A Short Distance Between Love And Hate

Chapter Two

Where the fuck? Where am I? I feel like shit.


I open my eyes cautiously, not sure if I’m actually dead or not. Have I been in a coma? Was it the same coma I was in before? Did any of that shit happen? My head hurts. . .hell, my fucking brain hurts.

Ok, that’s not a bad sign is it? Tara is sat by me. Sat right by my bed. Well at least that kind of lets me know I’m not just coming out of the whole “stabbed in the gut coma” 'cause I wouldn’t know who she was, right?

“Hey, Faith? It’s ok. Y-you’re in hospital,” she tells me.

That doesn’t sound ok, far from it.

What the fuck happened? I don’t remember getting that beat on.

“You’d hit your h-head again. There was blood and. . .and you collapsed,” Tara explains.

I must be turning into such a wimp.

“Buffy. Where is she? Is she. . ?” I stutter.

I’m panicking now. I’ve got to see her. I’ve got to know.

“She’s all right, Faith,” Tara tells me. “She lost a lot of blood and hasn’t woken up yet, b-but she’s tough. Look.”

She points over the top of me.

I follow her finger with my eyes and I see her. . .Buffy. She’s hooked up to stuff that's putting blood back into her and monitoring her. She’s scruffy as hell, dirty and bloodstained, and her face is all puffy from the bruising, but to me she’s the most beautiful sight in the world.

She’s safe, and right now that’s all I care about. Even if she still hates my guts. Even if she wants me to get the hell outta town, I’ll know she’s safe. At least for now.

As I try my best not to cry again - mostly at the thought that I still might lose her - I notice who’s sat by her bed holding her hand. Riley.

Fuck, that hurts. Hurts right in the centre of my chest, like someone’s ripping out my heart. Why do things have to be this way? It should be me holding her hand. It should be me she wakes up to.


I hear my name being called, and I’ve never heard it spoken so softly and with so much doubt before; so much fear almost.

It’s Buffy. Buffy is calling out to me. She’s waking up slowly, like she’s unsure of whether or not it’s a good idea. . .and it’s my name she’s whispering. My name.

Riley is standing over her, stroking her face and holding onto her hand, but it’s me she’s calling out to. But why? I have no fucking clue right now. I just hope it’s not out of fear that I might hurt her or something.

She’s looking around, trying to focus on her surroundings. It looks like she’s almost searching for something. Her eyes have found me and I’m caught in the proverbial headlights. I don’t know what to do, or say. None of us seems to know. We’re just frozen or something. Then she says it, and I know exactly what to do.

“Faith?” she says softly and pulls her hand from Riley’s, reaching out toward me with it.

Without hesitating I yank the needles and stuff out of my arms - ignoring the pain - and jump down from the bed. I move unsteadily towards her and take her hand. She grabs onto it, like without it she might fall or something even though she’s lying down. Riley is backing off a little way, but not too far I notice. Can’t blame him I guess, but right now I really want him to just fuck off.

“I’m here, B.”

What else can I say? I’m shaking like a leaf.

She closes her eyes again and drifts back to sleep. I turn a little and shrug at Tara. I’m totally at a loss for what to do. I mean, I just want to pull Buffy to me and hold on. I want to reach out and touch her, just to know she’s ok and that she’s safe, but I can’t; Riley is hovering over me, like I’m gonna leap on her at any minute and kill her or something. If that's what he thinks he's stupider than I though; I just saved her life.

I think Tara can tell what’s going through my mind 'cause she’s gesturing to Riley, suggesting they leave me and B alone for a while.

“No way am I leaving this psycho on her own with my girlfriend,” he says firmly.

Please don’t give me an excuse to fucking break your face, idiot.

And what is with the whole possessive “my girlfriend” shit? I mean, she’s hardly seen him the past two weeks. She obviously cares for him I guess, though; she's still his girlfriend.

“Riley, I-I don’t think we have to worry about that. She saved Buffy’s life remember?” Tara says.

“What’s going on?” Willow asks as she walks in. She sure has a sense of timing.

“Your girlfriend here thinks it’s a good idea to leave Buffy with the defective slayer,” Riley says with a sneer.

I gotta keep from getting mad; keep control.

“Riley, stop being such a jerk. If it’ll make you feel any better I’ll stay here with them,” Willow suggests.

Well at least that would be preferable to soldier boy standing over me.

Both the witches are kinda giving him the evil eye now, and if I were him I’d probably do as they say; you don’t want to piss off a couple of powerful witches. I know I wouldn’t want to, especially as I’m feeling like shit at the minute.

He gives me the filthiest look he can possibly muster, before tutting and pushing his way past Tara. I really like that guy. . .not.

I turn my attention back to B as Tara heads out of the door and Willow pulls up a chair for me to sit in. I’m grateful for that 'cause my legs are pretty shaky. Red sits over on the bed that I’d previously occupied.

* * *

“Thank you, Faith,” Willow says.


“What for?” I ask.

I’m confused, but Willow is looking serious. Not in a “I’m seriously gonna tell Buffy to kick your ass when she’s better” way, but in a good way - like she really means it.

“You were a huge help yesterday; saving Buffy, killing the big evil and things. So thanks,” she says again.

“You don’t have to thank me, Will. I’d do it again in a second for Buffy. Hell, for all of you. . .apart from maybe Riley,” I add with a grin.

Hey, I maybe on the way to redemption but I’m not crazy.

“Yeah well, I don’t blame you for that. Just between you and me, I don’t really like him all that much either,” she confesses.

I can’t help but laugh a little at that. Partly because it’s just not like Willow to dis somebody like that, and partly because it’s me she’s sharing it with. She must have caught the irony 'cause she’s laughing too.

“Hey, what’s so funny?” A small voice says.


She’s squeezing my hand and looking over at Willow.

She smiling, and damn she’s got such a beautiful smile. I’ve died and gone to heaven, right?

“Hey, Buffy. You had us worried,” Willow says.

I'm grateful she's talking 'cause I seem to have lost the power of speech.

Red’s standing next to the bed now on the opposite side to me so she’s not crowding me or anything. I’m actually beginning to like her, which makes me wonder how many times I got hit in the head.

Wait a minute, Buffy is fully conscious now and is not letting go of my hand. Yeah, I’m definitely dead, or dreaming, but who gives a fuck right now?

“What happened. . .to the. . .the demon?” Buffy asks quietly, sounding frail and still kinda scared.

Her smile’s gone now; obviously bad memories of what he did to her are coming back.

I squeeze her hand a little tighter and she looks over at me and the smile’s back just a little. She’s fucking smiling at me, right the fuck at me and I just know I’ve got a stupid goofy grin on my face now.

“Faith killed him. Sliced his head right off. It was cool - she was cool - you should have seen it,” Willow gushes.

Since when did she become my biggest fan?

“But. . .I thought you got me out of the cave? Or did I dream that?” Buffy asks as she looks at me all puzzled.

I stand opening and closing my mouth like a fucking fish, unable to answer her.

“She did both, Buffy,” Will tells her.

I think I’ll just go and get swallowed up by that big hole over there. Fuck, there isn’t one.

Why the hell am I feeling like this? Embarrassed almost. Maybe I just don’t want B to think I did it to just crawl my way back into her life. Like I did it to ease my guilt or something. Maybe I should just stop worrying about it so much right now. After all, she’s still got hold of my hand.

“Thank you, Faith,” Buffy says softly.

Right, I’m totally not used to all this thanking crap, not for me anyway. They never bothered before so why now? Especially considering all the shit that’s gone on between us all.

I let go of Buffy’s hand and look away. I underestimated the power of the emotions all this would bring up. I still feel like shit for doing all that stuff, and I feel like shit for believing I could get some kind of revenge. I had such bad thoughts about her, and here I am holding her hand and thinking everything can be ok. How can it after all that? How can I even have the audacity to crave her forgiveness? I’m such a fucking piece of crap.

“Hey, Faith?” Buffy says, trying to catch my eye. “Willow, can you leave us alone for a second?” she asks Willow.

“Sure,” Willow says with a nod.

Shit, she can't go and leave me here with her. What the fuck am I gonna say to her?

Buffy waits for the door to close before saying anything to me. I’m just looking at the floor, wondering what comes next.

“Faith? Look at me, please,” she says.

How can I resist that?

I look up into her eyes and I know she can see the shame in mine, 'cause I can feel it. I am ashamed.

“We’ve got a lot to talk about you and me,” she says. “Before we got to the hospital Willow told me you’d changed, and that she trusted you. They said they all pretty much trusted you. I. . .it’s going to take time, Faith, but I want to trust you too.”

“Buffy, I. . .” I stutter.

“Wait, let me finish. I don’t know how to feel about the things that happened - and what was said - in the lair. But if you have changed I want to give you a second chance, Faith. . .I missed you,” she says, practically whispering that last part, tears suddenly falling from her eyes.

I get up from my seat and take her hand again, and I’m crying too. I can’t believe she missed me. I can’t believe she wants to give me a second chance. I don’t deserve it, and I know for sure that I could never even hope to deserve her. I reach out my left hand and gently brush her tears away. I hate to see her cry, it cuts me up.

“Shh, please don’t cry, B. I missed you too,” I say, trying to soothe her.

She takes hold of the hand I wiped her tears away with, and she kisses me tenderly on my palm and smiles up at me. I think my heart is about to fucking explode.

Just my luck though. . .before I can say anything, Riley storms into the room. Buffy lets go of both my hands so quickly it’s like they were burning her or something. Great, just when I thought we could actually be reaching some kind of understanding.

From the look in her eyes when she had said she missed me, I thought maybe she just might be ready to deal with her feelings toward me - the feelings we so obviously have for each other. But I guess that’s wishful thinking, right? Nothing’s really gonna change as far as that’s concerned. I'm gonna have to be satisfied with her friendship alone, and it’s not even a given that I'm gonna get that. She’s not just going to forget everything, and neither am I.

I step back to allow Riley to claim her - which is practically what he’s doing. I get back onto my bed, fighting back the tears that threaten to give away the fact my tough-girl image isn't all that. I don’t want Riley smirking at me, rubbing it in that he’s the most important thing in her life. He’s back holding her hand and stroking her hair and I turn away from them, not wanting to see how much she cares for him.

I want to get out of here. I don’t want to be feeling this way again; lost and alone. It sent me over the edge last time, and I still need to deal with it. I have to accept that she’s never gonna want me the way I want her, and she’s never going to love me. I’m not worth her love.

Thank God, Tara and Red come back in. They’re both looking at me with pity in their eyes. Yeah, I’m a fucking hopeless case. I hate people feeling sorry for me, but hell, I’d feel sorry for me too if I were them - knowing that I’m so much in love with Buffy.

“I’m ready to leave,” I say through gritted teeth.

Tara just nods at me; she can see my pain. I think even Willow can, but right now I don’t fucking care. They’re the closest things I have to allies right now 'cause they know how I feel, so I can deal. Willow hands me my clothes and pulls the curtain round the bed, screening me from the happy fucking couple.

My hands are shaking. Why are my hands shaking?

“I need help with these,” I say quietly, looking everywhere but in the two girls' eyes.

I don’t want to see their pity any more 'cause it’s just going to make me crack at the seams.

“Willow, why d-don’t you go and phone a cab? I’ll help F-Faith,” Tara says, coming to my rescue again.

She helps me out of the hospital issue gown and into my clothes. They’re pretty messed up with blood and shit but I just want to get the hell out of there. Not to get away from B, but to get away from being pushed out again by her. She won’t even know she’s doing it, but I’ll feel it.

Every time she smiles at him, every time she lets him touch her, I’ll feel it; my heart breaking a little bit more. Why did I think I could do this? I should have left Sunnydale when I had the chance. Maybe I’ll do just that.

* * *

I left the hospital as quickly as possible. I didn’t wait around for the doctors to try to convince me to stay 'cause I’d be five by five in the morning anyway. Buffy didn’t really say much to me before I went, she just told me that we would talk soon. Yeah right, whenever she can pull herself away from Riley I guess.

Tara and Red helped me into the cab and took me to my apartment. They decided I couldn’t stay there, though. Apparently it wasn’t fit to live in with there being no hot water, electricity or food and stuff. Hey, I survived there for three weeks like that, straight out of a fucking coma, but Willow had her resolve face on and I was just too tired to fight.

So now I’m lying in Giles’ spare bed again. Tara and Red convinced him to offer me a place to stay for a while, until I get back on my feet. I don’t think I’ve ever been on my feet, but what the heck. He was pretty grateful for everything that went down with the demon and all so I think he’s willing to give me another shot at things. I just hope I’m willing to make a go of it too.

I had a long talk with Red. We cleared the air a little between us. I apologised for freaking her out and doing what I did. I tried to explain why it all happened, but I’m not really sure why the fuck it did all happen so it was hard to get out. I think she understood about as much as me. At least I know I’m well on my way to patching things up between us, and Tara kind of already accepts me, which is helping me out with Willow.

I’ve been pretty steamed up about the whole Riley thing, but there’s nothing I can do. If Buffy loves him I have to accept that and get on with things. I can’t afford to let it push me over the edge again; I doubt I’d get away with it a second time. I barely got away with it before. Guess I’m going to have to take one day at a time. Maybe if I throw myself into my training and the slaying I’ll be able to keep my mind off her. I don’t want to do what I did last time and screw as many people as I could just to get her out of my head. It never worked anyway. . .it was always her I thought of.

Yep, I maybe getting myself on the right path but I’m still fucked up, and there’s not much I can do about it, or about her not accepting her feelings for me. It’s not like I haven’t tried to get over it too, because I have, but it must be something to do with the whole slayer gig 'cause what I feel for her just wont go away. We’re the chosen two and we’re meant to be together. I’m sure of it. What the fuck can I do though if she doesn’t see it that way?

Tara said I should give her time after I told her about what happened in the cave. I’m certain Buffy kissed me back when I was trying to stop her crying out. It was so fucking sweet, and I’ll never forget it. Even if she didn’t realise what was going on, it felt like I could have just died right there. Her lips were so soft.

Fuck, I'm supposed to be getting her out of my head. Fat chance of that though huh?

I just know I’m gonna dream about it. . .

Jesus, what time is it? And who the fuck is making that noise? Oh, it’s the alarm clock. Screw that, it’s only seven o’clock. Why had I agreed to stay at Giles’? I must be crazier than I thought. Should have remembered he gets up at the crack of dawn. I promised him I’d go with him to the magic shop today if I feel up to it. I think he just wants to keep an eye on me. You know, check that I’m eating right and stuff.

I’m actually pretty grateful 'cause I haven’t been eating right, and I think that’s one of the reasons I’m not up to full strength. It takes a lot to feed a slayer after all, and I eat twice the amount B does.

I’d better get up and get a shower. I’ve got some new jeans and a tank top to wear thanks to Tara. I’ll have to wash the rest of my stuff later I guess.

I make my way into the kitchen, hunting for breakfast.

“Hey, G.”

He’s sat at the table reading the morning newspaper and warming his hands round a cup.

“There’s more coffee if you want one, Faith. Did you sleep well?”

Man, this is strange. If I concentrate it’s like none of the shit I did happened. I suppose living on a hellmouth broadens your mind and forces you to just get on with things though, or something like that.

“I could have done with a couple more hours, but yeah, I slept ok. Anything to eat?” My growling stomach has popped up to say hello.

“There’s cereal in the cupboard. Things in the fridge and whatnot,” he says.


I busy myself getting cereal and milk.

“Are you up to coming with me today? We could work out your training schedule.”

So he wants me to jump straight back into things huh. I can live with that. I’m not too sure Buffy will be all that pleased, though.

“What about B? I mean, I don’t think she’s gonna want to be slaying or training with me any time soon,” I say.

Not to mention actually treating me like a fucking equal or anything. Oops, slipping back into dark-slayer mode again; gotta watch out for that.

“Don’t worry about Buffy for the minute. Besides, she wont be up and around properly for at least a week or so, and we do need a slayer out on patrol,” He says, looking at me all business like now.

“No problem,” I tell him, trying to speak round my breakfast. “So, does this mean you trust me?”

“I trusted you with Buffy’s life, didn’t I? I know you are on the right path now, Faith, and I’m going to see to it that you stay on it. I do feel partly responsible for things going awry with you. I should have been there for you and I wasn’t. I’m sorry for that,” he tells me, looking guilty.

Woah, back up there. Giles is apologising to me. Am I on an excursion to the twilight zone or something? I like this a whole lot better than just being there to brighten up the scenery.

“Thanks, Giles. I won’t let you down again.”

“You’d better not. Now hurry up, I want to be there by eight.”

Yes, sir!

God, I’m a sarcastic little fucker. Got to keep in his good books, though; Buffy is more likely to be convinced that I’ve changed for the better if her watcher is on my side.

* * *

We get to the shop just after eight. Well, is it my fault I still had the munchies and we had to stop for provisions? Of course not. I’ve got to build my strength up anyhow.

I wasn’t expecting Xander to be here, but he is. He’s not throwing death stares at me or anything but there’s obvious tension between us. I’m gonna have to resolve it at some point I guess. For now I’ve been given the thankless task of filling shelves with books. Funny kind of training this. Maybe it’s a whole new karate kid thing. Book in, book out, instead of wax on, wax off.

Giles has gone to the hospital to check on B. He asked if I wanted to go with him, but I thought that would be a bad idea. If Riley’s there then things would just get awkward. Plus, I’m still not totally sure she’d want to see me just yet.

I know it was me she was calling for when she woke up and stuff, but maybe that was just the whole slayer connection deal. Even if there was more to it I’m still fairly sure she’s just gonna fucking ignore it again; ignore me and the possibility of there being something between us.

Fuck, I’ve got to get my mind on something else. I don’t want to think right now, it’s getting me all worked up.

“Hey, Xan man. Wanna help me lose some energy?”

“W-what? I. . .um. . .” he stutters.

“I could do with a work out. Where does Giles keep the sparring gloves?” I ask.

“Sparring? Oh, yeah right. I thought you. . .right,” he says, blushing.

He didn’t think I was asking him to screw me again did he? Fuck, I’ve got to watch what I say.

“I don’t mind if you don’t wanna help, big guy. Just thought you looked bored there.”

“No, it’s ok. I’ll help ya,” he tells me with kind of a worried smile on his face.

Seems like he wants to get along with me again, but there’s some part of him that’s just screaming for him to stay away. I totally get why.

He shows me where the training stuff is kept, and I get out the pads and gloves. Hell, this is probably about the best way to get my apology over to the guy. When I start to get all sweaty and out of breath he’s gonna be so distracted he’d except pretty much anything I say. I know I’m suppose to be a ‘good girl’ now, but there are some things you just can’t change about a person, and I’m always gonna know how to use my sex appeal in my favour. What a fucking shame it didn’t get through to B. Or - to be more accurate - what a shame she never had the guts to show me it did.

I get down to some training, throwing punches at the pads Xander’s holding. I’m going pretty easy on him 'cause it wouldn’t look too good if I was to bust him up. My weakened state, along with trying to hold back has got me fairly hot now. I took off my jeans and stuff in favour of a pair of shorts and a small tee shirt, and now Xander looks like he’s getting almost as hot as I am. Poor guy. Fuck, he’d probably explode if I were to tell him about how much I wanted hot sex with cute little Buffy right now.

I slow it down a bit to get my breath back.

“You ok there, Xander?”

“Yep, I’m fine. Just, you know, keep going ‘till you need to stop, or whatever.”

Ok, he’s pretty lost in thoughts of me being all sweaty and shit.I can’t believe I actually slept with this guy, but then. . .at the time it could have been anyone and I’d have done the same.

“Ya know, I never really thanked you for helping me out that one time,” I say. “I appreciated it.” He’s listening now. “I just want to say sorry too, for making you feel bad and then all the shit that happened after. I never meant for it to go that far. I’m sorry.”

He puts his hands down and looks at me kind of puzzled, like he’s questioning something in his head - deciding if it would be right to accept any kind of apology from me I guess.

“I. . .ok, I can do this,” he mumbles to himself. “We’re in no way in 100% friendly and fine mode, Faith, but I accept your apology.”

I smile.

“I appreciate that, Xander, more than you’ll know. I always thought we could get on, you know. I thought you were pretty cool, so thanks,” I say.

“Does that mean I get to sleep with you again?” he asks.

He’s got some kind of silly schoolboy grin on his face now, and I can’t help but laugh. Thankfully he seems to see the funny side too 'cause he’s cracking up with me.

“Sorry, X, but I think once was enough for both of us,” I tell him.

“You’re probably right. I mean, I don’t think I could take it again without passing out from the excitement or something.”

We’re both laughing hard now 'cause we both know that to be true.

“Um, excuse me but aren’t you two supposed to be working?” Giles says from the doorway.

“Hey, G. Sorry ‘bout that.” I remove the gloves and give Xander a playful slap on the back. “Come on, goof ball, stop trying to get out of work,” I say with a grin.

“Hey, I resemble that remark,” Xander says.

Ya know, I think me and Xander are gonna be just fine. In fact I think things between me and the scoobs are looking promising. Shame I can’t say that about me and Buffy.

* * *

I spent the rest of the day helping out Giles. We took time out to make up a training plan for me, and made arrangements to go out on patrol later. Giles was insistent on going with me. Not because he doesn’t trust me, but because he doesn’t think I’m up to slaying on my own quite yet.

I have to agree - as much as it pisses me off - I’m still not up to full slayer capacity, so whatever he says goes right now. I’m kind of tired fighting for control all the time anyhow. I think in his “something up his ass” way he’s kinda looking out for me too; making sure I don’t get killed. Maybe he’s just not hot on the prospect of yet another slayer turning up at his doorstep.

Things are easier than I thought they could be. I mean, I don’t think I’m gonna be on any ones Christmas list or anything, but it’s not so bad. I’m trying my best to get along. I want B to know I’m on track now. I want her to see that I ain’t gonna screw up like that again.

It’s been a couple of days now and I’ve been training and slaying, and I’m finally getting back in the game. The scooby’s pet vampire Spike has been helping me out on patrols, not that I really need it now. And to be truthful, I’m not so keen on having one of the fang gang as my personal bodyguard. I make sure I keep one eye on him at all times, which doesn’t make my job any easier. But hell, I gotta go along with what Giles thinks is best right?

I haven’t seen Buffy yet. The rest of the gang are keeping me up to date with her progress, but I just can’t seem to get myself together and go see her. She’s doing ok on the health front. Slayer healing and all, she should be outta hospital soon. I hear Riley has been doing the doting boyfriend routine and never leaving her side. No wonder I don’t wanna go see her. Not with him there, leering at me.

Will told me B’s been asking about me, making sure I’m doing all right. She told Red she wants to see me as soon as she’s outta hospital. Guess I’m just going to have to pluck up the courage to go and face her then.

I’ve gone over what I want to say to her, again and again, but each time I think of how I’m gonna tell her how sorry I am and try to make things right, it just never seems adequate enough. I can’t just make up for everything with a couple of words. I know that, and I’m pretty sure that’s how she’ll see things. I guess when the time comes I’ll do my best to make her see that I’m not the same person now. I’ve grown, taken responsibility for all the bad shit I did. I'm not running scared any more. I still need to get the idea of me and B being anything other than friends out of my head, though.

It’ll be hard; it was the first time. . .which accounts for a lot of the whole fucking my life up deal. But like I said, I’ve grown from that, ain’t gonna make the same mistake twice. Even I’m not that dumb.

* * *

Buffy’s been in hospital a week now and has finally been allowed home. They were just keeping her in to do some wicked intrusive tests on her, trying to work out how the fuck she’s healing so fast. Giles has finally got their hands off her though, made sure they stopped with all their questions and took her home to her mom.

Willow rang me to let me know Buffy wants to see me. So of course, I’m standing outside her front door, shitting myself. I’m not ready for this, but then, will I ever think that I am? I just don’t know, but I guess I gotta bite the bullet; hear what she has to say to me and stuff.

After spending God knows how long shuffling around outside, I finally lift my arm to knock on the door. Feels like I’ve got weights on my wrists or something. This is harder than facing vamps and demons. Just one little cute assed slayer and I’m trembling. Fuck.

The door opens slowly and she peers round it. I can’t help but look down at my boots 'cause I sure as hell don’t think I deserve to look into those sweet eyes of hers. Even after what I did to help her out an all, I’m so fucking ashamed of everything I’ve done and thought.

Buffy opens the door wider and reaches out a hand to me. Jesus, why the fuck do I have to be in love with her? I can’t do this.

“Faith,” she says, and she sounds so hopeful.

Nope, I’m sure I can’t do this.

I let my dark eyes snag on hers for a second, before turning to leave.

“I’m sorry, B. I have to go,” I mumble.

I get ready to run – again - but she calls out to me.

“Faith, don’t run now, you’ve come so far,” she says and I stop in my tracks.

Yeah, she’s right, I have come far I guess - but it’ll never be far enough for me.

“We need to talk, Faith. Please, I don’t want to lose you again. I thought. . .after the way you were with me in the demon’s lair, you were ready to do this. To let us move on.”

I’m stunned. I wasn’t expecting her to really give a damn - not like this. She said she didn’t want to lose me again. I have to grow a pair here and get this done.

Buffy steps aside to allow me into her house and I hesitate for a second, wanting to kick myself in the head repeatedly. I can’t let this opportunity slip me by. I step past B and wait in the hall as she closes the door. I don’t know what to do with my hands. Jesus, I don’t know what to do with any of me so I just stand there.

And then she just stands there, looking at me, and I can’t tell what she’s thinking.

And shit if she doesn’t take me way by surprise, as she pulls me into a hug. A fucking hug.

I’m being hugged by Buffy Summers. What universe have I landed in 'cause I must have been abducted by little green guys or something; she’s supposed to hate me still. At least until I’ve told her how sorry I am, and how much I’m gonna make it all up to her. I know she told me she missed me, but. . .well, I didn’t really know whether or not to believe that.

She’s pulling away now 'cause I haven’t responded. I want to, with everything that I am - good and bad - but I just can’t. I’m not good enough for her. I don’t deserve her forgiveness, if she gives it to me. I don’t deserve her friendship, if that’s what she wants. And I certainly don’t deserve anything else from her.

Well, gotta say it. . .I’m still pretty fucked up. Still don’t know what the hell is going on in my head. One minute I want her to be with me, the next I’m sure she should stay the hell away. Gotta hand it to me, I really know how to give myself a headache.

Buffy is looking deep into my eyes. Looking for clues on what I’m thinking I guess. I don’t want her to see how much I care for her, and how much I love her, even if I did give some of it away when I kissed her. I just hope she doesn’t recall that too well. Don’t really feel like explaining that with all the rest of it. I look away and I think she must realise we need to sit down and get all this out of the way. After all, that’s what she said in the hospital. We have to talk. As much as I know dragging things up is gonna hurt, we have to do this - like family therapy for slayers or something.

She gestures towards the living room and I get the hint. I go and sit on the couch and I can’t help feeling nervous here. I must look it too; running my hand through my hair constantly and fidgeting. Way to look cool.

She walks towards me and I’m captivated by her, just as I always was. She’s just so damn cute, beautiful, hot. . .ok, gotta get my mind out of the fucking gutter.

“Don’t look so worried,” she says.

Guess I wasn't hiding that one too well.

She sits on the couch next to me and I take a breath. It’s about time I get down to it; apologising, asking for forgiveness, doing everything but crawling on my knees for her to say I can at least leave it all behind me and move on.

I hate how weak I feel right now. Sorry was never a word I thought much about before; I was always a big believer in no regrets, and I did what I wanted, screwed who I wanted. . .in every way you can. But then Buffy came along, and now I have guilt, sorrow, regret, the whole deal. It fucking stinks, but I know right now she’s worth it.

Before I can even attempt to put things right though, B starts first.

“Willow’s told me how much you helped out with the demon. Again, I just want to say thank you,” she says. “I know you didn’t have to do that; save me I mean. . .after what I did to you.”

She’s looking down at her small hands.

I so just want to tell her that I had no choice but to help her. I couldn’t leave someone I love - the only person I’ve ever loved - to rot in some fucking cave somewhere. She doesn't give me the chance to say anything, though.

“Faith, I. . .don’t know where to start,” she says quietly. At least we’re on the same page here then. “We both messed up I guess.”

Fuck, Buffy is telling me how she messed up? That’s not right. As much as I know she could have been more tactful with me way back when, I don’t want to hear it just now; not when I’m firmly in feeling like I'm the bitch.

“Wait, B. I need to tell you how sorry I am before you start saying stuff that’s gonna get me off track.”

I give her a serious look, and I think she understands how much I have to do this. How much I need to at least try to explain - leaving out the fact that I was in love with her, which isn’t gonna be easy.

I tell her that I’m sorry for screwing up. That I felt lost, out of control, and that I never for one second wanted to go that far. I think she gets that at the time all the attention the Mayor gave me was something I needed, and something I got totally wrapped up in. He kinda treated me like his kid, and I wanted to keep him happy - probably because I’d never had that before. Nobody had ever really cared for me.

But looking back - even as soon as the dream I shared with her - I realised as much as he seemed to care for me, he was wrong. He was evil and had to be stopped. I try to get her to see that I truly am sorry for it all, especially for what I did to Angel.

I have tears in my eyes now. I didn’t want to cry, because I don’t want her to forgive me out of sympathy; I just want her to understand.

“Every time I wanted to stop I just seemed to get pulled deeper in. You were getting further away from me, and I knew you’d never wanna have anything to do with me again,” I say shakily. “So I just lost myself to the darkness. It was easier. . .easier than. . .”

I stop myself. Jesus, I nearly spilled the fact that I loved her. This redemption shit is fucked. . .like it’s taking away my control.

But isn’t that what I’m gonna have to do? Give it up a little to get it back or something. I swipe at my eyes, hating the fact that I’m crying. But then I notice, through my tears that B is crying too. What the fuck?

She doesn’t waste the opportunity of the silence. “Easier than what, Faith?” she asks.

She’s gazing up at me with those big beautiful eyes and I know I have no choice. . .

I can’t tell her. It would mess her life up because I know she once felt something for me too. I don’t wanna throw a spanner in the works, fuck up her relationship, fuck up her safe little life at college. I don’t want her to risk anything. . .not for me.

“Easier. . .than dealing with what I’d done,” I lie.

I look away, trying to hide the fact that what I wanted to say was it was easier than the pain of loving someone I could never have.

* * *

She seemed to accept everything I said, just nodding as we both sat facing each other; a few tears coming from both of us. I finished apologising. I really couldn’t find anything else to say. It was out there now, just waiting for B to decide what to do with it.

She took my hand. She held it and I did everything I could not to jump away. Fuck, it was like she was taking hold of my heart or something. I braced myself for whatever she was gonna say or do next. What she did freaked the hell out of me. . .I mean, really, totally and completely.

Buffy leaned towards me slowly and kissed me - so softly it took my breath away.

I’m sat here with my heart in her hand and she’s kissing me. Her lips are so soft, and I’m trying not to over react; just letting her be the one in control 'cause I don’t want her to stop. I never want her to stop.

She lifts her other hand to my cheek and deepens the kiss. I react on instinct, tasting her hungrily now. My hands move to her hair and I sink them into its silky softness, pulling her towards me; she doesn't resist and she’s kissing me back with just as much feeling.

I can’t help but flick my tongue over her soft lips. It wants in her mouth, to taste even more of her, to draw her into me. She lets me in and our tongues are dancing round each other. She tastes like heaven in my mouth. Fuck, this is so hot, but it’s more than that. . .it's intimate in more than just a physical way. I have no idea what’s going on, what she wants, what she feels. I’m just lost in her.

I regain my senses after a little while, knowing I have to stop this 'cause it’s just too confusing. I pull away and her eyes are almost pleading with me not to stop kissing her, but I have to know what she feels about everything. Preferably before my heart explodes.

“B, what. . ?”

She hushes me with a finger on my mouth, and it seems she likes my lips 'cause she doesn’t remove it straight away. She lightly caresses them with her fingertips before eventually realising what it is she’s doing and having the courtesy to look a little embarrassed about it. I just smile at her. It’s all I can think to do until she makes with the conversation again. Am I totally confused? Yep.

“I’m sorry, Faith. I just had to do that,” she says, her voice soft and breathy. “I remember you kissing me in the cave and I wanted to do it again. . .only without all the pain and stuff.” She chuckles at that and looks down at our entwined hands. “I want to tell you how sorry I am about everything too.”

I allow her to shed some of her obvious guilt. I know too well what it’s like to hold it all inside. It can destroy you.

She tells me that she was wrong to just leave me to deal with killing Finch. That she wanted to understand me and be there for me, but she was going through so much with Angel. She was confused and a little lost herself, especially when I backed away from her.

Buffy tells me she had felt like we could be close. That we were good together, even if in the beginning we clashed style wise. I listen to her basically pour her heart out about how I made her feel less lonely. About how she knew her days with Angel were over, no matter how much she tried to hold on to the familiar. How she cared for me, and how much it hurt to fight against me - to stab me.

She’s crying freely now and I just feel a crap load guiltier. I messed her up bad. Even though I didn’t know how much she cared back then because she did so much to hide it, I feel sick to think of how much it must have hurt when I betrayed her. I’m scum. Fucking grade A scum.

And I can’t believe how close she just came to actually admitting she once loved me or something.

She looks so sad right now. Like the way she looked when I was following her around, when I first got out of the coma. I hated seeing her like that then - even if I did try to deny it to myself - and I hate it now.

She should have a smile on her face because she always looks so beautiful when she smiles; it lights up her eyes. Hell, it lights up the whole fucking room when she smiles. Her smile changes me. She changes me and always has. Hopefully this time it’ll be for the better, if I can stop myself running away from it.

I do the only thing I think I can do right now to stop her looking so sad and apologetic. I take a chance and lean in to kiss her. She smiles a little before closing the rest of the distance - allowing our lips to touch again - and we kiss slowly for a while, kinda sinking into each other. We feed off each other and heal the wounds we’ve caused in the past.

I don’t want to think about where this could be going, or if this is really the best thing for either of us to be doing; there’s just so much shit behind us. But then maybe that’s just the thing - it’s behind us, and now we can both move on. And right now - kissing Buffy and tangling my hands in her hair as she grips on to me so tightly - I feel saved. I’m pretty sure she feels it too.

We eventually break apart, but our eyes seem to be fixed into each other; looking deeper than anyone would do to just a friend or acquaintance. And now I can see it; now I’m as sure as I ever will be without her actually saying it. She loves me. I don’t know if I can say she’s ‘in love' with me, but there’s a shit load of emotion in her eyes and she’s directing it straight at me.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so full, so overwhelmed, happy, scared. . .and unworthy. But I can’t say anything, not yet. I can’t take that risk. I’m pretty sure if I can see all that in her eyes, Buffy’s going to see it in mine too. She’s gonna know I love her. I’m glad she doesn’t say anything, though; words just wouldn’t do the moment justice some how.

We just fall into a hug, leaning back onto the couch. B’s got her arms tight around me and her head on my shoulder. I’m resting my cheek on her forehead and attempting to keep my breathing under control. She’s pretty much nestled into me as I hold her close, gently stroking her back, avoiding the injured shoulder which is still strapped and causing her a little pain. It feels so nice. I don’t think I could ever have imagined we could be like this with each other; not even before things got all messed up. In fact, this is a whole new thing for me 'cause I’ve never been one for hugging and shit. I liked to fuck, to get off and get gone but this. . .this is beautiful.

We’ve been sat like this for about ten minutes or so now and it’s strange that I don’t wanna get up and do something like I normally would. I usually can’t stand sitting around in one spot for too long, but I don’t wanna go anywhere right now 'cause Buffy's fallen asleep.

I’ve got Buffy all snuggled up against me, fast asleep and looking so damn cute. The size of my smile must be breaking records right now. I’m falling all over again; harder this time. I can feel it in my chest, like my heart is trying to break out and land in her lap. It kinda hurts, maybe 'cause I’m trying so hard not to feel it, not to admit that I’m doing it again and laying myself open - at her mercy. But I am doing it, and just like last time I can’t stop it.

* * *

I let her sleep in my arms for a while. Well, it’s not like I have anywhere to be right now, and even if I did I wouldn’t be moving an inch. I’m just listening to her breathing. Watching her as the light begins to fade around us.

I don’t know how long it’s been, but it must be more than an hour 'cause I’m starting to get cramp. I need to move my legs but I don’t want to - at least not unless it’s to wrap them around her. Shit. . .can you blame me for getting a little horny? She’s been tucked into me for over an hour, resting her head on the top of my chest; all I can feel is her and all I can smell is her. It’s bound to get me a little worked up. I’ve wanted Buffy for a wicked long time.

I wonder when Joyce is due home. I doubt she’d be too happy to find me with Buffy wrapped around me. I should wake her up. I should carry her to bed and leave. I should get the hell out of town before she realises she doesn’t need me messing with her life again. Or maybe I should shut the fuck up before I seriously do myself some brain damage.

What the fuck is wrong with me? She was kissing me. She was really into it; moaning into my mouth and touching my hair and neck so softly. She told me how much she missed me. How much she had cared for me. She’s giving me my opportunity, so why am I so scared to take it?

I need to wake her.

“B?” I say quietly.

I stroke her cheek with my thumb, shifting myself to cautiously kiss her sweet mouth 'cause I just can’t resist.

She responds right away so I move my mouth slowly with hers, but we’re hardly kissing at all 'cause I don’t want her to freak out on me or anything. Our lips are barely touching but it’s still heating me up, inside and out. I move from her lips and trail soft kisses along her jaw.


Jesus. . .the way she said my name; all breath and not much sound. It felt like a feather landing on my heart. Damn, this love thing sure makes you think weird shit.

I lightly kiss one of her ears, sucking gently on her earlobe before I know I have to break the spell and wake her fully.

“Wake up, baby,” I whisper in her ear, feeling her tremble.

She not only trembled, she let out a little sigh too. I hope that means she kinda likes me whispering in her ear. That’s what it means right?

She opens those green eyes that I love and smiles at me. Her cute little nose is inches in front of me and I can’t resist the urge to kiss it. That just makes her smile even wider.

“Hey,” I say, unable to think of anything better.


Seems like Buffy’s finding it hard to find the words too.

She kinda looks around her, probably realising how much darker it is now. Then she notices how close she is to me. Damn, I don’t think she could’ve gotten any closer. Well, not with her clothes on anyway.

“I didn’t mean to fall asleep, I'm sorry,” she says shyly.

I’m really glad she isn’t moving away from me 'cause that tells me a lot - like my legs are seriously about to drop off from lack of use for one thing. Not that I give a shit right now.

“It’s ok, I was enjoying it,” I say and get a soft kiss for it.

Buffy moves from my side and I instantly miss her. Man, this is going to be tough if I’m getting the wrong idea. It’s going to be tough if I’m not 'cause I still don’t think I deserve her, or this.

She stands up and stretches, attempting not to cause more pain to her shoulder. I just watch her slim little bod. . .almost drooling on myself. I can’t help it, even if she is giving me a funny lopsided grin. She looks all shy and bashful now, and fuck that’s the sweetest thing.

“Shit, B, you’re so. . .” I lose my nerve. Or maybe I gain some sense.

“What?” she asks softly. “Please, finish what you were going to say. I don’t want us to fall back into hiding how we feel, or what we think.”

She’s right I guess.

“I was gonna say you’re so damn cute, but I think I’ll change that to. . .” I look over her small body and stand to face her. I take both her hands in mine, hoping she won’t think I’m some kind of lunatic or something, “you're so damn beautiful.”

She smiles shyly before we lean towards each other and kiss again. This time it’s definitely less modest, and I’m really getting to like her lips - right on mine. And her tongue, hell. . .it's fast becoming great friends with my tongue. We both moan into each other at practically the same time.

I’m so trying to fight this feeling and control myself, but this is. . .this is fucking heaven.

It's weird, scary as hell, totally crazy. . .but heaven all the same.

* * *

I realise after a short while that Buffy seems to be leaning into me; putting more weight on me as we kiss. I lean back, pulling myself away from those delicious lips to look at her. She looks pale and tired.

“You ok, B?”

“I’m still just a little weak,” she says

I stroke her cheek and she leans into my touch. I’ve never been the kind of person to be all touchy feely so I don’t know what’s got into me. Yeah I do. . .one little letter. Work it out.

“When’s your mom getting home?” I ask.

I don’t want to go just yet, but I don’t want to be here for the fireworks that'll happen if she catches me here. Plus, I think Buffy should go and rest some more, or eat something, or. . .fuck, I don’t know I ain’t a doctor.

“She isn’t. Mom’s away for the night at some gallery thing. Willow will be coming around soon, though. She’s going to stay the night with me.”

Lucky fucking Willow.

I look at her like I don’t know what to do or say now, which I don’t on both counts. I should leave. Maybe when Will gets here 'cause then at least I know Buffy won’t be alone. Ya know. . .in case she starts to feel ill or something.

“But I was just thinking. . .if you want to I’d like you to stay,” Buffy says shyly.

Huh? Excuse me? She’s looking down at the floor, looking worried that she said the wrong thing.

Why the hell should she be worried? Someone give her a clue that I’m head over heels in love with her. I’ll stay. I’ll die for her. . .anything.

Whoa! Being a little over dramatic there, but I’ve got it bad and I don’t want to screw us up any more. And by us I mean ‘the chosen two’. Not us as in being together with all the down n dirty stuff.

“Sure, I’ll stick around with you and Red if ya want,” I tell her.

“Well, I kinda hoped it would be just you and me,” she says with a little blush.

What is she getting at here? I hope it isn’t what I think - what with all the kissing - 'cause I really don’t think I’m ready for that. To be honest I really doubt she knows what she’s getting into.

But if I say no she’ll think I don’t give a shit that she’s actually taking a chance here. I guess it would mean she trusts me, to some extent. And fuck, she took one hell of a huge chance when she kissed me. She mustn’t be feeling quite so straight any more I guess, or maybe she’s just as fucked up as I am.

“Yeah, I’ll stay with you,” I tell her.

I can’t help but feel apprehensive. Probably a guilt thing going on.

“Well don’t sound so enthusiastic, Faith,” she says, looking down. “You don’t have to if you don’t want to. I just thought. . .never mind.”

Shit, I'm screwing this up. Gotta pull it together.

“I’m sorry, B. It’s just. . .this is a little weird. Last time we spent any time together we were trying to kill each other. You were putting me in a coma, and now you’re all over me. What changed?”

I just know I’m blowing it but we have to deal with things before. . .well, before getting all smoochy again. Which would be really nice, and I have no idea why I’m trying to discourage it. Guess I’m still crazy.

“You’ve changed, Faith, and so have I. I’ve been doing nothing but think of you for eight months, hoping you would have the courage to wake up. With Angel out of the way I was finally able to see things clearly. I was scared before. . .of you. Of the way you made me feel. But I don’t want to be scared any more, Faith. I want you. I want us,” she says, looking right into my eyes.

Well damn, that was a speech and a half and I don’t think most of it registered.

I’m just stood with my mouth gaping open. What the fuck do I say now? Lets get down to it, girlfriend? I’ll forget I was an evil murderer, and you can forget you’re straight and have a boyfriend and we can have ourselves some wicked fun together?

“Faith, say something.”

I thought I just had.

“Look, B. I’m just really confused about all this. I mean, I know I want you, I always have. I can’t stop thinking about you, but. . .hey, are you ok?” I ask as she stumbles towards me and I catch her.

She doesn’t look too good.

“I think I need to lie down,” she says heavily.

Talking can wait I guess. I put my arm around her and help her to the stairs, but no way are we getting up them like this.

“Relax, B.” I lift her up, cradling her in my arms, and she isn’t resisting. Stubborn little B is just letting me carry her. Yeah, she has changed.

We get to her bedroom and I lay her down on the bed. This would be really nice in other circumstances - carrying Buffy to her bed. Fuck, it’s almost romantic or some shit like that. Not that I’ve ever done romance before. Never done anything but fucking. But right now, I’m not thinking that I want to fuck Buffy, I’m thinking that I want to make love to her. Weird thought for my brain - really weird.

“Thank you, Faith.”

I pull the covers up over her and feel her forehead. She hasn’t got a fever or anything, so it must be the blood loss taking its toll on her. I know how that feels.

“Do ya want anything? Shall I call your mom? Willow?” I ask.

I'm fussing and I know it.

“No, just sit with me. At least until I fall asleep. Then you can call Will if you want and leave,” she says quietly.

I can tell by the lonely look in her eyes that she doesn’t want me to leave. I don’t want to leave either, although my alter ego with all the ‘crazy’ going on is telling me otherwise. I ignore it and kiss Buffy on the forehead.

“I’m not going anywhere. Not as long as you want me,” I assure.

She takes my hand in hers and I sit next to her on the bed, resting my back on the headboard.

“I do want you, Faith. . .with me,” she tells me. “I’m glad you're back.”

She’s drifting off to sleep again so I scoot down a little way and hold her to me. She murmurs something I can’t really make out, but it sounds sweet all the same.

I have no hope in keeping myself from wanting to be with her again. And even though she keeps telling me that’s what she wants too, I’m having a hard time believing it. I’m gonna have to at least attempt not to go rushing into this. I want to give us time to get back to friendship first. It’s going to be fucking hard; looking down at her now with her arm tight around me and her head on my chest, I know it’s probably gonna be even harder than before.

But for both our sakes we have to be sure. I have to be sure.

I have to be sure that I’m not gonna go all crazy again. Sure that I won’t do anything to hurt her. And sure that I really have put all my anger behind me. We’ll be together, I know it, I feel it - just not yet.

* * *

I’m all stiff. Must have fallen asleep. Dead arm. Dead cos Buffy is laying on it, but I so don’t mind that. I look for the clock and see it’s been over an hour. I didn’t realise I was even tired. Must have been all the heart to heart stuff. Never done it before so I think it’s taken it out of me.

Buffy is still asleep and I can’t help but feel like we really fit well together, all snuggled up and shit. Gotta laugh at how un-Faith-like that sounds, but I don’t think I really mind feeling all mushy about B - just as long as no one else finds out how she makes me think and feel. I don’t want to drop my bad girl image completely.

Think I’d better wake her up; she must be hungry 'cause I know I am. I guess that isn’t so unusual, though. I remember how she’d get all grossed out by how much I could eat after slaying. I knew she was just as hungry, but she’d never admit it. Buffy was hiding a shit load of stuff back then, but I loved slaying with her. It felt like we were in tune. Felt like we were almost having sex or something. Well, to me anyway.

“What are you smiling at?” B asks sleepily.

“Hey, B. Didn’t know you were awake.”

She’s got the cutest little sleepy look going on. Did I mention I’m in love with this chick?

“Just woke up,” she says. “So, what were you smiling at? Oh, and can I just get something out of the way? Something I’ve wanted to say for a long time.”

That sounds kinda ominous – like it could be good, but then it could be. . .you get the idea.

“Sure,” I reply.

Why not, right?

“I love it when you smile 'cause I adore your dimples,” she tells me looking all shy and blushing.

I just go right ahead and reward her with another smile, and as much dimple as she wants.

I can't stop staring into her eyes and I lean forward to kiss her, all my resolve just flying out of the window 'cause she’s practically melting me with the way she's looking at me. Just before our lips meet the doorbell rings. It's probably a good thing.

“That must be Red. We didn’t call her,” I say as I get up and stretch, watching as Buffy’s eyes roam over me.

I can tell you right now. . .she is so not doing the hiding thing any more. I can see how much she wants me for sure now. I’m heating up here with the look she’s giving me, and I’m screwed.

“I’d better go answer the door,” I say quickly. Willow is playing tunes on the fucking doorbell.

I make my way downstairs, adjusting my clothes and hair so it doesn’t look like I’ve just been asleep. Hey, what am I worried about? I’m just as much of a fucking knock-out creased or uncreased.

I take a look out of one of the windows to check that it is Willow, then open up and let her in.

“Where were you? Why are you here? I’ve been stood outside for ages. . .is everything ok? Is Buffy ok?” she says all at once.

I’ve got an hysterical Willow on my hands. I don’t suppose hitting her will calm her down. . .and I guess I gotta be nice to her - even if being nice feels kinda weird.

“Chill, Will,” I tell her, grinning at my own little rhyme. “Everything’s ok, I promise. B’s upstairs.”

Almost before I have time to get out of the way, Red is bounding up the stairs. Maybe she still doesn’t quite trust me to the max yet, but I don’t blame her.

Think I’ll just leave them to it for a while, see what’s lurking in the fridge. Maybe I can stop myself thinking about how much I wanna be with Buffy if I eat enough to fill me. Yeah right, like either one of those is gonna happen.

I shuffle around the kitchen for a while, but not really finding much to snack on here. They must be talking up there. At least I hope that’s what they’re doing. Whoa, no need to get paranoid, they’re just friends. Will’s got Tara, and Buffy. . .shit, almost said she had me but that isn’t right - Buffy’s got Riley.

Before I can dwell too much on that, they come downstairs, still chatting away. I think they’re talking about college or something. Good, at least I’m not the topic of conversation.

“Hey, Faith. You looking for something to eat?” Buffy asks as I’m caught leaving the kitchen.

“Um, yeah.”

B knows me too well.

“I don’t think there is anything. We can order pizza if you want.”

Sounds like a plan to me, or at least to my stomach it does.

I walk into the living room and park myself on the couch. Red takes a seat in the chair and turns on the TV as Buffy heads for the phone. She’s looking a lot better now for the rest she’s had.

“What does everyone want?” she asks.

I must look a little confused 'cause Buffy looks kinda sorry. I am confused, I thought B wanted it to just be me and her tonight.

“Willow’s staying the night,” Buffy says. “Tara’s away on a field trip and she doesn’t want to be in the dorm on her own”

“Hey, Buffy. . .I don’t think Faith needs to know how much of a wuss I am,” Willow gripes.

Man this is strange, just sitting here like the past didn’t really happen. Although, I know things will never be great between me and Willow.

“So, shall I just get your favourite, Will?”

Red nods enthusiastically.

“How about you, Faith?”

Shit, I’m getting the sweetest smile from Buffy as she waits to make the order. Am I sitting here like a 17 year old with a crush? Yep, I sure am. I can’t take my eyes off her.


Trying to snap out of it I shake my head a little, which gets Willow giggling at me.

That’s kinda nice - if somewhat embarrassing - because it means she doesn’t think I’m gonna attack her any minute for laughing at me. It’s what I would have done before, but right now I’m doing my best to be more of a people person - whatever that is.

“I don’t have any money, B,” I finally respond.

Which is just so beyond true right now.

“Faith, I didn’t ask if you had any money. I asked what you wanted. My treat,” Buffy encourages.

Yeah, of course. . .'cause I’m a fucking charity case. I shrug.

“I’ll just get you the same as me then.”

Buffy frowns and I know that’s not good. I guess sometimes I can’t help being a dick. I’ll always be proud, no matter what.

“So, Red. . .why you scared to be in the dorm on your own?” I ask, taking attention away from me. “I mean, you’re a witch, anything bad happens you can just wiggle your nose or something.”

Well, if she’s going to laugh at me, I may as well give her some back. I might be being nice, but I ain’t no sap.

“I. . .well, it’s not as simple as that. Anyway, I was invited before you,” she says with a nod.

Touché. Like I said, there’s always gonna be a little tension between me and the witch. Jealousy - it’s a killer.

Buffy ordered the food and came to sit next to me on the couch. I was hoping she’d keep her distance but she sat right beside me, about as close as she could without actually sitting on top of me. Maybe I should have had a word or two with her about us taking things easy for a while. Plus, Willow is smirking at me now 'cause I must look real uncomfortable. That red head has got one hell of an evil streak. I’m beginning to like her.

We sit waiting for the pizza to arrive, watching TV and chatting about stuff. It’s mainly B and Willow doing the talking while I listen. I’m mostly just basking in the glow of sitting here next to Buffy - my arch fucking enemy. . .once. But then we never were really enemies, we just screwed up and dealt with things the way slayers do. It's all fists first and thinking later.

As soon as food arrives I perk up. I gotta get my jollies somehow. We ain’t slaying tonight and me and B. . .not going to be wrigglin' around together yet, so food it is.

* * *

I help Buffy into the kitchen with the pizza. Anything just to be near her, even if I am resisting any urges that being with her brings up. It’s just nice to be close, ya know? I want us to get to know each other again. Better, this time.

“I’m sorry that Willow’s staying,” Buffy says as she moves up close behind me, almost touching me.

I fight to keep control and not turn around. Instead, I distract myself by getting glasses for the soda.

“It’s no problem, B.” I pour the drink out, but she persists in getting close to me - touching my lower back with her hand. I have to let her know how I feel. “Look, Buffy. . .I gotta say something.”

She seems a little nervous at what I’m going to say. She’s probably picking up on my defensiveness.

Buffy steps away from me and looks into my eyes. I can see she’s worried. Fuck it, I am too because I don’t want her to take this the wrong way. I don’t want her to see it as a knock back. I want nothing more than for her to be my girl, but I just don’t think it’s going to be that easy.

“Buffy, I think we should slow everything down,” I say and receive a puzzled look. “What I mean is. . .you know I want us to be together right?” She nods hesitantly, not looking too sure - questioning me almost. “Well I do, but I don’t want to rush this. We need to get over everything else first. I want to be sure we’re both ready, and besides. . .you still have a boyfriend.”

She shakes her head no.

“I broke up with him, Faith. When I was in the hospital I realised it wasn’t him I wanted there holding my hand, it was you. So I told him it was over, just before I came home.”

Ok, so that’s one more thing that’s gonna make it harder to do this - to take our time - no beefy boyfriend hanging around.

“I still want to take this a little slower. Kissing you was. . .incredible, and something I’d wanted to do from the minute I first saw you,” I continue, “but it’ll lead to more, and I don’t think either one of us is ready for that.”

She looks all sad now and I’m an asshole, but I’m right.

“Don’t you want me?” she asks.

Fuck, how wrong can one person be?

“Of course I want you, Buffy. I want you so much it’s like you’re setting me on fire every time you get close to me. I need you. I need to touch you everywhere. To taste you, to. . .why did you have to say that? It’s so not helping.”

We move closer to each other without realising it, but as soon as I do I quickly step back. She gets me so fucking horny.

“So you just want to. . .be friends?”

That sad little voice is slicing right through me, but I have to be strong for once.

“Just for a while, B. To see how things go. We both need time. If we’re meant to be together we will be, but hey. . .I’m pretty sure it won’t take long,” I tell her. “We’re the chosen two, girlfriend. Meant for each other.”

I get a little smile for that.

“Can I hug you?” she asks.

Damn it, she’s so fucking cute.

“Of course you can. Just watch where your hands go.”

I almost missed the sly grin gracing her lips, just catching it before she gave me a fierce hug, then left for the living room with two of the pizzas.

I don’t know what the grin was about but now I’m worried. I think maybe things just got a whole lot harder. She isn’t going to sit back and let me take charge of this. I should have known. Whatever. . .I can deal with a horny little slayer. I hope.

I make my way behind her with my pizza, balancing the full glasses on top - being some kind of super-human sure has its advantages. I sit back down and instantly tear into my pizza.

The rest of the night passes fairly uneventfully. We watch a lame movie and just kick back. I can’t believe how tension free everything is. I kind of miss it. . .the thrill of doing wrong. The power it gives you.

Gotta stop right there with those thoughts. This is better, or at least it will be once I get with Buffy properly. Besides, there is tension here, and the cause is sat right next to me.

Jesus, the way Buffy was licking her fingers after eating her pizza - looking right at me when she did it. I’m so glad Red didn’t catch it 'cause Buffy knew exactly what she was doing to me. And right now she’s stretched out with her head in my lap. I’m so trying to think of anything but what else she could be doing with her head right there. Maybe I should talk to her again.

I convinced Buffy that I should sleep on the couch tonight so Willow could take the spare room. From the sad little pout I was given I think B had wanted me to snuggle up with her in her room again. I really doubt I'd get much sleep there.

We said our goodnights and now I’m lying back on the living room couch. Buffy gave me some shorts and a tee shirt to wear so I’m kinda hot under the sheet. I’m not used to wearing stuff to bed. Just not my thing.

Just as I’m about to close my eyes and convince my body it needs to sleep and not slay, Buffy softly approaches me. I can see it’s her in the moonlight streaming in from the window. She looks dazzling in its silver light. All shimmery and shit.

“Faith? Are you asleep yet?”

I love the way she whispers my name like that. How the fuck could I ever have imagined being anything other than in love with her?

“I’m awake, B.” I sit up a little so I can see her more clearly.

She’s wearing extremely small shorts and a tank top. She looks good enough to eat, damn her.

Her shy smile breaks my heart to think of how much pain I’ve caused her, but I’ve got to stop pulling myself down too much. I mean, she wants to be with me, she’s given me her forgiveness, her friendship. . .and she wants to give me herself. I’m either one lucky bastard, or I’m dead and I did actually get to heaven.

She sits on the couch as I scoot over, never taking my eyes from hers.

“I just wanted to say goodnight. . .properly. Without Willow hovering near by,” Buffy says.

She leans down and tenderly kisses my forehead, and before I can say anything she places her lips lightly over mine and kisses me there too.

I just watch her as she moves away from me. Captivated? Who me? Bad ass Faith who’s seen it all and done it all? Totally.

“I know you want to take this slow, Faith. But I just want you to know. . .whenever you’re ready for us to be together - just to date, or. . .whatever - I’m here waiting for you. No more running,” she tells me. “I love you.”

And I’m fucking speechless just like that. Come on, I gotta find a response. I've got the big cheesy smile going on, tears in my eyes, but my mouth ain't working.

Instead of waiting around for my brain to stop haemorrhaging or whatever it's doing, I sit up and pull her into a kiss. I try to make it as chaste as I can but it strays just a little into “I'm horny and want to eat you alive” territory, then as I break for a little breath Buffy tries to well and truly floor me again.

“I’m gonna fall for you all over again, Faith,” she says softly.

Again? I knew she'd had feelings for me before, but I guess I’d never dared to think - or presume - she’d actually been in love with me.

My heart has officially left the building, done a lap of honour around the house, and replaced itself back in my chest upside down and in knots.

* * *

I’m just sat here with my face close to hers, attempting and failing to do this moment justice. I don’t know what to do, or say. I know I should tell her I love her too, but I’m pretty sure she knows that, and probably the fact that I’m also totally in love with her. I feel like I need to say something more than that, but I never was one for being all speechy.

“B,” I begin, looking down and taking her hands in mine, then looking back into her eyes. I’ll have to try to make her understand I guess. “I want to say more than I love you, although I do. And somehow, with the way I feel about you - the way I’ve felt about you right from the start - saying I’m in love with you doesn’t seem to cut it.”

Buffy stops me from continuing by placing a hand on my cheek. “Say it, Faith. Please.”

How can I deny her anything? Well, apart from my body for the time being, but she has tears in her eyes. . .and she has my heart.

“I’m in love with you, Buffy. I love you,” I tell her a little shakily.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen her smile quite like the way she is; dazzling, stunning. . .and I’m not worthy of it I know, but right now with her looking at me the way she is I’m starting to feel it just a little.

We kiss, of course - like there’d be anything better we could do right now? I don’t think so, because it’s so perfect just sitting here with her, holding her close, feeling her lips toying with mine. I’m gonna decide right now that kissing is allowed, as long as it doesn’t start getting too hot and heavy. Kinda like it is now.

God I want her. My hands are wandering and I know I should stop but. . .man, she has such a solid little stomach. I’m loving her hands in my hair, her taste in my mouth. I wanna pull her down on top of me right now.

I need to touch her everywhere and have her moaning my name as I slip my fingers inside her. I need to kiss her wet little pussy ‘till she comes real hard in my mouth. Fuck. . .gotta stop with all the visuals, it’s not helping.

I push her back and try to steady my breathing. It’s not easy 'cause she’s looking all hot n sexy, and also outta breath. I think we both got a little carried away there. Buffy’s got a hazy look in her eyes. She’s all steamed up, ready to pop, and I wish I could forget about everything so I can just strip her naked and show her what she means to me.

“Buffy, you should go back up stairs.”

I know I’m frowning now - pissed with myself again for fucking up so bad.

“Are you ok? I didn’t mean to get so. . .into it. I’m sorry,” Buffy says.

Her hands have left me now, and I can’t believe how lost I feel already without them on me.

“Hey, it’s ok. My fault. But you should go and get some sleep, baby,” I tell her.

Gotta remember that she likes me calling her baby - not Twinkie, or blondie, or whatever else I’ve ever called her - 'cause she just made me go all tingly when her eyes lit up at it.

“Ok, but promise me something?”

How can I deny that pleading, puppy dog look her eyes do?

“Anything,” I respond.

“Promise that we’ll be together soon? Because you make my knees go weak whenever you touch me, and I’m having dreams about you again. . .which really isn’t going to help,” she says.

Damn it, why can’t I just do my thing and take her now? I’m not even gonna answer that. Wait. . .

“When did you used to have dreams about me?” I ask, all intrigued.

Especially intrigued to find out what kind of dreams. Although, that might be like adding oil to a fire.

“They started not long after you first came to Sunnydale. I did everything I could at first to try to stop them, or just ignore them. I’d never dreamt about somebody in that way. Not even Angel.”

Oh man, she’s blushing like crazy. They must be some wicked naughty dreams. That’s my girl.

“They’re even worse now. . .or actually better,” Buffy says, that seductive little grin on her lips that's gonna undo me.

“Fuck, you’d better go, B. But I’m gonna want you to tell me about those dreams sometime soon,” I say, trying to calm myself down.

She gets up, but before leaving she bends down to kiss me, and I know she knows I can see down her top. I get an eyeful of Buffy’s chest and I swear I’ve just developed a sudden temperature. She’s so fucking touchable, kissable. . .suckable.

Jesus, B, you’ve got gorgeous tits.

“Thank you.”

“Oh fuck. Did I just say that out loud?” I ask, really hoping I’m not blushing. It so doesn’t suit me.

“Yup,” she replies with a nod. “And Faith? When I go to sleep tonight, I’m going to dream about you kissing them, sucking them, getting my nipples all hard with your tongue. And I’ll probably wake up all hot and wet for you,” she continues, her eyes heavy with desire. “Just thought you might like to know that.”

She kisses me quickly on the lips, then turns to head for the stairs.

I’m doing my best impression of a moron catching flies again, as she winks at me before making her way up to bed. She knows exactly what she’s just done to me - all I’m gonna be able to think about now is that. Her. Her pert little breasts that are just begging for me to introduce them to some Faithy loving. And the rest.

Shit, I can’t even relieve a little tension - not here on her mom’s couch. That would be. . .it’s definitely out of the question. I’m not gonna sleep much tonight. No slaying, and no Buffy all over me all hot and sweaty. I wonder how strange it would look if I went to get a cold shower?

I hope she doesn’t plan on playing any more tricks like that 'cause she’s a whole lot better at the flirting game than I thought. But then, that was more like full on dirty talk than flirting. Damn, we’re gonna have so much fun together soon. . .if I survive that long.



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