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Faith ran, her long, loping strides ate the distance. She clutched her prize to her chest as Buffy's arms wrapped around her neck and shoulders. When she felt Buffy's face press against her neck, she ran faster, excitement giving her an extra burst of speed.

"Buffy hurt." Buffy's whimpering tone was barely audible. When she sagged, boneless, in Faith's arms, the running slayer held Buffy even tighter and ran even faster.

Giles stumbled towards his front door. Whoever was pounding on it was about to get a severe tongue-lashing.

As he reached for the door he said crossly, "This had better be g..." Willow and Xander were standing in the doorway. They were both so pale, for a second, Giles thought they'd been turned.

Until, of course, they pushed past him into the apartment without an invitation. "Come in. Please. Make yourself at home," he muttered, irritated.

"We got attacked..."

"by a gi-normous group of..."

"vampires who beat the crap out of..."

"Buffy got kidnapped by..."

"Faith showed up..."

"Will... you... please, STOP THIS INCESSANT YAMMERING!!"

Willow and Xander stared at Giles, silent and chastised. "Thank you," he said quietly. "Now, one at a time, tell me...wait a minute. Where is Buffy?!"


Faith carried Buffy into the woods to her campsite. She laid her down on the ground and squatted next to her. Her head tilted as she looked at the unconscious slayer. The light of the three-quarter moon made the bruises on her face seem darker. Faith frowned. She reached out and lightly traced the injuries with her fingertip, barely touching the skin.

Still frowning, Faith grabbed Buffy's wrist and dragged her into the tent. Faith nodded to herself, satisfied. She lay down next to Buffy and stared at her face until sleep finally overcame her.


"Bloody Hell!" Giles pinched the bridge of his nose. "Let me see if I can understand this. Faith stepped in and killed the rest of the vampires and kidnapped Buffy?"

"Yes," confirmed Willow. "But there's more."

"More? Bloody Hell!"

Xander chimed in, "I'm pretty sure Faith drank that cursed beer."

"There's no ‘pretty sure' about it," said Willow vehemently. "She definitely drank that beer!"

"She didn't look as bad as the Neanderthal Four, but she was more monosyllabic than usual," added Xander.


Xander looked at Willow. Her eyes were wide and aghast.

"Well," said Xander. "I guess he ran out of ‘Bloody Hells.'"

"I hate when that happens," agreed Willow.


Buffy awoke to the sounds chirping birds and a loud clanging. She sat up quickly, her eyes wide and frightened. She poked her head out of the tent and peered around. A dark haired figure was smacking a metal box with a pot, making a loud clanging sound.

"Where fire go?" yelled the figure. She flung the dented pot away in frustration and turned around. Buffy gasped with primitive recognition. Their eyes met.

Buffy quickly ducked back into the safety of the tent.

"Girl mean! Girl bad!" she shouted. She squatted in the back of the tent and trembled with anxiety. She heard a mysterious rustling and then footsteps getting closer. She trembled harder. The footsteps reached the entrance of the tent and stopped.

A stick of salami sailed through the tent flap and hit Buffy's leg. It was followed by a loaf of half-eaten bread. She picked up the offered food and sniffed it suspiciously. When she emerged from the tent she saw Faith squatting next to the cooler, tears running copiously down her cheeks.

"Faith not bad! Faith protect B." Her lower lip was sticking out in a pout.

Buffy walked over and squatted next to Faith, their shoulders touching. She tore off a hunk of bread and offered it to Faith. Faith accepted the apology and bit into it, sniffling.


Willow's eyes were gritty from lack of sleep. She and Giles were preparing a locator spell while Xander snored noisily on the couch.

"I don't understand how he can sleep while Buffy is in the hands of...of,"

"A psycho cave-girl?" offered Willow.

"Yes, precisely."

"Well, I can sorta see why he wouldn't be too worried," ventured Willow.

"How's that? What do you mean?"

"When Faith picked up Buffy she was really gentle. And she said something about protecting Buffy. Plus, she did make short work of seven or eight vampires."

"Yes well, I suppose that would ease the mind a bit," he sighed, resigned.


As Buffy ate her breakfast, Faith stared at her. "B pretty." Buffy ignored her, stuffing pieces of bread and salami into her mouth.

Faith leaned close and took a deep breath, pulling air through her flared nostrils. "B smells nice." Buffy turned her back to Faith.

Faith looked at the expanse of blond, tangled hair filled with dirt and twigs and bits of dead leaves. She scooted closer and began to pull the debris out.

Buffy accepted the grooming with a contented sigh as she continued her meal. Faith's fingers grew bolder, caressing Buffy's neck and shoulders. "B soft," she whispered, her voice heavy with arousal. She leaned close and pressed her body against Buffy's back.

Buffy grunted her displeasure and scuttled away. Faith huffed with frustration as she watched the smaller slayer finish eating.

Restless after her meal, Buffy wandered about the campsite picking up various items, turning them over in her hands and examining them while peering periodically at Faith. Faith was hunkered by the hearth. Her smoldering gaze never left Buffy.

After everything had been thoroughly examined by Buffy's delicate hands, she ducked back into the tent to escape Faith's constant stare.

Faith's brows lowered as she watched the tent. When Buffy didn't emerge, Faith ducked in. Buffy was sitting with her legs crossed and her back to the entrance. Faith circled her to get a look at her face. Silent tears flowed down Buffy's face.


"Buffy go home."

Faith shook her head, confused. She patted the ground. "B home." Buffy turned her back to Faith and sniffled. Faith sighed and crept tentatively next to Buffy and watched her face while Buffy pretended to ignore her. When her tears didn't seem to stop, Faith reached over and poked Buffy's thigh. Buffy whined and shifted away from her. Faith scooted close and sat. And waited this time.

When Buffy's tears finally subsided, Faith poked her ribs. This elicited a yelp and giggle. Faith liked that noise and poked her again. Another giggle and Buffy poked Faith.

Faith suddenly pounced on Buffy who gave a girly shriek and a fierce game of tickle-the-slayer commenced. The tent was filled with the sounds of laughing and shrieking as it jumped as jerked with the force of the slayers at play. Buffy suddenly burst out of the tent and ran into the forest with Faith in hot pursuit.

They played for hours until they were tired and covered with dirt and bits of the forest floor.

Faith announced breathlessly, "Faith hungry." Buffy nodded and they went back to the camp.

They rummaged through the cooler grabbing whatever struck their fancy. Buffy sat cross-legged with her meal in her lap. Faith plopped down next to her, their shoulders touching. As she ate she watched Buffy. She was eating an apple with one hand while the other rested on her thigh. Faith put her finger on the back of that hand and rubbed slowly, feeling the soft texture, while peering at Buffy's face, watching her reaction. Buffy kept eating her apple. Encouraged, Faith worked her way up the forearm, rubbing softly. She picked up Buffy's hand looked at it. Buffy let her eyes wander over Faith's face. Faith was completely fascinated by Buffy's hand. She brought it to her face and rubbed the back of it on her cheek. "B feel nice."

Buffy took control of her hand, turning it to caress Faith's face with her palm. Faith's eyes closed and she sighed. The two cave-slayers turned so they faced each other. Faith reached out and caressed Buffy's face. Buffy offered Faith her partially eaten apple. Faith accepted it solemnly and took a bite. They finished their dinner, sharing their food, staring at each other, exchanging occasional caresses.


"Nothing," said Willow. "I don't understand it." She and Giles had just finished casting the locator spell hoping to pinpoint Buffy's location.

"I suspect the spell can't find Buffy because Buffy isn't really Buffy at the moment."

"Huh?" questioned Xander.

"He means," said Willow patiently, "that we were trying to find regular Buffy, when we should be trying to find cave-Buffy."

"Oh. That makes sense."

"I'd be overjoyed about that particular revelation if we hadn't just wasted hours looking for the wrong damn Buffy," Giles groused. He yanked off his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose.

"So now what do we do?" asked Willow.

Giles sighed. "We start over."


After eating, Faith stood and grasped Buffy's hand and led her to the tent. She ducked in, dragging Buffy in behind her. They lay on their sides, facing each other. The events of the past two days and the rigorous play made their eyelids heavy.

They awoke well past sundown, wrapped around each other. The inside of the tent was bathed in darkness. Buffy could feel Faith's cheek pressed against her own, her breath in her ear. Her hand was at the back of Faith's neck. She squeezed and caressed experimentally and was rewarded with a soft moan. They pulled their faces back a little until their noses were touching.

They rubbed their noses together lightly and giggled at the contact. Seeking more, their mouths touched. Not kissing, just touching. They rubbed their mouths gently together but it wasn't enough. Seeking more contact they-

were interrupted by the sound of some one or some thing rummaging through their camp-site.

Faith poked her head out and saw a figure going through their cooler.

"Dammit! No booze? What kind of self respecting camper-," the vampire spotted Faith. "Well, hello camper," he said cheerfully.

Faith shot out of the tent and jumped, hitting the vampire on the chest and knocking him to the ground. She crouched on his torso as he stared up at her in shock. "My place," she said quietly, dangerously. Buffy had emerged and was standing next to them, her head tilted. She handed Faith a pointy stick.

"No, nononono," the vamp protested feebly. Faith plunged the stake into his chest.

The slayers looked at each other, grasped hands and set off into the night.

It was, after all, time for slayers to patrol.


"I think we've got something," said Giles hopefully.

"Well?" Xander had passed the point of impatience and was practically howling with the need for something to do.

"Yes. Yes," Giles murmured. "I think she's on the campus."

"Well, let's saddle up and go get her."

"I'll get the tranquilizer gun," said Giles.

"Do you really think that's necessary?" asked Willow.

"Oh it's necessary," said Xander. "It's very, very necessary."

"Yeah," she conceded. "I just feel bad about shooting my best friend with pointy knock-out darts. I guess I'm just funny that way."

"I'd feel worse if I missed," said Xander, practically.


Buffy and Faith were having a very successful slaying night. They were covered in vamp dust and sweat and a little blood. They'd been combing the campus and doing their best to avoid contact with humans.

"You dirty," said Buffy to Faith.

"No, you dirty," was her reply.

This witty repartee continued for a few minutes as they were patrolling across the deserted campus lawn. The sprinklers suddenly sputtered, causing the girls to crouch and peer around. When the water started, they were soon soaked and laughing. They ran through the sprinklers, romping and tumbling like otters.

This was how Giles, Willow, and Xander found them; three jaws gaping open. Giles stood, unable to move, unable to lift the gun. The slayers spotted the trio, stopped their play and stood staring. Buffy started towards them but Faith grabbed her wrist.

"No," she said. "We go."

Buffy looked torn.

"B?" Faith's brow was furrowed and pleading. She turned her fierce, burning gaze towards the Scoobies. "B mine!" she said and started towards the trees. She stopped and turned to Buffy. "B?" she pleaded again.

Buffy took a last look at her friends and then turned and followed Faith into the dark.


"Bloody Hell," muttered Giles. "Bloody, Hell."

"What're we gonna do?" asked Willow.

They were back at Giles' apartment, still in shock.

"I can't believe what we just saw," murmured Xander. "They have a few beers, go all cave-girl, and suddenly, they're best buds." He frowned. "And what the heck was that, ‘be mine' stuff all about? Is it Valentine's Day in Cave-land?"

"I think she meant B as in Buffy. Buffy mine," offered Willow.

"Willow is right," confirmed Giles. "She seemed very possessive of Buffy. I think we're going to have to get the heavy-duty restraints," said Giles resigned.

"You bet!" laughed Xander. "If we put a bell on that cat, we can hear it coming."


"I mean, it's a great idea, Giles, but who's going to put the restraints on the two, count them, two cave-slayers? I'd be willing to do it if I weren't so attached to, y'know, living."

"Xander's right Giles."

"Dammit, I know that!" At Willow's crestfallen expression, he relented. "I'm sorry for snapping at you. And Xander, you bring up a valid point."

Xander nodded, mollified. "So, what's the plan then?"

"We need to find a way to either neutralize them or tame them somehow. But first, we're going to have find them."

"If they're patrolling and cavorting through sprinklers at night," added Xander.

"They might be sleeping during the day!" finished Willow, excited.

"Ah, yes. We should get a few hours sleep and try that locator spell in the morning."

Satisfied with their plan, they settled down to rest.

Wet and shivering, the cave-slayers returned to their campsite.

"Buffy cold," she said, her teeth chattering.

Faith walked over to Buffy and pulled at the bottom of her shirt. Buffy lifted her arms and Faith pulled the shirt all the way off. Pleased with the result, Buffy pushed her pants down and stepped out of them. When she was nude she stepped over to Faith to help her. They left their wet clothes on the ground and slipped into the tent.

They squeezed into the one sleeping bag and wrapped their arms around each other for warmth. The intimate contact sparked a need. Their breath became shallow and urgent.

Rubbing noses again, they smiled in the dark. Remembering their earlier encounter, they rubbed their mouths together. It still wasn't enough. Faith opened her mouth and sucked gently on Buffy's lower lip. Buffy hummed with pleasure. Faith liked that sound and opened her mouth wider. Buffy opened her mouth and their tongues met. They kissed like that for a while, just feeding on each other's mouths.

Soon, restless hands roamed down smooth backs, legs twined together. Faith moved her hand around to Buffy's front. She found her breast and filled her hand with it savoring the silky feel. Buffy liked that so she put her hands on Faith's breasts. They sighed into each others mouths and then kissed some more.

Faith's mouth slid from Buffy's lips over her jaw to the soft warm skin under her ear. She breathed in the heady scent and nuzzled the sensitive skin. Buffy's hands clenched on Faith's breasts and Faith purred with pleasure into Buffy's ear.

Her hands left Faith's breasts and traveled down to her stomach. Smooth silky skin enthralled and tantalized. She made slow lazy circles that elicited soft sighs from Faith. Buffy's hand ventured lower encountering soft thick hair. Faith gasped and her hips moved into Buffy's hand. She slipped her fingers further in and felt Faith's wet soft center. So soft and so wet, it grabbed her fingers and pulled them in. Faith mewled with need.

"More," Faith whispered. "More touch."

Buffy felt around and found a spot that fascinated her. It was hot and pulsing and every time she pressed it Faith's body jerked and shuddered and clutched at her. She pressed it rhythmically and Faith's hips followed that rhythm. Faith sped her hips seeking release, her face a beautiful grimace.

She came with a shout, her eyes blind, her hands fisting in Buffy's hair. Alarmed, Buffy pulled her hand out of Faith and wrapped her arms around her to comfort her. Faith was trembling and gasping. Fearing that she'd hurt the girl, Buffy pulled back and put her hands on Faith's face to look into her eyes. What she saw made her heart clench. It wasn't fear or pain; it was love. Fierce love and devotion. Her expression changed to fierce determination.

Clutching Buffy's upper arms, Faith rolled her onto her back. Buffy squealed and Faith settled her full length onto her. Subdued and aroused, Buffy calmed. Faith placed soft, slow, grateful kisses on Buffy's face, neck, shoulders, working her way down, further down. The kisses on her belly made Buffy jump and giggle. Still further down, Faith found what she wanted. She slid her tongue into Buffy making her jump and gasp. Latching onto her clit, Faith showed no mercy. She sucked and licked until Buffy was writhing and screaming. Her hips thrashed against Faith's tormenting mouth. Faith pressed harder, the smell and taste of her enveloped and intoxicated, taking over all her senses. Buffy came with a silent shout, her body arching, her thighs squeezing Faith's head almost painfully.

Faith halted her onslaught and gazed at her claim, her prize, as she panted and stared into the darkness.

"Faith mine," Buffy gasped, finally.

She slid back up Buffy's trembling body and they wrapped around each other and dozed.

The primal urge to patrol and slay pulled the cave-slayers out of the tent into the pre-dawn. Faith went to the stone hearth and lifted a loose rock. Pawing through her hidden stash she found the pretty bracelet. She handed it to Buffy who slipped it onto her wrist with a shy smile on her face.

While Buffy admired her favor, Faith rummaged through the cooler and handed Buffy some food. They ate standing, gazing at each other. Buffy caressed Faith's smooth shoulder. Faith put her hand on Buffy's soft hip. In between bites of food they exchanged soft brief kisses smiling contentedly.

Having eaten their fill, they slipped into the darkness, liquid and silent.

Graham took his team to the edge of the woods. Reports of heavy HST activity had the team on edge. Especially since they hadn't seen anything all night. It was close to four AM and the guys were getting a little bored. A highly trained special ops combat force bored and on edge is a scary thing. Damn, I need a girlfriend. Gotta work off this stress somehow.

"Vamp, twelve o'clock." The excited murmur in his earpiece made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. "Party time."

The vampire was in the middle of a panicked run when he smashed into Graham. This is a first. Usually HSTs run away at the sight of eight heavily armed men.

The source of the vampire's terrified flight was and even bigger surprise. A beautiful woman. Correction. A beautiful, naked woman ran into the group of soldiers brandishing a sharp branch of wood and a wild demeanor. Her hair was as dark as the night itself and her eyes pierced the soul. She leapt into the air and landed on the vampire's back. He stumbled at the impact and fell heavily to the ground. The soldiers were struck dumb. They stood in awed shock as she raised her arm in a high arc and brought it down with brutal finality. The vampire turned to dust. And the group of soldiers sported painful hard-ons.

She stood with feline grace and eyed the men from beneath her brows. The gaze was fierce and primitive and some of the men took a step back, nervously. Graham raised his blaster and shot her in the back. She arched and jerked and fell to the ground with a grunt of pain.

A blood-curdling, unearthly scream filled the night air. Every man jerked and lifted their weapon. Another naked woman appeared. She was at a full run and seemed to be made of moonlight. Her long hair shone silver. That was about all the men got to see before they were knocked unconscious or thrown casually away.

Graham lay on the ground, face up, looking at the three-quarter moon having no memory of falling. The moonlight-girl appeared over him. Her hands fisted in his shirt and he was hoisted off the ground as if he weighed nothing at all. He was staring into a pair of dark and furious eyes. Graham had the uncomfortable feeling that he'd angered the very night itself.

She spoke in a soft feminine growl. "I kill no human. For now." Chills ran up and down his spine and his balls shrank in quivering fear. She tossed him away like a rag doll. He raised his head to witness this night-nymph approach the other girl and crouch next to her. The dark one moaned as she was gathered in a gentle embrace. Moon-girl stood, holding the injured girl in her arms.

"I protect. I protect Faith." She walked into the shadow, disappearing into the night.

What the hell does ‘I protect faith' mean?

He heard the groans of his men as they roused themselves.



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