by Hayley

Title: Beautiful

Rating: R

Pairing: Buffy/Faith

Disclaimer: These characters are not mine and I make no money off this.

Summary: They meet at an event but end up celebrating something else entirely.

Waking up was a painful experience sometimes and as Buffy opened her eyes she knew it was going to be one of those mornings.

Patrol had gone much too late the night before and the two young slayers she had taken along spent the entire night bickering at each other. Every time a decision needed to be made or if there was only one vampire to slay at a time the pair fought. After a couple hours they almost came to blows and an hour later Buffy had seriously considered dropping them in the middle of a vamp nest and walking away.

She didn't, of course, but it had been tempting. It would have definitely succeeded in getting them to shut up while she was trying to teach them how to effectively patrol.

After she got back to her apartment, a small but comfortable place that was thankfully a few miles from where all the junior slayers were housed, all she wanted was a drink and her bed. That was what she had, too: a drink and her bed.

It was mornings like the one she was waking up to that she realized that most nights that really was all she had. Since Dawn had gone off to college in England, she felt like she was pretty much on her own. There was always the option of moving to the boarding school that held all the young slayers in the Cleveland area but that never seemed like a very good option. She could handle teaching them, guiding them and taking them on patrol but anything else just felt like too much.

Buffy sat up in bed and immediately closed her eyes and groaned. She had opened a bottle of wine after patrol with the thought that she would only have one glass but soon the bottle was gone and the end result was the giant headache she woke up with. The only comfort was that it was really the only injury she had sustained from the night.

Her cell rang and she looked at it before answering it. "Hey, Willow."

"Buffy, how was patrol last night?"

"Uneventful as far as vamps but Kyra and Grace didn't exactly see eye to eye on anything we did. By the end of the night I wanted to stake one of them."

Willow laughed quietly. "We knew that would happen."

"I thought having the adrenaline rush of a good fight would get them to see they weren't all that different but once Kyra called dibs on a vamp and Grace went ahead and staked him anyway all bets were off. I'm surprised I didn't have to break up anything too physical."

"Are you coming in today?"

Buffy thought about it for a minute. Willow and Kennedy were more in control of finding and training slayers but Buffy consulted and took them out on patrol a few times a week. She essentially set her own schedule which was something she enjoyed. There were other locations to train slayers around the world and she knew that no one else was given that flexibility.

Not that she seemed to really need it lately. Xander was married and only helped with the operation part time and Willow's life was always occupied with the slaying operation or Kennedy. Andrew was around but Buffy had never been desperate enough to hang out with him.

"Yeah, I think I will."

"Great!" Willow said happily. "I wanted to talk to you about the plans for tonight."

Buffy furrowed her brow at the comment in an attempt to remember what exactly was supposed to be happening. "What's tonight again?"

"It's Kennedy's birthday, remember?" Willow answered. "I rented out that club she likes. You know the one."

She didn't but Buffy didn't want to admit that. She had a tendency not to pay attention to where all the slayers spent their nights. It had been months since she'd gone out with them. "Oh, sure."

"You're coming, right? 'Cause I really need you and Xander there to control any slayer battles. I'd ask Andrew but none of them listen to him and you know how some of them get once they have a drink or two."

"I . . ."

"Buffy, please," Willow pleaded, "I really need to show. I want my best friend there. You've been a little AWOL lately and I was hoping that you would break that streak tonight."

What Willow said was true but Buffy didn't want to admit it. She had been in a rut of a routine for a while now. It wasn't healthy and Buffy knew that but it was a comfortable rut. She didn't mind working a little and then going home to relax with a glass of wine and a little food. The only thing she wanted to change every once and awhile was the alone part.

There hadn't been any dating whatsoever in months. It wasn't so bad that she couldn't remember her last date anymore but it was bad enough that she realized that it had been more than a year. She simply hadn't been in the mood to date or at least that was what she told herself on the nights she wished she wasn't alone.


"Sorry," Buffy said quickly, "drifted off there for a second. I don't know about going tonight."

"A night out with be good for you," Willow claimed. "It will be for all of us. I can't remember the last time we got a break to be able to hang out, all of us."

"Yeah, I guess."

"Then we'll talk plans when you show up today?"

Buffy let out a quiet sigh. "Yeah."

Willow let out a happy squeal before hanging up and Buffy couldn't help but laugh. Hopefully, the night would be a success like her best friend wanted.

The day had been a busy one, not like Buffy had expected. Between dealing with teenage slayers and talking with Willow about the party it was late afternoon before she knew it. That had been good for her since some days it seemed like the job of teaching slayers seemed to drag on.

She didn't want that to matter now since after getting a quick bite to eat she started to get ready to go to Kennedy's birthday party. Even with everything Willow had told her about the plans for tonight she still couldn't get very excited about going out. There was something about going out with people she didn't see much anymore that turned her off for some reason.

Buffy looked through her wardrobe to try to find something to wear but it had been so long since she'd been out that she wasn't sure what would be best. Some of the clothes she used to wear when she went out were a little dated and she didn't want to seem like she never went out, even if that was the case. The one thing she wanted at the end of the night was that no one pitied her for being alone.

After much internal debate Buffy decided on a little black dress that showed a little more leg than she was used to but decided to go with it. It was just one night and she figured if she wasn't having a good time she'd stay for an hour and then duck out. Even though Willow had wanted her there she knew that she would probably be too busy most of the night with the party to notice if she left early. Buffy thought she could probably say the same with the rest of her friends, too.

Willow was right. She had been AWOL with all of them but that was because they all ended up having their own lives outside of the slaying world and she hadn't. It wasn't that she hadn't tried either. It just hadn't worked out for her so instead of going out with couples, Buffy simply stayed home.

She looked into the mirror one last time to make sure her hair and makeup were just right before leaving her apartment and got into a waiting taxi outside the building. It wasn't too long of a ride to get to the club but it was long enough for Buffy to doubt why she was even going in the first place. Sure, Willow wanted her there but in the end of she didn't show it wasn't like her best friend wouldn't forgive her. It would be so easy to make up a quick excuse.

That wouldn't be right, however, and Buffy knew it. She was the Slayer. She shouldn't be afraid of going out to a club by herself.

"We're here, Miss," the driver said impatiently and Buffy knew that was a sign to get out of the car.

After paying the driver, she got out, took a deep breath and walked into the club. She noticed that there was a sign on the door that said the place was closed for a private party as she walked in.

"Must be some party," she mumbled to herself as she was immediately surrounded by slayers and loud music.


She turned and saw Xander walking toward her. "Some party."

"Open bar," he said, raising a glass. "Willow went all out tonight."

Buffy looked around and saw Willow and Kennedy at a table surrounded by a bunch of other slayers and some people Buffy didn't even know. "Yeah, I see they're having a lot of fun."

Xander smiled. "Go to the bar and get a drink. I'll get Willow and we'll hang out for a while."

Part of her didn't believe such a meeting would ever happen, not tonight anyway, but she smiled and let him walk away before walking over to the bar and ordering a beer. She sat on a stool and turned away from the crowd as she took a sip and tried to remember again why she showed up tonight.

"Hey, there."

Buffy nearly choked on her beer and turned her head to see the last person she ever expected to see. "Faith?"

Faith smiled and leaned against the bar, getting close to Buffy yet keeping a respectable distance. "Hey."

"What are you doing here?"

"Kennedy's birthday, same as you, B," Faith said as she gestured to the bartender. "I've been here for about half an hour."

Buffy wondered why Xander hadn't said that when she first saw him but didn't dwell on the thought. "No, I meant Cleveland. Don't you still live in London?"

"I do," Faith affirmed. "Just here for a couple days."

"Oh." The comment made Buffy sad even though she told herself that it shouldn't. Faith had been living in London for a couple years now. That meant it had been a couple years since she'd seen her though as she looked at her now it didn't look as though she'd changed a bit.

Faith continued to smile and Buffy took a second to look at what she was wearing. Black boots, tight dark pants and a leather jacket: just what she would expect. Her hair was down and still had the natural wave to it and her makeup had the same toned down style she'd had the day she moved.

In other words, she was still the hottest woman in the room.

The bartender put a beer in front of Faith and she acknowledged him for only a second before turning her attention back to Buffy. "Wanna get a table and talk?"

Part of her thought maybe that wasn't the best idea but she ignored that part. "Yeah, sure."

It looked like Faith wanted to take her hand but she didn't. Instead, she only gestured with her head what direction she was going and then walked toward an open table in another area of the club. Buffy followed her, trying desperately not to check out her ass as she did. Faith had always been able to tell when she did something like that.

They sat down and Faith moved close to her in order for them to talk over the music. "So no one told you I was in town?"

Buffy shook her head and thought about the question for a second. "You know, you could have said something."

"Didn't think it was my place."

The awkwardness that Buffy never wanted them to have appeared and she didn't know how to get rid of it. For a second she wondered if that was part of the reason Faith moved away: to avoid the awkwardness. "It can be . . . your place, I mean. Just because we . . . you know . . ."

Faith chuckled quietly as she took a sip of her beer. "If you can't even say it, B, maybe it's not."

"Okay," Buffy said, smiling in order to power through the uncomfortable feeling she had, "just because we broke up doesn't mean you can't call to say you're in town."

Saying those words made Buffy's heart hurt and she didn't like that. She wanted to be okay with the fact that she and Faith were no longer together. Both of them should be okay with it but from the look on Faith's face Buffy could tell she wasn't okay yet.

"How are you, B? Keeping busy?"

Buffy smiled, appreciating that Faith changed the subject. "Yeah, it's nice. I come and go as I please. Only problem is that some nights I just wanna patrol on my own but I have to take out the kids instead."

Faith laughed. "Well, I'm on my own every night. Sometimes having someone else there is nice."

They look at each other for a few seconds before they turn their attention to the rest of the club. Buffy couldn't help but notice how much fun everyone was having and it made her wonder why she couldn't do the same. Her best friend had gone through so much to put together such a massive party and all Buffy could do was sit with her ex and think about how long she should stay.

"So, do you remember?"

Buffy turned to Faith with a raised eyebrow. "Remember what?"

"You know, for someone who always thought she was good at remembering dates you can be pretty forgetful," Faith said with a smile on her face. "You don't remember what today is?"

She thought for a minute but she had no idea what Faith was talking about. Buffy was good with dates and she remembered a lot of them. She remembered the day Sunnydale became a crater and when she and Faith decided to try friendship out. She remembered the day she and Faith first kissed and the day they decided to give dating a try.

Buffy remembered the night they first made love and the day she asked Faith to move in with her. She remembered the day they fought so badly that they decided they needed space. She remembered the day Faith told her that space meant that she was leaving Cleveland and she definitely remembered the day she left.

Faith didn't even say goodbye. She claimed it would have been too hard.

She remembered all those dates but none of them were today. If any of them were today, Buffy would probably have spent the night curled up on the couch with a bottle of wine. "No, I guess I don't."

"I finally remember something you don't." Faith smiled and leaned in close so her lips were only inches away from Buffy's ear. "On this day ten years ago we first met."

Buffy moved away enough to look into Faith's eyes and see her smile. She thought about it for a minute and realized that the timeline fit. Ten years ago she had met Faith at the Bronze and her life really did change forever.

"I couldn't believe you were dancing with that vamp."

"I couldn't believe you thought I needed saving."

Their eyes met again and they laughed but this time it wasn't awkward. It was just calm and easy, like they were simply two friends thinking about old times. The only problem was that their relationship was never simple. It was full of complications.

Faith stayed close to her but instead of looking solely into her eyes she shifted from them to her lips and back again. "You are still so beautiful, B. As beautiful as the day we met if not more so."

Buffy didn't know how to respond to that. Faith was more beautiful than the day they met and she thought that was because she had grown into such a strong and confident adult. That was why they dated. It was why she had fallen in love with her.

Looking at her now she couldn't remember why they couldn't make it work.

"Happy Anniversary, B," Faith mumbled before closing the distance between them and softly pressed her lips against Buffy's.

There was some shock but Buffy got over it quickly and simply enjoyed the kiss. Now she remembered how incredible it felt to feel Faith's lips against her own. It was the main reason that she decided to ask Faith out on a date after they parted ways when Faith broke the kiss. She had known she would never get enough of those lips.

When they broke apart Faith looked at her with a glow in her eyes that Buffy knew all too well. "Think we could go someplace a little quieter?"

Buffy thought about the question for a minute. This was dangerous territory for them. They were broken up after all and she hadn't seen Faith since she left for London. But then Faith had remembered something that Buffy would have thought she would have long forgotten: the day they met.

She couldn't believe it had been ten years since they met. So much had happened since then but it still felt like no time at all.


Their eyes met and Buffy knew she couldn't say no to her. Buffy still wanted her as much as the day they first kissed. "Come on."

She took the hand Faith offered her and they stood before quietly walking out of the club. There was a taxi outside and they climbed in, Buffy quickly giving the driver the address before looking at Faith. She noticed the other woman had an eyebrow raised and that meant she had heard the address given, one that was different from when they had broken up and Faith left.

They spent the entire ride in silence and if Buffy was being honest with herself, she had to admit she didn't know what to say. She was still so attracted to Faith but their breakup hadn't been pretty. It never was when a person loved someone as fiercely as Buffy had loved the woman next to her.

Before she knew it the car stopped in front of Buffy's building and they got out. Faith followed her into the building and to her apartment without saying a word. Buffy could tell that she wanted to though and it was only a matter of time. There was a lot they probably needed to talk about.

Buffy let Faith inside and shut the door behind them as Faith spoke up. "Why did you move?"

"I realized I didn't need that much space anymore," Buffy said. "Dawn's in London and doesn't come here that often and you're . . . not here. No one else really comes here."

Faith ran her hand along the edge of the couch and kept her eyes toward the ground. "So you haven't been living it up the last couple years?"

"No," Buffy answered slowly, "have you?"

"No," Faith said quietly, "I've never been in the mood to live it up."

The way Faith looked at her as she looked up made Buffy's heart stop for a moment. Even though when Faith left her heart was broken and she wanted nothing more than to move on the way Faith was staring into her eyes made her forget her broken heart. The look made everything else not matter.

Buffy walked up to her and took her hand in her own. "I haven't gotten over you, you know."

"I don't think I ever will," Faith whispered before leaning in and softly kissing her.

They didn't wait more than a second before their arms were around each other. It wasn't until they were together that Buffy realized how capable Faith was at being soft and tender. That hadn't been something she expected when they got together but it had been her favorite part of their time together. It was as though that part of Faith belonged to her alone.

The tender kiss quickly turned into a more passionate one and Buffy could tell Faith wanted them to move to a more comfortable location. Her arms were securely around her and she kept trying to move them but after a couple feet she would stop as if she was unsure of what to do next.

They broke away after a minute and Faith rested her forehead against Buffy's. "I never did get a tour."

"Wow, that was rude of me."

"I know, right?" Faith laughed. "So where is the bedroom in this place?"

Buffy laughed and knew this was where she needed to make a decision. She could stop whatever was about to happen and they could talk. They really needed to talk, especially given that they were kissing and Faith wanted to take them straight to the bedroom. Of course, in the beginning of their relationship they hadn't done a whole lot of talking.

Looking into Faith's eyes, she realized she didn't want to stop. After all this time apart, all she really wanted was Faith.

"Come on," she said quietly as she took Faith's hand and led her down the short hallway and into her bedroom.

Once they were in the room Faith immediately pulled off Buffy's top and shrugged out of her jacket. Then it was Buffy's turn to get her out of her shirt, something that proved difficult since they couldn't seem to keep their lips off each other. They managed to get each other naked though and before Buffy knew what was happening she was on the bed and Faith was on top of her.

They looked at each other and Buffy was shocked to see love in Faith's eyes. She had thought that love would be long gone since they had broken up. It had been years, plenty of time to move on.

The problem was that Buffy's feelings had never gone away. That was why she wasn't able to move on and it was the reason she hadn't even thought about going out on a date since. She still had feelings for the woman on top of her and she wasn't sure if they'd ever go away.

Buffy didn't think she wanted them to.

Faith placed soft kisses on her neck before looking into her eyes. "So beautiful."

The only response Buffy to think of was to pull her down so she could kiss her. Once their lips met Buffy's mind went blank and she acted on instinct, as though she had done this a hundred times before because she had. She knew every inch of the woman on top of her and her hands seemed to know exactly where to touch her.

Even though it seemed as though their bodies wanted to go hard and fast the couple didn't do that at all. Buffy marveled at the restraint Faith showed as she began to worship her body with kisses. Before she knew it Faith's fingers were on her clit and then they were inside her, causing her to moan out loudly. Only Faith could get that type of reaction out of her, could get her to feel what she was feeling at the moment.

Soon, too soon, she was coming but didn't stop to bask in the afterglow. Instead, she flipped Faith onto her back and she gave her the same treatment. Buffy became reacquainted with every inch of Faith's gorgeous body, paying special attention to her breasts and stomach since that always got the loudest moans out of her, then moved down to taste her.

Buffy felt like she had become intoxicated on Faith and she couldn't remember why she hadn't fought for her to stay. She couldn't even remember what the fight was about that caused them to break up. She didn't know why couldn't make it work so they were so good together.

It didn't take long before Faith was coming and Buffy held her tightly against her, trying to prolong what Faith was feeling as long as possible. Once she had stopped moving, Buffy kissed her way back up her body and curled up against her ex-girlfriend, resting her head on her chest. It had always been her favorite place to rest her head.

They were silent for a few minutes, Buffy keeping her eyes closed in order to attempt to shut out any regrets. Soon though she realized she didn't have any. The only thing she feared was Faith leaving to go back to London.

"That was amazing," Faith whispered out as she ran her fingers through Buffy's hair. "We are so good at that."

Buffy laughed. "Sex was never the problem."

Faith stopped moving her hand on Buffy. "No, it wasn't. It was about what I couldn't seem to say."

"Yeah," Buffy whispered out. She loved Faith, had told her so, and Faith had never said it. She had never been able to say anything close to it. "I was trying to remember earlier why you left."

"Because you thought I didn't love you." Faith pulled at Buffy until she took the hint and moved to lie next to her. She looked into her eyes and Buffy couldn't remember Faith ever looking so serious after sex. "I've thought about that a lot, you know."


Faith cupped Buffy's cheek with her hand, caressing it lightly. "I can't believe it took me moving across an ocean to realize how much I loved you. By then I figured it was too late to do anything about it. I figured you had moved on."

Buffy leaned in so their foreheads touched. "I don't think I'll ever be able to move on from you."

They kissed lightly as they wrapped their arms around each other. Buffy broke away first and playfully nudged at Faith's nose, a smile on her face. "So does that mean . . ."

"Yeah, Buffy, I love you. I think I'm always gonna love you. You're under my skin and the entire time I was in London I tried to not think about you but it was impossible. You're everything to me."

"I feel the same." Buffy kissed her lightly. "I love you, too."

All they did was hold each other for a few minutes. Buffy felt happy for the first time in a very long time and loved that Faith had something to do with it. The other woman was her other half, someone she needed like she needed air. Of course, she was only back for a couple days. She was going back to London.

Buffy tensed and she felt Faith notice. She gripped her tighter. "B, what's going through your head right now?"

"You're going back to London," Buffy said quietly. "You said so at the club."

"B, look at me." When Buffy did Faith smiled at her. "My ticket was one way. I didn't know when I was going back and if things went badly here I figured I'd take a little vacation before I went back. You know, drown my sorrows a little."

"So you can stay?"

Faith nodded. "I can stay."

Buffy grinned and rolled back on top of Faith. They definitely had something to celebrate now and day had a new meaning.

The End.

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