Only in My Dreams
Faith has exactly seven kinds of laughs and Buffy is trying so hard right now to get a number six out of her. All seven laughs are all kinds of adorable but number six is special. It’s something no one but Buffy has heard and even then, it’s pretty rare.
Number one is her usual everyday laugh and everyone has heard it, usually multiple times a day. Number two is a scoff that’s usually followed by a headshake. Andrew gets that one a lot because, no matter how much Faith pretends that he annoys her, she’s secretly amused by him twenty-four/seven. Number three is a full-out belly laugh. She bends over and clutches her sides and laughs until she’s out of breath.
And it’s completely infectious.
Number four is some kind of a weird throaty chortle. She does it when she thinks she’s being really funny which happens most of the time when she’s drunk. Then again, Faith is pretty funny when she’s drunk so Buffy doesn’t tease her much about the ridiculous sound.
Number five is a pity laugh; her smile doesn’t reach her eyes and the laugh itself feels forced. Willow seems to get those laugh the most when she attempts to make jokes when they co-teach lessons with younger slayers. Faith’s half-assed attempt to appreciate her jokes is more than the slayers give so Willow is grateful for it regardless.
Number seven is a laugh of pure joy. When she’s winning a race, when she’s playing video games with Xander and Dawn, when she’s jumping through a trampoline, when her smile is so big it hurts her face . . . that’s when this laugh sneaks in. It makes everyone remember that underneath Faith’s tough exterior, she’s still just a girl who likes to have fun.
But number six . . . well, number six makes Buffy’s heart flutter and do that melty squishy thing she’s not sure is entirely healthy. She never even knew it existed until a few weeks ago when they started sharing a bed and she’s been trying to stay awake longer than Faith every night since then on the off chance that it’ll happen again.
You see, number six happens only when Faith is dreaming. She’d fallen asleep early a few weeks back while they were watching TV in bed. Buffy was just about to turn off the lights and join her when she heard Faith mumble something along the lines of, “How the hell did the duck get a pair of cowboy boots?” Just as Buffy moved to wake her up, it happened. Faith let out the most sleep-mumbled and cute laugh that Buffy had ever heard.
It’s high-pitched and girly and will probably mortify Faith if she ever finds out about it so Buffy makes sure to never say a word about it. Instead, she stays up super late every night and tries to influence Faith’s dreams to be silly instead of scary or boring. In fact, it’s what she’s trying to do right now.
Crawling up against Faith’s side, Buffy looks down at the girl, studying her sleeping face. She tries to think of something that Faith would find hilarious.
“Faith,” she whispers. “There’s a monkey wearing flippers and speaking Spanish in the closet.”
Faith stirs a little and sighs.
“Monkeys shouldn’t be in the closet. They should be out and proud,” she mumbles but doesn’t laugh.
Buffy frowns. She was sure that would work!
“He’s chasing after Andrew and using a banana like a boomerang.”
“Andy has excellent reflexes. Worry about the banana,” Faith mumbles back.
Right. Obviously talking isn’t working. Buffy decides to take drastic measures. She scoots down the bed, lifts up Faith’s t-shirt, and blows a raspberry on her ticklish stomach.
And just like that, Faith starts sleepily laughing in the way that Buffy loves. Satisfied and smiling ear to ear, Buffy crawls back up the bed and turns off the lamp before resting her head on Faith’s pillow and snuggling up to her. Just as she’s about to drift off, Faith whispers,
“A flipper-wearing monkey? You can do so much better than that, B.”
Then it’s Buffy’s turn to laugh as Faith flips her on her back and crawls down the bed to blow raspberries on her stomach.
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