Rating: R (for language and sexual situations)
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 where Part 08 left off. It continues in mostly original territory. (3) Thanks to Lilly for the beta read and edit! (4) I realized just now that I hadn’t plotted my days correctly in the previous chapters. I’ve had Buffy and the others going to school too many days in a row (poor Scoobies), so here’s the revision: Just imagine that a weekend got inserted in the middle of Part 06 right before Faith gets into the big fight with the demons and gets hurt. This gets my days right, but it also lengthens the time that Buffy is separated from Faith, intensifying her missing Faith and giving time for the backlash curse to kick in even more.
Number of Chapters: Current Plan = 18 chapters
After talking with the Scoobies, Buffy and Faith head to the Summers home,
where they have a very intense encounter.
After leaving Giles and the others, Buffy and Faith headed toward Revello Drive. Holding hands, they walked very slowly, intentionally prolonging their time together. They didn’t speak of the day’s events; instead, they made light banter and simply enjoyed each other’s company.
When they reached the Summers home, they stopped on the sidewalk out front, reluctantly releasing each other’s hands. Faith tucked her hands into the back pockets of her pants and struck a laid-back pose. Buffy fidgeted and swung her arms a few times before finally hitching her thumb over her shoulder.
“Well, this is it,” she said. “My house. Where I live.”
“Yeah, it sure is,” Faith said, going along with Buffy’s statement of the obvious.
Buffy twisted her hands nervously. “I’d, um, I’d invite you in, but I kinda need to have that ‘Mom talk’ I mentioned.”
Faith shrugged nonchalantly. “No big. I get it.”
“Good,” Buffy said, letting out a relieved breath. “I didn’t want you to think I was blowing you off or anything. ’Cause I’m not...it’s just...Mom doesn’t know what’s happened...with the curse o-o-or with us and...I need time to explain it all.”
“Like I said, I get it.”
“Thanks,” Buffy said as she gave Faith’s arm a grateful squeeze. Then she looked down at her hands. “To be honest, I wish I could just skip the ‘Mom talk’ and go directly to the ‘snuggle with Faith’ part.”
Faith’s lips curved into a smirk. “Is that right?” she asked before reaching out and pulling the blonde into her arms. They stood close, resting their hands at each other’s hips.
After a shy pause, Buffy said with confidence, “Absolutely.” Then she leaned in for a kiss.
It started slowly, warmly, sensuously, but soon it became something more—something powerful and passionate, something that wouldn’t stand for still hands. When the two slayers separated moments later, both were breathing heavily.
Buffy managed a chuckle and said, “You know...you are really good at that.”
Faith flashed her a full-dimpled grin. “I got the maaaad skiiiiiillls.” Then she gave Buffy a nod of approval. “You’re pretty good yourself.”
Buffy blushed and ducked her head. “Really?”
“Hell yeah!” Faith confirmed without hesitation, earning her a smile from Buffy.
After a long gaze between them, Buffy eventually pulled away. “I’d better get inside,” she said, taking a backward step toward her house. “See you tomorrow?”
“Sure. I’ll stop by the school.”
“Okay. I’ll see you then. Have a good night.”
They both hesitated, not really parting, until Buffy finally turned and walked to the front door. After unlocking her door, she looked back and saw Faith waiting. The two exchanged quick waves, and then Buffy went inside.
Once she had locked the front door, Buffy went upstairs to find her mother. When she got to the top of the stairs, her mother’s bedroom door opened, and Joyce stepped into the hall.
“Buffy, thank goodness,” Joyce said. “I was just about to call Rupert and tell him to send you home.”
Buffy made a pouty frown. “Mommmm...”
“No, I don’t like the way he monopolizes your time,” she stated firmly. “It’s slayer this and slayer that. You need time to rest.” She reached out and caressed her daughter’s hair. “Especially after what you’ve been through.”
Buffy smiled, and the two moved into a long, warm hug. When they pulled away, Buffy looked her mother in the eyes.
“I know you’ve been really worried about me,” she assured her, “but I’m okay now. That backlash thingee I was under...I think it’s broken.”
Joyce’s expression became worried. “You know about the curse? But Rupert said that—”
“I know,” Buffy explained. “He was just trying to protect me. But I kinda had a breakthrough today, and after that, he figured it was okay to tell me. That’s what we were talking about tonight, actually.”
“A breakthrough? I don’t understand.”
“I got really upset at school, a-a-and I kinda freaked and ran,” Buffy said. When she saw the alarmed look on her mother’s face, she quickly continued. “But Faith found me and talked to me, and after that, I just...felt ‘right’ again.”
Joyce folded her arms tightly. “Faith?” she asked, her voice dripping with skeptical sarcasm.
Buffy sighed. “You sound like Willow.”
“Do you blame me?” Joyce countered. “She was supposed to be watching over you, and she left.”
“I know,” Buffy admitted. “But that wasn’t her fault.” Joyce merely rolled her eyes in disbelief. “Please...just trust me on this, okay?”
Joyce didn’t look the least bit convinced. “So she just ‘talked’ to you, and suddenly you were all better?”
“Well, not ‘suddenly’,” Buffy pointed out. “Not instant-like or anything. It took some...very special...” She paused to consider how to word the next part. “...persuading,” she finally said. “Eventually, though, it sank in, and I got it, and I felt like a burden had been lifted off my shoulders.” Buffy shrugged. “I can’t explain it. I think it must be some kind of ‘slayer bond.’ All I can say is...Faith reached me when no one else could.”
Joyce still seemed doubtful, but her eyes softened a bit. “So...you really think it’s gone...it’s broken?”
“Yes, I do,” Buffy told her.
Joyce pulled her daughter into another hug and kissed her on the top of her head as she tightly held her. “I was so worried,” she said, “and I felt so helpless.”
“I think we all did—me included,” Buffy answered. “But I guess it just had to run its course. Like a fever or something.”
When mother and daughter moved out of their hug, Buffy took a step toward the bathroom. “It’s been a long day,” she said. “I’m just gonna grab a shower and hit the sack.”
“Sleep well, honey,” Joyce said. “And sweet dreams.”
Buffy gave a rueful laugh. “Let’s hope so.”
At that, Joyce returned to her bedroom, and Buffy headed for the bathroom.
A short time later, after she had finished her shower, Buffy returned to her room and got dressed for bed. When she turned away from her dresser, she suddenly heard a tapping at the window. Tugging down on the hem of her nightshirt, she cautiously approached. When she peeked around the curtain, she saw Faith on the other side of the pane, kneeling on the roof of the house. Buffy’s eyes lit up in surprise, and she instantly opened the window.
“Faith!” she chided. “How did you get up here?”
“I’m a slayer, remember?” Faith quipped as she crawled inside the window.
“A slayer with a strained knee! Not to mention thirty-something stitches in her side,” Buffy scolded. “You’re supposed to be taking it easy, not scaling houses in the middle of the night.”
Faith shot her an unrepentant smirk. “In case you hadn’t noticed, I don’t always do what I’m supposed to.”
“Yeah, I had noticed that,” Buffy replied as she closed the window.
“Admit it,” Faith teased. “You’re glad I’m here.”
Buffy couldn’t contain her smile. “I am,” she said. Then she glanced worriedly at her bedroom door. “But what if my mom finds you in here?”
Faith gave a big shrug. “We’ll just tell her it’s another ‘slayer sleepover’.”
Buffy rolled her eyes, walked to the bedroom door, and locked it.
“What?” Faith asked with a grin. “She didn’t have a problem with it the last time I was here.”
Buffy let out a deep sigh as she walked back to Faith. “That was before.”
Faith lost the grin. “Before I ran out on you, you mean,” she stated evenly.
“Well, yeah,” Buffy confirmed, “but I was thinking more like...before she knew we were seeing each other.”
“So you told her?”
Buffy shook her head. “No, not yet.” She let out another sigh. “I’m still working on the ‘I’m really okay now’ part and the ‘Stop blaming Faith’ part.”
“Oh.” Faith dropped her gaze to her hands. “She’s pretty mad, huh?”
“Yeah,” Buffy answered with a nod. “But...she’s getting there. It’s just gonna take a little time.” Buffy reached out and put her hand on Faith’s arm. “I didn’t tell her about us because I think she’s got all she can handle right now. I’ll give her a day or two to let all that other stuff sink in, and then I’ll break the news.”
“How do you think she’ll take it?” Faith asked, finally looking up.
“Don’t have a clue,” Buffy confessed. Then she put on a smile. “But you know...my last significant other turned out to be a hundreds-year-old homicidal vampire, so...”
Faith laughed. “True. Guess I gotta like my odds against that.”
Buffy walked over to the bed and turned back the covers. “So...you gonna join me for our ‘sleepover’?”
“Only if you promise not to braid my hair or give me a magazine makeover,” Faith said.
“Don’t worry,” Buffy chuckled. “I think you’re safe.”
As Faith started pulling off her boots, Buffy went back to her dresser and got out the same big t-shirt that Faith had worn the last time she had stayed with Buffy. She walked over to Faith and handed it over.
“I hope you washed it,” Faith teased. “All that drool last time...”
Buffy swatted Faith’s arm. “Hey, you’re lucky I don’t make you sleep naked.”
“Oh, you wish!” Faith needled.
Buffy blushed furiously, cleared her throat, and blurted, “Never mind.” Then she scurried back to her nightstand to switch on the bedside lamp. After that, she turned off the overhead light and returned to the bed—all without glancing in Faith’s direction.
Faith snickered to herself, set aside the borrowed t-shirt, then started to pull her own shirt off. When a sharp sting shot through her side, she hissed in pain, which caused Buffy to rush over.
“See?” Buffy chided. “You hurt yourself getting up here, didn’t you?”
Faith scoffed and shook her head as she tossed her shirt to the floor. “It just hurts when I move certain ways sometimes.” She leaned aside to allow Buffy to see the stitched area. “I’m fine,” she insisted. She felt Buffy reach out and gently place her hand on the wound. She expected it to hurt, but she found the touch to be surprisingly warm and soothing.
Buffy frowned and looked at Faith. “I’m sorry,” she told her. “I should’ve been with you. You wouldn’t have gotten hurt if—”
“Stop,” Faith said, turning to take Buffy’s hands in hers. “No more o’ that, okay? The guilt trip ends here.”
Buffy just stood there blinking for a long moment before finally nodding. “Okay,” she whispered.
Faith released Buffy’s hands. While Buffy returned to the bed, Faith finished undressing. After she had put on the borrowed t-shirt, Faith joined Buffy in bed. Buffy leaned over to switch off the lamp; then she turned back over to lie facing Faith. With the faint light from outside, the two could still clearly see each other. They were close, within touching distance, but not snuggling. It was a long time before one of them finally spoke.
“What a day, huh?” Buffy commented.
“Uh, yeah,” Faith deadpanned.
“Went from being the worst day of my life—almost the last day of my life, in fact—to being one of the best days.”
“One of the best, huh?” Faith asked. “Hmmm...emergency room fun, group intervention with Giles and friends, and mega-talk with mom...yeah, that’s my idea of a good day.”
Buffy refused to be swayed by Faith’s sarcasm and continued insistently. “Know why it was one of the best?”
Faith just looked at her without answering.
“Cause I was with you,” Buffy said sincerely.
Faith felt a slight blush creep into her cheeks, and she looked away. When she glanced back up, Buffy gave her a warm but very sweet kiss. When they pulled apart, Faith cleared her throat and changed the subject.
“Hey...did you know that Giles believes in unicorns?”
“What?” Buffy replied incredulously.
“Yep. When you and Willow went outside to talk, he tried to convince me and Xander that unicorns were real.”
“He even tried to look it up in his books to prove it,” Faith said. “Couldn’t find it, though.”
Buffy grinned mischievously. “Oh, I am soooo gonna tease him about that.”
“You should get him a unicorn paperweight or something,” Faith suggested.
“I should,” Buffy replied, pleased with that idea.
An awkward silence entered the conversation. But Faith soon broke it. “So... ummm...what did you and Willow talk about?” She hoped her question had sounded nonchalant.
Buffy’s teasing grin told her it hadn't. “What do you think we talked about?” Buffy countered.
“I’m guessing me.”
“And me,” Buffy answered with a nod. “You me and me me. The whole ‘us’ thing. You know...how it happened, why I didn’t say anything, and did I really know what I was getting into.”
Faith didn’t reply. She just listened.
Buffy laughed as she recalled the earlier discussion. “She totally freaked when I told her that I kissed you first.”
Faith grinned at that. “Yeah?”
“Totally,” Buffy confirmed. “It reduced her to vowel sounds.” Then she paused to think about the matter more deeply. “I don’t think she expected that.”
“I sure as hell didn’t,” Faith interjected. When she realized how her words might have sounded, she instantly began correcting herself. “I mean, I knew that something was happening. I felt it.”
“I did too,” Buffy added.
“But you were— And I was—” Faith stopped and let out a long breath and then started over. “When you went to kiss me, my brain kept screamin’ at me to stop you, to not let you do it, but the truth is...I didn’t want to stop you. I didn’t want to stop myself either.”
“But you did,” Buffy said softly, with a little hurt in her voice. “You stopped it.” You definitely stopped it, she thought sadly to herself.
“Yeah...too late, though. Then I just fuckin’ panicked. Jesus...” Feeling guilty and embarrassed, Faith ran her hand through her hair and looked away. “I made everything worse. Willow and Xander...they should be mad at me.”
“They’re not mad...” Buffy said, trying to be consoling. When Faith pinned her with a stare, Buffy added, “...much.”
Faith scoffed loudly. “Maybe not Xander,” she said, “but Willow? She threatened to beat me to death with a shovel if I hurt you.”
Buffy’s eyes widened in total surprise.
“And she wasn’t kidding either,” Faith went on. “Red’s got guts, I give her that.”
“She’s just being protective,” Buffy said, once she had gotten over her shock. “You know...best friend duties and all.”
Faith didn’t reply. She just nodded, not really very comforted by Buffy’s explanation. Buffy tried again.
“She’s just worried.”
Faith looked away. “About what?”
Buffy hesitated at first. She didn’t want to say anything to hurt Faith, but at the same time, she wanted to be honest about Willow’s fears—and her own.
“I think she’s afraid that...” Buffy lowered her gaze. “...that you’re gonna run out on me.” She looked back up and searched Faith’s eyes. Are you? she asked Faith silently in her mind as she held her breath and waited.
Faith felt her stomach twist into a knot under Buffy’s stare. She felt her internal voice begin to nag her. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, it told her. You know how you are. You don’t know where this is going.
Faith took a deep breath and looked into Buffy’s eyes. The more she stared, the more she felt her inner voice fade away. “I’m not going anywhere,” she told Buffy before moving over to give Buffy an earnest kiss.
After the brief kiss, Buffy let out the breath she had been holding, and it very nearly came out as a sob. She wrapped her arms around Faith and pulled her close. Faith returned the embrace, and the two of them lay warmly entwined until exhausted sleep finally overtook them.
The next morning when Buffy woke up, she found herself being spooned by Faith. The dark slayer was snuggled against her back and had her arm draped over Buffy’s side.
Buffy smiled and sighed, basking in the sense of safety and contentment she felt at being wrapped in Faith’s embrace. She liked this feeling; she liked it a lot. Plus, for the first time in several days, she had slept the whole night through without a single nightmare. And that was definitely a good thing.
Buffy smiled again and then very carefully turned over. Despite Buffy’s repositioning, Faith remained asleep. Buffy reached out and gently moved a strand of dark hair aside so that she could see Faith’s face more clearly. She studied her features as if awestruck, as if she were seeing them for the first time, as if she wanted to memorize every part of them: the long dark lashes of her eyes, the slight hint of a cleft in her chin, the full red lips. Just as Buffy felt a lump form in her throat, her reverie was interrupted by a voice.
“Take a picture,” Faith mumbled with her eyes still closed. “It’ll last longer.” Then she opened her eyes and grinned.
Buffy grinned back and said, “If I had a camera handy, I would. I’ll have to settle for a mental snapshot.”
Faith ran her hand through her bed-head hair. “Gettin’ me back for that bar picture, huh?”
“No, I’m reserving that revenge for a later date,” Buffy promised. Then she added, “This is just me liking what I see. Ha! And I even rhymed when I said it.”
Faith snorted and rolled her eyes. “You’re goofy in the mornings.”
“At least I’m not grumpy,” Buffy countered, giving Faith a nudge.
“Who you callin’ grumpy?” Faith threatened. “I’ll show you grumpy.”
Faith began to tickle Buffy, making her squeal and laugh. Buffy fought off the attacking hands and managed to throw back the covers and jump out of bed. Faith quickly crawled across the mattress and grabbed the blonde before she could fully escape, and the two of them ended up in a tangle on the floor. Faith got in a few extra tickles before finally straddling one of Buffy’s legs and pinning her arms above her head.
Buffy giggled once or twice more, then found herself mesmerized by the look that Faith was giving her. It was a smoldering stare that made Buffy flush with excitement. Her heart began to race, and her breathing became rapid and shallow.
Without releasing Buffy from her stare, Faith slowly slid her body down Buffy’s and then just as slowly slid it back up again. She held her face directly over Buffy’s and said, “Still think I’m grumpy?”
Buffy didn’t answer. Instead, she wrested one of her arms free and yanked Faith down into a crushing kiss, which Faith eagerly returned. She released Buffy’s other arm and pulled the blonde up to sit in her lap, wrapping her arms around the smaller slayer’s body. They kissed again and again—deeply, urgently—with their hands roaming, along arms and over shoulders and down t-shirt-clad backs, before sneaking under shirttails so that fingers could touch skin.
When they finally pulled apart to catch their breath, Faith whispered huskily, “I want to see you...touch you.”
Buffy froze, and Faith instantly felt the tension in Buffy’s body. Faith put a little more distance between them, but she kept her eyes on Buffy, trying to gauge her reaction. Faith waited a few moments, and when the heat between them didn’t dissipate, she took off her own shirt and tossed it aside.
Buffy swallowed hard then shyly looked down at Faith’s bare chest. Her heart rate immediately kicked up a notch. She was breathing hard when she looked back up and met Faith’s eyes. She saw intense desire there, but no pressure, no judgment. Buffy gave Faith a small, vulnerable smile and then slowly pulled her own shirt off.
Faith returned the smile; then she dropped her gaze to Buffy’s breasts. She stared at them appreciatively for quite a long time. To Buffy, it seemed like an eternity of staring, but she resisted the urge to cover up during Faith’s scrutiny. Finally, Faith looked back up and gave Buffy a sexy smirk.
“This is me liking what I see,” Faith said, her eyes sparkling.
Buffy laughed in relief, but only for a moment, before Faith planted a hungry kiss on Buffy’s lips. They kissed passionately, over and over, letting their hands now run freely over each other’s bare skin, their fingertips leaving trails of fire everywhere they went.
When Faith left Buffy’s mouth, she took her kisses to Buffy’s collarbone and then up the blonde’s slender neck. Buffy gave a shiver and leaned her head back, sinking her hands into Faith’s long hair.
“Oh God...” she moaned when Faith’s hand touched her breast.
Faith softly caressed the breast several times, then gave it a squeeze as she lightly bit into Buffy’s neck—not enough to cause pain or even to bruise the skin, but enough to render Buffy incapable of forming words. The blonde was able to make only a strangled groan as she pressed her hands against the back of Faith’s head as an encouragement to her to continue exactly what she was doing.
“What the hell is going on here?!!!”
At the sound of Joyce’s angry voice, Buffy and Faith instantly separated. The two slayers had been so caught up in each other that they had not heard Joyce knocking at the door and then opening it. When they saw Joyce scowling furiously at them, they immediately snatched up their shirts and put them back on.
They nervously shot guilty glances at one other and at Joyce until Buffy finally attempted to answer her mother’s question. “Uhhh...I...we...uhhh...”
When Faith saw Buffy floundering, she tried to step in. “Yeah, we...ummm...we were just—”
“Wrestling!!!” Buffy suddenly blurted out, interrupting Faith. “A-A-As in the... Greek fashion,” she went on awkwardly. “Hence the...mostly nakedness and the...” She growled in frustration and dropped the guise. “You’re not buying any of this, are you?”
Joyce gave her daughter a harsh glare as an answer and then turned her attention to Faith. “How could you do this?!” she accused. “First you run out on her and then you try to...to...seduce her?! What kind of a person are you?!!”
“Mom, no! It’s not like that,” Buffy insisted, getting to her feet.
Joyce ignored Buffy’s pleas and stayed focused on Faith. “I want you out of my house. Right now!”
Faith didn’t say a word. She just got up and walked over to where her pants were lying on the floor. She picked them up and started pulling them on.
“No, no,” Buffy said to her mother before backing up to talk to Faith. “Please... don’t go,” she told her.
Faith glanced at Joyce then back to Buffy. “I think I better.” When she saw the distraught look on Buffy’s face, she added softly, “I’m not ‘leaving.’ I’m just leaving here. I’ll catch you at school later, okay?”
Buffy still seemed unhappy, but she whispered “okay” back anyway.
Once Faith had fastened her pants, she grabbed her boots and other clothes and headed out the bedroom door. Buffy watched her go, but as soon as Faith was out of sight, Buffy turned on her mother.
“Why did you do that?!!” Buffy demanded.
“This is my house, young lady,” Joyce shot back. “And I’ll decide who stays in it and what’s...what’s...” She paused, trying to come up with the right words. “...done in it!” she finished.
“NO!!!” Joyce said sharply, cutting off Buffy’s objection. “This is not open for debate!” She pointed toward Buffy’s dresser. “Now get dressed and get to school,” she ordered. “We’ll talk about this when I get home from the gallery.”
At that, Joyce stomped from the room and slammed the door, leaving a stunned Buffy behind.