Rating: R (for language)
Disclaimer: All of the materials borrowed from Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to Joss Whedon and to the entities and companies associated with their creation. I have borrowed them for creative and entertainment purposes only. No compensation has been or ever shall be received for the writing below. No copyright infringement is intended.
My Website: http://www.dragonwriter17.net/
Feedback: Yes, but only if it’s of the non-flamey variety: DragonWriter17@aol.com
Distribution: The Watchers Forum, The Mystic Muse, and my personal site (If you are interested in posting my story on your site, please contact me first for permission.)
Spoilers: BtVS Season 3’s “Faith, Hope, and Trick” (and beyond)
Author’s Notes: (1) See the first three chapters for detailed notes on the origin of this story. (2) This part picks up just moments after Part 06 left off. It continues in mostly original territory. (3) Thanks to Lilly for the beta read and edit!
Number of Chapters: Current Plan = 18 chapters
Chapter Summary: With the “backlash” effect broken, Buffy and Faith have to deal with repercussions of their cliffhanger kiss.
As Buffy and Faith enjoyed their post-crisis kissage on Kingman’s Bluff, two cars roared up the gravel road and into the clearing. Giles, Willow, and Xander piled out and rushed over. When they got to the edge, all three froze in place. They found the two slayers still making out, totally oblivious to their arrival.
Giles squinted and ripped off his glasses. “Good Lord!” he exclaimed.
Willow’s eyes widened. She squeaked an “oh” and looked away, but only for a moment. Soon her eyes were drawn back.
“Holy moly macaroni,” Xander said, dropping his car keys but never taking his eyes off what he was seeing. “Not the scene I expected to find. My mind went through many and varied scenarios, but I must say...that was not one of them.” His lips began to inch up in an involuntary smile.
“I-I-Is this part of the backlash?” Willow asked. “Buffy losing her mind?”
“If so...what a wonderful mind-losing it is...” Xander said, pleasantly entranced. Willow smacked him.
“No, I, um, I don’t believe so,” Giles said rather prissily, shoving his glasses back on. “I think it’s a matter of a whole lot more going on behind our backs than we were made aware of!”
“Darn tootin’,” Willow said, equally miffed.
Xander merely snickered, still staring with delight.
Willow smacked him again. “Straighten up, or I’m telling Cordy!” she warned.
Xander cleared his throat and straightened up; then he looked down at his pants. He gave a sheepish giggle, then purposely slouched again. Despite his awkward stance, he managed to put on a stern expression for the kissing slayers.
Suddenly, Buffy and Faith froze, mid-kiss, realizing only just that second that they had an audience. They slowly turned to face the staring trio. They opened their mouths, but no words would come out.
“Faith, what is going on here?!” Giles demanded as he and the others moved closer.
“Uhhh...I saved Buffy,” Faith offered awkwardly.
Willow crossed her arms tightly. “Oh, and I suppose that was mouth-to-mouth resuscitation you were giving her just now?!”
“If that was mouth-to-mouth,” Xander interjected, “then I have sooo been doing it wrong.”
“No, that was kissing,” Faith shot back to Willow. “Maybe you should try it some time.”
“I-I-I know about kissing!” Willow spluttered, outraged. “Oz and I kiss. Don’t we, Xander?”
Xander shrugged apologetically and gave Willow a how-should-I-know look.
“Can we get off the topic of-of kissing, and focus on what’s important?!” Giles interrupted. Then he turned to Buffy and asked, “Buffy, are you all right?”
Buffy gave him a solemn nod. “Yes, I’m okay now,” she told him, making eye contact with the others as well. “I-I-I don’t know how to explain it, but...I feel like myself again.”
A sincere look of relief came over the watcher’s face. “Good, that’s very good. You seemed so...distraught earlier. I’m glad that the, um...mood has finally been broken.”
Buffy turned and smiled at Faith. “Thanks to Faith.”
Faith smiled back, and for a long moment, the two slayers were locked into each other. Buffy reached for Faith’s hand, and Faith let her take it. They took no notice of the others growing increasingly uncomfortable around them.
“Yes, well, um, perhaps we should head back,” Giles finally suggested.
“Good idea,” Faith said in a tired voice. “I think I need to crash.”
“Me too,” Buffy agreed wearily.
As the two slayers got to their feet, Faith noticeably favored one leg, but when she tried to straighten up, she groaned in pain and reached for her side.
“Damn,” she swore softly.
Buffy immediately went into alarm mode. “Faith, what’s wrong?”
“It’s nothing,” Faith insisted, forcing herself to stand up straight.
It was then that Buffy, as well as the others, could clearly see a large patch of blood staining Faith’s shirt along the lower edge of her rib cage.
“Oh my God, Faith, you’re hurt!” Buffy exclaimed. “Why didn’t you say something?”
Faith gave the blonde an incredulous look. “Like when?”
Buffy ignored Faith’s sarcasm and pressed on worriedly. “When did this happen?”
“Night before last, on patrol,” Faith answered with a shrug. “It’s just a scratch. Messed it up running here, I guess. It’s no big deal.”
“Faith, you’re a slayer!” Buffy said. “If it’s still bleeding after two days, it’s a big deal. You’re going to the hospital.” Without allowing time for an objection, Buffy turned to Xander and held out her hand. “Xander...keys!” she ordered in no-nonsense fashion.
Buffy’s suddenly commanding tone made Xander instantly comply. He picked up his keys and tossed them over without question.
“Come on,” Buffy told Faith, moving into place beside her to lend assistance.
“No. No doctor,” Faith said, shaking her head. “I’ll be fine. Slayer healing will take care of it.”
As Buffy helped Faith walk to Xander’s car, the others merely watched, a mixture of emotions on their faces. After the two slayers had gone a few steps, Buffy turned back to the group.
She gave them an apologetic look. “I’ll catch you guys later, okay? We can talk then?”
The three gave Buffy a collective nod, not knowing what else to say. Buffy smiled in return and then went back to assisting Faith. Giles frowned a bit until he overheard the slayers as they walked away. Faith was objecting that she wasn’t going to the ER, and Buffy of course was insisting the contrary. As the debate between the slayers continued, Giles couldn’t help but smile.
A short time later, Willow and Xander were riding back from Kingman’s Bluff with Giles. In the front passenger seat, Willow once again had her arms crossed tightly in front of her.
“I can’t believe Buffy didn’t tell me about her and Faith,” Willow pouted. “I mean, this obviously didn’t happen just this second. Something’s been going on for a while, it had to, but she never said anything. I’m supposed to be her best friend. I’m supposed to know about these things.”
“To be fair, she hasn’t exactly been herself of late,” Giles said. “Not since what happened with Pete.” He gave Willow a reassuring smile. “I’m sure she would have told you...had she not been under such stress.”
“Why are you worrying about this?” Xander said frantically. “What’s past is past. Let’s worry about something that really matters. Like my car. Buffy Summers is driving my car.”
“You gave her the keys,” Giles reminded him.
“Well, she got all commander-y,” Xander said defensively. “What was I supposed to do?”
“Stop drooling?” Willow suggested.
Xander shot her a mini-glare.
The crowd at Sunnydale Hospital’s emergency room had been surprisingly small, and Faith had been taken back and treated fairly quickly. Buffy had stayed at her side, but the two of them had kept their conversation light, unwilling to have any serious discussion amidst the hustle and bustle of the emergency room.
The doctor had first treated the wound on Faith’s side, cleaning and stitching it. Then he had examined Faith’s knee. After x-rays and a thorough series of manipulations, he judged it badly strained and bruised, but nothing more. He gave Faith a shot of antibiotics and a tetanus shot then gave her two bottles of pills. One contained a full series of antibiotics, and the other contained a few days’ worth of heavy-duty painkillers. Despite her objections, the doctor made Faith take one of the pain pills right then and there.
Once she had done so, he finished up the paperwork and approved the slayer’s release. Soon the two girls were on their way out of the hospital.
Within minutes, the two arrived at Faith’s motel room. Buffy led Faith inside and helped her over to the rumpled bed. Faith shook her head groggily as she sat down.
“Man...I think that painkiller’s kickin’ in,” Faith said with a slight slur in her voice.
“Good,” Buffy said as she began rummaging through Faith’s dresser for some fresh clothes. “Maybe it’ll...” She turned back to the bed with a t-shirt in her hand and found Faith passed out on the bed. “...knock you out.”
Buffy sighed and set the t-shirt aside. She walked over and knelt at Faith’s feet. She took off the slayer’s boots then gently shifted her legs until Faith was lying in the bed properly. After that, Buffy pulled the thin sheet over Faith’s body. When Buffy picked up one of the pillows to place it beneath Faith’s head, she found a photograph underneath.
It was the Polaroid of the two slayers dancing at the bar after they had defeated Kakistos. Buffy took one look at the image of herself with the drink umbrellas stuck in her hair and shot a mock glare at the sleeping Faith. Then she chuckled and set the photo aside.
After easing a pillow under Faith’s head, Buffy took off her shoes and slipped into the bed on the other side. For the longest time, Buffy just stared, her eyes softening at the sight of the slayer.
God, she is so beautiful, Buffy thought as she pushed a strand of dark hair off Faith’s forehead. She gave a small smile then shook her head in disbelief.
I can’t believe this is happening. I can’t believe I’m here, right now, with Faith. I was so sure that she just...hated me. But she doesn’t. She likes me, she really likes me.
Buffy made a mental snort. Okay, stop channeling Sally Field and get real.
She sighed heavily and then continued. Does she like me? Really? She hasn’t said. Well, technically I haven’t said either, not to her anyway, but...she kissed me, Buffy offered with a hopeful tone. Soon her face creased into a smirk.
Boy, did she ever! Mmmmm, kissing Faith, definitely wanna do more o’ that...put that one on the ol’ to-do list...
Buffy immediately began fanning herself. Is it hot in here, or is it just me? What was I saying? Oh yeah. Faith. Does she like me?
With a kiss like that, I’d have to say that’s a definite... She looked over at Faith, and worry crept into her eyes. ...maybe?
Buffy groaned in her mind. You’re thinking about this too much! she chided herself. Just go to sleep. You can ask her when she wakes up.
At that, Buffy snuggled in close to Faith and rested her hand lightly on the slayer’s stomach. Ahhh, much better... She closed her eyes, and it wasn’t long before she too was sound asleep.
Several hours later, Faith woke up. She blinked her eyes in slow motion as if she were still somewhat groggy from the pain medication. After several seconds of blinking and a few deep breaths, the fog cleared, and Faith realized where she was: in her motel room, in her own bed, with Buffy curled up next to her.
Faith’s gut immediately tightened into a knot as she instinctively reacted in typical morning-after fashion. It took her body a minute or so to catch up to what her brain was trying to tell her. Eventually, she relaxed and allowed herself to enjoy the feeling of Buffy’s body next to hers. She leaned down and nuzzled into Buffy’s blonde hair. Faith’s moment of peace didn’t last long; soon her inner voice began badgering her.
What are you doing? the voice asked. Not gettin’ comfy, are ya? Cause we don’t do all that lovey-dovey bullshit, remember?
Faith let out an annoyed grumble at her inner self.
Look, don’t kid yourself, the voice told her. Relationships ain’t our thing. You know that.
Faith’s expression changed as mere annoyance became serious worry.
You’ve already gotten yourself in deeper than you should have, the voice went on.
Faith closed her eyes and frowned. “Shut up,” she told herself, not realizing she had spoken out loud. Not until Buffy stirred awake beside her.
“Whaaat?” Buffy asked sleepily. “Was I snoring?”
“No,” Faith replied quickly. “I was just...never mind.”
Now fully awake, Buffy sat up and looked at Faith with concern. “Are you okay?”
“I was just about to ask you the same thing,” Faith replied seriously as she also sat up in the bed.
“Hey, I’m not the one who was too ‘bad ass’ to go to the doctor when she got hurt,” Buffy teased.
“No, you’re the one who just tried to walk off a cliff, that’s all,” Faith teased back. Buffy’s light expression fell away, and Faith instantly regretted her words. “Shit! I’m sorry...I didn’t mean it like that...I was just...” Faith said, trying her best to salvage the conversation.
“No, no,” Buffy corrected, nodding her head. “Valid point, I...I did try to do that.”
Buffy’s face creased into a frown as she remembered the day’s earlier events. Faith frowned too as she watched Buffy stare at her hands in her lap, but she didn’t speak; she just waited for Buffy to go on. After an eternity of silence, Buffy finally continued.
“I can’t explain it,” Buffy said softly. “I was just...going crazy, I guess, and I look at it now, and I can’t believe that was me. It’s like I was under some kind of spell, and then boom! I wasn’t anymore.” She looked up and met Faith’s eyes.
Faith’s thoughts went to the backlash curse, but she chose not to mention it. “And now?” she asked.
“I remember how I felt,” Buffy replied. “I mean, all that’s still there, but...it’s not...I don’t know.” Buffy shook her head in confusion.
“What’s still there?”
Buffy took a deep breath and returned her gaze to her hands. “Guilt over killing Pete, for not saving Debbie...what I did to Scott...feeling like I failed Giles, failed my calling...”
“None of that was your fault,” Faith said, reaching out to place a comforting hand on Buffy’s arm.
“I know,” Buffy whispered, not lifting her eyes.
After another long moment of silence, Faith asked, “What else?”
Buffy gave a small shrug and said, “I guess there’s some pain in there. It hurt so much when Scott broke up with me.”
Faith froze then pulled her hand away. Buffy’s head shot up, and she looked at Faith with panic in her eyes.
“Not because I— I mean, he’s nice, but I didn’t want to be with him. It was you I wanted, but when he— It was too much, I couldn’t— Not after you’d just—”
Buffy’s frantic babble was cut off when Faith gave her an earnest and passionate kiss. After it was over, Buffy sighed and reluctantly finished her last sentence.
Faith’s eyes filled with guilt, and she looked away. Buffy dropped her gaze to her hands, and once again, the conversation stalled.
Eventually, Buffy looked up. Her eyes were slightly wet, and she had to clear her throat before speaking, but she made herself go on.
“The other night,” she said quietly, “you kissed me like that...like you wanted me too...and then you just left. Why?”
“Why I kissed you or why I left?”
“Both, but mainly why you left.”
It took a long time for Faith to answer. “Why do you think?” she finally said with a rueful chuckle. “I was scared. Scared shitless.”
“Of what?” Buffy asked. “W-W-Was it because we’re both girls...?”
“Hell no,” Faith said, smirking a bit. “I’ve made it with a girl before. More’n one, actually. But never one that I—”
Faith stopped, and Buffy looked at her expectantly. A flash of fear entered Faith’s eyes, and she glanced away. When she looked back up, she forced herself to finish.
“—never one that I gave a damn about seein’ again after.”
At Faith’s last line, the two slayers locked eyes for a long moment. Then Faith hung her head, directing her gaze at the bed.
“Hell, I’m probably not makin’ any sense at all,” Faith said.
“Yes. Yes, you are,” Buffy assured her.
“Look, I’m sorry,” Faith said, glancing up and taking Buffy’s hand in hers. “I didn’t mean to hurt you. That’s what I was trying not to do. I knew if we got involved, I’d do what I always do—get some and get gone—and you’d get hurt, and I’d feel like shit, and—”
Buffy snatched her hand out of Faith’s grasp. An angry expression was on her face. “Is that what you’re gonna do? ‘Get some and get gone?’ Stay with me long enough to bed me and then leave?”
“No!” Faith insisted. “At least I don’t think so, I’m not planning to, I don’t want to—” Faith clenched her fists in her lap and growled in frustration. “Why is this so fuckin’ hard??!!!”
Faith forced herself to take a couple of deep breaths. Then she lifted her head and looked at Buffy intently.
“Listen, B, what I’m trying to say is...for the first time in my life, I don’t want to ‘get gone’.”
She paused and searched Buffy’s eyes, but all she saw was a pair of stony walls. Faith shrugged and went on.
“I don’t know what that means,” she admitted. “All I know is...” She took Buffy’s hand again. “...I don’t want to be without you.”
Buffy’s walls slowly crumbled, and her expression softened as tears slipped over her lids. She gave a small laugh and wiped the tears away. Then, in a slightly choked voice, she said, “You know, coming from such a cynic, that was pretty damn beautiful...”
Faith’s expression widened into a large smile. “Well, you’ll notice I didn’t deny still wanting the ‘get some’ part of the equation...”
“I did notice,” Buffy said, laughing but also blushing a little. “And I’m very glad to hear it.”
After exchanging playful grins, the two sobered, and Buffy went on. “Faith, I’m just as confused as you are. I don’t know how it happened or how it happened so fast. All I know is...when I’m with you, it feels wonderful, and I haven’t felt that way in a very long time. I want to see this through, wherever it goes.”
Faith nodded in agreement. “Me too.”
The two smiled lovingly for a moment then leaned in for a kiss. It was a sweet, slow kiss, full of warmth and gentleness, but it left them no less breathless when it was done.
“So...what are you gonna tell the others?” Faith asked.
Buffy groaned and plopped back against the pillow. “I have no idea. I mean, I’m having trouble explaining it to you. I don’t know how I’ll explain it to them.” Buffy let out a long, deep sigh. “I should call them, though. Set up a time at least.”
“Sounds good,” Faith replied. “And while you’re doing that, I’m gonna grab a shower.” She lifted her shirt and sniffed. “I smell like antiseptic.”
Faith threw the sheet off and swung her legs over the edge of the bed. When she stood up, a small grunt of pain escaped her lips. Buffy was instantly at her side.
“Are you okay? Do you want me to help you in the shower?” Buffy offered.
Faith’s mouth quirked into a sexy grin. “Oh, I want you in the shower all right,” she said, grasping Buffy by the hips and pulling her close. She kissed Buffy hungrily, passionately, and Buffy eagerly did the same. After planting a line of kisses along Buffy’s neck, Faith breathed into Buffy’s ear, earning a small shiver from the blonde slayer. “But...I’d rather be a 100% for that endeavor. Okay?”
Buffy couldn’t form words at the moment, so she just nodded vigorously when Faith pulled away and looked at her.
The dark slayer grinned, pleased with the reaction she was getting from Buffy. “Be back soon,” she promised.
“Okay,” Buffy replied, but in a voice much higher pitched than normal. She was over-nodding again, too.
At that, Faith turned and headed for the bathroom. When Faith had gone in and shut the door, Buffy let out the breath she had been holding. Her face was flushed, and she began to fan herself.
“I think I need a shower, too,” Buffy mumbled. “A cold one.”
After a final fanning, Buffy headed for the phone to call Giles.