Chapter Two

The world is flat. The world is flat, I tell myself over and over. Hell, convincing myself of that seems to be a better option than trying to convince myself that I don’t ‘dig’ Faith in that way that doesn’t involve shovels.

She’s resting back on my pillows with her hands behind her head, right in the middle of the bed. I told her to take her boots off and thankfully she did, but there’s a hole in her sock that isn’t looking too healthy. I shake my head and turn back to my hairbrush, sitting on my stool facing away from her. I can’t quite put my finger on why I want to put my fingers on her, but I have to keep in control.

“You don’t have a TV in here?” Faith asks, clearly seeing no evidence of a television.

“No, I generally use my bedroom for sleeping in, not for entertainment,” I say, knowing it sounded kind of iffy as soon as I said it.

“You don’t entertain much here then huh,” she says, and I know for sure now I walked right into a Faith innuendo session. “Pity,” she adds.

I’m waiting for more and I look at her via the mirror and see the definite grin gracing her full lips. She doesn’t continue and I’m a little perturbed. Just when you think you know somebody they stop being that somebody. It’s unnerving.

“I didn’t mean like that,” I push. “I do entertain, just. . .not via the means of television.”

“Right, I gotcha. . .you’ve never done the home made porn thing. Good to know. I’ll keep the camera outta the bedroom,” she chuckles.

How did she get that from what I said? Am I just dumb and walk right into her traps? Who am I kidding, of course I’m walking right into her traps; she’s so very good at blindsiding you until you just stumble ahead and she gets her way. I have to watch out for that, I can’t go stumbling willy nilly into her when I’m meant to be responsible for her welfare and not responsible for her getting some smoochies and all that follows.

I look away from the mirror and concentrate on my hair. I can hear her shuffling around, pushing things around in her bag, sighing and shuffling some more. I want to look, I so want to look, but I don’t. I can tell she’s getting ready for bed and it would be so incredibly wrong to peek, even if my hand is gripping the brush so tight it’s cracking.

“So,” she says through a yawn, “sides, B. . .which one do ya want?”

I glance at her through the mirror and am temporarily dumbstruck. She’s crawling under the covers and she’s almost naked. The sheet is up over her chest before I see anything of interest, but I get a look at her shapely backside in some very tight little boi shorts. It quickly disappears under the covers but the image is imprinted on my mind. I thought her ass looked great in leather, but oh boy. . .with those tiny little black things she’s wearing I think I may have just lost some of my ‘straight’ to the land of rainbows.

“Sides?” I utter stupidly.

“Yeah. . .you can’t expect me to sleep on the floor, B,” she says. “I’m a potential slayer; you gotta look out for me. Hell, Giles even thinks I could be the next in line, so I oughta get special treatment,” she adds with a smirk and a bounce of her eyebrows.

I turn towards her, spinning on the stool. “You will not be getting special anything,” I make clear, ensuring she knows I’m not going to be a pushover. “Take whichever side you want.”

Kicking myself when I realise I hate sleeping on the right, I struggle to keep the word “doh” under wraps. Luckily she settles down on that side and I breathe a small sigh of relief. I say small and mean small, because how much relief can I possibly get when I’m all wound up over a hot chick that keeps looking at me like she wants to eat me alive?

Thinking about anything but Faith and her nakedness in order to get to a point I can get into bed without trembling, I turn away once more. This is ridiculous. I’m a grown woman who should be able to handle her desires, even if they do occasionally come from out of left field. It’s new and strange but I can deal. . .I will not fall for the unique charms of the evil temptress with the holey socks.

Resolute that I’m in charge of myself and my urges I place my now broken brush down onto the Vanity and head towards my dresser to get something to sleep in. I’m expecting jibes and suggestive comments but all I hear is soft breaths with the smallest hint of a snore. She’s fast asleep already. I smile despite my newfound resoluteness and just look at her for a second.

Her hair is flung behind her on the pillow as she lays sprawled out on her stomach. One foot is dangling off the side of the bed and her sock is hanging limply from it, half on and half off. I stifle a chuckle and can’t help but think she looks adorable. There’s no way anybody else in this house would ever team the words adorable and Faith together, but I think I’m seeing more than most of them allow themselves to. Or maybe she’s just letting me see more than anybody else.

Whatever it is I can’t argue against the fact it’s endearing, and distracting, and just plain not of the good. This can not be happening to me. Not now.

I try to shake the feeling as I stand by the bed, the sudden urge to drop my robe and crawl in naked beside her shocking me to my senses. I can’t allow this to happen, no matter how much she’s making my butterflies all flappy and alive. I pull myself away, tug on a large tee shirt and slide cautiously into bed. She’s taking up a lot more space than her small size would suggest, but I’m smaller so it’s fine. If I stay right on the edge here I can avoid her arm that is flung up over most of my pillow.

Laying as stiff as a board that has been starched to within an inch of its life I attempt to fall asleep. It’s not easy as all I can hear is her soft snoring, and all I can feel is her heat radiating towards me underneath the covers. It’s like she’s sneaking over to me but not moving. As if her body is pulling me to it without touching me at all. I’ve never really been a snuggler, no matter how much Angel and Riley tried to force me to be. It’s just never appealed to me as much as laying in my own space so I don’t feel smothered, but right now I’m having to force myself not to slide over to Faith and mould every part of me into her just so I know what it feels like to be that close to her.

I don’t know what she’s doing to me but I don’t like not feeling in control like this. No man has ever made my head spin like this. Spike made other parts of me spin and that’s just far too icky to even think about. . .but as far as wanting, desiring and yearning, I don’t think anything has come close to this and she’s only been around a short time. Maybe I was always a secret lesbian but just didn’t know it.

I chuckle to myself and shake my head. No, I definitely wasn’t always one of those, I would have known, and I wouldn’t have been all gaga in love with Angel and stupid over Spike if I was really only ever wanting to play with the girls. I know this is real, though. It’s real and far too raw to be anything but just what it is; the need to touch, to taste, to learn every reaction and every breathless sigh.

Lesbian or not I never perceived desire to be like that, not with any past lover. It was always just about scratching an itch, or confirming a deeper emotion. What I think I’m feeling for Faith is a burning kind of desire that defies all explanation, and that I just don’t have the experience to handle. I could be in real trouble if she makes it any more clear she wants more from me.

Sleep starts to tug me under its wing and I feel Faith shifting beside me. All I can sense is the need to rest and a leg gliding its way over me, an arm tucking its way around me. I don’t move. I’m too tired and too comfortable to move or to worry just now. In the morning I’ll get Faith to switch places with another girl so I don’t have to feel like I’m drowning under her sweet scent and her soft skin. Tomorrow I’ll get to grips with this. . .thing.

* * *

When morning comes I wake up feeling far from refreshed. It feels too early and too late all at once and I’m instantly wondering where Faith is as she’s no longer perched on top of me like she was for most of the night. Surely I wasn’t that uncomfortable to sleep on, or maybe she just likes getting up early.

I stretch and look at the clock and wonder if I’ll be missed if I just stay here and snooze for another few hours. I don’t have work to go to anymore on account of most of the school kids and teachers leaving town, and really. . .what is there for a slayer to do during the day? I guess I could pester Spike just to make myself feel useful, but I really don’t want to spend any more time with him than necessary. Besides, he likes when I pester him; he gets all excited and grins like an idiot and I just know he’s dying to let his fangs show, but he’s smart enough to realize I won’t stand for that. Not anymore anyway.

I eventually roll out of bed and trip over one of Faith’s boots, cursing as I realise her clothes are already strewn all over my room. This girl is a walking nightmare, and she’s haunting me.

The bathroom is free for once and I don’t have to join the long queue to get in because there isn’t one. I don’t stop too long to wonder why, too busy needing to shower and get dressed into something cute but not too tempting for Faith and therefore me if she decides she’s going to let me know she’s hot for me. I really don’t have much basis to think that she is right now. She could be hot for Giles for all I really know. Still, I guess the signs are there. . .what with her eyes dancing over my body when she thinks I won’t notice and her little display last night in which she used me as her personal mattress.

The night was certainly a trial, but I came through unscathed. The sensation of having an almost naked Faith snuggled on top of me wasn’t all that horrible, in fact. . .it was so not horrible I had to let my arm curl up around her and rest my hand on her back. Her skin is amazingly smooth, it makes me sigh just thinking about it. It was quite an ordeal having her naked breasts all pressed into me, all pillowy and warm and like slow and exquisite torture. I wanted to touch, to feel, but I’m not into taking advantage of sleeping girls. I just had to lay and ignore what it was doing to my insides as much as possible.

At one point her fingers had gently wound their way into my hair, softly twirling it as she slept. I had thought she’d woken up at first, but the snoring had continued in an unrelenting buzz. It wasn’t annoying in the least - the snoring or the hair twirling - and that’s even more surprising than me wanting to do all kinds of naughty things to her. Like I said. . .I’m not a snuggle-bunny. I don’t like being clambered upon, but Faith’s body was soft and warm, not big and hairy. It was nice.

I catch myself smiling in the bedroom mirror and roll my eyes. I’m a sucker for the bad types that have fuzzy insides I guess.

As I walk downstairs - wondering where everyone is - I hear the distinct sound of noisy girls making a ruckus, as Giles would say. I wonder if it would be ok if I slip out the front door and take the day off. I could use a break, or even a year long vacation. Maybe I could fly to Fiji and open a bar, making cocktails all day in a bikini for gross sweaty men that won’t stop ogling me. Ok, so that’s not looking like a great idea, but anything would be better than here right now.

The house is strangely devoid of potentials, mainly because they all seem to be outside in the back garden. They’re chanting and cheering and I think about turning around and going back upstairs but then I hear Willow calling me.

“Buffy, I was just coming to get you so you can come and sort this mess out,” Willow says, obviously under the impression that I’m these girls’ mother. “Faith and Kennedy are trying to pull each other’s limbs off.”

I sigh, knowing I can’t walk away from this any time soon. We make our way outside and immediately the girls hush a little, though the grunting continues from Faith and Kennedy as they struggle on the ground with each other.

“Should we just throw a bucket of cold water over them?” I ask Willow.

“I don’t think that’ll work. They’ve been winding each other up all morning. They were watching wrestling on TV, and then Kennedy told Faith she could beat her in a wrestling match any day of the week. It kind of escalated from there,” Willow tells me.

I nod and tell her to get everybody else inside. They all retreat without question, walking backwards to make sure they don’t miss any possible victories. There won’t be any winners in this little contest.

“Ok, you have two seconds to break it up before I get the hose,” I say loudly.

Neither girl lets go of the other. Faith has Kennedy in a headlock and Kennedy has Faith trapped underneath her on the muddy ground.

“No way am I letting go,” Faith grunts, trying to wiggle out of Kennedy’s grasp.

“Likewise,” Kennedy says, her mouth muffled against Faith’s boob.

Wait, that’s not good. She can’t go putting her head there, not when I. . .have semi-claimed it, even though I have no intention of using it. I scrunch up my brow and try to focus.

“Then I guess I’m gonna have to use force,” I wade in, yanking Kennedy up by her shirt and Faith by her arm.

Both girls wince, though Faith more so than Ken.

“Shit, B. . .way to pull my arm off,” Faith whines, grasping at her shoulder.

Maybe I was a little rough. Sometimes I don’t know my own strength.

“Pussy,” Kennedy taunts, straightening herself out.

I turn my attention to her and hit her with my best glower. “I’ll show you pussy if you don’t get inside and out of my hair,” I say, noticing the slip of my tongue too late, aware of Faith’s little snicker beside me. “This little rivalry is getting tedious. I might have to feed one of you to Spike, and right now. . .I’m thinking your blood would make a tasty snack,” I tell Kennedy.

She shakes her head and looks down her nose at me. “I guess it’s clear who’s the favorite around here huh,” she says.

I glare some more and she gets the hint to leave. Faith is grinning and it’s so not helping me to be mad at her, especially as she’s still holding onto her shoulder.

“Did I hurt you?” I ask, moving closer to her.

“No, B, I normally stand around holding my shoulder and pulling this face,” she says, pointing to the pained expression she’s wearing.

“I’m sorry, but I did warn you,” I point out.

I lift my hand to touch her shoulder. I need to make sure it’s not dislocated. She hisses a little as I give it a gentle squeeze and I can’t figure out if there’s any real damage. I don’t wanna prod and poke and hurt her some more.

“I’ll get Willow to take a look at it; I don’t wanna hurt you further.”

She furrows her brow and shakes her head. “Red ain’t taking a look at anything of mine.”

Her eyes look worried, like the last thing she wants to do is give somebody access to her in a way she’s not in control of. I’m guessing she maybe has trust issues, or it could be that she just doesn’t like Willow. I’ll mention somebody else and see if she freaks out the same.

“How about Giles?” I ask.

She looks at me like I’m crazy and starts walking back to the house, still with her hand at her shoulder. Ok, so I need to fix this. She seems pretty pissed that I hurt her, and maybe even a little more pissed at the fact I want everybody to fondle her but me. I can just tell that’s what it is. I know a huff when I see one, I’m the queen of storming out. I need to see if she’s going to trust me, then let her know I’m here for her. . .as a mentor of course.

“Faith,” I call softly, wanting her to stop, “can I take a look at anything of yours?” I meant her shoulder of course, but the words are out now.

She stops and turns around before getting to the door. “Of course, B,” she says, looking into my eyes. “I thought you woulda got that by now.”

Those expressive eyebrows do a little jiggle and she grins a big dimpled grin. I just stand staring at her, trying to work out what exactly she means. I guess it’s fairly obvious what she means but I’m not known for my perceptiveness when it comes to people who are into me, so I’m just running through the checklist in my head to make sure I’m not being extremely arrogant.

She carries on making her way into the house as I stand gaping at her. She probably thinks I just totally blanked her.

I eventually follow, ignoring the girls as they watch us take the stairs up to my bedroom. They’re all pretending to do their own thing but I bet they’re wondering if I’m gonna kick her out or something. They’re fools if they think I’m gonna lose somebody with this much fight in them when we’re headed for an apocalypse.

Faith slumps down onto the bed, sitting on the edge as I close the door behind us. I move closer, watching her fingers rub at her shoulder.

“Let me take a look at that,” I say, sitting beside her.

She doesn’t speak, choosing to pout instead. I haven’t seen her pout before and I have to say it’s totally cute. Cute with a side order of kinda sexy; but then pretty much everything she does is sexy in some way. I wonder if she knows that about herself, I mean truly. I’m aware she knows she’s pretty hot stuff, I get that from the way she carries herself and the way she flirts. . .but I wonder if she knows how deep it goes.

I could tell her right now that it goes right the way through her. Her sexuality is thick and heady, it makes you want to reach out and touch it just for a second, just to feel it burn you. I can’t reach out and touch that way, though. . .I know I can’t, as much as I now understand I want to.

Lowering her hand she lets her gaze rest on me, her brown eyes boring into me, watching mine as I look at her shoulder. I touch it softly, moving it around as she holds her breath. It’s not dislocated but I’d given it a good yank, probably jarring her muscles. My fingers rub at her and she stops flinching, relaxing into my hand.

“It should be ok,” I tell her, not daring to look up into her eyes. If I do I’ll be lost, I know it. “Just be careful with it.”

“Thanks,” she says, her voice taking on a soft tone that I don’t think I’ve heard before. It’s still husky and seductive, but less full on.

I make the mistake of looking up and am instantly engulfed in deep dark brown, her eyes pulling me in like magnets. She has to know how much she affects me, but I can’t let her think I’m a willing participant to this.

“What you said outside,” I say, planning to tell her that it can’t ever go as far as she might want. “I’m not certain what you meant but. . .”

She interrupts. “You know what it meant,” she says with a little smile. “I wanted you from the first fucking moment I saw you, B.”

My mouth drops open, not so much because I’m shocked but because now I can’t avoid the fact she really does want me. She said it, plain as day. It’s out now and I can’t cram it back into a box and put a sticker on it that says “ignore me”.

She just looks at me curiously as I try to stutter an answer, her eyes twinkling and mesmerising me.

“You can play dumb if you want, Buffy,” she says, “but I know you’re hot for me too. I caught your eyes when you first saw me, they were all dilating and crap. You couldn’t hide that.”

I blink, desperately wanting to deny it. “It was dark,” I practically stammer. “My eyes were adjusting to the light. . .the lack of the light.”

I’m cringing inside at my smoothness and she chuckles and looks away for a split second giving me time to breathe. Her eyes land back on me and I’m wound up in them all over again, my heart beginning to thump loudly in my chest. I wonder if she can hear it. If she were a slayer and not just a potential she’d most definitely hear it, and possibly catch the fluttering in my stomach.

“It wasn’t dark, it was me,” she says slowly, her voice dropping to that deep husky tone, sending a shiver up my spine.

Her tongue creeps out over the cleft in her lower lip and I can’t move. I need to tell her I don’t like her like that. I need to make it clear that we’re never going to get hot and sweaty together but I can’t. I just sit and watch her tongue, wishing I could throw myself at her and take it into my mouth.

There’s all kinds of tension between us and I feel smothered in it, coiled up in her eyes and her scent; in the way her lips are just poised, ready for me to kiss them. I close my eyes, not wanting to see so I can’t be tempted, but I can still feel her. I sense her heat and her need and I can hear how her breathing has deepened, like she’s about to lose control and just dive on me.

My eyes are screwed up tight, but I feel the bed shift and I know she’s leaning forwards. I wet my lips in anticipation even though I’m not in any way shape or form going to allow her to kiss me. I couldn’t possibly. Under no circumstances. Never.

She stops moving and I hear her laughing quietly. My eyes shoot open to see her grinning from ear to ear at me.

“You ok there, B?” she asks, still chuckling. “Looked like you were expecting me to hit ya or. . .something.”

I was definitely going with the something.

“I was just. . .” I shake my head. I don’t have to explain myself to her. “Faith, whatever it is you thought you saw when we first met, or just then or whenever, you’re wrong. I don’t like you like that. I’m not. . .we can’t. . .”

Sighing, I stand up and take a few paces away from the bed, my hand brushing through my hair as she watches me.

“Look, B. . .it’s no big. I get it. I like you and you like me, but you can’t do anything about it. Or at least you don’t think you can, or won’t let yourself,” she tells me decisively.

“There isn’t any ‘won’t’ about it, Faith,” I tell her maybe a little harshly. “I don’t. . .”

“Yeah, I know. . .you don’t want me like that,” she says, still grinning and nodding like she knows otherwise. Like she’s sure.

I know I’m sure too, but this isn’t a good situation. She’s here for me to help her, to keep her safe. Here because she’d already be dead anyplace else. She came to us - to me - to understand what it is about her that makes her a target, so I can’t abuse my position and take advantage of her. I’m well aware she’s not just a girl, she’s a young woman full of self confidence but she’s still just eighteen. Younger than me.

Turning to gaze out of the window I almost start laughing at myself at the last excuse. If I’m really so bothered about age differences then I’m being kind of hypocritical. Angel and Spike aren’t exactly my age. There were a couple of hundred years between me and them, but oh no. . .that didn’t stop me getting wriggly with either of them. So what’s really stopping me with Faith?

Part of it is about her being here for me to protect her and not wanting to exploit that for my own needs and desires. But apart from that. . .I guess it’s just plain old fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of it blowing up in my face. Fear of getting into something I can’t, or won’t want to get out of. It’s all too much right now. She’s too much.

I sense rather than see her step up behind me. She looks out of the window with me over my shoulder as I stand with my arms wrapped around myself. I can feel her warm breath on the back of my neck and it’s not really helping me wind down. If she’s doing it on purpose then that’s just cruel.

“I can’t pretend like I don’t want you every minute I’m near you,” Faith says softly, every word sending a tingle right through me as her breath tickles its way over my neck, “but I won’t push it if you can tell me right now – in all honesty – that you don’t feel it too.”

Taking a breath I try to thrust the words out. I have to tell her no, that this can’t and won’t happen; that I won’t allow myself the opportunity for it to happen. I have to walk away and Faith has to know that’s just the way it is.

She moves to stand in front of me, her eyes instantly searching mine. I can’t help but look up at her, and the words have gone; like they never existed. My mind is blank.

Faith steps a little closer and it feels like I’m falling into her. How does she do that? How does she make me feel so desperate to reach out and touch and hold and spend hours learning every inch of her? I want her. I want her like I’ve never wanted before; like I need to have her. As if my breath depends on it, my heartbeat; my whole existence brought down to this. . .the desire that’s coursing through me in a way that scares me despite all my experience of life and love.

My voice is shaking when I finally open my mouth to speak. “Faith, I. . .”

We’re both startled by a knock on the door. I virtually jump on Faith, but the shock of doing that causes me to reel backwards and stumble over her boot once again. Flailing my arms around to catch my balance, backing away from Faith as she reaches out to help me, I rush headlong for the door. Half crashing into it and half yanking it open I see Giles on the other side and nearly run right into his arms, wanting him to protect me from the way Faith is making me feel.

He stares wide eyed at me as I stare back at him, my mind a big pile of mush and my body a tense ball of need. Faith saunters up behind and strides past, nodding to Giles smoothly as if she didn’t just almost get me to admit I want to straddle her and ride her until we both pop.

“Hey,” she says all nonchalantly, making me want to boot her in the ass for not being as nuts as me over this thing. . .whatever it is between us.

Giles smiles and lowers his eyebrows. “I’m glad I caught you both,” he says. “I thought it would be a good idea for Buffy to show you a few basic moves, Faith. A little extra training just in case we’re caught on the hop and have a new slayer on our hands.” He smiles at her proudly.

I guess he really does think she could be the next slayer.

“Sure, I’m up for it if B is,” Faith tells him, her eyes resting on me and suggesting she means something other than training.

“Great,” Giles says, beaming. “Of course it might also be beneficial for you to do the same with Kennedy, but she’s sulking at the moment so maybe you could talk to her tomorrow, Buffy.”

Oh great, just what I need. I so do not want to tutor Kennedy in anything other than the art of manners. It seems Faith isn’t too thrilled at Ken getting the same treatment as her either; she’s not smirking half as much as she was a second ago.

We both watch Giles leave and I realise it’s just me and Faith stood around in the hallway, and that can only lead to me crumbling again and being stupid enough to tell her I want to ravish her silly on the stairs.

I furrow my brow, realising I have nothing to say to her that won’t lead to one thing. One thing I want to stay clear of. She doesn’t stop me as I turn to leave and for the rest of the day I successfully stay out of her way. I’ll teach her some moves tomorrow, when I feel more convinced about the fact I can resist the urge to let her use those delicious looking lips on every part of me.

I’m Buffy; I’m strong and sure of myself. I know I can resist, especially if I stay away from her. The perfect solution is to spend a few hours doing what I do best: shoving lumps of wood into creepy dead things. So I’m out prowling my first cemetery and feeling good about myself.

I love the night, the darkness, everything in it that thinks it can take me but doesn’t have a hope. When I stake a vamp it’s like a sugar rush, a chocolate high and the best sex ever all at once. It leaves me tingling and eager for more; needing to slay again or. . .well, I can honestly say yogurt is not the solution.

And at this point I have to hit myself in the head and call myself stupid. I’m going to end up going home all hyped up and needing release and I have Faith all sprawled out in my bed. I’m dumb, really, really dumb. I’m going to have to sleep on the sofa. I’m sure one of the girls won’t mind me taking their sleeping space so I can keep my chastity around an extremely tempting, drop-dead gorgeous, lickable. . .

“Faith!” I yelp.

“Hey, B,” Faith says, looking like she doesn’t have a care in the world as she strolls towards me hands in pockets, “thought you could use some company.”

Oh great, there’s just no getting away from her. How am I gonna keep my hands off her if she keeps being all unavoidy and hot and desirable around me?

This night is not going to end well.



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