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After Winter There's Always Spring

by Stop To Cheer


RATING: Blue, aka, very very rare, on my steak scale. In other words, there's sex.
SETTING: Post-Chosen
SUMMARY: Here's that feeling where you know something's coming but you can't explain it.
NOTE: This is my real last post before I leave. And, er, I'm nervous, because I've never written post-Chosen B/F before. Enjoy.
Oral's Notes: No email address available for author. Please leave a story review at Live Journal

Buffy knows it's Faith before she even opens the door - before the lopsided grin, before the almost awkward "hey, B", before she sees her. She isn't sure when she began knowing, but maybe it was back in Sunnydale. Probably before. She doesn't want to think about it, so she just steps aside - she's still out of the habit of issuing invitations - and lets Faith in.

There's no explanation given for why Faith's turned up in Italy. Buffy feels like she's read the story before, though; she's pretty sure it was something along the lines of a big fight, that ended in Faith getting sick of being told what to do and walking out. Buffy smiles when the only explanation Faith gives is that she "had to get outta there".

Faith doesn't ask if she can stay - Buffy's almost amused that after all this time, Faith still doesn't ask for things she wants, she just assumes - but Buffy would have said yes, and Faith sets herself up in the guest room. Buffy helps her to make the bed, and the two of them look up at each other at one point, when Buffy considers asking her if she feels that inexplicable deja vu as well. Instead, she just grins again, and looks down as she finishes.

"So," Faith finally says, opening conversation as she sprawls on the couch and puts her feet on the coffee table. "How's the unchosen life hangin' with you?"

Buffy pulls a face at her and taps Faith's feet. Faith grins, and leaves her feet there for another minute, but eventually obliges. Buffy sits and folds her hands in her lap, and nods. "It's different."

"Different like..." Faith looks at her, and laughs. Buffy's surprised that Faith sounds like a different person. Shifting her weight, Faith stabs a finger in the air towards her. "Don't lie. You miss it."

"I don't," Buffy says, and she means it. She'd thought she would. But it's better this way. And what's more, she has a life now, and she likes that. She hasn't quite decided what she's going to do with it, but she likes where she is. She doesn't meet Faith's eyes.

"They all talk about you," Faith says, and she's got another grin on her face this time. It's almost admiring, which is enough of a surprise to give Buffy pause. Faith shrugs. "The baby-Slayers, I mean. All about Buffy, the last of the line."

Buffy doesn't correct her. She's heard it before - she's met a couple of Slayers in Italy, and even though it isn't right, it almost feels it. Instead, she nods. "They need someone to look up to, I guess."

"Crazy thinkin' some of them might be admiring me, huh?" she replies, crossing her legs and leaning back. Buffy notices Faith's pants are just a little tight on her, and doesn't mention it, nodding. Faith grins back. "Don't worry, B, I'm pretty sure your groupies are safe from me."

"I wasn't--!" Buffy protests, but Faith just laughs and waves a hand, and she screws her nose up at her, almost pouting. Buffy waits for a few moments, and adds, more seriously, "I wasn't. And they're not my groupies."

Faith's reply is surprisingly without malice, and accompanied by quite an easy grin. "Sure, whatever."

It's funny, watching this, Buffy thinks, because she hadn't expected Faith to change this much. There's less of a fear of reflection hanging between them, now, and she isn't looking to Faith for any sort of guideline. It's the first time that she's beginning to think that they could be friends, and Buffy gives her a genuine smile. She's rewarded with the smile's mirror.

Faith stays there for a week and they actually talk some more - about Angel, about Spike, about Robin. Faith's always grinning, always teasing, and Buffy feels a little on the back foot when she parries. They train together and she feels more even - at dawn, doing yoga, their movements are so in tune that she closes her eyes and can't tell them apart.

After two weeks, Faith convinces her to come out for an old-fashioned patrol. Buffy points out that there's very little supernatural activity around the place and pretends that she actually knows what she's talking about. Faith doesn't come close to believing the lie, and raises an eyebrow, and says, "Well, you'd better come out anyway. I'm not allowed up late without a babysitter!", which makes Buffy groan, and roll her eyes, and wonder when she started getting this comfortable with her.

Patrolling isn't the bore that Buffy expected. They're barely inside the gates of the nearest graveyard before Faith grunts as a demon blindsides her. It's one of four, and it's old times as Faith jumps up and she and Buffy are fighting, back to back.

Buffy doesn't need to look around to know they're synchronised; she can feel Faith's back brushing hers. For a while, it slips into slow-motion and she senses Faith's movement, her bends and curves and where she's jumping up and turning to kick and the way her back twists when she punches. Buffy feels all this just behind her, and a flush comes over her and she ignores it, setting her jaw and going back to the demons.

By the end of the fight they're two for two, and both breathing hard. When Buffy looks around, Faith runs her hands down her own body with a grin. "What a rush, huh? Don't tell me you don't miss that."

"Risking my life?" Buffy replies, too quickly, and cocks her head. "Lived without it."

Their breathing evens at the same time, and Buffy looks up at her and there's a pause, where she doesn't know what's happening, and Faith grabs her by both sides of her face and kisses her. It's hard, and it's unexpected, and Buffy steps back.

They look at each other again, and Buffy shakes her head, saying, quickly, "Faith, we--"

Faith catches her by the wrist. "Yeah. I know."

That gives Buffy pause - there's no take, no have, and instead of pulling away she turns back to her and stands taller and kisses her first this time, and Faith's hands go back to her head and she deepens it, and for once, Buffy feels her body just fit, her curves into Faith's dips, and it's complementary and reflective, and Faith tastes like nobody she's ever kissed before.

Buffy isn't sure how they get home, but then again, there's always been some gaps in her memory where Faith's concerned. But they're through the front door and somehow in Buffy's room, and the blankets ride up from the writhing, and there's a point where Buffy doesn't know who's who, but then they're lying beside each other, each propped on an elbow, and Buffy's sure her grin isn't quite as wild as Faith's.

"You want this?" Faith asks, though she's already moving forward and she punctuates it with her mouth, and Buffy's answer dies on her tongue. They kiss again and when Faith pushes her to lie on her back it's almost gentle.

Buffy doesn't say anything or even try, but Faith's hand is on her thigh and she manages to move her face aside enough to say, "Faith, I haven't--"

"It's cool," Faith cuts her off, still with a grin. This time she's excited, and Buffy gives in and grins back. And then Faith drops her face down to Buffy's neck, and there's her tongue over the memory of a scar, and Buffy's back arches a little.

The outlines are blurred enough that Buffy isn't sure when exactly Faith's hand begins to touch her, but she does gasp, and when Faith shifts her weight a little and brings her head up to kiss her, again, Buffy feels her blush shifting upwards. Faith shifts a finger, maybe two, inside her, and bites off Buffy's whimper.

There's no part of Buffy that knows what she's doing, but equally, there's no part of her that doesn't want to. She's not thinking now and that's what she's wanted for a long while, and oh, Faith's hand moves just so and she can feel her palm against her inner thigh, and her mouth, and she feels Faith laughing from right inside her. She isn't sure when Faith's laugh lost its edge, but it makes her smile.

Some sort of instinct takes, or maybe it's the way Faith's body is pressing against her own, but Buffy shifts on the bed, her hips going down, pressing against Faith's hand. Faith's fingers curl a little in just the right way, and maybe, Buffy thinks, she doesn't need to know what she's doing because it looks like Faith's got enough for the both of them. There's stroking, god, right inside her, and she can feel the almost-tickle and her eyes open again.

Faith's right there and grinning, and Buffy brings her hand up from where she hadn't known it was clutching the bedspread, and takes Faith by the back of the head. Fingers tightening in her hair, she pulls her down and kisses her, harder now, breath quickening. Faith's strokes change in reply, and one of her other fingers is stroking Buffy in just the way she'd never known she needed her to do, just the way that - oh, Faith knows what she's doing - and there's a tightening in Buffy's stomach that makes her bring her hips up, and she almost bites Faith's lip, only letting go because she finally needs to breathe, and Faith's hand is still right there, inside, on her, just right, and--

She gasps, and lets herself fall back to the bed, her eyes closed again. She can't tell when Faith takes her hand back because she's waiting for her breathing to come back. She almost feels like laughing, but she doesn't know that she'd ever stop.

"See?" Faith says, after a while, and she's a little out of breath as well. Buffy opens her eyes and raises an eyebrow, watching her grin. Faith goes on, "Don't tell me you haven't been wanting to do that."

Buffy does laugh, then, and wonders to herself when exactly she'd started to want that. Like knowing Faith was coming here because it was inevitable. Like remembering never having made that bed before. Like not being jealous about the way things are and not knowing why. Like knowing this was coming because she'd expected it a long time ago, many dreams away. And so she laughs, and looks up at Faith, and thinks, just one more time, about kissing her again.




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