Over the next week, neither slayer mentioned the kiss or Buffy's revelation. Both of them just continued to go about their everyday lives and patrolled together at night.
Buffy still hadn't told anyone that Faith was back in town and none of them had seen the reformed slayer so it hadn't been an issue yet. She knew she'd have to tell them eventually but didn't want to do it until she had no other choice.
She thought so much of Faith right now, more so than she ever had when they first met. She seemed more relaxed and thoughtful than before and Buffy considered that a welcome surprise. She liked being around Faith now that she had changed and really loved the fact Faith would just listen to her without judging.
Faith was just trying to adjust being employed. It was the first real job she ever had and wanted so desperately not to screw up. She knew her boss was taking a chance in hiring her and she didn't want to prove her wrong. So far, she was doing well. Her job wasn't hard and she excelled at it.
Since she was working, she couldn't watch over Buffy as much as she wanted. She was concerned about Buffy given what she had told her but they both had lives to lead. Instead, she settled for seeing her at patrol and watching her there.
The one thing Faith wanted to do more than anything was to kiss Buffy again. Her lips were so soft and pouty, really beyond anything she could describe. Buffy didn't mention it, however, and Faith didn't know how to bring it up. She didn't want Buffy to think she had taken advantage of the situation but was sure she would have said something by now. Now it just seemed wrong to bring it up, that the timeframe to do so had passed.
That morning after they kissed, Faith had woken up to find Buffy had already gone. She hadn't been sure if she'd ever see her after that, thinking she'd made the wrong move yet again. Instead, she got back from work to find Buffy waiting for her.
Every day had been the same thing: the Chosen Two met up at night and patrolled together. They talked casually, grabbed some food and then went their separate ways. It became a routine and one both of them liked.
Faith walked to her room after work and found a note on her door. She smiled and walked inside, going immediately for the phone. She dialed and was again relieved when Angel answered.
"Angel, you called?"
"Faith," the vampire said by way of greeting, "yes. I found an apartment for you. You can move in immediately if you like and I'm thinking you do."
"Really?" Faith asked, excited at the prospect of leaving the motel room behind. "Where is it?"
"Toward the downtown area," he answered. "Pretty decent neighborhood I'm told. At least, considering."
Faith laughed. "I think I can take care for myself. Do you know what it's like?"
"It's already furnished and a two bedroom. They sent me pictures. It's nice," Angel said, sounding like he wasn't comfortable with describing Faith's new apartment. "You can check it out and sign all the papers if you like it and get there before seven."
"I can do that," Faith said happily. "Thanks, Angel. I really appreciate this."
"I know you do," he said. "Now go see it and move out of that place."
"Will do. Bye," Faith said, hanging up the phone. She jumped up and down a couple times, loving how happy she was. She hoped the place was what she expected. She grabbed her keys and opened her door, running into Buffy.
"Hey," Buffy greeted, looking at Faith curiously. "Where are you going?"
"Oh," Faith mumbled, not knowing what exactly to say at first but thought of something and grinned. "Want to check something out with me?"
"Faith, this place is great," Buffy said as they came back to the apartment after Faith signed the lease papers.
"Thank Angel," Faith said, sitting in a chair. "He set it all up."
Buffy just nodded and sat down on the couch. The living room was spacious, with a couch and two matching chairs, not to mention a TV and stereo. The rest of the place was the same way: both bedrooms were bigger than Faith expected, as was the bath and kitchen. She was even shocked to find out Angel paid the entire year lease. He hadn't told her he was doing that.
Faith grinned, not knowing what to do with the happiness she felt. "I can't believe I have an apartment. Now I just need to get my stuff and I can say goodbye to that motel forever."
Buffy got up and walked over Faith. "It's good for you to get out of that place. There's not many good memories there."
"There's one," Faith responded, looking up at Buffy with a glint in her eye.
Faith grabbed Buffy's hand and pulled her down to her. Buffy landed on her lap and Faith put her arms around her. It was a bold move on her part but she realized she'd made the right one as Buffy didn't push her away or get up.
"I really liked kissing you," she said, grinning. "That was definitely a good memory."
"Uh . . ." Buffy started to say something but couldn't think of anything. She didn't move away from Faith however and didn't object when the younger woman tightened the hold around her waist.
"Did you feel something when we kissed?" Faith asked, not knowing if she even wanted to know the answer. She didn't think she could take a negative response or none at all but wanted an answer nonetheless.
Buffy looked away. She couldn't look at Faith right now. The intensity of her eyes was too much. "Yeah," she said quietly.
Faith grinned widely and placed a hand on Buffy's chin, making look at her again. "Good or bad?"
"I don't know," Buffy mumbled.
"Well, you felt something. That's good," Faith smiled. She moved her hand from Buffy's chin to her the back of her head, running her hand through her hair. "Let's try something else."
She pulled Buffy to her and gently kissed her again. She didn't feel any response but when she moved back she saw her eyes were closed. It was almost like she was expecting another kiss.
"How was that?"
Buffy opened her eyes to find Faith looking at her expectantly. She was getting very used to Faith looking at her that way. She just hoped she wouldn't expect too much of her. "It was . . . nice."
"Just nice?" Faith asked, pretending to be shocked. "I can do better than that."
Faith leaned in and captured Buffy's lips again. This time Buffy moved closer, putting her hands tentatively on Faith's shoulders. They kissed lightly for almost a minute before Faith broke away and again looked to Buffy for a reaction.
Buffy put her head on her shoulder and sighed. "What are you trying to do to me, Faith?"
Faith tilted her head back to look at her and gave her trademark grin. "I thought it was obvious: I'm trying to get laid." She winked.
Buffy smacked her shoulder, smiling. "Thanks for being so serious, Faith."
"Hey, I've been in prison, remember?" Faith laughed. "It's been awhile."
"Whatever," Buffy sighed. "I do feel something when you kiss me."
"That's what I'm here for," Faith said, keeping a hand in her hair. "I want to be here for you, B."
"I like that," Buffy said, turning her head to look at Faith with a smile. She got up and looked down at Faith. She smirked at Faith who looked displeased with the fact she was no longer on her lap. "Come on, let's get your stuff."
"Buffy, we're all very worried about you," Xander commented, sitting on the couch in the Summers' living room. "You never seem to be around anymore."
It had been three weeks since Faith moved into the apartment and the Chosen Two spent most of their nights together. Buffy liked the fact Faith didn't ask her many serious questions and when she did, she didn't really expect an answer. It made her want to be around her fellow slayer and newfound friend all the time.
"That's because I'm all working gal now, Xand," Buffy said, looking down to make sure she wasn't forgetting anything. She had to work the late shift and then was meeting Faith at her apartment.
"You're gone way more than that, Buff," he said, furrowing his brow. "You've been so distant from the rest of us. It's like you don't want us around."
"That's not true," she protested.
"Yeah, it is," Willow said, walking in from the kitchen. "You don't even talk to Dawn anymore. She thinks she's done something wrong."
"No one has," Buffy said with a sigh. "As much as I love how this conversation's going, I have to get to work."
Buffy left the living room and walked up the stairs to her little sister's room. Dawn was sitting on her bed, reading a book. She looked up at Buffy and smiled.
"Yeah," she answered with a small smile. "Listen, tomorrow I have a day off. Why don't we do something? Just the two of us."
Dawn smiled. "Okay." She paused. "Where do you go when you're not here? I mean, something's been going on. Are you seeing someone?"
Buffy panicked because she didn't immediately know how to answer the question. She was seeing Faith but she wasn't dating her. At least, not in the formal sense of the word. They kissed every once and a while but they didn't go out anywhere. They'd never been on a date.
The younger Summers laughed. "You so are!"
"No, I'm not," Buffy sighed. "Listen. I'll explain everything tomorrow. Okay?"
"Sure," Dawn said with a grin.
Buffy simply shook her head and went off to work.
Faith was lounging on her couch with a bottle of water when she heard a knock on her door. She'd gotten back from a routine patrol about an hour ago and was just waiting on Buffy. She'd had to take a late shift at the Doublemeat Palace but told Faith she'd go by her apartment after.
She didn't know how it happened but her and Buffy were actually becoming friends. They patrolled and hung out every day. Buffy confided in her and Faith loved every second of it.
There was even a chance of what they had developing into something more and Faith was practically jumping for joy at the thought. She wanted nothing more than to be with Buffy in every way but knew better than to just jump her. Instead, there were kisses here and there and lots of holding. Buffy even fell asleep in Faith's arms once or twice. It was going better than she could ever hope for.
Faith jumped up and walked over to the door, a smile on her face. She opened it and her face fell. Buffy was there, covered in dirt and bleeding from her arm.
"B!" Faith exclaimed, pulling her inside. "What happened?"
Buffy looked at her and groaned. "I decided to roll around in the dirt and then cut myself on some rocks." She rolled her eyes as Faith gave her a stern look. "This asshole demon jumped me on my way here."
"Get into the bathroom," Faith said with authority. "We better make sure you're not seriously hurt."
The pair went into the room and Faith gave her a once over. Buffy had a few cuts on her arm, one of them relatively deep, but otherwise she was okay. Faith cleaned out the wound and looked at her, trying to figure out what she was thinking.
It was a game both of them seemed to play. Neither ever said exactly what they were thinking, Buffy doing that more than Faith, and it made the other one always guessing the true meaning of everything. Every look, move or expression was second guessed. Both of them were afraid of what the other one would say if they ever showed their true feelings so they never said anything.
"Do you want to take a shower?" Faith asked hesitantly. "You know, get cleaned up."
"Uh, yeah," Buffy said, looking over the dirt on her clothes. "Do you have something I could change into?"
Faith held back about a dozen crude remarks that popped into her head but couldn't lose the smirk on her face. "I'll grab you a shirt and shorts while you clean up."
Faith left the room and a few seconds later heard the shower turn on. She cleared her head of all the thoughts of a very wet and naked Buffy behind the door as she went to her bedroom and found a loose-fitting shirt and a pair of shorts. She hoped the other girl was okay. She looked a little shaken.
Faith took the clothes with her toward the bathroom and smiled as the shower stopped. Hoping everything was okay, she knocked on the door lightly.
"B? I got some clothes for you to change into. We can wash your uniform right now if you want," she said through the door.
"Uh, okay," Buffy said. "You can bring the clothes in if you want."
Taking a deep breath, Faith opened the door and her jaw dropped. Buffy was standing there in nothing but a white towel. Faith couldn't think of anything to say so she just took a step forward into the bathroom, extending her hand with the clothes.
Buffy blushed lightly at the way Faith was looking at her. She knew Faith was attracted to her and it was showing right now. Even though Buffy wouldn't admit it to herself, the feeling was mutual. Right now though, she could only look down, unable take Faith penetrating gaze.
"You are so beautiful," Faith said softly, her brain finally able to string together something resembling a sentence. She was too distracted by Buffy. Her hair was wet, droplets of water hitting her glistening skin. She took another step forward, putting the clothes on a ledge by the sink.
"Thanks," Buffy mumbled, still looking down. She couldn't bring herself to look into her eyes right now. She didn't want her to see how scared she was of her, how scared she was of everything. Sometimes it was just too much.
Faith closed the remaining distance between them and ran a hand down one of her arms. She could sense some sort of uncertainty coming from Buffy and didn't want to scare her off. Instead, she simply put her arms around her.
"You're okay, B. You know that, right?"
Buffy nodded her head against Faith's shoulder and let out a breath. "It's so hard to keep going, Faith. I don't understand why it's so hard."
"Life is hard," Faith said. "Especially for slayers. We bear the brunt of it. That's why there's two right now. You need help and that's why I'm here." She gave her a reassuring grin.
Buffy moved away and looked at Faith. "You are so full of it," she said with a smile. "Do you even believe that?"
"I'm trying to," Faith said, smirking. She pulled Buffy back to her and gave her a light kiss, rubbing her hand over her back.
"Faith," Buffy breathed out, letting the name just hang in the air. "I should probably get dressed."
"You don't have to, you know." Faith grinned. "You can just hang out in a towel. I won't complain."
Buffy laughed. "I'll be out in a minute."
Faith relented and let Buffy kick her out of the bathroom. She went back into the living room and a minute later, Buffy came out and sat down next to her. Faith immediately pulled Buffy to her and ran a hand through her damp hair.
"Will you stay with me tonight, B?"
"I want to," Buffy said, feeling Faith's smile. "But I think I might have to get home. Dawn's been feeling neglected." She paused, trying to think of how she should say what she wanted to. "If you're not doing anything tomorrow, do you mind if Dawn and I stop over?"
Faith looked at her, her eyes wide with shock. "Have you told them I'm here?"
"No, but I think it's time they knew," Buffy said. "I can start with Dawn. I promised we'd spend the day together."
"You should spend more time with your friends," Faith said, her hand absently rubbing her back. "You need to get back to your life."
Buffy turned and looked at Faith. "I think I want you in my life now," she said. "You've helped me more than I ever thought possible."
Faith smiled. "I'm just trying to make things right, you know? I fucked up so bad before. I gotta make up for that."
Buffy moved into Faith more and felt her hold her a little tighter. "You're doing a good job so far."
"You think?" Faith asked, voice giving away how much she thought of Buffy's opinion. It meant the world to her and she knew that could end badly. She put a hand on the side of her face and made Buffy look at her.
"Yeah," Buffy responded quietly, the intensity of Faith's eyes making her speechless. This time, however, she didn't look away. She was starting to be okay with the fact she could see how much Faith cared by looking into her beautiful eyes.
Faith gave her a little half smile, something Buffy had never seen her do before. She didn't think she'd ever seen Faith look that sweet. As if in slow motion, Faith brought her head down to Buffy's, pushing her lips on hers tenderly.
She hoped she'd read all the signs right. She was a master at doing that with guys and with most girls too, but Buffy was completely different. Her body language and her words never seemed to sync up. Faith was always scared of what would happen if she read them wrong. She knew that would probably be the last she'd see of Buffy or at least that's what she thought. Faith knew she wouldn't be able to take that, not after the last few weeks.
Faith took a chance and tried to deepen a kiss with Buffy for the first time. As they kissed carefully, Faith taking the time to suck a little on Buffy's lower lip, Faith slowly ran the tip of her tongue along Buffy's lips hoping she would get the message.
For once Faith's instincts about Buffy were right because she opened her mouth just enough for Faith to slide her tongue into her mouth. Faith wrapped one arm around her waist and placed her other hand in her soft blonde hair as she slid her tongue against Buffy's.
Buffy couldn't believe how okay she was with the situation. She figured it had a lot to do with how Faith was being with her. She could tell the other slayer was hesitant with every move and that impressed her more than anything. She would have never expected Faith to be that way. Buffy slowly put her hands up to Faith's face as she moved her tongue against Faith's, responding to everything she was giving her.
They kissed until both needed to breathe and broke apart gasping. Faith ran her hand through Buffy's hair easily, waiting for her to say something about what just happened.
If she had her way, she'd be carrying Buffy back to her bedroom right now. Faith knew, however, that wasn't the right move. Buffy still hadn't fully dealt with being back and she knew if they did anything now, Buffy would regret it later and she would be left with nothing.
Buffy still broke down like she had earlier. Sometimes she couldn't handle everything around her and she either started crying or would show no emotion at all. Faith was trying to help but knew time would help more than anything. She just tried to ease the process by being there for her whenever she needed her.
One thing that was driving Faith crazy was she hadn't had any sex since she'd gotten out of prison. In fact, she hadn't had any sex in prison either so that meant the last time she'd gotten off with someone was back when she was working for the Mayor. The thought of it drove her crazy but she kept thinking that if she waited, it would be worth it. At least, she hoped that was the case because she kept dreaming it would be with Buffy.
When Buffy didn't immediately say anything, Faith pulled Buffy to her, resting her forehead against the other girl's. She gave her another light kiss while staring into her fathomless green eyes.
"B, let's go lie down," Faith whispered, knowing Buffy would at least respond to that. The other woman seemed so deep in thought.
Buffy looked at Faith and didn't quite know what to say. The thought of being with Faith as more than just a friend frightened her. She didn't know what she was doing with her at all. She just knew she really liked being around her.
"Faith, I can't," Buffy started to stay but Faith stopped her.
"Hey, I know," she said quietly. "It's okay." She paused. "Let's just get some sleep. You look tired."
"I feel tired," Buffy said, a slight smile now gracing her face. Her mind was eased in knowing Faith wasn't talking about sex. At least, she didn't think she was talking about sex. "I should probably get home."
Faith stopped Buffy as she started to get up. "You don't have to go, B. Stay here tonight."
"I don't know," Buffy said with some uncertainty. She stayed there before but with her friends now watching her movements more closely, she didn't know if she should stay away for too long. She didn't want them to go looking for her. "I have to be there for Dawn."
"You can do that in the morning," Faith said, pulling them both up. "Just stay here. You'll feel better."
Buffy thought for a minute. She did feel better when she stayed with Faith. It all went back to the fact she didn't feel judged around her. It was like a weight was lifted when she was there. "Okay, but I do need to go back in the morning."
"I'll wake you up nice and early," Faith said, grinning. She loved it when she could convince Buffy to stay over. Though she would never admit it to anybody, she didn't like being alone. "Come on, let's get some sleep."
Chapter One || Chapter Two || Chapter Three || Chapter Four || Chapter Five || Chapter Six || Chapter Seven || Chapter Eight || Chapter Nine || Chapter Ten || Chapter Eleven || Chapter Twelve || Chapter Thirteen || Chapter Fourteen || Chapter Fifteen (original) || Chapter Fifteen (alternate)