Chapter Twelve

Faith poured some of the water into her hand and flicked it at Buffy’s face. Buffy didn’t react . . . she just sat there with her eyes wide and mouth hanging open like she had been for the past five minutes.

“It’s not that big a deal, B. Really,” Faith said, trying to hide her smile.

Buffy snapped back to reality after hearing that. She brought her sleeve up to her face and wiped off the water before giving Faith a look of disbelief.

“Not a big deal? My mom knows! It is a big deal!” She said excitedly, though her voice was lacking the anger that Faith had almost expected.

“Well, if it makes ya feel any better, I didn’t actually tell her. She just kinda knew.”

Buffy gave Faith a confused glare.

“What do you mean?”

Faith chuckled.

“Well, there’s the newfound closeness, the hickeys, she said somethin’ about ‘moon eyes’, and . . . umm . . . then there was the whole basement thing.”

She cringed as she waited for Buffy’s reaction to finding out that her Mom knew what had happened in the basement.

Buffy’s eyes grew impossibly wider before she jumped up from her place on the floor and began to pace.

“Not good. Not good. So not good. This is definitely of the bad,” Buffy ranted frantically. “Well, that settles that. I can never leave the basement. I’ll be down here for the rest of my life. Instead of being the crazy cat lady, I’m gonna be the crazy basement lady. Kids from the neighborhood will come around and try to look into the windows to get a glimpse of me, so I’ll have to make a fort under the stairs to hide, and I’ll mpfhhh . . .”

Her rant was quickly brought to an end when Faith crushed her lips to her, kissing her softly but passionately in hopes of calming her down a bit.

When she felt Buffy finally relax a little, she pulled back from the kiss but held her close in a warm embrace. Just the simple feeling of having Buffy cuddled against her made her feel a small pang in her chest. Instead of being scared by it, it actually made her smile.

“How ‘bout this: if you decide that ya really wanna be crazy basement lady, I’ll be crazy basement lady with ya. We could spend the rest of our lives down here together, playin’ Monopoly and Scrabble, eatin’ whatever food you Ma throws down the laundry shoot for us, and . . . if those kids come creepin’ around and peekin’ in the windows? We’ll give ‘em a real show.”

When she heard Buffy giggle and relax even more, she continued.

“Or, we could always just finish our laundry, go back upstairs and pretend like it’s just another normal day, eat dinner in peace, and walk outta here hand-in-hand like it’s not a big deal. Besides, I kinda got a surprise planned for later and we can’t do it if we’re shacked up in the basement.”

Buffy lifted her head and gazed up into brown eyes, a small smile on her face.

“Pretend it’s just another normal day?” She asked innocently.

“Yep. Another vanilla day in the ‘dale.”

“Right. I can do that. It’s just another normal day in Sunnydale . . . where my Mom knows that we sexed in the basement.” She paused and thought about her words. “I don’t know, Faith. That doesn’t feel so normal to me,” she joked.

The two Slayers remained in the basement for a few hours. They spent the time folding and ironing their clean laundry, doing some actual sparring, taking a small nap while curled up together on a small cot, and playing a few games of Go Fish.

When dinner time came, Joyce called them upstairs. After a few minutes of Faith trying to convince Buffy that everything was okay, the two girls slowly made their way up to the dining room. Faith wore a victorious smile during dinner while Buffy mostly wore a deep blush.

If Joyce was unhappy or uncomfortable with the situation, she certainly didn’t show it. She carried on a causal conversation with Faith as always while Buffy remained fairly quiet, looking up from her plate only to make sure that things were looking okay with her mother.

When dinner ended, Buffy happily escaped back into the basement to gather their bags of clean laundry.

After carrying the several sacks up the basement stairs, she shyly entered the kitchen to see Faith helping Joyce with the dishes, the two of them whispering conspiratorially. Her interest piqued, she walked further into the counter and leaned against the countertop island, still unnoticed by the two women.

She coughed after a few more seconds passed to announce her presence and laughed slightly when Faith spun to face her, a shocked look on her face.

Faith looked like she’d been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. Buffy stared at her, amused as the girl started stammering and trying to speak.

“B?! You scared the hell outta me! I’m seriously considering makin’ you wear a bell or somethin’.”

Buffy raised her eyebrows and smirked at her.

“So what’s going on in here? Secret planning or something? Should I step outside for a few minutes?” She teased.

Faith relaxed as she realized that Buffy hadn’t heard what she and Joyce were discussing. She tried to look as relaxed and nonchalant as she answered.

“Nahh, it’s all good. I was just tellin’ your Ma that I had a surprised planned for tonight, so she agreed to drop our laundry off tomorrow so that we didn’t have to worry about gettin’ it back to our dorm tonight.”

Buffy folded her arms across her chest.

“That’s all, huh?” she asked and Faith nodded casually. “Care to let me in on the surprise then?”

Faith smiled, showing off her dimples.

“It wouldn’t be a surprise then, would it? Speakin’ of which, we gotta motorvate if we’re gonna get there on time.” She turned towards Buffy’s mom. “So, it’s okay if I borrow that stuff then?”

Joyce smiled.

“It’s waiting for you in the living room. Have fun girls. I’ll see you both tomorrow.” She winked at Faith before turning to Buffy and giving her a hug.

Faith grabbed a large duffel bag from the living room floor before she and Buffy left the house. She led Buffy on a casual walk that took about a half hour.

The last leg of their journey was through a small wooded area and up onto a hill that overlooked downtown Sunnydale. Buffy kept asking Faith where they were going, but she received no reply each time she asked. Faith would just keep looking straight ahead while wearing a coy smile, bringing their interlaced hands up to her mouth to place a small kiss on Buffy’s knuckles.

When they finally reached the highest part of the hill, Faith placed the duffel bag on the ground and opened it to rummage through the contents.

Buffy’s attention shifted from Faith to the beautiful sky above her. The stars looked bigger and brighter that ever in the cloudless sky and Buffy could see the smallest part of a shadow on the moon.

‘She realized then that Faith had brought her there to watch the eclipse.

When she finally brought her attention back to Faith, a huge smile crept up on her face at what she saw.

Laid before her was a large blanket, a bottle of wine, two glasses, a pair of candles surrounded by colored hurricane glass, and a bowl of fresh fruit. Faith was busy pulling a second blanket out of the duffel bag and didn’t realize that Buffy had crept up behind her until she felt a pair of this arms slide around her midsection.

She stood up and turned in Buffy’s arms so that she was facing her, their faces only inches apart.

“So,” Buffy began, “you brought me here to watch the eclipse?”

Faith chuckled.

“You’re really kinda a master of the obvious, aren’t ya B? Yeah, I brought ya here for the eclipse. The fruit and wine was your Ma’s idea. Yunno, I figured that you’d like this girly type of shit.”

“You really know how to sweet talk a girl, don’t you?” Buffy laughed. “I can’t believe my Mom gave you wine . . . how’d you manage that one?”

“I think that Joyce and I have an understanding. She wants the best for you and, well . . . that’s me,” Faith answered, flashing a huge smile and winking at her. She looked up towards the sky and her eyes got wide. “Come on, B, the eclipse is startin’ already! We’re gonna miss it!”

She plopped down on the blanket and sat with her legs in a ‘v’, indicating for Buffy to come sit between them.

Buffy chuckled at Faith’s sudden enthusiasm but sat down in front of her nonetheless. She hadn’t been sitting there for more than ten seconds when she felt Faith wrap her arms around her stomach and pull her back against her. She put one of her hands on top of Faith’s on her stomach and grabbed her glass of wine with the other.

“This is kind of perfect,” Buffy said quietly as she leaned back further into Faith and glanced up to the sky.

“It kinda is,” Faith answered back just as quietly before starting to place soft kisses on Buffy’s shoulder, up her neck and on her jaw line.

She was feeling a million different things at that point; excited but tranquil, nervous but at peace. Mostly, though, she was just feeling love. Love for Buffy, love for the time they were sharing together, love for the possibility of a future together. Love pure and simple. It was something that she’d never felt before, or at least hadn’t recognized until now.

And she wanted to tell the world.

After about fifteen minutes, Buffy finally broke the silence with the thoughts that were in her head.

“I wonder what Willow’s gonna say when I see her tomorrow. I bet she’ll be all stuttery and blushy. She sounded pretty okay on the phone; I just hope she’s the same way in person.”

“She’ll be fine, B. You’re like a sister to her. She loves ya, yunno?”

Buffy smiled.

“Yeah, I know.”

Faith felt like it was her opportunity then and there to let Buffy know just how she felt. The fear of rejection, the fear of acceptance . . . it all went away when she felt Buffy’s soft hand lovingly stroking her arm.

She gathered up all of her courage and after another minute of silence, she finally spoke.

“I don’t think ya have anything to worry ‘bout, B. They all love ya.” She took a deep breath and finally spoke the words she’d been waiting to say. “Even me. I love ya too.”

Buffy smiled and laughed quietly.

“I love them too. And you. You know I love you back, right Faith?” She asked innocently. She didn’t quite get exactly what Faith was trying to say to her.

So Faith tried it once more.

“Umm, yeah, I know. But, I don’t just love you B . . . I’m . . .” she paused, “. . . I’m kinda in love with you.”

She didn’t have to wait long for a reaction as Buffy spun around and looked her right in the eyes.

“You . . . you’re . . .” Buffy stammered.

“In love with you,” Faith finished, staring into her eyes in hopes of conveying all of her unsaid feelings.

“Since when?” Buffy asked quietly.

Faith chuckled nervously, “Since always, I think.”

They kept their eyes locked together as several moments of silence passed. After what seemed like an eternity to Faith, Buffy finally responded by fully turning her body so that they were now chest to chest.

Buffy brought her hands up and cupped Faith’s face, running her thumbs over her lips before leaning in to taste them. She didn’t say the actual words back, but her feelings were clearly conveyed in the gentle and loving manner in which she was kissing her.

There they sat under the stars on a blanket on a hill, both suddenly oblivious to the eclipse that was happening directly over their heads.

They were too busy dealing with their own cosmic event.

Day Six

When they finally made their way back to their dorm room on Sunday night, neither Buffy nor Faith wanted to be without the other for any amount of time.

After making love all night long, they decided in the morning on Monday to take that much needed day off that they had been talking about.

They stayed in their room all day long, skipping their classes while avoiding every other distraction presented to them. Buffy had placed a call to Joyce and told her that they would stop by to pick up their laundry on Wednesday, and she disconnected the phone after that.

Truthfully, they really had no need for the laundry. They remained naked in bed for most of the day, spending their time sleeping, cuddling, making love repeated times, and watching TV.

Faith got dressed for a grand total of about thirty minutes so that she could go a pick up the food that they’d ordered, but as soon as she crossed the threshold to their room, Buffy had her stripped and on the bed before she could even put the food down.

When it came time to patrol, Buffy called Giles to get out of it for the evening. She was, however, pleasantly surprised when he told her that she and Faith should take the evening off. His exact words? ‘After a cosmic event like last night, most demons and creatures take a night off. Perhaps you and Faith should take the time to study or catch up on other chores’.

Needless to say, there was no arguing involved.

As night finally fell and the two Slayers went to sleep, it was as it had been the few nights before: both girls nestled into one another, content smiles on their faces. The only different this time was that instead sleeping so that one of them faced away from the other, they slept with limbs entangled, facing towards one another.

Heart to heart.

“B! Where’s my underwear?” Faith yelled towards the bathroom as she anxiously searched through the disheveled room.

They had both overslept and were now frantically trying to get ready and get to their classes on time.

“Where they always are, Faith: in your top drawer,” Buffy answered back while blow-drying her hair.

Faith ran over to her dresser and opened all of the drawers, finding them all to be mostly or completely empty.

“No, they’re not!” She cried out frustrated.

Buffy turned off the blow-dryer and scurried into the room, trying to put her socks on as she walked. She glanced in Faith’s drawers and then looked around.

“They all must’ve been in the wash. Here, take a pair of mine.”

Faith caught the dainty pair of bubble-gum pink undies that Buffy threw at her and raised an eyebrow.

“B, I know that I’ve been tryin’ to get in your panties for a while, but this gives it a whole different meaning.”

Hearing Buffy sigh in frustration, she stopped her complaining and put on the underwear.

“Okay,” Buffy began as she continued to get dressed, “I’ve got classes till 2:00, then I’ve gotta get to the computer lab and catch up on some work. I won’t be back ‘til 8:00. Oh, shoot! I’ve gotta run to my moms and get the laundry. Better make that 10:00.”

“Right. I’ve got classes ‘til 3:00, then I gotta work ‘til 9:00. How ‘bout this: I’ll shower and get changed at work. Then I’ll do a quick patrol after I’m done, and I can meet you up at the campus bar afterwards. Say . . . 10:30?” Faith said hurriedly as she finished getting dressed and threw a few books in her bag.

By the time she finished speaking, she was standing at the door with her bag in hand, ready to make a mad dash across the campus to get to her class.

“Deal,” Buffy said as she finished dressing and grabbed her bag, meeting Faith at the door.

“Love ya, B,” Faith said as she grabbed Buffy around the waist and kissed her hard and fast.

“Me too,” Buffy said against Faith’s lips. “Now go, you’re so late.”

At that, both girls made their way out of their room, ready for a busy day.

Buffy and Faith simultaneously entered the Campus bar at 10:30 on the dot. They immediately made their way up to the bar where they were greeted by a grinning Xander, a smiling Tara, and a blushing Willow.

Seeing the look on Xander’s face, Buffy pouted.

“Will! You told Xander?!”

“I . . . I didn’t mean . . . I . . . yes,” The blushing red-head stammered.

“No need to be embarrassed, ladies,” Xander cut in, his voice dropping an octave. “I’m perfectly fine with the girly-loving. In fact, I wouldn’t be totally against some public displays of affection as we speak.” Seeing the evil glares he was getting from all four women, he continued. “Or I could just shut up and get you some drinks. Yeah, let’s go with that.”

Faith stepped up behind Buffy and wrapped her arms around her, nuzzling her nose against the back of her neck. The new-found closeness of the two girls wasn’t lost on any of the others, but they didn’t make a big spectacle of the fact. Mostly because it had been so long since they had seen either Buffy or Faith looking that happy and content.

After about an hour had passed, the group of friends was distracted from their quiet conversation when a group of rowdy young men came in. They turned their attention towards the young men and the air suddenly became tense when they saw that Parker was among the men.

And again, it didn’t go unnoticed as Buffy tensed up and pulled away from Faith, fixing up her appearance as she kept an eye on Parker.

The look of hurt on Faith’s face was caught by everyone but Buffy. Willow and Tara watched as Faith went from looking hurt to just looking pissed. Xander, not wanting to get caught up in the female drama, suddenly found some actual work to do.

“I can’t believe he just strolls in here like that after what he does to all these girls,” Buffy stated as she continued to glance at him.

Faith, ignoring her boiling blood, tried to soothe her girlfriend.

“It’s not somethin’ you have to worry about anymore, B, so why don’t you come back here and we . . .” she stopped speaking when, after reaching out her hand to pull Buffy back to her, found that Buffy pushed it away.

A bitter smile crept up on her face as she shook her head in disbelief.

“I can’t fuckin believe you, B. One sidelong glance from Parker-fuckin-Abrams and you’re fuckin droolin over him again?” she asked bitterly.

Buffy just gave her an angry glance.

“I’m not drooling over him, Faith. You need to get your facts straight.”

Faith chuckled, her anger seething.

“Yeah? Fine. I’m wrong. So why don’t you come back here and sit on my lap, baby?”

Buffy just looked at her.

“Because I’m not gonna try to make him jealous by hanging all over you. That’s not my style.”

Faith laughed bitterly as she stood up and put on her jacket.

“Yeah, you’re right. I guess that ‘hanging all over me’ was never really your style, was it?”

She turned to walk away but stopped when she heard Willow call out to her.

“Faith, wait! You . . . you shouldn’t leave like this. Don’t walk away mad,” Willow said.

Again, Faith laughed bitterly.

“I’m not mad, Red. I’m stupid. I shoulda known this woulda happened when I finally let my guard down. Guess I’ll just have to learn from my mistakes, yeah?”

With that said, Faith turned around and stormed out of the bar. She wasn’t sure where she was going to go, but she knew it had to be far away from her Buffy.

The pain of just seeing her was suddenly too much, and Faith ran from the bar with tears in her eyes and a driving pain in her heart.

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