While In Cleveland
by Hayley

Chapter Seven

When I wake up the sun is starting to come in through the window and I try to remember if I have to work today. It's about this time that I remember I'm not alone. Faith is pressed against me, an arm wrapped tightly around my waist. It feels like she's afraid I'm going to leave or something. I guess she doesn't realize this is my room and I have no reason to leave.

We've shifted in the night but not by much. I've shifted so I'm lying on my back but Faith hasn't moved at all. The only difference may be that she's even closer and I don't mind that at all. I feel so protected right now.

I shift as much as I can, trying not to disturb my sleeping girlfriend, and see it's close to nine. Maybe I should wake up Faith or I could even try to bring her breakfast in bed. This idea doesn't work very well though because when I try to move Faith tightens her hold. So much for surprising her with breakfast. I guess I'll have to wake her up since I know I won't be able to go back to sleep, even with the feel of Faith next to me.

I turn my head and we're only a couple inches apart. "Faith." My voice is quiet but only because I don't want to startle her awake. "It's morning."

She mumbles something in response but I can't make it out. She does scrunch her face up in protest so I know she heard me.

"Faith, I wanna get up and you should, too."

She groans but doesn't open her eyes. "Go back to sleep."

I feel her loosen her hold so I'm able to turn more to her and even put an arm around her waist. "Come on, let's get up. I bet you're hungry."

One eye pops open and I think I see a bit of a smirk, too. "In more ways than one."

I lean in and lightly kiss her lips, running a hand through her hair. She looks so hot right now and she's not even trying. I'm kind of jealous. "Good morning."

"Morning," she responds, grinning as she rests her head next to mine on the pillow. "Did you sleep okay?"


"Why are you always waking up before me then?"

"I think it's been twice and if I remember correctly, you were always not a morning person."

"True but I should have exhausted you . . . guess I'm going to have to try harder next time. Or maybe right now." She moves into me, pressing her lips against mine.

We kiss softly for a minute, nothing too passionate. I can feel her muscles ripple just under her skin as I move my hand over her back. Its details like that I never really noticed with anyone else. With Faith everything I'm feeling is so much more intense and it's starting to freak me out.

I'm scared to death of falling for Faith or, dare I even think it, fall in love with her. She's changed so much though, I see it every day, but I still feel like I have to hold back. For every one thing I know about Faith there's probably two things I don't. That makes me nervous.

Faith kisses my nose as we break apart, making me smile. "The wheels are turning."

She's in a good mood, probably due to last night, so I bet I can get away with a question or two. I'm hoping the more simple questions I ask, the more she'll open up to me. "Are you gonna get all irritated or wiggy if I ask you a question?"

She raises an eyebrow as she looks at me. "Depends on the question."

Might as well lay it out for her. "I want to know more about you, Faith. I'm not gonna date someone and not get to know them."

"Okay." Now she looks irritated and I'm a moron for putting it like that.

I give her a light kiss and shift us so we're on our sides, only inches apart though. "You can trust me, Faith. I trust you."

Faith takes a breath and lets it out slowly. "I trust you."

Yay! She trusts me. I feel like I should do a victory dance but that'll either freak Faith out or she'll think I'm a freak. One of the two. "Do you have any family left in Boston?"

"No," she says, shaking her head lightly. "No one I'll ever call family anyway and even if I did, I wouldn't want to see them."

"What were you doing when you were called?"

"Livin' with my parents." She gives me a weird look, like that answer is obvious. "They were crappy parents and I was a burden. When I was called I left. I doubt they gave me a second thought."

I want to tell her that's a lie but I know by the look on her face she'll never believe me. She's probably been telling herself that for years. I'm about to ask her another question when someone with the worst timing ever knocks on the door.

"If you want breakfast, come down."

Damn Willow. I know she's aware we're both in here. I pretty much told her yesterday I wanted the night to end with sex. She's seriously ruining my morning after moment with Faith.

Faith kisses my forehead and smiles. "We should go down and get some food."

Yep, the moment's gone and I had so much more to ask, too. "Or we could stay here a while longer."

She smirks and gives me light kiss before moving away from me and getting out of bed. She looks at the floor and at my closet for a few seconds before looking at me. "Do you have some clothes I could wear?"

I don't answer right away because it takes me a few seconds to get over the view I have right now. Faith is walking around my room naked and not doing a thing to cover herself. It's an unbelievable sight. "Just realized you weren't in your own room, huh?"


I laugh and reluctantly get out of bed. It only takes me a few seconds to find and toss her a t-shirt and I pair of shorts that I know will fit her since they're hers. I planned for this situation.

Faith furrows her brow, the wheeling turning in that beautiful head of hers. "B, these are mine."

"I know. I stole 'em yesterday."

I'm waiting for a sarcastic comment but she only smirks as she pulls me to her. "You thought of everything, didn't you?"

I nod and we kiss sweetly, nothing to hot and heavy which is weird since we're naked. "We should get dressed."

"We'll finish this later."

She better believe we will.

The last few weeks have flown by. With work, slaying and being with Faith when I get a chance I haven't had time for much else.

The great thing is Faith and I are getting closer and I love it. We go out when we can, blow off some stream at a club or something, but a lot of times we end up talking while we're patrolling alone. She still doesn't tell me much, not of any substance anyway, but I'm getting more out of her and that's the important thing.

It's starting to dawn on me that I'm falling in love with her and it's freaking me out. She always acts the same way around me and it's the same as the first day she arrived in Cleveland so I can't tell how she feels, if she feels anything more than just wanting to date me. I don't want to feel vulnerable by telling her something like that if she doesn't feel the same way.

At least I have something to distract myself right now. It's the day before Thanksgiving and Dawn's coming home for the first time since she left for college. It will also be the first time she's seen Faith in over two years and my little sister still isn't the happiest that we're dating.

I worked this morning and Faith's working this afternoon so Will and I took the opportunity to make sure we had everything we needed for dinner tomorrow. We've managed to have nice Thanksgiving Day dinners the last couple years and I hope tomorrow brings more of the same.

"I think we have everything."

I look into the open refrigerator with my best friend. "I think you're right."

We close the door and sit down at the table. My sister should be here any minute and I'm getting nervous. She's driving in from Wisconsin and she left early this morning. She got the car from Giles as a graduation present. Can you believe that? When I graduate all I get is a half burned diploma and when she graduates she gets a new car. So not fair.

"Where is Dawn staying while she's here?"

Huh, I thought that was obvious. "I figured she'd stay in her old room."

"I'm sure she'll love that."

I can only shake my head at her sarcasm. "She'll get over it. It's not exactly new for me and Faith to sleep in the same room."

The door opens before we can continue our conversation and I know it's Dawn. It's too early yet for it to be Faith or Xander. I smile at Willow and race to the front door. I can't help but miss my little sister. I even wanted her to go to a college closer to home so I could see her on weekends.

Sure enough it's her and she doesn't look all that happy as she drags in a large duffle bag. At least when she sees me she smiles.

"Little help?"

I nod and walk over to the door, noticing her backpack is on the front step. I bring that in and close the door behind us. It's a little cold out. "Do you have anything in the car?"

She shrugs. "I'll get it later."

I can't wait any longer and give my little sister a big hug. She might be annoying at times but I always feel the need to keep her safe and I haven't been able to do that lately. Her living in another state makes it hard.

"Have any problems getting here?"

"I hate snow," she mutters. "Buffy, slayer strength."

"Sorry." I let go of her and we walk more into the living room. "Just happy to see you."

"That feeling's finally mutual," she responds with a smirk and I can hear Willow laughing as she walks in from the kitchen.

"Where's Xander?"

"He and Faith are both still at work. They should be home soon."

Dawn nods. "You've never said where I'm sleeping."

"Your old room."

She gives me the exact reaction I was expecting: a mix of confusion, irritation and what I'm sure will eventually be sarcasm. "Where will Faith be sleeping?"

I narrow my eyes at her. She's smirking at me and raising an eyebrow, like she knows exactly what the answer will be. "Don't give me that look. Faith's sleeping with me."


Willow laughs again and I scowl at both of them. "Very funny." I think I should attempt to change the subject or this won't end well for me. "We should get your stuff upstairs and you can tell me about this new guy you're dating."

"I don't know." Dawn looks at me with a straight face. "I think it's far more interesting to discuss why you're dating Faith."

I look to Willow, who only shrugs a response, before facing my sister. "We've been through this, Dawn. I like Faith. She's changed. Right, Will?"

Finally, she comes to my aid. "She has, Dawnie. She's a better slayer than Buffy at times and she looks out for all of us."

She didn't have to say she's better than me. "Just keep an open mind, okay?"

Dawn looks at me long and hard before nodding. "Fine."

At this point, the door opens and Faith and Xander walk in. Faith looks like she's been laughing and Xander looks as though it's been at his expense. His face changes when he sees Dawn though and she jumps up to give him a hug.

"Hey, Dawnie! Long time, no see."

"Yep." I can tell she's smiling even though she's not facing me. She's always had a soft spot for Xander.

Faith only grins at the exchange and walks over to me. I stand as she reaches me and we kiss lightly. We break away after only a couple seconds and I put an arm around her as we watch Xander and Dawn.

"What was so funny?" I ask her as she looks at me.

"Xander has a date next week."

"You do?" Will stands, too. "When did this happen and why am I the only one not dating?"

Xander separates himself from Dawn and narrows his eyes slightly at Faith. "I do but Faith almost ruined it."

She shakes her head. "No way. I saved your ass. Both of you were stuttering and babbling so much I needed to step in and translate."

Dawn smiles and pokes Xander in the stomach. "Who is this girl?"

"She's an assistant at the construction company I work for. Faith made me ask her out."

"I made you do nothing, man." She turns, looking more at Willow and I than at Xander. "The two of them have been nerdily flirting the last couple weeks and I got sick of watching it so I told him to ask her out or he was walking home. The way I see it you both owe me."

"Whatever." Xander looks at Dawn's bags by the door. "That's all you brought?"

"I have a couple more in the car."

"Let's grab them."

Faith looks to me as they walk out of the house. "Is Dawn okay with me being here?"

"That part she's fine with. It's the fact you're sleeping with me that she has issues with."

She nods and apparently doesn't want to discuss it anymore. "What are we eating? I'm starving."

The night went well and I'm a little surprised about that though I probably shouldn't be. Everything was all about Dawn, which she loved, and it got her mind off the fact she wasn't too thrilled about Faith and me. She was too preoccupied with answering questions about college to get into Faith's and my relationship.

Faith has been acting like the perfect girlfriend, which isn't much different from normal but she's stepped it up some. I guess she figured I needed time with my sister so she sat away from me at dinner and even said she would take over patrol with Willow and Xander so Dawn and I could catch up. She scored some major points for that one.

While everyone patrolled Dawn and I kicked back and talked about all the major happenings on the last few months. Dawn told me about her new boyfriend and I instantly don't like him. He's a frat boy and all my experiences with frat boys have not ended well. Dawn told me I can't judge him based on that but she can't stop me. I think it's mandatory I dislike whomever she dates.

Xander also told us a little at dinner about the girl he's taking out and but won't admit Faith bailed him out even though that's what it sounds like. I know he thinks Faith will never let him hear the end of it if he does and he's probably right.

Dawn and I turned in early since we have a long day of cooking tomorrow and Dawn's been driving all day. I made sure Faith had everything she would need out of her room for the next day and tried by best to wait up for her but it didn't work out very well. I was too tired.

I'm not sure when she got home but I heard the door open and close quietly and I knew it was Faith. I can never fully understand how I know without looking, if it's a slayer thing or something, but I knew it was her. She makes the same movements every time she comes home, too, so that helps.

I'm lying on my side facing the door but my eyes are closed. She'd wake me if something happened and I think all she's doing now is getting out of her slaying clothes so the night couldn't have been too eventful. I'm too tired to ask her about everything in detail now anyway. We can run through it in the morning.

The sheets move and I feel the warmth of Faith's body next to mine. I didn't realize how much I missed sleeping with someone until Faith. I love the feeling I'm not alone and I especially love sleeping with someone's arms around me.

Faith doesn't disappoint on that factor either. In a matter of seconds, I feel her arms around me, her body spooning me from behind. She kisses the side of my head and lets out a breath.

"I love you, Buffy."

She says it so quiet that I know I wasn't supposed to hear and I don't know what I would say to that anyway. I honestly didn't think she loved me. I didn't think she was at that point in our relationship yet.

My mind races for the next minute on whether or not I should let her know I'm awake. The problem is I don't want to let her know I heard only to say something like "thank you" if I can't think of anything else. I don't think I can tell her I love her. Whether I do or not, I don't think the words will come out.

Of course, I chicken out and try to go back to sleep but I'm wigging more than ever. Our relationship just reached a whole new level and I'm not sure I'm ready.

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