by Hayley

Chapter Three

It would have been so easy but Faith had forgotten and now she didn't want to ask.

It wasn't until she'd gotten a block away from the diner that she remembered she didn't have a key to the apartment. The last thing she wanted to do was walk back to the diner and ask Buffy for the key. She'd already eaten and she didn't want to make Buffy uncomfortable by showing up again nor deal with her co-worker. Since it was only a couple hours until her shift was over she decided to walk around instead.

That got boring after about an hour. Faith had already been over most of the area when she was trying to locate Buffy a few days ago and it wasn't much different the second time around. It was the same people doing the same things and while she'd observed intently before, now that she had Buffy she no longer cared.

Eventually she did end up back at the diner but she didn't go in. Faith didn't want it to look like she was stalking Buffy and she knew the other waitress there already had her suspicions. Slayer hearing was definitely her current favorite perk of being a slayer.

She ended up stopping short of the diner and leant against the wall of the building. She knew she probably needed the time to think of the best way to talk to Buffy and the wait would hopefully give her the time she needed to come up with something. She had said she'd talk to Faith but that could all depend on how Faith handled her questioning.

Faith really wanted to get back to Sunnydale and slaying. It felt like she'd finally found the one thing she was meant to do, something good and something she could be good at. She had never had anything that good in her life before, always previously choosing the wrong side in decision making, so she wasn't going to let anything stop her from slaying.

The problem she was seeing right now was what was going on with Buffy and it wasn't just getting her to leave the crappy job and just as crappy apartment. Faith's new problem was she was starting to care about Buffy, about what happened to her, and that was complicating how she acted around her. She didn't want that, not now. She needed to concentrate solely on getting Buffy home, not on trying to get Buffy in any other way.

That was not the purpose of her journey to get Buffy. She was supposed to find Buffy and bring her back. That was it. It was meant to be simple, something she knew she could handle. She didn't know if she could handle falling for her fellow slayer.

Faith was never one to fall for someone, not for more than one night anyway, and that's how she liked it. She had decided early the best way not to get hurt was to get some and get gone, making sure there was no feeling past one night. That wasn't something she wanted to do with Buffy. All her feelings told her she wanted more than what would probably be an amazing night with Buffy and that wasn't what she wanted to think right now. It made everything too complicated.

The door of the diner opened, jolting Faith out of her current thoughts, and Buffy walked out, her long coat covering her uniform. Faith smiled and jogged to catch her as Buffy walked the other way, getting to her side in a couple seconds.

"How was the rest of the day?"

"I should be freaked that you were waiting for me but somehow I'm not," Buffy said, glancing at Faith as she walked.

"Actually, I can't get into the apartment with you having the only key and all," Faith said, smirking as Buffy laughed. "But I probably would've waited anyway."

Buffy shook her head. "I'm sure you would."

Faith smiled and looked down, noticing a bag in Buffy's hand. "What's with the bag, B?"

"Couple of burgers," she answered. "Figured you wouldn't wanna eat anything in the apartment."

"Good. I hate all that crappy food you have," Faith said. "We can eat and then you can tell me why you left."

Buffy didn't respond, knowing there wasn't anything she could say. She knew Faith wasn't going to stop until she told her and it was hard to keep it in anyway. She only hoped Faith would understand.

"Okay, talk."

Buffy leaned back as they sat on the bed. There was nowhere else for them to talk since there wasn't a table or couch in the small apartment so they opted for the bed. Faith lie on her side as she stretched out along the foot of the bed while Buffy sat up, leaning back against a pillow.

"What, no questions? Just 'talk'?"

"You want a question?" Faith asked, looking away for a moment before turning back. "Okay. Why don't you like slaying? It's such a rush."

"Not liking slaying is not why I'm here," Buffy clarified. "Slaying is lonely, Faith. You do it on your own and when you don't the people with you become targets. They get hurt and it's my fault."

"The way I hear it they're pretty willing to help."

"That doesn't matter. They never would've gotten involved if it wasn't for me." Buffy looked away from Faith. "Everything that happened was my fault." "Wanna vague that up for me? Which part of everything are you talking about now?" Faith asked, keeping her eyes on Buffy.

"Angel," Buffy whispered.

"The guy who terrorized you and the gang? Who tried to bring hell to Earth and all that? What about him?"

"I fell for him. He was helping us and I fell in love with him."

"Hold up," Faith said, raising an eyebrow. "You dated a vampire?"

Buffy only nodded at question, not wanting to give a further explanation even though she knew Faith wouldn't let this new fact go.

"Doesn't that go against the whole vampire slayer job description?" Faith asked, not quite believing the great Buffy Summers had dated the enemy.

"He was different," Buffy answered quietly. "He was helping us fight the forces of evil and he was dark and mysterious. It made me fall for him. Then we . . . had sex and he changed."

Faith nodded knowingly. "They always do."

"That's not it," Buffy said quickly, knowing Faith didn't know about the curse. "There was this curse. Angel had a soul, he was good, and then we had sex and his soul was gone. He started to hurt everyone I cared about and it was my fault."

"It's not your fault, B," Faith responded, wondering if Buffy really took responsibility for things not in her control. "Shit happens. Trust me, nobody blames you for any of that."

"But it is my fault," Buffy countered, her eyes starting to tear up. "My friends being attacked and Willow in the hospital, Giles getting kidnapped and tortured by Angel, Ms. Calendar and Kendra dying . . ."

"I know you were wanted for Kendra's murder," Faith jumped in. She didn't want Buffy to keep going since it looked like she was only making herself more depressed. "Those charges were dropped. Lack of evidence or something."

Buffy shook her head, a tear falling from her eye even though she was trying not to cry. "Doesn't make me any less responsible. No matter how hard I tried they got hurt and then I fought Angel . . ."

"And you won, B. Another win for the good guys," Faith said, trying to smile but couldn't. Buffy looked so sad and Faith could tell she was trying hard not to lose it. "Willow mentioned she tried to do this spell . . ."

"It worked," Buffy blurted out. "We were fighting and then everything was different. He was Angel again but it was too late. He'd already opened the gate and I had no choice."

Faith waited for Buffy to continue but she didn't. It was pretty easy to guess what happened after that, Faith wasn't that stupid, but she wanted Buffy to say it. She thought the other girl needed it since she'd been holding it in for so long.

She dared to get closer, sitting up and moving next to her. "B, what happened?"

"I had the sword," Buffy said quietly. "I kissed him and told him to close his eyes. Then I stabbed him, sent him to hell."

Neither girl said anything for a minute. Buffy was on the verge of all out sobbing and Faith didn't know what she would do if that happened. She wasn't exactly the greatest at comforting and had never really tried. This wasn't a situation where she could simply watch, however. For some reason, she knew she needed to actually do something, help in some way.

"And that's why you left?" Faith asked quietly, moving closer.

"I couldn't deal," Buffy mumbled. "People got hurt, killed. My mom told me to leave because she couldn't deal with having a vampire slayer for a daughter. Everyone's better off with me gone."

As much as she tried, Buffy couldn't keep it in any longer. She started to cry quietly, trying to control it as much as possible so she wouldn't scare off Faith. She didn't want to seem so weak in front of someone she barely knew but she couldn't stop. The tears kept coming and she started to sob louder. Before she knew it, she felt Faith's arm around her, pulling her closer.

Faith could feel Buffy stiffen for a second but then she relaxed and put her head on her shoulder. With that move, Faith's body stiffened. She'd never been this close to another person without sex involved. She had no idea what to do, if she should hold Buffy closer or even if she should be holding her. She hoped she hadn't crossed a line.

Buffy, on the other hand, had never felt more comforted. At least, not for as long as she could remember anyway. She thought maybe it was because of the slayer tingles but it also felt so good in that she could tell how much Faith cared about her. She could also tell Faith had never done anything like this before but right now it meant everything to her that she was trying.

"It's gonna be okay, B," Faith whispered.

"No, it's not," Buffy sobbed. "I can't go back, not after everything that happened."

"Yes, you can," Faith reassured. "Everyone needs you there. They want you there more than me."

Buffy didn't know how to respond to that so all she did was move closer to Faith. She felt Faith tighten her hold slightly in response and she felt herself starting to calm down. The other girl had been right. Actually saying what was wrong and why she left felt like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders. It felt like she could relax a little.

Faith could feel Buffy starting to calm down and stop crying and she allowed herself a little smile. She pulled Buffy as close as she could and gently pressed her lips against the top of her head. She felt like she had finally done something right and she couldn't remember the last time that happened. She'd always been told everything she did was wrong and before Sunnydale had excelled at that.

"Thanks, Faith," Buffy whispered as she sniffled in an attempt to stop crying.

"Not a problem," Faith replied softly, still keeping Buffy close.

They didn't move for a couple minutes, both not knowing what to do next. Faith couldn't believe how good it felt to have someone lean against her, almost rely on her, like Buffy was. It was a huge boost for her that she could be there for someone, that she could be strong for someone, and it was definitely something she could get used to.

Buffy adjusted her position, moving her head up slightly and daring to look at Faith. The other girl gave her a small, reassuring smile and Buffy managed to return it. Faith leaned in and pressed her lips against Buffy's forehead again, letting it linger for a couple seconds before pulling away.

Buffy looked at Faith as she pulled away and was amazed at what she saw in her eyes. She'd done nothing but treat Faith badly, doing everything she could to get her to leave. She'd done everything she could think of to get her to go back to Sunnydale without her and all Faith did in return was try to help her. Now all she could see from Faith was how much she cared about her.

The look and the way Faith was holding her didn't freak Buffy out like she thought it would. Something about it just felt right, like it should be this way. Instead, she felt herself leaning in and pressing her lips lightly against Faith's.

Faith knew she should be shocked, that maybe her body should stiffen as a response to Buffy's move. She didn't feel any of that though. She liked it too much for that. She only moved into Buffy, meeting her halfway as they lightly kissed.

The kept lightly kissing for a minute before they mutually pulled away. Buffy looked into Faith's eyes, trying but failing to read them. She knew the other girl had kissed her back, she'd felt that much. Now she didn't know what to do next.

Looking at Buffy, Faith could tell she was lost. She didn't like the look on her face, a mixture of confusion and sadness. It was almost too much to look at but she couldn't look away. She wanted Buffy to know she wasn't going away and she knew Buffy needed her to be there for her. It was why she did the only thing she could think of: she moved in slowly and carefully kissed her back.

She'd never been one for tender but Faith didn't have any other options now. Hard, fast and passionate wouldn't do the trick this time but as far as she could tell, being tender was working. Buffy wasn't tense in her arms and was actually beginning to lean against her. She was even kissing her back but that didn't surprise Faith. When Buffy deepened it, however, that surprised her.

Buffy had no idea what she was doing but knew she was almost acting on instinct. She'd never even fantasized about kissing a girl and had no idea if Faith ever had. It felt so good though, almost comforting, and Buffy couldn't help but deepen it. She thought for sure Faith would be okay with it since she initiated the kissing this time. When she felt Faith respond, putting her arms more around her, she figured she'd made the right move, even more so when she heard a quiet moan from Faith.

Faith knew she couldn't help but moan. Buffy's presence alone seemed to turn her on right now and that had become more obvious now that they were kissing. It felt amazing, like she'd just been slaying. Her whole body was tingling and she knew it was all thanks to Buffy. She felt herself pulling her closer and began to switch from enjoying what they were doing to keeping the situation under control. She knew deep down she couldn't take things much further, not like this. It wouldn't be good for her and definitely not for Buffy.

They continued kissing until they needed to breathe and again mutually broke away. As Buffy looked into Faith's eyes she was shocked at how concerned she looked. She could easily tell how turned on Faith was as well but the concern far outweighed all that and it got Buffy thinking again. Before she could will herself to stop, tears began to fall again.

The only thing Faith could think to do was put her arms around her again. She let Buffy cry against her, keeping her arms comfortably around her and kissing the top of her head gently. It felt like everything the other slayer was keeping in was finally coming out and fast. Faith was only happy to help, to be there.

For the longest time, neither girl moved. Buffy cried for a few more minutes but then stopped, unable to shed any more tears. She kept her face buried in Faith's shoulder, however, feeling too comforted to move. She knew Faith had been uncomfortable with their position at first, Buffy could tell she'd never done anything like this before, but now she knew the other girl felt just as comfortable as she did.

She couldn't believe she could feel that coming from Faith. Now that she allowed herself to feel their connection, the experience amazed her. She could feel so much concern and even a little panic from her. Buffy knew Faith didn't expect to find her so broken and had no idea how to fix her. She had no idea how to fix herself.

Faith put her lips to Buffy's ear. "It will get better, B. I promise."

"I don't know, Faith."

Faith pulled Buffy up and placed her hand gently on her chin, making her look at her. "You need to go back, B. No one blames you for anything: not the kidnapping, the attacks, the dying, anything. No one thinks what happened was your fault. I don't think anyone knows that spell worked either." She paused and grinned. "I'll be there, ya know. Slayers gotta stick together."

Buffy laughed as Faith winked at her. She couldn't believe after crying so hard and feeling so bad Faith had made her laugh. There were no words to describe how she was feeling right now and she figured Faith would think she was crazy if she tried. Now all she felt like doing was getting some sleep. Even though it was still early, she felt way too comfortable with Faith's arms around her.

Faith could see Buffy starting to fall asleep so she slowly tried to readjust their positions on the bed. Even though Buffy was probably pretty comfortable, Faith was sitting at an odd angle and it was definitely going to hurt later if she stayed right where she was.

She began to move but stopped when she felt Buffy's body stiffen. "I'm not going anywhere, B. Just getting more comfortable."

"Okay," Buffy mumbled as she let Faith move their positions on the bed. Before she knew it, she was under blankets and Faith was next to her. It felt almost natural and that would've shocked her if not for the fact she felt like she could finally sleep. She decided she could wait to be freaked when she woke up.

Faith drifted in and out of sleep for the next two hours, knowing that Buffy was getting some much needed sleep as she lay next to her. She was thankful she was able to get Buffy to talk about everything, especially now that she could feel how much more calm she was.

She thought she would finally allow herself to fall asleep completely but right when she was on the edge of sleep she felt Buffy move. Faith quickly startled herself awake and moved to look down at Buffy.

"B? You awake?" Faith whispered, not wanting to be too loud in case she was wrong.

Buffy turned to Faith, blinking as she eyes adjusted to the dim light of the room. "Yeah. How long have I been asleep?"

"Not long . . . couple hours maybe," Faith answered quietly.

"Oh." Buffy shifted and moved more away from Faith so she could look at her better. She looked a little tired but Buffy knew she was trying her best to hide that. "Did you sleep at all?"

"Some. Feel any better?"

"A little," Buffy said, liking that there was finally some truth in the answer. "Can I ask you a question?"

Faith shrugged. "Guess I shouldn't be the only one asking questions."

"Okay." Buffy looked away, thinking the biggest question she'd had in her mind in the last couple days before turning back to Faith. "Why are you living with Giles?"

"The Council made him my guardian," Faith said, a small grin on her face. "I'm from Boston. My parents and I really didn't get along when I was called so when the Council found me they were more than okay with me leaving." She paused and smirked. "I was . . . am a little wild and they're a couple of deadbeats anyway. Don't think they ever wanted a kid."

"How wild?" Buffy asked. She didn't know how to take her last comment so she chose to ignore it. She wasn't sure if it was true or if it was simply what Faith wanted to believe.

Faith kept her smirk. "A few run-ins with the cops, suspended from school, that kind of thing. Never was expelled but I was going for it. I hated school."

Buffy nodded and shifted so she was more on her side and could fully see Faith. She looked tired and maybe even a little uncomfortable answering questions but Buffy had a feeling she'd answer anything she asked. "You know I'm expelled, right?"

"Yeah," Faith said, nodding. "When you go back I'm sure you'll get right in. They don't have anything on you to keep you out."

"When?" Buffy asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Thought you'd catch that." Faith smiled. "You don't really have a choice here, B. You gotta go back at some point."

Buffy looked away from her, not knowing what to say. She knew Faith was right in that she would need to go home in the near future but she didn't know if she was ready. She was scared to death at what everyone would say. Even more, she was terrified they'd judge the choices she'd made and how some of them were obvious mistakes.

"Hey," Faith said quickly, getting her attention. She could tell Buffy wasn't with her. "That's all you're gonna ask me?"

"I'm not sure I wanna ask," Buffy admitted quietly. The only thought in her mind now was all the kissing they'd done before she fell asleep and she didn't know how to talk about that.

"Whatever." Faith shrugged. "I'm sure I know a lot more about you. No one really talked about you a lot 'cause of the huge depression you caused when you left but when they did . . . you're kind of a legend, B."

Buffy blushed at the statement. "I'm not a legend."

"Not how it's told," Faith commented. "It always sounds like that." She paused to give her a huge grin, showing her dimples. "You're a pretty wicked kisser, too, and no one told me about that."

Buffy blushed and knew she was probably as red as ever. She had a mixture of feelings coursing through her, excitement and a little embarrassment just two of them. The main thought running through her head, however, was that Faith said pretty much admitted she liked it. That had to count for something in what was going on between them.

Faith grinned even wider as Buffy blushed. She thought by the way she'd acted when they first met that she would tell her quickly if she didn't feel the same. If she didn't like that they'd kissed she could easily use it as an excuse to run from her and any thought of going back to Sunnydale. The fact she wasn't, that she hadn't told her off my now, made Faith think them kissing would be more than just a one-time occurrence.

Thinking Buffy wouldn't pull away, Faith leaned in and pressed her lips against Buffy's as softly as she could. She felt Buffy respond and it was all she could do not to push it further. She was at the point where she really wanted her fellow slayer but knew enough not to go too fast. It felt to her like Buffy was still very fragile and she didn't want it to look like she was taking advantage of the situation.

They continued to kiss softly, keeping it light again. Faith slowly inched her body toward Buffy's, wanting to be closer to her but still not wanting to go too fast. Buffy's only response was to cautiously place her hand on her hip once she got close enough. Faith smiled into the kiss and carefully put an arm around her, placing a hand on her back.

It was minutes before one of them look the leap and deepened the kiss. Buffy was the one who did, somehow knowing Faith was waiting for her to take that step for them. She waited for Faith to give her an opening, which wasn't very long, then slid her tongue into Faith's inviting mouth. She heard the other slayer moan out quietly and she couldn't help but do the same.

Faith had never been involved in something so surprisingly intimate before. Everything for her was hard and fast, especially since she'd been called. She hadn't gone out much in Sunnydale but when she did the realization that she was stronger than everyone around her was intoxicating. The rush after the few times she'd been slaying was so strong she'd wanted hard and fast, had even welcomed it.

That wasn't something she wanted this time at all. There wasn't any doubt she was feeling a rush, like when she went slaying, but it was different somehow. Her senses were all on fire and she wanted Buffy in the biggest way but she liked the tenderness right now. It was a definite first for her.

She couldn't let Buffy keep directing things however. Faith was simply too worked up and turned on due to everything she was feeling from Buffy that she couldn't stop herself. As slow as she could but most likely still on the fast side, she moved more on top of Buffy, never stopping to break the kiss. She soon felt the other girl's arms wrap around her so she knew what she was doing wasn't exactly objectionable.

After a minute, breathing became an issue for both of them and the pair broke away gasping. Faith quickly moved her lips down Buffy's neck, nipping and sucking on her pulse point. Buffy couldn't stop the moan that escaped from her mouth as she tried in vain to catch her breath. There was no hope in her doing it, not with the way Faith was pressed against her and using her lips to make her feel beyond good.

At the same time, she couldn't wrap her head around what was going on. Everything was moving so fast for her but she loved how Faith was making her feel. She was paying so much attention to her, making everything about her. Buffy had never felt anything so strong, not even with Angel and it didn't scare her like she thought it should. In an odd way, it felt incredible because she felt so safe with Faith.

Faith knew she should stop herself. She knew it could be viewed that she was taking advantage of Buffy and she didn't want that. The problem was the way Buffy was moving against her, the way her hands were moving over her back, was too much for her. She could only respond to it by slowly kissing back up her neck and kissing her passionately once she reached her lips.

Buffy responded with just as much passion, keeping her arms wrapped tightly around Faith. Neither girl yielded, both wanting to take control of the kiss. They fought for dominance the entire time until they had to break away again, their hot breath hitting each other as they gasped for air.

"Faith . . ." Buffy breathed out, not letting go of Faith and not knowing how to say what she wanted.

"I know," Faith said quietly, resting her forehead against Buffy's. "Too fast, too soon."

"No," Buffy responded, looking up into Faith's eyes. "Well, yeah but not really." She bit her lip nervously, causing Faith to laugh.

"That clears everything up, B," she laughed out then leaned in and kissed her lightly. "It's okay. I know what you mean." Faith smiled and tried to move but Buffy was still holding onto her tightly. "B?"

"Oh, sorry," Buffy mumbled, loosening her hold on Faith.

Faith moved off her but kept her arms around her and liked that Buffy did the same. She leaned in and gave her a soft kiss before smiling. "This slow deal is new to me."

Buffy furrowed her brow, confused by the comment. "What do you mean?"

"With me, there's normally no stopping," Faith explained simply.


"That's okay though," Faith put in quickly, not wanting Buffy to feel bad about stopping and she could tell her face was about to fall. "It's different but it's a good different."

Buffy smiled, knowing Faith meant what she said. "This is kinda different for me, too, ya know."

Faith moved a little closer to her. "And?"

When Buffy only grinned as a response, Faith gave her one of her own and quickly moved in to kiss her. They kept it light, not wanting to rush and not wanting to get too worked up. Neither was sure they'd be able to stop again if things started to get out of control. Both knew it wasn't the right time.

They broke away from each other after a minute but Buffy placed a soft kiss on Faith's cheek before she could move completely away. Buffy wanted Faith to know this wasn't happening only because she was vulnerable. She really was feeling something for her but she just didn't quite know how to say it.

Faith had to stop herself from blushing due to Buffy's gesture. She wasn't used to someone not only paying attention to her but being so gentle and tender as well. She thought for sure it would make her uncomfortable but it didn't. The fact that it was Buffy helped.

"We should get some sleep," Buffy said quietly. ""I have to work early tomorrow."

Faith only smiled, not wanting to argue the point after all that happened. She knew she needed to get Buffy to realize Sunnydale was where she belonged and she definitely wanted to make sure Buffy didn't work one more shift at the diner.

Now wasn't the time for that though. Both slayers were too tired. Instead they only snuggled against each other, both letting out quiet sighs as they fell asleep.

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