The first feeling Buffy had as she began to wake up was one of complete relaxation. It took her a minute to realize she wasn't sleeping in her bed and then that wonderful feeling of relaxation was gone and quickly replaced with panic.
She opened her eyes to find herself in Faith's motel room and naked in her bed, the sheets only half covering her body. The other slayer lay next to her, also naked as she slept on her stomach with an arm draped over Buffy. Her head was turned to her, mouth slightly open as she slept. Buffy wanted to think it was cute but something else stuck in her mind first. It was morning.
"Shit." Buffy jumped out of bed quickly, throwing off Faith's arm. Her eyes searched the floor for her clothes, knowing they were thrown pretty much everywhere the night before.
Faith groaned quietly and shifted on the bed, moving her arm in the space Buffy had been occupying. "What's going on?"
Buffy picked up her panties and jeans, not looking at the other girl. "It's morning."
"Huh?" Faith opened her eyes a little as she observed Buffy scurrying around the room.
"It's morning with means my mom could be waking up right now and I'm not home," Buffy said, trying not to panic. She put on the clothes she'd found and grabbed her shirt. "Where the hell is my bra?"
Faith looked at the clock on the nightstand. "It's early. You'll be fine."
"Very doubtful . . . damn it, I need all my clothes."
Faith sat up on her elbows and gave her a tired yet sexy smile. "I don't think you need all your clothes."
Buffy looked at her with about as serious a face as she could muster, which wasn't much since she kept looking Faith up and down. "Very funny."
"Come back over here," Faith said, waggling her eyebrows. "I was thinking we could try something I've never had the opportunity to do before."
Buffy grinned as she found her bra. "What's that?"
"Also funny," she said as she finished dressing in a few seconds and sat at the edge of the bed, reaching for her shoes.
Faith moved to sit next to her, sheets still only half covering her naked form. "I bet we can make it very serious."
Buffy turned to her, realizing as she did that Faith was just inches from her. The other girl was grinning and Buffy's eyes went to her lips. "I need to get home before life as I know it is over."
"Can't have that," Faith said. She smirked at her as she noticed where Buffy was focusing on.
Not being able to help herself, Buffy leaned in and gave her a quick kiss before standing up. She did a quick check, making sure she had everything before looking back at Faith. "I've gotta go."
Faith nodded. "See ya for patrol."
Buffy nodded as well and walked out of the motel room, moving quickly so she could get home with any hope of not being discovered. She made it to the edge of the motel parking lot before all the feelings she always tried not to think about began to surface.
The first feeling to surface, like always, was regret, only to be followed a moment later by shame. She looked down, trying to concentrate on studying the ground, and tried to push all those feelings away. Just like every other time though, nothing made them go away and Buffy tried desperately not to cry in frustration.
She couldn't understand why she didn't feel anything like this during. Buffy knew if she did none of this would be happening. The shame especially was too strong to ignore and she knew she couldn't keep going along with whatever they had if she felt what she was currently feeling while they were having sex.
Walking as fast as she could without breaking into an all out run, Buffy became simply set on trying to get home. She really hoped her mother wasn't awake because considering how messed up her thinking was at the moment, she didn't think she would be able to make up a believable excuse at why she hadn't come home.
Buffy reached her house relatively fast and breathed a huge sigh of relief when she realized she hadn't been caught. As quickly as possible she raced to her room and closed the door, grateful she was in the clear. Still feeling everything she'd felt the moment she exited Faith's room, Buffy changed and continued to fight the urge to cry.
Everything was getting out of hand and she didn't know what to do. The things she'd done with Faith . . . just thinking about them made her blush. Buffy wanted nothing more than to talk to someone, Faith especially, but the other slayer brushed off any small attempt she made to do just that. She figured no one else would understand her position so she hadn't tried talking to anyone else.
Exhausted from her night with Faith, Buffy curled up under the covers and tried to go to sleep. The only positive thought she had as she drifted off was that it was the weekend and she wouldn't have to see anyone if she didn't feel like it.
"Are you feeling okay, Ms. Summers?"
Buffy blinked out of the trance she was in once she heard her name. "Yes, Mrs. Taylor."
"Then you should be able to answer this question."
She looked at the board behind her teacher, hoping for some help in knowing what she needed to answer, but it was blank. She looked around the room to find everyone staring at her which didn't help her either. "What was the question again?"
The other students began to snicker and Buffy tried her best to ignore them. She wanted to ignore her teacher as well but she looked less than pleased. She waited to hear whatever snide remark would come out of the teacher's mouth but the bell rang and Buffy hoped that saved her.
"We'll continue this tomorrow."
Buffy gathered her things quickly and tried to rush out with the rest of her classmates but an irritated voice stopped her.
She stopped and turned to face her. "Yes?"
"From what I just observed I have a strong feeling you haven't completed the necessary reading for today. Let's not make that same mistake tomorrow, okay?"
Buffy nodded, not wanting to argue that she had in fact completed the assignment because then she would have to admit she hadn't been paying attention. She wasn't sure which was worse at this point and didn't care to find out. Instead, she chose to respond with a simple nod and walked out of the room.
She knew she couldn't keep going with the way things were. She felt as though she was living multiple lives and it was too much to bear. Buffy still struggled with the dual life of being a slayer and a high school student. The added pressure of everyone not knowing about her and Faith was just something she couldn't deal with and it was making her head hurt.
It wasn't as if the two slayers had a real relationship and that's what bothered Buffy more each day. They weren't in love or even in like so she couldn't justify what they were doing and she always felt the need to do just that. When she couldn't, she only got more depressed and she was sick of everyone asking if she was okay.
Buffy walked to her locker, relieved she only had one class left and hoped she could at least fake paying attention. She never liked being singled out in class and didn't want a repeat performance of her last class today.
"I don't think he was even trying," Faith commented as she dusted herself off and walked over to where Buffy was leaning against a crypt. "Don't even think I got a good workout there."
Buffy shook her head. "He didn't last very long." She looked around. "Wanna try the next cemetery?"
Faith seemed to think for a moment before nodding. "Why not? It's still early."
The pair started to walk out of the cemetery without another word. Buffy knew they didn't have much to talk about but they hadn't really tried much lately. They'd simply hit a few cemeteries and sometimes go to the Bronze but more often than not they'd end up at Faith's room, unable able to keep their hands off each other. They'd been stuck in that pattern for a few weeks now.
At this point, Buffy wasn't sure how long she could keep up appearances. It was becoming too hard to keep hiding what she was doing from her mom, her watcher, her friends. In her mind it was even harder than keeping the slaying a secret.
With slaying, Buffy knew what the secret meant. It meant that she could save the world from unspeakable evils without being tossed into an insane asylum. She didn't have to keep slaying a secret from everyone either and that helped, too. She had a watcher who helped her every step of the way, a group of friends that did the same and now even her mother knew and helped as much as a mother could.
The secret she shared with Faith was different on so many levels. There hadn't been one moment where she thought she could tell someone else about all the hot, sweaty sex she was having with Faith. She was too afraid of what that someone would say and the judging look in their eyes that she feared would go along with it. Buffy couldn't take that; she was embarrassed enough.
There was also that Faith never said anything. Buffy had never told her not to say anything about what they were doing but the other girl was just as silent about what they shared. Buffy didn't know if it was because Faith was just as embarrassed as she was or if she liked having something she could use against her later but she didn't like either option.
The weight of the secret was simply too overwhelming and she knew it needed to end. The thought of being in an asylum was looking better and better every day if it meant not having to lie to her family and friends about all the shame-inducing sex she was having.
Buffy turned to Faith, who was looking at her with a raised eyebrow. "Yeah?"
"Where the hell did you go? We're almost at the cemetery and you haven't said a thing."
"Yeah . . . just thinking," Buffy answered slowly.
Faith furrowed her brow, like she couldn't understand why Buffy would be doing that. "You think now's the time to space out like that? Aren't you the one who says we should always be alert?"
"Yeah," Buffy agreed and blinked a few times, not wanting to keep going . . . just wanting to stop. "Maybe we've had enough for tonight."
Faith smirked and took a step closer. "Worked up already?"
She had to admit looking at the desire and lust in Faith's eyes got her worked up a little and it took most of her strength not to give in. "No . . . just had a long day. Think I'm gonna go home and crash."
A flash of anger appeared in Faith's eyes but it left just as quick as it came. "Got it," she said and licked her lips, obviously feeling the after effects of slaying. "Tomorrow then."
Buffy watched Faith turn and begin to walk away before realizing what she needed to say. It had to be now. "No."
Faith stopped and turned around, an eyebrow raised. "What?"
Buffy took a breath. "This has to stop."
"What has to stop?" Faith asked. She began to walk back to Buffy, a smirk gracing her face. "I don't think we can stop slaying, what with it being what we were made for and all."
"I think you know what I mean," Buffy said, trying to sound strong as she met Faith's eyes. "I can't do this anymore."
"Wanna vague that up a little more?" Faith narrowed her eyes, seeming to know where the conversation was heading. "Why don't you spell it out for me?"
"I can't . . . we can't . . ."
"Can't what? Keep fucking? Is that what you're trying so hard to say?" Faith asked angrily. Her voice rose with each word and Buffy was both hoping no one would be able to hear them and concerned about the anger that seemed to be rising out of Faith.
Buffy blushed at the description then cursed herself silently for it. "We can't keep . . . having sex. It's too much."
Faith let out a sarcastic laugh. "That sounds like a good thing."
"I don't like lying to my friends. I don't like sneaking around. It fucking sucks, Faith. We can't do this anymore."
The other slayer's eyes went wide with both shock and anger. "Are you fucking serious?"
"Yes, I'm serious," Buffy said. She didn't like how angry Faith was becoming but she knew she needed to continue. "We should stick to slaying."
Faith scoffed and looked away from her fellow slayer. She didn't say anything for a moment and Buffy began to wonder why she was so angry. What they were doing never seemed to mean that much to her and Buffy had always figured Faith was having sex with her because of the slaying more than anything else.
"Faith . . ."
She looked back at her and Buffy was shocked at the amount of hurt that was mixed in with the anger in her eyes. "I can't fucking believe you."
Suddenly, Buffy became confused. "What are you talking about?"
Faith shook her head fiercely and stepped away from Buffy, off the sidewalk and onto the grass. "I thought you were different from everyone else, you know? I thought you were better."
Buffy furrowed her brow, not quite sure what Faith was trying to say. She never thought she'd get this reaction out of her and didn't have the slightest idea how to respond. "Faith, I don't know what you mean."
"Of course not," Faith almost spit out. She shook her head again and started to pace. "I guess this is what I get for even attempting to let someone in. Stupid."
"Faith, I'm only saying we should stop having sex. I'm not saying we can't see each other or anything. I'm not saying we can't be friends," Buffy said carefully.
"Fuck!" Faith yelled.
She looked like she wanted to hurt something and for a second Buffy thought she might take a swing at her. Faith didn't though; instead she moved away from her and more onto the front lawn of the house they were arguing by. Of course, Buffy found out quickly Faith did in fact want to strike out at something. Faith turned and punched the tree she was standing next to, using all her slayer strength as pieces of bark flew as her fist made contact. That must've not been enough for her either as Buffy watched her give the defenseless tree a few more punches for good measure.
Buffy winced at the force she used, wondering Faith had imagined she was hitting her. "Faith . . ."
"Don't you get it?" Faith's eyes pierced Buffy's and neither looked away. "I've been dumped my entire life. Dumped by my worthless parents, my watcher . . . anyone who was supposed to matter. Then I get here . . . fuck, I didn't think you'd do the same."
Both slayers mutually broke their stare and Buffy was left speechless. She had no idea Faith felt the way she did about all the sex they were having. The last thing she thought was that Faith would think that what they had was some sort of relationship. She'd never given Buffy any indication she felt that way.
Buffy looked at Faith, noticing her swearing and muttering under her breath, then her eyes went to her hand.
"Faith, your hand."
She looked up at her. "What?"
Buffy took a step toward her, concerned with the blood now dripping freely from her hand. "Faith, your hand is bleeding."
"My hand is . . . shit, that's a lot of blood," Faith finished as she looked down at her hand.
Buffy walked over to her quickly, noticing how uneasy Faith now looked. She reached out and took her hand, looking it over. Faith had definitely used all her strength as she took out all her aggression on the tree and it was bleeding more than Buffy hoped.
She looked into Faith's eyes. "Faith, you okay?"
"Of course, I am . . ." Faith didn't finish whatever she was going to say and started to become unsteady on her feet as well.
"Shit," Buffy muttered, quickly taking off her jacket. She knew she needed to stop the bleeding and get Faith patched up. From how Faith was now acting, mumbling and having trouble standing, she wouldn't be much help in getting her hand taken care of.
Buffy looked around to make sure they were alone before taking off her shirt, a loose fitting top, and putting her jacket back on. She wrapped her shirt around Faith's hand as best she could, wrapping it so Faith could hold it in one place. After that, she put Faith's uninjured arm around her shoulders and started walking as fast as she could move them.
"We'll get to my house and check out your hand," Buffy said, putting her lips close to Faith's ear as the other slayer simply groaned, most likely in pain. "Then we're having a talk."
Buffy got to her house with relative ease. Her only concern was how heavily Faith was leaning on her. Faith had either lost enough blood to make her light-headed or was in pain, Buffy wasn't sure which. Faith hadn't said anything anyway, just simply let Buffy lead her. That concerned Buffy in and of itself because that was so unlike her.
She got to her door and turned her head to Faith. "Faith, can you stand on your own?"
"I'm not?" Faith mumbled.
Buffy sighed. "I've got to unlock the door so we can get in and look at your hand. I'm gonna let go of you but keep leaning against me if you need to, okay?"
Faith only let out a quiet groan but Buffy carefully let go of her anyway. Keeping one eye on the other girl, not wanting her to fall, she unlocked the door and led Faith inside. She moved them into the kitchen and sat Faith down in a chair by the table before grabbing her first aid kit. In the last couple years, she'd put anything she thought necessary in it so she was fairly confident she could patch Faith up. The last thing she wanted was for the two of them to be taking a trip to the emergency room. She knew she wouldn't be able to could up with a believable excuse of how Faith hurt her hand.
She knelt down in front of her and removed her shirt from Faith's hand, wincing at the amount of blood and knowing she'd never wear that shirt again. There was so much blood on it and it also reminded her she was only wearing a bra and jacket. She shook the thought out of her head though, knowing she had something much more important to do, and tended to Faith's injured hand.
Buffy furrowed her brow at the sight and began to clean out the multiple wounds. Most of the skin was gone from her knuckles and in parts of her fingers and there were bits of bark in the many cuts. Buffy figured it must hurt like hell. She started to check her fingers, wondering if any of them were broken when Faith's eyes bolted open.
"Shit!" she yelled out, her eyes wide.
"Sorry," Buffy said quietly. She looked up at her but kept her hands on her fingers. "I'm checking to see if any fingers are broken."
"They're not. They're just sprained or something," Faith said as she looked down at her before closing her eyes in pain as Buffy pressed down on a finger.
"As soon as I know that for sure, I'll wrap up your hand." Buffy scowled as Faith groaned again. "I'll try to be as quick as possible."
Faith didn't say anything else and Buffy examined the rest of her fingers quickly. She couldn't help but be annoyed simply at the fact she had to do this. It wasn't like Faith damaged her hand fighting the forces of evil. She got angry and hit a tree, probably using all her slayer strength to do it. It seemed so stupid.
"I don't think anything's broken," Buffy said finally, confident she was right.
"Told you," Faith mumbled.
Buffy didn't say anything right away, only disinfected the many cuts on Faith's hand, trying to be as careful as possible. Her hand was still bleeding and she was using a lot of her gauze to clean it up. When she thought she finally thought she cleaned out her hand as much as she could, she began to bandage her whole hand.
"Why did you do this?" Buffy asked, looking up from what she was doing to look at the other slayer. "Faith?"
Faith groaned and moved around slightly but didn't actually say anything. Buffy thought she was pretty out of it and hoped she was making the right decision in not taking her to the hospital. She seemed to have gotten the bleeding under control though and finished bandaging her hand. It didn't look very good, she'd wrapped the entire hand because she didn't know when to stop, but she thought it did the job.
She stood up and gently pulled Faith to her feet. "Come on, you should lie down. You don't look very good, Faith."
Faith didn't respond again and Buffy furrowed her brow, wrapping an arm around her waist. She slowly guided her to the stairs and realized a problem. Faith wasn't moving very well. Knowing by now that she wouldn't get an answer from her if she asked her to move with her, Buffy simply picked her up and carried her up the stairs.
Once she got Faith to her room, she laid her down on her bed. She took a breath and looked over Faith's hand, making sure the oversized bandage was secure before moving down to take off her boots. She put them down by the edge of the bed and covered Faith with some blankets before leaving the room, the other girl already looking asleep.
Buffy walked back downstairs and began to clean up the mess she made while taking care of Faith when her mother walked into the kitchen.
"Mom . . ."
"Buffy!" Joyce Summers looked panicked, probably because she was looking at the blood soaked shirt in Buffy's hand. "What happened? Are you okay? Where are you hurt?" She rushed over and started examining her daughter.
Buffy took hold of her mother's hands. "I'm okay, Mom."
"But the blood . . ."
"It's Faith's," Buffy said, looking at her sadly. "She got hurt."
"Where is she? Where's she hurt? Should we go to the hospital?" Joyce asked frantically as she hugged her tightly. "I'm so glad you're okay."
"Yeah." Buffy slowly pulled out of the hug. "Faith's fine, I think. She's upstairs. I think she passed out."
Joyce sighed and looked down at the mess on the table before starting to clean up with Buffy. "There's so much blood, Buffy. Are you sure Faith doesn't need to go to the hospital?"
Buffy nodded. "I think so. I mean, she is a slayer. She hurt her hand but I don't think she broke anything and I got the bleeding to stop, mostly," she summed up with a sigh. "It's part my fault."
"What do you mean? Was she helping you fight a vampire?"
"There wasn't a vampire or anything," she started to explain and sat down as her mother took over the clean up. "We got into a fight and Faith tried to punch out a tree."
Her mother didn't say anything right away, only threw away the used supplies and Buffy's ruined shirt before sitting across from her. "She must really like you to ruin her hand over a fight."
"Her hand's not ruined and . . ." Buffy started but her jaw dropped as she realized what her mother had said. "What?"
Joyce chuckled quietly. "As much as she probably likes to think she's hiding it, the way Faith feels about you is pretty easy to see."
She nodded. "Something you want to tell me?"
Buffy looked down. "We kinda have this thing."
Buffy looked back at her mother, trying to gage how much she should tell her. She knew she would never tell her about all the sex Faith and her had been having but thought she could talk about some of the other Faith related details. "I don't know. It was a thing."
Her mother furrowed her brow slightly. "Were you dating?"
"Kinda," Buffy sighed. "I don't know. We didn't like, go on actual dates or anything."
Joyce raised an eyebrow. "And?"
"And I said maybe we should stop and she got angry and took it out on a tree. I think she used all her strength, too, hence the blood."
"Do you like her?" her mother asked calmly.
Buffy thought for a moment. "Yeah, I guess but Faith's kinda hard to talk to."
"How hard have you tried?"
She shrugged, knowing every time she tried to talk to Faith they ended up having sex. That had been why she wanted whatever they had to end. It wasn't going anywhere and they weren't talking.
"Try harder," Joyce said strongly. She got up and padded her daughter on her shoulder. "It'll work out, honey. Why don't you check on Faith?"
Buffy got up and smiled weakly. "Okay."
She started walking away but her mother's voice stopped her. "We don't need to have any rules, do we?"
Buffy blushed, knowing exactly what she meant. "No."
Buffy turned away, a little embarrassed at her mother's question. She decided to ignore it entirely, walking out of the kitchen and up the stairs. She slowly opened the door to her room, not wanting to disturb Faith, and walked in. After carefully shutting the door, she walked over to the other girl.
She looked Faith over carefully, paying special attention to her hand, but she simply looked asleep. Buffy sighed and moved away, knowing she needed to change and probably shower, too.
After a relaxing shower and changing into her pajamas, Buffy got into bed next to Faith. The other slayer was lying on her side, facing away from her, and Buffy ran her fingers gently along her back.
She could finally admit to herself that she liked Faith and maybe even wanted to date her. She could thank her talk with her mother for that. The problem was before their fight Faith had never given her any hint she wanted anything more than the after slaying sex that was their current relationship.
Buffy didn't want that anymore. She wanted to date someone, to go on actual dates with them. She wanted someone to do couple-y things with, maybe even with other couples. Most importantly, she didn't want to hide what she was doing from her friends. She thought they might be getting concerned that she was spending less time with them and blowing off any guys they attempted to throw her way.
When it came right down to it, if Faith wanted more Buffy would gladly agree. After tonight, that might be the case as well. She wasn't sure though because she could never quite read Faith.
She decided not to think about it anymore and simply talk to Faith about the chances of a relationship in the morning, however painful that might be. Instead, she moved closer to the other girl, observing how peaceful she looked before she snuggled up next to Faith and putting an arm around her.
Faith mumbled a little and moved around slightly but Buffy kept a gentle hold on her. She draped her arm over her stomach, moving her hand up to hold Faith's bandaged one. She closed her eyes and breathed her in, relaxing immediately and falling asleep soon after.