship between the two of you.  And you only put down this bear at meals or when you go to the bathroom.”  It’s true, Buffy didn’t want to put it down for a second because Faith’s perfume still lingers on it, but taking it into the bathroom would have been a little insane and she didn’t want to get it dirty by accidentally dropping food on it or something.  “She won it for you, didn’t she?”  Buffy looks into her mother’s soft eyes and she knows she isn’t going to react badly to what she has to say.

“Yeah, she did.  And she carried it around for a while.  Mom, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you the truth about Faith, but I’m not sure where it’s going and I didn’t want to tell you before I know for sure.  We never even talked until Wednesday when she asked me out, and I was so caught off guard.  But she’s so nice, and funny, and we had a really good time, and her lips are…” ‘Ok, Buffy, no need to over share, this is your mom remember?’  She blushes a little and Joyce smiles a soft smile at her.

“You don’t need to be embarrassed.  I know it seems unthinkable, but I was once sixteen too, you know.  I do understand about things like these.  But you like her?  You’re falling in like with her?”  ‘Falling in like?  What has she been watching?  Sometimes I can’t understand half of what she says.’  Buffy nods her head and gets a dreamy smile on her face, and a look in her eyes that tells her mother that she’s very far away from the conversation at the moment.  But she snaps Buffy back to reality in the worst way possible.  “You’ll have to invite her over for dinner on Friday.”  The dreamy expression is replaced by one of panic.

“What?  Mom, I can’t invite her over for dinner.  We’ve only been on one date, don’t you think it’s a little soon for her to be meeting you?  I mean, she’s already met you.  You’ve already been introduced.  I’m pretty sure introductions were made.”  Panic, it’s sheer panic on Buffy’s part.  Her mother, however, is somewhat amused by the look on her daughter’s face.  But the amusement goes away and she becomes serious.  Buffy notices the expression change and gets nervous, thinking maybe her mother isn’t as ok with this as she first seemed to be.

“Buffy, you either invite Faith over for dinner or you won’t be going on any more dates with her.  I know it seems unfair, but this is just the way it has to be.  I’d be even stricter if you were dating a guy, so don’t even go there.”  Buffy closes her mouth at that.  She was going to protest that her mom is just being overprotective because this is the first girl that Buffy’s ever had this type of interest in.  But it is clear that our bottled blonde friend will not be getting out of this predicament, and no matter how embarrassing it may be she will have to invite Faith over for dinner.

The next day the bottle blonde waits a little impatiently by her locker.  Faith had said yesterday that they would meet here and then leave for lunch, and she’s been waiting for fifteen minutes now.  Luckily they get an hour lunch so hopefully they’ll have some time to eat and get back before the bell rings.  She’s about to give up and go to the library and hang out with Willow and Xander even though she’s still a little mad at them.  If they weren’t so stubborn it wouldn’t be so bad, but once they have something in their minds they won’t let it go.

“Hey, B, sorry to keep you waiting.  Had something I had to take care of,” Faith says as she walks up to the shorter girl.  Buffy notices that something isn’t quite right.  Faith’s clothes look a little ruffled and the knuckles of her right hand are red and a little swollen.  The brunette ignores the blondes questioning looks and holds onto her hand.  “Lets motor before we run outta time.  We need to be back a couple minutes early.”  Buffy feels a little tug on her arm when she hesitates to start walking with the determined girl.

Faith didn’t start to slow down until they were walking down the sidewalk, and Buffy didn’t want to ask about the other girl’s condition.  She doesn’t want to prove Willow and Xander right.  She doesn’t want them to be right that Faith is a shady person who should be doubted.  Ignorance is bliss at this point.  If Faith wants to talk about it Buffy won’t stop her but she isn’t going to ask.

She takes in her surroundings as Faith leads her to a little diner at the very end of a dead end road.  Buffy isn’t too sure about this place.  It doesn’t look too clean for one thing, but if Faith says it’s good she’s willing to trust her on it.  Buffy allows herself to be led to the far back corner of the room and they sit down at the booth.  She notices that Faith hesitates before she sits down, as if she isn’t sure which side she should sit on.  So just to be safe she sits on the opposite one of Buffy.

“Don’t worry, B, this place doesn’t look great, but the food’s really good.  Just whatever you do don’t order the BLT.  Ovid the BLT no matter what, got that?” Faith says in a very serious tone.  Buffy nods her head yes and decides against asking because she really doesn’t want to know why.  The blonde barely listens as the brunette starts to talk about her mode of transportation.  She says she wants to get rid of her truck and get something better, but she’s had this one for so long she doesn’t want to part ways with it.  ‘Does she honestly think I care?  God, and Willow and Xander said she like a player or something.  Does she just bore a girl until they’re finally like, ‘ok, let’s fuck so you’ll go away.’  Because I’m seriously starting to think so.’ 

“Faith,” Buffy says, sounding momentarily irritated but she makes it go away, and tries for a more softer tone.  ‘Don’t want her thinking I’m a total bitch.’  “There isn’t any reason to panic or anything, but my mom saw us kiss when you brought me home from the fair.”  Faith freezes completely and watches Buffy very intently, but she doesn’t say anything or give off any other indication that she’s freaking out.  “And she said that if I ever want to go out on a date with you ever again you have to come over to our house, preferably this Friday, to have dinner with us.  It’s just some lame ‘I wanna know who’s courting my daughter’ type of thing, and I’ll understand if you don’t want to come-”

“Don’t worry about it, B,” Faith says and smile at the waitress as she gives them two menus and then walks off.  “You’re mom just wants to make sure you’ll be safe.  I totally get it.  Besides, how bad can it be?”  ‘Did she really just ask that?  You’re never supposed to say something like that out loud.  Great, now my mom is going to do something really embarrassing like show Faith my baby pictures or something.  I hope she doesn’t have any naked baby pictures because that would totally suck.’

“It’s just we’ve only had the one date and I don’t know if it’s too soon for you to be coming over for dinner for an interrogation.  I mean, my mom never even met any of my boyfriends.”  ‘Great job, Buffy, bring up your ex boyfriends, I’m sure she’ll feel totally non-threatened by that.’  But Faith gets a little grin on her face and orders a cheeseburger with no pickles, and a large Coke when the waitress comes back.  Buffy orders the chicken sandwich and a large Diet Coke and the two pick up their conversation after the waitress leaves.

“Well, then I feel honored.  So it’s not every day that your mom meets the person trying to ‘court’ her daughter, huh?” she asks with a little wiggle of her eyebrows.  Buffy just smiles and shakes her head and takes a bite of her sandwich so she won’t have to reply.  She still isn’t too sure about Faith’s intentions, and that’s the main reason she doesn’t want to invite her over for dinner to meet her mother.  She doesn’t want her mom to start liking Faith and actually caring about their relationship when she isn’t even sure if they’re going to have a relationship or if Faith is doing nothing more then trying to get into her pants.  Try saying that sentence five times fast.


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