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  Part 6

Faith didn't want to wake up. Her brain had unhooked itself from her body and she couldn't move. She knew there was something she was supposed to be worried about, but she couldn't hold on to a thought, and anyway, maybe it was better to be paralyzed. Felt pretty good. Actually, it felt pretty fucking amazing.

"Faith, honey?" Joyce called. There was a cheerful knock on the door. "Are you awake?"

"Unnngggh," Faith said, hoping to stop the knocking. Apparently, though, groaning was a signal for "yes, please come in; I'm particularly chipper this morning" because Joyce stuck her head around the door.

"Rise and shine!" she said. "I've made eggs. Buffy's been up for a while. She wants to get to the hill."

Buffy. Skiing.


You fell asleep. During the massage.

"Faith? Okay?"

You fucking FELL ASLEEP.

Faith burrowed deeper under the covers. "Unnnngggggh."

"All right. Don't take too long, your breakfast will get cold." Joyce closed the door softly.

Faith listened to her footsteps heading down the hall, and finally forced herself to push her face off her pillow. She scrubbed a hand over her eyes and swung her legs over the side of the bed. It took a second of blinking to realize that the "we wear pyjamas in my bed" rule apparently wasn't written in stone.

"Fuck fuck fuck fuck FUCK." She was still wearing the bottom half of her bikini. After a moment of digging, she found the top buried under the covers of the bed.

When had that happened? How long had Buffy stayed awake last night? Long enough to massage the knots out of Faith's legs, at least, by the feel of it. And then what? Did she just sit there watching her sleep--getting a good eyeful?

Hardly. Maybe Buffy couldn't wake her up to get her to change. Then she'd fallen asleep herself. No big. Buffy was as straight as they came.

Are you sure?

Faith snatched her clothes off the floor and started pulling them on. Of course Buffy was straight. She wanted the ski boys. She'd practically drooled over Craig the Wonderbread Boy. And, hello, Angel. If you managed to live around Buffy for a couple of months and miss that saga, then you were seriously stupid.

But yesterday morning...

Was a mistake. She was asleep.

And the way she looked at you all day yesterday.

We're friends. Friends smile.

And all the times she's said "This is our special weekend..."

She's getting over Angel. She's moving on. That's what it's about.

Faith shook her head. It was just dumb, to think that there was anything more to Buffy's actions. Last night she'd been drunk, that's all. She couldn't go around thinking that every little thing had to mean something. That was a good way to go crazy. God. She needed a cigarette. She started riffling through her jacket for the pack, until she remembered she hadn't brought any.

Mornings sucked.

With a sigh, Faith banged her way out of the room and down the hall to the kitchen. Joyce smiled at her and filled a plate with eggs, bacon, and hash browns for her. Faith took the plate to the table and plopped down in a seat. Buffy, sitting across from her, didn't look up from her mug of coffee. Looked like the girl couldn't take her morning-after medicine. Or else she was purposefully avoiding Faith's eye.

Faith frowned and started shoveling eggs into her mouth.

Joyce brought a newspaper to the table and sat between them. "So, Buffy, have you and Faith decided whether you'll join me at Mark's party tonight?"

Buffy shrugged. "I don't know."

"Craig seems like a nice boy, don't you think?"

Faith snorted softly. Buffy glanced at her over the rim of her mug, and immediately turned bright red. Faith tried to pass it off, act like she didn't care, but instead she felt her own face turning hot. Buffy had looked. Or, she'd seen, anyway. The universe was obviously conspiring against her--Buffy gets a peek, and she got nothing? She stared at her plate and pushed the hash browns around with her fork.

Buffy said, "Yeah. Nice."

Joyce smiled and propped her chin in her hand. "If you don't like him, Buffy, it's all right to say so."

Buffy put her coffee down. "I met him for about five minutes. I don't know him."

"Well, I just think it would be nice if you got to know some boys your own age. There's only Xander at school, and--"

"Mom, stop." Buffy pushed her chair back from the table. "Just because I'm not with Angel anymore doesn't mean I want to meet boys. I'm happy with--uh, I mean, for now--"

"Okay. I'm sorry, honey." Joyce tilted her head. "But it's not just going to be us old fuddy-duddies at the Hewitts' tonight. You girls could have a lot of fun."

"We'll play it by ear," Buffy said. "You never know. Faith and I might cook up a lot of fun all on our own."

Faith nearly choked.

Buffy was bouncy all day. She giggled and babbled and lead the way down green and blue runs, giving Faith pointers and zipping ahead to watch how well Faith applied them. At the end of the day, when they got off the lift for the last time, Faith stopped before Buffy could announce which run.

"All right, B. I'm tired of this easy crap. It's like, the last run of the day. Let's take Forest Paradise."

"The double black diamond? Through the trees?" Buffy turned longingly towards the blue square run she'd picked out as their route down to the chalet.

Faith smirked. "You not up for it, B?"

"Of course I am," Buffy shot back immediately. "I could ski down this blindfold and backward."

"There's a show I'd pay to see." Faith moved closer to the edge, to see where she'd be landing on her first turn.

"But you're a beginner--"

"Yeah, I am. So if you don't follow me," she said, in a mocking singsong, "I might die..." And she shoved with her poles and leapt off the cornice down to the first open space of waist-high moguls. Keeping her knees loose, she gathered momentum, twisting a path through the powder. Below her, it was too steep for moguls, the snow blown away by the wind. It looked icy. The first trees were coming up way too fast. Faith tried to dig her edges in, but she was going too fast, and instead of stopping, she slammed into the hillside ass-first. Her bindings popped open and she slammed feet-first into a patch of spruce trees. Pain erupted in her right knee.

"Shit!" Faith rolled over to look back uphill at the trail of equipment she'd left behind. With her hands, she dug her leg out of the snow and flexed her foot carefully. No slaying for a day or two at least, was her first thought. Sprained knee for sure. Nothing else bad. She watched Buffy ski down after her, collecting all the gear.

"Faith, you'd better not be dead down there!"

"Nope. Just wish I was."

"I'm going to get the ski patrol. You stay still!"

"Okay." Faith lay back in the snow, her skis crossed in an X above her on the hill, and waited. Pretty soon she heard the drone of a snowmobile. Two ski patrollers, with Buffy, helped her into the toboggan and drove them back down to their chalet. Buffy helped her out at the bottom.

"We can help you to your lodge, miss," said the snowmobile driver. "But it would be better if you came to the First Aid office."

"I can take her." Buffy glared the ski patrol into submission.

"Yeah, it's not so bad," Faith said. "I think I can stand on it."

"Oh, no, you don't." Buffy smiled sweetly at the two guys. "I'll make sure she gets the attention she needs." Another glare for Faith, then to the patrollers, "Thank you for your help."

The patrollers looked at each other doubtfully, then nodded to Buffy and took off on their snowmobile.

Faith wriggled under Buffy's supporting arm. "The door is thirty feet away. I can hop, okay?"

The full force of Buffy's glare was turned on her. "I told the ski patrol you'd keep off it." Before Faith could protest further, Buffy swept her off her feet.

"Hey! Come on, B, somebody'll see."

"Stop...struggling!" Buffy tightened her hold. "You're lucky it wasn't your head that hit that tree! Oh, wait, then you'd be totally fine, because your head is made of rocks! I can't believe you wanted to do a double black diamond run on your second day! I was so worried. I thought--"

"Put me down!"

"No! I'm not finished. You're a stubborn, crazy, risk-taking--" Buffy kicked open the front door and stopped dead.

Joyce and Mark Hewitt were kissing in the living room. They both jumped back. Buffy just stood in the doorway, looking around like she expected Candid Cameras to leap out and yell "Psych!" Faith was caught somewhere between laughing and trying to escape Buffy's arms and stand on her own two feet.

"Um, hi," she said. "I hurt my knee."

"Oh, Faith, are you okay?" Joyce was moving towards them, and Faith felt Buffy grip her even harder.

"Yeah, I'm fine. I just need to stay off it. You know." Faith prodded Buffy. "Buffy is, uh, helping me."

Mark followed Joyce. "Buffy, do you need some help? Faith must be heavy for you."

"No..." Buffy looked at Faith, then at Mark, then abruptly dropped Faith's legs. Faith stood on her left foot, one arm still around Buffy's shoulders. "I mean, yes. Oof."

Joyce hovered next to Faith, an embarrassed smile on her face. "We--got back early. I didn't realize the time...Are you sure you're all right, Faith? Do you need anything? An ice pack?"

Buffy frowned at her. "I'll get it. You have--a guest. I can manage a little further." She hoisted Faith again and headed for the bedroom. "They were kissing!" she hissed.

"Yeah, I saw that, B."

"In the living room!"

"Saw that too. Um--you can put me down now."

Buffy looked around the bedroom like she wasn't sure how they'd gotten there, then at Faith, still cradled in her arms. "Oh."

Faith rolled her eyes. "On the bed would be fine."

"Oh. Yeah." Buffy lowered her down and sat beside her.

"So, are you gonna freak?" Faith shifted herself up to lean against the headboard. "About your mom?"

"Well...uh...no." Buffy gave her a pained look. "I fully understand and endorse all Mom's relationships. She can date whoever she wants. I mean, it's not my business. She can even sleep with him and that's okay. Because I don't judge. Judging is of the bad. We need to accept, learn, and grow."

Faith snickered. "Been practicing that speech long?"

Buffy smiled weakly and smoothed the bedspread nervously. "Not that long."

They pulled the television into the bedroom and ordered in pizza, watching pay per view movies. Finally Buffy snapped off the TV with a bored sigh.

Faith shifted the ice-bag on her knee. "B, you should gone to that party. Sounds like it'll be kickin'."

"No, it's okay," Buffy said. "Can I get you anything?"

Faith shook her head. "I don't wanna stop you from latching on to a guy for New Year's. I mean, it's tradition. Right?"

Buffy opened a pack of cards and started shuffling. "What is?"

"Duh, B, getting kissed at midnight. Isn't that the point of all this?"

"Gin? Crazy Eights? Go Fish?"

"I just don't want to be messing with your plans. All that moving forward crap. And for shit's sake, poker."

"I'm not leaving you all by yourself with not even Mom around. What if you did something stupid and hurt yourself worse?"

"Stupid like what?"

"Like, I don't know, you try to get up--" Buffy glared her into silence. "and then you trip and fall and crack your head open and then when I get back your brains are leaking out of your ears and staining the carpet. Like that."

"Yeah, right. I'm a fucking slayer. In a couple of hours I'll be good as new and you know it. It hardly hurts at all now." She paused. "So, what, are you scared?"

"Scared? Of what?" Buffy dealt the cards.

"Of actually taking the first step. You don't want Chris--"


"--to get near the goods?"

"I'll move forward in my own way. Anyhow, Craig smells like socks." Buffy slammed the deck down and picked up her hand. "Do you have any queens?"

"Socks or not, you're messing with tradition."

"Faith. Queens?"

"Yes, God, here's your queen."

"You just want me to go so that you can sulk in private." Buffy arranged her queens on the bed. "We've done that, this is better. Anyway, you just don't get it. You--you think I'm going to abandon you for boys. Where'd that get us the last time?"

Faith scowled. "Do you have any twos?"

"No. Go fish."

Faith grabbed a card from the top of the deck. "I can't believe we're playing this stupid game."

Buffy sighed. "I can't believe my Mom stuck her tongue down Mark Hewitt's throat."

Faith laughed. "Yeah, that was pretty cool."

The cheering on the television screen swelled as the one-minute countdown began. Buffy turned up the volume. "I guess it's time."



"Faith, you know what you were saying before, about tradition?"


"Yeah? Kissin' somebody when the ball drops? Looks like you missed your chance. Greg's--"


"--probably all cosied up to some--"

"I don't think I have."


"--ski bimbo...Have what?"

"Missed my chance."


"Chance? What the--"


"To kiss somebody."


"--fuck are you saying?"





"Happy New Year's!"

Part 7

Buffy was kissing her.

Faith was so surprised, she tried to scramble backwards. She nearly fell off the bed when her knee reminded her that moving was not a happy thing right now. Buffy, kneeling beside her, only followed after her, raising her hand to cup Faith's cheek, holding her still.

Faith was pretty sure her heart had stopped beating entirely at some point in the last few seconds. When it started up again, it pounded harder than it did after an all-night slay. The feel of Buffy's hand, warm and still, the soft movements of her lips, melted away any and all thoughts that might have been in her head, the kind of responsible thoughts that she'd been thinking all weekend. Slow down thoughts and but what the fuck does this mean? thoughts. She let her eyes drift closed, bracing herself against the headboard, the better to enjoy what was happening, since it was really not her fault.

She could have escaped, pushed Buffy away. But she didn't. And there was no way in hell she could stop herself from responding. Her lips were moving completely separate from her brain. Faith opened her mouth to say something--anything--and nearly died of shock when Buffy took the opportunity to slide her tongue against hers.


Hearing her own moan brought Faith up short. She turned her head and broke the kiss.

"Jesus, Buffy!"

Buffy sat back, breathing hard, her eyes bright as she stared at Faith. She licked her lips. Faith did the same, tasting the saltiness of the popcorn they'd shared, the coconut of the suntan lotion they'd both used.

"Jesus," she said again. Words were really not working in her head. She wanted to ask what was going on. She wanted to kiss Buffy again. She wanted to see exactly how far this could go...

"Faith..." Buffy's voice was soft, barely more than a sigh. "Sorry."

"Sorry?" Faith tried to shake away the heat rushing through her body and concentrate. "What the hell? You--I--sorry?"

Buffy looked down at the bedspread, picking at it with nervous fingers. "I thought--I thought you liked me. Like that. But, I guess--"

"Whoa!" Faith reached out to Buffy, ran her fingers down her shoulder, then had no idea what to do with her hands, and let them fall into her lap again. "I, you know I--I mean. God. I thought you were--" She shook her head, trying to figure out what had happened to the world she knew. "You wanna...uh...try that again?"

Buffy gave her a quick, brilliant smile. "Um...yeah?"

"Okay. Good. Uh--" Faith might have kept babbling, but Buffy silenced her. This time she was ready for it, but the sudden flaring desire spread so fast that she gasped into Buffy's lips. She felt Buffy smile, and then the slick warmth of her tongue. Faith kissed her back hungrily, tilting her head to get closer. Impatient, Faith lifted her hands to Buffy's shoulders and pushed until Buffy got the hint and shifted on the bed, placing one knee on either side of her. She pressed upwards, seeking contact, and it was Buffy's turn to moan.

Faith linked her hands loosely behind Buffy's back, urging her to sit down completely. Buffy arched back, and her hands tightened on Faith's shoulders. She looked amazing, flushed and free, her hair falling in loose waves around her face, the line of the ridiculous polar bear pyjamas falling open just enough to show the curve of her breasts.

"'S'okay?" Faith asked, her voice husky. She slid her hands up Buffy's sides, then down again, then up, this time inside her top.

"Yeah--yes...'s good..." Buffy's eyes were closed, her hips working gently against Faith's. She dropped her head, and kissed along Faith's jaw, bit gently on her earlobe. "You're beautiful," she whispered. Faith shivered at the feel of her breath. She turned her head to return the kiss and got a mouthful of hair instead. She chuckled somewhere deep in her throat, and felt it turn into a whine as Buffy nibbled on her neck.

Faith let her hands wander around inside Buffy's shirt, feeling the twitch of Buffy's muscles as she almost-but-not-quite tickled. She flattened her hands and moved upwards, over the ripples of ribs, then rubbed her thumbs across the sides of Buffy's breasts.

"Ahh--Faith..." Buffy moved into her hands.

Faith slid her hands closer, back and forth, teasing, then paused for a moment. "You sure, B?" she asked. She didn't even know if she was sure, and if Buffy turned around tomorrow and said "Thanks, that was great, but--", she was pretty sure it would break something inside her.

Buffy backed off a bit and stared at her solemnly, her seriousness a bit spoiled by her swollen lips and a smile she couldn't seem to lose. "Do you know I almost jumped you the first night we were here?" she asked. "And yesterday you fell asleep--"

Faith felt her face go red. "It was a good massage," she said. So she wasn't going crazy. B had been putting the moves on her. "You, uh--this is you moving forward, huh?"

"Yeah," Buffy said. "You think I didn't notice the flirting?" She traced a finger along Faith's face, ending on her lips. "Or the dancing?" She settled a little deeper into Faith's lap, grinning when Faith's breath hitched in her throat. "Or you asking me to Homecoming?"

"Oh...right. That." Faith frowned a bit, concentrating on the feel of Buffy grinding into her crotch. She was wet and hot and she could tell Buffy was the same and they were really wearing too many clothes and oh fuck that was good... "Ah...so...you're sure..." she managed.


"Good." Faith reached for the edges of Buffy's top and pulled it over her head, bypassing the buttons entirely. She leered at Buffy's surprise, and brushed her hands across her nipples, feeling the tingle in her palms as they hardened.

Buffy whimpered and wriggled closer. They both groaned as the contact increased, and Faith bent forward to catch Buffy's nipple in her mouth. She circled it with her tongue, half-listening to Buffy's pleas, finally sucking it hard. Buffy's hands were at work on her t-shirt, but she couldn't reach as far as she wanted, and she ripped it open.

"Hey!" Faith said as Buffy pushed what was left of the cloth off her arms. "That was--yours. Okay. Never mind..."

"Shut up and kiss me," Buffy said, grinning, then laughing as their hands got tangled reaching for each other. "Mmm...you have to sit up like that...?"

"Bed's in the way," Faith answered, a bit muffled as she mouthed Buffy's collarbone and tried to move downwards. Buffy traced the muscles in her shoulders, then reached lower and felt the rise of her breasts. She stroked tentatively, then with more authority, then went back to the feather-light touch. Faith twisted, watching the delight on Buffy's face as she toyed with her. "Fuck--B--please--"

"Like that?" Taunting, but also asking.


Buffy smiled and wiggled backwards, lowering herself until she was pressed completely against Faith. She licked her way back up, then closed her teeth on Faith's nipple. Faith hissed and jerked up, the pain in her knee melding with the delight of Buffy's actions. She moaned Buffy's name, completely lost, until she felt Buffy's weight leave her. "What?" she asked, then felt Buffy's hands on her hips, dragging her down until she was lying flat. She tried to sit up and knocked her knee again. "Ow!"

"Just a second--be patient!" Buffy's fingers were busy on her fly now, tugging her pants down, being careful not to bump her knee. She quickly stripped off the last of the polar bears, tossing the pyjamas to the side. "There..."

"God, B..." Faith was practically panting as she watched Buffy crawl back on to the bed. "You're fucking gorgeous, you know that?"

"Said the kettle," Buffy answered, but her smile was smug.

Faith let her take her time, knowing she was in no shape to direct matters, and lay back to enjoy the view. She'd never been this horny in her life, and that was saying something. She was aching for Buffy's touch, but Buffy had the cutest look of concentration on her face, as though she was trying to memorize everything, exactly as it was. She knelt beside Faith, running her fingers softly over her stomach and thighs. That was as far as Faith's patience went. She grabbed Buffy and hauled her closer, kissing her fiercely, kneading every inch of skin she could reach. Wrapping her hands around Buffy's ass, she jerked her down until their crotches rammed together, slick with fluid. Buffy gasped next to her ear and thrust forward again. Their clits met again, and the thrill trembled through her. Buffy was kissing her and she could hardly breathe and the rhythm of her thrusts was building way too fast but it was good, so good, and she was working her hand down between them, reaching for Buffy, reaching--

And Buffy's fingers found her first. She almost came right then, but Buffy was moving too slowly, her fingers rubbing small circles everywhere except right where they needed to be.

"Come on, B, lemme--I'm, ah--"

"Slow is good," Buffy said, her voice breathless and aroused and even the sound of it was about the hottest thing Faith thought she'd ever heard. Buffy moved her fingers another half-inch lower. Faith writhed frantically, needing more friction, but Buffy held her down with one hand on her hip, and with her gimped knee she couldn't get any leverage.

"Oh, fuck you, fuck you--"

"Getting to that," Buffy said, almost laughing, and then her fingers were moving up and inside and Faith felt like she was teetering on the edge of the steepest fucking cliff on the entire mountain. It went on and on and somewhere far away her voice was begging for more and then she was falling. Pleasure exploded everywhere and she was completely lost. Buffy's fingers pumped harder, keeping it going, until she shuddered to a stop.

"You are so going to pay for that..."

"Promises, promises..."

Faith rolled over abruptly. Buffy squeaked, now pinned to the bed. Faith gave her the hungriest grin she knew how.

"Y-You'd better be staying off your knee," Buffy stuttered.

"It's feeling a hell of a lot better," Faith said, then put her mouth to better use. She worked her way down Buffy's body, leaving moist trails behind, blowing on them and watching the tiny hairs stand on end. Buffy squirmed, sighing, so much that Faith considered adding slow to her personal list of tortures. But that just wasn't her style. Reaching her goal, Faith sucked and nibbled for all she was worth, plunging her tongue inside and swirling it around, struggling to keep Buffy's hips in one place. Buffy was going crazy, moaning and calling her name, and Faith felt her muscles clamp down as she came. She waited for Buffy to relax, and then started again, kept going until her jaw hurt and Buffy could only make little sobbing noises that trailed off into silence.

She figured that meant she'd won. She rolled onto her back and closed her eyes, licking the last of Buffy's juices off her lips, enjoying the taste and the quiet and especially the warm body next to hers.

"Hey..." Buffy sounded as tired as she felt, and as happy.

"Yeah, B?"

"Get up here." Buffy tugged at her.

"Ow...gimme a sec..." Faith pushed herself up to lie beside her, and Buffy snuggled into her arms, dropping a kiss on her lips. Faith grinned, she couldn't help herself. This was just too good.

Which probably meant it would all go to hell tomorrow...

But the thought was passing, and she was tired, and she fell asleep listening to the far-away murmur of one more round of Auld Lang Syne from the TV.

Part 8

The strangest part was, waking up wasn't horrible.

At some point in the night, they'd crawled under the covers and curled up next to each other, Buffy sprawled half over Faith's chest. When Faith opened her eyes it was to see Buffy smiling down at her. Green eyes all bright and her hair messed up and under the blankets her toes were brushing against Faith's calf. Yeah, not bad at all.

"See somethin' you like?" she asked, her voice rough with sleep. She closed her eyes and smiled, snuggling back down into the pillow.

"You could say that," Buffy answered. She traced the line of Faith's dimples and brushed her fingers over her lips. "Um, Faith?"


"Are you awake?"

Faith raised an eyebrow. "Uh, far's I know." She blinked. Buffy's face was flaming. Oh. Oh. This could be fun. "Why d'you ask?" she said, as innocently as she could. Which wasn't very.

Buffy glanced away, still beet red. "Just wondering."

"Uh-huh." Faith wiggled her hand out from under the covers and wrapped it around Buffy's neck, pulling her down for a kiss. At first, Buffy's lips brushed lightly, teasingly, across Faith's. Faith gave an encouraging sound and slipped her tongue into Buffy's mouth. She kissed her slowly and thoroughly, feeling a gentle heat rising between them, still half-asleep and too happy to rush. She slid her hand down Buffy's back and under the covers, skimming over her ass and between her legs. She was already wet and swollen, and her breath hissed when Faith reached upwards.

Faith dropped her head back on the pillow, letting her fingers drift where they would, watching Buffy's face. God, she was hot, her mouth open slightly and her eyes dark. "You okay, there, girlfriend?" she asked. "Convinced I'm awake yet?"

"Yeah." The word came out on a breathy sigh. Buffy smiled suddenly, that thousand-watt grin that was so purely joyful. "I love that."

"What, this?" Faith gave a little nudge with her fingers, slipping them in a little further. The angle was awkward but who the hell cared. Slayer strength had to be good for something other than killing things.

"Ah, n--no. I mean, yes, God, yes, but--" Buffy shifted her weight slightly to take advantage of Faith's moving hand, her smile widening. "I mean you--you calling me 'girlfriend'."

Faith's hand stopped and Buffy gave a whimper of protest, pressing against Faith's leg. "For real?"

"Of course..." Buffy bent her head and kissed her again, harder this time, as if the movement of her lips and tongue could convince Faith of everything. Faith accepted the kiss, but she was all of a sudden remembering that they were going back to Sunnydale today. The ski trip was over. New Year's was over. Sunnydale was Angel, it was living in a crappy motel, it was being second-string slayer, the backup, the leftovers. Buffy could say she was changing until she was blue in the face, but Faith knew what that really meant. It meant hiding and being a cheap fuck on the side whenever Buffy was frustrated that Angel couldn't do the deed.

She kissed Buffy furiously, sucking her bottom lip into her mouth, twining their tongues together. She got her hand in a better position and slid her fingers closer, rubbing slowly and rhythmically. Buffy moaned and moved her hips, supporting herself on one elbow and holding Faith's face in the other, then pushing her hand down between them to stroke her breast.

Faith sucked in a breath that was almost a sob, except that it wasn't, because she didn't cry. This was all she'd wanted when she met Buffy, wasn't it? A roll in the hay, get some get gone, Buffy taking in one, then two, then finally three fingers and crying out as she fucked Faith's hand, her head thrown back, looking wild and tan-gold and beautiful.

Not anymore.

"F-Faith..." Buffy moaned, her teeth tight against her lower lip. She quivered and came, collapsing on top of her, her breasts heaving, her nipples still tight against Faith's skin. She dropped kisses on Faith's shoulder, then inched her way down her chest, caressing and licking. Faith sighed, let herself feel it, the pleasure centering somewhere south of Buffy's mouth.


"Yeah?" Her voice was husky, but she didn't cry. Not her.

"Can I--I mean--" Buffy rested her chin on Faith's bellybutton, looking up at her. "I've, uh, never done this before..."

"Oh." Faith didn't know what to say, but the idea sparked a desperate surge of need. She was probably blushing as much as Buffy. So much for the bad girl. "You don't have to."


"I want to." Buffy kissed the tight, tanned skin of her stomach, her fingers trailing paths down to Faith's hips.

Oh, God. Just hearing Buffy say it turned her on so fucking bad. Her clit was throbbing, nearly hurting, she wanted Buffy to go down on her so much. She didn't say anything, just pushed her hips up to meet Buffy's hands, watched Buffy move lower, saw her tongue flick out once to wet her lips. She looked up. Their eyes met, and Buffy just smiled, and then--

Oh, shit, then.

Faith lost her breath and all her thoughts at once. She closed her eyes and gave herself up to the sensation, the quick firm strokes of Buffy's fingers, the lighter, more tentative slide of her tongue. She felt Buffy's teeth scrape against flesh so sensitive it nearly burned, and she bucked her hips, hard. It would have sent anyone else sprawling. Buffy just tightened her hold and moved closer, sucking now. Faith yelled something out that probably sounded like "Oh fuck yes, oh God, yeah--" but in her head it was more like Fuck B I love you--love you--

Buffy's fingers pressed upwards then and found her g-spot, and all at once it felt like every muscle in her body constricted at once, like she'd been hit by lightning, except it was somehow longer and deeper and okay, hell, it was nothing like lightning, but Buffy's mouth was still on her and it happened again, a sharp shot of pleasure that rolled away in waves and left her floating.

"Jesus Christ, B," she said, eyes closed, her voice coming from somewhere far away. There was a pause, and then she was being kissed, and she tasted herself on Buffy's lips. The kiss was hot and hard and then it trailed off into gentle and exploring, then faded, and Buffy sighed and cuddled up beside her.

"Hey there," she said at last.

"Hey," Faith answered, companionably enough. Trying to ignore the doubts that were creeping back. B wouldn't do that unless she really meant it.

Would she?

"You hungry?"

Faith grinned and sat up. "Who's cooking?"

"You are." Buffy gazed up at her from the bed, eyes half-hidden behind long lashes, looking like she might fall asleep again at any moment. The covers were a tangled mess down at the foot of the bed, but Buffy made no move to cover herself. Faith let her eyes wander down her body, shoving aside the nagging voice that was yelling at her that something was going to go wrong, something had to, this was ending, somehow, and it'd be all her fault. Buffy yawned and stretched, smiling smugly as Faith didn't hide for a second that she was enjoying the show.

"As long as you're staying away from all things breakfasty, I'm starving. I'll show you my patented scrambled omelette."

"Omelettes aren't scrambled. Then you call them scrambled eggs. What's in it?"

Faith shrugged. "Eggs. Then everything else. And I don't mean for them to get scrambled, that's mostly just how they end up."

"I should have guessed." Buffy's eyes slid closed and she rolled over to hug a pillow. "I can't wait."

"You gonna help me, or are you gonna lie here all day?"

"I thought you didn't want me in your kitchen, Ms I've never burned salad so I think I'm a gourmet?"

"Yeah, but if you're not there, you don't get to watch me cook naked."

One eye popped open. "What about Mom?"

Faith glanced toward the door. It was mostly closed, but not quite latched. "Um, B, I don't mean to wig you, but seeing how loud we--well--I was, without anyone complaining, I don't think your mom's made it back yet."

"She never came home?" Buffy leapt out of bed and pulled on her discarded pyjamas so fast she nearly put both legs in one pant-hole. "Oh, she is in such trouble. I am going to--well--" She paused and looked back at Faith. "Not much. I'm accepting, learning and growing. Besides--" Her smile was embarrassed. "I'm kinda glad. Because, uh, you--and--that was, pretty much, uh...I mean, I, um. It--well, you know."

"Yeah." Faith ducked her head. She's going to dump you before you get within spitting distance of Sunnydale, the traitor-voice said. "I know."

"And, Faith." Buffy sat beside her on the bed, touching her arm. "I know what I said. About moving forward. And I am. But--"

Faith fought not to yank her arm back. Here it came. She wasn't going to cry. She didn't care. It was just another girl, another fuck, okay, it was awesome, but she could find somebody else in a heartbeat. But Buffy didn't notice how tense she'd gotten.

"I mean, I really like you. And, God, this was--I mean. It's amazing." Buffy lifted a hand to her face, pushed back her hair. Faith ducked her head away, her eyes hot, feeling naked. "And I know I didn't say it back. Maybe I should've. But it's all so fast, and I want to keep going, maybe, if you don't hate the idea, maybe a date first. Or several. And then, I'm sure, later on, I'll say it, and it'll mean something because it wasn't right away. Not that that's bad, I just didn't know you--felt that way. So. If that's okay. And, I'll shut up now. Sorry."

"Say it--?" Faith swallowed. Say what? But she didn't ask, because Buffy was looking at her so earnestly, so open and serious but with a kind of awed happiness behind it.

"Yeah. Because I'm, already, I'm falling in love with you. And it's scary. But I want to."

Faith shook her head, not believing, wanting to believe. Then it came to her, what she'd really said.

Fuck B I love you--love you--

And Buffy was looking nervous now, like she was taking too long to answer, and all of a sudden everything was perfect. She grinned and threw an arm around her, hugging her close.

"Okay," she said. "So how's Friday for you?"

"I think I might have to check my calendar.and there's patrol.I have this partner who hates it when I dump the work on her."

"Hey, B?"


"Shut up." And Faith enforced the order with a kiss.

Yeah, waking up wasn't horrible at all.

Part 9

Everything looked innocent by the time Joyce came back. They'd eaten the mess of things-fried-together that Faith liked to call an omelette, and Buffy had started running the hot water for dishes, when they both heard the door creak open. Slayer hearing: sponsor of the Walk of Shame. Faith couldn't help but grin as she leaned over the counter. Mrs. S was peering around the door like she hoped to make it through the gauntlet unchallenged. Maybe, in Buffy's current mood, she could have. But accept, learn, and grow had no place in Faith's philosophy.

"Hey, Mrs. S!" she called out. "How was the party?"

Joyce winced and let the door slam. "Oh. Faith. I didn't expect you to be up yet. It's only..."

"Noon," Buffy said, walking up beside Faith and slipping a hand into her back jeans pocket. Faith grinned sideways at her. If anyone ever questioned the tight jeans again, this was an answer and a half.

"Hello, Buffy." Joyce took a moment to realize she was still wearing her coat and had her purse slung over one shoulder, and dropped both on the couch. The dress underneath was rumpled. Probably it had spent the night on the floor, but Faith figured she wasn't one to judge. Joyce cast about for an appropriate topic of conversation and settled on, "Did you have fun last night?"

"Best New Year's Eve ever," Buffy answered, perfectly straight-faced. And without a hint of a blush--had to give the girl credit.

"Oh, good. That's good."

"Yes. Yes, it is good."

Faith looked back and forth from one to the other. Joyce was waiting for the other shoe to drop, for Buffy to get that dangerous Slayer-look in her eye and start shooting questions like the bad cop in the interrogation room. Buffy was not quite smiling, enjoying the upper hand...and giving Faith a lot to think about with her lower hand. Clearly Faith had managed to corrupt her. Not such a bad thing, either.

"So Mr. Hewitt was a good host?" she asked. Okay, she was stirring the pot, but if she didn't this little face off might go on all day. "Did he show you a good time?"

Could she help it if every sentence out of her mouth sounded like she was talking about sex? It was practically another superpower. Cue the Summers blush, in stereo. Buffy elbowed her and Joyce looked like a trip to one of the nicer hell dimensions wouldn't be unwelcome right about then.

"Mark is a gentleman," Joyce said, with as much dignity as she could muster.

"Sometimes that's the best kind," Faith whispered for Buffy's benefit. "They turn out to be tigers in the sack." Buffy smiled sweetly and stomped on her toe. Faith didn't hesitate, but retaliated with a pinch in a place that, a week ago, she would have been staked for touching.

"Hey!" Buffy jumped away, yanking her hand out of Faith's pocket. Too bad. She'd been enjoying that. And if Buffy was willing to do that much right in front of her mom--whether she could see or not--maybe going back to Sunnydale wouldn't be so bad. Maybe.

"Are you all right, Buffy?" Joyce asked, now coming into the kitchen.

"Fine." Buffy stuck her tongue out at Faith. Since Joyce wasn't looking her way, Faith did the same...except more. She made a Spock-sign with her fingers and waggled her tongue between them, miming Buffy's actions from an hour or so ago. Shit if just thinking about it didn't turn her on. By the look on Buffy's face, it did the same for her. Go team Faith.


Buffy pulled her eyes away from Faith's display and focused on her mom. "Yeah?"

"I said, have you packed yet? It's a long drive home today."

"Oh. No, not yet." Buffy's face fell. She'd probably forgotten that this had to end some time. Faith wanted to wrap her arms around her and comfort her, and at the same time she wanted to back away. Love or not, she didn't want to be the cuddly type, the flowers-and-candy girlfriend. She hopped up on the counter, swinging her legs, and picked at a spatter of egg that they'd missed when they wiped up.

"I'm ready," she said. "Just tie my bindle together and I'm good to go, right, B?" The words came out more bitter than she'd meant them. She saw the hurt in Buffy's eyes and regretted it pretty much as soon as she'd said it. Buffy took a step forward and then glanced at her mom. She folded her arms and looked at the floor. Oh, great. Let the hiding begin.

"Well, don't worry, I'm not finished packing either," Joyce said. She stared hard at Faith, with a little frown on her face. She looked like she was trying to figure something out, and for a minute Faith thought she had them dead to rights. But then she just gave a confused shake of her head and headed upstairs. "Don't take too long, though," she called over her shoulder. "You probably want to get home before dark."

"And that's the closest she'll get to saying anything about our slaying," Buffy said quietly. She was still standing way the hell on the other side of the kitchen, arms crossed, not really looking at Faith.

"So, you talk to her a lot?" Faith asked. "'Cause I bet she's not going to start dealing unless you tell her more about it."

"She wouldn't be any happier knowing more. She'd want me to be home by sunset every night. She thinks she can protect me."

"Like that's a bad thing." Faith knocked her heels against the cabinets below her. "She's your mom. That doesn't always mean shit, and I should know, but with her it does. You tell her, she'll wig, then she'll deal, then she'll be glad you trusted her."

Buffy glanced up, sort of coy, with a hint of a smile on her face. "Are we still talking about the slaying?"

Faith scowled. "Yes." End of story.

Buffy came over to her and stood between her legs, hugging her where she sat on the counter. "Because you're right. And if we're not--still talking about slaying, I mean--then you're still right. Besides, I'm glad I convinced you that people should trust each other."

Faith grunted. "I don't know if I'd go that far."

"You want me to trust people with knowing about us. I want you to trust me to tell them." Buffy pulled Faith towards her and off the counter. Faith slid to the floor slowly, grinning as she rubbed against Buffy all the way down. She was even beginning to like the stupid polar bear pyjamas. Or maybe it was the fact that she knew Buffy wasn't wearing anything underneath. Buffy held her trapped, the edge of the counter digging into her butt. "And I'm sorry I said that, about the bindle. I just--my words are stupid sometimes."

"Only sometimes?" Faith asked, trying to hold back a laugh. She started forward like she was going to walk away, and Buffy shoved her back with her hips.

"Yeah. Sometimes. The rest of the time I'm really deep. Practically wise." She was leaning forward now, and Faith could feel her breath against her mouth. She licked her lips and was about to quit fooling around and take this where it was quite obviously headed--when Joyce cleared her throat.

Faith expected Buffy to leap away like she'd been goosed again, but instead she only leaned more firmly into Faith, resting her head against her shoulder, and watched her mom enter the kitchen. Buffy looked pretty confident, but Faith could feel her get all tense and trembly, the way she felt after an intense sparring session.


"Yeah, Mom?"

There was a pause, and Faith was sure that Joyce was going to explode into some bitch-monster yelling match about how could Buffy do this to her, and if she thought Angel was bad, at least he was a guy--an older, undead, unsoulable guy, but a guy nonetheless--and how dare Faith come anywhere near her daughter, and if she thought for one minute that this was going to continue she had another think coming.

Instead, Joyce said: "Don't forget to pack the things you've left in the bathroom."


"Oh, and Mark might be visiting Sunnydale this weekend. Maybe we could all have dinner together on Friday."

Buffy shrugged. "Faith asked me out on Friday. How about Saturday?"

Another long pause. A really, really long pause with a staring contest and a silent battle of wills. Joyce did the head-tilt, puzzled-frown, befuddled-parent look, and Buffy answered with the innocent stare and the raised eyebrows. Joyce put her hands on her hips. Buffy hugged Faith tighter. Faith tried to pretend she was elsewhere.

Joyce cracked first. "That's...neat." She turned away, looked back, opened her mouth, closed it again. Then, in a tone full of motherly authority: "Load the Jeep."


Joyce nodded, wearing the expression of someone who had come into the room for a specific purpose and had forgotten it along the way. With one final confused head shake, she headed back upstairs.

Buffy burst out laughing.

Faith smiled at her, still a bit worried about Mrs. S. It looked like they'd turned her into a zombie or something. At least there hadn't been yelling. "What's so funny?"

Buffy finally got her giggles under control. She looked up at Faith, her eyes bright with suppressed laughter. "She approves."


"She likes you. She thinks you'll be good for me." Buffy stopped and gave a slight frown of concern. "She's probably going to start worrying about whether you eat enough vegetables and if you should quit smoking."

"You got all that from 'load the Jeep'?" Faith paused, then added, "And I don't smoke that much."

"Come on, let's pack, I'll explain all about it." Buffy took her hand and tugged her towards the bedroom.

"Just pack?" Faith asked plaintively. She'd been sure there was about to be smoochies, as Buffy would say, and she wasn't one to settle for interruptions.

Buffy's grin was answer enough.

When Faith got out to the Jeep she understood why Buffy had been so happy to be volunteered into loading it. Most of their bags were shoved into the front , tied down by the seat belt, with only enough room free for Joyce to shift without knocking everything to the floor. The ski gear fit into the limited cargo space, leaving the back seat free and clear. Buffy had tossed blankets and pillows back there, and it was pretty obvious where she expected the two of them to be riding on the way back to Sunnydale.

Joyce looked at the nest Buffy had created and at the stuff sharing the front seat with her. There was another brief bout of mother/daughter telepathy, then Buffy was pulling Faith into the back seat after her.

"Everyone ready to go home?" Joyce asked as she put the Jeep in gear.

"Yes, Mom," Buffy said, like a kid chorusing 'good morning' to a teacher.

Faith met Joyce's eyes in the rearview mirror. The weird zombie-doubt was gone from her eyes and she smiled back at Faith. "I guess I am," she said, surprised to find that it was true--Sunnydale was home. And for the first time, she wasn't scared to go back. Who knew what would happen then--with Angel and the Scoobies and whatever big bad would be the next to claim the Hellmouth--but she figured they could handle it, B and her. The Chosen Two.

She spent the trip back watching the mountains recede behind them, Buffy snuggled against her, and her hands carefully hidden under the blankets, where they could do the most good.


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