Surprisingly, both Buffy and Faith made it back to their room without any permanent injuries. Buffy had stumbled a number of times, but Faith was there to catch her at every wobble.
In fact, when it seemed that Buffy was stumbling more than she was making forward progress, Faith stepped in and just picked her up, carrying her the rest of the way to the room. It wasn’t to say that Faith wasn’t drunk as well; she simply had more experience with drunk-walking than Buffy had.
Plus, she thought it would be a good way to hold Buffy against her body once again. She wasn’t sure that their sleeping arrangements would be the same again that night, and she wanted to make sure that she got at least a few minutes to be close to the girl again.
Being physically close to Buffy made Faith feel . . . right in some way. Like their slayer-connection gave her a sense of ‘home’, for lack of a better word.
Faith wasn’t exactly sure why that was the case. Both times she was with the new slayers, in the bus and in the taxi, she didn’t get the same feeling. She only got that feeling from Buffy. And as much as her body told her that it was more than just the slayer-bond, she pushed the feelings down and attributed it to the fact that they had been slayers longer than the junior slayers had been.
After all, there’s nothing quite like avoidance and playing ignorant to tie up the niggling little questions in a neat little package.
When they finally reached the door to their room, Faith realized that Buffy had the key. She tried to wake Buffy from her alcohol-induced stupor, but all Buffy could do was mumble about needing to pee.
Wanting nothing more than to get Buffy into the room and onto the toilet before being tinkled on, Faith decided that she needed to find the key, and quickly.
Carefully, she braced Buffy against the wall, holding her there with her own body as she searched through the blonde’s tight pants for the room key.
Buffy mumbled and giggled at Faith’s hands that seemed to be tickling her for no reason. When Faith managed to dig just a little too deep in Buffy’s pocket, Buffy’s eyes fluttered open and she mumbled, “Hey, not until I’m married.”
Faith couldn’t help but laugh, the alcohol still making everything seem funny.
After spending just an extra moment or two searching around in Buffy’s pockets, Faith finally managed to find the key. With as much skill as she could muster, she continued to hold Buffy up against the wall while fumbling with the keycard, swearing under her breath until she finally heard the little beep of victory.
Knowing full well that Buffy was probably even more likely to stumble now that she was half-asleep, Faith decided to carry her the rest of the way into the room.
She wasn’t exactly sure why Buffy was laughing as the crossed the threshold, so she stopped and tried to figure out what was going on.
“You just carried me’s over the threshold, Fai. I thinks we’re married now,” Buffy slurred. “Wanna keep looking for more keys?” She asked with a giggle.
Faith laughed as she resumed walking, closing the door behind them before heading toward the bathroom.
“How’s about you pee first, princess. I’m not exactly into water sports,” Faith said and winked, causing a confused look to appear on Buffy’s face. Faith chuckled again and shook her head. “Never mind, B. Just do your business and lemme know if you need a hand, k?”
With that, Faith left Buffy in the bathroom and closed the door, barely able to contain her laughter as she finally had a moment to herself.
She couldn’t help but wonder if this was really happening to her; was she taking care of a very drunk Buffy who was not at all like the Buffy she used to know? Were they actually having a ‘friendship’? Could she really keep being a friend without screwing up?
And did Buffy really offer to let her keep fumbling around in her pockets? Because Faith was pretty sure that if she didn’t see some action soon, she was going to cry or burst, and she definitely wasn’t a crier.
So lost in her own thoughts, Faith almost forgot that she had left Buffy alone in the bathroom.
She put her ear to the door, trying to make sure that the other girl was okay. When she heard nothing, she tapped on the door.
“Everything okay in there?”
“B? You need a hand? I can get Giles . . .” she joked.
After a few moments passed and there was still no response, Faith decided that she needed to make sure everything was okay. Slowly, she started to open the door.
“Cover up, B, I’m coming in. You better not have peed on the floor, cos I’m not . . .” Her voice trailed off as she saw a sleeping Buffy curled up on the bathmat with a towel over her as a blanket. “. . . and you totally passed out, didn’t you?”
Faith walked into the bathroom fully and stood over Buffy, noting that she wish she had a camera so she could snap a few photos and show them to the Scoobs the next day.
Her good conscience caught up with her though, and she bent over and scooped Buffy up in her arms. She walked out of the bathroom and toward the large bed, carefully laying Buffy down on the right side and pulling the blankets up over her.
For a moment, it was hard for Faith to catch her breath. Even with her hair all rumbled, even with dragon-breath, even with the little snore that she had going on . . . Buffy always managed to take her breath away. Laying there, sleeping peacefully, trusting Faith enough to be alone with her after all of their bad history; it made Faith need to sit down for a minute.
This was really happening. She was finally on the way to mending one of the biggest screw-ups that she had ever made.
Sitting on the edge of the bed, Faith watched Buffy sleep with a little smile on her face. Carefully, tenderly, she reached out and brushed a few strands of hair from Buffy’s forehead, letting her fingertips graze the soft skin of Buffy’s face.
Slowly, Buffy opened her eyes, feeling the soft touch on her forehead. Feeling Faith’s presence over her. Feeling something that she couldn’t quite explain.
Their eyes locked and, for a moment, it was as if they both realized they were experiencing that exact same feeling. The feeling that they felt only for one another. Beyond lust, beyond fear, and quite possibly beyond the slayer-bond.
Faith realized that she was closing the space between them, but she couldn’t will her body not to move. It was moving of its own accord.
The kiss that she gave Buffy lasted only a few moments, and was barely a kiss at that. Lips pressed together softly, unmoving, but causing a slew of tingles nonetheless.
When Faith pulled back and looked down, Buffy’s eyes were already closed, but she wore the tiniest of smiles on her face as she slept.
Smiling, Faith got up and took off her own clothes, throwing on a tee-shirt before crawling onto the bed and under the covers. She kept a bit of space between them, despite the fact that she wanted to be pressed up against Buffy again, their skin warm and soft against each other.
But she didn’t dare attempt that.
She was fairly certain that even though Buffy had been drunk, she would remember the kiss in the morning and kick her ass all over their hotel room. They were friends now, or trying to be at least. Taking advantage of a sleeping Buffy while in her own horny state wasn’t right, and Buffy would surely agree.
If Faith kept a decent physical distance now, maybe Buffy would forget the brief encounter and attribute the memory to active dreaming. That was only if Faith was lucky, however.
In the meanwhile, she tried to sleep, waiting for the possibly fall-out of the next morning.
Just as the morning before, Buffy and Faith began to wake up at just about the same time. And again, as the morning before, they woke tangled up in one another’s arms.
Neither girl was sure when it happened, as they had both slept peacefully the entire night through. However, their bodies found a way to what they both wanted, apparently.
“You alive?” Faith mumbled, feeling the aftereffects of the booze she drank the night before.
“Barely,” Buffy murmured back, burying her face against Faith’s shoulder to keep the light from her eyes. “You?”
“I’m about 2x2, B. Ask me again once I’ve had some coffee and bacon.”
Buffy groaned. “Don’t even mention food. I’ll turn inside-out right here.”
Faith chuckled, stopping when she felt Buffy wince at the subtle movement.
“Yeah, you defo don’t want that taste on your lips, B. Not nice.”
Buffy kept her head buried firmly against Faith’s shoulder, thus muffling her words a little. “The only thing I taste on my lips now is lip-gloss. Not sure of the flavor though. Let me think on it for a minute . . . oh yeah, ‘Lips of Faith.’ I’m pretty sure this lip-gloss is called ‘Lips of Faith.’”
Faith grinned, unable to help it after recalling their brief moment from the night before. Plus, seeing that Buffy wasn’t pummeling her made her rest a bit easier about the subject.
“Oh yeah, that,” she recalled. “I was covering you with the blankets and I just slipped, smack-dab on the kisser. Besides, you kissed me back.”
Buffy lifted her heavy head from Faith’s shoulder, trying to give her a mock look of indignation.
“I do NOT kiss girls.” She defended, barely able to contain her grin.
“Lucky for you that I do, huh.”
Both girls laughed and settled back down, enjoying the fact that they were able to be near each other so casually again.
“Besides, B,” Faith continued, “if we’re going out for muchachas tonight, you better get with the kissing of the girls. Or you’re gonna be back here goin’ blind before the sun is up. We’re almost on two days with no . . . ughhh,” Faith grunted.
Buffy tried to sit up a little bit at that, but found that her muscles seemed to be made of jello. She opted for rolling onto her back instead.
“About the whole ‘muchachas’ thing, Faith . . . I don’t know how entirely comfortable I am with that, and the ughhh,” she looked shyly over at the other girl.
Faith rolled onto her side and proper her head up on her elbow, looking over at Buffy.
“What’s up, B? With the way you were teasing me with the ‘hot wet lesbian sex’ thing yesterday, I thought maybe you found the fun or somethin’ while I was locked up. What’s the what?”
Buffy shrugged. “I don’t know. I mean . . . I can’t say I’ve never exactly entertained the idea. I was a college student at one point, after all. I learned to appreciate the student body,” she said with a nervous chuckle.
“So . . . what . . . you strictly dickly then?” Faith joked.
“Not exactly,” Buffy answered back, looking a bit confused. “I guess I’m bi-curious at best. But let’s not forget that I’m a virgin when it comes to that stuff. I don’t wanna go to a club and make myself look like a total doofus. I don’t know the rules.”
Faith laughed. “There are no rules, B. Go to the club tonight. See what you like. And do what feels right. You get the wiggins and we haul ass outta there before they spin a Melissa Etheridge song. Deal?”
Buffy pondered it for a moment before shaking her head cautiously.
“Really though . . . we can leave if I wig? Cos I have a high-tendency to wig in strange and new places. And wiggy-Buffy definitely does not make with the cool.”
Faith smiled. “You wig, we leave. Simple as that.”
Buffy took a breath of relief, but was interrupted by Faith.
“Then again, if I come back here alone one more night, I can’t be held responsible if I start rubbing up against you when I’m sleeping. I can’t control that shit, yunno.”
Buffy chuckled at Faith’s honesty.
“Right. So, I either find someone to molest, or I get molested by you. Yay! This night is just looking better and better,” she said sarcastically before winking at Faith. “Explain to me again why we’re sharing a room?”
Faith grinned. “Cos it’s meant to be, Buffy. You and me, livin’ it up, fun and fancy free. The way it always shoulda been.”
“I’ll drink to that,” Buffy chimed in. “Just, yunno . . . not until I’ve puked my guts up and swore never to drink again.”
“Got it,” Faith nodded. “Give you a few hours to rest, then take you out and get tanked again. Can do.”
After laughing a bit, Buffy and Faith quieted down again, both secretly noticing the large distance between them on the bed. Neither girl made a move to close the space, but both wanted to.
Faith pondered it for a minute, trying to figure out exactly how she could get closer to Buffy without looking like a loser. She decided to just go for broke and do it in the most roundabout way that she could.
“My shoulder is gettin’ kinda cold, yunno.”
Buffy looked over at her, amused.
“Well, we can’t have that happen, now can we?”
Both girls smiled before Buffy shuffled her way back over next to Faith, getting herself as close as she could before resting her head back on Faith’s shoulder.
“That better?” Buffy asked, her eyes already closing.
“Yeah, thanks,” Faith responded. “Hey B, my ass is a little cold also. Think you can take care of it too?” She asked, mischief written all over her face.
Without opening her eyes, Buffy reached her hand over Faith’s side, giving her backside a nice smack.
Faith’s eyes nearly bugged out of her head as a nice warm sting set in. Noting that a spank from a Slayer was about ten times as strong as a normal spank, Faith winced and tried to control herself.
“That oughta warm it up. Sleep now?” Buffy mumbled, trying her best to contain her giggles.
“Yeah, B. Sleep now, Faith answered. “Revenge later.”
The two slayers spent a couple more hours in bed, sleeping off the rest of their hangover so they could start the day refreshed and excited about the upcoming night.
“Does anyone have any clothes I can wear?” Buffy shouted down the long corridor. The frantic search was on for an outfit to wear on their night out.
Seeing as that the entire floor was reserved for the Sunnydale crew, Buffy’s shouting didn’t seem to bother any other hotel guests. It was probably a good thing that they had the floor to themselves, as Faith was currently walking from room to room in her bra and jeans, looking for a shirt to borrow.
“I lay claim to Lexie’s black strappy tank,” Faith said casually as she walked past Buffy.
“No fair, that thing is gonna be so tight on you. You should let me wear it,” Buffy pouted.
Faith stopped and walked back towards Buffy, smiling big as she looked into her eyes.
“Hell yeah it’s tight, B, and I’m gonna look good in it. Besides, I don’t plan on wearing it for very long.”
Buffy rolled her eyes and used the towel that was on her hair to whip Faith’s butt as she walked away.
“Fine. I’ll just borrow something from Willow,” she replied. She almost got angry when she heard Faith laugh loudly at her comment, but she was determined to find a suitable outfit anyhow.
Walking a few rooms down in her bathrobe, Buffy knocked on Willow and Kennedy’s door.
“It’s Buffy, and I’m here to steal your clothes,” she yelled through the door, hopping back and forth on her bare feet.
Willow smiled as she opened the door, holding it open for Buffy to come in.
“I’m not sure I can help you out in the clothes department, Buff. But I think Kennedy has a couple of things that might be user-friendly.”
“I owe you big, Will,” Buffy sighed as she walked into the room. “Who wouldn’t have thought to pack up their clothes during the impending apocalypse?”
“We did,” Willow answered with a nod. Seeing Buffy’s frown, Willow tried to cover a bit. “But you were all with the big and busy, and we had time when you went for donuts that one time.”
Buffy and Willow went through the closet as they made small talk, Willow updating Buffy on the ‘permanent home’ situation, and Buffy filling Willow in on her past day and a half with Faith.
“So, it seems like you two are getting along pretty good then,” Willow commented, looking aside.
“Yeah, we are, Will. But . . . Willow, that doesn’t make you any less my best friend, okay?” Buffy added, seeing Willow’s slightly worried look.
“I know, Buff. It’s just, you know. Faith. Her history with us as a group is pretty spotty. Like a Dalmatian. Or Swiss cheese even. You know what I mean, right?” She looked up and into Buffy’s eyes, concern showing on her face.
“I realize that. But she did the right thing, Willow. And she definitely came through for Angel and for us in the end. She just wants to make things better. And she is. She’s making me better, Will. Everyone has their own stuff to deal with right now, and she’s just making sure that I’m okay. I appreciate it. I appreciate her.”
Willow nodded, her shoulders relaxing a bit at Buffy’s words.
“Okay, Buffy. I trust you. So long as you know that I’m here for a nice healthy dose of best friend-ness if you need it.”
Buffy smiled and gripped onto the shirt and pants she had borrowed from Kennedy’s closet. “I know, Will. I can always count on you.”
An hour later, Buffy, Faith, two of the junior slayers, Xander, and Andrew were in Luis’ taxi, making their way towards the Pussycat Club.
“I look good, right?” Xander asked, adjusting his eye patch.
“Like a million bucks, Xan,” Faith answered wearing her trademark grin. “Of course you know it doesn’t really matter though, cos we’re going to a club for chicks.”
“Yes, we are.” Xander replied and wiggled his eyebrows. “Who says that maybe Betty and Wilma don’t want a little man-wich for their sandwich?”
Before Faith could groan about his comment, Andrew stuck his head into the front of the taxi.
“I don’t mean to interrupt, but it was my understanding that we were going to see Return of the King,” he piped in from the packed back seat. “Giles said that there was an alternate ending that was only just released.”
Faith chuckled. “What Giles meant to say was, ‘You’re bugging all of the slayers and if we don’t get you away from them soon, they’re gonna kick your ass.’ So, he offered to pay for our night out if we let you tag along. Seemed like a fair deal.”
Andrew’s jaw dropped open as his eyes widened.
“So what you’re saying is, I wore my ‘Free Frodo’ shirt for nothing?”
“Nah, I’m sure the muchachas are gonna LOVE it, my man,” Faith joked.
The taxi was filled with random chatter as Luis drove the group toward the Pussycat Club. As they finally arrived at the front door, they were all dismayed to see the signs unlit and the parking lot empty.
“Oh no, Luis’ mistake,” the driver apologized. “Wednesday night closed.”
“Shit!” Faith exclaimed.
“No lesbians?” Xander whined.
“Typical.” Buffy added.
“Does this mean we can go see ‘Return of the King’?” Andrew asked.
Buffy and Faith’s eyes met, mischief showing on their faces. Faith nodded and Buffy winked.
“Actually, Andrew, we have something even better in store for you. It’s not ‘Return of the King’, but there IS some royalty involved.”
A puzzled look crossed Andrew’s face. “Royalty?”
The music pumped loudly in the club, the large group of men cheering Buffy and Faith on as they danced to “Hole in the Head” by the Sugababes.
“Oh god. I’m in hell,” Xander moaned as he hid in the furthest corner he could find, pulling long sips from his bottle of beer.
“This place isn’t so bad,” Andrew commented as he looked curiously around the club. “Fancy lights. I don’t know what Buffy meant about royalty though.”
A bitter smile crept up on Xander’s lips.
“Queens, you genius. Buffy was referring to Drag Queens.”
“Ohhhh.” Andrew replied, looking around. “They certainly don’t dress like royalty.”
Xander banged his head on the bar, repeating “I’m in hell” over and over.
In the meanwhile, Buffy and Faith were busy dancing up a storm and having a great time with their friends from the previous night. The men gathered around them, forcing them to dance closer and closer to one another.
They were finally pushed completely together, dancing in perfect synchronicity to the music with their arms around each other. For any other people, it would have been hard to keep balanced or to dance with as much ease. But being as attuned to one another as Buffy and Faith had been recently, they danced with ease and grace, causing nearly everyone in the place to stare at them in wonder.
As the music changed to a more grindy song, Faith took the lead and started to grind more with Buffy, their movements becoming more sexual in nature with every beat. Both slayers could feel their hearts pounding in their chests, pumping their blood hard throughout their lithe bodies.
When one of the men randomly shouted for them to kiss, Buffy laughed and Faith just shrugged, looking into Buffy’s eyes. Buffy shrugged back and, before they knew it, they were kissing nice and deep. The men around them cheered, causing them to kiss even more enthusiastically.
Only when breathing became an issue did they finally break apart.
“I think I need another drink!” Buffy yelled over the music.
Faith nodded and grabbed her hand, leading her away to the bar. She ordered up another drink for the both of them, smiling at the bartender who gave them the drinks on the house.
“I’m having such a good time!” Buffy shouted again, her voice barely audible over the loud music.
“Yeah, me too, B. Almost forgot what a good dancer you are.” Faith shouted, clinking her glass against Buffy’s before they both took long drinks.
When the next song started a bit quieter than the one before it, Faith leaned back against the bar and looked at Buffy.
“Hey B, can I ask you a question?” Buffy simply nodded as she sipped on her drink. Faith continued. “You ever hear of friends with benefits?”
Buffy chuckled a bit as she set her drink on the bar.
“No, I live in a cave and only come out to hunt.”
Faith smirked, taking another sip of her drink.
“Right then. So . . . what do you think about it?”
Buffy furrowed her eyebrows. “You mean in general?”
“Generally,” Faith grinned.
“Generally, I think that with the right person and the right set-up, it’s a workable idea.”
Faith nodded her head, turning to look out onto the dance floor. She was very careful not to look at Buffy for her next question.
“So, what do you think about it . . . for us?” The slightly scared look on her face wasn’t lost on Buffy.
“I think that . . . it’s something we need to talk about when I’m not drunk,” Buffy added with a laugh.
Faith looked back at her and gave her a wink.
“Fair enough. But for the record . . . that wasn’t a no, right?”
Buffy looked up at Faith and gave her a flirty little smile.
“Generally? Right. Come on, Faith, time to dance!”
And with that, Buffy grabbed Faith’s hand and led her back onto the dance floor where they were instantly greeted by their cheering friends.
Faith was happy with the way things had just gone. The idea was out on the table, and it hadn’t been shot down right away. Granted, she had no idea what made her ask the question. Had she not been drinking, she was fairly certain that the question would have remained hidden away forever.
But she was happy that she asked. And she was even happier that Buffy hadn’t jumped on her about it in the more familiar ‘righteous’ way that she was so used to seeing Buffy respond.
For the moment, she just concentrated on the way her body moved in perfect time with Buffy’s, and on the way their bodies would move perfectly together if Buffy would consider her earlier question.
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