The One
by Hayley

Chapter Two

"Okay, Faith is going to come at me from behind and I'm going to defend myself using just a couple simple moves."

I'd love for her to make the moves on me but not those moves. Coming at her from behind has definite potential, too. "B, how 'bout you be the attacker this time?"

She's standing about ten feet in front of me and turns from the ten girls sitting on the floor that we're teaching today to me. "You look more like a bad guy than me."

My eyes bug out a little and all the girls giggle. I know without even looking at her that she's kidding but she's still gonna pay for that one. "You know, I was gonna go easy on ya today but you're gonna eat those words, Twinkie."

"Bring it, F."

Oh, she's going down. I wait for her to turn back to the girls and rush at her. Buffy knows I'm coming, she'd be stupid not to realize that, but I'm prepared for whatever she tries to throw at me. Once I reach her she turns to kick me but I move out of her reach and she groans in disgust as she misses.

That's when our normal back and forth begins. I know this was supposed to be a simple demonstration and I was supposed to lose but she ticked me off with her little comment. That was probably the point since she knows I fight better when I get a little worked up but she had to have known I wouldn't follow the exercise after that. No, I'm not going down without a fight now and she knows it. The girls start to cheer us on as we use the remainder of the training room to spar.

"Faith, this is not the point of the exercise," she grunts out as she blocks my punch.

"Shouldn't have worked me up, B," I mutter as I move out of her reach when she tries a kick to my stomach.

She shakes her head and jumps up right when I try to sweep her legs out from under her. I have to figure out how she knows when I'm gonna do that because she jumps every time and it's getting annoying. I don't think I have a tell 'cause I'm sure Buffy would've told me if I do. There's no way she'd want me to have a weakness that could be used against me while we're fightin' the good fight.

Of course, while I'm trying to figure that out, B's gotten in a couple shots and I misjudge how fast she moves so suddenly I'm on my back and she's straddling me. I really wish the girls weren't here right now 'cause I'm all sorts of turned on.

"Do you give?"

I look up at her and she's grinning. I could probably get out of the hold but in the interest of teaching and of me not jumping Buffy in front of all these impressionable young slayers, I sigh and give. She puts on this big victory grin and gets off of me as the girls applaud. I let out a frustrated groan as I get up. I hate to lose but more importantly, I hate getting this worked up knowing I'm not gonna have any release.

"Okay, who can tell me what I did to subdue Faith?" she asks, suddenly looking and sounding every bit the instructor.

I cross my arms over my chest as I stand a couple feet behind her. "She got lucky."

The girls laugh quietly as one of them, I think her name is Hannah or Anna or something, raises her hand and speaks up. "You made your move once Faith got distracted and gave you an opening."

"That's right," Buffy says as she turns to head to me and smiles. "You always want to finish your fight as quickly as possible but don't want to rush either. Rushing what could be a stronger opponent will get you killed and the longer you fight the more mistakes you could make. Always stay alert and attack at the very first sign of weakness."

Everyone nods and we have them pair off so they can practice some basic moves on each other while we stand off to the side and observe. This is the boring part of the day for me. I hate observing which is why I could never be a watcher. I can't imagine watching as someone else stakes all the vamps or kills all the demons. It's too much fun to do that myself.

"Think we could let the watchers take over?" I ask, keeping my eyes on the girls practicing.

Buffy glances at me, a small smile on her face. "You don't like doing any actual work, do you?"

"Whatever," I scoff at her. "We never got training like this. I think they'll do fine."

She chuckles and nudges me with her shoulder. "They're a little rough around the edges, I'll give you that. I mean, they're not the Chosen Two or anything."

"True," I agree as I nudge her back. "No way they're gonna be as hot or cool or as badass as we are."

"Very true."

We watch for a few minutes, yelling out instructions every once and awhile. A couple of times we have to correct some of their moves, too. Apparently coordination is not necessarily a given trait since a couple of the girls are a little clumsy but I'm betting that only due to the fact they've only had a couple lessons. This is where B shows how great of a teacher she really is. Sometimes I'm in awe of it but I try not to let anyone notice.

After awhile, I start thinking about what the two of us should do tonight. We could go to a club but she's only going to be looking for a rebound guy or the next boyfriend and I'm sick of watching that. I want her to start to realize we should be dating, that I'm the one for her, so I wanna go somewhere that will only be the two of us. Kind of a date without her knowing, you know?

"What are you doing tonight, B?" I ask.

Buffy looks at me, a slight frown on her face. "Drowning my sorrows, I guess."

I shake my head quickly. There's no way she's doing that tonight. I can't stand it when she's sad because it reminds me of how I used to hurt her. I always feel the need to make up for that. "No way. No drowning of sorrows or moping or brooding tonight. You're hanging with me."

"You think so, do you?"

"Like you can really say no to me," I respond, dimples on full display. I know that'll get her 'cause no one can say no when I use that grin. Seriously, it's been tested.

"I can," she says as she narrows her eyes at me and I'm pretty sure she's trying to find my angle. Of course, she doesn't. "But I won't."

"That's my girl." I put my arm over her shoulders, my mind going through what we should do. "Let's get out of here and live it up."

"This is your idea of living it up?"

Is she really going to insult me when I'm trying to get her mind off everything? "Hey, I wasn't about to take you to a club."

"Why not?" B asks very seriously.

I really thought the answer was obvious, like a slap in the face kind of obvious. "I don't wanna see you drink too much and end up attempting to find the perfect man, who will really turn out to be a perfect asshole. Not a good time, B."

"I guess you're right," she says reluctantly as she sits in a booth and I sit across from her.

We ended up going to this little restaurant a couple blocks from our apartment, a simple local burger joint, and I thinking about a movie later if everything goes right. That is, as long as Buffy doesn't realize how much I want this to be a date and calls me on it. I have no idea what to do if that happens but if she hasn't realized it after a couple years, I think I'm safe for now.

"Of course I'm right. You should know better than to doubt me, B," I respond with a little grin.

We laugh a little at that and end up always ordering when we come here: cheeseburgers with extra fries and the possibility of more fries in the future. We come here enough that no one looks at us funny when we order more than what girls our size normally would and it's only with me that Buffy would order that much food. I love the fact that she's always completely herself with me. She doesn't seem that way whenever she's with a boyfriend. It's like she saves that just for me.

"So, Faith?"

I don't like the tone she's using, all upbeat. It feels like she's setting me up for something. "Yeah?"

"I think it's time you started dating," she states like it's the end all that I have a date.

"No, it's not and I'm not getting into that with you. I don't date."

Buffy shakes her head with a smile on her face. "You are going to have to live a little sometime. All you do is slayer stuff and hang out with me. I know you're reformed and all but I figured you'd at least be getting horizontal with some guy every once and awhile."

I can't stop the smirk from forming on my face nor can I stop the words from coming out of my mouth. "You've thought about me getting horizontal?"

"That's not what I meant," she says as she tries to stop a blush from forming on her face. She fails miserably, too.

No, as much fun as it would be to torment her a little more about her comment, I'm not getting any further into this with her. I bite my tongue for a moment so I don't blurt out that I'm waiting for her. "B, dating's not my thing."

"So it's still 'get some, get gone' then?" she asks.

"No, I'm just trying to be on the straight and narrow right now," I say, trying to use as much truth as I can so I can convince myself I'm not lying to Buffy. I don't want to lie to her. When we started over, I promised I wouldn't and that's a promise I intend to keep.

"So . . . nothing?"

"Nothing. No dating," I say quickly.

She pauses and looks down before looking back at me with an evil grin. "Your lips say no but your eyes say you want me to set you up again," she laughs.

"No," I groan out. "You keep talking like that and I don't know that I'll allow you to hang out with me."

"You're all talk."

She'd be right about that. I don't think I could go a day without seeing B anymore. After the last few years, she's my best friend and I like to think that I'm hers now, too. We only ever hang out with each other unless someone's visiting and we're close enough that we talk about almost everything. I've never had that before.

"Let's change the subject," I say quickly, hoping the last one dies a horrible death. "Wanna see a movie after this? Your pick?"

She laughs. "I should get dumped for often. You'll let me do whatever, won't you?"

I open my mouth to respond but our food arrives and suddenly I'm preoccupied with food. We've been training all afternoon and that works up a monster of an appetite. That's part of the reason we always at least get extra fries and something chocolate or maybe ice cream for dessert. Every once and awhile, I'll even get an extra cheeseburger depending on how hard we trained during the day or if it's later and we've been slaying.

We eat in silence and I glance up at her every once and awhile, mostly because I can never understand how she can still look amazingly hot while stuffing her face. The weird part is I catch her eying me a couple times but I doubt it's anything. Nothing I'd want anyway. She's probably just thinking of what she can torture me with next and it's never the good kind of torture either. It's the romantic comedy or shopping at the mall type of torture.


I look up to see her raising an eyebrow at me. Guess I zoned out a little. "Yeah?"

"I think I kinda want to stay in tonight. I bet I can find another movie you haven't seen," she says, smirking.

"I try not to pay attention anyway," I say with a smile.

Buffy laughs quietly. "I'll make you pay attention."

"We'll see." I'm always up for a challenge. "I'll get the check. You get the car."

I wake up with a headache even though it feels like I've been asleep for days. Buffy and I started the night watching some awful movie she put on but it turned into a drinking night. We ended up mixing together whatever we had in the kitchen because I was positive that would make my movie experience better. I can't quite remember if I was right but I do remember that Buffy was the one who suggested it. I also remember lots of giggling but that's about it.

Buffy's more of a lightweight than me so it wasn't more than a couple strongly mixed drinks for her to go from stone sober to giggling at the wall to passing out next to me. I stayed up for a little longer, letting her head rest on my shoulder until I knew for sure that there wasn't a chance she'd wake up later. After that, I carried her to her room and got her into her bed before going to mine. I pretty much passed out after that.

My head's pounding as I start to move but I know that should go away in about an hour or so. I'm lucky enough not to get day-ruining hangovers but I know that's not a slayer thing because B's normally not that lucky. She didn't drink as much as I did last night but she passed out pretty quick so I figure she could be a real pain to be around today, something I should probably prepare for.

I look over at the clock and groan since it's only eight in the morning. That means we don't have a reasonable excuse to show up late at the training facility today. I hate having to spend most of the day there. It makes me feel like I have a job and that's the last thing I want. The reason I'm training slayers is that it doesn't feel like a job.

Of course, it's not like I can get back to sleep now so I get up only to stop moving immediately as my head pounds. It feels like someone's keeping a beat on my head but I tell myself it won't last. I start to walk and it feels better so I leave my room, finding Buffy in the kitchen. Now I think I could drop dead of shock, however, because she's . . . cooking.

"B, what are you doing?"

She looks up from the stove and she has the cutest look of concentration on her face. "I'm making an omelet."

I look over at the countertop next to the stove and she has everything she needs neat and organized. I think I owe Dawn fifty bucks. "Want any help?"

"No," she says as she shakes her head and looks down again. "Just sit. It's almost done."

Hold up. She's cooking for me? I open my mouth to say something but I don't want to ruin a good thing by making a joke or saying something stupid and anything I say right now will sound stupid. That's the type of luck I have. I only do as I'm told and sit, preparing myself to eat something that may not be edible. I have to eat it whether or not it is. I wouldn't want her to feel bad.

Less than a minute later she sets a plate down in front of me and damn if it doesn't look excellent. B must have noticed what I like, too, 'cause this thing is stuffed with pretty much every breakfasty ingredient we have. She watches as I take a bite and I smile as it's actually good. Ha! She can't get out of cooking now. I won't let her.

She makes her own and we eat in silence for awhile. I'm trying to think of what to say but I'm suddenly self-conscious. No one's ever cooked for me before and that includes my parents. It's a whole new situation and I'm not good with those. I usually say the wrong thing or do something weird and it ends with me gettin' yelled at.

"This is good, B. What's the occasion?" I ask.

"Kind of a thank you for being you," Buffy says, smiling at me.

I raise an eyebrow. "Huh?"

"It's like you always look out for me, like you really care, especially when it seems like no one else does. I like it."

I don't even know how to respond to that. Every day I try not to get my hopes up that I'll ever have Buffy the way I want to have her and then she says something like that. The only thing I wanna do right now is put my arms around her but I have the good sense and willpower not to.

"I figure you'd do the same," I respond quietly, knowing that's the safest answer.

She nods as she finishes her breakfast. "Yeah. We gotta stick together, right?" She stands and gives me a world class grin. "Come on, we should go and shock the watchers."

"Then what happened?"

How come fourteen and fifteen year old slayers can make a simple question and answer session with B and I sound like story time? The whole thing is just weird, maybe even a little trippy. They're around us in a semi-circle like we're in grade school. I feel like I should be reading from a big pop-up book or some shit like that.

This is always one part of mentoring I can do without. I kinda enjoy showing off my mad weapons skills or showing the girls how to kick the fighting dummies heads off in one of the training rooms but talking to the girls like this isn't me. I thought teenage girls were annoying when I was one and that feeling hasn't exactly gone away. At least Buffy seems to speak their language so she can deal with any girl drama that comes up during the day and whether it's while discussing things here or any other part of the lessons we're involved in, there's always some drama.

"Faith, you wanna take it from here?"

"Not really."

All the girls laugh which makes me grin. What can I say? Telling the stories I have don't come with many laughs so I get 'em when I can. Buffy's not laughing though, only narrows her eyes at me so I should pick up where she left off. I guess we're getting straight to the point today and I'm okay with that. It feels like we've been here forever.

"So I'm with my new watcher, kinda stuffy and uptight but a watcher. I didn't like the deal but who likes being bossed around, right?" I pause as the girls murmur their agreement. "I was only around her for a couple of days but that was all she needed. Once she knew enough the first thing she did was play me against B, made sure I didn't trust her. She was only after the glove and its powers and she used her watcher cred to turn B and me against each other. We ended up giving each other the once over 'cause of it."

Buffy nods. "That was the one of those times we were fighting against each other instead of finding the real problem and working together. We were both too stubborn."

A girl in the back raises her hand. "Who won?"

Buffy meets my eyes before looking to her. "What do you mean? The good guys won and the glove was destroyed."

"No. I mean, who won? You or Faith?"

I simply smirk and wait for Buffy to take this one. We get these questions all the time and it's safer for everyone that she answers. She keeps it short and simple whereas I would spew out sarcastic comments until she answered anyway.

"We both got in some shots," she answers and raises an eyebrow at me, probably making sure I'm not going to add anything before continuing. "Who knows the hidden lesson here?"

We receive nothing but confused stares. This is what we always get though and we've told this one several times. I'm sure a couple of them know the answer we're looking for but they're afraid to say it. That's what it's like with the new ones. They haven't figured out we want them to say what's on their minds, that we're nothing like the rigid watchers they deal with day in and day out.

"No one?" Buffy asks, glancing toward me.

I wait another couple of seconds before grinning. "Make sure you check out your watcher's credentials first 'cause they could be full of shit."

The girls laugh and if it wasn't for slayer hearing I wouldn't be able to hear the disgruntled tsking coming from Elise by the door. We always tell this one to mess with her and the rest of the watchers here. The look on their faces is more than worth it every time.

"Okay, girls. Time for your next lesson," she says, getting the girls' attention.

They groan but get up and file out, thanking us as they go. Elise steps aside so they can leave the room and I know she wants a word with us. She hates it when we share stories about the not so sunny side of the Council. She practically foamed at the mouth when I talked to a group of girls about when the wonderful Council chose to try and kill me instead of rehabilitating me. I get why she hates it but she's the one who wanted Buffy and I to talk about our slayer pasts and there's no way I'm editing myself. I'm not gonna pretend the old Council didn't suck.

"Buffy, Faith," she sighs out. "I do not see the need for you to tell that story to every new group of girls."

Buffy puts on her best grin as I snicker. "Of course there's a need. It shows the need for slayer solidarity. Right, Faith?"

I try not to laugh and only half succeed. "Yep."

She gives us a little glare but knows to keep it at that. I don't know what Giles has told the watchers about us but they always try their hardest to stay on our good sides. I think they're afraid of the day Buffy decides to give all this up for good and that I'll go with her. They'd be right on the last part, too. I'd never be able to do this without B. We're pretty much a package deal.

"Are the two of you done for the day?"

I look at my watch and see it's almost four. We've been here for almost seven hours. That's gotta be a record for us. "Yeah, I think so."

Elise nods. "Hopefully we will see you early tomorrow as well."

"I wouldn't count on it," Buffy mutters as we watch her walk out of the room then turns to me with a smile. "Let's go out tonight."

Not a chance. There's no way I'm spending the night watching her flirt with guys in her quest to find the next boyfriend. I don't know why she tries at clubs anyway. The last three she met while out shopping or getting coffee. Either way, it's too painful and I can't do that anymore. I have to find a way to make her mine instead.

"I don't think so, B." I keep my eye contact even though there's a real chance she's gonna start pouting. "I'm not in the mood for loud music, overpriced drinks and having loser guys hit on us all night."

And there's that bottom lip, threatening to stick out. "Come on, Faith. Remember when you wanted me to find the fun? Maybe you should go back to that way of thinking."

I raise an eyebrow. I can't believe she just said that. "You want me to think the way I did when I was a teenager?"

"Okay, maybe that's not of the good," she says, a little smirk on her face. "Still, we should go out and have some fun tonight."

There are so many things I can think of that would be fun but all of them involve us in various acts of nakedness. I'm not sure I can take watching her with boyfriend after boyfriend anymore. I need to make Buffy mine or I'll go insane again and no one wants that, least of all me.

"Faith," Buffy says, nudging my shoulder. ""Let's go out."

I look her over and I want her so much. I just know I can get her to fall for me. After four years, I think I can finally take the chance. "Yeah, I'll go."

She grins. "I always win."

Why does she always need to say that? I'm aware of how whipped I am already.

Okay, this was not a good idea. I'm already bored, it's not even midnight and B's already ditched me.

After we left the facility, we picked up some food and went home to eat, relax and get ready for the night. Buffy ended up changing into this barely-there red dress and I knew everyone at the club would be drooling over her because I sure was. I went for the skin tight pants and flashy sleeveless top combo and as soon as Buffy approved of my look we were off.

When we first arrived at the club everything was okay. I grabbed a couple of beers and we lounged and drank for awhile before Buffy pulled me onto the dance floor where our skills put everyone else to shame. I thought for sure the night would finally go my way since it was bound to happen at some point but when we left the floor for our second drink everything went to hell.

As soon as we got up to the bar some guy offered to buy us drinks. Apparently, this was Buffy's cue to flirt like there's no tomorrow and she's been doing that ever since. That leaves me drinking at the bar alone in a not so great mood wondering why I even let her go off with him. I know I could have convinced her to stay with me. She probably would've been irritated for a couple minutes but she would've got over it and after that it would've been just her and me. Stupid move, Faith.


I turn my head to a guy now standing next to me. I'm so not in the mood for this right now. He looks like the definition of the word sleaze. "Hi," I offer back in my best noncommittal tone.

He smiles like he thinks he's gonna get lucky or something. "Your friend said I should keep you company."

I look past him to where Buffy's sitting at a table with that guy. She notices and smiles, nodding her head toward the guy in front of me. I guess he has her approval. "She did, huh?"

When I look back at him, he's grinning. It's like since B told him to come over here I'm a guaranteed score. Well, too bad for him since that's so not gonna happen. Even if Buffy wasn't all I wanted and thought about this guy wouldn't stand a chance. At best, I'd use him for a free drink and I have a full one already so he's pretty much useless to me.

"So, can I get you another?" he asks.

I need to remind myself not to completely crush him since I know I'll hear about it later. I only raise an eyebrow and nod my head toward my drink. "This one's kinda full so I'm gonna pass."

His grin isn't going away and I have to fight not to sigh. He's going to be a hard one to brush off. "I'll just have to hang out here until you need another."

Now I can't stop the sigh from escaping. "I think I'm gonna be fine here for awhile so I don't really need you to stick around."

His smile wavers a little but he continues to stand next to me. "I can keep you company then, wouldn't want to leave you here alone."

Oh, my God. He cannot take a hint. I fully turn to him, wanting to be sure he gets it and my intent to be nice is long gone. "Look, I'm gonna make this real simple. I don't drive stick so really not interested, okay?"

"Oh," he says, his face falling a little but I don't think it's because I turned him down, only that he'll need to try a little harder if he wants to get laid tonight. He walks away without another word to me and I couldn't be happier about it.

I turn back to my beer, catching the bartender laughing out of the corner of my eye. I'm happy I've made someone laugh tonight 'cause I sure as hell don't find anything about this situation funny. I'm sitting at a bar drinking alone when the only person I've ever wanted is trying to snag a boyfriend. It's my own personal hell and in no way funny.

I spend the next few minutes staring at the bar and tearing up one of the coasters, thinking at this point I bet I could leave and Buffy wouldn't even notice. She's too much involved in getting to know the new jackass but I know I can't leave without her and I'm definitely not leaving her with him.

"Hey." I turn to Buffy who's now standing next to me and looking all kinds of angry. "What the hell was that?"


"Dan and James are nice guys but you pissed off James with your 'don't drive stick' comment and now they're gone," she says, almost growling at the point. Is it wrong that I'm really turned on by that? "I didn't even get his number."

"He didn't want to give you his number," I say, gritting my teeth. I don't want to yell at her but I won't let her think I did anything wrong. I'm not gonna act like I give a shit just so she can get some guy's number. "He and his friend just wanted to fuck us."

B opens her mouth but stops short of saying anything and simply downs my beer instead. I wonder how many she's had, mostly because she doesn't argue well when she's drunk. She makes these cute expressions that make me laugh and then the argument never ends my way even though she never makes any sense.

"Let's get out of here," she says, already starting to walk away.

Now that I can agree with. I follow her as she walks toward the door, glancing to the bartender as I do. He has this grin plastered on his face and winks at me, probably thinking I'm getting exactly what I want out of the night. All that does is irritate me though because I know I'm definitely not gettin' any sort of action night. Nope, I'll be sleeping alone.

We catch a cab home and she doesn't speak to me the entire time. It's real hard to believe she's that angry about not getting that guy's number but I think it's more what I said to her. Even though Buffy hasn't exactly been long term commitment girl, she hates one night stands. It reminds her of some guy from college and she hates being reminded of that. I hope she thinks I saved her from one but I'm not sure I'm that lucky tonight.

I pay the driver as we reach our building and by the time I get out of the car, she's already almost to the front door. I have to practically run to catch up with her, taking her arm to stop her once we get inside.

"Are you gonna talk to me?" I ask, looking at her intently.

She turns her head to me and her look isn't exactly friendly but I can tell she's not angry with me. If she was she wouldn't have let me keep hold of her arm. "No."

I know she's lying so I give her my sweetest dimpled grin. "Yeah, you are. I'm way too cool for you not to talk to."

"You think so?" she asks as we get in the elevator, taking it to our sixth floor apartment.

"Oh, yeah." I nudge her with my shoulder and I can see she's fighting not to smile. "You love talking to me. I bet it's something you look forward to on a daily basis."

Buffy doesn't respond to my comment or say anything else until we get to our apartment and I close the door behind us, locking it, too. She walks to the middle of the living room before turning back to me and I can't begin to read the look on her face. "Faith?"

"Yeah?" I ask as I toss my keys on the table next to the door.

"Do you really like girls?"

That's why she's not talking to me? Because of what I said to that guy at the club? I didn't even think that would register with her. I figured she was too hung up on being given the brush off. "Uh, yeah. I can swing either way."

"Oh," she says and looks away from me. "You never told me that."

"You never asked," I say quietly, taking a step toward her.

I've never seen Buffy act like this. She seems a little nervous or something and she hasn't acted nervous around me in years. There's something else, too, but I can't place my finger on it. It's like she doesn't know what to say or how to feel and that's normally never a problem for her. Ever since we got past our little awkward stage when we became friends, she's been able to tell me anything.

"You okay, B? Not wigging out on me, are you?"

She finally looks at me and must realize how she's acting 'cause she's trying her best to show me that everything's fine. I can see past that though and she should know that. I know her better than I know myself most days.

"I'm fine, Faith," she says, giving me a small smile. "I think I need some sleep."

"Okay. Good night, B."


I watch as she walks to her room and closes the door behind her before going to mine. I sit down on my bed and put my head in my hands. This whole night turned out to be a disaster and I can't help but blame myself.

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