While In Cleveland
by Hayley

Chapter Three

Tonight has not been fun, the opposite of it in fact. And do you know why? 'Cause Faith decided to get in the middle of a demon clan fight at the third bar we went to and now I'm covered in smelly, disgusting demon goo. The only thing I'm happy about is I have something to cover the seats of the car or I'd really be angry.

"I didn't realize they'd both go after us."

I scowl at her as I race back to the house. I feel a major urgency to get clean. "They weren't hurting humans or planning to hurt them. They were trying to kill each other. I'm okay with that."

"Guess I just wanted to break it up," Faith says, looking at me then at herself with a small sneer. "I did solve their disagreement though."

"How's that?"

"They found a common enemy: us."

I look at her again and she's grinning. I can't find it funny right now, not when I smell like a sewer. "Not funny."

She doesn't say anything for a second, looking out the window instead. When she does look at me again the smile is gone. "Sorry."

"It's fine," I say quickly. "I just wanna take a hot shower and get some sleep."

"No, it's not fine." She reaches out and touches my arm. "Let me make it up to you. I'll take you to dinner tomorrow night."

Is she really asking me out when I'm covered in what I'm pretty sure is demon blood and guts? "Is this for our mandatory date?"

"You make it sound so appealing," Faith scoffs and shakes her head.

I pull up to the house quickly and turn off the engine before turning to her. She's just as covered in this gooey crap as I am, maybe more. "Sorry. Being covered in this stuff is taking a lot out of me. Tomorrow's good." I pause, thinking. I almost forgot something. "I do work in the afternoon but once I get home and get ready we'll be good to go."

Faith raises an eyebrow and looks at me while opening the car door. "You have a job?"

We both get out and start walking to the house before I answer her. "Yeah, part time at an assisted living center. Just answering phones, none of the gross stuff."

She laughs. "This is gross enough, huh?"

"Pretty much."

We both start laughing as we walk into the house. Xander and Willow aren't back yet so we're alone. We'd probably still be out there, too, if it wasn't for our last fight. It's still early, slaying-wise. It's just past eleven. Normally, we should be out there for at least another hour.

"Would Xander mind if I used his shower?"

I look over at her as we walk quickly through the house and up the stairs, trying not to touch anything. "I don't think so. If you're quick he probably won't even notice."

Faith nods and walks into her room, closing the door behind her. I sigh quietly and go into my room, gather what I need for my shower when I realize something. I'm going on a date tomorrow night.

Would now be too soon to panic?

The day has gone by way too fast and I told Faith I'd be ready to go by seven, twenty minutes from now. I'm not even dressed yet. Hell, I don't even know what I'm going to wear.

Faith told me this morning not to make a big deal out of it but that's just not something I can do. Not only is this the first date I've been on since Sunnydale, this is my first date with Faith. It's making me all kinds of nervous and Willow's doing nothing to help. She's been teasing me all day and Xander's been doing it, too.

"Why aren't you dressed yet?"

I look at my best friend and scowl because she keeps asking that. "Because I don't know what to wear, that's why."

She sits on my bed and watches me rummage through clothes. "Didn't Faith say not to make a big deal out of it? I mean, she's in jeans down there."

"I know." I get that but it doesn't make it easier to choose an outfit. I mentally go through everything I laid out and quickly decide on dark blue jeans and a clingy red top. "There, all decided."

Willow laughs and shakes her head. "You're so nervous."

"Maybe a little," I admit. "It's just I haven't been on a date in a long time and now I finally go on one and it's with Faith. So yeah . . . little nervous."

"You'll be fine." Willow gets up and closes the door to let me change, which I do quickly. I dress fast enough and am ready with a couple minutes to spare but apparently I wasn't fast enough for Faith because when I open my door, jacket in hand, I run right into her.

"Damn, B." Faith puts her hands up. "What are you in such a hurry for?"

I narrow my eyes as she smirks at me. "Very funny."

"I thought so. Ready?"

I nod. "Where are we going?"

"Nowhere special." She has this mischievous grin as we walk down the stairs. "I don't have the kind of money for special and you seem like the type of date who would order the most expensive thing on the menu."

I hear Xander and Willow laugh at her comment and I scowl a little. I really hope that's not the type of impression I make. "I wouldn't."

"Yeah, you would."

I want to argue that but I have a feeling I'll lose so I let it go instead. "What's going on with patrol?"

Willow and Xander are sitting on the couch looking at her laptop and she looks up. "Xander and I have a couple leads to check out. Are you two able to patrol later?"

"No," Faith starts.

"Yes," I say at the same time and we look at each other, Faith raising an eyebrow. "We can hit a couple places, right?"

Faith doesn't look like she wants to but she nods anyway. "I guess so."

That seems settled so we turn to leave and get to the door before Xander speaks up. "You two crazy kids have a good time. Tell me all the juicy girl-on-girl details later."

We hear a smack, most likely Willow smacking Xander for the comment, and we look at each other, laughing as we walk out the door. We get in my car and I eye Faith while starting it.

"You're gonna have to tell me where we're going since I'm driving."

Faith nods and smiles. She's wearing jeans with a tight black top and a leather jacket. She looks incredible. "Cool by me. Let's go."

If I was ever going to compare nights, this night is far and away better than last night. So far there have been no fights, demons or vampires. I've also managed to stay clean so far even though a waiter almost spilled a drink on me. That's the only flaw in what's been a great date.

Faith has taken me to what could be a simple burger joint but its kinda not. I'm not sure how to describe it since pretty much everything is on the menu but it's the type of place where you'd have to hand over your paycheck for a meal, kind of like what Faith said. She had the waiter seat us in a booth toward the back where there weren't many people and got our drinks right away.

Faith notices that I'm looking the place over and clears her throat. "Is this place to your liking?"

I meet her eyes and smile. "It's nice. How do you know about it?"

"I helped the manager out 'bout a week ago." I start to ask if there was a vamp situation here and she must know that because she keeps going. "Not here, outside of a bar a few miles from where I was staying. He told me he managed a nice restaurant that made the best burgers in the world and that I should stop by if I get a chance."

"And we're here to see if he's right?"

She nods and looks past me. I turn around and see a guy walking toward us. Here's hoping that's the manager 'cause with the way he's looking at Faith he's either that or he's coming over to hit on my date. There's no way I'll let someone hit on her tonight.

"Faith! You managed to find the place."

"Yeah, Tommy. Finally got a chance to check it out." She looks to me and grins. "This is Buffy."

He turns to me and I shake his outstretched hand. "Nice to meet you. Faith saved my ass a few nights ago and I told her if she was ever in the area, dinner was on me." He pauses. "How about I bring you all the house specialties: appetizers, salad, main course. You don't have to order a thing unless you have a special request."

Faith looks at me and I nod in agreement. I'm okay with a decision-free night. "No problem. Bring us what you got."

"Excellent." Tommy smiles warmly. "I'll have Robert order everything up and if you need anything, let us know."

"Thanks, Tommy." Faith watches him go before looking at me. "Hope you brought your appetite 'cause I think they may be feeding us everything they have."

"That's okay. Let's hope the food is good."

She laughs and fiddles with her napkin while I take a sip of my beer. I guess this is where we're supposed to make small talk but I don't know where to start. There are so many questions I have for her and who knows what she wants to ask me.

"So why did Dawn want to go elsewhere for school?"

I smile as I look into her eyes. "She wanted to be independent and that was one way to do it."

She nods. "That's cool. Good for me, too. Means I have a place to sleep."

"True," I agree and look away for a moment then back at her. "So what did you do the last two years? Where did you go?"

"You know, around. Fightin' vamps and demons and whatever came my way." She shrugs. "Nowhere special."

"Oh, come on." I lean forward. "You've been telling Xander stories but you won't tell me? Some date."

She laughs as she drinks. "I don't know. I just told him about a couple fights, that's all. I've been all over the country. Do you want a list?"

I laugh and shake my head. "Not necessary. What were the best places?"

Faith thinks about this for a few seconds before answering. "I liked Arizona and Vegas but not in the summer. I had to deal with a nasty vamp in Florida but I hated it there 'cause I was there in the summer and it was way too hot. The Midwest was kinda tame but I liked it. I wouldn't recommend wearing leather pants in parts of Kansas or Nebraska though. I got a lot of funny looks and a couple disgusting propositions with that."

"Anywhere else?" I ask, trying hard not to laugh at the thought of some local hitting on Faith. I wish I could've been there.

"I liked the Northwest, too . . . had some great fights there but everywhere kind of ran together after awhile."

"Fair enough." I start to ask another question but the waiter brings appetizers before I can. It's a combination of fiery hot buffalo wings and onion rings. I think the manager has the hots for Faith because he must really want me to have bad breath for my date.

Faith looks it over and grins. "Do you like hot and possibly spicy?"

"I can handle it."

"Well, let's eat."

We dig in and it's good but really hot. I try my best to make like it's not getting to me but I don't think I can keep it up much longer. The onion rings aren't setting my mouth on fire but if there's any chance of me kissing Faith at the end of the night I don't want to eat too many of those.


I look at Faith and I think she can tell the wings are getting too hot for me. I take another sip of my beer, realizing it's almost gone. Damn it. Now I'm going to have to admit I can't eat anymore.


She smirks. "Too hot for you, isn't it?"

I finish my beer quickly. "Now it will be."

"We'll need refills." She turns her head and starts to motion to the waiter but only grins. "The service here is excellent."

Our waiter, Robert, walks up to our table with more beer and food. "I thought you could use some refills after those appetizers and here are your salads."

"Thanks." Faith waits for him to leave then makes a face at me. "I don't like salad."

I laugh, especially because she's making the cutest face as she picks through it. "Just put a lot of dressing on it. That'll stop you from eating anything nutritious."

She narrows her eyes at me. "Very funny."

Faith's all kinds of cute right now and it's amazing that it doesn't weird me out. "If I ate the incredibly hot appetizers you have to eat the salad."

"Fine," she says and starts to eat, doing a good job at not showing her dislike of it. "So Xander and Willow told me you've had a little dry spell date-wise."

My mouth drops. I can't believe my two best friends sold me out like that. "They told you that?"

"I might've asked if you'd been dating since I last saw you," she says, grinning. "I had to know if I needed to top someone tonight."

"Really?" She keeps grinning and I laugh a little while trying to eat. Everything's good so far and I can tell the manager's going all out for us. I have no idea what how Faith saved him but it had to have been a life or death thing. "Were you dating at all?"

"I don't think you'd call it 'dating' but for the most part, no. I was too busy slaying."

I guess Faith hasn't changed that much. "Get some and get gone?"

"More like scratching that itch." We both laugh a little at that as we continue eating. "You're telling me every once and awhile over the past couple years you haven't felt the need to get some release."

I blush a little without wanting to. "I'm not going to comment on that."

"That's all the answer I need," she says, laughing. It's great to see Faith more carefree. I think she's let her guard down a little.

We eat in silence for a couple minutes and it's a comfortable one which is a wonderful change of pace. I can't say I've had many comfortable silences with Faith ever. We were always both a little on edge around each other before. Now it feels like we have a second chance and I really don't want to waste a moment of it.

Robert comes by to clear our plates and brings the main course: bacon cheeseburgers and they're huge. Faith gives me a dimpled grin when she sees them so I know she's pleased. I'm just wondering how much more I can eat before I explode.

"Food okay?"

I look up from looking over my food and at Faith. "Yeah . . . they're just big."

"I think we can handle it."

It's great that she's confident but I don't know about me. Sure, I only had a light lunch but this is still a lot of food for me. Even with that, I try my best and manage to finish everything. Once we're done, we look at each other and smile.

"We did it."

I nod. "We just ate a couple days worth of food."

"We're slayers. We have bigger appetites than the average person," she says as she finishes her drink, her third.

"Maybe." I take a sip of my drink. "Maybe you just eat a lot and I'm trying to keep up."

Faith shakes her head. "Calling your date fat? Low blow."

"I did not just call you fat." I'm about to defend myself when Robert comes up to us with dessert.

"Hope you have room for this. It's our specialty." He has one giant piece of chocolate cake.

"I don't think we can say no to that." Faith grins at me and winks. "Can I get another beer?"

"Sure." He turns to me. "For you?"

"Just water, thanks." He nods and leaves and I notice Faith is looking at me funny. "I'm driving and we've gotta hit a couple places after."

She nods. "That's cool. I forgot we've gotta work after."

"Not much. Just need to check out a couple places. Unless Xander and Willow call with something it should be an early night and as easy a night as we'll ever get."

"Let's not think about that right now. Let's just finish up here and think about everything else later."


As far as dates go, this one has been fantastic from start to finish. It's definitely one of the best I've been on but I don't want Faith to know that. She'll just get a big head. And even though she claims ignorance on ever having gone on any, she knows about what makes a good date. In the end, we managed to eat everything and Tommy refused to take any money so Faith just gave our waiter a huge tip and we went on our way.

We hopped in the car and drove around for while, looking for any signs of trouble but it looked like a slow night. I even called Willow and she said she and Xander bagged a couple vamps but it was otherwise a quiet night. That was a huge relief for me because the last thing I wanted to do was go all out slaying on a full stomach and I'm sure Faith felt the same.

"You wanna go anywhere else? To a club or something?"

I look to Faith while driving through our neighborhood. "It's kinda late. We wouldn't be able to do much before places start to close."

"All right."

We get to the house and the cutest thing happens. Faith jumps out of the car as soon as I stop and races around to open my door for me. It takes all my willpower not to laugh because I think she'll get irritated so I just let her do her thing.

"Thanks," I say as she closes my door behind me and I take a chance, taking her hand in mine.

She looks down at our hands but doesn't say anything and doesn't pull away. I'm thrilled she doesn't because I really like the feel of her hand. It's kinda rough and callused but still soft. Her palms are the slightest amount sweaty so I think she might be nervous. I wonder what exactly she was expecting tonight.

I let go of her hand to open the front door and find Xander asleep on the couch when we walk in. Faith looks at me with a smirk and motions for me to follow her to the kitchen.

"Do you think he was waiting up for us?" she asks when we get out of earshot. "You know, see how we look after?"

"Maybe he was making sure you were being respectful." I grin as she scoffs, trying her best to look insulted. "I had a good time."

Now she has this big dimpled grin on her face and she looks so cute, not to mention hot. "I did, too."

"So where are we going on our next date?"

Faith takes a step closer to me as I lean against the kitchen counter. "You wanna go on another date?"

"Sure." I'm trying to be all casual but it's failing and Faith can see right through it. For the first time in a very long time, I went out and had a good time. Call me crazy but I really want that to happen again.

She takes another step closer so we're maybe a foot apart at the most. I think she wants to kiss me and I'm not gonna stop her if she tries. It'd be a fitting ending to the night.

"Okay. You decide where we go and I'll be there." She grins and leans in, softly pressing her lips against mine.

Again, I realize what a good kisser she is. Describing it just doesn't do it justice and I simply move my lips along with hers as she uses her hands to cup my face. I don't really know what to do with mine so I just place them on her waist. The only thing I want to concentrate on is the kiss.

Faith runs the tip of her tongue along my lower lip and I part my lips enough for her to slide her tongue into my mouth. She moves her tongue along mine and I'm so relieved I'm leaning against the counter right now. I'm sure my knees would give out if I wasn't.

You know, the last time we kissed like this we were drunk and I couldn't fully appreciate it. She brags about her abilities a lot but she is an amazing kisser. Now I'm thinking about what else she could be amazing at and I know I'm blushing.

Someone clears their throat and we break apart quickly, turning to find Xander looking at us from the doorway, rubbing his eye. He has a smirk on his face. "What's going on here?"

Faith doesn't move away from me like I thought she would and places her hand on the counter next to me. She smirks back at him. "None of your business, Xander."

"Hey, you're in the kitchen. That's a common area."

"Fine. It's late. I'm going upstairs," I say quickly, moving away from Faith and start to walk out of the kitchen. Faith follows me and she smacks Xander on the arm as we walk out, probably for ruining the moment.

We don't say anything to each other as we walk up the stairs. I wonder what exactly she expects once we get to our rooms. I know I'm not ready for much more than what we were doing. I want to know more about Faith before we do anything more than kissing.

We pass Faith's room first and she takes hold of my hand to stop me from walking to my room.

"Hey." She looks serious right now and it's so different than her look just a few minutes ago. "I had a good time tonight."

I grin. "I think you've mentioned that already."

"Well, I mean it."

I can't help myself and I lean in, kissing her lightly. "Good night."

"Good night, B." She has this goofy little grin on her face as she opens her door and walks in.

I stare at the door for a second before going to my room. This night has been so great and I'm kinda sad it's ending. I guess it's okay though since I should be thinking about where we should go on our next date.

That should be interesting.

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