by Hayley

Chapter Sixteen

Morning came much too quickly.

Buffy woke up as light started to come into her room. She looked around, as if something should be different. The only difference though was the fact she was naked . . . and not alone.

They really hadn't moved during the night. Buffy was still on her back, an arm around Faith. The other slayer was still half on top of her and she could feel her breath hitting her neck as she breathed in and out. It shocked her a little that she hadn't moved, if only because in the past Faith's nightmares had caused her to do so.

Faith moved in her sleep then, moving an arm over her stomach as if Buffy wasn't close enough already. She let out a quiet sound in the process that Buffy could only describe as half moan and half groan. It was as though Faith was fighting to stay asleep.

Buffy wondered what would happen once she did wake up. To say their relationship was different now would be an understatement. Sex changed everything as far as Buffy was concerned and she had to think Faith would feel that way, too. At least, the Faith that was lying next to her now would or that's what she thought. She had to think that Faith has changed enough so that last night wouldn't be just a cheap one night stand.

She closed her eyes and thought about her life at the moment. They'd stopped one party that targeted Faith for revenge but she knew there could be others that felt the same as Wolfram and Hart. The other slayer would have to deal with that as well as all of the other inner demons she had to carry with her.

The decision Buffy knew she needed to make was whether or not she would continue to help Faith through everything. Her next year of college was fast approaching and that meant moving back into the dorms. It meant classes and study groups and not a lot of time for checking in on the other girl and what she was up to. She wanted to be there for Faith but she knew she needed to continue with college and everything else in her life that was pre-Faith.

"I can hear you thinking," Faith mumbled as she moved slightly against Buffy.

Buffy turned her head to look at Faith and noticed her eyes were still closed. She pulled the sheets over them a little more and smiled. "I didn't realize I thought so loud."

Faith moved against her again, this time kissing her neck softly before moving off her just enough to look at her. "Only when you think and should be sleeping instead."

She laughed quietly. "Well, when you put it that way it all makes sense."

They kissed lightly before Faith closed her eyes again. Buffy looked out the window and thought about how everyone would react. She had no intention of keeping what she had with Faith a secret. Some of them had their suspicions, Willow especially, so it shouldn't come as much of a shock.

Being in bed with Faith just felt so normal . . .

"You're not gonna go back to sleep, are you?"

Buffy turned her head back to Faith, noticing the other girl looking at her with some interest. "Sorry, just thinking."


"This," Buffy admitted. "Thinking about what happens once we get dressed and leave this room."


"I don't know." Buffy figured it was as honest an answer as any. "You're going to have to continue with Giles and soon I'll be back at UC Sunnydale. We probably won't be together everyday anymore."

Faith furrowed her brow at the comment and moved away from Buffy slightly, resting on her side so she could completely turn to her. It caused the sheet to move down her body some and Buffy couldn't help but move her gaze over her amazing body. It was definitely a distraction and when she looked back to Faith she noticed a knowing smirk on her face.

"Does this end here then?" Faith asked quietly. "Is that what you want to happen?"

Buffy shook her head quickly. "I . . . I want for this not to be a secret. I don't want to have to sneak off to see you or have to make excuses as to why I want to spend some alone time with you."

"I don't know. Sneaking off can be kind of fun," Faith said, a dimpled grin starting to appear on her face. "Makes everything more hot and exciting."

"Sometimes," Buffy admitted. "Most times though, it's not." She turned on her side, mirroring Faith's position. "I want to tell everyone."

"Everyone?" She waited for Buffy to nod before saying anything else. "B, I kind of like living here more than with Giles. Your mom is cool and all but I don't think she's gonna be okay with the fact I got her daughter naked."

Buffy chuckled at the thought. She knew her mother would probably be uncomfortable with the topic of her and Faith having sex but she figured it would be more awkward if she wasn't uncomfortable. Everyone else would likely get over any reservations about the two. They could see that Faith was changing or even finally showing everyone the real her.

Part of her thought that all the negatives Faith had shown in the beginning was a defense mechanism, something to keep her from being hurt. That wasn't what she originally thought when Faith first showed up, of course, but now that she was seeing more sides of the other slayer that's what she felt. Faith seemed to be letting her guard down now.

"I think she'll be okay with it," Buffy said. "I mean, I don't she'll necessarily be okay with the whole having sex under her roof part but I think she already knows how we feel about each other. She told me once that she didn't want to see either of us hurt and she didn't mean anything to do with slaying."

Faith nodded but didn't say anything, only moved to rest on her back and closed her eyes.

Buffy waited a minute, watching Faith and thinking how beautiful she was, and hoped Faith would say something in response. She didn't though and that made Buffy worry. Saying nothing might mean the other girl wasn't comfortable with their new closeness and that wasn't something she wanted to happen.

"Faith?" she finally said when the silence was too much. "Do you not want to tell people?"

She let out a sigh. "Just nervous, I guess. What if it doesn't work out? What if your mom kicks me out or Giles ships me off to LA or something? What if . . ."

"What if everyone's okay with it," Buffy finished before she could continue. She wasn't used to Faith continuing to doubt herself and hoped that would change eventually. "You know, you were the one to take the first step here. You kissed me first."

Faith opened her eyes and looked at her, eyebrow raised. "I didn't think anything would come of it though. It was kind of a reflex or something."

"Or something, huh?" Buffy laughed quietly. "I don't want to sneak around, Faith. I did enough of that with Angel and with slaying when I first started out. It'll be hard to keep it from my mom since you live here and all."

"Okay." Faith nodded and moved a little closer to Buffy, causing her to smile. She missed the warmth she felt when she woke up with Faith pressed against her. "I'll follow your lead."

"It'll be fine," Buffy said, a smile on her face. She hoped if she showed some confidence in the decision that would rub off on Faith. "It'll work out."

Once Faith got up and left to take a shower, Buffy decided she should get dressed as well. She knew her mother was up and likely in the kitchen making breakfast. It seemed like as good a time as any to start the conversation she wanted to have with her.

She reached the bottom of the stairs when she heard her mother. "Buffy, is that you?"

Buffy walked slightly faster as her bare feet padded into the kitchen. "Yep, just me."

Joyce smiled and Buffy tried to read into it. There didn't seem to be any hidden message or emotion though. "Sleep okay?"


"And how did Faith sleep?"

She raised an eyebrow at that. Buffy figured she had to know Faith was in her room during the night so it would be pointless to claim ignorance to all things Faith. "Fine."

"Uh-huh," she said and sat down at the kitchen table, setting down the cup of coffee that she'd been holding. "Sit down, Buffy."

Buffy tried not to let out a sigh. This seemed to be the part where her mother let her know she disapproved of the relationship or at the very least, would try to dissuade her from pursuing in further. She sat down and tried to smile.

"Honey, I know you're an adult now," she started, a serious look on her face, "and I know that you've had to make some pretty serious decisions even before you became one because of slaying."

"Mom, I . . ."

"Let me finish first, okay?" Joyce said calmly. "You've changed so much since Faith came back into our lives and I know it's for the better. You helped even when I know you didn't want to and I'm so proud of you for that. I'm just concerned that you might be moving a little fast." She paused. "Faith is still working through some difficult things."

"I know," Buffy said. "Are you mad . . . about me and Faith?"

Joyce seemed to think about that for a moment before answering. "No, not mad. I just want you to be sure about what you're doing."

"Good morning," Faith said quietly as she entered the kitchen wearing sweat shorts and a black t-shirt. She looked at the two of them and visibly tensed. "I can leave."

She turned to go but Joyce spoke up. "No, Faith. Sit down, please."

Faith looked at Buffy and she could tell the other slayer was trying hard not to look nervous. She gave her a little nod as if to say that everything was as okay as it could be and Faith sat down next to her. They exchanged a look before Faith looked to Joyce and Buffy turned her attention back to her mother.

"Do I need to move back in with Giles?" Faith asked quickly and Buffy fought not to say anything. She hadn't expected her to start with that question.

Joyce smiled, as if to try and reassure Faith. "Of course not, Faith. I want you to continue to stay here and I still expect you to start working for me once Mr. Giles thinks it's okay."

"Then what . . ." Faith stopped short of what she wanted to say and Buffy could tell she was confused by her mother's answer.

"What I want is for the two of you to know what you're doing," Joyce said. "In a short period of time Buffy, you will be back at college and you know how busy you'll be. Faith, your priority needs to be working with Giles and getting your life back on track, which I think you're doing and I'm so proud of you for it. Whatever relationship the two of you want to have can't get in the way of that."

"Why can't we have both?"

"I want you to have everything that makes you happy, honey." She smiled. "That's something a mother always wants for her child. Faith, I want that for you, too."

Buffy turned her head and noticed Faith almost looked uncomfortable at the comment. She had to think that was because she wasn't used to hearing what her mother said from anyone. That thought made her a little sad but she shook the sadness off. Instead, she knew she should focus on how she could make sure Faith heard things like what her mother had said all the time.

"I . . ." Faith started but hesitated slightly before continuing. "I want to date Buffy, Mrs. S. I think she's the only person who gets me."

Joyce smiled. "I know. All I'm asking is for both of you to really think about it."

Buffy looked down for a second then back at her mother. "Do you think we should tell Giles right away? I want to be with Faith, too."

She looked at Faith and they shared a smile. She wanted to tell Faith that she should smile like she was more often. It made her look so beautiful, not like some of the smiles she was familiar with. Those smiles never reached her eyes and made it look like she was hiding what she was really feeling.

"You should be honest with him, honey," she answered. "You owe it to him."

No one said anything for a minute before Buffy said something she felt she needed to say. She still hadn't gotten a straight on one important fact. "Mom, are you okay with us being together?"

The question caused Joyce to sigh quietly but Buffy didn't think that was necessarily a bad time. "I won't lie. It's a lot to take in . . . but I can see how you two feel about each other, too. All I can promise is that I'll try to be supportive."

Buffy couldn't help herself: she jumped up and hugged her mother. She hadn't realized until she had said it but having her mother support her new relationship with Faith was important to her. When she looked back at Faith she could tell it meant something to her, too. There was a smile on her face as well.

Faith held onto her hand as they walked toward Giles' condo. Because of that Buffy could tell how nervous she was and she wondered whether or not she should comment on it.

It wasn't like there wasn't a reason to be nervous. No matter how much Buffy knew that Giles wasn't like any other watcher, as shown by the actions of every other watcher she'd encountered, there was still the chance he wouldn't approve. He could tell them the relationship would interfere with Faith's road to redemption and try to make sure they weren't able to be together.

Buffy wanted to think the Giles she knew wouldn't do something like that though. She liked to think that she'd been helpful to Faith getting over her some of her initial hurdles and helped to convince everyone that Faith wasn't hurting herself. In the whole process she'd come to find that she had much in common with the other slayer.

She had also realized she was attracted to Faith.

"You're not saying anything."

She turned to notice Faith looking at her. The look on her face was one of interest but Buffy couldn't tell if that was good or bad. "What should I be saying?" she asked, a small smile appearing on her face.

"I don't know," Faith admitted. "You just normally talk about nothing and everything. It's weird when you're quiet."

"Hmm . . ." Buffy thought for a moment. "I guess I need to think about everything I'll need for college in a few weeks. I have to get some new clothes. Maybe we could take an afternoon off and go to the mall instead."

Faith shook her head. "I know I said it the last time but I'm not big with going to malls and shopping."

Buffy frowned at the memory of their last trip. She'd been so hard on Faith and the other girl had practically been a shadow of the person she was beginning to become. It seemed like something they needed to change and she opened her mouth to say something but Faith stopped her.

"Don't apologize, B." Faith squeezed her hand slightly. "You had a right to feel the way you did. I hurt you and a lot of other people. I think I'll always be trying to make up for the stuff I did."

She only nodded at what Faith said. It wasn't something she felt she could argue with her and there was still a part of her that was upset at what had happened. It was a small part though, something that she had dealt with and shoved to the side. Buffy knew she would probably always carry that hurt with her but didn't see that it would cause any new rift between her and Faith.

"I think you'll like going to the mall with me this time," Buffy said as she raised an eyebrow, "especially if I'm modeling clothes for you."

Faith raised her eyebrow at that. "I think I'll like that trip to the mall."

As they rounded the corner and began to walk up toward Giles' front door they were met by Willow and Tara, who were just in front of them. Willow looked down to where their hands were and raised an eyebrow but didn't say anything. Tara only smiled at them as they opened the front door and walked in.

Xander and Anya were already there and once they looked at her Buffy realized she still hadn't let go of Faith's hand.

"See, I told you, Xander."

His eyes looked over their hands and they traveled up to Buffy's face quickly. She could see the amount of shock there so she spoke up just as he began to open his mouth. "Maybe we should all sit down."

All of them did where they could, taking over the couch and chairs in Giles' living room. The watcher walked in as they did, a cup of tea in his hand. "Good, everyone's here. I was going over . . ."

"Giles," Buffy cut in, "Faith and I need to say something first."

"Okay, go ahead. Is there any further developments from the spell?"

"No, not that." Buffy took a breath. "See, Faith and I have been getting closer and . . ."

"I got a thing for B," Faith cut in, possibly because Xander hadn't taken his eyes off her since they walked in holding hands. "I really like her and . . ."

"And the feeling's mutual," Buffy finished for her. "I know this is kind of sudden and probably a little weird but since Faith came back to Sunnydale she's been different. When we were doing everything Giles wanted and then when we were dealing with the spell I got a chance to see a different Faith. Different from what we remember from over a year ago."

She paused, not quite sure what to say next, like she had lost her train of thought. She looked at Giles but he only looked interested in what she had to say. The fact that he didn't seem to have a negative expression on his face helped her though. "Faith and I are going to be together. We're . . . dating, I guess."

"I think that's what the kids call it nowadays," Faith said as she looked at her. Buffy saw her smile and all the pressure she felt in revealing this decision to her friends and their watcher seemed to fade away. "We want to see where this goes." She looked solely at Giles. "We want you to be okay with that."

The rest of them looked to the watcher as well, wondering what he would say. Buffy hoped he wouldn't feel as though what they had was a distraction for Faith. That was her main worry. She knew he had Faith's best interests at heart first and foremost.

He let out a breath and set his cup of tea on the counter. "I don't see how what the two of you intend to . . . pursue . . . is something I should object to. My main concern is always for your well-being."

Buffy smiled and turned her attention to her friends. "Well, guys . . . thoughts?"

"We kind of knew," Tara said quietly. "I told Willow it was easy to see."

"I don't know, Buff," Xander said. "I know you've been saying good things about Faith but . . ." he sighed. "It'll be something to get used to."

"Is that good or bad, Xand?"

"Neither, I guess," he said as he gave her a small smile. "I'm not exactly going to throw a party for the two of you or anything but . . . I'll get there."

Both of the slayers smiled and shared a look before Buffy turned her attention back to Giles. "Okay, enough of that. Giles, what were you going to say when we got here?"

The rest of the meeting went well and after a couple hours only Buffy and Faith remained. Giles went over some books with them and let them know that he had his eye on a new training spot, someplace where Faith could train everyday and where Buffy could train every day she was able.

It was all coming together and Buffy couldn't keep the smile off her face. Even though she knew there were struggles ahead for them all she had by the end of the day was hope that it would work out for them. It had to.

"This went better than I expected," Faith said as they walked back home.

"What did you expect?"

"Mass hatred."

Buffy laughed quietly. "I think they've gotten past that. I know I have."

"And I definitely appreciate that."

Neither one of them said anything for a minute. Buffy thought about everything that happened and her mind kept resting on one thing: the worst night for Faith during the spell. She couldn't imagine what life would've been like if she hadn't woke up, if Faith had given into the voices plaguing her nightmares. She was thankful the night hadn't gone any other way than how it had.

"You're thinking again."


"What about?"

"Just that I'm thankful you're as strong as you are. That you didn't give in when your nightmares made it seem like it was the only way. You could've disappeared on me and you didn't."

Faith smiled and Buffy thought she never looked more beautiful than at that moment. "I'd never do that to you, B."

"Good, 'cause I want you here for a long time. With me."

Faith kissed the side of her head, causing Buffy to smile. "That's where I want to be."

The End

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Chapter One || Chapter Two || Chapter Three || Chapter Four || Chapter Five || Chapter Six || Chapter Seven || Chapter Eight || Chapter Nine || Chapter Ten || Chapter Eleven || Chapter Twelve || Chapter Thirteen || Chapter Fourteen || Chapter Fifteen || Chapter Sixteen

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