One Day I'll Find You

Chapter Nineteen

As the bar filled up with hopeful revellers, Darla smiled to herself and felt the energy around her. It was getting late now and she could sense the night creeping in from the outside; like a call to her to join it. Though a soul now kept her thoughts in check, her body held memories of sinning and sucking blood, of relishing the night and all the pleasures it could bring. It was an interesting mix, and she felt a distinctive tugging inside.

It would be so easy to slip back into her former role. To let the memories take control. Now she was – well, she didn’t know exactly what to call it and Faith had made some quip about her being a half-breed, but whatever she was now, it made blending in so much easier. It made her able to walk through the night and the day without reproach. She was untouchable. She was new and wanted to experience the world in a different way. In this new way.

“Want another?” Faith asked, tipping her bottle towards Darla with a grin.

They’d already drank many and Darla could feel the alcohol spiralling through her veins, though she was hungry and her blood felt thinner than it ought to be, which was beginning to distract her.

“There’s a lot I want,” Darla replied with an answering grin, hoping Faith would understand the implications.

There was something about Faith that intrigued Darla; intrigued and excited her. She hoped Faith felt similarly, though Darla was beginning to get a little worried that there was something holding Faith back – apart from the obvious fact that she was a slayer, and slayers and vampires normally only mingled when there were stakes and dark cemeteries involved.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Faith chuckled, sliding out from behind the table and making her way to the bar.

Darla watched every step, licking her lips and mentally stripping every scrap of clothing off Faith as she waved down the bartender and got another round. Bringing the bottles back over, Faith gazed out into the dance floor momentarily, and her demeanour shifted. Her eyes looked sad again instead of mischievous and Darla wondered what the story was behind that - behind Faith. She wondered where the hurt came from and how to help relieve it.

“Tell me about yourself, Faith,” Darla said as Faith sat back beside her.

So far the conversation had mostly been about Darla and her ‘new’ existence. Faith was more than interested in that, probably wondering if Darla was prime staking material or just another vampire with a soul who defied explanation and required pity.

The subject of Faith’s friendship with Angel had arisen when Darla had mentioned her soul, and Darla had felt the ripple of anger start to twist her inside. She didn’t want to think about him. Didn’t even want to hear his name. It had been bad enough thinking about him when they’d walked into the Bronze; and Darla had practically felt the stake he’d wielded digging deep into her chest once again. She’d quickly steered the conversation away from him once she’d told Faith that it had been Angel’s blood that had been used to turn her into this ‘half-breed’ vampire she currently was.

Darla wanted to know Faith’s story. She wanted to know her dark secrets and her heart. She wanted to know what made her tick.

“Not much to tell,” Faith replied with a slight slur to her words as the alcohol did its job.

“I’m sure that’s not true,” Darla pressed. “What about slaying?”

“What about it?” Faith deflected. “I kill monsters. . .and stuff. Not much more to it.”

Faith’s tone and demeanour gave her away, indicating there was something she was hiding, or there was something she didn’t want to talk about. Darla wasn’t one to back off easily so she kept her eyes locked on her and rested a hand over Faith’s.

Encouragingly, Faith didn’t pull away so Darla moved a little closer on the booth seat they were both occupying.

“What does ‘stuff’ mean?” Darla asked.

A sigh escaped Faith and Darla wondered momentarily whether she should mind her own business; but Darla always got what she wanted, and she wanted to know this girl. This slayer.

If Angel could get obsessed with a slayer, why couldn’t she? Maybe she was doomed to be drawn to Faith because of her soul, or maybe she’d just been dead for far too long and now she wanted to feel life, heat, sensations that would feed her almost as much as the blood she knew she still craved.

“You don’t wanna know this crap,” Faith insisted, once again dodging Darla’s questions. “I got stories, but stories don’t matter. All you gotta know is I’m not Buffy; never have been and never will be.”

She took a long drink from her bottle and looked away from Darla into the throng of dancers now bouncing heavily to the music. Buffy’s name hadn’t been mentioned yet and Darla felt her pulse quickening and muscles straining as she fought not to stand up and scream in the face of her memory of the blonde slayer. She hated Buffy still – a soul didn’t change that. Buffy had ensured Angel would never turn to the dark again. Buffy had ruined Darla’s plans in Sunnydale. Buffy was the reason Darla was no longer a vampire. No longer the master of her own thoughts and desires.

“Buffy,” Darla uttered; practically a whisper.

The name alone made her fangs descend – like cat’s claws – until she felt her bottom lip scraping against them and her tongue testing their razor-sharp points.

“Got a beef with her?” Faith asked, looking intently at Darla.

Darla glanced away, unusually embarrassed about the possibility of her vampiric features coming to the fore. She concentrated hard in order to settle her fangs, and felt at her forehead – but her forehead was still smooth. Maybe a soul wasn’t the only side effect of her mixed status. She couldn’t say she’d miss the ugly features that being a vampire in full bloodlust would cause.

“I don’t really know her,” Darla covered, the sharpness of her teeth still prodding at her lip.

“Sure,” Faith said sarcastically. “So what’s with the fangs?”

“What does it matter? She’s dead anyway, right? And I’m a reformed vampire – my soul makes me good.”

Darla gave Faith one of her most angelic smiles, though the effect was probably a little off considering her damn teeth were refusing to retract – which might have been due to hunger as much as anything.

“She’s not dead,” Faith informed her. “All kinds of alive and making me just as crazy as ever.”

Faith muttered the last few words and Darla tried to work out what she meant, but more importantly she was wondering how Faith was a slayer if Buffy was still alive.

“But you’re a slayer so I assumed. . .”

“It’s complicated I guess. Buffy died but they did CPR on her,” Faith explained. “Some chick got called but Spike’s ex sliced her up her so I came along – and fucked Buffy’s perfect little life for a while. Hell, guess I’m still doing that.”

Her words were even more slurred now but that didn’t stop her finishing off the rest of her bottle and digging into her pocket for more money.

Darla let the new information roll around her brain for a little while – wondering when it had happened, when Spike had become involved in Sunnydale’s little dramas, and what Faith meant by ‘fucking Buffy’s life’. There was so much to ask, but there was time. Faith would be a nice nut to crack, and Darla imagined that doing it slowly would be much more satisfying than having everything revealed all at once. As much as she was hungry to know more, she was even hungrier to let her body know it was alive again.

“How about we forget about Buffy, and about slayers and vampires,” Darla drawled, sliding even closer to Faith and talking into her ear. “I’m pretty sure we can find better things to talk about, or do.”

Faith chuckled lightly which made Darla frown and pull away again.

“You’re hot, I’ll give you that, but I don’t screw vamps, babe,” Faith pointed out. “Told ya, I’m not Buffy.”

Though the declaration made Darla reassess the situation a little, it didn’t perturb her completely. There was something about the way Faith allowed her eyes to wander over her that told Darla it would only be a matter of time before she was doing exactly what she wanted, and needed.

“How about just a dance at least?” Darla asked, smiling and batting her eyelashes until she could see the cracks in Faith’s armour.

Faith seemed to think about it for a while and she waved over the bartender who had obviously taken a shine to her. With a gesture that Darla didn’t quite catch she had him bring over two large shot glasses full of brown liquid. Passing one to Darla, Faith downed the other one and stood up from the booth, giving the bartender a nod and a wink in thanks.

“Come on then, blondie. Come shake your ass for me,” Faith said, giving Darla a look that almost had her feeling no older than a teen herself.

With the heat of the club and the pounding of the dance music it wasn’t long before they both became swept up in one another. Alcohol running through their veins and sex lingering on the fringes of every touch, they moved in unison, getting closer with every beat.

No matter what Faith had said Darla could feel the need vibrating from Faith’s warm skin. She would be easily swayed.

Turning her back to Faith, Darla rubbed up against her as close as she could, her hands gripping strong thighs behind her. She felt Faith push against her, seeking friction, and grinned to herself. Her fangs felt longer again and she was getting wet with the sensation of having Faith’s heat so close. Hands slipped around her and under her shirt and Darla sighed at the touch; any higher and Faith would be copping a feel. Not that she’d mind.

Without warning Darla turned in Faith’s arms, keeping just as close, and pleased that Faith’s hands remained on her. She nuzzled into Faith’s neck, smelling the blood just beneath the surface of the skin, throbbing through the artery. As she felt a shiver run through the slayer her lips glanced over her, seeing just how far she could push.

“You trying to bite me, vamp?” Faith asked, her voice raspy and low in Darla’s ear.

“If I wanted to bite you I’d take you somewhere a little quieter, don’t you think?”

Faith licked her lips and gave Darla a feral smile.

“Sure about that?”

“Well I’d at least take you to the bathroom,” Darla replied, smiling just the same.

“Good to know,” Faith responded.

They kept hold of each other’s gaze for a few moments before Faith chuckled silently and shook her head, then tugged on Darla’s hand as she led her from the dance floor. Faith’s legs were obviously a bit wobbly from the booze but Darla didn’t feel anywhere near as drunk as Faith looked. That would work in her favour and she felt a tingle of pleasure deep down in her stomach.

She didn’t know what it was about Faith particularly that had her so. . .worked up, but she hadn’t felt this compelled to get close to somebody since Angel. It was strange, and a little scary.

Maybe it was just Faith, or maybe it was the way in which Faith had spoken about Buffy – making it sound like they had something in common. An annoying slayer they both seemed irritated by. It certainly gave Darla something to think about. She hadn’t come here for revenge, but the idea didn’t sound abhorrent.

There was more about Faith she needed to know, however, before making any mistakes. Sure, a little fun with her would be fine, but anything else and she’d have to pry out some of Faith’s secrets, and get to the bottom of whatever it was that had Faith bristling about Buffy.

As they stepped outside Darla gave Faith’s hand a squeeze and shot her a questioning look.

“I thought you said you didn’t do vampires,” she queried, feeling her skin buzzing as Faith stepped close to her.

“I’d fuck you in a heartbeat, blondie,” Faith stated, her sudden honesty fuelled by alcohol and the grinding they’d been doing on the dance floor.

She pressed up against Darla, causing them to move backwards from the street to the alley beside the club. Darla happily allowed Faith’s weight to hold her against the wall there, feeling a thrill rush through her. A thrill she hadn’t felt for much longer than she’d care to think about.

Leaning close to Darla’s ear, Faith’s hot breath blew over her as she spoke in a hushed and sensual tone.

“But I’m a good girl now,” Faith continued. “I have to get home, sober up, and then go kill a few of your kind.”

It sounded more like a chore than something Faith actually wanted to do.

“You don’t sound too thrilled about it,” Darla chanced. “Don’t you like being a slayer?”

A dark look passed over Faith’s eyes but she covered quickly, pressing more of her weight into Darla and sliding a firm thigh between her legs.

“I love being a slayer,” Faith asserted, her thigh pushing up into Darla so much it almost had her off her feet and riding it. “There’s just a lotta other bullshit that comes with it that I’m not a big fan of.”

Suppressing a moan of pleasure, Darla scraped one of her fangs over her lower lip, watching as Faith’s pupils grew larger. Maybe this wasn’t the time to ask, but something told Darla she just had to.

“Bullshit like Buffy?”

This time the change in Faith’s eyes took on a much more confusing state. Darla couldn’t decide if Faith was angry, upset, or worked up in a whole other way. Buffy was indeed obviously an issue for this slayer.

“Just. . .bullshit,” Faith answered, not committing herself. “Besides, Buffy isn’t exactly around much these days so she’s not a problem.”

“Is she usually a problem?”

The hidden agenda and meaning in her question didn’t go unrecognised.

“What’s with all the questions about Buffy?” Faith asked, growing suspicious.

Deciding that it would probably be better to leave those questions for another time, Darla changed tactics.

She ran her fingernails up underneath Faith’s top, scratching at her lower back and pulling her close enough for their breasts to touch. They were in kissing distance, but Darla wanted Faith to make that first move.

“Ok, I promise not to mention her again,” Darla assured, letting her eyes become engulfed by Faith’s. “How about you take me home and we can work on that sobering up together.”

It would take one small move to have their lips locked together, and Darla really wanted to feel those full lips on hers. They looked delicious. And just when Darla thought Faith would lean forward and kiss her, she pulled back, away from the hands in her shirt. Away from the throb between Darla’s legs.

“Let’s go,” Faith told her, giving nothing away.

Darla smiled to herself, following Faith as she led them away from the club, her mouth watering and her body ready to take whatever Faith had to offer. Maybe Faith would make an exception to her ‘no screwing vamps’ rule. It wasn’t as if Darla was a full vampire anyway, so she could only hope.

The night was sure to bring some surprises.

Two weeks later. . .

Buffy sighed happily as she walked through Restfield; her thoughts on her girlfriend as she twirled her stake and enjoyed the warmth of the night. She felt good. She felt surprisingly free of angst and troubles, despite the situation she was still very much in the middle of.

She’d seen Tru a few times in the past two weeks, and barely seen anything of Faith, and that was a good thing. No, better than good it was perfect. Things were really settling down, and as long as she avoided thinking about Tru ever visiting Sunnydale, she could almost pretend that life was normal, and that she wasn’t living a lie.

Fortunately, Tru hadn’t pressed the issue yet of coming to visit. It was obvious she was growing curious, but so far Buffy had been able to deter her by telling her she was just worried about ‘coming out’, and that she wanted Tru to visit when she could properly introduce her to her mother, as her girlfriend. Of course, only Buffy knew the implications of that, and she was avoiding that possibility as much, and for as long as she could.

Shaking off the ominous dread about the whole situation, Buffy continued to try to see the bright side, the silver lining, the pot at the end of her very own rainbow. There was no room for doom and gloom when she felt this good. No place for anguish when she had the recent memory of Tru’s hands roaming her body and those soft lips pulling Buffy down into a delirious dream, where the inevitable never came knocking at her door.

With another twirl of her stake, she felt her lips curl into a smile and enjoyed the moment. She felt strong, high, happy, ready for anything, and in the mood for some good old fashioned slaying.

A noise to her right caught Buffy’s attention and she glanced into the foliage that surrounded the area. She was in a fairly open part of the cemetery where the path splintered off in different directions, and where the newer graves began. This was a prime dusting spot, and many a vampire had met its end at her hands here. She squinted, adjusting her eyes to the darkness. There was definitely something moving just in her range of vision. Two, maybe three people, or vampires, or maybe even demons. There was slight tingle down her spine, but often that was just the symptom of her aroused instincts at the possibility of a fight. She didn’t always get a warning that a vampire was around, but she’d learned to distinguish any subtle changes in her body.

“Time to fight the good fight,” she said to herself as she set off towards the moving bodies.

Taking her time and avoiding any branches that might snap and give her position away, Buffy got closer to her prey. She could definitely feel the signs now, and she held her stake more firmly. A hint of laughter was in the air. Female laughter. She could see two distinct shapes through a row of bushes in front of her. Two vampires wouldn’t take too much effort. Females could be wily, and fast, but they would be no match for Buffy.

Just as voices became more distinctive, Buffy caught a glimpse of blonde hair. She peered harder, but keeping low to avoid detection made seeing even more difficult. She didn’t want to charge out at them before she knew for sure how many were there, however. Still, she had a feeling she knew that hair, and that laugh.

It almost sounded like Darla, but that would be impossible. She was long since dead.

Creeping even closer, Buffy lost concentration for a second and a loud crack under her foot echoed around the wooded area. She’d given her position away and the voices just ahead stopped.

“Go,” she heard one of them whisper, and then the sound of retreat.

“Damnit,” Buffy muttered under her breath. She hated when they ran.

It was pointless trying to run after them in the thick bushes. There were too many trees, too much green, and not enough space to fight in. She’d have to go back to the path and hope she bumped into them again further on. At least vampires were predictable. They wouldn’t stray far from home.

Picking a twig out of her hair, Buffy stepped back out into the open space and made her way slowly, deeper into the cemetery. She kept her senses keen and her mind focused on the job, and prayed she didn’t bump into Faith. She didn’t much feel like sharing the night’s slayage with her tonight.

Luckily, they’d been patrolling in different parts of the town during the week. Giles had agreed that it would be better that way – they could cover more ground, and now that Faith had a cell phone it would be easy for them to contact each other if they needed help. Of course, Buffy had no intentions of ever calling Faith’s number and had reluctantly put it in her own phone at Giles’ behest.

Neither of them had called the other so far, and Buffy couldn’t see that changing. They weren’t fighting, but it was better if they stayed away from one another. There was too much at stake, and too many things that could be said if they were to speak to each other.

As she walked down a small hill that led her down the path to the very back of the cemetery, Buffy began to think that her two vampires had taken a different route, or left altogether. She felt disappointed, and slid her stake back into her pocket, planning to turn around and make her way back out of Restfield. Maybe another cemetery would prove to be more fruitful.

Just as she thought that, her senses began to prickle. From out of nowhere she could feel that there were vampires near by. Maybe the two from earlier, or maybe more.

She turned around to walk back up the hill, but before she got much further, the hungry snarls came at her from the darkness. Dropping into an instinctive fighting stance, Buffy yanked her stake once more from her jacket. Holding it in a tight grip, she found herself quickly surrounded. There were seven vampires, all big, all snarling, all looking ready to rip her apart limb from limb.

Trying to hide her anxiousness, Buffy eyed every one, guessing their weight and strength, silently calculating her odds, and choosing which one should be avoided at all costs. Much to her annoyance, they all appeared to be similar in strength. She wouldn’t know which ones were her biggest threat until it was probably too late.

“Great,” she muttered to herself.

Their snarls got louder and their grins more toothy as they began to close in on her. They looked like a wrestling team, and perhaps were at one time. Her only real option was to make a break for it. The first rule of being a slayer was to stay alive to fight another day – not officially, but it was her rule, and she wasn’t about to break it. She’d have to fight a hole through them before she could run, however, and that thought was starting to worry her.

Just as she was about to choose which vampire to take on first, her cell phone rang in her pocket. Several of the vampires tilted their heads like curious puppies, but they didn’t stop advancing.

As her phone persisted, Buffy dug it out of her pocket, taking her eyes off the salivating squad around her for just a second to glance at the screen. It told her that Faith was calling, which made her frown in confusion, and then frown even further as she realised she might have to ask for help, as long as Faith wasn’t calling for help herself – which would have been rather unfortunate.

“Faith?” Buffy asked tightly as she answered the call.

“Yup,” Faith replied nonchalantly.

Buffy continued to frown, and continued to be confused.

“This isn’t a good time, what do you want?” she asked, turning around as she watched the vampires creep ever closer.

For the moment they seemed to be holding themselves back. There was probably a pecking order they had to adhere to and would only attack when the biggest of them decided it was time.

“Just wondered if that was a private party,” Faith replied.

“What?” Buffy snapped. “What party?”

“That one,” Faith answered, though it sounded less like she’d said it down the phone, and more like she was. . .standing at the top of the hill, looking down on Buffy’s predicament.

Buffy glanced up at Faith and she could see the grin on her face. She didn’t know whether to feel relief or annoyance.

“So, can I join in?” Faith asked, flipping her cell phone shut and slipping it into her pocket.

The vampires looked amongst themselves and spread out a little further, ready to accommodate the new arrival. They obviously didn’t feel threatened.

“Feel free,” Buffy replied.

She felt her shoulders relax. Seven against two wasn’t too bad. They’d been in worse situations together. Though Buffy hadn’t wanted to see Faith she was glad she’d somehow stumbled upon her. Whatever reason she had for being on Buffy’s section of town could be discovered later. Right now, they had to work together. Buffy wasn’t stupid enough to allow their problem to get in the way of walking away with her life and limbs intact in this instance. She could deal with Faith, as long as Faith didn’t use this to her own ends.

“Who wants to dance first?” Faith asked the vampires as a whole, giving each one of them a textbook, shit-eating grin.

“Get dem,” the largest vampire grunted, sounding very much like a long dead wrestler with a speech impediment.

In a flash, there were fists and feet flying everywhere, and Buffy quickly found herself back to back with Faith, their bodies gravitating closer to each other and their instincts interlocking. This wasn’t going to be easy, but somewhere in the back of Buffy’s mind. . .she guessed it might be kind of fun.



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