Buffy might as well had not have gone to her class after her little lunchtime fiasco with Faith. Her body was there, but her mind was elsewhere.
She couldn’t believe that Faith had won her little challenge. One minute she felt perfectly at ease, and then things just spiraled out of control. She didn’t know hoe Faith had done it, but she was sure that she must’ve cheated in some way.
Similar thoughts ran through Buffy’s mind during the length of her Psych-101 Class. She didn’t mind so much that she wasn’t paying attention . . . Faith took the same course the previous semester and would be able to share her old notes.
The thought of Faith in college still amused Buffy more than a little. The same girl who had made such a big stink when they made her get her high-school equivalency was now kicking ass in college.
Much to the amazement of . . . well, pretty much everyone she knew, she received four – B’s and one – A her first semester. Buffy’s three – C’s and two – B’s kind of paled in comparison, but she was happy at least to be passing.
The first semester was tough on all of the Scoobies. Willow had to deal with the realization that she was gay, and she also had to deal with coming out of the closet to her nearest and dearest. In the end, everything turned out fine, much to her surprise. Her friends supported her and she got a great girlfriend out of the deal. In fact, Tara had invited Willow to share her double room, and the two witches had been living happily ever after since.
Xander, on the other hand, had some problem finding his direction in life. He picked up several part-time jobs to save some money while living in his parents’ basement.. His weekdays were spent on a construction site, and his weekends were spent on campus working in a local bar. He didn’t mind the non-student bartender job, seeing as that he got to spend time with all of his favorite girls while on campus.
Faith had been living in an on-campus apartment. She had eight roommates, zero with whom she had gotten along with. They couldn’t handle the fact that even though she liked to party hard, she was also trying to do well in school.
As soon as Willow moved in with Tara, Faith began crashing with Buffy. It made sense for the most part; between slaying and going out to either The Bronze or the Campus Bar to see Xander, they were together most nights anyways. After a little bit of haggling with the Residence Life office, Buffy and Faith made the move official and they became roommates for good.
Buffy had noticed how close she and Faith were becoming, or had become. They spent almost all of their spare time together, whether it was slaying, going out, getting something to eat before or after class, or even the weekend visit to Joyce’s to do laundry.
She also couldn’t help but notice how comfortable she had become around Faith. She had no problem walking around their room in her bra and boyshorts, she didn’t mind when Faith would dance oh-so-close to her when they went out, and she didn’t even mind when Faith would growl at guys who got too close to the two of them.
In fact, she was getting so close to Faith that it almost scared her. She had put off her quest to find the perfect boyfriend seeing as that she was spending all of her free time with Faith anyways.
Plus, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t block out the voice in the back of her mind that kept telling her that college was supposed to be about experimentation and being young and dumb. She knew that she only lived once . . . or two or three times in her case. Her inhibitions were just hindering her quest for fun.
Buffy also couldn’t ignore the fact that even though Faith had toned down her usual barrage of flirting and sexual innuendos, there was still a hint of the old Faith left. On more than one occasion, the younger girl had hinted that she’d like to expand their relationship a bit.
Actually, her exact words were, “We should just do it and get it over with already. We both know that’s where it’s headed anyways, B. Either after a drunken frat-party or a night of some real good slayin’ . . . it’s bound to happen sooner or later. Let’s just get it outta the way is all I’m sayin.”
At the time, Buffy had attributed Faith’s little confession to a case of the post-slayage hornies. Her only response had been to giggle a bit and say, “Faith, the only way you’re getting into my pants is if you steal them out of my drawer.”
Faith had just laughed at her response. “Whatever you say, Twinkie. When that river in Egypt dries up, you make sure you give me a call.”
As Buffy thought about it while sitting in her Psych class, she pouted to herself a little. There was no way she was in denial, no matter how much Faith teased her about it.
Buffy was roused from her thoughts when she noticed that everyone was getting up from their seats and leaving the lecture hall. She blushed a little bit, but the embarrassment quickly passed when she realized that she got to go back to her dorm and see Faith . . .
. . . and suddenly she remembered that she didn’t want to see Faith and deal with her gloating after their earlier fiasco. She didn’t want to think about what kind of challenge Faith was going to offer up this time. There was no way that she was streaking across campus again!
Instead of heading back to their room, she decided it might be good to go and see Willow and Tara for a while.
Buffy stood up and grabbed her bag before slinging it over her shoulder and heading for the door. Before she could exit, however, she felt a heavy hand on her shoulder. She turned around quickly to see who it was.
Cue her fake smile.
“Oh, hey Riley. What’s up? Did I forget to hand in an assignment or something?” She asked the tall guy in front of her.
Riley had caught her eye the previous semester, before Faith had become her roommate. At first she thought he was the exact kind of person she was looking for. Tall, good-looking, smart, and a good guy in general.
But after Faith had been around for awhile, Buffy couldn’t help but find him just the slightest bit . . . dull and boring. Not wanting to have to let him down after showing an initial interest, she just stopped paying attention to him altogether.
Apparently, he hadn’t forgotten about her.
“Hi Buffy. How have you been doing? I hardly ever get the chance to talk to you any more,” he said with a big, annoying smile on his face.
Just the sight of him in front of her now was enough to make Buffy wish she’d done a better job of ignoring him.
“I’m good, thanks. I’ve just been busy, you know? With the friends, and the new roommate, and the studying, and the slay . . .” she caught herself about to say slaying and quickly tried to cover, “slate. Yep, the slate,” she said nervously.
“Yeah, you know, the slate. I’m . . . taking a geology class. Lots of slate and rocks of all shapes and sizes.”
An awkward silence filled the silence as the two looked anywhere but at each other. Finally, Riley spoke up again.
“So, I was wondering if maybe you want to get a coffee or something. I don’t have any more classes today, but if you’re busy now, maybe I could take you out later . . ."
Buffy quickly cut him off.
“Oh, that’s really nice of you to ask, Riley, but I . . . have to go to my geology class now. Yep, I have to hand in my report on . . . rocks,” she faltered a bit trying to hide her lie.
“Well, what about tonight? Do you want to go to the Bronze?” He asked, a hopeful smile appearing on his face.
“Oh, darn, you know what? I already have plans tonight. And tomorrow. In fact, I think I’m pretty busy for the next week or so. Sorry,” she said gently, trying to be nice, but clearly not wanting to leave any windows of opportunity open for him.
“Wow. Guess I’ve gotta book a little further ahead in advance if I want to get a date with you . . . unless, of course, you’re seeing someone else. Which, I guess, would explain the lack of availability?” He gave her a questioning look.
“What? OH! Yeah, that’s it. I’m sorry, Riley. I am seeing someone else,” she lied, thinking that this was the best possible way to get him off of her back, at least for the time being.
Riley looked a little shocked. “Oh, I’m sorry; I didn’t realize that. After all, every time I see you, you’re always with your new roommate . . . Faith, right? I’ve never seen you with another guy. Unless . . .” then something dawned on him. “. . . wait a minute . . . is it Faith?”
Buffy blinked, trying to come up with a response. Just as her silence was becoming a little too long, she happened to look out the window to see Faith walking by on her way back to the dorm.
“Faith?” Buffy murmured as she watched the girl walk by, forgetting that Riley was standing there.
Riley coughed quietly, trying to catch her attention. Her head snapped back and she looked directly at him.
It was wrong, but she knew that going with this lie could work to her advantage. Not only would Riley think she was taken, but he’d also think she was gay. Two very good reasons for him to finally leave her alone.
She could deal with the consequences later.
“Yep, Faith. Me and Faith. Together. With the dating and the hand-holding and all that. Guess we just haven’t gone too public yet. Sorry, Riley,” she rushed the words out.
Riley just stood there, a defeated look on his face.
“Oh, ok. Well, I guess I’ll see you around then.”
He sounded a little sad, but he put on a smile, trying to cover his real feelings. The very same stupid smile that made Buffy cringe just a little bit.
“Okay, bye!” Buffy yelled over her shoulder as she high-tailed it out of the building and straight toward Faith.
As she had reached the outside of the building, she could feel eyes on her from behind. Riley had followed her out and stood watching her from the doorway. Knowing that he was watching, she knew she had to put on a little show.
She ran up to Faith, but kept her own back towards Riley so he couldn’t see her face.
As she approached the other girl, she called out to her just barely loud enough to get her attention. Faith turned towards Buffy with a smile on her face.
“Hey girlfriend.” She noticed Buffy’s annoyed face. “What’s with the look? You’re not still annoyed about the plum thing, are you? Jesus Christ, B, I’ll buy you another one.”
Through clenched teeth Buffy answered, “Riley is watching from the building behind me. I’ll explain later, but I need you to just play along with me for a minute here. Can you do that?”
Seeing Buffy’s pleading look, Faith nodded.
Without warning, Buffy leaned forward and placed a lingering kiss on Faith’s lips. She felt Faith tense up and could sense that her eyes had popped open in shock. She pulled back a few inches and looked Faith in the eyes.
“Okay, now I need you to either hold my hand or put your arm around me as we walk away. Your choice. Now, let’s go before he walks over.”
Faith shook her head a little as if trying to regain a little composure. After a moment or two, she finally came back to her senses. Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, she quickly grabbed Buffy’s hand and interlaced their fingers.
They began walking back toward their dorm, Buffy with a relieved look on her face and Faith with a genuinely content smile on hers.
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