As Buffy began to wake up, she felt more comfortable than she could ever remember and even if she did, she didn't want to. Nothing, not even her memory, was going to ruin this moment for her. She wanted how she was feeling to be burned into her brain so she would remember it above all else.
She began to realize as she became more aware of her surroundings that she'd been moved during the night. The last thing she'd remembered was Faith moving away from her and falling asleep beside her. The sheets had been kicked to the side during all their activity so she'd fallen asleep naked and uncovered. There'd been a chill in the air but she had been too exhausted to even think of reaching for a sheet or blanket before falling asleep.
That's not how she was waking up. Buffy was all warm and toasty, wrapped in blankets. Instead of Faith simply being next to her, she had her arms around Buffy and Buffy's head was resting on her shoulder. She even had an arm draped around Faith's stomach, too. The position felt so natural but it didn't shock her. It only made her happy.
Since it felt too good to move and she didn't want to wake Faith, Buffy looked over as much of the room as she could without moving. She'd only ever been in the room a couple times and never from her current angle. It was a fairly simple room, sparsely decorated, but Buffy figured Faith wouldn't want to decorate a place she was trying so hard to leave.
One thing she found curious was that it looked like the room had been picked up. From what she could remember, the room wasn't exactly the cleanest room she'd ever seen but now all the clothes were gone from the floor. All the drawers were closed and so was the closet and there was even a pair of jeans and a shirt neatly folded on top of a chair by the door. She wondered of those were meant for her since there was no way she was going to wear her sewage-stained clothes home. She didn't even think she'd ever be able to wear them again.
Buffy smiled when she thought about what happened once they got to Giles' place. Once they'd gotten away from the vamps chasing them they'd gotten back easily and now that Buffy knew all the dreams she'd been having were actually Faith's she didn't look at her the same anymore. There wasn't any way she could now that she knew how Faith felt. Everything was different now.
Nothing is what she thought they would be after they got inside the house either. Buffy knew she was meant to stay and she wanted to so that wasn't very surprising. They started with some kissing and a little groping but they couldn't do much more in the living room. There was too big a chance of Giles catching them.
Then Faith led them up the stairs but she didn't lead them to her room, instead heading for the bathroom. She told Buffy that they needed to get out of their clothes and they definitely needed a shower. Once Buffy looked in the mirror she knew she was right: they were dirty and their clothes were ruined, covered in dirt and splattered with sewage.
They carefully took off each other's clothes and Buffy got her first look at Faith's naked body. It was just as amazing as what she saw in the dreams but it was better because it was real and Faith encouraged her to touch her, to run her hands over her skin. It was beyond any dream.
What surprised her was that there was no sex in the shower. They let their hands explore each other and it felt like they kissed constantly but it didn't get any farther than that. While they were in there it didn't even seem like Faith wanted go beyond the gentle groping they did while washing up. It looked like she was trying her best to restrain herself but that all changed once they got to her bedroom.
Nothing was like she thought it would be in there either. Some of her dreams were beyond hot, everything being hard, fast and intense and they always left her all hot and bothered when she woke up. What she had experience just a few short hours before was hot but it wasn't hard and fast at all. No, it was slow and tender.
After the shower they dried off and wrapped themselves in towels before quickly losing them once they closed and locked Faith's bedroom door. Then Faith began to kiss and touch her everywhere, making her feel things she didn't know were possible. She never imagined someone could make her so turned on yet safe and relaxed at the same time but Faith did just that.
She even let Buffy do some exploring of her own, letting her find all the spots that made Faith have to fight a moan. Buffy knew Faith didn't like to give up control ever so the fact she did even for a short time meant the world to her. It felt like she had Faith's complete trust.
They had had to be quiet because of their watcher being not too far away but Buffy still felt like crying out half the time. The way Faith felt pressed so deliciously against her or the feel of her fingers inside her made her want to cry out. Sometimes all that stopped her was Faith's lips on hers and she really liked that part. Faith was an amazing kisser.
Buffy was a little unsure of what to do but Faith's encouraging words helped her along and that was all she needed in order to make Faith feel as incredible as she did. Faith's hands moved over Buffy's body the entire time she did, too, like she was trying to memorize every inch of it and Buffy tried to do the same. It made the night all the more special.
She let out a contented sigh as she snuggled against Faith and stiffened a little as she felt the other girl move slightly as a response. She looked up and saw a sleepy-looking Faith looking down at her.
"Good morning," she said quietly and shifted Buffy so they could look at each other better. "Sleep okay?"
Buffy nodded slowly as she snuggled to her, feeling like it was natural to do so. She bit back a moan at the feel of Faith's skin against her own and smiled a little as she saw Faith do the same. "I don't remember falling asleep like this."
Faith grinned as she moved her hands over Buffy's back. "I woke up a couple hours after we fell asleep and made sure Giles was asleep and now traumatized by us."
"Probably of the good that he didn't," Buffy whispered as she let out a chuckle. Then a thought popped into her bed and she frowned. "Shit . . . what about my mom?"
"No worries. I called her, said you fell asleep here." Faith winked at her. "Which is kinda true."
Buffy blushed lightly. "I guess so."
"After that, I got our clothes out of the bathroom before they started to stink up the place and tossed them in the wash. I might've just ruined Giles' washer but I had to try. I really love the top I had on but I think my leathers are ruined."
"Maybe we should've tried our luck running above ground."
"It's no big," Faith said, shrugging. "I did get some clothes for you and put it on the chair is case you freaked out when you woke up and wanted to make a quick escape."
"I'm not exactly doing that."
Faith grinned. "I can see that."
She closed the short distance between them and pressed her lips against Buffy's. The kiss was slow and soft, the perfect morning kiss as far as Buffy was concerned. She could tell how much Faith cared about her and how nervous she was in the kiss. Buffy could only try her best to show her she had no reason to be nervous.
When they broke apart Faith lightly nuzzled her nose, causing Buffy to giggle quietly. She was actually seeing the care and gentle side of Faith that she thought would only ever exist in the dreams she'd shared with her. She loved every second of it.
"I'm thrilled you stayed and, ya know, aren't freaking out."
"How could I freak out when you finally told me how you felt," Buffy said. "I figured all those dreams were part of my overactive imagination."
"I love your imagination," Faith said with a smirk, "especially if you think it was imagining lots of sex with me."
Buffy giggled again as Faith tickled her lightly and wondered if that would become something she normally did around Faith. She kind of liked it. "I believe those were your dreams, not mine. I was just visiting."
Faith gave her a light kiss. "I will definitely show you more of my imagination then." She kissed her again. "But I think we have to get up. Giles is an early riser and we don't wanna traumatize him. He'll never stop cleaning his glasses."
"True." Buffy let out a quiet sigh as Faith moved her hands over her. "We probably need to tell him what happened with the vamps and I should get home."
"I kinda don't want you to go," Faith said, looking away as she did like she didn't like that she looked vulnerable.
Buffy smiled, liking that Faith wanted her to stay. The only problem was there was a vampire rapidly trying to take over Sunnydale and they needed to know more about his plan. She knew Giles would be able to help them figure that out since they knew now he wanted to open the hellmouth and maybe they could even come up with a plan to stop him. After that was done, then she could concentrate on the very naked Faith pressed against her right now.
"I kinda don't wanna go."
They kissed lightly again before Buffy found the strength to get out of bed. She walked over to the clothes Faith had set out for her and slowly put them on, feeling Faith's eyes on her the entire time. It probably would've made her a little self-conscious but not now that she knew how Faith felt about her. She had even more evidence of that when she felt Faith's arms around her.
"This can't be a onetime thing, B," she said as she kissed her neck and shoulder. "Not after you know how I feel."
Buffy leaned back into Faith and sighed. "I know. We need to finish this one thing first. We need to stop Devon."
Faith moved away and when Buffy turned around, she saw Faith was putting on clothes as well. They dressed in silence but Buffy kept sneaking peeks at the other girl as she dressed. Even though she'd had her hands all over that body just hours before she couldn't get over how beautiful and incredible Faith's body was. She also couldn't get over how that very same body had made her feel things she'd never felt before.
"I should go," Buffy said softly as she watched Faith pull on a t-shirt. "I'll come back as soon as I check in with my mom and we can discuss our next step with Giles."
Faith ran a hand through her hair and looked at her. "Okay . . . do you want me to walk you home?"
Buffy smiled at the question. She couldn't deny that she loved this side of Faith, who was finally letting her guard down even though it was clear she was nervous about it. Buffy knew she had to do her best to show her there was nothing to be nervous about. She could trust her.
"That's okay, Faith." Buffy walked up to her and put her arms around her. "I'll be back in a few hours." She gave her a light kiss, immediately wishing she could stay if only so she could keep kissing Faith. "I don't regret this."
"Okay," Faith said quietly. "Go home and check in then get back here."
Buffy nodded, smiling. "Everything's gonna work out, Faith. I can feel it."
There was a smile on Buffy's face all morning and it wasn't going away. Not that she would ever want it to go away. It was the best morning of her life.
After leaving Faith she'd walked home and got a couple hours sleep before showering and having breakfast with her mom. She'd gotten somewhat of a talking to about not calling home herself but that didn't get her down. She knew her mom was only worried about her so she was okay with being lectured about calling to make sure she was okay.
Buffy listened to her mom talk about work while they ate and about a man who was trying to ask her out. She had a little fun at her mother's expense with that information but also made a mental note to check out the guy. If someone was going to date her mom they sure as hell were going to get her approval first.
The conversation then turned to what was going on with the slaying and the vampire she and Faith had been tracking but Buffy tried to not get into too much detail as she talked. Despite Joyce knowing of her daughter's nightly activities Buffy still wanted to protect her from the slaying. She didn't want her to know what she faced each night and she definitely didn't want to put her in harm's way. Once was more than enough.
After they were done eating, Buffy found herself walking back to Giles' place. She was walking at a quick pace, too, and it wasn't just to see Faith. It was also because they finally knew what Devon looked like and just maybe they could get a plan together.
Of course, seeing Faith was the first reason. Everything had changed between them now and it wasn't purely due to the sex that was had. Buffy knew Faith had more than just an attraction to her. Even though they hadn't had a chance to really talk about it, she knew Faith had actual feelings for her. She might even love her.
It was too soon for that though. Buffy feared that Faith would say that she loved her because she didn't know that she could say it back. She hadn't had time to think about what she felt for Faith other than she really liked her. Hopefully, they would be able to talk about it and Faith would be okay with her not completely knowing her feelings.
As she neared the condo she saw Faith sitting on the front step. She looked amazing, her wavy hair hanging over her shoulders and her tight shirt hugging her curves just right. She didn't see Buffy right away but when she looked up she saw her and gave her the smallest of smiles.
Faith stood up as Buffy reached her and they shared an embrace. Buffy took it a step further, lightly pressing her lips against Faith's, but was thrown when Faith didn't return it.
"Faith?" Buffy looked at her as she pulled away. "What's wrong?"
The look on Faith's face didn't make Buffy feel a whole lot better. "When you left I turned to go back into the house and found this."
Buffy looked down at Faith's feet and saw a jagged knife lying on the step. Then her eyes moved up to see a hole in the siding by the door, likely where the knife had been stuck in. Her eyes slowly drifted back to Faith, who looked like she was trying not to show any emotion. There was a note in her hand.
"What's going on?" Buffy took the note from Faith and read it, which didn't take long. It only had four words: I have your friends.
"I tried calling Willow and Oz but I never got an answer," Faith said and Buffy could tell she was trying her best to stay calm. "Xander's not in town so I'm guessing he doesn't have him."
"How . . ."
"I dunno, B," Faith said with a sigh. "Maybe he had someone take 'em last night while we were dealing with the rest of them. Your mom's okay, right?"
Buffy nodded. "I just left her."
"Good." Faith carefully put her arms around her and Buffy could feel her nervousness as she held her. "Giles is inside. I told him I'd meet you out here and tell you myself."
"You really couldn't find Will or Oz?"
Faith shook her head. "I don't think Devon would bluff this one. Come on, we should talk to Giles about finding them."
Buffy only nodded her head and let Faith lead her inside. She kept telling herself over and over that she couldn't panic. What she needed was to get into full slayer mode and not let emotions get the best of her. It would only stall her efforts in finding her friends.
Giles stood up from the couch as they walked in and looked at both of them with a serious expression. "Buffy, good. You're here."
"How could this happen, Giles?"
"A number of things could've happened," he said as they all sat. "What we need to know is why."
"Isn't it obvious?" Buffy said quickly as she looked at the other two. "When we were at the warehouse last night he said he wanted to get to us. This is to get our attention."
"He already had our attention," Faith commented. "Why couldn't he just come for us?"
"Because this makes us vulnerable. Don't you remember what he said, Faith?"
"I know he was doing his best sales pitch which really wasn't necessary 'cause the vamps were already there and they're stupid as shit so they didn't need any more convincing." Faith stopped for a minute and looked down, liking thinking through the events at the warehouse. "He did mention he needed something from us."
Giles' look went from serious to almost curious. "He wants something from you? As in something a slayer would have?"
"Yeah, and he wants to open the hellmouth with whatever we have," Faith added.
"Then he might want your blood to open the hellmouth," Giles said. "Some of the strongest spells use slayer blood. They aren't used often, for obvious reasons."
"I dunno, he never mentioned that he wants our blood," Faith said. "Then again, he didn't talk much before he saw us and I don't think he'd want the masses knowing every detail of his plan anyway."
Buffy put a hand on Faith's arm, making her look at her. "Think about it: is there anything more powerful than a slayer's blood? He's trying to keep the hellmouth plan indefinitely. There's probably a spell out there that will do that."
Faith shrugged. "Wouldn't he just wanna drain us then? Why take Red and Oz? He already had our attention."
"He must need the two of you alive in order to complete his plan and is using Willow and Oz to get you to come to him."
"Well, now we have to go to him," Buffy said. "We need to go to that warehouse and stake everyone there."
"Buffy, we don't know enough to do that," Giles put in quickly. "I have some older texts here and if I remember correctly there is some mention of the uses of slayer blood. We need to try and find out exactly what sort of spell Devon intends on using."
"That's what your plan is? Research?" Buffy asked, knowing she was starting to overreact and panic but couldn't seem to stop. She never liked putting her friends in danger and always felt responsible. "We need to go out there and find them. Who knows what they've done to them!"
"B," Faith started calmly as she placed a gentle hand on her shoulder, "if they want us they need Willow and Oz alive to get us wherever they need us. We need to have a plan and as much info as we can when that happens."
Buffy looked into her eyes and could easily see how much Faith was keeping her anger from bubbling to the surface and was trying to be the strong one. Buffy knew she should be doing the same. Keeping a level head was a must if they were going to rescue their friends.
None of them said anything for a minute. Buffy was trying her best to think of a way to save her friends even though they weren't sure of where they were. They could be at the warehouse but they also didn't know if that was only one of many places Devon used as a hideout. She and Faith had obtained some information the previous night but now it seemed like nowhere near enough.
Giles' phone suddenly rang, causing all of them to jump. Buffy looked to Faith, who shrugged, then to Giles. "Expecting a call?" When he shook his head she reached over and picked up the phone. "Hello?"
"Which slayer am I talking to?"
Buffy's eyes widened as she looked at Faith and mouthed who it was. "Where are my friends?"
A devious laugh came from the other end of the line. "That's not the proper way to address me."
"What do you want me to say? Maybe I should how we're gonna kill you."
"I think we both know that's got gonna happen. Now I'm guessing I'm speaking with Buffy. Am I right?"
Buffy stood up, not being able to sit any longer given how angry she was. Faith stood a moment later and Buffy knew she wanted to make sure she stayed as calm as possible. She wasn't sure how that was possible though. Devon seemed like he was set on pushing her buttons.
"I'm taking your silence as a yes." He paused. "Now I'm sure you want to talk about your three helpless little friends."
"Three?" Buffy furrowed her brow in confusion.
Devon laughed. "We took your two friends outside of that club you and the other one are always at. The third friend was a little harder but we got him coming back into town."
"We are going to stake you and anything who has so much as thought of helping you out."
"So you say, Buffy. So you say." He paused again and Buffy thought he was thoroughly enjoying the conversation. "So it's time I offer you a deal for your friends."
Buffy felt Faith put a hand on her back as she gripped the phone, growing more frustrated at how lightly the vampire was talking to her. "What kind of deal?"
"You know I don't want your friends and we're not exactly thrilled to have a werewolf around. The full moon is approaching." He took another pause. "We don't even want their blood. I know that will only work against us."
"So you're not completely stupid."
"Very funny," he said as he let out a laugh. "What I need is a slayer . . . mostly your blood but I bet you already knew that."
Buffy scoffed. "You know that's not gonna happen."
"Isn't it? Are you saying you wouldn't sacrifice yourself for the sake of your friends? You don't even have to sacrifice yourself, just the other one . . . Faith."
"Go to hell."
"That is part of the plan but I do need some of that blood first." He stopped yet again, maybe thinking Buffy might say something, before continuing. "Here's what's going to happen. You and Faith will come to my warehouse and one of you will be traded for your friends."
"That's the only deal, Buffy, and I'm thinking you'll show. I'm betting I'll see you around midnight."
Buffy opened her mouth to say something but the line went dead and she was left in shock. She couldn't believe what he wanted. She wasn't about to deal with him. All she wanted to do was stake him and any other vampire responsible for kidnapping her friends.
"B? What's going on?" Faith asked as Buffy hung up the phone. "What did he say?"
Buffy sat down and Faith did as well. Giles leaned forward but Buffy couldn't look at either of them. "He has Willow and Oz. Hell, he has Xander, too, and I don't even know how that's possible. He's not supposed to be anywhere near Sunnydale."
"Fuck, he has Xander, too?" Faith ran a hand through her hair. "Devon is so staked."
"Buffy, what does he want for them?"
"You're right, Giles." Buffy lifted her head to look at him. "He wants one of us in return for their release. He said he wants our blood."
"Did he say anything else, B?"
"He wants us at the warehouse at midnight," Buffy answered. "One of us for them."
Giles stood up. "We need to research, see if anything comes up as to what Devon has planned. We shouldn't rush into any plan without knowing everything we can."
"You can research, Giles, but B and I already know the layout of the warehouse," Faith said. "It's all open so there's not a lot of places to hide the gang. We should check it out in the daylight then you can get 'em out at night while B and I deal with everything else."
"We need a better plan than that, Faith."
"Fine, G." Faith stood up and looked down both at Buffy and their watcher. "I'll be the bait. We can trade me."
"No!" Buffy almost yelled the instant Faith was finished with her suggestion and stood. "That's never going to be an option."
"Think about it, B," Faith said as she stared intensely into her eyes, "he's gonna let his guard down if he thinks he's getting what he wants. That's when we can strike."
Buffy took a step forward so she was only a few inches away from Faith. She wanted to be even closer but was nervous to do so with Giles there. She doubted Faith had told him about what was happening between them. "I don't want to lose you, Faith. Not after . . ."
"You're not going to," Faith said quietly.
Giles cleared his throat then and the pair turned away from each other at look at him. "Faith might not be completely wrong in her suggestion."
"Nice to know I'm not completely wrong."
"What I mean is the two of you can't go in there without a plan. Even if Faith goes in as bait there will be too many vampires for you to handle. We'll need to create a diversion or something like that to take out as many of the vampires around Devon as we can."
Faith grinned. "Let's come up with a plan then."
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