“What the?” Faith turned her head towards the nearby bushes and trees. She had heard something rustling about, and her attention had been stolen from the blonde girl in front of her as her slayer instincts kicked in. “You hear that, B?” Faith asked as she turned her body away from Buffy in the direction the noise had come from.
“Yeah.” Buffy scanned the nearby foliage, silently cursing the interruption of what had been one of the most, if not the most intense moment of her short life.
Faith turned back to Buffy, her senses now acutely on edge to whatever danger, if any, could be lurking nearby. She nodded towards the shore, gesturing for them to get out and investigate rather than wait like sitting ducks. Literally.
The two girls swam to the edge of the small lake, Buffy emerging from the cool water with Faith following behind. They were both doing their best not to focus on each other, and concentrate on the possible threat. But it was hard, noticeably so. Faith could tell that Buffy really didn’t want to stop looking at her.
Buffy was certainly having a hard time taking her eyes off Faith. As the brunette wrapped the towel around her waist, not bothering to cover her torso, Buffy did all but physically drool. Faith just looked so damn sexy, especially as she was now in slayer-mode. Her dark eyes looking even more dangerous and alluring than normal. Her muscles taught and ready to attack. The droplets of water rolling down between her succulent. . .
“Hey, B. . .stop gawking and come on.” Faith grinned a little. She couldn’t help herself as Buffy had been doing such a crappy job at trying not to look at her breasts.
Buffy wrapped her own towel around herself, ensuring she covered her top half too unlike Faith.
“I wasn’t gaw. . .shit,” Buffy sighed as the cell phone rang out in the cabin.
“You’d better go get that. Could be important.” Faith continued on to the rustling trees.
Buffy really didn’t like the idea of leaving Faith to investigate alone, even though the likelihood that it was something dangerous was minuscule. She hated thinking of her friend getting into trouble, getting hurt or worse.
“Faith. . .be careful.”
“Always am, girlfriend.” Faith winked at Buffy, wanting to reassure her before cautiously making her way over to where she had heard the noise.
She couldn’t help feeling full of wonder at just how much Buffy had grown to care for her over the last few months. It had been a little slow in coming, but now she was sure of her slaying partners concern for her safety. The fact that she was stuck out in the middle of nowhere with her, and for her, was definite proof of that.
Buffy re-entered their secluded cabin and picked up the cell phone. It was Angel’s number flashing at her on the display.
“Hey,” she said, and awaited his usually sullen voice.
“Hey, Buffy. Can’t talk long. I’m ringing to let you know the council are in Sunnydale. They’ve spoken to Giles, and he’s pleading ignorance. As is everybody else,” Angel explained.
He was about to continue but Buffy interjected in her usual manner.
“So why are they looking for Faith? Did Giles find out?” She asked.
As much as she was afraid for the gang’s safety, Faith was her main priority. She was being blinded by something she couldn’t quite put her finger on.
“They want to take her back to England, assess her, and then relocate her,” Angel said quietly.
“Bastards,” Buffy snapped. “Is everybody else safe?” Even though her mind was full of Faith, Buffy still had her mother, Giles, and her friends to think about.
“They’ll be ok. The council won’t dare to hurt anybody to get to Faith. I don’t think even they would go to that extreme.” The souled vampire was distracted by somebody muttering in the background before he continued. “I gotta go, you take care Buffy. You still my girl?” It was something Angel always said to her, even though they had both decided it was better for them to split.
Buffy would usually just say yes to stave off any tension between them, but this time she didn’t want to say yes. She wasn’t his girl any more. And more to the point, she wanted to be Faith’s girl.
“I, err. . .I’ll speak to you soon. Take care.” Buffy switched the cell phone off as quickly as she could. She didn’t want to get into her feelings about her ex. She did still care for him, she just cared for Faith a whole lot more.
Making her way quickly back out to see where Faith was, Buffy forgot to switch herself off from the conversation she had just had and turn her slayer sensors back on. She crashed right into the taller girl in her rush.
“Hey, watch the goodies,” Faith said as she smirked and pointed to her chest as Buffy bounced off it.
“Sorry. Are you ok? What was it over there?” Buffy did her best to ignore the fact that she had just had a close encounter with Faith’s sizeable breasts, turning her eyes towards where the brunette had come from.
“It’s ok, B. It was just an animal or something. Suppose we gotta expect that out here,” Faith said.
The two girls made their way back into the relative safety of the hideaway.
Faith saw no point to hiding her partial nakedness just yet, for one thing it didn’t really bother her, and for another she was enjoying the trouble Buffy was having trying to keep her eyes off her chest area. It was hard not to laugh at the shyer girl’s obvious but abashed approval.
“So, who was on the phone?” Faith asked and lowered her dark eyes to pull Buffy’s gaze up from further down.
Faith winced jealously a little when she found out it had been Angel calling.
Buffy told Faith exactly what the broody vampire had told her. Willing herself to look at the dark girl’s eyes and nothing else, she let her know why the council were looking for her and what they planned to do. She did her best for it to make sense, as she avoided resting her sight on the round breasts and solid stomach on unashamed display to her.
“Fuck. . .I’m happy where I am. Fucking idiots,” Faith said angrily, sweeping her hand through her luscious hair. “What about the scoobs? Will they crack? They in any danger? ” She really hoped they weren’t in danger, which was her main worry, as she didn’t want anybody else to suffer just for her.
“No. Giles is pretty sure the council won’t risk doing anything stupid. And nobody’s going to let you down. You’re part of the gang Faith, so they’ll always be there for you.” Buffy smiled in encouragement, but Faith wasn’t fooled for a second.
“I’m sorry, but I really doubt that. They don’t even like me most of the time,” Faith shrugged. She couldn’t help falling into her well worn “I’m an ass so people stay away” shoes, as they fit her so well.
“That’s not true, well. . .maybe a little. But I’ll always be here for you.” Softer, Buffy went onto say. “I’d do anything for you,” she admitted quietly.
She hadn’t really meant it to come out aloud, but it was out now. There was no taking it back as she did her best to avoid looking into Faith’s soulful eyes.
Faith really hadn’t expected such a heartfelt statement to come from Buffy. They had never been at the stage of friendship where any kind of emotion was involved, or at least that’s what Faith had thought. Now she wasn’t so sure; of either of their emotional ties to one another. She looked down, feeling completely unworthy of Buffy’s friendship all of a sudden.
“I know, but you shouldn’t always be there for me. I don’t want you to get hurt,” Faith confessed. Before Buffy could say anything to disagree, Faith continued. “You know I feel the same though, right? I mean, I’d do anything for you too.”
They locked eyes for what seemed like an eternity.
The two slayers stood in each other’s shadows, and in each other’s light. Not knowing quite what it all meant, or how things could change given just a word from either of them. They seemed lost to the moment, just like they had been in the lake, but Faith was beginning to feel uncomfortable. She wasn’t used to this whole ‘caring and sharing’ thing.
Faith grinned mischievously.
“Hey, I’ll even help ya get dry. . .not.” Faith whipped the towel away from Buffy, leaving her totally exposed. She ran with it to the bathroom in the other room.
“Faith, you little. . .” Buffy couldn’t think of a name that didn’t describe the other Slayer as gorgeous or beautiful or sexy or delicious. So she gave up and went in search of clothes to cover her goose-pimples.
* * *
After the two girls had got dressed, they spent most of the day in their own respective ‘little worlds’. Faith was reflecting on the way Buffy had been acting with her. She was in no doubt the little slayer was encouraging her to flirt more. And that in fact, Buffy was also being a lot more flirty too, and going so far as to be practically teasing her.
She wasn’t completely, totally, one hundred percent sure why Buffy was being the way she was, not wanting to jump to conclusions. But the clues given to Faith when Buffy could hardly take her eyes off her body earlier were certainly assisting her new insights into their relationship.
Neither girl spoke of the interaction they had had, or hadn’t really had in the lake that morning. Both of them still too worried about getting things wrong, or leaping into something the other girl didn’t want, or wasn’t ready for. So they carried on as normal, with the exception of far more furtive glances and yearning stares at each other.
To any outsider it would have been obvious they were attracted to each other. In their own hidden ways, they would both have to admit it was pretty obvious to them now too. Buffy was almost certain now that Faith was more than interested in her. But Faith was still lingering on the side of caution.
They had decided to tidy the cabin up a little more than it was, Buffy wanting to get rid of the cobwebs as she hated spiders. Faith enjoyed teasing the older girl for a while when she found that out. She couldn’t help herself, it was just too cute, the way Buffy even made Faith clear the webs for her, not wanting to tempt fate and be attacked by one.
“You can face vamps and demons, but if a little tiny spider rushes you you’re telling me you’re gonna crap yourself? That’s so lame, B.” Faith was practically doubled over laughing.
Buffy didn’t really mind. It wasn’t often she got to see Faith laugh so much, if at all really. She was always trying to act so tough and mean, not wanting the rest of the gang to know she was just like anybody else underneath.
Buffy subconsciously shook her head, dismissing any notion that Faith was ‘just like anybody else as soon as she thought it. Because in fact, she was far from it. Faith was full of such hidden depths; even Buffy had no hope to ever completely get to know all of them.
She was a wonder to be discovered and explored, and Buffy most definitely wanted to be the one to do it. Just the idea of somebody else getting there before her made her almost insane with jealousy. She knew Faith was far from being a virgin, but that’s not quite what she meant. She wanted to be the first to conquer her heart. The concept made her stop dead in her tracks.
A crazy idea flashed through her racing mind. If she wanted Faith’s heart then. . .she wanted Faith’s love. And if she wanted that. . .
“B? Are you ok? You’ve gone all pale.” Faith immediately ceased her laughing when she noticed Buffy’s serious expression and shade. “If it’s a spider I’ll get the fucker, don’t worry. I was only joking, Buffy.” She looked around her to see if there was indeed a venturesome creepy crawly near by, she couldn’t see any however.
“I. . .sorry, I just. . .” Buffy ceased talking as she suddenly realised she had fallen in love with Faith.
“Hey, sit down. You don’t look too good.” Faith offered a helping hand to Buffy.
The blonde girl didn’t resist the offer to sit down, suddenly feeling the need to do that very thing. She grabbed onto Faith’s arm and moved over to the couch, slumping down into it as soon as she could.
“B, tell me what’s wrong,” Faith implored, the anxiety in her voice evident, even to herself. She had no hope of curbing her concern.
Buffy lowered her head, her loose blonde hair falling over her eyes a little until Faith carefully brushed it away. Buffy looked up at the compassionate touch, and closed her eyes as soon as she saw the dark pools of Faith’s concern. She couldn’t look into her eyes right now. Not when she knew they would prove to her she had fallen for Faith, and fallen hard.
“Buffy?” Faith didn’t know what to do. She had never seen Buffy wig out quite like this before. She sat next to the smaller girl, placing a gentle hand on her lower back.
“I’m sorry, Faith, I just. . .felt a little faint.” Buffy didn’t know what else to say to her friend.
She sat upright again, shaking the shock from her body. After all, she had seen this coming. Even though she had disregarded it, or denied that it could possibly actually happen between her and the other slayer. It had been there, just ready for her to acknowledge it.
And now she had acknowledged it she knew she couldn’t push it away. She couldn’t ignore the ache in her heart she was feeling for Faith right now. But it was still too soon to say anything, and to let Faith know how she felt. She wasn’t sure if the brunette would turn and run. It was one thing to be attracted to somebody, and quite another to be in love with them after all.
“I’m ok now. Must be hungry or something.” Buffy stood, pushing her emotions down for now.
Faith wasn’t quite sure she believed the older girl, but she didn’t want to push her either. They had grown to trust each other over their time slaying together and she didn’t want to start throwing questions Buffy’s way. If it was something serious, she just hoped Buffy would tell her.
“Ok, if you’re sure you’re not gonna pass out on me or something. I mean, I don’t wanna have to dump ya in the lake to wake you up, B.” Faith reverted back to her tough girl act. Not thinking Buffy needed to know right now how much she really did care for her.
“I’d kick your ass before you even had a chance, F.” Buffy winked.
They smiled at each other. The worry being buried by Faith. And the longing in her heart being buried by Buffy.
* * *
They eventually decided the best thing to do was to eat. A full stomach would always make a slayer feel a little better about things, especially Faith. So Buffy set about retrieving their supplies from the containers they had brought, arranging the plates and things ready for cooking, and generally making the place suitable to prepare food and cook in.
Faith busied herself collecting firewood outside. The light was already beginning to fade so she got as much as she could for the night. She had cleared the stove, and also the fireplace earlier, thinking it would be nice to get a fire going later even if it wasn’t particularly cold.
Throwing the last of her haul onto the stack outside the cabin door, Faith looked up into the darkening sky. It was going to be a beautifully clear night. She could already make out a handful of bright stars twinkling in the darker half of the horizon. The deep blue of the night staking its claim on the heavens.
She was never one to be a stargazer or have an interest in nature or scenery, but there was just something about this place. It made her feel warmer, safer inside. She could only compare it to the way Buffy sometimes made her feel. She didn’t quite understand that either, but she liked it. Every time Buffy got near to her, or touched her she felt it. She felt it, and didn’t want it to stop. She never wanted it to stop.
For some reason Faith felt a small tear escape her grasp. She had no clue where it had come from. It was just suddenly there. She took a deep breath and ran her hand through her hair. She was shaking a little, and didn’t have the slightest idea why.
Looking out towards the rippling lake, remembering how intense the moment had been between her and the other slayer in it that morning, Faith began to see the chink of light that just might explain why she was feeling so strange. She could admit she would be lost without her little slayer, and that she was immensely attracted to her. She knew right then that she was the most important person to her in her life. She felt. . .she felt something she still couldn’t quite grasp.
“Faith, are you done?” The sound of Buffy’s sweet singsong voice wafted over Faith, instantly warming her.
“Yeah. . .be right in.” Faith wiped her face, frowning at her own sentimentality.
Knowing she didn’t do that kind of thing, because it just wasn’t like her, she stood straight, replaced her tough shell back to where it belonged, and entered the warm confines of the cabin.
“Hey girlfriend, what have we got? I’m fucking starving.”