Faith stood outside the gates of Sunnydale High and took a deep breath. Running a hand through her long dark hair, she looked down at herself. She was thinking maybe the tight black leather pants and low cut top were not the best things to be wearing for what was hopefully going to be her first meeting with the infamous Buffy Summers.
But then she realised. . .turning up in something more conservative just wouldn’t be her. Besides, right now she didn’t have much of a choice as her wardrobe was a little light in actual clothing. Everything she owned was in one small duffel bag, which was slung in the corner of the sparse Motel room the dark eyed girl had rented earlier.
After giving it some thought and not being able to come up with a better idea, Faith had decided - when she arrived in Sunnydale - that the best place to begin looking for her fellow slayer would be the town’s high school. She figured Buffy - unlike her - was most likely the kind of girl to actually attend school. Faith had never seen the attraction, but then she lived by her wits, not by textbooks.
She had no idea where else to look for the other girl, and to make matters worse she didn’t even know what she looked like. All she knew for sure was that the legendary slayer lived by the hellmouth, right here in Sunnydale. She also knew Buffy was one hell of a slayer.
Faith’s Watcher had told her about Buffy; how she was one of the best, a truly great chosen one. Faith had been told to be more like her in the way she slayed, in the way she lived. She sounded a little dull to Faith, who just did her own thing regardless. She couldn’t change who she was, no matter how much the council wanted it. She didn’t really give a damn about the council anyway.
It still pained Faith to think of her now dead watcher, however. For all her pompousness, she had given the young woman hope and direction in her otherwise pointless life. At least she had the knowledge that the bastard that had taken her watcher was dead. She had seen to that one herself, revelling in driving the stake through his undead heart. But then Faith had found herself at a loss for what to do after exacting her revenge. She had no idea how to contact the council herself, not that she really wanted to. With no Watcher to guide her, she was unsure of what she should actually be doing.
It had come to her one night in the midst of a particularly hard slay. She wasn’t alone. There was another slayer out there, and another watcher who just might know what to do about her predicament. So she made her way to California and to Sunnydale the very next day. She was looking forward to meeting somebody that understood what it felt like to be a slayer; to have this destiny thrust upon them.
But Faith was also a little nervous. She wasn’t sure how her arrival would be received. Most of all, she didn’t want to be seen as just a spare part, or a problem to be dealt with and forgotten. She had lived most of her young life that way.
Faith wiped her moist palms down her denim jacket and confidently strode up to the main doors of the school. She was nervous all right, but she was also a master at hiding her emotions. Faith was a bad-ass, she had to be. . .it was the only thing that had gotten her through a decidedly rough childhood. She had her shield well and truly in place, and nothing and no one got through it. Not even her watcher would have guessed how upset Faith had been at her death.
The school corridors were quiet, just the hushed tones of various teachers reaching the dark girl’s sensitive hearing. Faith made her way to reception. She didn’t really have a plan, but she knew she had to find Buffy. When her shield failed her now and again and slipped, she could admit she was tired of being alone.
It had taken six months to track down her watcher’s killer Kakistos. She had felt so isolated, with nobody to share her burden. Even a bad-ass needs reassurance now and again, it wasn’t something Faith liked to admit to herself too often but it was true.
The middle-aged woman behind the desk at reception eyed Faith suspiciously from behind her glasses. Maybe all the black and leather was a mistake after all. Faith flashed her most charming smile at the receptionist, showing off her perfect white teeth and highlighting her dimples.
“Can I help you?” The receptionist didn’t smile back as she questioned Faith; it was obviously too much trouble.
Faith ignored the look of disdain she was being given, and moved towards the desk.
“Hi, I’m looking for someone who goes to this school. Buffy Summers. She here?” Faith asked, thinking it was best to just get to the point.
The woman tapped a few buttons on her computer then frowned, creasing her brow up before turning back to Faith. “Who are you? I can’t just give out information to anybody you know?”
Faith rolled her eyes. Apparently, the woman thought she was at the head of some secret agency or something.
“I’m. . .her sister.”
“Oh, and do you have proof?” The receptionist gave Faith a sceptical look.
“No, I don’t have proof. Look, I’m here to give her something.” Faith knew she had to try her best with this. Not knowing what Buffy looked like meant she couldn’t just wait around for her. This was the only way.
She leaned lazily on the desk, holding the woman’s gaze, hopefully intimidating her slightly. She didn’t want to be asked what it was she was supposed to be giving to Buffy; her brain hadn’t given her the courtesy of letting her think that far ahead.
The thin mist of tension cleared as the phone rang, causing the receptionist to tut before answering it. Whoever it was on the other end was doing a good job of annoying the woman, as she snapped out answers to seemingly irritating questions. Faith tapped her black painted fingernails on the desk, drawing attention to herself. It elicited a sigh from the other side and the receptionist rapped on her computer keyboard again. She wrote something on a scrap of paper and shoved it towards Faith, all the while continuing her conversation on the phone. Faith looked down at the note; it simply said ‘room 13-History’. Faith winked at the woman before turning to make her way to room 13.
She rounded the corridors, hunting for the room that held the other slayer. With every step Faith grew more and more apprehensive. Just knowing there was somebody nearby with the same power she had - the same destiny - was more than strange. It unnerved her in one respect, and exited her in another.
Room 13. Faith stood outside the door, calming her breathing to something akin to regular. She adjusted her denim jacket slightly and put up her shield. She ran a strong hand through her wavy hair, then knocked assuredly.
This was it, the meeting of two chosen, magical beings. Faith grasped the doorknob and pushed. The class was quiet, most of the kids busy scribbling in their books. Only a few looked up to see who was interrupting their lesson.
“What can I do for you?” The smartly dressed young teacher who stood in front of the class rigidly asked.
Faith cleared her throat slightly before answering. “I’m here for. . .” Before she could finish Faith caught the eye of a pretty blonde girl sat near the back of the class, who seemed to be studying her intently.
She appeared to be smaller in stature than Faith, with slightly shorter silky looking hair. Her sparkling eyes were catching the brilliance of the afternoon sun, but even with her perfect slayer eyesight Faith couldn’t quite make out if they were green or hazel. Maybe a combination. Whatever colour they were Faith instantly thought they were beautiful.
Then she felt it. A tingling sensation like no other she had ever felt before. It was close to the one she would get in the presence of a vampire, but distinctly more pleasant.
“. . .Buffy Summers,” Faith said, finishing her stilted sentence.
The blonde girl looked puzzled now.
“You’re looking for Buffy?” The teacher asked.
Faith couldn’t tear her eyes away from the small blonde girl currently sending tingles up and down her spine, so she just nodded and vaguely replied, “Yeah.”
Faith knew it before the teacher pointed her out that the cute girl at the back of the class was Buffy Summers. The Slayer. It seemed like Buffy was having a hard time looking away from Faith too, and their eyes remained locked on each other. Faith’s pupils dilated even further than they were already as Buffy subconsciously licked her lips. The younger girl had never imagined the legendary Buffy to be so damn cute. She knew she had to stop staring at her; it was kind of becoming obvious.
“Can I have a word with her?” Faith snapped her chocolate brown eyes towards the teacher. He must have been taken aback by the sheer intensity of her gaze, still filled with dark desire as he stuttered out his reply, motioning for Buffy to leave the class.
Faith left the room and waited for the other slayer, trying her best to clear her mind of lascivious thoughts. She knew she would have to keep a lid on her instant attraction to Buffy, but it had literally hit her like a sledgehammer, taking her by surprise. She didn’t want to start off on the wrong foot, however. Faith knew, by all accounts, that Buffy was straight. She had a boyfriend. So he was a vampire, but they were still together. It was the one flaw her watcher had said Buffy had. . .Angel.
Faith nonchalantly leaned against the wall, beating down her raging libido as Buffy closed the classroom door behind her and walked towards the younger girl.
Buffy glanced up and down the hall, making sure there were no students lurking nearby before speaking. “You’re a Slayer, right? Either that, or my vamp sensors need fixing.”
Faith couldn’t help thinking that the petite slayer sounded just as cute as she looked.
“Yeah, I’m a Slayer. Faith.” The nervous brunette extended her hand for Buffy to shake, trying her best not to look nervous at all.
Buffy took Faith’s hand in hers and the reaction for both of them was instant. Faith could only liken it to shaking hands with a tiny bolt of lightning. It wasn’t painful, just unexpected.
“Fuck, are you hooked up to the fucking mains?” Faith practically yelled, unable to help herself; it wasn’t exactly everyday she felt something like that just from touching somebody.
“I was gonna ask you the same question, except possibly without the expletives.” Buffy smiled sweetly.
“Sorry. It just. . .I mean. . .weird.” It wasn’t often that words failed Faith, but now was definitely one of those rare occasions that called for idiot mode to kick in.
“Yeah.” Apparently, Buffy was a sufferer too.
They just stood, staring at each other again. This was fast becoming a habit. Faith remembered her ‘let no fucker know what you’re thinking’ training, and let it take hold. She was supposed to be a bad-ass after all.
“So, this is the hellmouth.” It wasn’t so much a question as a statement.
“Yeah, welcome to all things nasty and evil,” Buffy said with a smile.
“Great, I’ll fit right in,” Faith smirked.
Buffy smiled but she looked a tad confused. They both fell silent for several seconds.
Faith didn’t know what to say or where to begin. She was just luxuriating in the tingling sensations still making their way up and down her spine. It wasn’t quite as intense now, but it was still there.
Buffy finally broke the silence. “So, not that it isn’t nice meeting a fellow slayer and all but. . .what are you doing here?” Buffy actually sounded worried, not drastically so but it was there, under the surface.
“Well, it’s kinda difficult to explain, and I’d rather not. . .ya know. . .standing around a corridor and all.” Faith hadn’t actually taken the time to think about what she was going to say to Buffy once she found her. She really felt like giving herself a good kick in the butt sometimes.
“Right,” Buffy nodded, understanding. “My lesson is nearly over. Umm, wait here for me?” she asked.
“It’s not like I have anything better to do, blondie.” Faith’s bad-ass persona was taking over, it came naturally to her, especially whenever she felt uneasy, and Buffy definitely made her uneasy. She wasn’t entirely sure why, there was just something about her, maybe it was the slayer thing. . .she didn’t know.
Buffy turned to look at Faith just before re-entering the room, she was about to say something but stopped mid breath. Faith was grinning at the older girl, she tried her best for it not to be a sexy grin but she didn’t quite pull it off. Faith knew she looked hot when she smiled like that, it always got her what she wanted, and it was more than likely the reason Buffy’s mind had just zoned out making her forget what she was about to say. At least that’s what it had looked like to Faith. . .but then she realised that maybe it was just wishful thinking on her part.
Faith watched as Buffy closed the door, letting out a sigh as the cute blonde disappeared from view. She had never envisioned coming to Sunnydale and finding out the famed Buffy Summers was a fox. She had always pictured her as prissy and plain. She shook her head, marvelling at the basic level her brain worked.
Sex. Often it was all she could think about. Guys or girls, it didn’t really make a difference to Faith. Although she would have to admit - even with her limited experience, having only ever slept with two girls before - fucking with the fairer sex was a hell of a lot hotter.
She attempted to wipe her mind clean, realising that lusting after your fellow slayer mere seconds after first laying eyes on her was probably not cool. And Faith really didn’t want to mess this up, as she was hoping for this to be her second chance. After losing her watcher Faith had begun to lose her way a little, living on nothing but the need to take revenge. She was floundering now, and as much as she liked being a free spirit Faith knew she had a destiny to fulfil.
She slid down the wall opposite the door to Buffy’s class, and waited. She didn’t have to wait long as the school bell rang out through the stark corridor and students began filtering out into the hall. Faith kept her position on the floor, daring anyone to get too close. Nobody did; as if she had an invisible force field, or maybe it was just the wild look in her eyes. She wasn’t the kind of girl that looked like she could be messed with.
Faith felt the tingles again. Buffy was getting closer, hanging behind the crowd coming out of the classroom. Faith glanced up through hooded eyes as the blonde girl made her way across the hall to her.
“Comfortable?” Buffy asked, extending her hand in a gesture to help Faith up.
Faith was about to take hold of the offered hand but pulled back and pushed herself off the floor.
She didn’t really think it would assist in the ‘no thinking of Buffy in your bed’ rule she had just given herself. Especially if she felt that tingle of electricity between them again. Buffy appeared to be a little upset at the refusal of her helping hand, but said nothing.
“I should be going to an English class right now but what the hey. I doubt I’ll be missed,” Buffy chirped.
Faith bit her tongue. She doubted very much that anyone could just overlook this girl.
“Do you want to walk and talk?” Buffy asked. She had a cute smile spread across her lips, and Faith tried her best not to notice.
Shrugging Faith hardened her eyes as all her defences went into overdrive. She knew it was for the best. There was no way she was going to allow herself to want Buffy. Straight Buffy. Buffy who has a boyfriend. She told herself again that she was not about to fuck this up. She needed a base, a purpose, a friend who could understand her. It was just too much to even contemplate risking. She knew it would be hard. She may have just met the other slayer but Faith could tell her resolve was going to be tested in the biggest way.
“Lead the way.” Faith dug her hands into her pockets as the two girls made their way out of the high school. “I didn’t think you’d be the kinda girl to skip class,” Faith pointed out, keeping her eyes focused ahead.
“Why? I mean, has someone been talking about me?” Buffy seemed genuinely confused.
“You were all my Watcher could talk about.” There was no malice in the younger girl’s voice, what she had been told only made her in awe of Buffy, not jealous. Well, maybe just a little jealous.
“I didn’t realise I would be an exciting topic of conversation.”
“Hey, I never said what I was told was exciting; detailed, but never exciting.” Faith just couldn’t help being sarcastic sometimes, yet another defence mechanism.
“Wait.” Buffy stopped walking. “All your watcher could talk about?”
Faith understood the unasked question.
“Yeah. She was killed. . .by a vamp. I got the bastard for it though,” Faith assured, not holding back the venom in her voice.
Buffy reached out to touch the younger girl’s arm, but Faith set off walking again, out of reach. Faith was still dealing with the pain of losing her watcher and she didn’t want Buffy seeing it. She hated appearing weak.
Buffy trailed after her. “Is that why you’re here?” she asked.
“Uh huh. Didn’t know what else to do,” Faith said with a shrug. “I’ve been slaying and shit, but I thought I’d better. . .I don’t know, check in with someone, ya know?”
“Didn’t anyone come to replace her?” Buffy pressed.
“I didn’t stick around long enough to find out. I had to get the bastard that killed her. You understand right?”
Buffy nodded ever so slightly.
The two girls had made their way down the school steps and out into a park not far from the school. They headed for a bench just ahead of them.
“After I killed him I went back to her house. There was no one around. No replacement watcher. . .nothing. So I came here. Figured your guy could help me out.” They sat down on the park bench.
“Giles, yeah. . .he’d know what to do. You could maybe even stay here or something.” Buffy sounded almost thrilled at the prospect, but Faith knew that was probably down to the fact she could share the load.
“I hadn’t thought that far ahead. Anyway, enough about me. Tell me about you, the unedited ‘Buffy is a legend’ version,” Faith said with a grin.
Buffy visibly blushed. It was the cutest thing Faith had ever seen, so she quickly looked away, ignoring it.
“Well, I’m no legend, Faith,” Buffy said coyly.
The sound of her name coming from those enticing lips almost caused Faith to tremble. She knew she had to get a grip; she was never the type of girl to be bowled over by someone so easily. It was usually the other way around in her experience. She was always the one being lusted after. Faith tried convincing herself that Buffy wasn’t even that attractive, but she realised she was kidding herself. Buffy was that attractive to her.
“So, I hear you’re boinking the undead.” Faith was never one for subtlety, and she needed reassurance that Buffy was indeed off limits.
“W-where did you, I mean, who told you that?” Buffy stuttered, evidently shaken by the question.
“Hey, don’t worry, I’m not gonna judge you. Whatever floats your boat, girlfriend.”
“Well, it’s really none of your business. Or anyone else’s for that matter,” Buffy snapped.
She’d clearly hit on a sore point with the older girl.
“Hey, I’m sorry. Jesus,” Faith sighed and looked away as Buffy stood up slinging her small rucksack over her shoulder.
“We should go see Giles. Let him know you’re here and well. . .let him figure out what to do.” With that said Buffy began briskly walking back towards the school.
Faith slapped the palm of her hand against her forehead, cursing herself for being such a dumbass. She bounded off the bench and caught up with the irate slayer. “Look, I didn’t mean to put my foot in it. I’m just an idiot. Hey, I once kissed a zombie by mistake.” Buffy looked at her like she had two heads so Faith continued. “For real. He jumped me. I was drunk and thought it was someone else. Ya see, the guy I was dating at the time had about as much life in him as your average zombie. I got confused,” Faith explained, completely dead pan.
Buffy stopped walking and began to laugh. Faith decided right then and there that she really liked it when Buffy laughed.
“Faith, you’re weird.”
“Complements will get you everywhere.” Faith couldn’t resist wiggling her eyebrows suggestively; she was just no good at holding back when it came to sexual innuendoes and flirting.
Buffy didn’t seem perturbed by the vaguely flirtatious gesture; in fact it just made her smile even more. Until her brain must have kicked into gear, eliciting a small frown before she set off walking again. Faith kept stride beside her fellow slayer as they made their way to see Giles.