Two days had come and gone. Two days full of weighing options and agonizing over different outcomes. Two days of heavy boozing and ignoring the increasing number of phone calls from Giles that went unanswered.
Two days since she had taken a shower.
Still, Faith was no closer to making her decision.
Since she had been called, she had focused on hating vampires. On vilifying them to make the slaying quick and easy. With the exception of Angel, Faith had never been able to be around any vamp without feeling like her skin was crawling. She'd played nice with Spike, but that was only because she knew that no one would have let her get away unscathed with killing him.
And now, trying to imagine herself with a vampire - even Buffy - was almost too much. Even worse was trying to picture herself as a vampire. How could the slayer in her live with being forced to squat on the same territory as a demon?
At first, Faith tried to be reasonable. She tried to find positives in the situation. If she could keep Buffy on a short leash in the pretense that they were taking the world by storm, she could stop her from getting out of hand if the slayer in her lost out to the beast.
But what about fun? Faith was all about finding the fun, especially if she had Buffy by her side. It felt so natural for her when she had traveled with Buffy. They fell into step alongside one another as if it was always meant to be that way. Why couldn't it be that way now, she kept asking herself. Buffy made it clear that she wasn't running around killing humans. Why couldn't it work out?
After reason came responsibility. Faith knew that she had a job to do as a slayer. Her job was to protect humanity. To keep evil at bay while John Q. Public remained oblivious to the evils that lurk in the darkness. Surely, Giles could give her a hundred or more reasons why Buffy needed to be stopped. Why the girl he had once trusted more than anyone in the world was now public enemy number one.
Faith tried to wrap her head around it all as she took another long pull from her bottle of beer, no closer to making a decision now than she had been the moment Buffy was straddling her lap two days ago.
The minutes ticked down as Faith lounged around her disheveled apartment, waiting for the moment that Buffy would show up and expect a decision.
As Faith looked out the window and noticed that the sun was making its way across the sky to its resting spot below the horizon, she finally felt motivated. Not motivated to make a decision, but motivated to get the hell out of her apartment -- where she had been holed up for the past two days -- to a place where she could be hidden. Just one among the numbers. She headed to the bathroom and pulled off her clothes, tossing them right into the garbage bin before slipping into a nice hot shower. Faith stood under the hot spray, letting it wash away the stress of the last few days until the water began to run cold. She tested herself, seeing how long she could stand under the cold spray before she gave in.
Strangely enough, the cold didn't bother her. Possibly a perk of being a slayer, or possibly her mind edging her toward a certain decision.
After getting dressed and fixing herself up, Faith grabbed her leather jacket and left her apartment, headed toward one of her favorite haunts. She walked into the local dive and found a spot at the bar, deciding to take a break from being in the spotlight. For once in her life, she really just wanted to blend into the crowd.
It wasn't that Faith was trying to avoid Buffy by leaving her apartment. Rather, she was avoiding making a decision. Eventually, Buffy would find her. Eventually, Buffy would leave LA in search of southern magicks that would keep her protected from Giles and the coven. Eventually, Faith would have to give Buffy her answer.
And as much as she wasn't sure what she was going to do, she had no doubt in her mind that she wouldn't be able to deny Buffy. Not when she had longed for her, for her love and attention, for so long.
Almost two hours had passed as Faith sat at the bar and nursed her whiskey, trying hard not to let it impair her thoughts, but drinking just enough to keep her calm and collected.
The bartender would turn on the radio from behind the bar whenever people stopped feeding money into the jukebox. For the last half hour, Faith had been listening to some random football game, wishing that she had brought some spare change with her to play some good music.
And as if right on clockwork, the sound of the jukebox clicking on prompted the bartender to turn off the radio as a guitar riff began to play.
'Make up your mind...' The all too familiar music began.
"You've gotta be kidding me," Faith said under her breath, a chuckle escaping her lips.
'Decide to walk with me...' The music continued. And that's when Faith felt it. The hum.
"I thought we had a date," Faith heard from behind her, and she turned her head to see Buffy stood there, arms crossed over her chest.
Faith turned fully so that she could face Buffy and leaned back against the bar, "Come on, B. Both you and I know I don't do the dating thing."
"And why exactly is that?" Buffy asked as she casually made her way over to the bar and sat on the stool next to Faith. She got the bartender's attention and indicated for him to bring two drinks over.
Faith thought about it for a moment before she answered, not changing her position against the bar.
"Guess you could call me commitment phobic. Gettin' into anything for too long makes me itchy," she responded easily, stealing a glance in Buffy's direction.
"Ahh," Buffy replied, "so I guess this is your way of telling me that forever is too long to live, right? I mean, between that and the fact that you took my welcome away from your apartment. Pretty clear signs that I'm being shot down, huh."
The bartender made his way over to the girls and set two shot glasses on the counter, filling them with a smooth amber liquid as he eavesdropped on their conversation.
Buffy picked up one of the shot glasses and handed it to Faith before grabbing one for herself, easily tipping the warm liquid back down her throat.
"I don't know yet," Faith answered truthfully, then copied Buffy's actions and slammed the drink back quickly. "I don't know exactly what you want from me, B. Am I gonna be some kinda suck-pet to your inner vamp, doing your dirty work during the day and being your whipgirl at night? And for the record, I can't have you poppin' in every time you feel like reminiscing, hence the revoked entry into la casa de Faith. I like my privacy."
"You can be whatever you wanna be, Faithy," Buffy said, answering Faith's question. "I already told you that you don't have to do anything you don't wanna do."
Faith turned to look at Buffy when she noticed that the bartender was staring at them with wide eyes.
"Hey buddy, I'm not here to entertain you. You wanna see a good drama? Turn on the TV," she said to him, shooting an angry glare his way.
The bartender merely held his hands up in his defense and walked away, leaving Faith and Buffy to finish their discussion.
"This is why I thought it'd be best to meet at your apartment," Buffy said with a shrug, tracing her fingertip over the rim of the shot glass. "Kinda hard to talk about in public without giving the locals a case of the wiggins."
"Come on," Faith said as she took Buffy's hand and pulled her out the back door of the bar and into a darkened alleyway. The perfect place to have a quiet conversation . . . or to commit a dastardly deed out of the public eye.
Before Faith could turn to face Buffy once out in the alley, she felt herself suddenly pushed up against a wall, Buffy standing chest to chest to her while looking up into her eyes. Faith noticed that Buffy's eyes were almost aglow in the moonlight.
"Tell me," Buffy said while tilting her head to the side a bit, the music still audible from the inside of the bar, "have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moon light?"
Faith looked down at Buffy and raised her eyebrows in question.
After a moment, they both began laughing.
"Bonus points for the cheesiest thing that you coulda ever said just then," Faith answered, visibly relaxing as Buffy backed off and rested against the wall next to her.
"I know, I know. I couldn't help it," Buffy said with a big grin. "You were so nervous and on edge. I had to do something or your head would've imploded or something. It's been a while, but I don't think slayer healing would've fixed that one."
"Probably not," Faith said, smiling as she looked over at Buffy.
They stood there for a few minutes, just staring at one another, chuckling and smiling. Trying to find a comfortable middle ground. Trying to find something that they could cling to. Trying to figure out exactly how they had come to that point.
The music continued to fill the alleyway, spewing lyrics that couldn't have been more fitting.
'I can promise you, you'll stay as beautiful, with dark hair, and soft skin . . . forever.'
A moment later, Faith whispered, "Come here," taking Buffy by the hand and pulling her closer once again. And then lips were moving softly against lips, fingers touching skin that was warmed by alcohol.
Buffy sighed into Faith's mouth, melding perfectly into her body. While one hand remained in Faith's, she used the other to wrap around the back of her neck, pulling her impossibly closer. There was no such thing as too close. There was, however, such a thing as not close enough. Years of mixed signals and pretending all were boiling down to this.
To want, to take, and to finally have.
And as always, fate intervened when Faith's cell phone buzzed from her front jacket pocket, cutting into their moment.
Buffy smiled and casually reached into Faith's jacket. She grabbed the buzzing phone from its place in the small inner pocket, her smile wavering a bit as she felt a stake nestled safely in a hidden pouch.
Faith took the phone from Buffy's hand, clearly aware that Buffy had discovered the stake. She tried to give Buffy a smile to keep the girl complacent, but Buffy had already taken a few steps away and was leaning against the opposite wall now, frowning slightly.
She didn't have to glance down at the caller ID to know who was calling; Faith knew it was Giles. With a quick flick, she had the phone open and against her ear.
"Faith?" She heard Giles' concerned voice on the other end of the line. "Thank goodness. I thought that something had happened. Why haven't you answered my calls?"
"Been a bit busy with some personal stuff," she said with a shrug, keeping a close eye on Buffy.
"Are you well?" he asked more calmly now.
Again, Faith shrugged. "About five by five, G."
She felt like the less info she gave him, the better off they both would be.
"Have you completed your assignment then?" Giles asked, his voice low.
Faith hesitated for a few moments as Buffy looked up at her, obviously having heard Giles' question.
"Not in so many words, no," Faith answered, doing her best not to lie. Giles always had a way of knowing when she was lying.
Giles sighed quietly, desperation and distress evident in his voice. "Would you mind explaining then, in your own words?"
Faith stood with the small phone pressed against her ear, listening to the anguish in Giles' voice, unable to take her eyes off of Buffy. She watched as Buffy shifted and sighed, her shoulders slumped just a bit more now. It was as if Buffy had given up; that she had received a negative response from Faith, and between the un-invite from the apartment and the stake hidden in her pocket, was preparing for Faith to take her out. To finish her off after all.
Faith was broken from her thoughts when she heard Giles anxiously clear his throat on the other end of the line. She took a deep breath, careful not to let it shake as she exhaled. She couldn't let on how nervous she was at the prospect of what she was about to do.
"Giles?" she asked softly.
"Yes, Faith?" he responded just as softly.
Faith sighed, "Tell Dawnie that I'm sorry."
"Of course," Giles said sadly. He knew how much Dawn had come to look up to Faith after they'd defeated the First. He also knew how hard it would be for Faith to bear Dawn's scorn after finally earning her respect.
"And . . . I'm done, Giles," she said as she turned her back to Buffy, speaking more quietly. "You won't see me again. I'm out."
Giles paused, taking a moment to fully understand Faith's words. "I understand," he said, trying to convey his remorse at making her do his dirty work in the few words he was able to speak.
Without allowing him to say anything more, Faith clicked the small phone shut and turned once again to face Buffy. She took a few steps toward Buffy, who had left her space against the wall and was now taking steps closer to her as well.
"So that's it then," Buffy said rather than asked. "You apologize to my sister, say your goodbyes to Giles, and you take me out. Gotta say, I'm a bit disappointed. Not exactly the way I saw this all going down."
"Yeah?" Faith asked, a hint of amusement on her face. "Why don't you tell me how you saw it all go down in your head, princess?"
"Alright," Buffy said, stopping mere inches away from Faith. "I saw you saying yes. I saw us dancing the night away until just before sunrise. I saw us running down the street, dodging the sun as it chased us to your apartment. I saw me claiming you, tasting you in more ways than one. And then I saw us, free to come and go as we please, free to live it up and do what we've always wanted to do. Together. As it always should have been. Light and dark, yin and yang, different sides to the same coin."
"'cept this time I'd be the light and you'd be the dark, huh," Faith said, slipping her hand between them and into her jacket to tuck the phone back in its pocket.
"You're the only one I could have this with, Faith. The only one I could see me spending it with. I just wish we were on the same page," Buffy said, looking up into Faith's brown eyes.
"Well, we're not," Faith said quickly, causing Buffy to flinch ever so subtly.
Buffy looked down, disappointment written clearly across her face. Faith's hand was still inside her jacket. One thrust with the stake she had hidden away there would put Buffy's plans to rest for good. But Faith didn't grip the stake. She pulled her hand out of her jacket and rested her arms against her sides.
"First of all," Faith continued, "if you think I'm gonna stay human so that you can send me on blood and donut runs for you in the middle of the day, you're crazier than I am. If we do this, we do it balls to the wall and go all out."
At that, Buffy looked up at Faith, a small grin on her face. Oh yes, Faith had tricked her into believing she might finish her off. She was sure there would be plenty of tricks in store down the line.
"That can be arranged, if it's what you really want," Buffy said coyly.
"Secondly," Faith said as she wore a smirk of her own, closing the space between her and Buffy, "we've got the rest of our un-lives to dance. I say we get a jump on the sun and go to my apartment now. Get started with the real fun stuff."
"Oh, I'm all about the fun stuff," Buffy said seductively as she moved her lips close to Faith's. Her quick breaths tickled over Faith lips as she brushed her lips ever so softly against them, then as she began to kiss her a bit harder.
Soon they were kissing hungrily, Faith's hands trailing over Buffy's back and perky ass as Buffy ran her fingers through Faith's mussed hair, crashing their mouths together. Faith nearly jumped back as she felt her lips split a bit under the force of their kiss, but instead she moaned into Buffy's mouth as Buffy slowly and softly began to suck on the small cut.
Needless to say, the walk back to Faith's apartment took longer than it should have. Sure they were in a hurry to get back and get things really started, but they were having too much fun pushing one another against buildings and light poles, both girls trying to dominate the other.
Faith had never pictured Buffy as an aggressive lover, but the thought of it now sent a shot of excitement through her body like she had never felt before.
She'd never met anyone before that could keep up with her inside the bedroom. Buffy had been her match outside of the bedroom. Now, she got to have the best of both worlds.
When they finally made their way into Faith's building and up the stairs to her apartment door, they kissed hungrily again, unable to pull away from one another. Mustering up all of the restraint she had in herself, Faith pulled her keys out of her pocket and unlocked the door as Buffy continued to kiss her. She reached behind herself and twisted the door knob, which caused the door to burst open with their weight pressed against it.
Faith stumbled backwards into the dark apartment while Buffy remained in the hallway, repelled by her lack of invitation.
Buffy stood there with her hands braced on the door way, lips kiss swollen, panting heavily. She watched Faith with hungry eyes, waiting for her invite.
"Well?" she asked impatiently.
Faith walked to the door way and turned on the light switch, illuminating the room perfectly. She had a flirty smile on her lips and immediately met Buffy's hungry gaze as she kicked off her boots.
"Well what?" Faith asked as she took a few steps backwards into the room, shrugging her leather jacket off onto the floor.
"What do you mean, 'well what?'" Buffy asked. "Invite me in."
"Or what?" Faith asked coyly as she slid her hands underneath her shirt and lifted it off over her head. Her long brown hair cascaded over her shoulders, covering the straps of her silky black bra.
Buffy chuckled as she watched Faith teasing her. "Didn't you ever learn that teasing isn't nice?"
"Oh, I don't know," Faith began as she slowly unbuttoned and unzipped her tight jeans, "I've always thought that teasing is the best part." At that, she began to ease her jeans down and off of her hips. She stepped out of her pants and kicked them to the side, leaving her stood there in her sexy matching bra and panty set.
"Faith . . ." Buffy purred as she looked Faith over slowly, appreciating every dip and curve of her body.
"I bet you really wanna come . . . inside." Faith taunted as she turned and faced away from Buffy, displaying her perfect ass and exposed back. She moved her hands behind her back and slowly unclasped her bra, letting it fall to the floor. A sly smile appeared on her face as she heard Buffy practically growl from the door space. Faith turned her head and looked over her shoulder at Buffy. "Whatcha waiting for, B? Come in."
And then it was Buffy's turn to make her entrance. She pushed the door closed behind herself and stalked towards Faith, shedding articles of clothing along the way.
Faith remained stood with her back towards Buffy, watching her from over her shoulder. The gesture would have gone unnoticed by anyone else, but to Buffy, it showed just how much Faith trusted her at the moment. That she wasn't going to turn on Faith now that she had her in her grasp.
By the time Buffy got to Faith, she was naked except for a pair of red panties. Faith felt rather than saw Buffy's final approach, as she had closed her eyes in anticipation. She felt surprisingly warm skin press against her back, taut nipples grazing deliciously over her skin.
"I want you, Faith," Buffy whispered, letting her lips press softly to the back of Faith's neck.
"I've always wanted you, Buffy," Faith said, her voice barely a whisper. Her breath trembled as she exhaled, anticipation and excitement coursing through her veins.
"Do you want me like this?" Buffy asked as she slid an arm around Faith's stomach and let her fingers push into her damp panties
"Ahh, yeah," Faith exhaled as Buffy's fingertips slid deftly between her folds.
"How about like this?" Buffy asked before letting her teeth skim gently over Faith's shoulder, a promise of things to come.
"God, yeah," Faith replied, her legs pressed together to trap Buffy's hand between her legs.
Buffy pressed fully against Faith's back, encouraging her to walk the last few steps needed to the bedroom. By the time they had reached the edge of the bed, Buffy's fingers were working over Faith's hardened clit, sliding over and around it as she used her other hand to toy with one of Faith's nipples.
Faith was gasping and groaning, her eyes shut tight. No one had ever been able to dominate her, but she gave her power up to Buffy so willingly. So easily, without hesitation. Maybe it was because she knew that they were equals. Maybe it was because she knew that Buffy wanted her as much as she wanted Buffy.
Or maybe it was because she knew that as soon as Buffy made her come, she would turn around and give it back to Buffy tenfold.
"I want you to come for me, Faith," Buffy rasped into Faith's ear, teasing the shell of it with her tongue.
"Keep that up and I will," Faith said, her voice thick with lust.
Buffy continued her assault on Faith's clit, but not before lowering her other hand between Faith's legs and slipping two fingers into her dripping pussy. She pumped her fingers away, feeling Faith quickly begin to lose control.
"Mmm, ohh fuck," Faith moaned, resting her head back on Buffy's shoulder. Buffy continued to lick and suck on Faith's shoulder and neck, lavishing love and affection onto the area that she would claim as her own.
As Faith's orgasm quickly approached and rolled over her in waves, Buffy let her fangs descend and slowly, cautiously slid them into Faith's sensitive flesh. Faith groaned loudly as she felt Buffy's tongue lapping gently at her fresh incision. She imagined that tongue lapping away in her pussy, which sent her over into a second, even more powerful orgasm. Her legs shook at the intensity of it.
Buffy had withdrew her fangs from Faith's skin almost as soon as she had slid them in, not wanting to scare or hurt the other girl. They had all night. They had the morning too, if they wanted it. It wasn't about Faith's blood. It was about Faith. About taking what they had always wanted.
Faith laid her hand over Buffy's, which was still resting in her panties. She stilled Buffy's hand and took several minutes to catch her breath and collect herself. Buffy merely lapped and sucked gently on Faith's shoulder until the small flow of blood stopped. She kissed the wound again and again, trying to comfort Faith.
"Intense," Faith said and whistled. She turned her head to the side and kissed Buffy lazily.
"You can say that again," Buffy replied after their kiss ended.
Faith turned in her arms and encircled Buffy's waist, pulling her close. "Intense," she repeated, a smirk on her face.
"Uh-huh," Buffy teased back. Before she could gauge what Faith was doing, Buffy felt the backs of her legs hit the end of the bed, followed by her back gently hitting the mattress.
"Does this mean you're on top now?" Buffy asked as she shimmied up the mattress, followed moments later by a grinning Faith.
"Uh-huh," Faith said, mimicking Buffy's answer from just moments before. She descended upon Buffy, her lips instantly kissing over her throat and jaw. When she finally reached Buffy's lips, they kissed hard and deep, completely unrestrained. When air became an issue for Faith, she pulled back and rested her forehead against Buffy's, eyes closed and breathing hard.
"Intense," Buffy rasped as her fingers trailed up Faith's back.
"Uh-huh," Faith said with a grin and began her descent down Buffy's body, blazing a trail of kisses down to where Buffy wanted them the most.
The sun was just moments from breaking over the horizon when Buffy and Faith finally flopped back onto the bed. Buffy was covered in a thin sheet of sweat, while Faith was covered in a number of hickeys and quickly fading love-bites.
Faith had been puzzled by Buffy's warmth as they touched, but Buffy explained that it was due to the alcohol at first, and then to their rigorous sexcapades.
They lay in quiet contemplation for a while, limbs tangled together as they rested their weary muscles.
"Can I ask you a question?" Buffy asked as she rolled on top of Faith.
"Yeah, these are my real boobs. Amazing, right?" Faith responded sarcastically. She wrapped one arm around Buffy's back and held her close. Seeing the serious look on Buffy's face, Faith decided to play along. "Sure. What up, B?"
Buffy paused for a moment or two before asking her question.
"Are you sure about this, Faith? Cos once we do this, there's no going back. I can't give you back your life once I take it from you."
Faith looked off into the room and thought about it for a few minutes.
"Yeah, I wanna do it," she answered somewhat easily.
"Why?" Buffy asked quietly, looking directly into Faith's eyes.
Faith simply shrugged and gave the most frank answer that she could: "I'd rather have you in death than never in life."
Buffy smiled just a tiny bit before leaning in and kissing Faith gently on her lips. She held the side of Faith's face in her hand, gently caressing it with her thumb. After a few moments, she pushed herself up so that she was sat straddling Faith.
Faith couldn't help but grin as she looked up at Buffy's naked form above her. She moved her hands to Buffy's hips and held her firmly in place.
"Are you ready to be my angel?" Buffy said as she used her fingernail to pierce the skin just above her breast, leaving a trail of crimson in her wake.
Faith sat up as much as she could with Buffy straddling her, bringing them almost face to face. She stared deep into green eyes before leaning in and kissing Buffy on her lips, then down her jaw and neck until she reached her destination.
Buffy ran her hand through Faith's hair and pulled her head tight against her. Faith's mouth felt exquisite in this their most intimate of acts yet. Buffy tossed her head back, eyes clenched shut tightly as she began to move her hips back and forth. Instantly, she felt her body start to warm once again.
Faith began to lay back with Buffy hovering just above her, pleasure written across both of their faces. When Faith's head finally hit the pillow, Buffy opened her eyes and let her fangs descend. A moment later, she was lowering her head to Faith's neck; a final kiss.
Two days had passed and Buffy paced back and forth, nervous and excited at the same time. This was the night. She had done everything she was supposed to do. She had made all of the necessary travel arrangements. She had packed everything she thought that they would need.
Now, she only had to wait for her companion.
As if right on schedule, the small mound of dirt that Buffy had covered Faith with began to move. A finger, a hand, an arm . . . and then the whole mound shifted as Faith sat up, shaking the dirt from her clothed body.
She looked anxiously around her, taking in her surrounding with new eyes. Vivid colors invaded her senses, the stars now a color that she couldn't even begin to describe. Buffy had promised her that she wouldn't wake up in some morgue or cemetery. A large meadow under the starry sky was her new birthplace.
As Faith adjusted her vision and senses, she saw a figure moving about in the darkness. She looked over to see Buffy walking slowly toward her, a smile etched across her face.
Faith looked Buffy over and noticed that she had her favorite leather jacket draped over her arm, along with her favorite jeans and tank top. And of course, her favorite stake was tucked into the pocket of Buffy's jeans.
Faith grinned as Buffy knelt down beside her and offered a hand.
"Welcome back, lover," Buffy said, helping Faith to her feet. "There's a hot shower waiting for you a few miles away, and then . . . and then we disappear."
Faith looked around, still adjusting to her new senses. The slayer was still there. She was calling to Faith, urging her to use the stake on the gang of vamps that was hidden in the trees. Faith could feel them.
Buffy. She could feel Buffy. It wasn't just the slayer bond. It was something more. They belonged to one another. They had claimed one another.
It didn't matter that her heart wasn't beating. Her heart had only ever beaten for Buffy anyhow, and now she had Buffy forever.
With a devilish smile on her lips, Faith let Buffy take her hand and lead her away. She didn't care where they were going.
The only thing that mattered was that they were going there together, as it had always been meant to be.
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