Chapter Five

Sighing deeply, her heart twisting and turning in her chest, Faith turned to lay on her back so she could free herself from Buffy's gaze. The other girl's words were reverberating around her head, making her dizzy. She didn't know what to think, let alone what to say.

“I know, it's probably too late and I shouldn't have said anything,” Buffy said, subtly moving closer to Faith under the covers. “You can think I'm crazy - people often do - but I just couldn't keep it in any longer.”

Faith sighed again. It didn't sound like a good sigh to Buffy and she rested her forehead on Faith's shoulder. She felt like she'd blown it; any chance they may have had. Maybe too much had happened; too much of the past getting in the way.

“I don't get it,” Faith eventually said, the low bur to her voice sending a shudder through Buffy.

Lifting her hand to her head, Faith rubbed at her brow as Buffy rested against her. Her mind wouldn't clear; all Faith could think was “why now?” She also didn't have a clue why she wasn't taking Buffy in her arms and kissing her so fully it would make them both pass out. That's not something she could do right now, however. Faith was too busy trying to understand what Buffy had said - what it meant. What it really meant.

“I heard you right, right?” Faith asked, her voice higher than normal now. “You said you wanted me.”

Buffy nodded against Faith's shoulder. “I did. I do,” Buffy confirmed.

Shaking her head a little Faith sat up, taking the covers with her and letting the cool air wash over Buffy.

“You can't say that now,” Faith told her. “I mean. . .I got used to the whole idea of it never fucking going there. Of you never having the balls to say anything. You're screwing with things. With my head.”

She was talking more than she wanted to, her mouth opening and closing to allow words to fall out. Her stomach muscles clenching as she tried to fight the fluttering sensation. She couldn't do this again. She couldn't fall - couldn't lay herself open - just to land flat on her face once more.

Buffy sat up so she could try to look into Faith's eyes, but Faith wasn't allowing her to look. She glanced away, turning slightly from Buffy.

“Faith,” Buffy began softly, resting a gentle hand on Faith's back, “I know it makes no sense for me to say anything now. We haven't exactly been getting along lately, or ever. . .but, I dunno, it just feels. . .”

“No, no it does make sense,” Faith said, louder and sharper than she'd spoken before as she tried to find the logic of it in her head.

Faith pushed the covers back and got out of bed, leaving Buffy to watch her run her hand through her hair as she started to pace.

“It makes total sense,” Faith said firmly, her eyes catching Buffy's now and then as she strode up and down. “I get that you got down with a chick. . .and it's a pretty fucking kickass experience, so you're bound to wanna explore that more, and not necessarily with the same person.”

Faith spoke like she was trying to convince both herself and Buffy, her arms becoming active as she gestured to make her point. She wasn't sure if she was ready for Buffy's big confession. She wanted it - had dreamed of the day it would happen - but she wasn't prepared.

“Faith, it's not about that,” Buffy said, moving to the edge of the bed, resting on her knees as she fought not to just reach out and grab Faith to make her stand still. “It's not about sex. . .well, it kinda is, but that's not all it's about. And I get that it's weird I'm saying it now, but it's also not.”

“Huh?” Faith murmured, stopping for a second in front of Buffy before beginning to pace again, but a little slower this time.

“Ok, I'm not great at the making sense thing right now obviously,” Buffy sighed, “but you and I both know this has been coming for a long time. It's always been there. . .and yeah, I'm only now getting the `balls' to say anything.”

Coming to a halt Faith gazed out of the window for a moment, watching the drizzle slide down the glass, peering past it into the mist of the Scottish night. There was a war raging inside her, pulling her this way and that. She wanted to turn to Buffy and pour her heart out, tell her how long she'd loved her, how much she'd always wanted to know every inch of her, spend every moment she could making her forget how shitty life could be. She wanted to push her down onto the bed and show her what passion and desire really was, and how it burned deep - deeper than any knife had ever gone. But she also wanted to run, to escape the very real possibility of it all turning to crap again. They were too volatile. Too wrapped in the impossibility of any kind of happy ending.

Buffy waited for the disbelief and doubt to wash through Faith and out the other side again. She could see the thoughts twisting and turning in her head, the need to give in, the need to run. Faith's shoulders were tense, her body stiff as she stood in the glow of the moon. Buffy wanted to stand, to move behind Faith and slide her arms around her taut stomach. Her body wanted to feel her presence, her fingers the softness of her skin. She looked stunning in the hazy shaft of light coming through the window - her hair tumbling in waves down her back, the tight tank top fitting to her curves and stopping just above the skimpy underwear that hugged her firm backside. There was nothing in that moment that told Buffy she was wrong to want Faith, or wrong to tell her so.

“Faith, I didn't mean to mess things up again. I wasn't planning to. . .God you look so beautiful right now,” Buffy blurted, her speech forgotten as she allowed herself to truly look at Faith and desire her the way she'd always tried to stop herself from doing.

Faith stiffened momentarily, her jaw clenching and unclenching as she tried to keep control. It was no use, it was Buffy and she wanted her more than she could ever explain. It went beyond the physical. It went beyond rationality and reason.

Buffy almost gasped her next breath as Faith spun around, her eyes darker than she'd ever seen them. She felt the wave of desire coming from the other girl hit her before being swept up and kissed deeply. Faith took Buffy's face in her hands, her lips firm and demanding as they both moaned at the contact. Eyes fluttering shut, Buffy opened her mouth, giving herself up to Faith, inviting her in without hesitation, her body on fire and lips yearning.

Their lips teased and danced, and their tongues met in a slow slide into destiny, seeking gratification, tasting, touching. Buffy slid her hands up over Faith's sides, holding on, pulling her closer as she fell back to the bed, taking Faith with her.

Another soft moan drifted from Buffy as Faith slipped between her legs as they laid width ways on the bed. She'd forgotten she wasn't wearing panties - having left them on the pile of wet clothes on the floor - but that fact became very clear when Faith's underwear brushed against her. She could feel Faith's heat and she wanted to wrap her legs around her. She wanted to rip Faith's clothes off and know what it felt like to have her so intimately close, but she didn't do either as she was far too preoccupied being thoroughly kissed senseless.

The best she could do was hold on, her hands disappearing into thick dark hair as Faith sucked and nibbled, and then twisted her tongue over and around Buffy's in a delicious dance.

Faith didn't want to think beyond Buffy's lips and tongue, her heart hammering in her chest as she finally tasted Buffy Summers; as she pulled little moans and sighs from her with the unadulterated need of her kiss. She could feel herself getting wet, her body charging itself up to take what she needed, and give what she'd dreamed about for so long. Faith could tell she wasn't the only one getting wet either, as a very distinct moist feeling soaked through the front of her panties, coming from Buffy.

The fact Buffy didn't have on anything but the shirt wasn't helping Faith's mind to slow them down; she could feel the softness, the heat, and she wanted to feel Buffy wet against her. She wanted to slip her fingers through it, her tongue through it. There was nothing more in the world she wanted right then and there. . .but she couldn't do it. They couldn't do it. There was a world of reasons to stop and step back.

Lifting herself up - with great determination and difficulty - Faith pulled her mouth away from Buffy's. They were both breathing hard, their eyes locked, lips tingling and desperate for more.

“Don't stop,” Buffy implored breathlessly. “Kissing is good.”

She tried to pull Faith back down to her lips, and to her body, but Faith resisted despite the desire in her eyes.

“B, this isn't right,” Faith said, almost stumbling over the words as she fought against how much she wanted to continue.

She was practically trembling, every muscle burning and tense, everything inside her screaming at her to lower herself back to Buffy. She looked deep into Buffy's eyes, getting lost, getting found, standing on the edge of something that'd always seemed far beyond her reach.

“Why isn't it right, Faith?” Buffy asked, her skin aching for Faith to touch it.

“It's just not. Not after everything. . .the last time we met, the way you. . .it's the wrong time, wrong reason,” Faith tried to explain, getting lost within herself and her fear that they could be headed down the wrong path; a path that could lead her to more heartache than she could stand.

Buffy lifted her hand to Faith's cheek, touching her gently; fingers stroking, soft and reassuring. She could see the fear in Faith's eyes. She shared the same fear, the same doubts, but they'd let those fears and doubts have control for too long.

“Faith, I don't know what more to tell you other than it's time. I'm right here, not running, not fighting, just wanting you.”

Faith took a shaky breath, wanting to look away from Buffy but failing as her thumb stroked over her cheek, keeping her focused.

“And last night you were right there with Satsu. You have a fight with her and suddenly you're all over me?” Faiths words weren't harsh, but they were clear, and they cut right to the chase.

She didn't want to blow their chance at friendship again for the sake of hormones or false ideas.

Tucking a stray lock of brown hair behind Faith's ear, Buffy tried her best to reassure Faith with her eyes and her soft smile. She wasn't there because she'd fought with Satsu. Sure, Satsu had played her part; she'd shown Buffy that being with another girl wasn't so scary. Satsu had given her the spark that she'd needed to finally act on what she'd always wanted from Faith - more than friendship, more than a slaying connection, and definitely more than awkward conversations and stupid fights.

“That has nothing to do with it and you know it,” Buffy stated confidently.

“How do I know it? Hell, how do you know it?”

“Because it's right here,” Buffy said shakily, taking Faith's hand in her own and placing it over her heart.

Faith felt her insides squirming and quivering, her head pounding from the rush of blood that had hit it full force. Satsu's words about how Buffy loved her ricocheted around her mind. She didn't speak, flicking her gaze from her hand as it sat perched between Buffy's breasts over her heart, back to Buffy's eyes.

“And if you don't believe that,” Buffy plucked Faith's hand from her chest, keeping it tenderly in her own as she pushed it downwards, “then believe this, `cause it's right here too.”

Buffy slid Faith's hand between her legs, guiding her fingers into the slippery wet truth of how much she wanted to be with her. Her breath caught in her throat, a small sigh of air releasing slowly as Faith's fingers remained inside her moist folds as she removed her own hand. She kept her eyes locked on Faith's, her lips parted and muscles tense as she felt the world exploding around her just from the soft touch of the girl she'd never been able to stop wanting and loving.

“Buffy,” Faith practically growled, her tongue slipping out to moisten her lips as she searched for her resolve.

The sensation - the very real, sensual, and completely fucking amazing sensation - of having her fingers covered in Buffy's slippery arousal did its best to steal Faith's need not to jump headlong into disaster. She wanted to whip her hand away and jump off the bed, but she was caught in the moment, bound by years of desire, of fantasies that had haunted her as much as aroused her.

She brushed her fingers over Buffy's pussy as she indulged herself, drowning in the feeling, in the heat and the hunger. Buffy quivered, her eyes drifting shut, lips tempting Faith back down until she was right there again, kissing Buffy with everything she had and wanted. She swept her tongue into Buffy's mouth, hot breaths flowing just as much as the liquid desire seeping over Faith's fingers as she touched Buffy softer than she'd every touched anybody.

As Faith's delicate caress swept Buffy up in its teasing temptation, she sighed her name. All she could feel was Faith, all she wanted was Faith. Her whole world in that second was Faith. Her hands glided over Faith's back, body beginning to move for the fingers now stroking so seductively over her swollen clit. It felt like forever, it felt like she could stay there forever. . .basking in Faith's warmth and scent, in her safety, in her - just her.

“Faith,” she whimpered, as lips were suddenly gone from hers, fingers slowing to a stop. “Why are you stopping?”

Buffy held Faith's gaze as she saw a multitude of emotions cross her dark eyes. They were so close; so close to the truth, to everything they'd ever ran from.

“I can't do this, B,” Faith said, her voice trembling as she took her hand from Buffy and rolled onto her back beside her.

Buffy filled her lungs and tried to calm her breathing. She'd been so completely lost to Faith's touch, drifting on its promises, her body needing Faith more than she'd ever dare to admit. Now she felt empty, at a loss, her mind spinning in circles to find the words to make Faith believe she wasn't just fucking around, or using her, or. . .whatever it was that Faith thought.

Doing her best to ignore the throb between her legs, Buffy turned to her side so she could look at Faith. The other girl looked in pain, troubled, her hand in her hair as she flexed and tensed. Her breaths were ragged, but it was obvious she was trying to regain control of her composure. Buffy wondered when Faith had become so stoic, so able to hold back instead of just take what she wanted. It was an interesting discovery, even if it was leaving Buffy incredibly horny, high and not so dry.

“I thought you wanted. . .” Buffy began, watching Faith's jaw clench and unclench. “I thought I was all you could feel. What you wanted.”

“It's not about what I want, B,” Faith clarified, her tone low and calm, a direct contrast to the battle going on inside her. “And it's not about what you want.”

Sitting up, demanding her gaze not to search out Buffy, Faith told herself she was doing the right thing.

As much as it felt like the perfect opportunity, as much as they both wanted the same thing and were finally showing it, saying it. . .something didn't feel right. Faith didn't want to just fuck Buffy to have her switch on her the next day, use it against her, or play the victim. She knew Buffy too well, had studied her more than she cared to admit to. There was no way that things would end well if they just took what they both wanted in that moment.

“We need to. . .take a step back,” Faith told Buffy as she felt the other girl shifting to cover herself with the blankets, moving to lay the right way on the bed.

Faith's back was to Buffy, her head in her hands, her heart in her mouth.

“We've been `taking steps back' since day one, Faith. I thought we could finally move forward this time. I want to move forward,” Buffy explained, her tone soft, her voice barren of the usual authority it held.

Inhaling deeply and regretting it instantly because of the scent of Buffy on her fingers, Faith rubbed at her temples. She couldn't believe Buffy, didn't know how to let herself get to that point again. She'd been burned in the past. Her trust in Buffy had been shattered one too many times, and now she didn't know what to think. All she knew for sure was that continuing would be a mistake. At least for now. Buffy felt lost, but Faith didn't know if she was her map and compass or just somebody new to screw with.

“Look, B,” Faith said as she flopped down beside Buffy, her head landing on the stiff pillow, “we both know I fucking want you in the biggest way - always have. But this is new for you. . .”

“It's not so new,” Buffy corrected. “The accepting it and saying anything is new, sure. . .but not the feeling it.”

“It's still new though, in some way,” Faith pointed out, trying to keep on track. “Tomorrow you could totally regret the whole thing; the whole saying anything or doing anything. I don't wanna be on the end of that.”

“You won't. I won't regret. . .”

“You can't say that, and I can't believe it,” Faith said with a soft sigh as she turned to face Buffy. “If we're ever gonna be. . .together or whatever the fuck, then we can't just jump in at the first chance. I don't want us to be more screwed up than we are.”

Faith didn't know from where her strength was coming, or her insight; she just knew she didn't want to lose Buffy forever. She didn't want to sleep with her then have it blow up in her face and ruin anything they could ever have between them; even if all they could have was some kind of friendship or understanding. She wasn't turning her back; she just wanted to make sure it wouldn't make things worse. Faith had taken a long time - put a lot of effort in - to find her own place in the world, and now she had it. . .she didn't want anything to mess it up. She needed to keep control.

“Do you understand where I'm coming from, B?” Faith asked, her hand defying her resolve a little as it snuck up to brush softly through Buffy's hair as they once again lay facing one another.

Buffy wanted to understand. She wanted to trust in Faith even if Faith couldn't yet trust in her.

“I think so,” Buffy replied quietly. “And you're probably right. . .not that you should go gloating about it or anything. I mean, let's make it clear, I'm normally the one in the right.”

Faith smiled as Buffy looked at her sternly, clearly making sure Faith wasn't about to go feeling all superior. She knew Buffy didn't mean it. There had been a time - most of the time in fact - that Buffy had done her best to make Faith feel like she was less special, or that she was less worthy of what power she had, but Faith could see through it now. She knew Buffy's insecurities. She knew Buffy. That's not to say a lot of the time she didn't still confuse the hell out of her, however.

“I like that smile,” Buffy told Faith sleepily. “I like you. . .yunno, when you're not punching my face or trying to drown me.”

They both laughed quietly and Faith shook her head. They'd always been a complex pair, and tonight had done nothing to refute that. Nothing was ever easy. Nothing ever had been for Faith.

“That last time was. . .kinda fucked up. Lotta stuff was goin' on in my head, didn't know what I was doing let alone thinking,” Faith explained, her eyes closing as the night wore her down.

“Yeah, I know,” Buffy nodded, also closing her eyes. “It's always best to leave the thinking to me. I mean, if you did that. . .we'd both be naked right about now.”

Buffy smirked and Faith cracked open one eye just enough to see it.

“Remind me to leave you out in the rain next time, Twinkie,” Faith chuckled. “See where your thinking gets you then.”

“Huh? Oh sorry, still thinking naked thoughts.” Buffy's smirk grew wider before a yawn stole it from her.

Faith groaned lowly, her hand moving from where it had been resting on Buffy's shoulder, down to the mattress between them.

“Seriously, B. . .stop talking about being naked, I'm trying to be fucking resolve-girl here,” Faith complained, finding it hard to stop thinking about how good it had been to touch Buffy in the few minutes she had.

“I'd rather you be fucking me,” Buffy teased, unable to hold back from winding Faith up.

She knew she shouldn't, but she was horny, and hell. . .she'd just confessed a whole lot of stuff to the girl only to be rebuffed; it wasn't Buffy's fault if she felt a little grumpy about it.

Faith squeezed her eyes shut and breathed steadily through her nose, counting down from ten before everything she'd said got trampled on by her desire to just take Buffy. It wasn't like she didn't just want to rip both their remaining clothes off and feel every inch of Buffy against her. Buffy was close, close enough for Faith to feel her warmth, to smell her skin and the arousal she'd caused. It wasn't going to be easy to sleep, or to hold herself back when all she really wanted to do was sweep aside her reasons for stopping at all.

“Believe me, B,” Faith began, getting a little closer to Buffy and practically whispering in her ear, her dark hair tickling over Buffy's shoulder, “there'll be plenty of fucking when the time's right. You'll wonder why the hell we haven't been doin' it all along; why you didn't let me suck the come right outta ya the first night we met.”

It was crude, and effective. Buffy shuddered as she felt a wave of arousal course through her, making her stomach twist into a knot; yet she slapped Faith with the back of her hand for being so lewd.

Faith grinned and turned onto her back, feeling happy with how well she'd been able to handle herself throughout the night, and pleased that she'd been able to get the last tease in before deciding sleep was the best way to halt any further temptation.

“Just for that. . .” Buffy said cryptically, before making her intentions clear by shuffling up closer to Faith and draping herself half on her.

“That's not fair,” Faith whined, her blood beginning to rush through her veins again as she felt the distinctive brush of Buffy's wet pussy against her thigh. “So not fucking fair, B.”

Faith did her best to keep in control, ignoring the delicious sensation of having Buffy pushed up against her, her soaked sex almost too tempting. It was like torture; evil, sexy, soft wet torture.

“Tough,” Buffy mumbled as she settled her head down on Faith's shoulder. “It's what you get for leading me on, oh. . .and for trying to drown me.”

She pushed further into Faith, ensuring she had full contact in all the places she wanted. Of course, it was a double-edged sword, because now all she wanted to do was rub up against Faith in order to get some relief.

“Never gonna let that go?” Faith asked as she tried to settle herself and her pounding pulse.

“Not until I think you're suitably sorry.”

Both girls smiled softly, no hint of malice left to their words.

It'd been a strange day, and an even stranger night. It seemed like they were moving forwards, even if they weren't currently performing some acrobatic bedroom athletics. Faith hoped the next day wouldn't bring it all crashing down around her. Buffy had been known to give with one hand and take with the other before; Faith had been on the receiving end of her switching mood too often now not to expect it.

Still, Buffy had shown herself to Faith on many levels, both emotional and physical, and that had to count for something even if Buffy had been a little on the wacky side after sitting in the rain all naked. Faith hoped it did, because she wasn't in the habit of giving her own secrets away either, and she most definitely wasn't in the habit of turning down sex when it landed in her lap.

As she shifted a little so her arm was around Buffy, holding her gently, Faith relaxed to the sound of the other girl's breathing as she slept. A little snore drifted up to Faith's ears and she shook her head and chuckled soundlessly. She wasn't used to spending the night with people - though it wasn't unheard of - and she'd never have guessed when she'd arrived there that it was ever even possible with Buffy.

It was funny how the world could switch, handing out nothing but crap most of the time. . .but then thrusting a sparkling gem into the mix.

Hell, it was funny how easily Buffy could duck under her barriers, even after Faith had promised herself never to fall again; never to want and hope only to be left on the sidelines with her heart in her hand as Buffy moved on to her next catch. She knew she was crazy to even contemplate allowing herself to trust in Buffy this time, but despite knowing it was a bad idea. . .she just couldn't help but feel her heart swell as Buffy slept soundly against her.

She was done for, and it wasn't a good thing. She'd always hoped for this moment, but now it was here it felt like make or break, and she couldn't break again. Breaking was not going to keep her on the right path, and she knew she wouldn't survive straying from it a second time.

Faith had to decide to either keep her resolve and stay at arms length until she knew for sure Buffy meant what she'd said, or take the chance on offer; providing that offer would still be on the table when the harsh light of day filtered through the window.



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