Buffy didn't feel like getting up the next morning and by the time she looked at her clock, she'd missed her first class. She only felt guilty for about a second before putting her head under the covers, set on not leaving her room.
The only thing she felt guilty about was the events of the previous night. She kept cursing herself for losing her control like that. Buffy didn't want Faith and hers relationship to go back to the simple slaying and sex one they'd enjoyed just a few short months before. Though she knew she'd enjoy it while in the moment, the situation wouldn't make her feel much of anything after.
That's exactly what she had wanted when they started having sex. She didn't want to feel anything after they were done and was happy Faith could make her feel nothing but good for the couple hours they were together each night. At the time, she thought that was the perfect situation for her but now she didn't know what she wanted. She certainly didn't want to feel the slight depression she felt now.
Buffy pulled the covers down off her head and stared at the ceiling. She kept remembering how safe she felt with Faith the only time she ever spent the night. It had been just what she needed to get through the battle the next day and Buffy had planned to talk to Faith after they defeated the Mayor about what was next for them. The problem was Faith was gone the next day.
She could still remember the panic she felt at where Faith had gone, if something bad had happened to her, and then the sadness when she figured out the other slayer had up and left. Buffy stayed in her room for days after that, wondering if she was just another fuck to Faith. When the weeks passed and Faith was nowhere to be found, it confirmed to her that she was and it had taken all her strength to move on.
Now Faith was back and so were Buffy's feelings. She wanted desperately to talk to Faith about everything but the other woman didn't seem to be willing. Buffy didn't know why either. She knew it probably wouldn't be a pleasant conversation but she hoped once they had it, everything between them would be better and maybe even back to where they had been before they started having sex.
Buffy looked at the clock again and saw she now missed her class with Willow as well. She knew any minute her best friend would be at her door wanting to know what was going on and Buffy really didn't know what to tell her.
Looking down, she realized she was still naked from the night before. She quickly got up and put on some sweats and not a moment too soon either. Someone knocked on her door just as she finished dressing.
"Buffy, are you there?" Willow's concern and curiosity could be heard through the door.
The slayer sighed and walked over to the door, opening it with a blank expression on her face. She found Willow on the other side, brow furrowed and arms crossed.
"What's going on?"
"What?" Buffy tried to think of something else to say but couldn't find any other words.
"You weren't in class." Willow walked into the room as Buffy stepped aside and turned to face her once she closed the door. "Are you sick? 'Cause I told the professor you were sick."
"No, I'm not sick, Will," Buffy said with a sigh. She walked pasted Willow and sat on her bed. "I just got up."
"If you're not sick, why weren't you in class?" Willow's voice almost became panicked. "Notes were taken, assignments were given and my notes will only help you so much."
"I know, I know." Buffy looked up at her with sad eyes. "I just had a rough night."
Willow sat on the opposite bed and raised an eyebrow. "You only went patrolling last night." She thought for a moment. "With Faith."
Buffy nodded and hung her head, waiting for her friend to put all the pieces together. Willow tapped her foot a couple times but both were otherwise silent until she gasped, seemingly now understanding the situation.
"Buffy, you didn't!"
Buffy lifted her head slightly and looked at Willow through her eyelashes. "Yeah."
Willow simply stared at her. "How? I mean, I don't need to know how, I kinda get that, but . . . I thought you were trying the friends thing." She sighed. "Did you two talk or something?"
"We don't talk." Buffy finally sat up and fully faced Willow, starting to become more comfortable than she had been just a minute ago. "Whenever I try, she kisses me and I lose all thought . . . which kinda leads me to last night."
"You ended up here?"
"Yeah." Buffy nodded. "I told her I didn't have a roommate anymore, she asked about seeing my room, we came here after a short patrol and . . . stuff happened." She sighed. "And then she just left."
Willow looked at Buffy's demeanor and nodded knowingly. "Oh."
"What do I say to her today? She's coming here later for patrol."
"Why can't you just say what you've been saying to me all this time?"
"It's not that simple." Buffy sighed again. "Sometimes I don't think I know how to talk to her."
Willow got up and moved to sit next to her friend. "Didn't the two of you talk all the time before? I know you argued a lot but that's still talking."
"Sex changed everything. After that first night, if we weren't talking about how to defeat the Mayor, we were . . ." Buffy just let the rest of the sentence hang in the air, knowing she didn't need to finish it.
She didn't fully know why she couldn't talk to Faith anymore. She was never completely comfortable enough around her to discuss everything about her life but they still could have something that resembled a conversation. Buffy definitely missed the banter they had during patrols. It was something she looked forward to and wanted that back. She just didn't know how to do it.
"I think if you really want to, you can," Willow said optimistically.
Buffy nodded but still had a frown on her face. "I know that I can try. It's Faith I'm worried about."
Willow nodded as well. She stayed silent for a minute before turning her head to Buffy. "I think you have to try. You don't look very happy at the way things are now."
"Yeah." Buffy looked up and tried to smile. "I think I know what to do." She paused. "Lets change the subject. Tell me what I missed in class today."
The rest of the day flew by for Buffy. She got up and had lunch with Willow then grabbed her books for her last class of the day. To her surprise, she even paid attention and took notes. Not once did she daydream or think about Faith. It was almost refreshing since the other slayer had been on her mind constantly since she returned to Sunnydale.
After her class, she made a quick run to get some food before going back to her room in the hopes of getting some studying done before Faith met her for patrol. That didn't prove to work well, however.
Though she'd been successful all afternoon, as the daylight faded it became harder and harder for her to not think about Faith. She didn't want to over-plan what she'd say so nothing would sound rehearsed, but she didn't want to be caught off guard as well. Faith was so good at doing just that.
Buffy really liked the way Faith made her feel, especially before they got involved. She made her feel special and even like she mattered but now it seemed like the other woman only cared about after-slaying sex. Buffy didn't want that to be all they had.
Before she realized it, someone was knocking on her door. She quickly got up and straightened her clothes, subconsciously wanting to look her best. She ran a hand through her hair as she walked to the door, opening it to find Faith standing there.
"Hey, B." Faith walked through the door with a small grin on her face.
Buffy couldn't help but look her up and down as she walked by her. Her fellow slayer was wearing tight dark blue jeans and a black leather jacket. A shirt that looked like it clung to her curves could be seen through the opening of her jacket. "Hi."
As she closed the door, Faith took a step closer. "It was a little hard finding the place since I wasn't paying much attention last night." She ended the statement with a wink and a wide grin.
Buffy blushed lightly. "Yeah, I guess so."
Faith leaned in and gave her a light kiss. "What do you say we get going? The sooner we go through the motions, the sooner we can do . . . something else." She eyed Buffy up and down.
"Uh . . . why don't we patrol then find some food instead?"
Faith furrowed her brow. "Why would we do that?"
"Why wouldn't we?" Buffy challenged, but not quite sure what she should say and was also curious how Faith would respond.
Faith moved so she was only inches away and put her lips to her ear. "I don't need food when I can eat you instead."
Buffy blushed brightly but managed to take a step back, not wanting to give into her. "I don't think that should be the plan for tonight."
"Why the hell not?" Faith scowled, staring her down.
The older slayer looked away, not wanting to see Faith's reaction to what she would say. "I think we should be friends."
"What?" Faith exclaimed loudly. "What the hell, B?"
Buffy sighed and used all her strength to look back at Faith, who looked slightly angry. "I think we should be friends."
"We are friends." Faith gave her a sexy smile. "Really good friends."
"That's not what I want."
Anger flashed across Faith's face but she looked like she was keeping her cool. "Since when? Based on the events of last night, that's complete bullshit and it's really fucked up for you to say differently."
Buffy rubbed the side of her face. "Maybe I don't completely know what I want." She paused. "I don't want to keep having all these conflicting feelings, Faith. I don't want this. It feels awful."
The anger on Faith's face was quickly replaced by hurt. "I make you feel awful?"
Buffy sat down on her bed and tried to think of what to say. This wasn't how she wanted the conversation to go and definitely didn't want to hurt Faith. She couldn't take the fact it looked like that's exactly what she was doing right now. "It's not you . . . more this situation. I don't want to be your . . . fuck-buddy."
Faith stared at her wide eyed. She paced for a few seconds, not looking at the other slayer, maybe even refusing to do that. When she stopped, she looked down at Buffy, showing almost no emotion. "You're on your own tonight."
"Faith," Buffy started but she cut her off.
"Fuck you, Buffy," she said, walking to the door. "I did not come back for this shit."
"Why the hell did you come back?"
Faith didn't answer, just walked out the door, slamming it shut behind her. Buffy looked at the door for a moment before throwing herself back on her bed, covering her face with her hands.
This wasn't how she wanted the conversation to go. She wanted the two of them to come to an understanding so they could be friends. That's what Buffy wanted more than anything right now. If they couldn't have a discussion about why they kept falling into bed together, Buffy at least wanted her friend Faith back, the one who always had her back.
Now she didn't have Faith at all.
A week had gone by and Buffy hadn't seen Faith once.
She hadn't seen her around Sunnydale and certainly hadn't seen her while on patrol. It would have worried her if she hadn't known better. Buffy just had a feeling Faith was still in town and deep down, she knew her feeling was right.
Ever since the heated talk they had, Buffy had patrolled alone. She hated every second of it and was grateful the nights hadn't been active. Her head wasn't in it and she knew there was a chance she'd slip up and end up being some vamp's dinner.
Buffy hated the way she had talked to Faith. She knew it was the exact wrong way of how to explain things but Faith always got her so confused she forgot the words she wanted to say. The younger slayer reacted the way Buffy realized she probably would have in that situation but she wished she hadn't. Now she only wanted to make it right.
Over the entire week, Buffy tried to take her mind off the conversation. She tried to pay attention in her classes as much as possible and hoped all her efforts meant she was actually learning something but figured it went in one ear and out the other. She copied down the notes and read everything she was told to but her mind was still on Faith.
Now she was patrolling alone again and wishing she wasn't. Buffy hated to patrol alone, especially when she knew she didn't need to, but Willow was busy and to her disappointment, there wasn't anyone else. She didn't have the courage to go to Faith's motel room and ask her.
Buffy didn't know what to say when she saw Faith again. She knew she needed to figure out how to say what she needed to without insulting her. At least, she thought she insulted her by describing their relationship as being fuck-buddies. She knew Faith didn't look too happy about the description. The younger slayer's face showed that much.
Buffy was walking, distracted and in her own world, through the cemetery when she footsteps running toward her. She tried to prepare herself as much as she could, grabbing a stake from inside her jacket, but two vampires rushed her from the side and knocked her to the ground.
"This is the slayer?" the shorter of the two asked the other. "What were all the others complaining about? She's not so tough."
Buffy groaned and jumped to her feet. She felt a sharp pain in her abdomen and hoped it was nothing more than a cracked rib. Not letting the pain she felt show, she sneered at the pair in disgust. "'Not so tough'? I'd say that I'd put that on your tombstone but I think you probably already had one. Can I just say you're dust instead?"
"You're dead." The tall one jumped at her with a growl.
Buffy's fist met him before he could get at her, making contact against his jaw. He didn't seem to be fazed, however, and he swung back. She ducked his punch but the second one jumped in as well and Buffy now had to fend off both of them.
Both vampires began to attack at once and Buffy did her best to both fend them off and try to catch them off guard. The stake she had once held in her hand was now somewhere on the ground but she had another in her jacket. She reached for it while blocking a swing from each of them and manage to reach it but once it was in her hand and her full attention back on the fight, the taller vamp kicked her feet out from under her and she was on the ground again.
"I think we'll finish this now, slayer." The taller one sneered down at her while the other stepped on her hand, making her drop the stake.
"I don't think you'll do that." Faith's voice was strong and a little irritated.
Buffy almost grinned but was in a little pain and wanted the vamp to get off her hand. Suddenly though, the taller vamp was tossed out of the fight and she could see Faith stride toward him. With him gone, Buffy managed to turn enough to kick at the short vampire's other leg, making him take a couple steps back.
With her hand free, she grabbed her stake and jumped to her feet again. The vampire looked around for his ally but he had his hands full with Faith, who was beating him to a pulp. He looked back to Buffy with fear in his eyes.
"Aw, not so happy now, are you?" Buffy quipped before taking a couple quick steps forward and kicking him in the stomach.
The vampire stumbled back a step and held onto his stomach. Buffy saw this as her opportunity and after a hit to his face, she thrust a stake into his chest, turning him to dust. As soon as he was gone, the pain was back and Buffy leaned against a nearby tree, holding her side.
Faith finally stopped beating on the vampire she was fighting and staked him, effectively putting him out of his misery. She brushed herself off and was grinning happily until she saw Buffy.
"B, you okay?" She rushed over to the older slayer, concern now showing on her face.
Buffy groaned and lifted her head up to look at her. She was taken back for a moment by the look of worry on Faith's face. Due to the result of their last conversation, she didn't think she'd ever see that look again.
"Uh, yeah," she breathed out. "Think I cracked a rib."
Faith chuckled. "Don't think that really qualifies as okay, but whatever you say."
The younger woman reached her and put her hand gently on her side, pressing lightly against her ribs. Buffy hissed out in response, Faith hitting a sore spot, and placed her hand over hers.
"I think you hit it." She smiled sadly at her, trying not to pay attention on the fact Faith's hand was still on her, rubbing her side gently.
"You're right." Faith smiled back. "You should probably go back to the dorms. Don't want ya to get into trouble again."
"Yeah." Buffy paused. "Thanks for helping me out."
"No big." Faith looked into her eyes, not stepping away. "Anytime, B."
Buffy couldn't look away from Faith's eyes though she wanted to. She could see how much she was worked up from the slay and knew exactly what Faith wanted. The problem was, she felt the same way but didn't want to act on it. She couldn't let herself go back into that pattern again.
Faith probably wasn't thinking that, however, as she leaned in and lightly pressed her lips against Buffy's. The older woman closed her eyes at the action and began to respond. She put her arms uneasily around Faith and felt her press against her. They broke apart and Faith placed a couple kisses by her ear.
"I want you, B." Her mumble was barely audible but Buffy could hear it loud and clear. "I want you so bad."
Buffy sighed out but couldn't answer Faith right away, not thinking the other slayer expected her to anyway. Before she knew what she was doing, she turned her head and kissed the side of Faith's as she made her way down Buffy's neck. Her action made Faith laughed quietly and move up to kiss her lips again.
"Lets go back to my place," she offered quietly in between kisses. "I can take a look at your side then I'll check out the rest of you."
Buffy put her hands on Faith's shoulders and pushed her away just enough so she could look at her. "I can't, Faith."
Faith furrowed her brow but it looked like it was more out of irritation than anger. "Why?"
"You know why." Buffy looked at her sadly, hoping Faith would see they needed to talk more before they did anything.
She wanted Faith to realize they had hit a crossroads in their relationship when she left and they needed to talk about it, especially if they were going to continue having sex. That was something, however, Buffy didn't think Faith understood and she didn't know how to tell her.
"I don't fucking get you, B." Faith's voice began to raise, her irritation more evident. "You don't wanna fuck but you give me all the signals to go for it. I'm sick of this shit."
"Faith, I . . ."
"Just don't." Faith took a few steps back, scowling. "I'm outta here."
Buffy shook her head, frustrated with herself for not being more assertive in what she wanted to say. Now she was sure she had just made things worse.
"Will, wanna patrol with me tonight?"
Willow looked up from her desk and at her. "I can't. I have a study group."
Buffy sighed. "Okay . . . guess I'm going it alone again."
"It doesn't have to be that way, you know." Willow let a hint of a smile show.
"Yeah, it does."
Willow closed her book and turned her attention to Buffy. "How many times have you seen Faith in the last five weeks?"
"Four," Buffy answered, not even having to think about the question. Every time she saw her she felt both joy and sorrow, making the encounter burn into her brain, especially that first encounter.
Though she tried to think about it, Buffy couldn't stop thinking about the last time Faith kissed her. She hadn't told Willow about that, not really wanting her input, and had tried to figure the night out herself. Mostly, she tried to figure out why she couldn't tell Faith what she wanted or, more importantly, what she didn't want. She didn't want to only be someone to have casual sex with.
"Have you talked?"
"No." Buffy looked down, not wanting to look at her best friend while she lied.
Many events happened to Buffy since her falling out with Faith. Willow had moved into her dorm room the day after her last major encounter with the younger slayer. Though Buffy was apprehensive about the move at first, now she was happy with the change. It helped her to not be so lonely all the time.
She even tried dating, hoping it would take her mind off Faith. The dates she went on, however, ended up with her being very bored and having to get out of them as quickly as possible. The guys who asked her out were so dull and she couldn't help comparing them with Faith. That ended up being what she did with everything.
Faith was always so alive and Buffy couldn't help but feel a little better, happier when she was with her. While the guys she dated didn't do anything for her, she always had tingles whenever Faith was around. It left her so confused and she wanted to figure it out before she saw Faith next. Because of how the last couple conversations went, she knew she would only make her situation worse if she didn't know the right thing to say and say it at the right time.
"Well, maybe next time you should try." Willow gave her a small smile.
"I don't know." Buffy shrugged. "We always see each other, mumble a 'hi' and walk away. It's easier that way."
"How is that easier?"
"It just is," Buffy responded and sighed when she saw Willow raise an eyebrow at her. "Whenever we attempt to talk, things happen, we fight and I end up with an even bigger mess on my hands than before. It's like seeing each other pulls us further apart."
"Deep." Willow smirked as Buffy scowled at her. "You know, one of you will need the other's help sooner or later and you'll need to speak to each other, but whatever you say."
Buffy smiled. "That's right . . . whatever I say."
Patrol had been active so far and it was just the workout Buffy needed. Unlike most activities, fighting cleared her head and gave her a huge self esteem boost. That was something she always craved.
The rush received from every staked vampire was addicting. It was one of the main reasons Buffy had taken to slaying aside from being the Chosen One. Buffy especially liked slaying when she was having a bad day or not feeling the greatest. The rush was everything and helped her through all the tough times that went with being a slayer.
Of course, being one of the Chosen Two wasn't so bad either. She had adjusted to being part of a slaying team after only a couple uneasy weeks and it turned out being almost fun. By the time two months passed by, Buffy viewed Faith as part of her day, the part she looked forward to more than anything else. Now the rush was still there but the team was gone.
Buffy had just staked a vampire and that rush coursed through her veins. She took a deep breath and started to jog to the next cemetery, wanting to keep her adrenaline going. She started slow but her pace steadily increased, all the while making sure to keep an eye on her surroundings. She looked down for only a moment as she turned into the next cemetery, however, and before she knew it, she was on the ground with the wind knocked out of her.
"Shit, sometimes you vamps make it too - shit, sorry, B." Faith knelt down quickly to pull the other woman up. "I felt a presence, didn't stop to figure out if it was a vamp or well, you."
Buffy coughed as she steadied herself, fully aware Faith's hand was on her shoulder, helping her. "I'm happy you didn't have a stake."
"Oh, I do." Faith grinned as she pulled a stake out from inside her jacket and twirled it in her hand. "I like to get 'em on the ground first then ugh." She finished with a staking motion and a grunt.
Buffy laughed then coughed again. "Next time, please look first. I might have some permanent damage here."
"You'll be fine." Faith looked her up and down. "You look pretty fine, too."
"Stop it." Buffy smiled but instantly enjoyed the flirting compliment from the other slayer. "Wanna patrol together?"
"Nah." Faith shook her head. "I was heading out . . . maybe find some action or something."
Buffy could tell she was lying but didn't call her on it. She also hoped she wasn't showing how much the comment hurt. "Oh." She paused. "You know, we're gonna have to talk or patrol together sometime. There's always a big bad in Sunnydale."
"But not right now." Faith walked up to her, eyes dark. "If I stay, B, the only thing I'm gonna want to do is fuck you against that tree over there and even though I know you want it, you're telling me you don't so I don't. So I have to find something else, someone else so I can release all this pent up . . . frustration." She looked into Buffy's eyes. "So I gotta leave."
"Faith, wait!" Buffy called out, hoping to stop her.
Faith didn't respond to Buffy's plea, only walked quickly toward the cemetery's entrance. Buffy thought about going after her but couldn't think of what she would say once she caught up. Instead, she just watched her leave again.
"Shit," she mumbled, looking down at the ground once Faith was out of sight. "Guess I'm on my own again."