by Hayley

Chapter Seven

Faith and Buffy walked in silence. They'd left Buffy's house with Willow and Xander but had parted ways with them a couple blocks ago. During that the four had walked together they idly chatted about nothing in particular but Faith stayed out of it. Everything they talked about had nothing to do with her so she tried to stay invisible. Buffy knew that's what she was doing and had shot a couple looks her way but didn't receive a response.

"Hey," Buffy said suddenly, getting Faith's attention. "You've been quiet."

"Got nothin' to say, B." Faith turned her head to her and shrugged, hands buried inside her pockets.

"Thanks for helping back there." Buffy smiled warmly as she put her hand on Faith's arm. She'd wanted to take her hand but since Faith had shoved them in her pockets, this was the best she could do. She felt the need to have some kind of physical contact with her, do something to let her she was wanted.

"Was nothing."

"Yes, it was." Buffy stopped, making Faith stop as well. "What's wrong? Is it something from back in the house?"

"Nah," Faith said quietly. "Everything's falling into place for you again. Guess I'm not sure where I fit in . . . if I even fit in."

"Of course you do," Buffy responded quietly. "You're a slayer. You belong on the hellmouth." She paused and looked into her eyes. "I know I want you here."

Faith smirked. "You might be the only one."

Buffy started walking toward Giles' again, pulling Faith with her. She smiled to herself, knowing that she should start thinking of it as Faith's place, too. She knew that was part of Faith's problem, not thinking she had a real home. It wasn't something Buffy could imagine, being uprooted from the place you've called home your entire life and moved cross country. She wondered if Faith would talk about it if she asked her but knew now wasn't the right time.

"Didn't you get along with the gang when I was gone?"

"I knew of them and they knew of me but that was it," Faith said, glancing at her as they walked. "I think they saw me as your replacement. Not sure they liked that."

"You're not a replacement but you're definitely one of the team." Buffy finally pulled Faith hand out of her pocket and took it in her own. "I think my mom knows about us."

"Really?" Faith asked as Buffy nodded. "How?"

"Not sure but then you weren't exactly stealthy trying to get off me when she got home. When she hugged me she said we'd talk about it later," Buffy explained, scrunching up her face at the thought of talking about dating Faith with her mother. "I'm not exactly looking forward to that."

"Do you not want her to know?" Faith tried her best not to let her question sound like an accusation but knew she probably failed.

"It's not that, Faith." Buffy squeezed her hand. "I'm just gonna get a mother-daughter talk about jumping into things and moving too fast and . . . sex."

Faith laughed. "That'll be fun for you."

"Keep laughing and I'll make it fun for both of us."

"You wouldn't."

"Hey, I bet my mom would want to talk to you, too. Probably would want to discuss being respectful," Buffy commented, laughing at the look on Faith's face. She looked genuinely horrified at the idea of having a talk with her mother.

Faith snapped out of the look quickly and smirked. "Sorry, B. You're on your own with that one."

"Some girlfriend."

"Girlfriend?" Faith's smirk morphed into a dimpled grin, instantly loving what she was just called. She'd probably only been called that two or three times before but this was the first time it meant something, for her especially.

Buffy blushed lightly. "Yeah. I mean, that's what you are, right? I guess . . . I just thought . . ."

"I like it," Faith said quickly, figuring Buffy may stutter along forever if she let her. "It's what I want, ya know? I want you."

Buffy grinned at the response and didn't know exactly what to say back. The feelings she felt for Faith were so strong now that she wasn't sure how to describe it. She definitely didn't know how she could describe it to her mother. She figured she would think of something though and hopefully that something didn't include talking any sort of sex she was having with Faith. The talk they'd had months ago about Angel was uncomfortable enough.

"I want you, too," Buffy finally said, looking at Faith before looking ahead toward Giles' or really, Faith's place as well. "We're almost there. Are we supposed to be on the level with Giles?"

"Might as well." Faith shrugged. "Not like G-man's gonna sit us down and have a heart to heart about it. He'll clean his glasses then change the subject to patrolling or gettin' you back into school."

"For only living with Giles a few months, you already know him so well," Buffy commented.

"He's a way boring adult and not that complicated. It's wasn't very hard."

Buffy grinned. "I bet I could tell you things that would make you change your mind."

"And you will tell me those," Faith said, a grin on her face now as well. "I'm startin' to run outta shit to tease him about."

The pair laughed quietly as they turned and walked up to the front door. As they stopped, Faith put her arm around Buffy and pulled her close before kissing her. Buffy smiled as their lips met before concentrating solely on the kiss. It was light and soft but they only let it last a few seconds before mutually pulling away.

"Come on," Faith said, smiling. "Let's see how embarrassed we can make Giles."

"I'm always up for a challenge."


The night had gone well. Buffy and Faith had patrolled half the cemeteries in Sunnydale and even though they'd encountered many more vampires than they expected, every fight had been a success.

In the few short weeks since Buffy had come back to Sunnydale, the Chosen Two had became an effective fighting team. Giles set up a schedule that allowed the pair to train together most afternoons so they could learn to fight in sync and back each other up effectively. He also went with them the first few nights to see how the training took but soon he realized it wasn't necessary. It was as though each of them knew when the other needed help and was there immediately.

Buffy was allowed back into Sunnydale High after her mother went to the school board. Though going to school wasn't exactly one of Buffy's top things to do, she knew the fact she was allowed back was a kick in the teeth to Principal Snyder and that made her immensely happy. What made her even happier was that she was joined by Faith. After being visited by Mrs. Summers, Giles convinced the Council Faith should go to school, pointing out that Buffy was still a successful slayer while attending high school.

Everything else in her life had fallen into place as well. Buffy's relationships with her mother and friends had gotten back to normal. She was able to hang out with the gang without feeling uncomfortable or nervous and she felt she was able to talk to her mother again. Now that she knew more about what Buffy was facing on a nightly basis, Joyce felt her relationship with her daughter was stronger than ever.

Since Joyce Summers already knew, Faith and Buffy decided it would be easier to let everyone know they were together. Neither wanted to hide what they felt for the other and they'd told Giles right away anyway. Outside of a few gaping jaws and a couple nervous questions, everyone seemed to accept them fine.

The only problem they ever encountered was after patrol. It always ended with them worked up and wanting each other but everywhere was well supervised. They had attempted going back to Faith's on the off chance Giles would still be at the library but he was always there, as was Mrs. Summers at Buffy's house. They knew they could find someplace if they really wanted to but a seedy motel seemed tacky and sex in a cemetery seemed a little creepy for both of them.

Now it was Saturday night and too late for them to go to the Bronze so they ended up back at Buffy's. They weren't ready to part ways yet and the Summers' house always seemed to have a better selection of food.

"I love takin' out vamps," Faith commented as they walked into the kitchen, "but takin' out that demon at the end, that was a rush."

"It didn't suck," Buffy said with a grin as she turned and tossed Faith a bag of chips. "Wish we woulda been more prepared though. Weapons would've helped 'cause my stake sure didn't."

"You could've gotten it back."

"I was not going to dig through a dead demon's insides to get my stake back."

Faith laughed. "I woulda helped. You said it was your lucky stake."

"If it was that lucky, it wouldn't have disappeared inside that demon's chest, never to be seen again." Buffy walked over to her, sodas in one hand and a box of cookies in the other. "Let's find out if there's something other than infomercials on."

"Yeah," Faith agreed and put an arm around Buffy's waist as they walked back into the living room and crashed on the couch.

Neither one said anything for a few minutes, only ate and drank while they looked for something to watch on TV. They finally settled on a cheap horror movie as they rested against each other. Of course, the resting only lasted a few minutes before their hands started moving.

Buffy had an arm around Faith and soon her hand had made its way under her shirt, lightly massaging her skin as it moved. Faith responded by turning more toward her, placing a hand on her stomach before leaning in and pressing her lips against Buffy's neck.

"I want you so fuckin' bad right now," Faith whispered as her lips pressed against Buffy's ear lightly.

"I want you, too," Buffy said as she pulled Faith closer. "I don't think we're gonna get away with anything right now though. My mom's on high alert when you're here."

Faith laughed as she moved back to look into Buffy's eyes. "I'll just have to think of this afternoon for now."

The only time the pair got to spend alone outside of patrol was after they trained in the afternoon. Since they were normally worked up already once they got to someone's house one thing always led to another. Both of them were surprised neither Giles nor Joyce Summers hadn't figured out what they would be doing during that unsupervised time.

"I am definitely paying you back for what you did today," Buffy said as soon as they began to kiss.

"And I'm looking forward to that." Faith grinned, dimples showing as she wrapped her arms around Buffy and pulled her more onto her lap.

They began to kiss deeply, trying hard not to move too fast. They both knew if they did that, if things became too passionate, it would be much harder to stop. It might even come down to Buffy's mother catching them if they got too much into it and Buffy feared that more than anything. Faith knew that, too, which is why she tried her best to control herself.

After a minute, they broke apart gasping, Buffy placing a couple light kisses on Faith's full lips before pulling away. "Maybe we should watch the movie."

Faith smiled as she leaned in and lightly kissed Buffy back. "'Fraid I'm gonna strip you right here? Are you doubting my self control?"

"Shouldn't I?"

Faith smirked and moved Buffy so she was sitting more beside her again than on her while keeping a strong arm around her. "Yeah, you should."

Buffy laughed as they settled against each other again and watched the movie. She felt so comfortable with Faith's arm around her and it still surprised her how Faith made her feel safe. As a slayer she didn't get to experience the feeling very often so being with someone who gave her that feeling made her fall for the other slayer that much more. It was also very relaxing and soon Buffy could feel herself began to drift off.

"Tired, huh?" Faith asked, kissing the top of Buffy's head.

They only response she received was a quiet mumble, causing Faith to smile. She knew she could leave, maybe getting Buffy to her room before she did, but she liked the feel of her girlfriend against her too much.

For the first time in her life, Faith felt like she belonged somewhere. When she was growing up in Boston she always felt out of place, like there wasn't anywhere she would fit in. Not at home with her parents, not at school or even with the people she attempted to call her friends. She knew now she never had friends in Boston, only people who needed something from her from time to time.

Sunnydale was different now. It was like she wanted it to be when she first arrived. No one looked at her like she was some subpar replacement for Buffy, someone who would disappear once she returned. Now everyone looked at her like she was one of the team and Giles was beginning to treat her as Buffy's equal since her fighting skills got better every day. She still didn't feel quite at home at his house but that was getting better, too.

Faith couldn't remember the last time she was as happy as she was now. She was a little afraid she would screw it up somehow but Buffy kept telling her otherwise, keeping her calm about everything. That and everything else is what made Faith fall in love with Buffy but she didn't think the other girl was ready to hear that yet.

About a half hour went by with Faith finishing her soda and watching the movie while Buffy slept against her. A noise finally came from upstairs and Faith smiled, wondering how long it would take Joyce to check on them.

She walked down the stairs in her robe, looking into the living room and observing the pair. "Faith? You're still here?"

"Yeah," Faith answered quietly, trying not to smile at the relieved look on her face. She knew Mrs. Summers was just as terrified of catching them in a compromising decision as Buffy was. "We were watching a movie and she fell asleep."

"Oh." Joyce looked away for a moment. "It is late."

"Yeah." Faith turned off the TV and looked over at Buffy with a smile. "I can get B upstairs. Do you . . . mind if I stayed?"

Joyce sighed at the question. "Faith, I don't know . . ."

"It's not like I'm gonna try anything," Faith put in quickly. "B's asleep. I'm not about to wake her up so I can get lucky."

Buffy's mother thought about the situation for a moment. She knew Faith was being truthful, she'd noticed the girl wasn't a good liar, and that made her less uneasy about the question. She also knew the pair had tried their hardest to stick with her rules as far as she was aware.

She looked at Faith finally with a small smile. "Okay. We'll talk in the morning."

"Thanks, Mrs. S."

Faith watched Joyce walk back upstairs before standing and taking Buffy into her arms. She'd been truthful about not waking Buffy up. She looked too cute asleep and it had been a long night. It had just been a long time since she'd gotten to sleep next to the other girl. Faith figured she had nothing to lose in asking.

She kissed Buffy's lips lightly as she began to walk up to the stairs and the other girl mumbled a quiet response. Faith held Buffy a little tighter as she made her way to Buffy's room, a small smile on her face as she realized she'd finally found someone she could find happiness with.

The End

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