Home ~ Updates ~ Fiction ~ Wallpapers ~ Buffy Babies ~ Art Gallery ~ Links ~ Tuneage

Ski Trip

by Queen Zulu


Time Line:
Summary: Snow in Sunnydale.

"So what was that all about?"

Faith spun away from the open front door where she'd been staring down the street after Buffy. Joyce was standing right behind her. Jeez, it was something to be trusted to keep Mrs. S safe, but couldn't B have taken five minutes to explain the sitch to her mom before bugging off? "Uh--" She took one last glance out at the street, but Buffy was gone. "Slayer stuff, I guess."

"Without telling me?" Joyce frowned and walked back into the living room. She prodded at the fire with the poker. "And on Christmas Eve. Why didn't you go with her?"

Faith closed the door and leaned against the wall, hanging back a bit. Did Mrs. S even know that Angel was back? And if not, then what could she really say without risking a mean right cross to the jaw when Buffy returned? She shrugged. "Well, y'know, I'm on guard duty, here."

Joyce looked up at that. "For me?"

Faith nodded and crossed her arms over the stupid good-girl blouse she'd chosen for tonight. Because it was a good-girl thing, right? Christmas Eve with the family, even if it hadn't been B's idea.

The fire got another vicious jab, and sparks went flying. The poker clattered as Joyce shoved it back into its holder. "So, what's Buffy up to tonight?"

"Uh, fighting the good fight?" she tried half-heartedly.

"Faith--" Faith winced at the 'don't even try to bullshit me' tone in Joyce's voice. "Call it a Mom thing, but I like to know where my daughter is on these occasions when my life is apparently in danger, but she doesn't see fit to tell me herself before going out and risking hers."

"It's Angel."

"Angel? The vampire Buffy promised me she would not be seeing again Angel?" Joyce shook her head. "Of course that Angel."

"He's, like, getting the Poltergeist treatment from some big bad," Faith said. "B just wants to help him." Right. Just help him. Like a friend. For sure not because he was the love of her life, or anything. 'Cause B had made promises to all of them about that.

"And I suppose there's nothing you or I can do until she comes home?"

Faith nodded, and said absently, "Unless he tries to relive his glory days and attacks us 'cause he thinks you're helpless. Then I poof him."

Joyce took a seat on the couch and stared at her. "You wouldn't have a problem with that?"

"I got this motto. Vampire, slayer, dead vampire."

Joyce smiled. "I like it."

Faith tried a tight smile, wishing there was more she could be doing. She was action girl, not sit-around-waiting-in-uncomfortable-silence girl. But there was really not much else to say. She hadn't come over for Buffy's mom's sake.

"Well, Faith, I guess this means you can help me with the cooking." Joyce headed for the kitchen. "The turkey's almost ready."

Faith followed behind her. Anything to take her mind off Buffy and Angel. Her dying, or him being rescued, or any and all of the cheesy star-crossed lover stuff they might be declaring to each other afterwards. "I don't know what B's told you, but I don't really do the Martha Stewart thing."

"That's alright. I'm going to make gravy. I'll let you carve the turkey--that's usually Buffy's job. I always wondered how she got so good at it when we moved here."

"I get a carving knife, huh?" Faith grinned. "Then I guess cooking might be my thing after all."

She followed Joyce into the kitchen, trying to forget she was borrowing family.

"Faith, wake up!"

She started upright, reaching in one fluid motion for the knife in her boot before recognising that her feet were bare and at some point she'd been wrapped in a blanket as she lay on the couch. Tangled, she nearly fell off before coming completely awake. "What? Is it a demon? Do I gotta slay?"

"No, come and see." Joyce smiled and held out her hand. As if I'm her kid or something, Faith thought, and allowed herself to take it. Looks like B never got back last night. Jeez, what if she's--


With Angel?

"Come and look, Faith. It's snowing!"

Faith shook off the bad thoughts and walked out onto the front porch with Buffy's mom. She shivered at the sudden cold, feeling it shoot through her, and extended her arms out to the falling flakes. It was past sunrise, by her internal Slayer-clock, but the sky was dark with clouds.

"Wow, I didn't know you guys went all White Christmas out here," she said, hugging herself a bit in the wind but reluctant to go back inside. "It's like Boston, almost." Boston, but better. You wouldn't freeze your face off after ten minutes in this. And here, there were places where she'd be welcomed in out of the cold. Not many, but still...

"It hasn't snowed like this in ages," Joyce said. "Maybe we should break out the skis before Buffy's winter break is over."

Faith glanced over her shoulder. "You guys ski? That's wicked cool."

Joyce nodded. "Well, not since we moved here...Hank used to take us, back before...Well. Buffy always enjoyed skating, but she never turned down a ski weekend. All our equipment's still in the closet. Except I think my poles may have been used to fend off the undead a couple of months ago."

"Yeah, I heard about that. Zombies. Wish I coulda been there." She turned back to watch the snow falling, staring up the street in the direction Buffy had taken last night. She was starting to shiver, and Joyce was huddling in the open doorway, but neither of them said anything about why they weren't heading back inside. "I went skiing once," she said, softly, leaning against the porch post. It had been a class trip pretty soon before she dropped out--one of the only ones she'd ever managed to sneak away with. She forged her mom's signature on the forms and funded herself with the cash from half a dozen stolen wallets. She'd had no clue how to ski, but it was mostly about getting away for a couple of days, pretending like she was leaving forever. Finding out how much she enjoyed it was just a bonus...after she suckered a few lessons from ski-lunks wanting to 'improve her form', she had actually managed to escape into the rhythm of it. There was hell to pay when she got back--

"Faith--" Joyce hesitated, then asked, "Would you like to go with us? Skiing?"

Faith started and turned around, giving up her watch on the empty street. "For real?" She stopped, then started talking fast enough to outpace Willow at her worst. "I mean, uh, I don't wanna mess with your and B's holiday. And, I really can't, I got no cash, you know? And no stuff. Plus I guess there's the slaying, somebody's gotta keep on top of it if you guys are going out of town. And maybe B doesn't really want to do the best-bud thing with me, she'd probably want to go with Red. And I'm a pretty crappy skier."

Joyce smiled. "Sounds like you're sure."

"Right." The clouds were starting to break up now, strands of pale sunlight leaking through. There was nearly a foot of snow in the yard, pretty freaky for South Cal, and the wind was still icy. Faith shuffled her feet through the dusting of snow on the porch. Her feet were throbbing with cold, and she wondered how she hadn't noticed it before. "Anyway, looks like any vamp coming after you is kissing daylight by now. I better be getting back."

"Aren't you going to wait for Buffy? We still have gifts to open."

"Yeah, well, I got stuff to do, y'know." She didn't want to see Buffy. She didn't want to wait for Buffy, and know to the second how long she'd been gone. "I'll just get my jacket."

They stepped inside, closing out the sudden winter, and Faith hunted for her boots while Joyce got her coat from the closet. "So, anyway, I wanted to say thanks, y'know, for inviting me," she said quickly, and edged towards the door. She opened it to find Buffy standing there, just reaching for the knob.

"Oh, Buffy, you're back!" Joyce rushed into the hallway and hugged Buffy. "Good, now you can help me convince Faith stay for presents."

Buffy raised an eyebrow at Faith. "Not staying for presents? Where's the real Faith and what have you done with her?"

Faith shrugged and backed away from the door. "Nothin'. How'd it go with, uh, everything?"

"Score is Buffy: one, Evil: I'm boring, full of myself, and ineffective." Buffy bounced into the living room and held her hands out to the coals in the fireplace. With the encouragement of Joyce's motherly glare, Faith tossed her jacket in the direction of the closet. Kept her boots, though. Faith slumped back onto the couch where she'd spent the night. Looking down at Buffy, she could see that the whole story wasn't getting told any time soon. Despite her easy words, Buffy's eyes looked red from crying. Not something Faith was really good at noticing, ususally. But if Buffy wanted to avoid, Faith was willing to play along--for now.

"So, you wanted me to stay, are you gonna open what I got you?"

Buffy spun around, a huge smile spreading over her face. Faith shifted, trying to hide her answering smile. She spent the night with Angel and left you to rot, she yelled at herself. She didn't even want you here in the first place. But seeing how a single word about her presents caused happiness return to Buffy's eyes made it too easy to forget. She was already tearing through the scraps of newspaper Faith had tied around her gift. Tossing the paper aside, she held up the stake like it was the Holy Grail or something.

"A new Mr. Pointy," she declared, as if a million stakes hadn't gone through her hands in the last few years. "Thank you, Faith. I'll save it for a special vampire."

"Yeah," Faith said. I can think of one 'special' vampire. Shut up, she likes it. "Don't go getting mushy on me, B, that thing's meant for using, it's not like I want you to set up a shrine or anything."

"I think it's very thoughtful." Joyce brought out a plate full of turkey leftovers from the kitchen. "Here, Buffy, eat, you missed dinner last night. Faith, did you want some breakfast?"

Faith nodded. She was pretty much trapped here, now, but it wasn't like she had plans. In fact, it was kind of nice, exactly what she'd hoped would happen last night. Maybe they could finally get over this whole thing between them, Mrs. Post and Angel and all that crap. Maybe she could finally relax. She reached over the arm of the couch to mooch some turkey cold cuts from Buffy's plate, and grinned when she got her hand firmly slapped. She stared at Buffy and waggled her eyebrows as she licked her fingers clean. Buffy stuck her tongue out in return. Yeah, this definitely had possibilities.

"Now, girls, I know you want to dive in to all the presents," Joyce said, "but I have an even better idea. Buffy, Faith and I were thinking it would be wonderful to take a ski weekend, the three of us, maybe over New Year's. What do you think?"

Faith started to object, but Buffy's squeal of excitement interrupted her.

"Wow!" Buffy jumped up, nearly spilling the turkey sandwich she'd piled together. "Really, Mom? Can you get the time off? Ooh! Can there be a hot tub? And really incredibly obscene amounts of hot chocolate? Can Faith really come?"

"I can't--" Faith started, and was immediately at the receiving end of two Summers glares. This was not happening. And yet... "I can't ski so hot," she finished lamely.

"No problem," Buffy said airily, waving away the objection. "You've got Slayer strength and co-ordination. And if that's not enough, I'm a great teacher."

Faith sank back on the cushions and watched as Joyce and Buffy proceeded to plan the next week of her life. She was going away with Buffy. To a ski lodge in the mountains. With a hot tub. Over New Year's Eve. Shit.

The line between amazing and disaster suddenly seemed a hell of a lot thinner.

Part 2

Faith jiggled with the radio dial to see if she could get less static and more of the techno dancebeat she'd chosen. At last, giving up with a sigh, she slumped down in the front seat, knees on the dashboard, and drummed her fingers along with the heavy bass. Behind her, she could practically feel Buffy pouting--call it a Slayer connection or just the way she always knew what B was getting her panties in a knot about (all the more reason not to wear them, in her opinion, but try telling that to Little Miss Modesty). That, and she'd seen how Buffy had to contort herself in several unmentionable ways to fit in with all the gear they'd stuffed into the back of the Jeep. But she wasn't gonna let that pout get the better of her this time. She was strong. She'd just pretend she had no idea she was the target of B's laser stare. She was just gonna sit here, mind her own business, and silently count down to the explosion.

Tiny nest of suitcases rammed against who-knows-what...ten...her mom calmly oblivious, eyes on the road...seven...everyone ignoring the puppy eyes and little wounded sighs...four...Faith stealing the front seat from right under her nose when they'd left the house...two...

"I think we should have measured with Faith's boots off."

Right on schedule. Faith threw back her head and rolled her eyes. "Face it, B, you're the shortest. And I called shotgun. To the victor goes the leg room."

"It's really suspicious, actually--how no one's ever seen you barefoot." Buffy nudged Faith's seat with her toe. "I bet you're secretly a midget."

"Yeah, I'm actually two people in one kick-ass costume." Faith glanced at Joyce, but she was carefully not listening--very Sunnydale of her; if you ignored the fight then it wasn't happening. Or maybe it was a parent thing, for car trips. "Y'know, you wouldn't be having this problem if you'd stopped packing after the third suitcase. Jeez, you practically spent more time pickin' clothes than we're gonna be gone."

"Hey, just because you're ready to go once you've tied your bindle--where does that word come from, anyway?--"

Faith froze. So that's what she thinks of you. Tramp. But you knew that, right? So, no biggie.

So why are you here?

Shut up.

Oh, great, she's still babbling about bindles.

She's cute when she babbles.

I said shut UP.

"Yeah, anyway, B, if you have a point, you know, we're all waiting."

Again, the pout. She could tell, even when it happened behind her back. "My point, F, is that it's actually three suitcases and a makeup case."

"Makeup? For skiing?"

Another nudge in the back of her seat, like Buffy was letting her in on a big conspiracy. "It's for the lodge, apres-ski. For all the cute skiing guys."

"Yeah?" Faith glanced again at Joyce. Still nothing. Amazing what that woman could block out without even raising a sweat. "What about soulboy, does he know you're looking to get down and dirty with some snow muffin?"

"I told you Angel and I aren't together like that. Especially since..."

Faith straightened in her seat and twisted to look back at Buffy. Buffy flapped a hand and resettled herself on her luggage, grimacing, and nodded towards her mom. Faith raised an eyebrow. It must be pretty heavy if it could break through Joyce's deaf act. Angel really wasn't her favourite subject, but it looked like B was willing to spill what happened Christmas Eve, at last. Faith turned back to the front, trying to process that. Did she really want to know? Not that she was likely to get a choice in the matter. And why was Buffy going to tell her? She hadn't even talked to Red about it before they left. So...okay. Great. Big confession time. With her. For her. Maybe B and Deadboy were actually going through with the breakup thing this time, and now...

Now what?

She's not here for you. This is the pity-friend thing, poor Faith alone on Christmas. Her mom invited you, for Chrissakes. She said she wants the ski-boys.

She turned around again. "The hump 'em and dump 'em plan is great, B, but you do know your mom's along on this trip, right?"

Buffy gave a wry smile. "Hey, I said nothing about humping. Again with the diverging life-philosophies. Although..." The smile widened, then, "No. I just need a break from all that codependent, passive-aggressive, and I use the word loosely, 'soul'-mate stuff. Future, not past. That's what I'm focusing on now."

"Oh." Faith shifted uncomfortably. "Well, y'know, if you, like, need to talk...or, y'know, whatever."

Buffy grinned, slamming on the full thousand-watt smile. "Faith, I do believe that somewhere in that mess of sentence fragments was a wonderful thought. Thanks."

God, she's beautiful. And I'm such a corn-dog. "Yeah, well, I'm figuring on getting killed on the hill, so, I'm making back-up plans for the full three days."

"I do not talk that much!"

Faith smirked and Buffy swatted her shoulder. A Slayer-strength swat, but a friendly one. Yeah. She could be comforting. She could do the friend thing. At least that.

"Well, this is it." Joyce's words broke through Faith's doze and she uncurled from the front seat. Blinking, she looked out of the windshield. The Jeep was parked in front of the biggest fucking so-called 'cabin' she'd ever seen. Which wasn't saying much, but still, the place was massive.

"Finally!" B kicked at Faith's seat. "Come on, out, I want to discover how much physio I'll need before my legs work again."

"Right." Faith stepped out, still staring. The place was three stories of stripped logs, with wide bay windows looking out across the valley, cedar-shingled and just gorgeous. The walk-out was directly under the lift-line, and around the opposite corner, she could see a hot tub set into the balcony jutting off over the dip of the mountain. A light dusting of snow over the steps and railings was burnished bronze by the falling sun.

"Isn't this place amazing?" Joyce put her hands on Faith's shoulders and followed her gaze. "A friend of mine from the book club offered me a few days of her timeshare in exchange for a deal with her redecorating. We get the top two floors, two bedrooms, bath, living room, kitchen...and all the fresh air you can breathe." Joyce spread her arms and sighed. "I'm glad we thought of this, Faith, I haven't had a vacation in far too long."

"Yeah. It's bitchin'," Faith breathed, then backtracked. "Uh, I mean, it's nice. Lovely. Good."

Joyce smiled. "I think you had it right the first time. I'm going to start unpacking. You two come in when you're ready."

"Okay." Faith watched her go, then rolled her neck, stretching out the car cramps. The air was cool, but still, and the sunset was leaving the last of its warmth before night fell. The snow banks absorbed sound, leaving the place amazingly quiet.

A little too quiet. Where was B, who by all rights should still be moaning about her pins and needles? Faith started to turn...

And was blindsided by a stinging faceful of snow. Sputtering, she wiped the slush from her face, and blinked at the sight of Buffy bent over, giggling, another snowball in one hand.

"Oh, you so did not just do that," she growled. Icy water dripped down the back of her neck.

Buffy gasped with laughter. "You turned...right when...and the look on your face..."

"You are going to pay for that, B." Faith bent over and scraped together a double handful of snow, ignoring the burning cold. Buffy's face changed from laughter to worry, and she started backing up.

"You wouldn't. My legs still hurt. It's getting dark. Faith..."

"Hey, you're still holding a snowball. This is just a preemptive strike." Faith took a step forward, crushing the snow into the perfect shape.

Buffy sidled around the other side of the Jeep. "Preemptive...? You've been talking to Giles again."

"You gonna talk, or are you gonna run?"

Buffy ran for the door, but Faith circled the Jeep just as fast, and whipped her snowball. It caught Buffy square in the chest, right where a stake would've gone into a vampire, and splattered over her sweater. Buffy retaliated with the ball she was holding, but Faith ducked it and charged.

"Hey!" Buffy was running in earnest, now. "Come on, that's one each. We're even, aren't we?" she called over her shoulder.

"Not until you eat snow, Summers!"

Buffy floundered through the drifts, breaking through the crust and hip-deep in snow, trying to see how close Faith was getting and still choosing the best direction to flee. Faith, with her trail already broken and several inches of height on her side, closed on her prey quickly and tackled her into a snow bank. Buffy struggled mightily for position, almost slipping out of Faith's hold, but Faith grabbed her wrists and straddled her, cutting off her escape.

"Now..." Faith said, as menacingly as possible. "You are gonna regret so much about the last five minutes..."

Buffy wriggled like a caught fish. "Never!"

"Yep." Faith chose a handful of loose powder and let some of it drift down onto Buffy's face, grinning as she spat and grunted, twisting her hips under Faith's weight. Faith hissed as the contact suddenly became unbearably delicious, Buffy all red-faced and gasping beneath her. She lifted away a little. "Don't start what you can't finish, B," she said, shoved the snow in Buffy's face, and stood up.

Buffy glared at her, brushed the snow away, then reached for the hand Faith offered to help her up. "You got snow up my sweater," she said, sulking, and tramped back to the beaten path. Faith followed more slowly, trying to ease the chafing of her leather pants--really not the best winterwear--and regain her cool. Away from Buffy, she was freezing, and wet through by the snow-wrassling.

In more than one way.

Jeez, you can't control yourself for five minutes, how you going to last the weekend?

She started it.

Right. That makes it all better, then.


Faith frowned at B's shadow ahead of her, lit by the cabin's windows. "Yeah?"

"I'm sorry I threw a snowball at your head."

"No, you're not."

"Well...not a lot. But some." Buffy reached out as Faith drew level with her and grabbed her hand. "Any outdoor activity earns you hot chocolate, you know."

"It better." But she was smiling again. Damn. Too easy.

"And the snow was scratchy." Wheedling, now.

"Yeah." Faith gave Buffy a light hipcheck. "I'm sorry I dumped you in the snow."

"No, you're not."

"Nope." Faith opened the door to the cabin and let Buffy lead her in. "Not even some."

Part 3

Joyce glanced up from the romance novel she was reading and gave them a single long look when they came in. "I'm guessing I don't need to know?" she asked mildly.

"Snowball fight," Buffy answered, kicking off her shoes. "So do we get the tour or what? I need clothes from suitcases one, two, and five."

"Five?" Faith asked. She shrugged out of her jacket and tossed it on a stand near the door. "You mean there's more?"

"I packed stuff for you too." Buffy gave her a stern look. "You didn't dress for the weather. I'm not going to spend my weekend waiting on a sick Slayer."

"Nor am I," Joyce called, her nose buried once again in Brazen Desire. "I've had enough of that to last a lifetime."

"Thanks muchly, Mom. Making all that effort to survive the flu seems so worth it now." Buffy rolled her eyes for Faith's benefit and they shared a grin. "The bedroom's upstairs, right?"

"Actually..." Joyce smiled to herself. "I think you'll find what you need down here."

Buffy grabbed Faith and dragged her into the living room in front of Joyce. "Are you saying what I think you're saying?" she asked, practically jumping up and down with excitement.

"What?" Faith asked.

Joyce shook her head ruefully. "I know you're going to want to stay up late and talk about boys and give each other makeovers. And I know that you'd argue about who got the air mattress on the floor. So..."

"Um, I don't--" Faith said, intending to set the matter straight on her participation in these little sleepover rituals of Buffy's, but before she could finish, she got an elbow in the ribs. Buffy glared at her. "Hey--"

"So...?" Buffy lead her mom. "You were saying...?"

"Girls, why don't you two take the master suite? I'll just take the twin bed upstairs. Certainly I don't need the king-size to myself."

"All right! Thanks, Mom," Buffy said, and rushed away to check out the room.

"Yeah, thanks," Faith muttered. The floor sounded safer. But who was she to complain? If this is how B and Red spent their nights...

Joyce patted her shoulder absently, still reading. "You get settled in, and then we can see about dinner," she said.

There was a sudden high-pitched squeal from down the hall. "I think that's my cue," Faith said. She followed after Buffy. Suddenly, an arm snaked out of the room and dragged Faith in by the elbow.

"Look," Buffy cried. "The hot tub is on our balcony." She let go of Faith and bounded across the room. She yanked open the glass doors and danced out, barefoot. "Faith, come on, take a look at this view!"

Faith grinned. There was just no way to not get excited when B was this happy. She sauntered out onto the balcony and aimed a test kick at the hot tub cover. The view was amazing. Buffy was leaning out over the railing, bouncing up to see the road below better, her wet jeans clinging to her, the thin sweater and cold weather leaving very little to the imagination. Which had never stopped Faith before; her imagination immediately went into overdrive.

She laughed. Buffy turned around, surprised, and Faith just shook her head. "You're like a little kid," she said. Then, with a significant look, "You cold, there, B, or just glad to be my roomie?"

Buffy's face became a very amusing shade of red. "I am going to change," she said with as much dignity as she could muster. Which wasn't much, considering how fast she'd crossed her arms.

"Right, you do that." Faith looked up at the stars. She could pick out Orion and the Big Dipper from her time hitchhiking, but out here they seemed so much closer. She looked after Buffy as she passed to go inside. "Hey, B?" she said quietly.

"What, you want to compliment my ass next?" Buffy asked, exasperated, then mumbled, "I knew should've brought a muumuu."

"No." Faith smiled into the dark. "I just wanted to say thanks. For inviting me. It's pretty much the best vacation I've ever had."

Buffy turned back, silhouetted in the doorway. Faith thought she could see an answering smile, and a hint of Buffy's eyes glimmering in the starlight. "Already? We just got here."

"Yeah. Already."

"Well, good. I'm glad you came." Buffy shivered. "But I really am going to change now."

"Okay. And B?"


"You've got a gorgeous ass."

Faith rummaged through the suitcase Buffy had told her was hers. After a late dinner at a restaurant in town, they'd spent some time checking out the closed stores before returning to the chalet. Buffy had immediately grabbed her bags and rushed for the shower, instructing Faith to find the pajamas she'd packed for her.

She found a pair of thick flannel pyjamas with cartoon penguins on snowshoes. "No way," she muttered. "She has got to be kidding me." She pawed past the ski gear in the bag and came up with a dark red bikini that looked like it would be a bit on the skimpy side. "Okay...this is more like it...I guess..."

Buffy came in, her hair loose, wearing an identical set of pyjamas, except hers had pictures of polar bears wearing earmuffs. "Bathroom's yours," she said.

Faith held up the penguins. "Uh, B? These aren't really my style, you know?"

Buffy pouted. "They're cute."

"I'm not sure 'cute' is the word I want the docs to be thinking when I'm brought into the ER dying of heat stroke."

"I suppose you've got something better?"

"Well--" Faith stopped. Buffy was right that she hadn't brought much, and pyjamas were one thing that hadn't made the list. "I don't really wear..."

Buffy raised an eyebrow. "You sleep nude. Skin and sheets. Bare is better. I know, you've told me. On at least one occasion, in a lot more detail than I really needed. Ergo, penguins."

"Ergo?" Faith echoed weakly.

"It's a Giles word." Buffy crossed her arms. "In my bed, we wear clothes. Now, go change."

Faith snorted. "Fine." She grabbed the pile and went to the bathroom. When she was ready, she took one last doubtful look and pulled them on. "Cute," she sneered at her reflection.

She walked back to the room, picking at the sleeves. When she looked up, Buffy was lying on her side in the bed, propped up on her elbow. She was biting back a smile, her eyes sparkling.

"If you say one word..." Faith said, leaving the threat hanging. She could feel herself blushing. B could really pull off this look, but as for her, she felt more naked wearing flannel penguins than when she'd skinned completely out of her leathers.

Buffy nodded, gave her a weird, almost embarrassed look, and patted the side of the bed next to her. "Time for all that girly sleepover stuff," she said. "Like Mom expects."

Faith turned off the lights and sat beside her, hugging her knees. "Like you finally telling me exactly what went down with Deadboy on Christmas?" she asked. Anything to put off the actual sleeping part. The best defense is a good offense.

Buffy frowned. "He was going to kill himself."

Faith raised her eyebrows. "Angel?" She didn't add that she figured he was so committed to brooding that he could never make up his mind to do the dusty deed.

"Yeah..." Buffy sighed and lay back. "He was giving up..."

"But it was the First doing that to him, you said."

"I wasn't upset about that. It's--he didn't want to fight." Buffy looked up at her. "I killed the Bringers. We stopped the First. Angel's fine. But..."

Faith looked down at her toes. "But now you're back to all that you-and-him cursed vampire soap opera stuff," she said roughly. What else? Second verse, same as the first. A little bit louder and a whole lot worse.

"I don't think so." Buffy let out a breath that was almost a laugh. "I really don't, this time. We were walking through all that snow, hand in hand, and all I could think was how could I still be believing in him when he'd almost given up on me?"

"So what did you do?"

"With Angel, there's always so much drama. Love isn't supposed to be that depressing. And I told him so. I'm not going back."

Faith sat up straight. The room's darkness didn't mean much to her Slayer's eyes, and Buffy's gaze was clear and direct. "Yeah?" she said, keeping her voice as empty as possible. Because she didn't care. Because it didn't mean a thing. This week apart, next week endless love. Already she could see Buffy getting upset, her eyes bright with tears. She's just sorry she's going to have to apologize before she goes running back to him this time.

"Yeah," Buffy whispered. "I thought you'd--"

Faith interrupted, "So why didn't you tell Red about all this?"

Buffy shrugged and looked away. When she spoke, her voice was under control again. "Willow is my best friend, she's always been a big Angel-and-me-together fan. But that's partly because she was supporting the idea of me in love, or the thought of love at all. She's a huge romantic. She wants it to work out. And after Christmas--" She paused, then said almost to herself, "There were things she wouldn't understand."

Faith nodded. "And you didn't want a cheerleader anymore." Well, there was no danger of that here. She'd listen, but she wasn't waiting with bated breath for the next guy to walk into Buffy's life. Like Scott Hope take two.

"Yeah." Buffy glanced up at her. "If I told her about--everything, I'd feel guilty because of how it'd make her feel. Crazy, huh?"

"Nah." Faith twisted around and lay down, away from Buffy's strangely significant stare. She laced her fingers together behind her head, feeling the heat of Buffy's body through their mutual layers of flannel. "Maybe it's just time for you to do what's right for you--what makes you feel better." She pushed away the bitterness that came with the words. "When you worry too much about how everyone else is doing, pretty soon you're mad at them because they'll take advantage of you if they can."

"That's not true. Not everyone's like that, Faith." Buffy's voice was soft again, trying to convince her.

"Yeah?" Faith felt her anger building. "Angel kissed you as soon as he thought he could get away with it. Xander pulled the I-told-you-so card practically the minute he found out. That's people for you."

"You didn't--"

"I wasn't there, remember?" Faith rolled over, away from her. Still feeling Buffy's nearness against her back. It was a fucking king-size bed. Why were they all scrunched together in the middle?

Buffy shifted, as if to reach out and touch her. Faith waited, wondering, but at last she heard Buffy's arm drop back to her side. "I'm sorry about that, Faith. I want you to be there--I mean, not at my personal inquisition, but whenever we meet. You don't have to be your own team."

Faith rolled back. Buffy was watching her closely, her green eyes wide and serious. She'd tried to push away the memory of what that bitch Post had done by blaming Buffy for everything. And it didn't help. People hurt you when they could. But this was one dead horse that didn't need another kick. And there was something in Buffy's face--

"Yeah, okay. Flying solo's not always what it's cracked up to be. I know." She sighed. "Habit, right? Maybe I'll get over it someday."

Buffy nodded. "I hope so. Anyway, that's not what I meant. When I had to go to Angel, you understood. And you haven't been all judgy tonight. You've never taken advantage of me."

Faith couldn't help it. She grinned and wiggled her eyebrows. "Not yet, anyway."

Buffy managed a wry grin and a disapproving glare all in one look. "Okay, I walked into that one."

Faith gave an innocent half shrug. "Hey, you're the one who was so psyched about us sharing a bed."

Buffy's grin turned evil. "Yeah, only so I could get my revenge for you dumping me in the snow. I'm whacking you with my pillow as soon as you fall asleep."

"Right, because we're not fulfilling enough of Xander's fantasies. We've got to fit a pillow fight in somehow."

"It's a busy schedule, but we wouldn't want to disappoint him when we get back. He needs new material--the alligator story is wearing thin."

"I'll just have to find something else to wrassle naked," Faith said, filling her voice with suggestion.

Buffy just nodded, that sheepish look back on her face. Faith gave herself points for winning that exchange. It was easier to get back into the rhythm of their joking than to accept what Buffy was saying. Sure, they were okay for now--friends--but sooner or later one of them would mess up, and it'd be gone...probably she'd be the one moving on. Buffy rolled onto her back, staring at the ceiling, and Faith wondered what she was thinking. Probably about Angel. It wasn't so easy to give up the brooding the instant you said you were moving on.

She sighed and closed her eyes. It was weird trying to sleep next to someone instead of giving them the heave-ho. The pyjamas were itchy. And hot. And she could feel Buffy watching her. She tried not to flinch under the weight of that stare.

Several minutes passed. Buffy whispered, "Faith?"


"You asleep?"


"Oh." A pause; the sheets rustling. Then: "Me too."

"Goody for you."


It was going to be a long night.

Part 4

The red numbers glowed 7:43 AM and someone was in bed with Faith.

She stiffened for the two seconds it took to wake up fully and remember who that someone was; it took three more seconds to realise what that someone was doing--spooning her, soft bursts of air tickling her earlobe, one hand draped carelessly over her stomach and resting just below her breasts. Faith jerked forward in surprise, and the someone followed, snuggling closely behind her.

Buffy was not going to be a happy camper if she woke up like this. She probably wouldn't stop blushing for a week. And Faith wasn't going to be on her favourite-people list for a lot longer than that.

But this was not Faith's fault. They were on her side of the bed. In fact, a few inches further and they'd be on the floor next to her side of the bed. And there was no way to escape. And she was beginning to enjoy herself entirely too much.

If she moved, Buffy might wake up and know that she knew. If she didn't move, Buffy might wake up and know, but she wouldn't know that Faith knew. If she went back to sleep and Buffy woke up and moved, she might wake Faith...and then Buffy would know that she knew and that Faith knew that she knew Faith knew. If she stayed here all night and didn't move, the only thing she knew was that she'd go crazy thinking about it.

Thinking about how easy it'd be to hold Buffy's hand over her stomach and brush phantom patterns on her arm with her fingertips.

Thinking about how Buffy's breathing moved her chest back and forth, now touching Faith's back, now sliding away.

Thinking about how if she shifted ever-so-slightly they'd be completely pressed together, shoulder to toe, her hips cradled by Buffy's, their legs linked together.

They were bad thoughts. They were wonderful thoughts. They were--oh my god is Buffy waking up? thoughts.

"Sorry." Buffy's warm breath near her ear didn't sound sorry at all, and she let go entirely too slowly, and it did nothing to dull the ache between Faith's legs. She squeezed her thighs together, let her hand creap under the elastic of the pyjama bottoms and pressed, hard. If she could just ease the early-morning hornies until she could get to the bathroom, anywhere...shit. Shit. Bad move. She came, quick and hot, biting back her gasp and twitching away from Buffy. She scrambled out of bed to mask her movement, Buffy half sitting up behind her as though to follow.

"I'm--I'm gonna catch a shower," she said, hating the stutter in her voice.

"But it's early...vacation. Sleeping in is what we do."

Fuck it, fuck this, fuck all the goddamn self-control. Fuck B and her bedroom eyes, all half-sleepy and tousle-haired but so...so...fuck. "Yeah, well, cleanliness is next to--something good. So I hear. I'll be back."

Faith bolted for the washroom and wrenched open the hot water tap in the shower until steam clouded the room. Mist slowly faded her reflection from the mirror--face red, hair a wavy mess, eyes dark and wide, breath still catching in her throat. She nearly scalded herself climbing in.

Leaning against the tiles, she ran her hands down her body, still tight with unreleased tension. Wash it all away. God. Fucking...oh God. Hand between her legs now, fingers moving inside, still slick and wanting and the shower was hot, so hot.

Fuck you, B...fuck...you...

She tried to draw it out, but it was over too fast, again, a brief spurt of empty pleasure. Her knees trembled and she let her head hang, let her the water plaster her hair to her face. Let her breath quicken, not lust this time but tears. She swallowed them back, her throat constricting. At last, she lifted her face to the jet, eyes closed, and started to wash.

When she returned to the bedroom, wrapped in a towel, Buffy was laying on top of the covers, legs spread, her top riding up to expose the pale smoothness of her stomach. She'd fallen back asleep, or at least her eyes were closed, her chest moving with deep, even breaths. The room smelled like sex. Faith turned her back, dropped her pyjamas in a heap and grabbed her suitcase. She hauled out long johns and sweats and pulled them on without losing the towel. She yanked her hair back into a loose ponytail. When she finished, Buffy had rolled over and was watching her drowsily, eyes half-closed.

"Bet Mom'll make us pancakes," she said. "Hungry?"

"Whatever. I'm gonna watch TV."

She threw herself onto the couch in the living room, flipping through channels until she found an old rerun of Spiderman, and then stared blankly out the window. It was snowing again, huge sticky flakes, and with a sort of dull surprise Faith remembered they were here to ski. How excited she'd been that they were going together...that B was going to teach her. All she could think now was that she couldn't wait to get back to Sunnydale, back to ignoring B and the Scoobies as much as she could. Back to forgetting everything she felt. It'd be easier, for everyone. All she had to do was survive the rest of this 'vacation' without saying anything. Yeah.

Two more nights...


"This..." Buffy paused dramatically and waved a ski pole at the panorama in front of them, "...is a ski hill."

"Yeah, I got that much, thanks." Faith shifted her weight from one ski to the other, adjusting to the fit and weight of her rented ski boots. She'd made it up the lift in one piece, had managed not to embarass herself, yet. But she was convinced it wouldn't be long before she was rolling down the hill like a cartoon snowball with the arms and legs sticking out, and all the wavy motion-lines around it.

And B standing at the top of the hill laughing.

Faith scowled, knowing Buffy couldn't see it beneath her neckwarmer and goggles. After this morning, the magic had gone out of the so-called vacation.


"What?" she snapped.

"I said, let's take that green circle run. It's the easiest."

"Fine." She shoved off, skating on her skis like she'd been shown by some cheap fuck from that long-ago Massachusetts ski hill. She knew she was acting the bitch, but she'd never modified her moods for anyone else's benefit in the past, and wasn't about to start. Buffy, however, was ignoring her outburst, following along easily behind her until they reached the top of the slope.

Faith looked out across the valley at the mountains opposite. "You first."

"I'm supposed to be teaching you." Buffy sounded hurt. Jeez, it was hardly her fault that Faith couldn't handle all this good-buddy stuff. They were supposed to be having fun. And she was messing it up. As usual.

Faith softened a bit. "Yeah, so I'll learn by watching. Go on."

Buffy gave her a brief look, head tilted, like maybe she was gonna ask some shrink-question--or sign them both up to be on a Very Special Oprah. But she probably knew Faith wasn't going to talk, so she dug in her poles and headed down the run.

Damn, but she looked good. Ned Flanders in a ski suit had nothin' on B.

Yeah, this wasn't getting any easier. Faith gave a disgusted snort. Maybe she should just get with the skiing.

No sooner than she thought it than she saw Buffy wobble on a sharp turn and do a monster faceplant in the snow. And, just like that, all her grumpiness melted into a fit of giggles. She cautiously pushed off and skiied as quickly as she could to where Buffy was just sitting up.

Stopping beside her, Faith leaned forward on her poles and laughed. "Damn, B, if you're giving tips on what not to do, then you're the best teacher I've ever had."

Buffy pushed herself up and fished snow out of her collar. "There was ice."

"Right." Faith pushed her goggles up to her forehead, the better to show off her mocking grin.

"There was. And I haven't been skiing in three years." She twisted around, batting at the snow in her collar and missing.

Faith inched forward. "Here," she said. "You missed some."

"You're probably going to shove it down my jacket," Buffy grumbled, but she turned to allow Faith better access. Faith took off her mitten to brush the snow away. Buffy shivered, and Faith pressed her palm against the back of her neck, warming her. Buffy looked over her shoulder with a tentative smile. "Thanks."

Faith shoved her head away playfully. "Yeah, whatever," she said. "Clumsy." She grinned, tried to back away on her skis, overbalanced, and promptly fell on her butt beside Buffy.

"Oh-ho! Look who's talking!"

"I'm tangled in your skis."

"And that's my fault?"

"You fell first!"

They were both laughing. Other skiers were giving making wide turns around them, and still they sat in the snow. Buffy was smiling her light-up-the-room smile and Faith knew it was all for her. She was probably grinning like a dope herself. No way was she going to make the first move to get up--not even if she got frostbite in unmentionable places and they stayed here til spring. Christ, but she was fucking schizo around B. One minute ready to pack it all in, and the next--after just a look, or a smile--and she was back to being ass-over-teakettle in love.


Oh, shit.

Part 5


That changed everything.

For the rest of the day, on the ski lifts, on the runs, in the lodge eating lunch, it was all Faith could think about. Before she'd just been thinking that B was a hottie--that much she'd known since she got to Sunnydale--and that it'd do them both a world of good if they could get down and dirty. Sometimes, maybe, she thought about a date, like, a date date with dinner and a movie and beating demons to a bloody pulp to top the evening off, all romantic and shit. The closest they'd come to that was Homecoming, and that wasn't very close at all, what with B out saving the world again. But screwing was screwing and dating was dating and love was--different.

Love was scary, when you got right down to it. Especially when the girl you fell for had no fucking clue.

When the lifts shut off for the day she was exhausted. All her muscles felt like cooked spaghetti. It was better than a full night's slaying, dancing until dawn, and three rounds in the sack with whoever she'd managed to pick up. It was a peaceful kind of tired, like she was happy and for once she didn't have to fight for it.

Plus, B was still giving out those sappy smiles. Jeez, but she was getting mushy. And enjoying it, for frick's sake.

They were bickering easily by the time they reached the lodge at the end of the day. Joyce came out to meet them, a tall man trailing behind her.

"Girls, I'd like you to meet Mark Hewitt," she said. "We met on the ski lift and got to talking, and he's invited us to his New Year's Eve party tomorrow."

Faith gave the guy a half-hearted smile. He seemed nice enough, in an older, stuffy way, kind of like Giles but not so studly. Mrs. S. was pretty pleased with him, though, she could tell. But hell if Faith was going to go to his New Year's party. It'd probably be full of old people sitting around falling asleep before the ball dropped, listening to classical music and enjoying good conversation.

Buffy gave her an agonized look that said exactly what she was thinking: Boring.

"Uh, that's great, Mom. And, thanks, Mr. Hewitt. But, Faith and me--" Buffy squirmed like a bug on a hook under her mom's stare. "We were going to--uh--do something. With the plans, and all the planning we did. By ourselves. You know. Plans. Can't change them, 'cause then you wouldn't call them plans, would you--"

Faith kicked Buffy's shin to shut her up and smiled sweetly when Buffy stuck out her tongue.

The two adults exchanged glances. Mr. Hewitt grinned. "That's too bad; my son will be disappointed."

"Your son?" Buffy asked weakly.

"Yes. He's just over there--Craig!" Mr. Hewitt waved, and they all turned around.

Faith took him in with one glance: tall, dark, handsome, and constructed mainly from cardboard. Buffy's eyebrows shot up, impressed. Damn it. Her eyebrows were not supposed to be impressed. Neither, for that matter, was the rest of her. She half-listened to them exchanging hellos, then grabbed Buffy by the upper arm and started pulling with Slayer strength.

"Um, excuse us, so sorry, be right back," Buffy called over her shoulder as Faith dragged her away. "What?" she asked when they were across the room.

"Are we really goin' to this party?" Faith looked back at Craig over Buffy's shoulder. He was watching them. She narrowed her eyes at him until he turned away.

"I don't know. We were invited, like, five minutes ago." Buffy yanked her arm back to herself. "What's the problem? You like parties."

"Yeah, but with your mom there? I'd rather stay in with a bottle of Jack's. And at least the music would be better."

Buffy twisted and stared at her mom, still deep in conversation with Mark Hewitt. "Do you think she likes him?"


"Mom and this guy. Do you think she's looking for, you know, a stand-in kisser?"

Faith shook her head, lost. "A stand-in kisser?"

"For New Year's. For midnight. You know, someone you get to know just enough so that you're not pathetic and alone when everyone around you has someone to kiss."

"I don't know." Faith folded her arms. Of course that was the sort of thing Buffy thought needed planning. Well, who did she expect to step up when the time came, unless it was Meathead over there, doing the polite thing with Joyce and Mark? Or did Buffy figure that they were supposed to be pathetic together? Joyce was touching Mark's arm and smiling. Yeah, she probably wanted to jump his bones, but if she told B that, she'd wig. "Why, is that what you're looking for? A stand-in?"

"Maybe it's a date." Buffy frowned. "Maybe they'll find out they have so much in common, and oh, look, he's from Sunnydale too, and then before you know it he's reading my journal and making spinach cookies for all the minigolfing picnics we go on."

"B, you're not makin' sense." Faith shifted. "Listen, we'll go, okay? Then you can watch 'em the whole time. Fuck if I care." She was about to stalk off when Buffy put her hand on her arm, eyes wide.

"Faith, wait!"

"Yeah, what?"

Buffy turned her concerned look on. "What if she wants to bring him back to the chalet?"

Disgusted, she shook free. "Then they can knock boots all night long. Face it, B. No matter what you say, everybody gets horny now and then."

"That's not what I meant!" Buffy chased after her. "I mean, ew, that is what I meant, because--yuck! She's my mother, and--I mean--" She stopped, and Faith twisted on her heel to look at her.

"Yeah, so what did you mean? 'Cause I got the feeling we're not even having the same conversation."

"Just--" Buffy took a step forward. "I don't know. I wanted--I mean, this was supposed to be our weekend. Right?"

Faith studied her boots. This was probably about the Post bitch. The part where Buffy says, 'I think we need to talk'. Fuck that. Aloud, she said, "I guess."

"So. Good, then." Buffy was nodding way too much. Finally she seemed to get control of it and smiled up at Faith. "Uh. So do you wanna try out the hot tub tonight?"

Buffy stepped with exaggerated care through the French doors, staring intently at the two huge mugs of hot chocolate she was balancing. "Here," she said. "I made it just the way you like it."

Faith took her cup and took a sip and nearly choked. "Tastes like you used more Bailey's than actual hot chocolate," she said.

"Nah, it's about even," Buffy said with an assuring wave, nearly slopping her half-full drink over her hand. "Whee. Look at my hand be all wavy."

Faith rolled her eyes. "Don't tell me, you made yours just the way I like it, too."

"Yeah. I think I like you." Buffy turned scarlet and continued to peer into the steam rising from her mug. "I mean. I like hot chocolate. I like it your way."

Faith hid her smile by taking a drink. "Damn, B, how much have you had already?"

"Just a few tests. Had to make sure I got it right." Buffy grinned. "All right. I am plan girl. Here it is: You. Me. Hot tub." She nodded along to her thoughts for a moment. "Yes. That's right. The three of us."

"You're probably going to fall in and drown."

"Aww, c'mon, Faith." Buffy turned the full force of pout and puppy-dog eyes on her. "I wanna show off my swimsuit." With a fake whisper, she added, "I got it on sale."

Faith felt her pulse leap in her wrists at the thought. "Okay, you've convinced me. I'll play lifeguard."

"Ha! So there. I win." Buffy started nodding to herself again, and took another big swallow of her Bailey's-laced drink. "Yummy. This is fun. Are you having fun?"

"Oh, tons. B?"


"I think you've gotta go in again if you want to change."

"You too." Buffy stared at her solemnly. "You're coming too."

Don't I wish.

She changed quickly, smirking at the girl in the mirror who couldn't quite manage the usual tough-as-nails look while practically falling out of her top. "Sexy," she said, shaking her head. Who'd'a thought that B had such good taste? And what the hell was she doing buying a bathing suit for Faith, anyway?

In fact, she was feeling pretty what the hell? on a lot of counts. What the hell was she still doing here, what the hell was Buffy doing getting drunk, what the hell was going on? And so what the hell if she was about to get a fashion show that would have Angel half-souless just to think about?

But the Bailey's and the two shots from the bottle of JD's she'd packed for herself were making her brave, or stupid, or something.

So then why are you hiding in the bathroom?

Faith eyed the door. "What the hell," she muttered, and headed out to the tub. Not before taking another pull at her bottle, though.

The air outside was freezing, and Faith eased herself into the water, sitting where a jet would do the most good to her lower back. The contrast between the winter night and the steaming pool made her shiver. She tried to relax, wondering what was taking Buffy so long and if she was too drunk to get into her suit and whether maybe Faith should try to help her or if that would be a couple of lightyears beyond the "just friends" line.

Then Buffy was standing in the doorway and Faith wasn't thinking much of anything beyond God damn, girl. She sucked in a breath and tried not to be too obvious about where her eyes were going, up the slender legs to the patch of royal blue, then to the dip of waist, her bellybutton, up to the swell of her breasts under even less blue, if that was possible. And then down again, as Buffy turned around to step into the hot tub.

"Whoa, B. Hot stuff."

Buffy preened for a moment, then sighed and sank lower in the water. She looked sideways at Faith, a silly grin on her face. "You too." She squirmed for a moment, then reached behind her and pulled out a duck-shaped sponge. "Look, I found a duck." She made it do a little dance over the water.

"I don't think you wanna touch that." Faith backed up, anticipating Buffy's reaction. "It's the thing they use for cleaning the tub."

"Eeeeeew!" Buffy squealed and flung the sponge away. She lunged across the hot tub, sending half the water flooding over Faith and on to the deck. "Ew ew ew ew EW."

Abandoning all ideas of personal space, Buffy was practically sitting in Faith's lap, cringing as far as she could from the object of her disgust. Faith didn't know whether to fend her off or bring her closer. She settled for just sitting as still as she could and leering at B's ass, as it was enjoying a certain proximity to her nose at the moment.

But Buffy didn't stay there for long. "Get it out, Faith!"

"Me?" she asked indignantly. "I'm not the one who dumped it in the water."

"Well, I'm not touching it."

They both stared at the offending sponge for a few seconds in silence, Buffy clutching Faith's arm as though she could protect her from whatever was currently fouling the water.

"If you do, I'll...I'll cook you something."

Faith glanced down at Buffy's iron grip on her arm. The feel of her near-nakedness managed to somehow be even hotter than the water, and that just wasn't fair. "You? Cook?" she asked, but she could feel a grin starting to form. Buffy was glaring with utter loathing across the pool, where the sponge was floating around in the currents created by the jets. Each time the whirlpool threatened to send it across the invisible halfway line, Buffy squirmed just a little bit closer.

"Next time we go Bronzing, it'll be my treat," was her next offer.

Faith snorted. "Next time's your turn anyway. Remember? You bet me I couldn't knock the head off that tall vamp with one kick 'cause my pants were so tight, and I said, 'Oh yeah?' and you said, 'Yeah,' and then I--"

"Okay, okay." Buffy splashed a bit at the bobbing sponge. "It's getting closer. Ugh."

"You could get out if you're so worried."

"No--I'll, I'll give you a back rub."

Faith sat up straighter. "That thing's probably full of bacteria. Or brain parasites." She paused, then: "Just my back?"

"Uh--maybe more than your back."

"Dead skin--soap scum--fungus--Ebola, for all we know."

"Fine, yes, all of you, full body massage. Just get it out."

Faith didn't hesitate. With a splash she stood up and pinched the slimy thing with one finger and thumb and tossed it over the railing to the snow below. "Guess this makes me your hero, huh?" She dropped back into her seat and pointed grandly at the other side. "There. It's as clean as it's gonna get."

Buffy didn't move.

"Uh, B? You wanna shove over? You're hogging the jet."

"I like this jet better," Buffy said, and tipped her head back, grinning slyly. "You want it, you're gonna have to share...hero."

Faith shook her head and settled into her seat. If she didn't know better...but she did know better. Maybe it just wasn't worth thinking about. Besides, with Buffy's eyes closed, it was just too easy to sneak peeks down the front of her bikini. She could ignore how close Buffy's hand was floating next to her thigh. She wasn't drunk--not like Buffy--but the tired and the heat and the Bailey's were all coming together to make the world spin nicely just out of reach.

Right about now, she could handle anything.

"Turn sideways."

Except maybe B's hands on her shoulders, pushing against the spaghetti straps of her top.


"I said turn." Buffy grabbed her shoulders tighter and pulled her into the position she wanted, floating nearly between Buffy's legs.


"Because I'm massaging you. I said I would."


Buffy manhandled her with drunken insistence. "Yes. Stay."

And she stayed. What the hell? was sounding suspiciously like oh my God yes! but who was she to argue? "You sure--ahh!"


"Ah--yeah--um--" Faith frowned a bit, half concentrating on the way Buffy's hands were sinking deep into her muscles, neck and shoulder, just so and destroying the knots--and half wondering when she'd lost herself so much, lost her control. When had anybody ever put her at a loss for words? Why couldn't she say what she needed to, to keep herself at a distance? Instead, there was only this deep hot pleasure at the endless strength in Buffy's arms, and she was melting.

"Want me to go lower?"

There was something in Buffy's voice, too, some husky echo of her bright flirtyness that somehow meant something, but all Faith could say was "Mmm-hmm," and then "Right there."

If the world had been spinning before, it was dancing now, far away and unimportant. Then the magic hands were gone and Buffy was saying, "I'll finish inside. I'm boiled."

Faith heaved herself out of the pool. Her skin was throbbing, her hands and feet pruned, and the falling snow feathered a shivery coolness on her shoulders. She followed Buffy inside and lay facedown on the bed, not even bothering to dry off. Buffy sat on her thighs and continued the massage, her fingers digging in as only a Slayer's could, and as only a Slayer could stand. Blood pounded through every inch of her and Faith felt her mind slipping away, leaking out with the leftover heat of the pool. Before she fell asleep, the last thing she felt was Buffy's hands moving downwards.


Home ~ Updates ~ Fiction ~ Wallpapers ~ Buffy Babies ~ Art Gallery ~ Links ~ Tuneage
Copyright © 2004, All Rights Reserved. | Contact Owner Contact Webmaster