Title: Feel You

Author:  Muzicchick13

Fandom: BtVS

Pairing: Faith/Buffy

Rating: T


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A/N: This is sort of AU in that the Scoobies are still in high school, Willow’s with Tara

and Anya’s with Xander and Faith has been there for a while.   



Chapter 1 - Feel You


She felt her before she saw her.  Faith didn't know how it happened but she had sort of developed a third sense when it came to Buffy.  It was in the way she could look up and just know who had entered the room without even laying eyes on her.  At first she just put it down to being a Slayer thing, you know, like the tingles she got whenever a vamp was around.  Even the accelerated heart rate and adrenaline rush were the same.  But after time and a little probing into whether or not Buffy had the same reaction with Faith, herself, she kind of gave up on the whole Slayer connection.  Or maybe rather Buffy had given it up for her.


"You're kinda creepin' me out with all the questions F."  She'd said teasingly, but

Faith had again felt, rather than seen, the truth.  It was in the uneasiness of her, as the blonde refused to make direct eye‑contact and shifted on her feet every few minutes. 


The way she stole little glances at the brunette from under her eyelashes as if saying,

I know you're watching me and I'm watching you to make sure you know but I don't want you to know I'm watching you...sort of.


The point is, Faith gave up on trying to figure out why and what it was, and just sort of

let it be. And eventually Buffy's disquiet was replaced with an ease that lit up her whole presence whenever she was around Faith.  The ease of an old friendship found anew.


Maybe it was the way the tiny blonde would never back down from a banter with the brunette, even though she knew that, no matter what, the younger slayer would always come out on top.

It was comfortable, something Faith didn't have a whole lot of, and she wasn't about to let it go because of a stupid 'feeling' she got.  So she didn't pause to think about it as she raised her eyes to the library doors.  She didn't wonder who's hand was pushing them open.  Nor did she stop the smile that spread across her face as she was, once again, proven right.  Buffy turned to her, letting the door swing shut behind her.  She scrunched up her nose in an inquisitive smile.


"You look like you knew I was coming."  She says lightly, sitting down across the table

from the brunette.  Faith sighs a bit, closing the book she'd been researching in.


"Maybe I did."  She says, grinning rogueoushly.  To her it's the truth, to Buffy it's just

another one of Faith's attempts to flirt.  Not that she minds all that much.  Actually finds it kinda cute in a...Faith way, so she just smiles back and Faith, in turn, smiles back to her even brighter.  This seems to happen a lot when Buffy's in the room, she just finds herself smiling for no apparent reason.  She'd never complain though, anything that gives Faith a reason to smile is a good thing.  The brunette glances up at the clock on the wall.  "Shouldn't you be in class?"  At this, Buffy shrugs casually.


"I should be doing a lot of things...but yeah, I convinced Mr. Funkle that I really do need to pee three times a class period."


"Three times?"  Faith asks, raising an eyebrow.  Buffy sighs and rolls her eyes.


"Well the first time I really did pee, the second time I ... got halfway here but decided that you were probably busy doing something really important and the third time ..." she trails off lamely.  Faith finds herself smiling just a little bit more.


"Third time's the charm."  She says, wondering how it is that a girl, who has faced so much horror and tragedy in her life, can sit here and awe Faith with her innocence.


"Yep, pretty much."  Buffy says matter‑of‑factly, not noticing the way, Faith's eyes have

gone kind of out of focus and her brow has furrowed just the slightest bit in thought.


"Anyway, I better get back.  Maybe I can convince him I have a bladder infection and just get out of that class entirely, of course that's risking almost total humiliation in front of the entire class which will undoubtedly spread to the entire school and whenever I walk down the halls people will stop and whisper, 'oh there goes the girl with the bladder infection.'”  She sighs, ending her rant.  "I guess it could be worse.  You gonna stick around for a while?"


Faith, who had only half‑heard that little spiel, finally rejoins the convo, meeting Buffy's questioning gaze.  She smiles again just...just because.


"Sure thing."  Buffy smiles too before hopping off the desk.


"Cool,"  she says, "if Giles comes back tell him his 'old English man who drinks way too

much tea' scent is infiltrating the library again.  We might have to get Wills to do a

banishing spell just to get rid of the odor."  At this Faith laughs and Buffy breaks into

some giggles herself.  The brunette stands up, waving at the doorway.


"Get to class slacker."  She says leaning against the desk.  Buffy smiles and opens the door before turning back to her, "Bye Faith."


"See ya B."  Faith watches as she leaves, she keeps her gaze on the door as she listens to sound of Buffy's footsteps fading away down the hall and even then doesn't look away when the library becomes completely still once again, all the while with that stupid grin plastered on her face.  She barely notices when the doors open again, because if it had been Buffy she would’ve known and since it's not Buffy, she doesn't care.


"Whoa weirdness, red alert.  What's with the smiling of the Faith?"  The red head's voice breaks the silence but Faith doesn't respond, she tries a little to hide the smile but it's no use, it never is.  "I mean you've been around for a little while and I know your smiles and this is not a regular smile, this is a something is up smile and if something is up I'm not all together convinced that it's not a bad something and if it's a bad something I probably don't want to be near it and if you don't stop me soon I could lose consciousness from lack of oxygen."  Faith finally turns her gaze to the babbling girl.


"And whose fault would that be?"  Willow's mouth opens and closes a few times before she raises her chin defiantly.


"That would be mine."  Faith chuckles, the smile never leaving her face as the red head

settles herself next to her. "But seriously, what's the what, cause not that you shouldn't

smile, but just the fact that you are...totally creepin' me out."


Faith sighs as she pushes off the table, she turns and regards the girl in front of her.


Willow finds herself almost shrinking under the dark slayer's curious gaze.


"Have you ever known someone..." she starts off slowly.  Willow would have interjected that, duh, of course she knows people, but knowing the brunette's thought process wasn't complete, along with the fact that she seems to actually be confiding in her, she keeps her mouth shut, simply willing the other girl to continue.  Faith shakes her head, almost losing her resolve but keeps going, "...and it's like, you've known that person your whole life, even when you haven't?  And just seeing that person brings a smile to your face, no matter what?"  She shakes her head again.  "I dunno, it's weird."  Willow smiles.  Wow, of all the things she'd expected Faith to say and here's something she actually knows about.


"Yeah I have, I do."  Faith looks up, meeting her gaze.


"Yeah?"  Willow nods.  "Well Who is it?"  Faith asks in her oh‑so‑overt way.


"Tara."  Willow says simply.  She would've stopped there but Faith seems to be needing more of an answer than that.  "When we first met.  Before...before I knew...you know."  Faith nods, smiling.  "It was like...I can't even describe it, like...sunshine on a cloudy day.  God that sounds so stupid but that's what it was.  And sometimes it was almost like...like I could feel her approaching if she’d been away or something, you know?" Faith raises her eyebrows in surprise. Ixnay on the Ayerslay Onnectioncay. "No of course you don't know.  But I dunno, I would just find myself smiling for no reason at all.  Even after she'd gone I just couldn't stop, my whole day seemed brighter and just better and..."  Her eyes met Faith's, growing wide with comprehension.

"You have a Tara! I mean not necessarily a Tara or a girl for that matter cause as far as I know you’re a man's lady, not that I've given this a lot of thought, it's just that from all outward appearances‑"


"It's Buffy."  Faith interjects suddenly, not fully realizing what she’s revealed until it’s too late.


"‑you seem...WHAT?"  And Willow's staring at her like she's got a third arm growing out the top of her head.  Faith sighs and laughs nervously.


"I'm in love with Buffy."  The red head's doing the fish thing again, her mouth

gaping and closing a few times.


"You ... I mean ... are you sure? I mean, I mean do you even, with the girl thing and the gay and the‑"  Faith interrupts again.


"THAT I've been sure of for a while, I'm surprised you Scoobs didn’t pick up on it sooner, although I'm pretty sure Xander has been entertaining his own Slayer-on-Slayer fantasies for quite some time."


"He wouldn't!"  Willow exclaims, but under Faith's you've‑got‑to‑be‑kidding‑me gaze she slowly concedes.  "Alright...so...so he would but...but Faith...Buffy?"


Faith nods. "Buffy."


"Wow."  Willow deadpans.


"Yeah, I know, right?"  They're quiet for a few moments, the only sound coming from Willow, nervously scoffing her shoe on the floor.


"Does...does she know?" The red head asks finally.  Faith shakes her head.


"Naw, B's got bigger, better, deader things on her mind."  Willow laughs half‑heartedly.


"This is true. But I mean, are you gonna tell her?"  Faith's gaze settles on the corner of

the table as she shrugs slightly.


"How can I?"  And for once, Willow doesn't have the answer.  Faith sighs, crossing her arms. "It's just something I've kinda gotta accept, ya know?  S'never gonna happen and I'm...ok with that."  And finally the smile that was left over from Buffy’s visit has dissipated.  Her brow's furrowed, her lips drawn into a small but contemplative frown.


"Are you really though?"  Willow ventures softly.  Faith shrugs.


"I gotta be."  The library falls quiet once again, Faith is off in her thoughts and Willow

is simply observing her.  She sees a sadness creep it's way onto the brunette’s face, a sadness she assumes is always there, lingering just under the surface.  But, just as quickly, the sadness disappears, replaced by a quiet resolve and something akin to peace.  The red head is about to take her leave when she sees Faith's mouth quirk into the smallest of smiles.


"What is it?"  She asks.  Faith meets her gaze, the smile growing even more.


"Buffy's coming."



Chapter 2 - Tell You


Willow looked up as the doors were pushed open by an overly cheerful Buffy.


“Just so you guys don’t hear it second-hand, it’s official:  I’ve come down with a very serious case of bladderitis infectious.”  She said, strutting towards them.


“Um Buffy I don’t think that’s an actual-Willow started only to be cut off by Faith.


“Tell me you didn’t,  She said, grinning emphatically.


Buffy nodded.  “Yup, bladder infection.  I’ll probably be out for the rest of the day.”  Faith hopped down from the table and swaggered towards Buffy.


“Right on girlfriend.”  She said, giving the blonde a high-five.  “Look at you, Big Bad B.  What next?  Gonna become a woman of the night?  Am I gonna have to patrol the street corners of Sunnydale making sure you’re not selling your body for money?”  Buffy rolled her eyes as Faith looked her up and down.


“No, but you’d like that wouldn’t you?”


The brunette shrugged, “I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t.”  Buffy laughed and punched her playfully in the shoulder.


“Hey Wills, what’s up?”


Willow had, after her conversation with Faith, been watching the interaction between the two.  Faith was right, The Scoobies really should have caught on sooner.  It was so obviously blatant, I mean, hello?


“Up?  Nothing.  Nothings up, not a thing.”  The red head caught a glimpse of Faith over Buffy’s shoulder.  The dark slayer silently pleading with her not to tell Buffy anything but Buffy was looking at her skeptically already.


“Alright dish.”  She said, hopping up on the table besides Willow.  “What’s the what?”


“Really Buffy, it’s nothing.”  But Buffy was giving her the look that meant, ‘I know you know something and I’m not giving up until I know too’ and that look always worked with Willow.  Only this time it wouldn’t, it couldn’t.  Willow had no intention of telling Buffy what Faith had confided in her.  No way, no how, un uh mister.   Out of the corner of her eye she noticed Faith.  She was poised like a wild animal ready to strike.  Her eyes were wide with fear.  She was poised to either; knock the red head on her ass, or bolt.



“Wills, come on.  You know you suck at keeping secrets from me so just spill already.”

“It’s nothing.”  Willow was starting to get nervous, she never held up well under pressure and what Buffy was doing was definitely pressure.




She chanced a glance at Faith, who just barely shook her head, her jaw set, her eyes piercing into Willows.  “I can’t Buffy.”


“Just tell me already.”


“Faith’s in love with you!”  The frenzy which had been growing came to a sudden halt.  Willow had shot a hand over her mouth the second the words came flooding out.  Faith had clamped her eyes shut, as if willing herself to be anywhere but in that library at that moment.  And Buffy was simply staring between the two, confusion evident on her face.  After several tense moments Buffy shook her head as if coming out of dream, she laughed nervously.


“Sorry, what?”  She asked Willow, as if it was all just a joke.


But Willow, who wouldn’t move her hand from her mouth, just kept her head down shaking it back and forth. 


When Buffy moved to touch her shoulder the red head jumped up saying, “I have to go,” and practically ran from the library.   The doors clicked shut, and the sound of Willows footsteps had all but faded away when Buffy finally chanced a look at the younger girl.


“Faith?”  She asked softly.  At this the brunette finally opened her eyes but made a point to look anywhere but at Buffy.


“Faith...”  The blonde continued.  “Faith, is it true?”


Faith, who had been staring pointedly at the ceiling closed her eyes and let out a shaky breath before finally settling her gaze on Buffy’s startling green eyes.


“Yeah B...it’s true.”


Buffy’s mouth formed a small ‘o’, and she nodded slightly.


Wh...why didn’t you tell me?”  She asked softly. 


Faith let out a nervous laugh.  “Kinda trying to avoid a situation like this B.” 


Buffy nodded again, she slowly moved from the table and came to stand in front of Faith.  When she got closer to the younger girl, she saw that her jaw was clenched, her eyes shone with unshed tears.  Buffy had never seen Faith cry, for anything.  That fact alone was enough to make her own eyes well and prickle with tears.  She took a shaky breath in and tried to meet the taller girls gaze.


“Faith...I can’t.” 


Faith let her eyes fall shut as she nodded.  She had known what the answer would be all along but it sure hurt like hell to actually hear it.  “I know.”  And Buffy watched as a single tear slide down the younger girl’s cheek, it was too much for her and she tried to hold back the sob that was escaping her throat but it was no use.  Tears started to cascade down her cheeks.  Faith opened her eyes hearing Buffy’s sob.


“Hey.”  She said softly, bringing a hand up to wipe away the blondes tears.  Buffy brought her hand up to Faith’s, squeezing it lightly.  Buffy looked up, her eyes clear and bright.  And gorgeous, Faith thought.  And before she realized what she was doing, her lips were grazing Buffy’s ever so lightly.  Buffy hadn’t even begun to register the fact that Faith was kissing her, or the fact that she had started to kiss her back, or the fact that it was the sweetest, most gentle kiss she’d ever had, when Faith pulled back, resting her forehead against Buffy’s.


“I love you.”  The words were barely a whisper, so soft that she was hardly sure she’d said them.


 But she had and Buffy had heard because she met her gaze again.


“Faith, I ca-”


“I know.  I just...needed to tell you.”  Buffy nodded and the two slowly pulled apart, only their clasped hands now touching.  Faith gave Buffy’s hand a gentle squeeze before backing away towards the door, a soft, sad smile on her face.  “Be seeinya B.”  She said turning to open the door.


“Wait.”  Faith’s shaking hand, paused on the handle as she turned to regard the blonde.  “Where are you going?”  Confusion was written all over Buffy’s face but Faith merely shrugged. 




“Well, when will I see you?”  Buffy’s voice was shaky, as if she already knew the answer.


“You won’t.”


“Faith, no.”


But it was too late, Faith was already out the door and by the time Buffy had raced out after her, the halls were clear, not a person in sight.  Buffy sagged against the wall, and slid down to sit on the floor. She hung her head down, the tears flowing freely again.


It was a long time before she finally stopped crying.  As she wiped her eyes on her sleeve something on the ground caught her eye.  She bent forward to pick it up, it was a ring.  A small smile lit up her face.


“Faith’s ring.”  She said softly.


She stood up slowly, examining it closely.  She jumped when the bell signaling the end of class sounded suddenly.  People started pouring into the halls.


She took one last look at the ring before gently slipping it on her finger.  She smiled.


“Perfect fit.”



Chapter 3 - Leave You


It’s funny, I never actually thought I’d do it.


I mean yeah, sure, I’d always dreamed of confessing my undying love for Buffy only to make a grand romantic gesture and do the noble thing by...you know...leaving.


I can’t help the snort that escapes my throat. 


Running’s more like it.  But I’m trying not to focus so much on that you know.  Point is, it wouldn’t have worked anyway.  No way, no how. 


So now I’m headin’ north up the highway.  It’s cold as fuck but I don’t mind.  The wind whippin’ past me and the freedom I have on my bike more than makes up for it.


Now I know what you’re thinkin’, where the hell’d you get the crotch rocket Faith?  I didn’t steal it if that’s what you mean.  Nah, bailed out of the apartment, got my security deposit back and thought, what the hell.  It’s better than riding the damn bus.


So yeah, here I am, dead of night, middle of freakin’ nowhere.  I decided to take the coastal route ya know?  Get the view and a bit of sea air in my lungs.  I like it, think I’ll stay a little closer from now on.


Anyway, like I said, I’ve been riding for hours, my bones are aching, I’m hungry as hell and that’s when it happens.  The coastline veers in a bit ahead of me, I can see the beach gleamin’ white in the moonlight, little white lights dottin’ it, and the hills are the most perfect green surroundin’ the whole area ya know?  I dunno, maybe you don’t but...it just feels right.  It’s like, that’s where I’m going.


So I pull off the 1, the exit sign says Pismo Beach.  Yeah, I’ve heard of it.  Sounds pretty cool to me.  I find my way down to the beach in no time, park my bike, shake out my hair, stretch a bit before finally walking out onto the beach.  I’ve never seen the ocean before...at least not like this.

I dunno what it is but I get this sudden urge to just kick off my boots, my socks and just dig my feet in, right here.  I gotta tell you, that is one amazing feeling.  I’m breathing all deep and sentimental and shit but before you know it I’m a fuckin’ 10-year-old.  Running down to the water, barely gettin’ my toes wet before squealing...yeah squealing, and running back again.  I dunno how long I did that for but if anyone was around they’d have thought I was insane.


Anyway, I’m tired as hell so I just sorta fall back onto the sand, take my jacket off and just look at the stars.  Holy crap...stars, like lots of them, and with the sounds and smells of the ocean in the background.  I smile, like really actually smile for the first time in a hell of a long time.


“Perfect fit.”



Chapter 4 - Miss You


“Still no word from Faith huh?”  Willow’s voice penetrates the dull quiet of the library.  Buffy’s sitting at the table using her arms as a pillow, she turns to regard her friend.


“Nope.”  She says simply.  “It’s kinda weird.  I never actually thought she’d go, you know?”  Willow nods but doesn’t reply.  “I mean...she said she loves me and not that I’m all gung-ho for that, but why’d she have to go?”


“Are you kidding Buffy?”  Willow says, plunking herself down across from the slayer.  “Do you really think she was just gonna hang around knowing you could never love her back?”  Buffy sits up and shrugs a little.  “She was doin’ the whole noble thing Buff.  Letting you get on with your life and stuff by leaving.  It’s kinda like that time on Passions when Eric left Alex because she was in love with Steven but wasn’t really and...”  Willow trails off, seeing how Buffy is nowhere near paying attention anymore.


“Leaving?  More like running away.”  Buffy says irritably.


“Come on, don’t think about it like that.  It had to have been really hard on her.”  At this Buffy’s eyes cloud over, her nose crinkles with worry.  “Not that she couldn’t handle herself, I mean it is Faith we’re talking about.”  Buffy nods.


“Where do you think she is right now?”  The blonde asks sadly.


“I dunno Buff...she could be anywhere.”  At Buffy’s look though, Willow comes back immediately with, “I mean, not really anywhere, probably within’ a five-hundred mile radius of good ole Sunny-D, except if she hopped a plane, which she probably didn’t.  And also not really five-hundred miles west either cause that would put her in the middle of the ocean and unless she hopped a boat or something, again possible but not probable, she’s probably-”


“Ok Wills, really not helping the situation.”  Buffy says, cutting off Willow’s ramble.


“Sorry Buff.”  They sit in silence for a few moments before Willow jumps up with a small, “Ooh!”


“Ooh? What ooh?”  Buffy asks.


“Well, we could always do the Scooby thing.”  Willow says excitedly.  Buffy looks at her blankly.


“What Scooby thing?”  She asks.


“You know, we could like investigate and track her down and stuff.”  Buffy smiles sadly before shaking her head.


“I don’t think she wants to be found Wills.  I’m at least gonna respect that.”  Willow nods with understanding and goes around the table to give Buffy a hug from behind.


“It’s gonna be ok.”


“I know Wills but that doesn’t mean it’s not gonna be hard.”  Willow gives her a little squeeze before releasing her.


“Oh good, you’re here.”  Buffy and Willow look up to see what Giles has in store for them.  Where’s Faith?” 


Buffy shuts her eyes, trying to block out the onslaught of emotions.


“She’s gone.”  She says quietly.


“Gone?  Where to?”  Buffy simply shrugs. “Well do you know when she’ll be back?  I’ve just been alerted to some rather demonic activity in the area.”  Buffy takes in a deep breath before replying.


“She’s not coming back.”  Giles furrows his eyebrows in confusion.


“Not coming...oh...oh I see.”  As realization dawns on him, he takes off his glasses and cleans them nervously.  “Well nevertheless, Buffy, you’ll need to head down to the docks and patrol as soon as you can.”  Buffy nods, and slaps her hands down on the arms of the chair before getting up.


“I’m on it.”  She heads for the doors but is stopped by Giles’ voice.


“Oh and Buffy, don’t do anything rash.”  She turns to regard him, smirking in a Faith-like way.


“You mean with the demons or with Faith?”


“Um well preferably both.”


Buffy nods but is out the door without an answer. 



Chapter 5 – Quit You


‘When will I see you?’


‘You won’t’...


It’s drivin’ me crazy that even after six months that dream is still haunting me.  I know what you’re thinking, if the dream’s haunting me shouldn’t I call it a nightmare?  But I won’t...because if Buffy’s there it’s not a nightmare.  And yeah I’m still hung up on her too.  For some reason I pictured this being easy, well I guess for the most part it was.


The morning after that first night I spent on the beach I cruised up and down the main drag, turned out a fancy pants restaurant was hiring, waitress position.  I went in and they said if I toned down the eyeliner, got a pair of slacks and a blouse, they’d hire me.  I don’t care what anybody says...the whole suit look, minus the actually suit...totally hot, especially on me.  I used that to my advantage too.  I can still see the pissed off look on the other waitresses faces, watching me count my much larger wad of tips.  Course a week later I got some competition in the form of Alex.  Personally I don’t think it’s fair that he gets to wear more eyeliner than me but whatever, he’s a good guy.  So good in fact that now we’re roommates. 


Yep, I spent those first couple weeks like I always do, in a run down hotel room, but then Alex showed up, said he was new in town and looking for a roommate. 


Now normally I wouldn’t shack up with a guy unless I was gonna marry him or he was a total flamer.  Take a guess as to which one it was.  I’m still workin’ up the courage to tell the other waitresses...it’s a gay thing.


Anyway, we stayed at the hotel until we’d saved up enough money for a down payment on a place and I must say, it’s workin’ out pretty well in my favor.  The guy cooks, cleans...hell, if he weren’t gay I’d go straight for him...maybe...if there weren’t a certain blonde in my past. 


Point is I’m doin’ alright for myself.  The only thing keepin’ me from being totally happy...the aforementioned blonde.  I keep telling myself maybe things like this just take time.  Then a little voice that sounds annoyingly...well blonde...pops in and says, “Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt Faith.”


Whatever, I was never good with the whole geography thing anyway.  That’s why I’m not gonna get hung up on it and just go right back to sleep...or at least I would if there weren’t overly loud moans coming from the next room.  I bang on the wall a couple of times.


“Keep it down you two.”  I’m not really angry, I gotta admit the boys have stamina.  It’s 3 in the mornin’ for god’s sake.


“Sorry Faithy.”  I swear he is the only person I will let call me that.  Anyone else would have their testicles ripped off by now.  So yeah...3 in the morning.  If I stare at the ceiling for just a little longer, I’ll be out.


‘Buffy, no.’


Willow, find Faith.  She’ll be the only one who can stop him.”


Ok, so remember how I said any dream with Buffy in it is definitely a dream?  I was so, so wrong.  Because a dream that has Buffy dying in it is definitely my worst nightmare.  So now I’m sittin’ here with my legs all pulled up to my chest wonderin’ what to do.  I got a cell cause the manager at work needed a way to reach me if somebody called in sick.  I guess I could give her a call.  But I don’t really wanna talk to her ya know?  It’s like smoking then quittin’ cold turkey.  I can’t go back, even if it’s just one cigarette, cause it’ll never be just one and then I’d have to quit all over again.  Damn I’m lame when I get all metaphorical and shit.


I’m debating goin’ and waking Alex up but the boys need their beauty sleep after their long night.  I’ve told him about Buffy, sometimes he rides me about going back and making her love me.  He says he’s only joking but I know there’s some truth behind his words.  Other than that, he’s just kinda been like my rock, my best friend I guess, the person I tell all my troubles to.  Kinda like my own personal...and that’s when it hits me.  I don’t have to call Buffy to know what’s goin’ on in good ole’ Sunnyhell.  I check the clock; 5:47, still too early to call but the gym opens at six and I’m jonesin’ to get some of this nervous energy out. 


I’m out the door five minutes later, granola bar in one hand and a note on the counter for Alex.  Yup, I’m gay-whipped alright, we’re practically married and that makes me smile...just a little, cause it takes my mind off Buffy...just a little.



Chapter 6 – Call You




“Hey Red, how’s the weather down in Sunny-D?”


Yep, I took the plunge and called her best friend. I know, I know, it’s practically the same as just calling Buffy up herself cause I know Willow’s gonna tell her every word I say, but it’s hard enough trying to keep my resolve without hearin’ her voice on the other side.


“...Faith? Oh my god, it is you isn’t it? Where have you been? What have you been doing? Is everything ok? Buffy has been nothing short of mope-y since you left you know. Why did you have to leave like that?”


Ok so yeah, I expected the barrage of questions but it’s still tough hearin’ them. There’s no way I’m goin’ into that. I’m just calling to check up.


“Hang on there Red, I asked you a question first remember?”


“What?...Oh. Yeah um well it’s...sunny down here...down...oh, so that must mean you’re north. Exactly how far north exactly?”


I sigh and laugh a little to myself. She’s quick, I’ll give her that. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to let them know where I am, tell ‘em I’m doin’ alright for myself.


Pismo Beach and yeah, everything’s cool. I’ve got an apartment, a waitressing job, a roommate –“




I can practically hear the wheels in her head turning.


“Yeah, Alex.”


Silence...for some reason this is hilarious to me.


“Oh...is...Alex...um are you two...”


“Well see there’s this little matter of him havin’ a boyfriend but...”


I hear the sigh of relief on her end, and it irks me a little ya know? What would it matter if I’d found a chick and shacked up with her? I’m movin’ on with my life. I gave Buffy her chance. She missed it...whatever.


“Well good for you Faith.”


Better just cut to the chase, I’m startin’ to lose my nerve.


“Yeah well I was just callin’ to check in, see what was happenin’ on the home front you know? Any unusually dangerous big bads wreaking havoc?”


“Um...no not really, just the usual...why do you ask?”


And the room just got a ton hotter. For some reason telling Red that I had a ‘scary dream’ isn’t sounding as thought out as I had planned.


“Uh, no reason. Just wonderin’. Anyway, it was good talkin’ to you Red. Catch ya later.”


“What, no Faith wait you should really call Buffy and-”


Shit. No, no, no, no.


“What’s that?”


When all else fails feign static.


“I’m kinda losin’ you Red. Gotta go.”








“Buffy, it’s Willow.”


“Oh hey Wills, what’s up?”


“It’s Faith.”


Willow could hear Buffy’s breath catch in her throat.


“What...what about her?...Is she ok?”


She can’t be dead. Please don’t let her be dead.


“Yeah, she’s fine Buff. Great actually. She just called me.”


Buffy idly twisted the telephone cord.


“What did she say? I mean...did she want anything?”


Did she ask about me?


“She said she was just checking in. Asked if there were any unusually tough big bads to deal with. I told her nothing out of the ordinary.”




Guess not.


“Well you said she’s going good?”


“Oh yeah. She said she got an apartment and she’s a waitress and she has a new roommate.”




Damn you voice for going so high.


“Don’t worry Buff.”


Guess Willow noticed too.


“His name’s Alex and he has a boyfriend.”




“Oh well that’s...that’s good I guess. Did she mention where she was?”


Fingers crossed.


“Yeah. She’s living up in Pismo Beach.”


Oh thank god. And here I was thinking she’d hopped a plane to Italy or something. That’s not that far away, it’d only take half a day to get there. Let’s see it’s almost nine, I could be there by four probably if I left soon enough.


“Um Buffy? You still there?”


Oh crap.


“Yeah Wills I’m here. Listen I gotta go but I’ll call you later ok?”


“Wait Buffy, no. I know what you’re thinking and you can’t, you won’t. I’m forbidding you from going to see her.”




“What was that Wills?”


When all else fails, feign static.


Willow? Hello? I think I’m losing you. I’ll call you later.”


Willow hung up angrily on the other side, and growled to no one in particular.


“Land lines do not have static.”



Chapter 7 – Find You


Xander groans and rolls over.


“Why with the knocking?” He asks to no one in particular. Slowly he makes his way off the bed and up the basement stairs.


“What mother?” He asks flinging the door open. “Oh...hi Buff...you do realize that it’s...” He pokes his head out the door, checking the clock on the microwave. “9:37 in the morning, right?”


“I know Xan and I’m really sorry, but I need a favor, like a ginormous favor but not in the save the world kind of way.” Xander rubs his head idly.


“Sure Buff, what is it?”


“I need to you to drive me somewhere.”


“Ok but that’s not really that ginormous.”


“To like Pismo Beach.” Xander drops his hand from his head.


“Should I even ask?” Buffy shakes her head slightly and he sighs.


“Alright just give me 15 to shower, and you better have gas money.” He replies heading back down the stairs.




“So let me get this straight.” Xander says, maneuvering the car onto the off-ramp. “You made me drive you all the way up here, just to find Faith, the girl who is madly in love with you, just to say ‘hi’ and you have no idea where to start looking?” Buffy nibbles her lip nervously and nods.


“That about sums it up.”


“Oh good,” Xander says, feigning a sigh. “For a minute there I thought this was going to be a total waste of time.”


“Xan, look, I know it seems that way but...really, it’s not. I mean I miss her, we were friends.”


“Emphasis on friends Buff.” Xander replies. “So where to?” Buffy scrunches up her nose a little.


“I have no idea, let’s just follow these cars they seem to know where they’re going.” Xander gives her a look that plainly says, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’, but still joins the line of cars heading in the general direction of the beach.


They’d been driving for little more than 5 minutes when Xander’s stomach gave a loud growl.


“Hungry?” Buffy asks turning to him.


“Yeah, well somebody woke me up at the crack of dawn this morning and didn’t give me time to eat.” He says irritably.


“Xan, I’m sorry. I just...I needed your help.”


“You needed my car and driving skills Buffy.” He responds. Buffy opens her mouth to object but halts herself.


“True...yes I did need you to drive me here. But I mean, can you see me alone in a strange town Xander? I would freak in like 2 minutes. I needed your support, your logical mind.”


“Alright ok Buff. Look can we just get a bite to eat, before we send out the search parties?” Buffy smiles and nods.


“Sure, and let’s pick someplace good. My mom let me take her credit card.” She says, flashing the piecing of plastic around.


“Alright!” Xander exclaims, hitting the steering wheel.


They drive for another five minutes before they spot a place to eat, but it’s another 10 before they can find a parking spot and by the time they walk there it’s been half an hour since Xander’s stomach first complained. They walk in the door and sigh as the cool air of the restaurant welcomes them.


“Hello, how many today?” A very well dressed young man greets them.


“Just two.” Buffy replies. The waiter nods and grabs two menus before leading them to a table near the back. He pulls Buffy’s chair out for her, flashing her a dazzling smile, and hands them their menus.


“Welcome to The Cove, my name is Alex and I’ll be your waiter this afternoon. Would you like to start off with anything to drink?”


“Water’s fine.” Xander says.


“Water for me too.” Buffy quips.


“Alright.” Alex says with a smile. “I’ll be right back with those for you.” As he walks away Buffy can’t help but notice the uneasy look on Xander’s face.


“Well he was nice.” She says slowly.


“Yeah, a little too nice.” Xander replies over the top of his menu. Buffy furrows her eyebrows at him.


“What do you mean?” She asks.


“Oh come on Buff, didn’t you see the way he was starin’ at me? That guys a flamer.” Buffy shoots a glare at him.


“Xander, I thought, what with Willow...you know, that you’d be a little more open-minded.” She says angrily.


“Whoa,” He says holding up his hands. “I’m am so ok with Willow. You know that. She’s like my best friend. It’s just different when it comes to guys.” Buffy rolls her eyes.






“Oh my god, Faith!”


“What is it Alex?” I reply punching my order into the computer.


“There is the cutest guy over at table twelve. I think he’s into me.”


“A, you think that about every guy that walks through that door.” I move over so that he can enter the drink order.


“I know, I know.” He says off-handedly. “There’s a girl there too, she’s adorable. Looks to be your type, you know.” I feel my insides tighten a little just at the thought of who exactly is ‘my type’.


“Alex, you know that I’m not lookin’ for anybody right now.” How many times do I have to tell the boy?


“Yes, I know. Well at least have a look at her and tell me she’s not your type.” I sigh, giving in a little.


“Ok, fine. Where are they again?”


“Just around the corner. Table twelve.” I nod and peek around the corner, scanning the tables.


“Oh my god.” Easy there, just a trick of the light.


“I told you.” Alex says, leaning over my shoulder. He was right alright. I pull back behind the corner and lean against the wall.


“No, Alex...that’s Buffy.” He does a double take between me and her, before bringing a hand to his chest.


“Oh my god.”


What the hell? Buffy, here? No way. I mean...why?


“That’s it.” Alex says, grabbing my hand.


“No, Alex, what are you doing?” I growl, trying to break free without actually hurtin’ the guy. I may be out of practice but I still got my slayer strength.


“You two are going to have a little chat.” He says, dragging me around the corner and right towards the one person I least, and at the same time, most want to see. As we approach the table, I try to hide behind his back. They haven’t noticed it’s me yet, there hasn’t been an audible gasp.


“You know what folks,” he starts, “I’m truly sorry but we’ve just had an oven fire. There’s fire extinguisher fluffys all over the place and it’s going to take at least a couple of hours for some food to get out.” Alex what are you doing? And that’s when he yanks me out. “But I’m sure Faith here would love to show you around town, to help you find a suitable dining substitute.” He turns to address me. “I’m telling Steve you went home sick.” I open my mouth to object but... “And don’t even think about arguing I’ll take over your tables...and your tips.” He turns back to Buffy and Xander both of whom are just kinda starin’ at me like I’m some newly discovered life-form. “You lovelies have a wonderful time, I’ll see you all in two hours.”


And with that he’s gone. It’s funny the way he drops the bombs and leaves me to pick up the pieces.


“Oh my god, Faith.” Before I can even registered that she’s left her seat, B’s in my arms, huggin’ me like she’ll never see me again. Who knows maybe she won’t. But still, it’s impolite not to hug back so I wrap my arms loosely around her.


“Hey B.”



Chapter 8 – Miss You Too


It was all kind of a blur after that. We took off down the street to Mo’s, to satisfy Xander’s raging stomach.


“So what’s Mo’s?” X-Man asks.


“The best barbecue place you’ll ever experience Xan.” I reply, and it’s true. I love this place, the pulled pork sandwich fills me up right.


I’m not hungry and Buffy says she’s not really either, so we go find a table will Xander orders. It’s the first time we’ve been alone since that fateful day six months ago.


“So...how’ve you been?” She starts off. Should’a seen it comin’.


“You know me B...five by five.” I respond almost mechanically, flashing her a grin.


“Great.” She says with a smile, but it doesn’t reach her eyes. Not even close. “So Alex...from the restaurant...he’s your roommate?” I nod but don’t say anything. She nods in return and here it is; the awkward silence.


“I miss you Faith.” Call 911, I think my heart just stopped. Ok not really, but it did that little flip...you know what I’m talkin’ about, it did that. And I catch her eyes, those beautiful eyes.


“I miss you too, B.” And it’s the truth. I miss her more than I’ve ever missed anything in my life. After I moved up here I put the whole slaying deal on hold...I miss her more than I miss slaying. Yeah...I know, right? And I dunno where my brain went during this whole ordeal cause I see her hand lying on the table and I’m about to reach out and take hold but...


“Faith, you are so my new favorite person!” Saved by the X-Man, who already has half of his pulled pork sandwich in his mouth. He sits down next to Buffy and proceeds to stuff his face. Can’t say I blame the guy, like I said...good food.


“So where do you live?”


Jump ahead half an hour.


“Ta da.” I toss the keys on the counter and spread my arms out, showing the place off. “It’s not much...but it’s-”


“Home?” Xander offers. I raise my eyebrow at him.


“Actually I was gonna say cheap but whatever floats your boat Xan.” I laugh at the color his cheeks turn and so does Buffy. Yeah I miss that. Her laughing, with me or at me, whatever, just her laugh. Just as I’m about to give them the grand tour the door bursts open.


“Faithy I’m home!” I sigh and roll my eyes but turn to my oh so adorable roommate.


“Alex, you got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.” It’s a thing we do. It’s weird and nerdy but we do it. And this time he really does have a lot of explaining to do, what with the stunt he pulled at the restaurant.


“Faith, honey I would love to but I have to shower and change.” He says, hurrying past me. He stops and turns to Buffy and Xander. “I hope you two brought a change or two of clothes.”


“Alex, why would they need a change of clothes?” I ask, gettin’ a little hot under the collar. What would this boy think of next?


“Because, Faith dahhhling, we’re going dancing!” He turns and flounces into his room and as much as I thought this would irk me...it doesn’t. It reminds me of back in Sunnydale, nights spent at The Bronze after a good slay. I smile and make a mental note to thank Alex later. I see B and Xander turn to me looking uneasy.


“We didn’t bring clothes.” B says.


“It’s cool, you can borrow some of mine. And you...” I turn to Xander. “If I remember correctly Alex’s last boyfriend had a build similar to yours. I’m sure there’s at least 5 outfits left over from that ordeal.” I see Xander give Buffy the I told you so look.


“Nah, I’m fine in these.” He says turning to me.


“Nonsense,” Alex interjects making his way from his bedroom to the bathroom...in nothing but a towel. “You can wear some of Brandon’s clothes.” Everyone in the room sees Xander flinch, so Alex props his hand on his hip and gives the best valley girl impression I have ever seen...and I’ve seen a lot of girls from the valley. “You know, Alexander, most straight women admit to finding gay men more appealing than straight men. A change of wardrobe could work in your favor.” And with that he’s gone, disappeared into the depths of his beauty salon. He called it that once and I told him it was just a bathroom, to which he replied, “It’s a beauty salon, because that’s where the magic happens.” I will never understand him.


Xander turns to Buffy and I, a confused look on his face.


“Do girls really think that?” He asks. B and I glance at each other and smile before nodding in unison. “Well alright!” He says clapping his hands together. “Hey Alex!!” He calls out. “I wanna be flame-broiled.” Ooh bad idea Xan.


Axe Body Wash: $7


Macy’s Towel Set (Hotel Collection): $120


Alex Bitch Slapping Xander Across The Face: Priceless


Two hours later, we’re all showered and dressed to kill. Xander’s the last to change and comes out of Alex’s room with an uneasy look on his face.


“Ooh aren’t you just a tasty little morsel.”


I almost choke seein’ the look on Xan-Man's face and think about lettin’ Alex have his way with him. But...that wouldn’t be fair...to Alex, the poor boy would be devastated.


“Hey A-Rod!” I snap and wag my finger at him. “Un uh, not unless you want an angry demon girlfriend on your ass.”


“Oh Faithy I love it when you talk dirty.” I sigh and roll my eyes. Why do I put up with that boy? I turn back to Buffy and see that she has that cute little scrunched up smile on her face.


“He’s adorable.” She says. Gag me with a spoon.


“You wouldn’t be sayin’ that if you heard what I hear every night.” She furrows her eyebrows at me, damn this girl can be naive.


“Thin walls, B.” I whisper conspiratorially. It’s so funny watching her eyes widen to the size of saucers when she figures out she’s been tossed into the deep end of the gutter, and the way her mouth gapes open and closed a couple of times, like fish floundering for air. I laugh, I missed this...I miss this.


“Oh...and does he...hear you?” It’s my turn to act surprised now. Wasn’t expecting that one. “And you’re...girlfriend?” Definitely wasn’t expecting that.


“Nah, thought I’d fly solo for a while ya know?” And she sighs in what I can only construe as relief. What the hell? Why is she relieved to know I’m not gettin’ my hornies on? I mean, not that that particular subject is all rainbows and sunshine but come on; for someone who ‘just can’t’ be with me, she sure is showing her jealousy hand loud and proud. Or maybe she’s not. After all she was never real great friends with that little thing I like to call...subtlety. I realize that I haven’t been talkin’ for a while and B’s kinda fidgeting around playing with her fingers or something on her fingers. And that’s when it catches my eye.


“You found my ring.” This...this I’m ok with. I dunno why, it gives me a strange sense of satisfaction. She stops fidgeting and looks down at it.


“Oh yeah, I haven’t taken it off since you left. It’s like my own little piece of Faith.” The smile she’s wearing now is like...wow. That’s because of me. And I’m startin’ to forget why I ever left Sunnydale in the first place. Buffy’s cell starts to ring, she gives me an apologetic look before turning around and answering it.


“Hey Ryan, sweetie...”


Oh that’s right...that’s why I left. Buffy’s straight and could never love me in return. God I’m melodramatic.


The ride to The Grad is tense, Xander offered to drive and as soon as he did that Alex called shotgun, which left me and B in the back. Luckily it’s a short drive, so before I know it we’re pullin’ into the parkin’ lot and jumpin’ out. Alex is seriously like a little school girl. He grabs Xander and pulls him ahead to, I’m assuming, give me and B some space. Quite honestly the last thing I need.


We’re almost to the door when Buffy stops me with a hand on my arm. I turn to her, arching my eyebrow in question.


“Do I look ok?” She borrowed some tight ass jeans of mine and a red sleeveless shirt, she’s got on some kickin’ red heels and...


“Yeah...you look amazing.” I can’t help myself. It’s the truth. She smiles and turns to show her ID to the bouncer. Lucky this is 16 and over night, course Alex and I got fake id’s as soon as we could manage. I flash mine and get the over 21 stamp. Buffy gives me a look but thankfully doesn’t say anything.


Once we get inside it seems like mission: impossible tryin’ to find Alex and Xan. I finally spot them at table and grab Buffy’s hand to lead her over. Don’t want her to get lost in the crowd, ya know?


“Wow this place is like The Bronze’s twin.” Buffy says when we meet them.


“Oh The Bronze?” Alex perks up. “Faith we’ll have to take a road trip sometime to visit.” I nod halfheartedly but don’t miss the look Buffy gives me. Seriously, what is this girls deal. She says she can’t love me, but around every corner she’s playing the part of jealous/angry girlfriend to a T.


We spend the first hour or so towards the edge of the dance floor. Everybody havin’ enough space to dance without grindin’ up on anybody else, much to Alex’s dissatisfaction. He’s been trying to drag me to the middle all night but I just won’t go there. Finally he gives up on me and grabs Buffy’s hand instead. She’s not used to his advances so before she can say anything they’re smack dab in the middle of everything, rubbin’ up on any and everybody. Just the thought of seein’ Buffy all up on some guy makes me wanna puke so I tell Xander I’m going to take a leak. All I really do is splash some water on my face and stare long and hard at my reflection.


“What the hell am I doing?” I almost expect mirror me to answer...but I don’t. I dry my face and hands and head back out to the chaos.


Alex is on me like white on rice as soon as I step out of the bathroom. He hands his drink off to some random guy and starts to pull me into a corner.


“Faithy, honey, baby, lover-pot.” I glare at him. “Why, in the name of God’s green earth have you not hooked up with that girl yet.” I continue with the glaring.


“Alex how many times do I have to tell you? She straight!” He crosses his arms with a couple snaps and smirks.


So’s spaghetti...until you heat it up!” Oh no, I hate it when he get’s like this. He gets plans sometimes and there’s no stopping him. I groan.


“What are you talking about A?”


“All I’m saying is, you supply the cash, I supply the drinks, by the end of the night that girls lips are gonna be looser than a child size jumper on Nicole Richie.” I raise my eyebrow at him. He knows I don’t get pop culture references. “Ooh, and maybe her pants will be too.” He turns to flounce away, but not before reaching into my back pocket for some money.


“Alex no,” I try to stop him but, like I said, once he’s got a plan it’s all over. So I make my way back onto the dance floor and find B and X-Man.


“Hey you, where’s Alex?” She asks upon my arrival. I point my thumb back over my shoulder.


“He went to go get drinks.”


“Oh thank god, cause I am seriously like dying of thirst right now.” She says fanning herself. I see little beads of sweat run down her neck and disappear into her low-cut shirt. Before I can stop myself I’m licking my lips and Buffy catches me cause suddenly her eyes are boring into me and I can’t tell what’s hiding behind them. Honestly, I’m not even sure I want to know anymore. Luckily I’m saved...or maybe not but the appearance of Alex, drinks in hand. He hands one to each of us and toasts his own into the air.


“Drink up ladies.” I hear Xander cough a little into his drink. I’m takin’ small sips, intendin’ to take it slow, but before I know it Buffy has downed hers and Alex is off to get her another one, throwing a wink at me over his shoulder. I resist the temptation to flip him off but only because B’s grabbin’ my hand and leadin’ me further into the crowd on the dance floor. Away from the prying eyes of bystanders and the watchful eyes of Xander and Alex.


“Come dance with me, like old times.” She smiles.


Like old times, I think. Before she knew, and I realize this is kind of like an open invitation cause even if she didn’t know back then I sure as hell did and she knows that and I used it to my full advantage. Our bodies would be pressed so close together that our sweat would mingle and do a little dance of it’s own. But to do that now, she would know what was behind my movements, my subtle caresses along her back, my murmured words on her neck. She would know, but here she was asking me to do it. I’ve never been one to turn down an invitation and if I think too much about this I’ll end up backing out, so I wrap an arm around her waist and pull her to me.


For a second the world stops, cause I’m holdin’ her to me like she’s mine, and she’s starin’ at me, her face inches away, like she’s mine, and I’ve only got one thought on my mind...yeah, she’s mine. And just like that our bodies are meshed together, we’re dancing like we always did, but it’s different and it ain’t all that bad either. I barely notice when she drapes her arms over my shoulders, bringing us that much closer.


I could die right now. This is heaven to me. The only way it could be better would be if she actually was mine. If this all wasn’t shrouded under the cloak we call ‘friendship’.


“Fuck.” Some jackass just bumped into me from behind. Oh wait did I say jackass? I meant assjack.


“Score one for team A-Rod!” This time I do flip him off, and give him a hard slap on the ass to send him on his way. I guess we’ll see where the night takes us.



Chapter 9 – Break You


“I’m hot!” Buffy yells over the music, fanning herself. Well yeah, B, couple hours of dancing in a sweaty mass of people will do that to you. I see her nod towards the exit.


“Let’s get some air!” And just like she led me in, she’s grabbin’ my hand to lead me back out.


The cool night air is like a godsend. She was right, it was really hot in there. There’s a low stone wall surrounding a little patio area outside and she doesn’t release my hand until she’s led us to the furthest corner. She sits down on the wall and pats the spot beside her. I do as I’m told and take a seat. I lean back on my palms and sigh as I stare up at the starry sky.


After a few minutes I feel Buffy shift next to me, then her hands grabbin’ mine again, but not to lead me anywhere just to hold. And I can’t help it...I break.


“I can’t.” My voice cracks.


“What?” She looks at me but doesn’t let go.


“I can’t do this B.” I say, standing up and pulling my hand out of her grasp. She looks at me all confused like. Come on B, you’re not that dense.


“I don’t understand.” Either she’s real good at faking or I was wrong.


“This whole, you say you can’t be with me but all your actions tell me otherwise thing.” I’m layin’ it all on the line here...again, but she just looks at me with that raised eyebrow of hers.


“Ok Faith.” Now she’s standin’ up and tryin’ to grab my hand again. “I think you’ve had a little too much to drink.” Funny, she’s the one stumblin’ around.


“Just like that B.” I say pulling my hand from hers again. “The whole hand-holding thing. What is that?” She shrugs.


“That’s what friends do.” I shake my head in disbelief. Alcohol really does mess with the brain I guess...or she’s always like this and I just haven’t noticed.


“No Buffy. That’s what couples do. All that stuff we’ve been doin’ tonight, dancing like that...that’s what couples do. And you’ve made it pretty clear that me and you...we ain’t a couple.” At this it finally looks like she’s startin’ to get it. Or she’s gotten it all along and now she’s breaking...just like I did. She looks away and when she looks back her eyes are full of tears. Negative fifty points to team Faith for makin’ her cry...again.


“I’m sorry Faith.” She says as the first couple tears spill down her cheeks. Now she’s stumbling towards me, arms going around my neck. She buries her head in my shoulder and now I can feel the tears too.


“I’m so, so sorry Faith. I didn’t mean for...” She kinda trails off and what am I supposed to do? So I just hold her; hold her until the tears stop; hold her until she’s breathin’ regular again; hold her until the boys come stumbling...or in Alex’s case strutting, out of the club, catcalling at us and sayin’ it’s time to go home.


I expect her to at least chuckle at the sight of a very plastered Xander but she doesn’t stir.


“B?” I ask softly, trying to get a view of her face. I give her a little shake and she gives me a little snore. I laugh a little in disbelieve. “You are unbelievable.” And I mean it...in more ways than one.


Thank god for slayer strength. I pick her up, cradling her in my arms and make my way to the car. She sleeps with her head on my lap the whole way home and Alex is unusually quiet until we pull up to the house. He turns around in his seat and I put my finger up to my lips to make sure he stays quiet. He nods his head and starts whispering.


“Ok, so sleeping arrangements. I say boys in my room, girls in yours!” I see Xander making a slashing movement across his throat at me.


“How about Xander can take the couch. B can have my bed and I’ll join you A.” I almost laugh at the look of disappointment on his face, but Xander’s rejoicing in the drivers seat so that makes it ok.


I follow the boys into the house, Buffy’s still out like a light in my arms. I make my way into my room and set her down on the bed. Now here’s the dilemma; do I leave her in her sweat-soaked clothes or get her into something more comfortable...like...nothing? I shake my head absently. The smell will wash off, the memories won’t. So I cover her with a blanket and grab some pajamas to wear before headin’ for the door, hittin’ the lights on my way out.


After a nice cold shower I finally crawl into bed. I feel Alex shift behind me. And I might be crazy but it kinda sounds like he’s giggling. So I do what any self-respecting slayer would do and give him a hard punch to the shoulder. He yelps like the little girl he is.


“Keep it down assjack.” I whisper with a self-satisfied smile on my face.


“Why?” I turn over and close my eyes.


“Thin walls.”



I’m already on my second cup of coffee when B finally emerges from my room the next day.


“Morning sunshine.” I say, handing her a mug. She smiles through a yawn.


“Where did Xander and Alex get to?” She asks, sipping the coffee contentedly.


“To the gym.” I pull out a pan and go to the fridge for some eggs.




“Yeah, Alex assured him it was a great place to pick up chicks.”


“Ah, I see.” I crack a few eggs into a bowl and start scrambling them. I notice the awed look on Buffy’s face. “I never knew you could cook.” I pour the eggs into the pan and toss the dirty bowl in the sink.


“Well you never gave me a chance.” Wow, I didn’t really mean for it to come out like that...but it did. And the double meaning wasn’t lost on Buffy either. She looks away and starts fidgeting with her cup. She fidgets when she’s nervous.


“Look Faith...about last night...” Here we go.


“Yeah B?” It kinda hangs there for a minute, musta gotten stuck in the tension in the air.


“You were right.” She says simply. “I...I just...I’m sorry. And you were right.” I nod and grab a couple plates for the eggs.


“It’s cool B.” I scoop some eggs onto a plate and hand it to her with a fork. “So...we five by five?” She smiles, taking the pro-offered food.


“Yeah Faith, we are.” I smile and walk around the counter to sit next to her.


“So...Ryan huh?” I ask, making sure to keep the smile on. I wanna try and make the friend thing work ya know? I see her blush a little.


“Yeah, he’s in my history class. Brown hair, brown eyes...and he’s kind of got that bad boy with a heart of gold thing goin’ on.”


“Sounds like someone I know.” She laughs and nudges me with her shoulder. So much for quittin’ cold turkey.


All too soon it’s time for the Scoobies to hit the road. Alex gives Buffy a hug and Xander a nice...firm handshake. When B turns to me I can already see the tears in her eyes.


“Aw come on B, don’t do that.” I say quietly. “I’m not going anywhere. I’ll still be here and...we should talk more.” She nods and smiles.


“And you’ll have to bring Alex down for a visit.”


“Ooh can I stay with Xander?” His other arm deserves a bruise too. B wraps her arms around my neck and pulls me in for a hug.


“Love you Faith.” She doesn’t mean it how I wish she did...but she means it in her own way and I’m ok with that.


“Love you too B.” I mean it in my own way but by the way she’s not running off or getting all awkward with me, I think she’s ok with that too.


So they get in Xander’s car and Alex and I watch till they’re out of sight. I give a little sigh, can’t help it.


“Buffy and Faith sittin’ in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G.” This boy is seriously asking for it. So I chase him into the house.


“You are so dead!”



Chapter 10 – Keep You


I collapse down on the beach, breathing hard and seeing stars.


“That was amazing.” I sit up a little and pull my hair out of it’s ponytail, spraying water all over the place. I hear Alex squeal beside me.


“Faith! I just reapplied my tanning oil!” I smirk at him and shake my head a little, sending more droplets of water his way. He lowers his sunglasses to give me a good glare before sighing heavily and laying back down on his towel. “I don’t see what’s so amazing about some salty, seaweed-filled, water. It’s just the ocean.”


“Ah, but it’s not just the ocean A.” I say, following suit and laying down on my own towel. “I never thought I’d find a suitable outlet for all my pent-up energy.” From not slaying, I add in my head. “But surfing’s totally it.”


“Well whatever gives buoyancy to your water craft hun. Could you just get back to it. All the hunks get it into their heads that we’re a couple when we sunbathe together.” I roll my eyes.


“Nah, I’m done for the day. Now I’ve gotta take care of the H&H.” I say, pulling the top half of my wet suit down.


“Hungries and hornies?” Alex replies. “Well I know one thing that’ll take care of that. Your phones been buzzing non-stop. Do you always keep that thing on vibrate?” I laugh and raise my eyebrow at him.


“You know it.” He’s unamused and waves me away.


“Go, I’ve reapplied yet again! So the man bait is ready and the trap is set!” I swear this boy has 100 track mind...but they’re all leading to the same place.


Anyway, I grab my phone and check the caller ID, not like I really need to though. Buffy’s number flashes on the screen and I smile. Yeah, I’ve been doing that a lot lately too. Lettin’ myself be happy just thinkin’ about her. And yeah I know it’s not healthy to keep bein’ hung up on B but...you know what...whatever, it’s my life and it’s goin’ pretty well the way I’m runnin’ it.


I slap Alex on the stomach and jump up to give him his space. I hold down Buffy’s speed-dial number..and I know what you’re thinking...it’s 4 ok? Not 2, not even 3. Those are Alex and work, in that order. I laugh remembering the day Alex jumped me about it.


Faith, honey, how many times do you call me a week?” I roll my eyes.


Once if I can’t find you cause you’ve been taken by that cult again.” He laughs sarcastically.


And work?” I sigh.


I only call work if I’m callin’ in sick...and I don’t get sick.” Thanks slayer healing, that’s a real perk...not.


And how often, my darling Faithy, do you call precious Elizabeth?” He’s taken to calling Buffy by her given name. I hate it...and I can’t wait to see how B reacts. But back to his question, I sigh AND roll my eyes this time...in defeat.


Twice a day...at least.”


Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! She should so be your #2.” He says flamboyantly.


Yeah well she’s not.” I snap. I don’t really know why with the snapping, I’m just irritated I guess. Sore subject. “So get used to it.” Now it’s his turn to roll his eyes and sigh, but at least the boy knows to hold his tongue this time.


“Hey you.” I smile...told you I’ve been doing that a lot.


“Hey babe, what’s cookin’?” I ask, kicking at the sand.


“Actually, spaghetti!” She says, I can hear the smile in her voice.


Alex how many times do I have to tell you? She straight!” He crosses his arms with a couple snaps and smirks.


So’s spaghetti...until you heat it up!”


I laugh remembering that first night she came to visit. She’s come up a couple times since then, but I still haven’t made the trek to good ole Sunny-D.


“What?” I hear her say.


“What, what?” I reply.


“What was that laugh for?” She asks.


“Nothing.” I’m too beat to relay the story...plus that would reveal a little too much. Nothing that she doesn’t already know, I just try to avoid bringing it up.


“Well, you sound happy.” She says.


“I am happy!” I say smiling before I can register what she was really asking. ‘You sound happy...without me.’ I curse under my breath.


“Oh...that’s...that’s good. I’m glad.” Her mood is dropping like a lead balloon. She gets like this sometimes. If I mention how good I’m doing without her around it’s like she takes it as a personal insult and it’s not, you know? She should know what’s behind my answers by now. I am happy...as happy as I can be, away from you. But she doesn’t get that yet, so she gets down and it’s always up to me to get her back up. I sigh a little before getting an idea.


“Yeah, but you know Pismo’s gettin’ a little dull. I was thinkin’ maybe Alex and I could head down there for a couple days.” Her barely contained squeal is like music to my ears.


“Really? When do you guys want to come?”


“Well we’ll have to get the days off work but I was thinking this weekend?” I can practically hear her jumping up and down.


“Faith I can’t wait.” She says.


“Me neither B.” And I can’t...but I’m not too excited about meeting the boy-toy. Speaking of, I hear a little blip in the line, call waiting on her end.


“Oh Faith, it’s Ryan calling in. Hang on a second, k?”


“Sure thing B.” I hear her line go out and sigh. It’s like a popularity contest, call waiting. Either she’s gonna come back and we’ll keep talking cause she ditched the guy or...she comes back, apologizes and goes again, ball and chain wins out.


“Hey.” She’s back, moment of truth.


“Hey.” I reply. And it’s kind of silent for a bit.


“So...I guess I’ll see you soon?” I sigh, knew it was coming.


“Yeah B, real soon.”


“Ok, love you Faith.” At least that helps a little.


“Love you too B.” I flip my phone closed and sigh...again. I make my way back to where A-Rod is packin’ up our stuff.


“Well that was short.” He quips.


“Yeah, man meat won out.” I say, grabbing my board. Alex lays a hand on my shoulder.


“Fuck ‘em all.” He says. I smirk at him.


“You’d like that wouldn’t you?”


“Oh honey, I’d love it.”




I sigh and drop my books on the table.


“Mom?” No response. Guess it’s up to me for dinner. I go to the cupboard and look for something easy. “Spaghetti!” Not that there’s anyone around to hear me. I’ve got the pot on the stove and the water boiling in a few minutes. I glance at the clock and sigh. I’ve already called Faith like...5 times since I got home from school. She’s probably busy doing...Faith...things. I go to put the noodles in the pot when the phone rings. I skip a little over to the cordless and check the caller ID.


“Faith.” I say to myself, smiling.


“Hey you.”


“Hey babe, what’s cookin’?”


“Actually, spaghetti!” I smile at my own little joke. I hear her laugh on the other end of the line. “What?” I ask.


“What, what?” She says right back.


“What was that laugh for?” I ask.


“Nothing.” She says, she sounds tired but happy. I wonder what she’s been up to.


“Well, you sound happy.” I say, happier than she ever was here probably.


“I am happy!” Huh, guess I was right. Maybe it’s time I finally let her go. Not that she was ever mine to begin with.


“Oh...that’s...that’s good. I’m glad.” My good mood is starting to deflate. I just can’t help it sometimes...I miss her so much.


“Yeah, but you know Pismo’s gettin’ a little dull. I was thinkin’ maybe Alex and I could head down there for a couple days.” I can’t stop the squeal that comes out of my mouth. Alright I could’ve but my hand just wasn’t fast enough to cover it up.


“Really?” I ask. “When do you guys want to come?” Soon? Please let it be soon.


“Well we’ll have to get the days off work but I was thinking this weekend?” This weekend? It’s already Thursday, that means....tomorrow? I can’t help it, I jump around a little. I’m easily excited.


“Faith I can’t wait.” I really can’t.


“Me neither B.” This could not get any better, nothing could ruin this mood I’m in...except for the beep that just signaled call waiting. I check the ID...it’s Ryan. And then my heart drops. Faith’s finally gonna meet Ryan. Before I get too wrapped up in my thoughts I remember I’ve got not one, but two people on the phone.


“Oh Faith, it’s Ryan calling in. Hang on a second, k?”


“Sure thing B.” I press the answer the button.


“Hey sweetie.”


“Hey babe. You wanna grab dinner and catch a movie or something?” I glance to the pot of pasta.


“Oh I would but I just made some spaghetti and I’ve got Faith on the other line.”


“The spaghetti will keep, and you can talk to Faith anytime. Come on, I miss that smile of yours.” I bite my lip, it’s true we haven’t gone out and done a couple-y thing for a while but I still have to solidify things with Faith about when they’re coming.


“You’re too cute. But I’m really ready for a night in.” I hear him sigh. Come on Buffy, this is your boyfriend. “How about we go dancing tomorrow night at The Bronze babe?”


“Alright, sure thing.” He says, and he sounds happy about it. “So I’ll pick you up tomorrow, 8ish?”


“Great! I’ll see you then. Night!” I glance at the clock. I hope Faith hasn’t ditched off the other line.


“Uh yeah, night.” I click the answer button to switch back over.


“Hey.” I hope she’s still there.


“Hey.” I smile but notice the pot of spaghetti boiling over. I hurry over to take it off the burner and then grab a towel to clean up the water. I nearly forget Faith’s on the phone.


“So...I guess I’ll see you soon?” I say, still trying to clean up the mess.


“Yeah B, real soon.” I smile.


“Ok, love you Faith.”


“Love you too B.” I hear her line go dead and hang my phone back up. Well the spaghetti’s practically ruined but I’m not really that hungry anymore anyway. I sigh and lean up against the counter. There’s a knock at the door.


“Come in!” I yell. I hear the door open and shut, and footsteps coming towards the kitchen.


“Hey Buff.”


“Hey Wills.” She raises an eyebrow at me.


“What’s the what? You’re all smiles and sunshine.”


I guess I am cause I just reply, “Faith’s coming.”




Chapter 11 – Kiss You


“Hey man meat, let’s go!” I yell, banging on the bathroom...excuse me... ‘beauty salon’ door. He’s been in there for nearly an hour getting ready for the trip. Me...I took a whole 20 minutes to shower, brush the teeth, get dressed, the whole deal. “Men.” I mutter under my breath. I bang on the door a few more times and when he finally opens up I bang him a few times on the chest...just for fun.


“Hey ow! I bruise easily!” He says trying to cover himself.


“That’s not what I hear.” I tell him over my shoulder. He wrinkles his nose at me.


“Oh you little jade.”


“Let’s go, we’re heading straight to The Bronze and meeting the gang there. So I hope that’s what you want to wear to dance.” I hear him gasp behind me.


“You never told me that! I have to change!” I groan as I hear him run back to his room and shut the door.


20 minutes later we’re finally on the road. Alex is singing along to some Hillary Duff song. It’s his car, he gets to pick the tunes, I get to drive...still I think my ears are bleeding.


Sunny-D here we come.




“Ooh hottie at 3 o’clock.”


“Knock it off, A-Rod.” I snap pushing him away from me, but still I turn to see who he’s talking about.


“Faith, honey, that is exactly how I picture you as a guy. Seriously, you could be man hunk material.” I punch his stomach playfully but he has got a point. This guy could be my twin. He’s got on some nice boots, dark jeans, blood red collar shirt, brown hair spiked up, brown eyes, a few selective piercings.


“Well go introduce yourself A, maybe he bats for your team.” Why not. At least one of us should get some on this trip. That’s when I spot the girl standing directly behind twin guy.




I hear Alex stomp his foot next to me.


“Why does she always steal my man meat?”


“Ok seriously, never say that again.” I say to him before turning back to the pair making their way through the crowd. As soon as I turn around Buffy catches my eye and gives a small wave. I find myself waving back and then silently berate myself. I don’t do the whole lovesick puppy thing. I mean...I do...but...I don’t. I mean, hello? I’m Faith here.


“Faith, Alex.” She greets with a smile.


“Hey B.” Damn it. It’s that smile, it gets me every time. Now I’m grinning like an idiot. “And this must be...” And I dunno if it’s just me but I swear she’s lookin’ nervous, like she doesn’t want to introduce her newest squeeze to me.


“Oh, yeah this is Ryan. Ryan, this is Faith and Alex.” Alex pulls B in for a hug and kisses her on each cheek.


“Hello beautiful.” And before Ryan has time to react to another guy gettin’ all friendly with his girl. “And may I just say you have impeccable taste in men.” Problem solved. It’s amazing the way he throws his gay around. Then again I’m no closet case either. Ryan nods his head our way and offers me a handshake as opposed to Alex. I suppose that’s in order.


“Hey babe, I’m gonna get us some drinks.” He says, bending close to Buffy’s ear. I clench my fists at my sides. What’s it gonna take for me to get over this girl? I see Buffy glance at my hands, before catching my eyes. She nods silently to boy toy. He walks off and before I can make a smart remark about our similarities, Buffy’s arms go around my neck in a hug.


“Hey.” She says simply. I see Alex over her shoulder making some ridiculous expression. So I flip him off before wrapping my arms around her waist.


“Hey.” I reply.


“I missed you.” I feel my heart start to race a little. She always has this affect on me.


“I missed you too.” She pulls back a little and brushes a bit of hair out of my eyes.


I don’t get it, ya know? It’s like...we could be dating right now. We wouldn’t have to do anything different. This could be construed as couple activity. I laugh at myself in my head. Yeah, like that’ll ever happen.


“So what’s with mini-me?”


She scrunches up her nose and looks at me curiously. “What?”


But before I have time to reply, Ryan’s back, drinks in hand...for all of us, surprisingly. Alright so the guy’s not bad. Doesn’t mean I like him. He hands us our beers before downing half of his.


“We come here to dance or what?”


I proceed to down almost all of mine and nod. “Let’s do it.”


I hear Alex squeal beside me before he takes off for the dance floor. Great, now I’m seriously on third-wheel duty. So we start dancin’ and I can’t help but notice the way they dance. It’s like startin’ to freak me out because I swear if I ignore the guy head that could be us. Me and B. What’s she playin’ at? To top it all off, she won’t even make eye contact with the guy. The second he pulled her to him, her eyes found mine and neither of us have looked away yet.


I’m debatinthrowin’ all caution to the wind and just pullin’ Buffy to me when I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn around and see a girl...I think she went to Sunny-D High. She looks familiar anyway. No...I definitely remember her. She always reminded me of someone but I could never figure out who.


“Hey, it’s Faith right?” She asks. I nod.


“Yeah. And you are?” We’re still dancing. We gotta be pretty close to hear each other so we lean in to talk in each other’s ear. It’s a club thing, you just gotta do it. I steal a glance at Buffy and notice her throwing daggers at me with her eyes. You know what...fuck it. She’s here with boy toy. I might as well have some fun too.


“Megan. I was a grade below you.” She’s good looking. Seems to be pretty flirty right now. Might as well go for it.


“So Megan...you wanna dance?” She smirks. I like a girl that uses the smirk to her full advantage.


“I thought you’d never ask.” So I pull her to me but turn us so that I can keep an eye on B too. See how she takes it. I’m beginning to wonder why her boy toy hasn’t noticed anything yet. He’s just oblivious I guess cause she’s only got eyes for me. And to be honest the only way I can even handle dancing with someone else is by doing exactly what Buffy’s doing.


So I pull...uh Megan was it? I pull her closer to me but never take my eyes off B. It’s almost like we’re dancing with each other. But we’re not. I see her dip a little and I swear I feel Megan do the same thing. God this is insane. I lean in and put my lips real close to Megan’s ear. Just to drive B crazy.


“Hey, I’m actually kinda thirsty. You wanna get something to drink?” I feel her nod and take her hand to lead her off the floor. I don’t look back at Buffy. I know the look that’s on her face. I’m half expecting her to chase after me. But she doesn’t.




“You never told me how alike Faith and I are.”


“What?” I didn’t even notice Ryan dip his head down to my ear.


“Me and Faith. I feel like she’s my long lost twin.” Yeah...I feel like that too.


“Really? I hadn’t noticed.” It’s all I noticed.


You feelin alright? You wanna get some air?”


I feel like my body's on fire because Faith just walked off with that other girl. This is insane. I need her. I need Faith. I just...I’m not...God I can’t. I don’t know what to do. Well I do know something I need to do. But that’s the easy part.


“No...actually.” I stop dancing and disentangle myself from him. “Ryan...I can’t do this anymore. You deserve to be with someone who wants to be with you, not someone who...”


“Wants to be with my girl twin?” My head shoots up to look at him.


“What...how?” He raises his eyebrow, just like a certain brunette I’ve come to lo....se. Just then the crowd seems to part and I see the thing, I realize, I’ve been most dreading. Faith kissing that girl. Ryan follows my line of sight.


“It’s been a fun ride babe.” He says, kissing the top of my head. And just like that, he’s gone. And I’m left to watch Faith and skank Barbie feel each other up.


“Buffy honey, where oh where has your man meat got to?” I turn and glance at Alex before looking back to Faith. God, why does this hurt so much. And just like Ryan had, he follows my gaze. “Oh un uh, that girl is far too skanky for her.” He makes a move towards them but I hold him back.


“Alex no...I...” I look up at him cause...I don’t really know what I was going to say. What to say. But he smiles and shakes his head at me.


“Go get her.” He flicks his head towards the pair. That’s all it takes.




I down another beer before Megan’s finished half of hers and while I’m perfectly fine she’s already fighting to keep her footing. Oh joy, she’s a lightweight.


“You know. I always liked you.” I notice her unbuttoning a couple buttons on her shirt. A lightweight and a skank, I’m battin’ two for two tonight.


“Really.” I reply. Like I care. I turn around and search the floor for Buffy but she’s lost in the crowd. Megan’s about to trip over something or someone so I grab her hand and lead her to the edge of the dance floor so I can try and get a better look. She apparently took this as a sign that I wanted her ‘real bad’ cause wow, the girl has got a lot of saliva and most of it’s on my mouth. Not the way I wanted this to go. Seriously, she’s like a sucker fish, cause no matter how I try to grope for a good hold to pull her off me she’s stuck on.


Great, she’s passing her skankiness onto me. I can’t even tell how long this goes on for but thank god, someone comes to my rescue cause she’s pulled off and...that was definitely a slap I heard.


“Go find someone else to skankify Barbie.” I open my eyes as I’m wiping my mouth with the back of my hand.


“B?” Yeah, it’s B. Wow, she looks pissed but surprisingly not at me. I see Megan stalk away but I don’t care cause B’s grabbin’ my hand like she always does.


“Come on, we’re dancing.”


“What happened to boy toy?” She turns and glances at me mischievously.


“He’s out of the picture.” I raise my eyebrow and she smiles. What? Ok, this is me seriously confused. No time to think cause here we are, just like back at the Grad except neither of us is that drunk. We dance for hours. It’s like heaven...again. And I’m still not ready to object. The club starts to close down and we’re still in each others arms. Finally they kick us out and that’s when we realize our rides have thus departed, leaving us stranded.


“Feel like a walk?” She asks. I shrug.


“Why not?” We start walking and I’m about to shove my hands in my pockets when she grabs my hand, interlacing her fingers with mine. I swallow and feel a knot in my chest. “Um...B...you’re doin’ the couple thing again.” I hate how it always comes to this.


“I know.” She says simply, squeezing my hand. “I don’t care.” This is too much. So I stop and turn her to me.


“But I do B. This is driving me crazy. Being so close but not really having you. Can’t you see that?” I’m tired of playing games. But she smiles. Something is definitely up.


“What if you have me?”


Wh...what?” She didn’t just say that, did she? She laughs and sighs at the same time. Quite a feat.


“I...you...I need you Faith. I need you here with me. I’ve never been so miserable in my entire life as I am when you’re not here.” Now she’s got both of my hands in hers and my hearts goin’ like a million miles a minute.


“Buffy...I can’t just be friends with you.” I say, dropping my head. Damn this is hard. I feel her squeeze my hands.


“Neither can I.” My head snaps up, and my eyes meet hers. I can’t have heard that right.


“B...I don’t understand.” And it’s like that. She’s leaning up and her lips are on mine. It’s soft but fierce. I feel like my entire body’s on fire but before I can even kiss her back she’s pulling away. She rests her forehead on mine and smiles softly. And me? I’m confused as hell. I think she notices too cause she smiles even more before looking into my eyes.


“I think I’m falling in love with you.” That I heard. And this time I’m the one kissing her. One arm goes around her waist and the other up to her cheek. Both of her hands come up and hold my neck. I can’t even begin to believe it. I’m standin’ in the middle of the street kissing Buffy Summers, not to mention she just confessed that she’s falling in love with me...and it’s kinda just like I always thought it would be...a-freaking-mazing.








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