Chapter Seven

Pulling open the door to my room I prepare myself to see Faith all battered and broken on my bed. What I see makes me smile and grimace at the same time. She’s propped up on most of the pillows, jiggling around as she hammers her thumbs away at Dawn’s X-box controller as Dawn giggles beside her. I just stand in the doorway and stare at the scene. Somebody certainly went through a lot of trouble to make Faith comfortable: bringing in the spare TV and the X-box, and placing a huge bucket of chicken beside the bed.

“Oh, hey, Buffy,” Dawn says, greeting me with a big smile. “Thought Faith could use something to keep her occupied what with all the laying around and being beaten up.”

“Hey, I wasn’t beaten up,” Faith grumbles. “He just got lucky.”

I shake my head and wander further into the room, my gaze roaming over Faith as she lays back in a pair of my shorts and her tatty old Motley Crue tee shirt. I’m pretty sure it must be her favourite one, even though it has a rip on the one side and the lettering is all faded.

“Well, isn’t this cosy,” I say, glancing towards the carnage happening on the TV. I don’t know what game it is, but there seems to be a lot of blood flying around.

“I should probably go to bed,” Dawn tells Faith, slipping off the bed and smiling at its occupant. “You can keep the X-box in here. . .and thanks again for what you did.”

Dawn looks away shyly then leaves the room. I really can’t quite work out what’s going on and I hope Faith is in the mood to tell me. I don’t like being left in the dark.

“Wow, you have a real knack at chasing her away,” Faith chuckles, placing the controller to the side as she gives me her full attention.

“It’s a sister thing,” I explain.

I sit on the edge of the bed facing Faith and kick off my boots. There’s a bunch of questions I want to ask her, and not all of them to do with what happened with Spike. Whatever happened she’s not looking too badly hurt. I can see a small cut above her eyebrow and she’s holding her ribs as she moves, but apart from that she looks ok. It’s definitely a relief.

“So, are you gonna tell me what happened?” I ask, soft enough for Faith to realise I’m not about to start yelling and accusing.

“Kinda happened in a blur,” she says, running a hand through her dark curls. “Yunno, once I’d decided to beat the crap out of him.”

I nod and wait for her to continue. When I realise she’s not offering up any more info I press a little more.

“And you decided to beat him up why?” I ask her, not sure if she really needs an excuse after how she’d witnessed him stripping away my dignity.

Faith looks away for a second, but when her eyes land back on me all I can see is her. No façade, no walls, just her. The deep parts of her that draw me in every time I decide I have to stay away.

“It was coming to him, B,” she says decisively. “What he’d told me about you two, and the way he fucking spoke to you last night. . .I couldn’t leave it. He tried to make out to you that I was something you shouldn’t have, right? That it’s wrong for you to get with me. And I had to let him know that he’s the one that’s fucking wrong.”

My hands plead with me to reach out and touch Faith but I keep them still in front of me, just watching her face as she tries to explain.

“I was riled up about it, then he said something off to Dawn about you. Something about how you couldn’t resist the killer types. . .and I just snapped,” she explains. “I pushed him down the basement stairs so nobody would see, then I beat the crap outta him.”

I try to hide my smile. She can’t just go beating people – and supposedly good-guy vampires – up whenever she wants, even though her reason is pretty understandable.

“I can’t say you did the right thing, Faith. You can’t use your strength like that. Not only is it wrong, but you could have been hurt.” I look over her as she rests back in the bed. “You were hurt, and that’s not something I want. . .I mean, you’re a slayer now and I’m going to need you in top shape.”

She smiles a little at me, her eyes dazzling in the lamp light. “That the only reason you don’t want me hurt?” she asks, her eyebrows doing a little wiggle to emphasise her point.

Shaking my head I chuckle. Of course she knows it’s not the only reason, but I’m not about to let her in on my little secret, no matter how obvious it is.

There’s a pause in the conversation as I stare off into space, thinking about how I can possibly convince myself to keep away from Faith now. My attention is soon drawn back to her when she moves and hisses with evident pain.

“You ok?” I ask, resting my hand on her thigh.

“Yeah, just a bitch of a pain in my ribs,” she tells me. “When does the whole slayer healing deal kick in? Thought we were meant to be hot chicks with superpowers.”

I smile at the little pout she has going on and try to explain some things. “It’s not instant, Faith, especially when you’re first called. You’ll heal quicker, but don’t go thinking you’re a superhero,” I warn her. “You won’t be quite as invincible as you’d like for a little while either. The toughness takes longer to kick in than the strength.”

“Great,” she grumbles. “Shoulda told me that before I went flying into a wall.”

Furrowing my brow I gently rub her leg. “Sorry,” I practically whisper.

Faith raises an eyebrow and places her hand over mine, her voice low and engaging as she tells me it wasn’t my fault. “I was the one who rushed into the sitch, B. I was pounding on him pretty bad; just kinda lost it yunno. The things he’d told me started coming back at me, making me wanna hurt him,” she explains.

There’s no way I’m going to ask her what Spike told her, but I have no doubt every little sordid detail passed his lips. He was always a gloater, and he obviously thought Faith was interested enough in me for him to tell all. His reasons seem pretty clear to me. Jealousy is never a nice road to take a trip down.

“It wasn’t really fair of you to take him on when he couldn’t defend himself, but I do get why you did it,” I tell her, hoping she understands that with her power comes responsibility. “Just don’t do it again.”

I’m not defending Spike, but I can’t let her take that route; the one where she’d become lost in the power to hurt and to kill. I don’t want to lose her to that.

“I know I shoulda backed off,” she agrees. “That fucking smug look he had though. . .I just wanted to rip it off his face. And it’s not his place to go messing in your business.”

Nodding, I twist my fingers in hers, not completely realising just how intimate it is, or how telling it is. I just like touching her.

“So. . .you beat him up pretty bad huh,” I say, my small grin escaping just a little.

“Hell yeah,” she confirms. “Until he got pissed at having me pound on his face and kicked me in the ribs. He went down from the zap to the brain he got but I went flying into a wall, then got buried under a bunch of fucking boxes. That’s how I got this,” she says, pointing to the cut on her forehead. “A fucking ice-skate hit me in the head, sharp side first.”

Suppressing the chuckle that wants to escape I try to look nothing but concerned. It’s not my fault I can’t let go of my favourite ice-skates and they decided to attack Faith. Lifting my free hand I brush her hair away from the small cut and touch her gently beside it. It’s already clearing up pretty quickly. Cuts always seem to heal better than broken bones.

“So, he broke your ribs even with the chip in his head and my skates finished the job,” I say, holding in any kind of amusement from the situation. “I think we need to do more training.”

Faith laughs, her gorgeous eyes lifting me up in them as she gets that it is just a little funny.

“Hey, you’re the one slacking on it, B. I’m always ready for ya,” she responds with a grin.

“I don’t doubt you are, Faith,” I say softly, my body urging me slowly forwards to kiss her.

The tentative advance in showing her that I’m more willing to explore this thing between us is interrupted as Willow strolls through the open door. I spin to look at her, pulling my hand from Faith’s.

“I put your clothes in the wash, Faith,” Willow says cheerily. “I’m sure you didn’t want vamp blood getting all crusty on them.”

Faith thanks her and I get the feeling Willow wants to speak to me alone as she looks at me weirdly, jerking her head towards the doorway.

“I’ll be back in a little while,” I tell Faith, ignoring Willow’s questioning gaze as I squeeze Faith’s leg and smile.

When we get to the corridor after I close the door shut Willow places a hand on my shoulder, making me stop and turn towards her.

“I hope you weren’t too hard on her,” she says, furrowing her brow and looking worried. “He was being mean and Faith just reacted. It’s probably all those new slayer hormones running around inside her. Or it could have been my fault. . .I told her that Spike’s bad news for you, and that I wish we didn’t need him around.”

I’m a little shocked at how she’s coming up with excuses for Faith. I didn’t realise Willow even liked her at all, but maybe Faith is gaining herself a little fan club. I know I’ve been pulled in by her so it’s not hard to imagine that others will eventually realise just how much more there is to her than what she first shows you.

“I wasn’t hard on her, Will,” I assure. “She shouldn’t have gone postal on him, but. . .I can’t really blame her.”

“She’s finding it tough I think,” Willow points out cryptically.

My puzzled look pushes her on, but it doesn’t seem like she really wants to explain what she means.

“I mean. . .being here, with us, the potentials, you,” she says, her eyes beginning to dart around, indicating that she wants to avoid saying anything more.

Though I’m rattling around in my brain trying to come up with a response, I can’t find one. It sounds like she’s trying to tell me she knows something about Faith and I, but I can’t tell for sure, and I’m not ready to start talking about it myself so it’s fine with me. I can just pretend I didn’t understand what she was getting at, and we can avoid the whole embarrassing subject, for now at least.

“It’s hard for them all,” I say decisively, making it clear we won’t be doing the sharing thing about Faith right now.

“I guess,” Willow mumbles as she goes to her room and I make my way downstairs.

Lifting my hand up to my face, I rub at my forehead and wonder just what I’ve gotten myself into. I don’t know if I’m ready to deal with people wondering about my sexuality and who I choose to like. It’s not something I’ve had to deal with before. Sure, I’ve had the whole ‘dead boyfriend’ thing that gets people talking and wondering about my sanity, but I’ve never gone girl-on-girl and given everybody even more reason to wonder if I’m crazy. We didn’t all completely freak out about Willow when she came flying out of the closet, but they all expect me to be different. They don’t expect me to have wants or desires. I’m their little hero - as flawed as I am - so it’s hard for them to think that I might want something that’s just for me. And I definitely want Faith to be just for me.

It’s something I’m going to have to deal with if I give these thoughts and feelings about Faith the complete go-ahead. I’m guessing we could only keep it secret for so long before it starts becoming obvious what’s going on. Still, I think I’ll hang on to the secret for a little while longer. Maybe at least until after we beat the big bad and get clear of this pesky apocalypse.

The only problem is that Spike knows. As much as I’m wondering if Willow has an idea, at least she’s not sniffing Faith and working out that I just came on her. . .that would be gross and wrong. But Spike has been able to smell that, and he’s guessed even more. If I want to keep this secret I’m going to have to make it clear to him that what Faith did to him is nothing compared to what I can do to him if he opens his mouth and blabs.

I walk softly past the sleeping potentials and smile at the ones still reading or talking in the low lamplight, making my way towards the basement door. Nobody says anything to me, but I can feel their eyes on me as I creep through the lounge.

When I get to my destination I stand over Spike, looking down on him as he sleeps the sleep of the dead on the small bed. At least I think it’s the sleep of the dead. . .I mean, he is dead after all.

“Hey,” I say sharply.

He doesn’t move and I take the opportunity to glance over his heavily bruised face. Faith really did a number on him. His nose is broken badly and his eyes are all puffed up. That’ll take more than a day of vampire healing to clear up. While he’s still unconscious I take hold of his wrist and slap the shackles on him that are imbedded in the wall. The chain clanks against the frame of the bed and he wakes with a start.

“What the. . ?” Spike whines, pulling on his arm and realising he’s chained up again.

“You’ll stay that way until I know you can be trusted,” I inform him.

“What? Shouldn’t you be chaining up that bloody crazy slayer?” he exclaims through his swollen lips. “If you haven’t noticed, she’s the one who went psycho on me, not the other way around.”

He points to his mess of a face and I shake my head. “We both know why she did it, so don’t try to worm your way out of it. I’m not taking the risk of you looking for revenge.”

“Bloody hell, you’re both as crazy as each other. Well suited is what I say,” he moans. “She can have you. . .I’m not into driving myself nuts over women like you anymore.”

Spike continues to grumble and whine but I’ve tuned him out. All I hear is his jealousy, his crumpled hope that we could one day go back to how we were. I feel sorry for him. Not in the “I want to hold him and care for him” way, but in the pitying him way.

He’s just as pathetic as he was when he wrote poetry for his mother, never leaving her side, only ever wanting her love. No matter what he’s done as a vampire, killing and maiming, he’s still just a mommy’s boy who needs and craves female attention. He doesn’t know what to do with it when he gets it, however, so he’ll always be a simpering fool for what he believes is love. I don’t doubt he thinks he still loves me, but it has more to do with the fact he wants all my attention. His little attempt last night to put me off Faith was a schoolboy’s foot stomping act of desperation.

We’re over. More than over. . .but he can’t bear to lose so instead of trying to prove to me that he’s worthy, he tried his best to destroy something that could truly make me happy. It makes me sad. I always had hope for him. I thought he could fight with us and leave the past – our past – where it belongs: in the grave.

“I’ll say this once, Spike,” I tell him, getting him to focus on me. “If you want to live you’ll get in line. I don’t need you to help with this fight, but it would be good if you could. If you ever talk to me about Faith, say a word to anybody else, lay a finger on her or make me mad in any way. . .I’ll push you out into the street to be demon bait. Do you understand?”

Blue eyes try to cut their way inside me but he has no power over me anymore. He lost that when I realized just how disgusted with myself he made me feel.

He slips his tongue over a sharp fang but nods his head. I’m sure he can tell how serious I am. I’ll give him this chance to prove to me he’s not the lowlife I think he is right now, but after that. . .it’s game over. I’m done holding his hand. Done thinking I need him around. He’s just another vampire with a soul, messing with my head and brooding over me like a tragic little puppy. It’s not my fault they always think I’m their property and get all bent out of shape when I make it clear I’m not. Sometimes I wonder if vampires have their brains rewound when they’re turned, making them act like they’re thirteen year olds with crushes. . .and nasty teeth and the urge to slaughter and kill. Sounds a lot like a thirteen year old boy to me, I nod to myself.

I leave Spike to sulk as I make my way to bed, passing Giles on the way and informing him to keep Spike chained up for now. He nods and doesn’t ask about it, which I’m grateful for. I don’t want to deal with questions right now, not when I have all my own.

When I get back into my room I see that Faith is under the blanket, sprawled out on her back asleep, her tee shirt and shorts flung over the top of her bag. The TV is still on and the X-box controller is resting lightly in her hand. I quietly make my way towards her and turn off the TV, then take the controller. She whimpers cutely but doesn’t wake.

My eyes settle on her as she breathes gently, her face relaxed and beautiful. I don’t understand how she’s managed to get me so wound up in her already but there’s no way for me to get away from it now. I want to be with her. . .have something with her. I don’t know what, but something. More than friends. More than just her getting me off when I’m feeling the need.

Walking as silently as possible around the bed I strip out of my clothes down to my panties. I think about putting on a tee shirt but decide not to. I love the way Faith’s skin feels against mine, and I’m going to indulge in it just a little. It’s soft and warm and all kinds of sexy when I can feel her like that so I’m not going to deny it to - or for - myself now.

I crawl into bed, trying not to wake Faith as I settle beside her. Her arm is flung up over my pillow as if she’s waiting to curl it around me, so I snuggle up to her and rest my head on her shoulder. This is fairly new to me; I don’t normally go out of my way to snuggle. Post-sex snuggling isn’t so bad, I wouldn’t normally kick Riley off me when he wanted to do that, and with Spike it wasn’t an issue. Angel wanted to cuddle after the one-time sex, but that’s not the part of that experience I remember the most. The fact he woke up and started killing people is what stands out in my mind.

I want to be close to Faith, though. She smells so good and it feels so nice. So right.

Faith moans in her sleep and wraps her arms around me, pulling me a little more on top of her. She whispers my name and I watch as her eyelids flutter open.

“Hi,” I say quietly.

Her smile is the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen. Dimples making it cute and full lips making it sexy. It has me melting all over.

“Musta dozed off,” she says sleepily. “And I think I’ve got that concussion thing Giles was rambling on about ‘cause you’re all kinda naked, B.”

I chuckle and rest my head back down on her shoulder, feeling tiredness pull me down.

“You haven’t got a concussion, Faith,” I assure her.

“Score,” she says with a grin, her hands gliding over my back.

My skin tingles where she’s touching me and I instantly heat up. I’m not sure I’m ready to leap into the fray again just yet, however.

“I just wanted to feel you,” I tell her.

“Works for me, B,” she responds with a soft smile.

“I mean. . .can we just stay like this for a while? Without making with the confusing sex?” I ask, hoping she understands.

“Sure, Buffy,” she answers. “I’ll wait as long as you want; I know it’ll be worth it. Can’t say I’m not itching to get all wriggly with ya, but I can deal.”

“Thank you,” I tell her, rubbing my cheek against her shoulder. “It’s just. . .new for me. I’m still not sure I should even consider it, and I just think I need to take my time.”

“I hear ya,” she says, squeezing me to her a little. “You should definitely consider it though, B. I feel something for you and I know you feel it back. . .and I’m not talking about the slayer vibe thing. I felt it right off the bat. Can’t shake it now I’ve had a taste; I just want more.”

I smile as her voice gets all mumbly and sleepy. Her eyes are closed again and her breathing is levelling out as a quiet snore starts up. She’s asleep before I can answer and tell her that I’m willing to give it a go because I can’t shake it either.

Letting my weight rest on Faith just enough not to hurt her ribs I take a breath full of her scent and close my eyes. I fit perfectly into Faith, slotting in to all the right places. It sounds so clichéd, but it’s true. Her skin is warm and silky against my own, the simple pleasure of it making me sigh happily as I lightly kiss her neck and begin to drift off to sleep completely forgetting why I ever thought I needed to stop this from happening.

* * *

My eyes slowly slide open as I feel Faith moving around in the bed. It’s still dark and through the blur of sleep I can just make out that my clock says 4 o’clock in the morning. I must have changed position during the night because I’m on my stomach, facing away from Faith. My arm is thrown up over her chest still, but I’m not nearly as close as I’d like to be.

I get ready to move and turn towards her but a soft sigh stops me in my tracks. Faith’s breathing is kind of quivery and deep and at first I’m worried, until I hear a soft moan. I know right away what she’s doing and I’m stuck between feeling embarrassed and incredibly turned on. It’s probably her first visit to the hungry and horny place and I’d told her we couldn’t have sex; I certainly don’t blame her for needing to relieve the tension.

Slowly, I turn my head to face Faith and bite my lip as I let my gaze take in the sight of her trying to quietly get herself off. She’s stunning in the moonlight as it bounces off her, making her glow as she tries her best to keep still.

When I move my body round slowly, turning onto my side so I can face her fully, she stops moving altogether.

I say the first thing that comes into my head, whispering close to her ear, “Don’t stop.”

Her leg is hot against me as she lays with them spread open a little way, her arm disappearing under the covers that have been pushed down to her stomach. I can’t take my eyes off her and I really don’t want her to stop. She pauses, tongue wetting her lips as she decides if she should continue. Thankfully she gives in to her need and starts to move her fingers again, sighing almost silently.

I’m pressed close to her, drowning in her smell and the feel of her body gently moving against me. I’m too scared to take over what she’s started, but too turned on by her not to do something at least.

Reaching under the covers, letting my fingers drift down Faith’s arm I reach her hand. Faith groans and rocks her hips upwards. Keeping her panties as a barrier between my hand and hers, and my hand and her pussy, I spread my fingers out over Faith’s. I just want to feel what she’s doing. I need to feel the heat coming from her as she slicks her fingers over herself.

“Fuck, B,” she gasps quietly as she moves her fingers quickly over her clit.

I bury my nose into her neck and let my lips taste her skin, nuzzling against her as she starts to tremble. She’s close and I can feel myself dripping for her. Wanting her. I can’t push that far, though. Not yet.

“Let go, Faith,” I say quietly, tickling my lips over her ear, wanting to hear her reach her climax.

Faith’s body jerks as her breathing hitches, the sound of her fingers sliding wetly over her pussy making me sigh right along with her.

“God, I want you, B,” she moans, her fingers moving faster beneath mine as she starts to come.

“I know,” I say softly. “I want you too. . .and the next time you come it’ll be for me, with my tongue inside you.”

She moans deeply as she comes, her body lifting to her touch as I grasp her fingers with mine through her soaked panties. It’s the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen or felt. Her head is thrown back and eyes tight shut, breasts exposed and begging to be sucked and licked; each breath a sigh as she trembles to a standstill.

“Fuck,” she groans, settling back down.

All I can do is smile and look at her as she slips her hand from her panties and takes mine within it, her sticky fingers entwining with mine. I don’t pull back, enjoying the sensation of her wetness on my fingers. The texture of it and the scent of her come makes me want to lift her hand to my lips so I can taste her. It makes me feel brave. Maybe brave enough to really give her what she needs, but not quite. I’ll do that for her soon but right now I’m happy to bask in her afterglow and hold her hand.

I kiss her shoulder and flick my eyes up to see her soft smile.

“Didn’t mean to wake ya, B,” she says huskily, her breathing still a little ragged. “Couldn’t sleep and just felt way horny.”

“It’s ok,” I reassure her. “I’m glad I did wake up. And I’m guessing your little run in with Spike got you all worked up.”

My fingers squeeze Faith’s and she chuckles.

“You can say that again,” she admits. “You’re lucky I wasn’t humping your leg or something.”

I grin and slide my leg over Faith, pressing as close to her as possible. “We can try that tomorrow,” I say with a nod.

“Fuck yeah,” she responds, her grin lighting up the room. “I’m gonna hold you to that comment you made just before I came too. Was a wicked hot image, B. . .shoulda been there.”

“Oh, I was,” I assure, smiling coyly.

We both laugh, no weird tension between us to worry me or make me feel all guilty. I’m going to have Faith, there’s no doubt about it. I want her touching me again, and I so need to do it back. The thoughts running through my head need an outlet, no matter how wary I am of doing it wrong or just not being good enough. I’m guessing Faith makes it seem easier than it is, but it’s not like I’m a nun, I have had plenty of sex before. I know what to do to feel good, so I hope I can do that for Faith. I’ll certainly try my best when it comes to it. I want her shaking and moaning for my fingers. . .not her own.

I have to stop running scared.

Faith’s gentle little snore lets me know she’s fallen asleep again. I guess that means she’s not expecting anything more from me even though I’m awake and going as far as holding her hand when she comes. It makes me like her even more. She’s not demanding anything of me, and that makes me want to give her everything. I never would have guessed she was like this underneath all the rough edges and the crass comments. There’s much more to her than meets the eye and I like it all.

There’s a strange sensation inside me, crawling around in me. . .gripping at parts of me I thought were frozen in time. Faith has swept into my life and it feels fuller for it. It’s the only way I can explain it. I’m not sure what exactly it is I’m feeling for her, but like Faith said, it’s just there; unshakable.

Gripping tighter to Faith I allow myself to relax again and start the slide into sleep. She makes my bed a much nicer place to be. I think I can go as far to say she’s not only turned me kind of gay, but she’s also created a snuggle-monster. . .though it’s only her I want to hold on to. And also do lots of naughty things with.



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