Several hours had passed since the morning. It was nearing dinner time, and the two slayers still hadn’t made any efforts to leave their room or do anything productive. The news that they would soon be leaving one another didn’t push them apart as one might have thought it would; in fact, it made them cling even more so to one another.
They lay together in their very large bed, the blankets cocooned around them as if trying to shield them from the outer world. Their hotel room was their safe haven. No one could touch them while they were in there together, and not even their uncertain future could pull them apart.
Faith was laying behind Buffy, propped up a bit with a pillow under her head as her free arm wrapped over Buffy’s side. Buffy had her arm over Faith’s, keeping it tucked warmly against her stomach as they watch nothing particularly fascinating on TV. As far as both girls were concerned, the TV didn’t even need to be on. As long as they were laying together in their current position, a nuclear war could be going on outside and they wouldn’t have even noticed.
They were even able to drown out the ringing of the telephone as it had tried to disturb them every half hour or so. They couldn’t ignore, however, the sound of someone now knocking on their door.
Neither girl wanted to get up to answer it. They had already discussed their plans for the evening and had decided together that neither one of them wanted to go out that night. Not when they knew that they would only end up coming back together. Not when they realized that neither one of them was actively looking for a ‘date’ anymore. They wouldn’t waste their time getting ready and going out when they could just stay in their room and relish the time they had left together.
After a few moments of whispering and tickling one another to see who would get up, Buffy finally sat up from the bed and walked to the door.
She opened it up to find Willow and Kennedy stood on the other side.
“Hey Buff!” Willow greeted with a small wave. “Sorry for the surprise visit, but . . . you should really call maintenance about your phone. It must not be working.”
Buffy’s eyebrows furrowed, then she realized that it had been Willow trying to call her most of the afternoon.
“Oh, that. Right. I’ll have them fix it for us ASAP.”
She smiled and stood to the side, allowing her best friend and Kennedy into the room.
Willow and Kennedy stepped in, instantly realizing what they had likely interrupted.
“Holy shit, I knew the two of you were all shacked up in here,” Kennedy said with a big grin. “This ‘slayer hearing’ thing is amazing. Willow didn’t believe me at first when I told her you guys were scr. . .”
Willow began to stutter, feeling embarrassed and not quite knowing what to say.
“Well, I just didn’t think that . . . I mean, Buffy and I have been best friends for years, and . . . well, hello . . . GAY here. No pings on my gaydar! That’s what it’s there for! To find gay! No blips, no nothing. It’s disappointing, really.”
Buffy couldn’t help but laugh at her best friend. It was true, after all. Never before had she given any hint that she could appreciate a female just as easily as a male; at least not until Faith came around. Their mutual attraction from the very beginning was undeniable. Things, however, had just never acted in their favor. Buffy was always attached to someone, or she was too self-conscious, and Faith was always attached to anyone BUT Buffy.
And then there was that whole evil phase.
Things were different now, though. Buffy didn’t feel bad about acting on that undeniable attraction she had always felt, and Faith didn’t seem to feel bad about it either. Buffy was sure that had she roomed with anyone else, she would have been relieving her hornies in the shower whenever she got a chance. Fate, however, had other plans for her. Faith had stepped up and made the first advance by asking to room with her, and then she had taken the second advance again by suggesting the friends with benefits idea. All Buffy had to do was say yes and the stars began to align.
“Sorry Wills, but I’ve heard that the gaydar can be a bit unreliable. But really . . . . no pings? Ever? Not even in our last year at Sunnydale High? Long nights at the Bronze, a Slayer that I couldn’t seem to stand but couldn’t keep my eyes off of . . . ?” Buffy asked, a mischievous smile on her face.
Willow thought about it for a moment before grinning. “Ohhhhh. In that case . . . ping! So, it wasn’t just any girl then. It was always just one.”
At that, Faith shuffled back on the bed so that her back was against the headboard. She crossed her arms over her chest and put on her patented smirk.
“What can I say, Red? I’m just that good.”
She smiled as Buffy approached the bed and crawled onto it, positioning herself so that she was resting back against Faith’s chest. Buffy then pulled Faith’s arms around her stomach and looked back up to a semi-surprised Willow and Kennedy.
“You have NO idea,” she responded, her own grin popping up now.
“Well, I’d like to think that maybe I helped that along.” Willow said, taking a seat on the plush armchair. “I mean, I was gay first. Maybe you caught it from me. Ooh, and I brought Faith back to Sunnydale. You guys wouldn’t be all snuggly wuggly right now if not for my spreading of the gay and convenient transportation.”
The girls all chuckled at that, the room growing much more comfortable as the minutes went by.
“I’ll give you that much, Wills. I guess we owe you one.” Buffy said with a laugh.
“Yep, you do. And I’m cashing in.” Willow began. “There’s this little coffee shop down the street . . . will you guys come with us? It would be nice to get a chance to hang out a little before we all have to go our separate ways.”
As much as Buffy didn’t want to leave the room and despite the fact that she and Faith had decided to spend the night in, she also felt that her friends deserved some time too.
After all, they had given her seven years. Seven years that she may not have made it through if not for them. The least she could do was spend a bit of quality time with them before they all began new chapters in their lives.
Before they left everything, and each other, behind.
“Well, I can’t answer for Faith, but I’m in. I could so totally use a mocha. I’ve been feeling pretty wiped out lately.” Buffy said, a small grin forming on her lips as she said the last part.
“Can’t imagine how you got tired out, B.” Faith answered, lowering her head to nibble on Buffy’s shoulder a bit. “I guess I could use some sugary goodness too, though. Might need to build up the energy reserves for later. Count me in, Red.”
She winked at Buffy, who had looked back at her with a grin.
“Great then. We’ll meet you guys down in the lobby in about twenty minutes?” Willow asked as she stood up and grabbed Kennedy’s hand, leading her towards the door.
“We’ll be there.”
The girls said goodbye, Willow and Kennedy closing the door behind them and making their way toward the elevator.
“Do you think that they’re still blaming their whole hook-up situation on the hungries and hornies?” Kennedy asked casually as she walked alongside her girlfriend.
Willow laughed softly.
“If I know Buffy and Faith at all, they’ll blame their hook-up on flying toads before either one of them can admit that they have feelings for one another.”
“I don’t get it. Why can’t they just grow a pair already and admit that they’re hot for each other? Maybe then they can stop pussyfooting around with their future and try to be together.”
Willow shrugged, almost looking a bit sad. “They have to figure things out for themselves, Kennedy. They’re both stubborn, and they’re both pretty blind. I think that they know it’s not because of the H&H’s now; one of them just has to say something. You know, get the ball rolling.”
“Are we allowed to help with that?” Kennedy asked anxiously, a smile forming on her face when she saw the nervous look that her girlfriend gave her.
“Kennedy, you will not handcuff them together and lock them in the basement.”
Kennedy laughed at that, bringing up their joined hands so that she could kiss Willow’s hand.
“You know me too well, baby.”
The four girls approached the café in true slayer style. Halfway down the street, Kennedy had made a comment to Faith about walking too slow. Faith, in turn, commented that she could walk faster than Kennedy even if she had Buffy on her back. What resulted was the quickest slayer piggyback race in the world.
Before Willow could protest, Kennedy had swooped her around and had the witch up on her back. Buffy complied as well, willfully hopping up onto Faith’s back and whispering some encouraging words in her ear.
On the count of three, Kennedy and Faith took off down the road, weaving in and out of pedestrians all while trying not to dump their passengers onto the sidewalk. Buffy hooted and hollered, taunting Kennedy while Willow held on for dear life, partially blocking Kennedy’s view.
When Faith made it to the front door of the coffee shop just a split second before Kennedy did, Buffy hopped off her back and gave her a high five, rubbing the victory in Kennedy’s face.
“Not fair,” Kennedy complained, “Willow had one of her hands over my right eye and was choking me with the other. I so woulda had you.”
Faith smirked, stretching out her back.
“Careful junior, you’ve got lotsa growin’ up to do before you can challenge a real slayer. Challenge me again once you’ve lost your training wheels.” Faith teased, giving Buffy yet another high-five.
Kennedy pouted as Willow grabbed her hand and pulled her into the café, leaving the gloating slayers standing there.
“We owned them.” Buffy whispered, smiling at Faith.
“Hell yeah we did, we’re a great team.” Faith answered back. “Now let’s go in there and out-drink them, then leave them with the tab.”
She winked at Buffy again, then walked into the café, Buffy following right behind her.
When they entered the café, they found Willow and Kennedy situated at a small table near the corner. Faith turned a chair around and straddled it the wrong way, looking at the small flyer with the daily special on the table. Buffy sat beside her, peaking over her shoulder at the small cardboard flyer. Willow and Kennedy had already decided what they wanted having frequented the café several times since they had been in LA.
“I’ll have a small mocha with an almond biscotti,” Willow told Kennedy who happily memorized her order.
“’Kay,” Kennedy said with a nod, then looked to Buffy and Faith, “and you guys?”
Faith took a deep breath before answering.
“I want a tall Irish Cream steamer, a piece of triple chocolate cake, two sugar cookies, and . . . ah, fuck it, I’ll have an almond biscotti too. Oh, and a bottle of water in case I scorch my mouth.”
Kennedy just raised an eyebrow at Faith, who was still looking at the flyer and ignoring the amused look on Willow’s face. She then looked to Buffy, who looked up at her sweetly and said,
“Make that two.”
Kennedy grumbled, realizing that no one was going to help her with the order.
“When do I get to stop being the mule?” Kennedy said quietly to herself as she shuffled off towards the counter.
“When you can ask for a hand, kiddo.” Faith responded loud enough for her to hear, causing Buffy and Willow to laugh.
“You two seriously need to stop antagonizing her. I can’t promise that she won’t tie the two of you up while you’re sleeping and do some un-friendly things.” Willow said, trying to hide her smile.
“No worries, Red.” Faith said. “Besides, we’re all outta here in a few days anyhow. We’ll just keep the door locked nice and tight ‘til then.”
The three girls made small talk while they waited for Kennedy to come back. When Kennedy finally returned with a huge tray and an attractive male employee carrying another tray behind her, they began to laugh. The un-amused look on Kennedy’s face was priceless.
“Laugh it up, girls.” Kennedy said menacingly. “Just wait ‘til you’re sleeping.”
The guy walked up behind Buffy and started unloading cups and plates from the tray he was carrying, careful not to spill anything on her lap. Faith was too wrapped up in her cake to notice the way the guy was smiling at Buffy and trying to get her attention.
Buffy almost hadn’t noticed that he was there either, at least until he had brushed his arm against hers to get her attention. She turned her head towards him, smiling politely when she realized that he had been helping Kennedy out. It was a self-serve place; there were no waiters or waitresses. He was only helping so that he could come over and check out the table full of girls.
He smiled back at her, looking directly into her eyes for several moments until she was uncomfortable enough to look away. After she diverted her attention back to her friends, the guy walked away and back behind the counter, but kept glancing over in Buffy’s direction.
“What’s up with stud giving you the moon eyes, Buffy? You must be working some killer mojo.” Kennedy commented around a mouthful of muffin after witnessing the display.
“Hey, you’re the one who brought your little friend along, Kennedy. I was just being polite. That’s me, good ol’ polite Buffy,” she responded, trying not to make a big deal out of it.
Faith's attention, however, was already drawn to the matter, and she grinned as she finished off a bite of cake.
“Aww, you have a boyfriend already, B?” She teased, elbowing Buffy slightly.
Buffy tried hard to keep her composure, but it was difficult, especially now that Kennedy and Willow were making kissy-faces at her.
She took a sip from her large cup, trying to hide her flushed cheeks.
“Yes, I have a boyfriend now. Apparently, as in kindergarten, he brushed his elbow against mine. If he didn’t give me cooties, I may indeed be pregnant with his love child.” She answered sarcastically as the other girls continued laughing and making fun of her.
“Oh, that’s it, B. You’re so outta the club,” Faith teased some more, really getting into it now. “You’re gonna have to start hanging around with Giles and Xander and all the other ‘straights’. You can’t hang out with us dirty lezbots if you’re all loved up with the coffee guy.”
“We’ll just have to find someone else to round out our foursome.” Kennedy said before taking a big sip of her cappuccino.
“Yunno, after our last visit to the club, I think we may be able to pull Andrew into the club. I think we could gay him up real nice.” Faith said with a laugh, causing all of the girls to laugh with her.
The four girls continued to laugh and pick on one another as they sat there enjoying their drinks and desserts, not one of them taking a single bit of offense to the way they were picking on one another. It didn’t matter what they said or how much they teased . . . they knew that they were among friends and that all would be laughed over and dismissed.
After about an hour, Kennedy and Willow got up to make a trip to the restroom. Faith picked over the bits and bobs remaining on the table as Buffy ran her fingers through her blonde hair, pulling it up into a loose ponytail.
“So whatcha wanna do tonight? Still wanna stay in?” Faith asked, watching with a smile as Buffy fussed over herself.
“Yeah, we can do that,” Buffy began. “But if you wanted to go out or do something, I’m fine with that too. Whatever you want, really.” She finished her ponytail and looked at Faith, giving her a small smile.
Faith smiled even bigger, a bit of mischief hidden there.
“Well, I’ll tell you what I really wanna do,” she began, getting a few inches closer to Buffy. “I wanna fill up our nice big bathtub with lotsa nice hot water and bubbles. And I wanna strip you down naked and pull you into it with me. And then I wanna taste every inch of your skin. And then, I’m gonna . . .”
“Excuse me . . .”
Faith stopped and turned around, interrupted from her little fantasy by the guy from behind the counter. He looked right past her and to Buffy, a dreamy smile on his face.
“Hi, I’m Richy.” He said, his English accent softening up his tone. He smiled charmingly, still not taking any notice of Faith who could only raise an eyebrow at him.
As put off as Faith may have been by the intrusion, she knew that Buffy couldn’t be swayed by a charming smile and an English accent. If that ever had affected her, she would’ve ended up with Giles. Or Spike.
Faith grimaced as she realized that the charming smile and English accent could be a deadly combo in the world of Buffy.
Buffy laughed nervously, looking back and forth between a weirdly-grimacing Faith and the guy who was awkwardly standing there.
“Umm, hi Richy. I’m Buffy,” she said through a fake smile.
“Buffy? Really? That’s . . . nice. I quite like it.”
Buffy continued to smile as she raised her arms up and shrugged.
“What can I say? You can thank my parents for that one. I had nothing to do with it.”
Richy laughed, his perfect smile a-gleaming.
Faith rolled her eyes and stood up.
“I’m Faith, Richy, thanks for asking.” She said, taking his hand and shaking it hard. He finally looked away from Buffy and to Faith, who had now moved her attention back to Buffy. “I’m gonna get another drink.”
With that said, she went back up to the register and ordered another drink, leaving Buffy and Richy alone as she sat on a barstool at the counter.
Buffy tried everything she could to get Faith’s attention and get out of the awkward conversation, which was now about coffee shops in London, but being as polite as she was, she sat there and smiled through it until Willow and Kennedy came back from the restroom.
Willow and Kennedy looked between Richy and Buffy, and then to Faith who was sat at the counter, shredding a paper napkin into a million tiny pieces.
Kennedy sighed loudly when she noticed that Buffy had only sat there as Richy was hitting on her, leaving Faith to stew across the room.
“Oh Jesus, buddy,” Kennedy began, “check out the hickeys on her neck and the brooding brunette that’s at the counter.” She watched as Richy looked at Buffy, then to Faith, and then back to Buffy.
“I’m sorry,” he said with a stutter, “I didn’t know. I do apologize.”
And with that, he scampered back behind the counter with his tail between his legs and his ego in shattered pieces in his apron pocket.
“Buffy?” Willow started, a worried look on her face as she looked between Buffy and Faith.
Buffy sighed, shaking it off with a chuckle.
“Don’t worry Wills, I’m on it.”
She stood up and pulled a few bills out of her pocket, tossing them onto the messy table before slowly making her way over to Faith. She stopped next to the girl and stood there silently, giving Faith time to realize that she was stood there.
“Hey.” Faith said with a smile, her eyes focused on the paper napkin that she was shredding onto the counter.
“Hey, Faith. Umm, I . . . it was . . . I was . . . are you okay?” She asked, tilting her head so that she could better make out Faith’s features.
Faith shrugged a little as she smiled, still not making eye contact. “I’m five by five, B. You?”
Buffy smiled softly, taking a step closer and laying her hand on Faith’s arm.
“I’ll be better when you can look at me,” she said softly, quietly.
Faith nodded her head a little and finally turned so that she could look up to meet Buffy’s eyes. She tried to keep smiling, but Buffy could see that she seemed a bit distressed.
“Talk to me,” Buffy said as gently as possible.
Faith sighed. “I hate that I’m jealous cos that guy was talking to you.” She looked as if she felt guilty, as if she had no right to have those types of feelings.
Buffy smiled softly, stepping even closer to Faith so that they were almost touching.
“You have no reason to be, just so you know.” She looked almost shy then, stood there as if she was baring her very soul.
Faith smiled softly at that, a breath of relief escaping her lips.
Buffy took a step back and held out her hand to Faith.
“Take me home?”
And without another word, Faith stood and took Buffy’s hand, leading her slowly out of the restaurant and back to their sanctuary.
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