Faith left the bathroom in a steamy haze as she walked, clad only in a towel, to her bedroom. The hot shower she’d stood under for almost an hour had helped to wash away the tension of the past few days, but she was still edgy. A little anxious about all that had happened in such a short time.
She sat on the corner of the bed and looked at herself in the mirror hanging on the wall not too far away. She frowned, gazing at dark towel dried hair draping still damply over her shoulders, her face devoid of the mask of makeup. She wasn’t sure if she hated herself any less now than she had before finally being able to tell Buffy how sorry she was. She wasn’t sure if she deserved to have Buffy’s forgiveness let alone her love.
The girl looking back at her in the mirror was certainly different to the girl that had done such cruel things so easily. But then, she was fooling herself if she really believed any of it had been easy. The blood she’d spilled onto her hands burned her still, and the scars went much deeper than the one Buffy had rightfully given her. Betraying everything she stood for hadn’t been easy, and it was achingly hard trying to move on from it and put right the wrongs.
She didn’t know where to start, but the apologies she’d made certainly went some way to help. She felt a little lighter. The words were out, now all she needed to do was prove her worth. . .and Faith didn’t think much of herself so it was going to take some effort.
She wondered what Buffy saw in her. She didn’t know why Buffy was suddenly looking at her and thinking it was a good idea to dump her boyfriend, and any semblance of normality and sanity to be with her. Faith could only stare at herself and hope the small smile she had didn’t go away. She wanted to trust in it.
Buffy felt something for her. It went deep. Deeper than either of them could probably understand. Was it true love the like of which was written about in books? Faith didn’t have a clue, she’d never read those kinds of books. All she really knew was that Buffy made her feel whole when she smiled at her. That her body longed to be near Buffy. To be held by Buffy. She was so profoundly in love it scared the hell out of her.
Her feelings for Buffy had always terrified her, but now wasn’t the time to force them to bounce off her protective shield. Her shields were down with Buffy, and Buffy’s were down with her. The dimension they had been hurled from so unceremoniously had left them with no choice but to drop the barriers once and for all.
Taking one last look at herself, smiling until her teeth flashed pearl white, Faith stood and pulled her towel off. She draped it over the chair near her bed and climbed under the fresh cotton sheets she’d taken the time to put on. It was early still, but she was beyond weary.
The cool cotton felt like heaven slipping around her as she melted into the soft mattress. A couple of nights sleeping on hard rock could make any bed feel like nirvana. She knew that from experience running away was always far from comfortable, and she’d spent most of her life running from one place to another.
She sighed and hoped her running had stopped.
As Faith closed her eyes, she thought of Buffy and how they’d leapt from perfect enemies to lovers in such a short time. They’d always been on that brink it seemed. Just waiting for the push that toppled them over into each other. She smiled, the memory of Buffy’s body pressed passionately against her leaving her feeling warm and tingly.
A short while after sleep had decided to curl its grasp around Faith and pull her into its dreaming depths, a chirping noise startled her awake again.
She opened her dark eyes and looked towards her nightstand. The little cell-phone perched on its top flashed and bounced as it vibrated. Faith stretched her arm out of the covers and reached out to bring the phone closer so she could see who was calling. Only three people had her number: Giles, Angel, and Buffy. The lit screen showed her an unfamiliar number.
“Hello?” Faith answered, her drowsiness making her voice thick and grainy.
“Hey,” came a soft voice, flowing like silk over Faith.
“Hey, B,” Faith said back, unable to stop the smile that followed. She hadn’t expected Buffy to call so soon. They’d only parted a few hours earlier. “Everything ok?”
“Yeah,” Buffy said almost shyly as she rested back on her pillows in bed, kicking her feet out under the covers as she felt her body sigh with what Faith’s drawling tone could do to her.
She’d told herself she could wait and call Faith the next day, but having endured Riley pawing over her until she’d told him to leave so she could rest, Buffy needed to touch base; to know everything was ok. She was tired and drained emotionally, but she’d wanted to just hear Faith’s voice one last time before snuggling down to sleep.
“I didn’t disturb you did I?” Buffy asked, sure that Faith sounded like she’d been asleep.
“No, you didn’t, B. Was just in bed,” Faith said, yawning and rubbing her eye as she tried to become fully aware again. “That place wore me out.”
“Yeah, I know the feeling,” Buffy chuckled, scooting a little further down into her plush blankets.
She felt a little awkward. Buffy didn’t know quite what to say. How do you make light conversation with a girl that had turned your world upside down in so many different ways, so many times?
“Yunno, this is the first time we’ve spoken on the phone,” Faith pointed out, breaking the gentle silence.
“Yeah, I guess,” Buffy answered, knowing full well what a mess they’d both made of things the first time around. Buffy especially. “I was missing you,” she confessed, almost too quietly to be heard.
Faith smiled and imagined tenderly touching Buffy’s face. Faith was imagining all kinds of tender things with Buffy, and that was something entirely new to her. Faith had never been a tender girl. She was hot and heavy, hard and fast; but not with Buffy. Buffy deserved more, though Faith knew they would probably have their share of passionate clinches that would make them sway on their legs and need to count the playful bite marks afterwards.
“Faith?” Buffy said cautiously, wondering why Faith had suddenly gone quiet.
She worried that she had sounded a little clingy and desperate, but it was how she felt. Now she’d tasted what it could be like, Buffy wanted more. She wanted it all, nothing in-between, nothing half-assed, nothing that was like stoking the fires without letting her truly feel the heat. She wanted the heat, all over her like they’d been in the cave.
“Sorry, B. Was just thinking,” Faith said, shaking naughty images from her head at the sound of Buffy’s voice. “So, you’re missing me huh,” she teased, grinning.
Buffy felt herself blush a little, caught in the act of needing Faith. “Yeah, I musta hit my head when we landed,” she joked, just knowing Faith’s eyebrow had jerked up playfully.
“Nah, face it, B. . .you’re crazy about me, and who wouldn’t be?” Faith smirked, bringing back some of their old banter.
“As much as it pains me to admit it, Faith. . .you’re right,” Buffy said, being completely honest and catching Faith off guard.
Faith didn’t quite know how to respond. Buffy was being totally honest with her for once and she just couldn’t seem to wrap her mind around it. All she had desired was now there for Faith to take, but she wasn’t sure how to just reach and grab for it without tipping the balance back the other way. She wanted Buffy to be sure and open in her feelings, and Faith knew she had to do the same, or they’d end up right back where they’d been before.
“I’m glad about that or it’d be kinda lame. . .what with me being all crazy about you,” Faith said with a chuckle, feeling her stomach churn into a tight knot as the words hit the phone.
Buffy smiled broadly and bit her lip. She felt like a giddy teenager with a crush. She felt like they could begin again, on an even playing field, everything laid bare with no mixed messages or confusion. They’d always been a mass of mixed messages; getting all the signs wrong, blowing all their chances. So busy trying to avoid feeling it themselves that the other girl had no chance to pick up on anything but mild contempt, then stubborn hate, when neither feeling was anywhere near as powerful as the suffocating love and lust beneath the surface.
“Yunno, Faith,” Buffy began, “I got kinda hooked on you when you first came to Sunnydale. You were everything I wasn’t, and I guess. . .everything I wanted, even though I just wouldn’t allow myself to see it that way.” She paused, listening to Faith’s soft breaths on the other end of the phone. “I didn’t allow myself to see it, or feel it. . .and then you were gone, or at least you changed,” she said finally in a whisper.
Faith looked into the dark crevices of the room, her mind elsewhere, knowing what Buffy meant. When she’d killed Finch everything had changed, her included. From that point on it had been a nosedive of epic proportions. Each one of them had mishandled and misjudged everything that it was possible to.
“The hardest part of it all was losing you,” Faith said, her voice a hushed and throaty murmur down the line. She felt her heart wrench at the memory. “I shut you out ‘cause I needed you. I shut it all out. Everyone and everything.”
“What made it stop?” Buffy asked, wanting to wrap her arms around Faith this time instead of judge her and misunderstand her.
“Angel. Well, him and the fact I finally really looked at myself. . .and I hated what I saw,” Faith answered candidly. “It wasn’t me looking back, it was somebody else. Something else. I wanted to cut it out of me, but now I know it’s a part of me that I have to deal with. That I have to take control of and guide, until that part doesn’t threaten to take me over again.”
Faith took a deep breath, hoping she was making sense to Buffy, who’d never been known for her tolerant and understanding nature. Faith recalled all of the things Angel had told her and all the things her therapist Dr. Tan had said to her. With their help she had started to peel back her layers and find the parts that needed a firmer hand. She’d been quite successful at it so far, even though Buffy had tested her in their short incarceration together.
“I was so angry at you, Faith,” Buffy said bluntly but softly. “About everything, even about the way I felt about you. I wanted to hit out at you for making me hurt in ways I didn’t think I should be. You were. . .” Buffy felt tears sting her eyes, “you were this bright light I wanted to touch, but every time I reached out you burned me. I didn’t know why, so I turned on you, and on my own heart.” A tear heavy sob drifted from Buffy’s throat.
Faith swallowed hard, not wanting them to be forever drowning in their past mistakes with each other. She wanted them to be free of the pain and the chafing memory of how they’d hurt each other.
“But we can get it right this time, B. If it’s what you want we can make it better,” Faith said, trying to reassure Buffy and have her recall that they were already on the road to recovery. “We have so much between us. I think we always did right from the start, and neither of us could deal, especially not when everything went to shit.”
“You’re right,” Buffy said, smiling a little through her tears; feeling good for allowing Faith to be right finally, and not needing to knock her down to make herself feel superior. “I wanted you right from the start,” she continued coyly, lifting the mood a little.
“See, I knew it. You were as horny for me as I was for you,” Faith chuckled deeply in the back of her throat, her skin tingling with the knowledge she was right. “We’re both hot chicks so I guess we can’t be blamed.”
Buffy laughed out loud and wished that Faith was right there with her so she could see the grin she knew Faith would be wearing, and the impossibly sexy dimples that always tagged along for the ride.
“I wish I was with you,” Buffy said faintly as she pulled Faith’s black shirt towards her from its perch on top of the covers. She placed the shirt near her head and breathed in deeply, the scent washing through her nostrils like a wave of pleasure. “I wanna be close to you. Kissing you. Touching you,” Buffy said, her voice hushed and laden with desire for Faith.
“Hey, you’re gonna get me all riled up here if you keep talking like that, B,” Faith revealed, her thoughts going back to the kissing and touching they’d already done.
“And we can’t have that huh, ‘cause then you’d be all turned on and alone, and I could get you to tell me what you’re wearing and get you to be all pervy with me on the phone,” Buffy snickered, not realising until too late that her words were about to come back and bite her as she tried to keep the mood light and easy. She had no experience of phone sex so had only really been joking.
“Nothing, B,” Faith said huskily, confusing Buffy for a second. “I’m wearing nothing, and just thinking about you is getting me wet here.”
Buffy exhaled shakily and pictured Faith naked under her lucky sheets. She felt a tremor of wetness coat her pussy and closed her eyes, trying to focus on anything but Faith and how sexy and alluring she was, especially when naked and hers for the taking. She could almost feel Faith’s soft skin brushing over her, hot and glistening and touching every part of her that needed to be touched.
“You’re naked?” Buffy asked timidly, her plan to focus not lasting very long.
“Yeah, B. That’s normally how I sleep. . .and it’s how I wanna spend a lot of my time with you,” Faith said frankly, knowing that Buffy was bound to be as easily turned on as she was.
They longed for each other, so the simplest things, the smallest gestures and most hidden signals had each other yearning for the heights of pleasure they could take each other.
Buffy licked her lips and kept her eyes shut tight as she allowed her mind to wander for just a second. She had soft insistent breaths in her ear, she could smell Faith on the shirt beside her, and she could swear she could almost feel Faith’s hands on her; sweeping up the insides of her thighs and pushing her legs apart, spreading her so she crawl between them.
Buffy groaned and bit her lip. “Ok, we so can’t do this,” she sighed, a slight tremble to her voice.
“We can’t do what?” Faith asked, hearing how worked up Buffy was getting on the other end of the phone and knowing what she meant. “I can make you come from here, B. All you have to do is lay back and close your eyes and I’ll tell you how I’m touching you and tasting you until you’re calling out my name down the phone,” Faith said enticingly, her voice growing thick with lust.
“Oh, God. . .what have I let myself in for with you?” Buffy said, giggling breathlessly as she tried to shake off the overwhelming horny sensation Faith had so easily wrapped her up in.
Faith was always going to have her hovering on the edge, ready and willing to jump into a sticky pool of pleasure. It made her realise why she’d never allowed it before. Buffy had always wanted to be in control, of herself more than anything. Giving in to what Faith did to her was relinquishing that control. But control was overrated and Faith most certainly wasn’t. Buffy knew Faith could play her perfectly, like a nimble fingered musician pulling notes from an instrument.
Buffy wanted her in the flesh, however, not across town over the phone, as her mom shuffled about outside her door getting ready for bed.
“I wanna be with you properly, Faith. Completely. Not like this; at least for now,” Buffy made clear, cooling her ardour as she took a steadying breath.
Faith smiled gently, feeling every word penetrate her heart. She relaxed her tensed muscles and felt for certain it would be soon. They would have each other again. For now Faith would be content with just being able to talk with Buffy. It was better than nothing, and at least there was no shouting and yelling anymore.
“Ok, B, I’ll quit teasing you, but don’t think for a second you’re gonna get away with it next time I see ya,” Faith taunted. “You’d better be ready for me, ‘cause I’m dripping for you right now, all over myself, and I need to have you in the worst way,” she said sensually, an evil grin gliding over her lips.
Buffy gulped soundlessly and drove the thoughts of Faith’s dripping wet sex from her mind with great difficulty, trying to salvage the conversation back from the brink of full on phone sex. She had to blushingly admit that she wanted to fuck Faith thoroughly, all inhibitions aside. . .but not over a telephone wire.
“Right,” Buffy sighed, her libido doing summersaults and cartwheels around the room, “now you’ve made absolutely sure I’m not gonna sleep, quit making with the horny and lets talk about what we’re gonna say to Giles; about the place we were in and what happened there.”
Faith chuckled. “Well, that was one hell of a mood killer, blondie. Bring up the G-man. Sure way to make me cross my legs,” she said playfully, gaining a soft laugh from the other side of the call.
It was an abrupt change of subject, but Faith wasn’t annoyed or upset. She could deal with it because Buffy was worth it. They were worth it together. Finally together, apart from the small fact of not actually being together because of Riley. There was no way she was going to push Buffy about Riley, however. It was Buffy’s business, and she could sense that he wasn’t going to be in the way for too long.
They finished the night talking about what they would tell Giles. Of course, they were going to leave out the semi-dream they’d shared and what had happened in it, and the fact they’d had a kind of epiphany causing them to fall into each other’s arms and finally crawl over the broken glass of their past, to share the most intimate of apologies.
Buffy wanted to tell him about how wrong she had been to trust what was most likely the bad guy, but Faith didn’t see the point. There was nothing to gain in telling Giles how adrift Buffy had been. Faith explained that they should keep it simple, giving basic facts that the knowledge hungry watcher would drool over, rather than going into the details of emotions and discoveries between the two slayers. Buffy finally agreed and they had their account of the other dimension synchronized.
“I guess I should let you sleep now,” Buffy said, her eyes growing heavy as her head sank further into the soft pillow.
“Yeah,” Faith accepted, feeling the night growing thicker around her as she allowed her body to uncoil from the past few days. “I’ll see you around?”
“Of course, Faith,” Buffy reassured, smiling as Faith began to talk slowly and sleepily.
There was no doubt she was in love with Faith now. Buffy’s heart warmed from her voice alone. Her arms longed to curl around Faith’s slender frame, keeping her pressed close as she slept.
“Night, short-stuff,” Faith mumbled, exhaustion pulling her deeper as she rested on the small phone, pushing it into the pillow with her.
Buffy listened as Faith’s breathing evened out, not wanting to wake Faith so she could end the call and move her cell-phone.
“Goodnight, beautiful,” Buffy whispered, denying herself the sting of hanging up by propping the phone next to her ear as she settled down into her blankets.
She didn’t want to leave Faith now. Not now they had found their bond again; this time making it stronger, affirming what it really was. She was still amazed at how her heart had so easily jumped from hurting to loving and longing in a swift leap, but some things just came when you let down the walls. Her feelings for Faith had crashed down her defences in the end, and she was glad. She was happy that they could find the right path together rather than struggle along alone, waiting for the other slayer to carve across it and make the journey more difficult.
Buffy realized that it didn’t have to be difficult. Not if Faith was by her side, and in her heart.
She closed her eyes and followed Faith into the realm of sleep, deciding that tomorrow would be the start of a whole new chapter in her life. She wasn’t going to hold back or run scared. She wasn’t going to overanalyze or worry about the what-ifs. Buffy wanted Faith. She craved and claimed and knew she would never have enough of her; but it wasn’t making her flee like it had in the past, it was making Buffy resolute that nothing was going to stand in the way.
Not even her own deep-seated fears.