by Hayley

Chapter Thirteen

"I still think I need a car."

I turn my head to look at her. "Is walking from your place to mine really that bad?"

Faith grins and squeezes my hand, which she's been holding the entire time we've been walking. "If I had a car we could've spent more time at my place instead of walking."

Now it all becomes clear. "You're always thinking about sex, aren't you?"

"When you're involved, yes."

I can't help but laugh as she wiggles her eyebrows suggestively. She's so cute when she does that and I don't know if she knows how cute it actually is.

We're getting very close to my house and the whole time I've been thinking about how to tell my mother I'm in love with Faith. Part of me thinks she has to know something but she can be fairly blind when she wants to be. She could think all the time I've been spending with Faith is because I finally want to start working with her as a team.

Of course, she could know and just not want to say anything. After what happened with Angel she gets very uncomfortable when it comes to the topic of me and sex. Then again, that's probably the reaction most parents have. I don't think I want a mother who's all hands on about it.

I think I shuddered a little just thinking about it.

"You okay, B?" Faith squeezes my hand slightly.

"Yep," I answer. "Ready as I'll ever be."

We walk the rest of the way in silence, walking up to the house and going inside still holding hands. If I didn't know any better I'd say hard-core Faith likes the hand holding parts of our relationship. And here I thought she'd only be about slaying and sex.

"Buffy, are you home?"

My mom walks into the living room as Faith and I do and Faith lets go of my hand. Thing is, it's about a second too late. My mom's eyes go right to our hands before she looks up to our faces. There's a look in her eyes I can't place but then it's gone and she smiles at us.

"Faith, are you staying for dinner?"

Faith looks at me first then at my mother. "Uh, yeah, Mrs. S. I can stay for dinner."

"Good, I'll go start then."

"Mom, wait a second," I say before she can turn to the kitchen. "Can we talk to you before you start?"

Her face changes and just looking in her eyes I know that at least a part of her knows what's been going on. Whether or not she's ever admitted it to herself is another thing entirely. "Sure, honey."

Faith and I sit down on couch and my mom sits in the chair. We look at each other and I really don't know what to say. I have all the words I want to say but now they're all jumbled in my mind and I can't get them out.

Of course, Faith doesn't have that problem. "I'm in love with Buffy."

She really does get right to the point and my mom's mouth drops just a little bit. I think she's even rendered her speechless at the moment and when I look over at Faith she only shrugs. Maybe she couldn't think of the right thing to say either.

"Mom," I say quickly so maybe I can get her to stop being shocked, "Faith and I have been . . . seeing each other. We're dating."

I look back at Faith again to see if she wants anything to add but she only shrugs again. I guess she only wanted to kick start the conversation instead of actively participating. The only problem is my mother has yet to even utter a word.


She shakes her as if to snap out of whatever she was thinking about. "Sorry, honey. This is just a lot to take in."

Now I'm kind of worried but when I look to Faith she only nods her head towards my mom. I look back to her and she's looking away with a furrowed brow. "Mom? Are you mad?"

Maybe she's realizing that she's freaking me out a little because she seems to try her best to have a neutral expression now. "How long have you two been . . . dating?"

Faith speaks up for that question. "Most of the summer. We were hanging out and one thing kinda led to another."

My mom doesn't respond to that and instead looks from Faith to me. "Why didn't you tell me sooner?"

"Uh, I guess I didn't want to say anything until we knew it was serious."

Oh, great. I do not like the look on her face now. It's like a realization just hit her and I'm scared that I know what that realization is. "Buffy, I don't know if I want to know the answer to this but I know you've been spending nights at Faith's and . . ."

And I'm fairly sure I'm blushing about as red as anyone has in the history of ever. I look over at Faith again and her eyes are wide at the question asked. "Uh . . ."

"Mrs. S," Faith starts out before I can begin what will likely be the babble to end all babbles, "before you say anything I just want you to know I'll never hurt Buffy. She means a lot to me."

"I'll take that as a yes to my question," my mom says and sighs. I feel a lecture coming. "Both of you are so young. I hope you have at least thought about what you're doing. I mean, these are big decisions and there's college in a couple weeks. You have to think about how these decisions affect your future."

"Of course I have, Mom," I say. I don't want her to think I'm being irresponsible or that I just jumped into bed with Faith without thinking. We both have thought about stuff like this. "We didn't exactly . . . I mean, we did . . . but it wasn't like . . . I mean . . . well, I guess . . ."

Faith puts her hand on my knee to stop whatever I was trying to say. I really don't know at this point and I hate that I'm so nervous. "Breathe," she says quietly.

"Buffy, I don't want you to be nervous about this with me," my mom says but she still has a serious look on her face. "I just don't know if you're ready for anything serious. After what happened with Angel . . ."

"This is not like what happened with Angel," I cut in. "Faith isn't a vampire. She's the one person who knows what it's like to be me and understands what it means. We've gotten to know each other and . . . I love her, Mom."

She sighs and I sneak a glance at Faith. The look on her face seems hopeful and I'm grateful she's here with me. I think I'd still be babbling if she wasn't.

"What happens when you're in the dorms and Faith's at her apartment? Will you be okay not seeing each other every day?"

I don't like that she has a point. "We'll still see each other for patrol."

"We'll make it work, Mrs. S. College comes first for B so I know there are days we might not see each other."

My mom stands then and I'm afraid she'll either repress what we've said or she won't believe it. I almost said I could move in with Faith but I bit my tongue on that. It would solve the not seeing each other part that she brought up but I was afraid of Faith's reaction.

If she freaked out this incredible day could've gone bad in a hurry.

To my surprise all my mom does is pulls me into a standing position before hugging me. I instantly relax as she does and when I look to Faith I can see she's smiling. She said my mom would be pretty cool about everything. Maybe she's better at reading people than I thought.

"I know it took a lot to be honest with me," she whispers in my ear as she hugs me. She lets me go then hugs Faith, who's eyes go wide at the move. "And thank you for being with Buffy when she told me. It says a lot about you."

"Uh, thanks?" Faith says as she looks at me.

She lets her go, smiling. "I'll start dinner and then we can talk. I don't think I know enough about you, Faith."

When she walks away Faith gives me the most panicked look I have ever seen on her. I bet she has no idea what she's gotten herself into.

"How come your parents have never visited Sunnydale?"

I raise my eyebrow at the question but don't look at Faith right away. We just started eating and I knew my mom would start asking questions right away. She's not going to follow the same rules Faith and I set when we talk about ourselves.

"Uh . . . my dad was never around," Faith says nervously. "Don't think my ma really wanted kids. I was kinda on my own a lot."

She nods. "Did you have a watcher in Boston?"

"Mom, remember?" I jump in since Faith is already shifting uncomfortably in her seat. "Faith's first watcher died. That's why she came here."

"That's right." She nods again and lets us eat in silence for a few minutes before talking again. "Faith, do you ever plan to go to school? I would think you'd have some extra time during the day. Maybe not fulltime but a class here and there."


"What, I want to make sure Faith knows she has options."

Faith just looks between the two of us as she chews her food before turning her attention to my mom. "I'm not big with school and besides, someone's gotta make sure B can concentrate on college. Slaying's gonna be my number one priority for now."

"Faith has a job, too."

"Mr. Giles wants you to quit that one, right?"

Faith nods. "Yeah, but it pays well so I'll keep it for as long as I can. I'd like to get a car at some point. Maybe a bigger apartment eventually."

We eat in silence again and I can tell Faith is a still little nervous. I think she's done pretty well so far with her answers even though I'm sure my mom wants her to go to school. That's something she's bound to bring up again and again.

"There's one thing I think I should bring up."

Both Faith and I look to my mom. "What's that, Mom?"

"I want you to concentrate on college." She looks like she's trying to get something out she doesn't want to talk about and I really hope she doesn't bring up sex. "Which is why I want you to keep the overnight visits to the weekends."

"Mom . . ."

"I know you're an adult and I don't have much say in the way your . . . adult decisions . . . but I don't want you missing classes because you're at Faith's. I want you to take college seriously."

Is it wrong that I'm relieved she can't truly say that she doesn't want me to have loads of sex at Faith's if it's going to affect how I do in my classes? I look over at Faith and wonder if I'll be on my own with this line of questioning. It looks like she's thinking the question over but it was directed at me so I turn my attention back to my mother. "You don't have to worry about that, Mom."

"Mrs. S," Faith says before I can say anything else, "I'm not going to get in the way of making sure B does well. Hell, I'll move closer to campus if it helps in any way."

"You don't have to do that, Faith," I say quickly as I look at her. "You love your apartment."

She only winks at me before looking at my mother. "I know you don't know me real well. I kinda don't talk about my past a whole lot but I really care about Buffy. I want you to be okay with us being together."

My mom smiles. "I imagined what it would be like when Buffy brought someone home for the first time officially. Can't say this is how I thought it out but don't worry. I'm not about to forbid you from seeing each other."

The grin on my face is never leaving. "Thanks, Mom."

I get up from my chair and hug my mother as she laughs quietly. "I know you have to patrol soon but I hope we can keep having dinners like this."

"Sure thing," Faith says almost immediately. "I don't cook so this is the only time I ever get anything homemade."

The look on her face is so cute. Hell, Faith is so cute. I can't believe the first part of telling everyone worked out so well.

"Giles is probably pissed we skipped out on training today," I comment as we walk away from my house.

"Well, he didn't show up," Faith says. She takes my hand and gives it a little squeeze. "That definitely would've been awkward since we were naked pretty much all day."

I laugh quietly. "Stop talking like that. Those are the kind of comments nightmares are made of."

We walk in silence for a few minutes but Faith keeps hold of my hand. I wonder what's going through her head right now. We should probably talk about what's going to happen once I do start college. There are going to be days where we might not see each other and I won't be able to stay with her every night. Hell, since I'll have a roommate in the dorms Faith won't even be able to spend the night there.

"So . . . my mom had a point when we were talking at dinner."

"Yeah, what's that?"

"Are we going to be okay not seeing each other every day?"

Faith looks at me and raises an eyebrow. "I'm gonna try to see you every day, B. Just 'cause you have to stick with a schedule doesn't mean I have to. I can always swing by to molest you a little between classes."

I'm not sure that will work all the time but I like the fact she's trying. "I don't know if that will work 100% of the time but I like the thought of having smoochies between classes and studying and all that."

"Yeah, I'll bet I can work my shifts at the bar around some of that, too."

This is working out better than I thought. I'd be lying if I thought we'd make it through the year without some problem with how we see each other. There's a part of me that thinks Faith is the jealous type and me being around lots of new people won't help any. Then again, I have a feeling I'm the jealous type, too.

Once we're at Giles' place I hear a car door and then Willow and Oz are walking up behind us. Faith looks at me before smiling at the pair.

"We thought you'd be here," Willow says, a smile on her face.

"Yeah, just going to talk to Giles," I say, "about us."

"Oh," Willow says, not quite getting it until her eyes go wide. "Oh! Do you want us to go?"

I look at Faith and she shrugs. "Well, you could stay, I guess."

"Strength in numbers," Oz adds.

Faith lets go of my hand and I miss its warmth almost immediately. "We told Mrs. S tonight and she took it okay. Can't imagine Giles would have a problem. He'll probably only be upset that we blew off training today so we could be alone."

"Then everything should be fine," Willow says happily. "I mean, what's he gonna do? Have Faith shipped off to another hellmouth or something?"

My eyes go wide at the comment and I have a feeling Faith has a similar expression. I'm pretty sure she's stopped breathing. "Huh?"

"Can he do that?"

Willow looks horrified now, like she's jinxed us in some way. "I-I-I didn't mean it like that. I mean, well . . . I don't why I said that. Giles will be fine. He'll definitely be on the Buffy/Faith bandwagon."

I wasn't nervous before but suddenly I am now. When I look at Faith I can see she is, too. While I think Giles wouldn't do something so drastic as to send Faith away so we can't be together, now that the thought is in my head it's not going away.

"Let's go in before I start to freak out," Faith mutters as she knocks quickly then opens the door.

Giles is sitting in his chair reading a book and looks up as we walk in. He's got a couple other books open on the coffee table and I hope this doesn't mean some big evil's heading our way. That's the last thing I need right now.

A still-new relationship and all the new college stuff is more than enough for me at the moment.

"What's going on, Giles? Are there problems?"

Giles looks at Faith. "No, nothing on the horizon. Something both you and Buffy would know if you showed up for training or even reported in today."

"About that, Giles . . ."

"At the very least I expect a call stating you will not be showing up," he says as Faith and I sit on the couch. Willow and Oz also sit and while I love the moral support right now, their presence is making me a little nervous.

"Giles, I need to ask you a question before you start in on us, okay?"

He looks at Faith and takes off his glasses, cleaning them absently. "All right."

"Would you ever ship me off? You know, if I ever did something you didn't like would you, I don't know, transfer me somewhere else?"

I look over at Faith but she's not looking at me. I guess what Willow said get to her even more than it got to me. When I look over at them they are concentrating on the conversation Faith and Giles have started.

"I don't think there's ever been a situation where a watcher has needed to ship a slayer off somewhere," he says and looks thoughtful. "Well, aside from some misbehaviors of a slayer or two that caused them to be sent to the Council in England for rehabilitation."

"What did they do to cause that?" I ask quickly. I don't like the sound of that.

"Crimes against humans. Nothing like anything we've had to deal with here." He pauses and puts his glasses back on. "Certainly not for dating someone the Council finds objectionable."

Faith and I look at each other and I have a feeling the shock on her face is pretty much what's on mine. "Giles?"

He smiles. "Your mother called me a few minutes ago. She said she wanted to warn me so I wouldn't react badly in front of you. I have to say though I had my suspicions but I wish to respect your private life."

"Yeah, you know Buffy, if you didn't get shipped off for dating Angel then Faith wouldn't get sent off for dating you," Willow adds.

"You have such a way with words," Faith comments before turning back to Giles. "So you're okay with this?" She gestures to me and her. "'Cause we really wanna try this out."

"As long as it doesn't interfere with slaying and training I don't see why it would matter," he said. "So I'm going to assume that situations such as not showing up for training today won't happen again."

I shake my head. "Nope."

"Okay," he says, "now there's a prophecy I was look at earlier . . ."

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