It’s been at least seven years since Faith has been sick. Sure that whole deal with Angel and the Orpheus made her kind of sick, but that was different. It was mystical and she bounced back from that in like a half a day. Immunological resilience is a huge perk of the whole slayer deal.
Turns out, though, that said resilience isn’t totally infallible. All it takes is one rogue sneeze from a sickly Andrew and four days later, Faith is lying with about three dozen crumpled up tissues around Buffy’s bed and a nightstand covered with more than ten different kinds of cold medicines.
Her throat is raw and sore and her nose is so stuffy that she has to breathe through her mouth, making her lips all dry too. She’s gone through a whole tube of Buffy’s chapstick in four days and she’s about to need tube number two.
“B!” she calls out and winces immediately as her throat sends her a painful reminder of her illness.
She hears footsteps coming down the hall but they’re not Buffy’s; she can tell that much by the pattern of the footfalls. A few seconds later, Dawn pokes her head through the small gap in the partially opened door.
“She’ll be up in a minute. What do you need now?”
“More of the lip gunk,” Faith replies, holding up the empty tube.
“You mean chapstick?” Dawn asks, amused.
“Call it whatever the fuck you want, D. Just get it on my lips,” Faith rasps.
Dawn chuckles and walks the rest of the way into the room. She opens up the top drawer of the oak dresser and rummages through it.
“Let’s see. We’ve got Berry Kiss, French Vanilla, Passionate Peach and Cherries Jubilee. Which one do you want?”
Faith looks annoyed for a few seconds but then lifts her head from the pillow like she’ll actually be able to see into the drawer from across the room.
“Ain’t there any more of the minty tingly stuff?”
Dawn purses her lips and digs further into the drawer. Her face lights up and she smiles as she pulls out a yellow tube of Burt’s Bees beeswax lip balm. Rather than risking getting any closer to the germ factory that is Faith, Dawn flings the tube across the room towards the bed. Faith reaches out to grab it but the veritable pharmacy of pills and syrups she’s taken during the day clouds her reflexes and the tube pegs her in the forehead.
Dawn covers her mouth with her hand to stifle the giggle that wants to escape but fails miserable. Luckily for her, Buffy walks in with a tray of soup and crackers before Faith can plot any kind of revenge on her.
Buffy notices Faith scowling and rubbing her head and she glances over at Dawn with one eyebrow raised in question.
“What?” Dawn asks, still giggling. “I said I’d help. I never said I’d get close to it.” There’s no hiding the fact that the ‘it’ she’s referring to is Faith.
“Yuk it up while ya still can, punk,” Faith grumbles as she tries to sit up so Buffy can place the tray on her lap. Her nose is so stuffy though that it makes her voice sound pretty funny.
Dawn approaches the bed and stops at the foot of it, a look of cocky defiance on her face as she crosses her arms over her chest.
“Has anyone told you that you kind of sound like a muppet with your nose all stuffy like that?”
Faith suddenly finds a hidden pocket of energy reserved in her system and she uses it in the only way she knows how.
Cold. Hard. Vengeance.
She starts chucking used tissue after used tissue at Dawn who makes a quick retreat from the room yelping about germs and common sense. Faith waits until she’s out of view before sniggering and resting back against her freshly propped up pillows, courtesy of Buffy.
“You realize that Giles is strictly against germ warfare in the house, right?” Buffy asks, trying to keep her amusement in check.
“In my defense, she started it. Also?” She looks up at Buffy with the most pathetic little pout on her dry lips. “This cold is making me insane.”
Buffy fully laughs now and shakes her head as she arranges the tray on Faith’s lap and tucks a napkin into her Boston Celtics sweatshirt.
“Just eat your soup, Faith, and quit trying to blame your insanity on your cold.”
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