“Faith, what have you been doing?” Buffy looked up from the seam on the sleeping bag she had been worriedly picking at whilst she waited for her fellow slayer. She sounded, and felt, full of a mix of relief, anxiousness and. . .well, annoyance.
But she was glad that Faith hadn’t left at the first sign of anything hinting at meaningful conversation.
That Faith hadn’t left her.
Faith strolled back into the humble cabin with a small bag in her arms, unaware of why Buffy sounded so upset. She did her patented puzzled frown and made her way to the counter at the far end of the room.
“I went to get something, I told ya. You ok?” Faith placed her bag on the counter and turned to look over at Buffy.
The blonde girl was awash with the mellow glow of the fire. It highlighted the gold in her hair, and gave her skin a delicious flush. She was kneeling on the bulky sleeping bags, her emerald eyes fixed on Faith, overwhelming the rest of the room.
Nothing right then existed for Faith except Buffy, and the small blonde hadn’t even done anything. She was just there, being her usual self, but there was so much feeling in her eyes. Something deep and speaking to Faith on a level she had never felt before. And she couldn’t help but smile because it filled her heart. It filled her entire being with. . .love.
It hit her, harder than any demon ever could, harder than anything she’d ever felt before. She was in love. Faith was in love with Buffy. It was so fucking obvious now that she could see it staring back at her. It was coming off in waves from the other girl and landing her square in the middle of her chest.
“Fuck.” Faith stepped back into the hard wood of the counter behind her. She steadied herself on it and battled the urge to turn and run.
“Faith. . .are you ok?” Buffy asked as she stood up and began to make her way over to Faith.
She had never seen Faith go so pale before. Faith was tough. A badass with the shell of an armour-cased tank. Buffy was wondering what the hell had just caused the sudden confused and lost expression on the other girl’s face. Even in the shadows of the cabin she could see something was wrong, but she couldn’t quite make out what.
“Hey, it’s ok. . .stay there,” Faith said. She wanted to compose herself. She wasn’t the type of girl to feel like she’d just been hit by a truck for no good reason. But then, there was a good reason. Buffy.
Faith ignored the thumping of her heart as she didn’t want the older girl to grow any more suspicious than she obviously was already. She didn’t know how to deal with love, on either side. . .receiving or giving. She didn’t have the experience of it. Certainly not like Buffy did. Or anybody for that matter.
But she was sure she could feel it coming from Buffy. It was suddenly just there for her to see and to feel, to taste almost. As if an extra slayer sense had awakened. She had no clue whether or not it had been there all along, or if it was a recent thing. She had no idea even if Buffy was aware of it herself. She wasn’t even sure if maybe it was all in her head and wishful thinking on her part.
It didn’t make sense to Faith so she decided to do her best to ignore it right now. Faith certainly didn’t want the blonde girl detecting how she felt about her, because she wasn’t ready to deal with it herself. And it would be above and beyond awkward if she was reading things wrong, and all she could really detect from Buffy was the love you have for a close friend.
So she shook her head, clearing it of the thoughts that were screaming out of her ears. She didn’t want to think about something as serious as this right now. Not when there was nowhere to run to, and no escape. Faith fought for control of her emotions, then smiled at the clearly baffled slayer kneeling by the fire.
“Here. . .catch,” Faith said as she threw something towards her friend, breaking the tension filled atmosphere; watching Buffy dreamily as she reacted to what was aimed her way.
Buffy caught the projectile effortlessly, although Faith had hurled it fairly hard.
“What is. . .oooh, chocolate,” Buffy smiled.
Faith had thrown her a large bar from the bag of goodies she had procured the day they had made their way to the cabin. Buffy turned her attention to the gift and away from Faith.
Faith couldn’t stop smiling even though she was pushing her feelings to one side for the time being. It was hard to stop feeling full of. . .feeling. That’s the only way she could describe it to herself. Where before there had been nothing; now there was a whole load of stuff.
Faith wished she had more experience with the love thing, because she was doing a crappy job at letting her stomach settle. She had never felt butterflies like it.
She made her way back over to Buffy with an armful of bottles. Buffy could see it was alcohol. Drinking wasn’t something she’d had a lot of experience with. Even though she was now at college, Buffy had just never seen the appeal of getting hammered and coping with the whole hangover deal.
“You know I don’t drink, Faith,” Buffy pointed out, unwrapping the chocolate as Faith sat back down next to her, instantly making Buffy feel warmer and more relaxed.
“Tonight ya do. Come on, this place is so beyond dull, so we’re gonna have to make our own entertainment.” Faith was well aware that Buffy didn’t usually drink; she was too Miss Goody-Two-Shoes for that kind of thing. Too ‘straight’.
She chuckled to herself at how un-straight Buffy had been acting recently. Ok, so she wasn’t exactly jumping all over her, but Buffy did seem fairly interested, even if it was just a curiosity thing that never went beyond flirting and teasing. Faith wasn’t sure why the Buffy had started acting the way she was but she wasn’t complaining. And now of course there was the love she saw in the blonde girl’s eyes to try and work out. Her mind was full to the brim of the girl sat beside her.
“Fine, but I’m not drinking a lot. Unless you do,” Buffy made clear, but she was looking less and less convincing in the sweet-and-innocent department as the day went on. She was attempting to look all demure, but was busy stuffing a handful of chocolate into her mouth.
“Hey, don’t eat all of it, girlfriend.” Faith smirked and sat back down, close to Buffy. “I want some too.”
“Sorry.” She looked up at Faith with her famous puppy-dog eyes, the ones the younger girl couldn’t resist.
“I really wish you wouldn’t do that, B. You know what it does to me,” Faith said, raising her eyebrow. She’d meant how it made her crumble and give in to whatever it was Buffy was pouting about, but Buffy’s now wide eyes told her something else was going through her head. “No, I didn’t mean. . .shit, never mind.” Faith didn’t really feel the need anymore to completely hide how much she liked Buffy. And in what way exactly she did so.
There was no point in sweeping the trail behind her when she was wearing a flashing neon light most of the time that was saying “I wanna strip you down and make you mine”. Faith was fairly sure any attempt to fool Buffy was now a waste of time. And something definitely told her that the blonde girl was kind of thinking the same thing.
“Here.” Faith got handy with her bottle opener, and passed Buffy a beer. Opening one for herself too. “It mixes well with chocolate.”
Buffy took a tentative swig of the offered beverage. It was warm, and didn’t mix well with chocolate at all. She pulled a face that Faith instantly laughed at. She tried to be mad at Faith, but couldn’t. She liked it too much when her dark counterpart laughed. Instead she opted for pretending to be pissed off, narrowing her eyes at Faith.
“These really don’t mix well, Faith.” Yet she took another swig, this time longer than the last, trying to rid her mouth of the conflicting tastes.
“I know, but the look on your face. Priceless,” Faith chuckled, then downed some of her own beer. Enjoying it even though it was warm. Then she placed some of the chocolate absentmindedly between her lips, regretting it straight away. “Man, this really doesn’t work together.” Faith also pulled a face.
“That’s cute,” Buffy said quietly, then blushed instantly. It was the first thing that had come into her head and she’d blurted it out. It was definitely a cute face the other girl had pulled, but she hadn’t really wanted to share the thought.
Buffy glanced away from her friend, who said nothing for now. Buffy was grateful because she was too busy trying to stop the flow of other adjectives that wanted to follow the cute comment. Words like beautiful, stunning, gorgeous and sexy, wanted to just roll off her tongue in description of Faith. But she stopped herself with another mouthful of the warm liquid.
Which unfortunately made her think of some other type of warm liquid to do with Faith. Her face flushed about as red as it probably could have done. Buffy couldn’t believe she could think such a thing, but then. . .she was trapped in the middle of nowhere with an incredibly sexy girl who was busy turning her mind to mush.
“You ok there, blondie? You look kinda hot.” Faith grinned, wondering what Buffy could possibly be thinking about. She wanted to ask, but thought that maybe it would keep for later, when they were both just that little bit more ‘relaxed’.
* * *
The two girls spent the next hour or two drinking steadily and talking, just like Buffy had wanted. Most of the talking was coming from Buffy however, because Faith had a knack of turning questions back on people. That way, she knew she would never give away too much about herself.
She hadn’t kept completely tight-lipped, and shared a little more of her life before Sunnydale with Buffy. Telling her about her childhood, or lack of. Her upbringing in Boston and the crappy school she had dropped out of.
But she didn’t go into great detail about anything, or scare the other girl too much with stories of her mom’s boyfriends hitting on her and feeling her up at any opportunity. What she had shared Buffy was obviously affected by.
Faith glossed over things a bit, as she didn’t want to bring them both down. Faith had dealt with most of what had been thrown at her, and didn’t really want to drag it all out, or drag the evening into something of a therapy session. It wasn’t Faith’s style to dwell on her past nowadays. Anyway, Buffy seemed to be enjoying herself, and the drink the she had brought. It was definitely relaxing the usually uptight slayer.
“So, now I know more about you, we can be closer,” Buffy said, smiling a lopsided grin and hiccupping.
She looked dotingly at Faith, unable to stop her admiration showing on her face in her tipsy state. She wasn’t sure why she seemed to be more affected by the alcohol than Faith was, but she was past caring now. She had really enjoyed listening to some of Faith’s stories, even if the ones she had rushed through about her mother’s boyfriends had upset Buffy somewhat.
She had done her best not to make her upset obvious and cause Faith to feel bad about it, but she knew she wanted to know more about it all at a later date. Buffy loved Faith, and hated the thought of anybody treating her badly, or hurting her in any way.
She hoped what she had just implicated to Faith, about them being closer, hadn’t passed the younger girl by. The puzzled look Faith now wore probably meant she was turning it over in her mind, so Buffy refrained from saying anything more.
Faith turned her face to the fire for a second, enjoying the gentle heat coming from the crackling logs. She wasn’t quite sure what Buffy had meant by the ‘closer’ comment. She hoped it was something along the lines she had been thinking though, because she was imagining all kinds of closeness with her friend. Hot and sweaty kinda closeness. She was pretty sure it was also what the blonde girl had meant, and the knowing grin said it all.
Buffy turned more towards Faith, leaning her arm on the couch, and almost but not quite trailing it around the back of the brunette. Forcing herself not to start playing with the luscious brown locks close to her hand, Buffy continued with their conversation.
“Anyway,” Buffy said, breaking the silence and subconsciously looking Faith up and down as she got comfortable right next to her, “tell me about the guys you’ve been with, I mean, dated. . .recently.” She wanted to make sure Faith hadn’t found herself a boyfriend.
The girlfriend thing she wasn’t so confident in asking about, mainly because she had never heard Faith talk about girls in that way. Which was a major reason for not wanting to dive right in and ask Faith if she was interested in being with her in that way or not. There was flirting and teasing coming her way from the other girl, but no definite declaration at anytime of gay tendencies. Buffy realised the same could be said about her however, so it didn’t perturb her hopes.
What Buffy didn’t know was that Faith had toned down her sex life somewhat. She no longer felt compelled to go and get her jollies after a slay, and it was all down to Buffy. Faith didn’t want some random guy to fix her itch. She wanted Buffy, and sleeping around wasn’t going to stop her thinking about it. She’d already tried that.
“I haven’t really been doing that much these days,” Faith admitted, looking down into the almost empty bottle before finishing it.
She knew Buffy would get what she meant. It wasn’t something she really felt comfortable admitting to, not wanting to lose her bad-girl image, but she also didn’t want her possible new lover to think she was still the town slut.
“Why not? I mean, you’re all about the slaying, and the sex,” Buffy said, practically whispering the last words and sending chills up and down Faith’s spine.
Faith had always oozed sexual charisma. It was one of the reasons Buffy was so drawn to her. The effortless sexiness of Faith washed over Buffy almost constantly, pulling her in the direction of wanting the sultry slayer more and more. She was unable to resist the feeling it gave her. The feeling of wanting to be part of it, involved in it with Faith.
It especially impressed upon her when they slayed together, because the brunette turned into a feisty bundle of hot need. It showed in the way she fought; in the cocky sway of her hips when she walked away from whatever she had just killed. And Buffy would just melt on the spot when she bore witness to Faith’s dancing. Faith was all attitude and destructive beauty. It was compelling and attractive, and the ultimate turn on for Buffy when it was directed her way.
It wasn’t something Buffy had encouraged when Faith first came to Sunnydale, mainly because she didn’t know how to deal with somebody so openly flirty and sexual. Faith’s attitude had grown on Buffy over time, and now she made sure she got as much attention from her friend as possible.
Buffy would go slaying in totally inappropriate attire just to get a reaction from the other girl. She would make sure they never moved too far apart when they danced because she hated it when guys would hit on Faith, as they always did. Buffy had had to deal with the jealousy she felt about Faith sleeping around, but there was nothing she could do about it, as much as it pissed her off.
She didn’t want to have to feel that jealousy again. She didn’t want her sexy slayer to be anybodies but hers.
“Maybe at one time that’s the way it was. But now I’m a little more choosy about who I sleep with,” Faith said. She hadn’t had sex in almost a month; her feelings for Buffy not allowing her to just go out and screw people without thinking.
“Really? So, would you sleep with me?” Buffy blurted out. Her face fell as soon as she realised what she had said.
She had been too busy thinking about how sexy Faith was to stop her mouth making the mistake of not checking what exactly her brain meant, before releasing it to the heated air. Now she wanted to run and hide, because it really hadn’t come out the way she had intended. The drink wasn’t helping her either, just making her more vulnerable to embarrassing herself.
Faith just grinned widely, well aware that Buffy hadn’t quite meant to say what she had. Though she was beginning to think that the seemingly coy blonde was busy contemplating things. Things that were probably best not shared until they were on firmer ground with the whole wanting to be with each other deal. It was cute, so she decided to push it a little.
“Was that a request or a question, girlfriend?”
Faith waited for the answer. Feeling deep down inside herself how much she wanted it to be more than just a question, Faith mentally crossed her fingers.