The building that they bought to house the Scoobies when they moved to Cleveland doesn’t look like much from the outside. In fact, it doesn’t look like much from the inside either. The front lawn is overgrown, there are shingles missing on the roof, and Dawn swears up and down that she saw a ghost in the first-floor bedroom.
Still, beggars can’t be choosy, and after pooling their money it was all that they could afford.
Buffy calls it a ‘fixer-upper’. It has charm, she says.
Faith calls it a piece of shit, and really? It kind of is. But she hasn’t had a place to call home for so long that she’s more than willing to put some effort in to make it more habitable.
Besides, she’s got some of the best housemates that she ever could’ve hoped for.
The beige paint is thick on the roller but it glides on the wall easily. Normally she’d complain about having to paint thirteen rooms, but with Buffy at her side it hardly seems like work.
They’re on the last room now – a bedroom that someone has yet to claim – and they’re both a bit giddy. They’ve got it down to an art form now; Buffy carefully cuts in all of the trim while Faith follows along and rolls the walls.
They’ve had accidents, of course. Buffy wasn’t looking where she was walking in the first room that they’d finished and stepped into the paint tray. She walked around the whole room before she realized it, leaving Buffy-sized footprints all over the hardwood floors.
The last room is quick and easy though. Buffy knows just when to duck and weave when Faith is rolling the wall next to her. Not a drop of paint is spilled, nor is there a single imperfection in the freshly painted walls.
Standing back with her hands on her hips, Buffy inspects their work with a proud smile on her face.
“I’d have to say that we’re the best amateur painters Cleveland has ever seen.”
Faith looks up and around the room and nods in agreement.
“Gotta agree with ya there. We did a bang up job.”
That’s when Buffy squints as she’s looking at the wall nearest the door, scrutinizing it carefully.
“Hmm. I think that maybe you need to pass the roller over that spot a few more times. I think I can still see the old color coming through.”
“You’re crazy, B. That wall is perfect.”
“I have perfect vision, Faith. I can clearly see some white coming through. Look, if you don’t think you can manage it, just give me the roller and I’ll . . .”
Buffy stops and gasps as the roller passes over her stomach and chest, covering her in sticky beige paint. She stays completely still before looking down at her paint-covered shirt and shorts, ignoring Faith’s peals of laughter.
“Sorry B, musta slipped. Damn, guess I’m just not as good a painter as you are.”
Buffy grimaces as some of the paint drips down the front of her legs. She knew she shouldn’t have worn shorts!
“You know what, F? It’s okay. I forgive you.”
“You do, do ya?” Faith asks skeptically as Buffy takes a step closer to her.
“Yep, I do. And do you know what you do when you forgive someone?”
Before Faith can answer, Buffy closes the distance between them and hops up on her, wrapping her legs around Faith’s waist while giving her a tight hug. Her shirt presses against Faith’s chest and chin, covering her in the same gloopy paint.
“Ugh!” Faith grunts aloud from both the force of Buffy jumping up on her and at the sound the sticky paint made as they collided. “I can’t believe you just did that.”
“You realize of course that this means war, right?”
Without waiting for a reply, Faith is running out of the room and down the stairs with Buffy clinging tightly to her.
Buffy can barely contain her laughter and doesn’t even think to ask where they’re going until she sees the neighbor’s in-ground pool come into view. She doesn’t even try to struggle free because she knows that Faith’s already won . . . and she’s happy to let her.
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