The Meaning of Dreams
by Hayley

Chapter Four

"So, is this to your liking?" Faith asked in a somewhat sarcastic tone.

Buffy looked around at the restaurant, a small Italian place that she didn't even know existed. She wondered how Faith knew since she was definitely not the dating type.

"It's nice," she said. "How did you know about it?"

Faith shrugged. "I was walking through this area on patrol months ago and saw it. I remembered it when you started nagging about wanting a real date."

"I do not nag."

"A little," Faith said, smirking. "At least you look hot when you do it."

She could only shake her head as the waitress took their order and left them alone in their secluded booth in the corner of the restaurant. It was more romantic than she really thought Faith was capable of. She expected something more casual, not something that required her to put in a real effort when getting ready to see Faith.

"It's too bad we have to patrol after this," Buffy commented. "I really don't wanna patrol in this skirt."

"I bet we can skip a night." Faith smiled, showing her dimples. "It'd be more fun to try and get you out of that skirt without having dirt and vamp dust on it."

"Giles won't be happy."

"He'll deal and why would you ever mention Giles on a date you wanted? You should be telling me how hot I look and what exactly we'll be doing after dinner. Be specific."

The look on Faith's face made Buffy laugh and blush a little because she knew Faith was only partially kidding. She never kept her hands to herself when they were alone. "You better behave yourself."

"You know I can never completely turn all this off," Faith said as she gestured to herself.

Buffy laughed again but this time Faith joined her, making Buffy notice how beautiful she was when she laughed. It was those type of traits she noticed about Faith that made she wonder why she didn't realize her attraction to Faith sooner.

"Stop thinking so much, B," Faith said, snapping Buffy out of her train of thought. "We supposed to be eating at a restaurant I can just barely afford and then we're spending the night at my apartment doing something a lot more fun. No thinking required."

There was no arguing with the look on Faith's face so Buffy decided to wait until later to tell her she really needed to go back to the dorms instead. When she looked away though, Faith sighed.

"Don't tell me you can't stay."

When Buffy looked up at Faith she could see how much she didn't like what she was going to say. "I have a class in the morning."

"You know I can't stay with you." Faith shook her head. "Not with your roommate there 24/7."

Buffy sighed, not knowing what to say since nothing would help either feel less frustrated with their situation. "Can we just not think about that right now?"

Faith grumbled but didn't say anything for a minute. Buffy didn't like the silence but it was better than starting a fight about her class schedule versus Faith's work schedule in the restaurant.

Suddenly, Faith looked up and into Buffy's eyes, a serious look on her face. "You should move in with me."

Buffy's eyes popped open once those words were uttered and she slowly sat up in bed.

While she was thankful she didn't just have a sex dream that left her turned on and confused this one was just as strange.

She couldn't think of a reason why she would dream of being on a date with Faith. There didn't seem to be any purpose in it, simply dreaming of having a romantic dinner with her friend. That was, until the very end of the dream.

Buffy never thought of Faith as acting that way. It was true that she was slowly seeing a different side of her in the last few months but not one that had her angry that she couldn't see more of her. Faith still didn't seem clingy or someone who would want that type of relationship with someone. She didn't talk to her much about her extracurricular activities anymore but Buffy thought that was more due to her not having time for any.

Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, Buffy felt her body slowly relax again. She needed to work hard to shove this new dream to the back of her mind. She needed to be able to work with Faith without looking at her and seeing someone that cared enough about her to ask her to move in with her.

The last two nights were a bust. Buffy and Faith not only hadn't come across anyone who could tell them anything about Devon and his plans but they hadn't had much luck at staking vampires either. It was almost as though they were avoiding them. Both of them were annoyed, Faith more so than Buffy. She had been muttering to herself most of the night and all Buffy could make of it was that it was probably a string of curse words.

"We better fuckin' find something to stake in this cemetery," Faith said in an irritated tone. "This is getting ridiculous."

"Yeah," Buffy agreed. "I don't like that it's so quiet. Nothing good comes from it."

"Calm before the storm or something?"


Both of them stayed silent for a few minutes as they listened to their surroundings. Buffy was beginning to get the feeling they were going to get some company very soon and while she wanted to stake something just as much as Faith she didn't like the feeling she was getting. It felt like she and Faith were about to stumble across something big.

Sure enough, as the pair walked deeper into the cemetery they began to hear the quietest of sounds. It wasn't the normal rustling or some newborn vamp stomping around as it became aware of their surroundings either. It was the sound of voices, several of them.

"Since when do vamps discuss things?"

Buffy turned her head to look at Faith to see her scowling slightly. "Not sure. We should check it out. Maybe we'll get some info and be able to stake something."

Faith nodded and they sped up their pace, staying silent as they approached where the voices were coming from. Buffy realized they were coming up on the center of the cemetery where there was a good amount of crypts, places she and Faith often found groups of vamps.

"Oh, shit."

Buffy almost ran into Faith as the other slayer stopped quickly. She looked to where Faith was looking and almost said the same. Off in the distance was a large group of vamps, at least 15 or 20, crowded around two other vamps dressed in suits as the pair stood above them atop a couple of large gravestones. Buffy quickly grabbed hold of Faith's arm and moved so they were hidden by a group of bushes.

"We need to stay out of sight," Buffy whispered as they took cover. "There's too many."

Faith got down next to her as they hid, gently moving the bushes to get a better view. "Yeah, don't think we could take all of 'em."

Buffy smiled at the comment, liking that Faith no longer went into a situation without thinking. There was a time when she wouldn't listen to Buffy, wouldn't hide and the situation always ended badly. Now they were finally doing it the right way, getting information first before moving in to stake the vamps. Thankfully, none of the vamps saw or heard them.

"We need you, plain and simple, boys and girls. We want high numbers and let me tell you, you want to be with us."

"Why the hell would we do that?" one of the vamps in the group yelled, causing a couple others to laugh.

The two vamps on the gravestones looked at each other before the second one spoke. "Who here thinks living in Sunnydale could be better, easier?" He paused for a moment, possibly to hear a response but none came so he continued. "Right now you have to fight your food and sometimes those crafty, puny humans get away, don't they?"

There were some murmurs of agreement from the crowd, making the vamp smirk. "And when they get away you drink what, pig's blood? How demeaning! How degrading! It's beneath you, beneath all of us. Of course, when you do get a proper meal you've got not one but two slayers to deal with. Not so fun, right?"

Buffy could feel Faith move closer to her as they watched and she tried her best not to stiffen as their bodies brushed against each other. Her mind threatened to drift off, remembering how Faith would hold her in her dreams, how protective it felt, but she pushed the thoughts away. She couldn't get distracted when there were so many vampires close by.

The crowd of vampires began to become more interested in what the talking vamp had to say and by the smile on his face, he knew it. "What if you didn't have to work so hard for your food? What if you didn't have to deal with those pesky, puny slayers?"

"I'll show him puny," Faith muttered and Buffy grabbed her arm before she could even think about getting up.

"Not now, Faith."

"That is what Devon can do for you," the vamp continued. "If you join us you will get so much. Human slaves, no slayers, the ability to do whatever you want without consequence. No one will stop you."

"Who the hell is Devon?" one of the vamps in the crowd yelled out.

"He can be your worst enemy but he wants to be your best friend," the other vampire standing on the graves responded. "Join him and he can give you everything. All you have to do is join his team and work for him."

"I don't work for nobody!" a vamp yelled.

The two vampires shared a look before they continued on. "Work? Doing a few tasks for Devon and in return getting a lifetime of rewards? I don't call that work and that's what Devon can do for you."

"It's an incredible deal we're offering for you tonight," the other vamp added. "Now who's with us?"

Multiple loud arguments immediately started among the crowd of vamps and Buffy felt Faith begin to tug on her arm. She looked over at her and gave her a questioning glance.

Faith leaned in, her lips only a couple inches from her ear. "We should get out of here. Can't do anything about this many."

The comment surprised her since it came from Faith but she nodded and they quietly left their hiding spot and began walking quickly toward the entrance of the cemetery. Even though the arguments were loud and there was little chance they would be discovered, both of them stayed silent until they had exited the cemetery and had begun to walk down the street.

"What the fuck was that?" Faith finally asked as they walked.

"Something very strange."

"Who is this Devon and why wasn't he the one selling himself?"

Buffy shrugged. "We need to find out who he is and what his plan is. Trying to get all the vamps together to work for him can't be good."

"And him wanting to take us out doesn't exactly sit well with me," Faith said. "I'm not about to get offed by a half-assed vamp attack."

"He already has vampires working for him," Buffy pointed out. "Makes me wonder how long he's been here."

Faith raised an eyebrow as she turned her head toward her. "You're not thinking he was here before we killed the Mayor, are you?"

"Maybe not here but aware of the situation," Buffy said but didn't like how it sounded once she said it. She didn't like sounding paranoid. "I don't know but he obviously already has vamps lined up to help him."

"Ready to die for him, too." Faith shook her head. "Remember the group from the other night? Idiots."

Buffy nodded. "I have a feeling we'll be researching again tomorrow."

"Just fuckin' great," Faith started but then grinned. "Wait, I'm working tomorrow. For once having a job pays off."

"That and the money, right?"

"Yeah, that, too."

They shared a laugh and Buffy realized they had reached her house. She hadn't even realized that Faith had essentially been walking her home.

"I'll see you tomorrow after I get off work."

Buffy looked at Faith and smiled. It had been a good night with her finally. She hadn't been uncomfortable enough to leave even once and that was a huge improvement. "Yeah, I'll probably be there researching and bored out of my mind."

Faith smirked, showing off her dimples in the process. "Better you than me," she laughed at she turned and walked away. "Later."

"See you."

"I really wish you would have stayed longer," Giles commented as Buffy, Willow and Oz sat around his coffee table that was covered with books.

"Uh, Giles, what about the many, many vampires that have shared hatred of a certain couple of slayers?" Buffy asked. "I thought you taught us not to die."

"I don't mean that you should have attacked them." Giles sighed as he cleaned his glasses. "Maybe you could have stayed hidden and observed long enough to find out where those two vampires were coming from. Maybe you could have followed them."

"Giles, who knows how long we would've had to stay hidden? All of them were starting to argue and vamps are so stupid that it could've gone on forever. I was not staying in the bushes all night."

"Then we're researching again, huh?" Willow asked.

"That is all we can do at the moment," Giles answered. "I received some older texts yesterday from a friend. Maybe we'll have better luck with them."

Giles disappeared then and the three of them looked at each other. Even though they needed all the help they could get in figuring out how to best fight this new threat, Buffy had hoped they would be finished with books. Since Giles always said he had a limited supply, she thought they would be done soon and wouldn't have to keep reading and finding nothing. She didn't expect that her watcher would be calling people and have more books shipped in.

"I've got to meet with the band later but I can help out a little now," Oz said.

"By then Faith will be back from work to take your place."

"I'm sure she'll be thrilled with that," Willow commented and the three of them laughed a little. "You really didn't stake anything last night?"

"We've barely staked anything the last few nights," Buffy said with a sigh. "It makes patrolling more boring than normal and makes Faith super antsy."

"At least you have Faith there," Oz said as he leaned back against the couch. "Better than being alone."

"I guess so." Buffy shared a look with Willow and her friend was grinning like crazy. She knew once the two of them were alone she would be asked about how she liked hiding in the bushes with Faith. Willow seemed to have a lot of fun with her situation.

Giles reappeared then with a box full of books, some appearing to be very old. He set them down on the table and sat in a chair. "We should get started with these."

"How many books did your friend send to you?" Willow asked.

"I have two more boxes like this," Giles answered. "Bernard said he thought these were the ones we might have the best luck with. Please be careful with them. I need to send them back one we're through with them."

"What happens if we don't find anything in these new books?"

"Hopefully, we will find something or perhaps you and Faith will find something on patrol." Giles picked up one of the books and began to open it. "If I need to find other research materials I can do that, too."

Buffy narrowed her eyes at him but didn't respond. The last thing she wanted was to look through shipment and shipment of books trying to finding anything that would give them information on Devon. Most of the books didn't even cover what their new enemy was trying to do. Every big bad she'd ever encountered ruled by fear. They didn't try to convince vamps to join the ranks by asking them.

She still didn't think Devon was in any books. Her opinion was that Devon was too new of a vampire to be in any of the old texts and books that Giles was having them read. Using nicely dressed recruiters and having a sales pitch wasn't something any of the vamps described in the books would ever do. Devon had a style that someone who'd been around multiple centuries would never have.

The book in front of her didn't look appealing and she was sure Devon wasn't in it but she knew Giles wouldn't agree with her. Buffy flipped the book open and started to read about some fifteen century vampire that had nothing to do with Devon.

The afternoon could not pass by fast enough.

"Sometimes I think you're a genius, B," Faith commented as they walked to her house.

"Anything to get out of there."

Once Faith got back from work Buffy used the excuse that the two of them needed to train in order to get out of more researching. Giles couldn't say no to the two of them taking initiative and using the afternoon to sharpen their slayer skills.

"Can you believe he actually had more books shipped in?"

"I nearly broke my foot on those damn boxes this morning." Faith shook her head. "He never said anything about getting more. Don't think we could've talked him out of it though."

"He's all about the books."

They were silent for a few minutes until they reached Buffy's house. Buffy opened the front door and Faith immediately walked over to the couch and sat down, looking as though she had no intention to train.

"Uh, aren't we going to train?"

"As much as I like to train and spar with ya, B," Faith looked up at her and grinned, "we could just hang out here for a couple hours. That way we get away from the books."

Buffy shook her head and smirked. "I don't know. You've been looking a little rusty."

"That is a lie and you know it."

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Buffy said as she sat down next to her. "What if we spar a little? I try to be on the up and up with Giles."

Faith brushed against her and Buffy tried her best not to stiffen. Every touch from Faith made her flash to one of her dreams and this time it was one of the ones where she could see the love in her eyes. It caught her off guard for a moment but that was all. She hoped Faith didn't notice and the other slayer didn't comment about it.

"You're no fun sometimes," Faith said. "I guess we could spar for a little. Then maybe we could hang out before Giles realizes we did all this just to get out of reading another one of those books."

"I still think Devon's too new to be in any of the books. How he does everything doesn't fit with all the old vamps we've dealt with before."

"Yeah, he's a new kind of asshole."

"I guess that's one way to put it." Buffy leaned back on the couch along with Faith. "I wish he'd just show himself so we could stake him."

"For all we know he was actually one of those two that were recruiting the vamps last night," Faith pointed out.

"We really need to stay for an entire meeting if we ever get a chance to see one again. Giles didn't like that we left without seeing if we could follow the two recruiters."

"Yeah, he said that to me, too," Faith said. "I told him I wasn't gonna risk getting caught. I ain't gonna let any of those vamps take me out. Especially not one dressed in a suit."

"Nah, they wouldn't have done it. They would've told the rest of them to go after us. They looked more like vampires who liked to watch others do their work for them."

"Lazy bastards."

Buffy laughed and relaxed a little more. Over the last couple months she really started to enjoy hanging out with Faith. They were still very different and had vastly different likes and dislikes but getting along was becoming easier and easier. It made her more frustrated that she was having those dreams because she knew they would get along better she didn't think about them very time Faith touched her. She would like to be able to look her in the eye each morning after she had one.

"It's still weird that we're not finding an occasional vamp to stake each night. They couldn't have recruited that many yet, could they?"

"Dunno and it doesn't matter." Faith shrugged. "We're gonna have to find and stake some of his followers. Can't have a vamp army walking around."

Buffy nodded and stood up. "Guess that means we better start training. Don't want you getting rusty since we haven't had the best luck during patrol."

Faith stood up and shook her head, doing her best to look offended. "You know we can't get rusty, B. Slaying in our blood, it's what we're made for." She paused. "But I guess I should demonstrate how not rusty I am."

"Lead the way."

Chapter Five

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Prologue || Chapter One || Chapter Two || Chapter Three || Chapter Four || Chapter Five || Chapter Six || Chapter Seven || Chapter Eight || Chapter Nine || Chapter Ten || Epilogue

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