Next Summer
by Hayley

Chapter Two

"Buffy, are you sure this is all of your things?" my mother asks as Faith and I bring in the last of the boxes. "I could've sworn you took more with you."

"That's everything, Mom," is my generic answer.

That's everything from the truck anyway. When Faith asked me to move in with her a couple months ago we started moving some of my things to her place. Sure, we're moving to a bigger apartment but it helps to move everything from one place. Or that's what Faith claimed every time something of mine ended up permanently at her place.

My mom just looks at me and for a split second I think she's going to say something about the sudden lack of possessions. It's not like we haven't had a conversation like that before. When I moved back over the holidays she told me I shouldn't buy two of everything and didn't like my comment of needing to have multiples for each place.

That conversation was my justification in just starting to leave things at Faith's.

"B, let's get these up to your room."

I pick up the last box and follow Faith up to my room. I set it on the bed once I get there and as soon as I do I feel Faith's arms wrap around me from behind, making me smile.

"I didn't think she'd notice the lack of boxes."

I turn in her arms and raise an eyebrow. "Of course, she did. Anything that will tip off that something's not quite right."

"She'll be fine, B. Once you tell her about the place she'll like it. It's bigger and closer to campus."

"I still don't like that you're giving up your place. You love it."

Faith shrugs. "Yeah, I do but it's too small for both of us. Your clothes alone would fill the place." She laughs as I swat her arm. "This place is better and my boss owns the building so if anything's wrong I'll know who to bitch at."

I'm still not too sure about renting an apartment from Gary. I know Faith really likes him because he pays well and he's been okay if she needs to leave for a slayer-related problem but to me he's still a little sleazy. It's weird that part of the reason he has money is that he buys up property that were owned by demons and vampires that likely have been slayed by us.

"You still think it's weird?"

"A little."

She leans in and gives me a light kiss. "He's giving us a good deal, B. I think 'cause of those trips he's worried I'm gonna have to quit. The apartment is probably something to keep me at the bar."

One of the problems Faith and I had over the last year was that the Council wanted Faith to travel if there was a problem. I wasn't thrilled with it and I argued with both Faith and Giles that traveling wasn't part of the deal but Giles said they had a point. It wasn't something we could fight if they were paying us and I was the only one really fighting it.

Faith had to leave Sunnydale three times over the last year to work for the Council. She even got a new watcher for when she needed to travel because they thought Giles should stay with me. I didn't like any of that since my girlfriend wasn't with me. Her being thousands of miles away did nothing to help our relationship any.

It was thousands of miles, too. Faith didn't have to travel to LA or even Vegas. No, the first time she had to go to a small town in North Carolina then to Portland, Maine and finally she went Barcelona. I think the total time with all three was she was gone for over two months.

I think the trip to Barcelona was the worst. Faith's traveling watcher, Guy something-or-other, actually came to get her and then they were gone for three weeks. Three very long weeks where I couldn't talk to Faith at all because her watcher thought I would be a distraction from their mission, something that was complete bullshit. If anything, I would be the opposite. I would be a reason she would need to be successful.

The biggest problem with her not being in Sunnydale was that every time she came back she was suspicious. And by that, I mean any guy or girl who looked at me twice became a problem. We got into so many fights which I know could've been prevented if she could've just called home every once and awhile when she was away. Then she would've known the only thing I was doing was waiting for her to come home.

That and studying, of course.

She kisses me lightly again. "Where does your brain go sometimes?"

I shake my head and smile. "Sorry, spaced out a little. We should see what my mom's doing."

We walk downstairs and toward the kitchen, where my mom is cooking up probably half of what she has in the house. Over my first year in college I didn't visit home as much as I would have if I wasn't with Faith. Since I wanted to follow my mom's rule of not staying at Faith's apartment during the week I ended up staying there almost every weekend. If it wasn't for laundry, which Faith does at the house as well, and us wanting a good meal every once and awhile, I probably wouldn't be here much at all.

I hope that doesn't make me a terrible daughter.

"Hey, Mrs. S," Faith says as she leans against the counter, "whatever you're making smells incredible."

"Thank you, Faith." My mom smiles as she mixes together a salad. "I hope you like chicken. I thought I'd try a new recipe to celebrate the end of Buffy's first year in college."

"Who doesn't like chicken?"

The look on Faith's face makes me laugh. "I'm sure it'll be great, Mom."

Now that we're sitting at the table I'm suddenly nervous.

We helped with getting dinner ready and Faith and my mom have been making small talk. With everything with the Initiative that happened right after Faith got back, she never really talked to my mom about when she was in Spain. She really didn't talk about it with me, too, but I think it was because she got to leave the country while I was stuck in class after class.

We may have had a fight or two about that.

"So, Faith," my mom starts, "do you think you'll have to travel this summer?"

Faith's eyes go to me for a split second before going to my mother. "I don't think so. Giles said the Council only requests travel for extreme cases but now that there's two slayers, who knows?"

"Maybe I can go with this time if it's before classes start," I suggest.

"Definitely easier to get things done with two," Faith says as she winks at me.

I smile and I think now is probably the best chance I have to tell my mom what Faith and I have been planning. "So, Mom, Faith is getting a different apartment."

My mom smiles and looks at Faith. "Really? I thought you liked your apartment."

"I thought it was time to get a bigger place. My boss at the bar owns a few buildings and a place opened up at one that's close to campus so he offered it to me. I think part of him is afraid that I'll quit. He wasn't thrilled with me being out of town for a couple weeks at a time."

"You know, I still agree with Mr. Giles on you working in that place," my mom says. "You're too young to be working in a bar."

Faith only shrugs. "My ma was in bars a lot so I'm used to them. Gary's not so bad either. He's not as sleazy as he looks."

I share a look with my mom on that one. We've had a couple conversations about Faith, or Faith's past anyway. My mom wanted to know a little about Faith and I had to admit that my girlfriend wasn't a fan of talking about her time in Boston. It's something she doesn't think is very healthy but I told her I wasn't going to push it.

I have confidence that eventually I will know everything about Faith.

"It's real nice, Mom. Two bedrooms, twice as big as the last apartment." I pause and look at Faith, who looks like she wants me to get to the point. "So when Faith moves in to the apartment in a couple weeks she asked me to move in . . . with her."

There's complete silence in the dining room now and I'm not sure if that's a good thing. I can't read the expression on my mom's face but it doesn't look necessarily bad. She looks more thoughtful than anything else.

Faith and I look at each other as my mom looks away from both of us and all she does is shrug. I know she'll try to help in convincing my mom this is a good thing but most of the talking needs to come from me. Even though the two of them get along, I don't think my mother will necessarily listen to Faith's reasoning. When she asked me to move in with her the word sex was said multiple times and that's not what my mom wants to hear.


She looks at me and smiles but I'm not sure it's necessarily a happy one. "I guess that explains why you don't have as many clothes as I thought you did."

"It'll be great, Mrs. S," Faith says. "The apartment is only a couple blocks off campus so B will be close to her classes and I have the rent covered so the money that was going to the dorms can be used for something else."

She looks at me and I can tell right away my mother doubts me. "Are you sure you're ready for this, Buffy? Moving in together is a big step, especially when you have so many other responsibilities. I want you to concentrate on college."

"Mom, it's the summer and I think I did okay the first year, especially since we had to deal with a military-created demon. And . . . I love Faith."

I can see Faith smiling when I say it but I'm concentrating on my mom's face right now. She's been okay with Faith and I being together so far and I'd like it to stay that way, especially since there's no way I'm not moving in with Faith.

She finally sighs. "I suppose I can't stop you from moving out."

"Does that mean you're okay with it?" I ask even though I'm a little scared of what she might answer.

"Moving out doesn't mean you're going to stop showing up here," she says and I slowly get up because I really wanna hug her but I also know she's not done. "And I still expect you to keep your classes as your first priority once they start again."

Now I get up and give her a hug. I see Faith grinning as she gets up as well. "We'll definitely be here, Mrs. S. Neither of us knows how to cook."

My mom laughs as she releases me so she can give Faith a hug. It's strange but somewhere during the time we've been dating Faith has stopped tensing up when my mom hugs her. Now she just goes with it and sometimes even hugs her back.

"I expect to see this place before you move in, too," she adds when she releases Faith. "I want to make sure you're not moving into some sort of slum just so you can live with Faith."

"It's nice, Mrs. S," Faith says as she sits again. "I wouldn't give up the place I have to move into somewhere disgusting."

"I still want to see it."

She's got the look on her face that tells me she won't give me a definite yes until she approves of the apartment. "I guess that's fair. You'll like it though."

"We'll see."

Patrol has been completely dead for about a week. Last night we only came across one vampire and tonight we haven't seen anything. Faith keeps muttering to herself about it and I can tell it's making her frustrated.

In the four days since we told my mom I'm moving in with Faith I've been staying at home every night in order to prove to her that just because I'm moving it doesn't mean that she won't see me. That's another thing Faith hasn't liked much but I told her soon she won't be able to get rid of me so she should enjoy the space while she can.

"How are we supposed to keep up with the slaying skills of there's nothing to slay?"

I turn to look at her and try not to laugh at the look on her face. She's cute when she's frustrated. "I like that we have some downtime."

"Sure, that's fine but then I go home alone."

Somehow I knew she would bring that up at some point tonight. "I'm just spending some time in my room before I move out. I bet you could always join me."

Faith puts an arm around my shoulders as she shakes her head. "Mrs. S may have accepted the fact we're dating and that we've done activities that require some nakedness but she probably doesn't want any of that nakedness to happen under her roof."

I laugh. "I don't want to know if my mom's thought of the nakedness."

She kisses the side of my head as we slowly change direction so we're walking toward the entrance. "I'm sure she's tried to block out whatever's popped into her head."

That's probably right. We still can't have a talk about me having any sort of sex with anyone without an extreme amount of blushing and stuttering. Even after that we've never actually finished one of those conversations. It kind of trails off instead and we find something else to talk about that isn't incredibly uncomfortable.

When we exit the cemetery we take a turn that will eventually lead us to Faith's apartment and away from my house. I guess that means she wants me to stay with her tonight.

I wasn't joking when I said that she could come home with me. When I had my winter break from college Faith stayed at the house for a week while we celebrated Christmas and New Year's. Faith stayed in the guest room for a couple nights but then we got sick of that arrangement and she spent the rest of the time in my room.

My mom wasn't exactly all for it but she didn't tell us to stop either. I think that was a win for me and it's not like we did anything. Faith was a little paranoid about my mom hearing us. That's probably why she doesn't want to go there now.

"Your mom won't care if you spend tonight at mine, will she?" Faith asks as we walk closer to her place.

"No," I answer. "I was only staying there to show her that even though I'm moving out she's not getting rid of me. I mean, I still need my mom."

Faith doesn't say anything to that and I wonder if she's thinking about her own mother. Even though she's told me some things about growing up in Boston I know she hasn't told me most of what happened when she grew up. I know she was neglected and her mother didn't care but whenever I talk about how I'm grateful for my mom she gets a look and her mind goes somewhere else for a minute.

It's easy to see her mind goes to Boston.

We walk the rest of the way in silence but even with the fact Faith is distracted, it's a comfortable one. On the way we end up walking by the building that has our apartment. It's nice and it's actually closer not only to the UC Sunnydale campus but to my mom's house as well. That probably could have been another good point to bring at dinner but I'll save that for later.

When we get to the apartment Faith lets me in and I notice she's started packing over the last couple days. We've kept up with meeting at Giles' or somewhere on campus to either train or go patrolling and not at the apartment. It's more patrolling than training for me, anyway. Faith ended up training while I was in class many times.

"Packing, huh?"

Faith smiles as she closes and locks the front door. "Well, we've got a little over a week before we move so I thought I'd start. I'm not a wait until the last minute kind of girl like you are."

"Very funny."

She laughs as she walks over to me. "I think so."

We kiss as she puts her arms around me and I start to feel how much I've missed being with her the last few nights. Sure, during the my first year at college we were apart for more than a few days at a time, especially when she was traveling, but I thought that once I was free for the summer we would be together more.

"Better call your mom, babe," Faith says when we separate. "Don't want her to worry."

I smile and walk over to the phone, calling my mom. She sounds like she almost expected that I wouldn't be coming home tonight. All she says is that she'll see me tomorrow and asks if she can see the new place after work. Since Faith's got the key and we know it's currently empty since Gary was having it painted I know we can drop by and have her look around.

Once I hang up I feel Faith's arms around me again. I turn in her arms and she kisses me lightly, something I return immediately. I can feel how much Faith wants me just in the way she holds me to her. There's something else I'm sensing though, too.

"Is everything okay, baby?" I ask quietly.

Faith nods and we move over to the couch. "Just thinking."

"What about?"

"You're lucky to have a mom like Mrs. S, you know," Faith says as she leans back on the couch. I only place a hand on her thigh and let her continue. She's about to tell me something and I'm not about to stop her.

"You know I don't really remember my dad," she starts and she's right. She told me once that she could walk past him on the street and she probably would never know it was him. "But I apparently look like him. My ma always said so when she was drinking. Always said that I looked like a miserable excuse for a human being, someone who would abandon their family."

I wait for her to continue but she doesn't so I feel it's time to say something. "But you're nothing like either of your parents, Faith." I pause. "Are you thinking about all this because of what I said about my mom?"

Faith nods a little. "Lots of things bring up the old demons, B. Just need a minute to push them away."

I want to tell her that it would be better if she faces them but I don't. We've had that conversation before but Faith always ends it before I'm able to convince her of anything. I want her to not have all the old demons she lives with and I just know that if she talks about them it'll help. She has to know that whatever she tells me will stay with me and nothing she says will change the way I feel about her.

She shakes her head and pulls me closer to her. "I don't want to talk about any of that right now. What I want to do is get you naked and show you what you've been missing while you've been sleeping at home."

The next thing I know I'm being pulled up off the couch and toward the bed. It'll be interesting when we move since the distance between couch and the bed will be much further away. I wonder how many times we'll end up simply having sex on the couch because of it.

When Faith first asked me to move in with her my first thought was that I would simply move into her little apartment. I knew it was small but I didn't care about any of that. All I wanted was to be with Faith as much as possible. Of course, I was a little relieved when Faith said she already had her sights on a bigger apartment.

Our clothes are gone quickly and soon we're making each other feel incredible. Every time we have sex it seems to be better than the last. Each time I know a little more about my girlfriend, a little bit more about was will really make her go off. The goal is always to make her scream my name by the end and I am always successful.

After a couple hours of making love, we throw the sheets over our bodies and do what Faith has now become a master of: cuddling.

"I missed having you here," Faith whispers.

"Soon that won't be an issue," I say.

'You know I never really had a roommate I actually liked," she says after a minute of silence. "Guess I never really had a roommate outside of my ma and my first watcher."

I kiss her shoulder and turn my head to look at her. The expression on her face looks thoughtful, like she's been thinking about this before tonight. "Nervous you won't like having me around all the time?"

She smiles. "Nah, that's not what I'm worried about."

I kiss her again lightly. "So you're worried about something."

Faith looks at me and shrugs. "Just have this feeling, you know. It feels like something's about to happen."

"Like a slayer thing?"

She nods. "I don't know but it feels like I just need to be ready."

We don't say anything else to each other. I watch as Faith falls asleep, thinking about what she said. There's a part of me that wants to know more about what Faith meant before she fell asleep but tiredness takes over and soon I'm falling asleep, too.

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