Chapter Four

So here’s that fast forward I was promising. I’m a girl of my word.

Anyhow, things had been kinda quiet for a while. We were researching everyday, trying to come up with as much as we could find on the Mayor and his planned Ascension.

Actually, I take that back.

The Scoobs were doing most of the research while B and I were pretty busy training. Giles figured that it would be better it we trained instead of researched cos he wanted us in top notch shape for the big battle.

And it definitely looked like the battle was gonna be a big one. Xan-man was the one who made the big discovery. He found a sketch of what kinda demon the Mayor was gonna turn into after all the mojo was said and done, and let me tell ya . . . big and ugly doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Did ya ever see the movie Tremors? Yeah . . . picture those big wormies on steroids and crack. That’s what we were up against.

So like always, B and I were left to pretty much come and go as we pleased. While the Scoobs researched in the library, we’d be in the back stacks sparring or doing other routine exercises. Sometimes we’d get a little too much into it and the gang would kick us out.

I always made sure to grunt a little too loud or egg B on a little too much, cos I knew that gettin’ kicked out earned me and B some alone time.

And I can’t be certain but I think that B was doing the same thing. She’d wink at me right before she’d really rip into a routine, silently encouraging me to do the same.

So after we’d get kicked out, we’d either go to eat or go for a walk. Sometimes, we’d find other places to train, and on the very rare occasion, we’d do something fun like to go the movies or to an arcade.

I felt so fuckin happy whenever we had days like that. It kinda brought us closer and closer, and I don’t just mean emotionally. I mean physically, too. She was always holding my hand, even when the Scoobs were looking! They just kinda brushed it off, probably thinkin’ that it was just a friend or a slayer thing.

Maybe that’s what it looked like to them. Maybe that’s what it was to B.

But for me, it was so much more. I never let anyone get close enough to me before to get to the whole handholding phase. But B was different.

Besides hand-holding, there was some other stuff too. A few times when we’d be out for a walk, she’d hop up on my back and I’d give her a piggy-back ride. Slayer-style. I’d whip around turns, duck under low trees, jump over ditches, and spin like mad all at top speed. All it made her do was hold on tighter, her chin resting on my shoulder as she’d giggle in my ear.

Between the feel of her warm breath on the side of my face and the spinning, I’d almost always topple over onto the ground, leaving us both layin’ there a laughing mess.

Then the best part would happen. As we’d be layin’ there on the grass in the middle of the park or wherever, she’d scoot up my body and nestle into my side, wrapping an arm across my stomach kinda possessively.

”I’m so glad you’re here, Faith,” she’d say with her eyes closed, a content smile playing on her perfectly pouty little lips.

”Yeah, I’m glad I’m here too, B,” I’d answer back before we’d doze off for a little afternoon nap right where we lay.

And I really meant it.

I was completely and totally happy to be there with her. More-so, I was happy to be anywhere with her. For once in my life, I felt like I finally found my ‘home’.

Sorry, lost my thought train there for a while. Just the thought of B does that to me every time.

Back on track then. The Scoobs would research while me and B would train or hang out.

So this one night, we were out patrollin’ when these two demons attack us. I had no idea what the fuck they were, but they were ugly and mean. Just as I was about to kill mine, I heard Buffy shriek behind me. I kicked the demon I was fighting outta the way and the punk bitch actually ran away when it recovered.

By the time I got to B, she had already killed the demon that she was fighting, but she was covered in its blood. She was fine but decided that she wanted to go home to shower to get the goop off of her.

I didn’t argue with her.

But I did walk her home, like always.

When we got to her door she went to hug me, once again like always, but I kindly held up my hands to stop her. I was guessing that sticky white blood wouldn’t wash outta my leather jacket too easily, and B completely understood.

Anyhow, I didn’t get to see her ‘til the next evening. Apparently, she started freakin out at school or something. I got a pretty frantic call from G-man, and he told me that B had been infected by the demon and that she was telepathic or some shit like that. She was having fun listening to peoples’ thoughts at first, but by the time the evening came, the voices were starting to hurt her.

He thought that, seeing as though B and I had become so close, she might appreciate my company. What he didn’t tell me is that she couldn’t bear to be around anyone else and that he already had Angel working on the cure.

But seeing as that I was already completely and totally whipped, I ran over to B’s house like the good little lap dog that I was.

Joyce let me in and told me to go up to B’s room. Said that I should try to clear my head from any unnecessary thoughts.

Yeah, that helped. It’s like saying, ‘hey, don’t think about giant turkeys’. Next thing you know, BLAM!: You got a head full of giant turkeys.

Hmm. I’m kinda hungry now.

Oops. Thought train. Right.

So, I slowly made my way up to B’s room. If there’s one thing that I remember from my first Watcher, it was how to hide my thoughts. She taught me all sorts of techniques and stuff, so I figured that there was no time like then to try ‘em out.

Before I even got to B’s door, I began singing in my head. ‘Old MacDonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o’. Childish, I know. But it got the job done.

When I opened the door, B was laying on her bed looking completely pale and fragile, twitching a little as she pushed her head further into her pillow. She musta heard my song cos she suddenly relaxed a little and opened her eyes to look at me, the tiniest of smiles playing at her lips.

“Hey.” ‘And on that farm he had a duck . . .’

“Hey,” she answered quietly.

“How are you?” ‘e-i-e-i-o’

“I’d be much better if I didn’t feel like there was a disco in my head,” she answered with a smile, but it quickly faded into a pain-filled frown. “Hold me?”

And just like that, I was on her bed with her, holdin’ her against me as I kept singing in my head. I had to keep singing. I knew that if I even stopped for a second, my brain would kick into ‘do you realize the situation you’re in?’ mode and betray all of my secrets.

“Faith . . . could you stop singing?” She asked.

I really didn’t want to. I was scared. But I did anyway. For her. Cos I’d rather live with her knowing I love her rather than have her spend an unnecessary five minutes in pain.

Screwed up how love works, ain’t it?

So I focused on another technique. Instead of singing, I pictured the ocean. I heard the waves rolling onto the beach. I felt the wind hitting my face. I could feel the cool water on my feet. And it was working. I didn’t think about B at all.

Well, maybe I did. For just a split second I saw B running in the water in a tiny little bikini, but that thought quickly ended when I felt her slap my arm lightly and jokingly chastise me.

Luckily, I flirt with her just enough on an everyday basis so that she thought the ‘bikini Buffy’ image was just another means of my flirting with her.

We just sat there for a while and it didn’t even seem like anything was wrong with her. Then all of the sudden, she started freaking out again. I had no idea what to do. I couldn’t just standby and watch her suffer; it scared me to death to think that something even worse could happen to her.

I called out for Joyce but when the door flew open, it was Angel that came walking in, Joyce and Giles in tow.

That’s probably why B started freaking . . . all of the thoughts were rushing toward her at once.

I hopped off the bed when Angel approached and went and stood next to Joyce, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder and she watched on and cried.

Then it hit me . . . all of the emotion and thoughts that I had been trying to block out since I had got there. I still kept thinking of the ocean, but as Angel forced the neon-blue antidote down her throat, I couldn’t stop the silent prayer in my head.

‘God . . . I know I don’t talk to ya much, and I probably owe ya a shitload, but B’s gotta get through this. You gotta help her. I don’t wanna live without her. I . . . I love her. I love her so much.’

As I realized that I'd been thinking of things besides the ocean, I stared intently at B to see if she'd picked up on what I said. I thought I was in the clear cos she had been thrashing around and I figured she probably wasn’t listening.

But as the antidote took effect and her tremors stopped, she immediately shot up and sought my eyes out. Her eyes were wide and her mouth hung open a little. It almost looked like she was still trying to read my thoughts as she processed what she had heard from me just moments before.

But I didn’t give her the chance.

Before I realized what I was doing, my feet led me down the stairs and outta her house as fast as they could take me.

My secret was out. B knew that I loved her.

And I couldn’t stick around to take the rejection that I was sure was about to follow.

I did what I always do best. I ran. And I hid. Days went by and I holed myself up in my motel room, not wantin’ to go back to the fucked up reality that I created.

B came by the motel every day, knockin on the door and telling me that we needed to talk.

But I didn’t wanna talk about it. I didn’t wanna face the truth. ‘Talking bad, drinking better’. So I drank mass amounts of alcohol and I slept.

After almost a week had passed, I couldn’t wallow in my self pity any longer. It was a Friday night.

Prom night.

I knew that B would be going with Angel, and it made me bitter. But I still had to see her. Not up close and personal cos I wasn’t ready to deal with her yet, but I wanted to see her from afar. Wanted to see her giddy and happy with her friends and with her boyfriend. Wanted to see what I could never give her.

I stood across from the school in my black leather pants and black jacket, perfectly blending into the background.

Or so I thought. I forgot about the damn Slayer connection and that B would feel me as soon as she got near.

When I saw her get outta the limo with the Scoobs, I was completely and utterly blown away by her beauty. And I knew I shouldn’t have been happy about it . . . but Angel wasn’t with them in the limo, and it put a little smile on my face.

Just as she was about to enter the school with the Scoobs, she stopped her movement and turned in my direction. ‘Shit.’ I thought. She mumbled something to the Scoobs and as they walked into the school, B walked right up to wear I was standing.

Seeing as that there was no use in hiding anymore, I stepped out from the shadows and glanced at her with a smirk on my face.

“I always knew you’d look like a Princess at your prom, B.” I began, my hesitation apparent in my shaky voice.

“Where’ve you been?” She asked seriously as she walked up even closer, now standing only about three feet away from me.

“Around. Had some shit I had to deal with,” I answered, moving my gaze away from hers.

“Faith . . . if it’s about what I heard, I . . .” she began, but I quickly cut her off. I didn’t wanna hear what she had to say.

“It’s not always about you, Twinkie,” I interrupted, my walls instantly comin’ back up.

She looked at me with a hurt expression on her face, but I wouldn’t cave.

“Oh. I just figured . . .”

“You figured wrong,” I answered back all too quickly.

But I couldn’t fool her. After the time we spent together, she knew me better than I knew myself.

She hesitantly took another step toward me and looked up into my eyes.

“Patrol with me tonight, after the dance? Midnight-ish?”

I just looked at her, trying to find any hidden malice or threat in her demeanor. But there was nothing. She continued.

“Meet me here? Please?”

I exhaled the breath that I had been holding onto. “Yeah, sure.”

And that was that. She didn’t say another word. She just gave me a quick smile before turning around and headin back toward the school.

My mind was telling me that I should walk to the nearest bar and get shit-faced, but my feet wouldn’t listen to it. They were too busy listening to my heart.

So, let’s talk about being whipped.

I sat there on the friggin schoolyard bench for four fuckin hours, just waitin’ on B. I knew that I coulda left and come back, but . . . what if she came out looking for me?

See? Whipped.

At about five minutes past midnight, B came walking outta the school. I smiled when I saw her, but my smile faded when I noticed that she looked really sad.

“Tell me all about the dance, B. Didja have fun?” I asked, tryin to bring her out of her silent state.

She didn’t look into my eyes as she approached. Instead she kept looking down, trying to hide the tears that were in her eyes.

“Can we just . . . do I still have a change of clothes at your place?” She asked quietly.

“Yeah.” I answered.

I did. B got all gross one night after patrolling and had to borrow some of my clothes when we went to hang at my motel room afterwards. The next day she stashed a small duffel bag filled with clothes and hair products in my closet.

“Can we just go back to yours so I can get changed?” She asked, her eyes still averted.

I just watched her for a second before I answered.

“Yeah, sure. Come on.”

I linked my arm through hers and started walking toward my motel.

All of my nervous thoughts about her knowing my secret disappeared when I saw her like that. I knew that something musta happened to make her sad or mad, and I really wanted to know what it was.

Cos I wanted to fix it.

After a short walk, we awkwardly walked into my motel room. I told her that she could change in the bathroom, and she didn’t say a word as she went in and closed the door behind her.

About ten minutes passed and B still hadn’t come out. Now, I know that B’s a girl and that girls take time to get ready . . . but she wasn’t dressing up. She was getting undressed. Even if she wanted to wash off her makeup and stuff, five minutes shoulda been more than enough time.

Hesitantly, I walked up to the bathroom door and gently knocked.


No response.

“Buffy? Are you okay?”

Still nothing.

I wasn’t gonna play her games. So I turned the doorknob and walked into the bathroom to find Buffy huddled in the corner, crying. I rushed to her side and tried to get her to look at me, but her face was buried in her hands.

“B? Come on, tell me what’s wrong.” A minute passed and still, no reply. “B, you’re kinda scaring me here.”

Finally she lifted up her head and looked at me, her face red and her eyes spilling tears onto her cheeks.

“I can’t take it anymore, Faith. I can’t,” she replied softly, then broke into sobs.

Like I said before, I’m not a word girl. I knew I couldn’t comfort her with words so I scooped her up in my arms and carried her to the bed, gently laying her down on her side. Once I had her down, I crawled into bed next to her and spooned her from behind, hoping that our Slayer bond would calm her down a little.

She sobbed for a few more minutes before finally calming down. That’s when I asked her again to tell me what was wrong.

“Angel.” She replied. My blood began to boil. If he hurt her in any way, I . . . “He’s leaving. Just like that. He comes back into my life and then he just leaves. He didn’t even ask me what I want.”

“Well . . . what do you want?” I asked.

Honestly, I had no idea. She’s a confusing girl.

“I don’t know,” she said as she exhaled. “Nothing. Everything. I want a normal life.”

That made me chuckle.

“We’ll never be normal, B. That’s one thing ya can never ask for. But it’s not so bad, cos even though you may never get to have the normal life and live like your friends do . . . you’ll always have me to be there with ya.”

I meant it, too.

The room was silent for a few minutes. Then, I felt B moving slightly. I picked my arm up from her, thinking that maybe I was making her uncomfortable. She kinda shocked me though when, instead of getting up off the bed, she turned so that she was facing me, our faces only inches apart.

She wasn’t crying anymore, but her eyes were still wet with tears.

“Really?” She asked quietly, gazing into my eyes.

At that point I got totally lost in her eyes. I know it’s gonna sound mean, but . . . she’s really beautiful when she cries. I couldn’t find words to speak, so I simply nodded my head in response to her question.

“Faith,” she began but paused for a moment before continuing hesitantly, “when I was sick, and I . . .” she watched as I shifted uncomfortably, “. . . did you mean it?”

I remember thinkin’, ’oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck’. She was askin’ me if I really meant it when she heard me think that I loved her.

There was no sense in lying. It was time for me to go balls to the wall and just let the secrets fly.

“Yeah, I did,” I answered, not recognizing the trembling voice that escaped my throat.

A small smile graced her lips as she brought both of her hands up to cup my face. She ran her thumb over my lips and the tears started to fall down her face again. And then . . .

. . . and then . . .

. . . and then she kissed me.

Soft and gentle, lips moving slowly against mine like she was tryin’ to learn and memorize their feel.

I’d never been kissed like that before. It wasn’t about passion or lust or anything else like that. It was about an understanding. A silent acceptance.

See, she knew then for sure that I loved her, and the kiss was her way of telling me that it was okay; that I didn’t have to run from it.

She didn’t say the words back to me. I wasn’t sure if she was feeling them or not at that point.

But the way that the chaste kiss lingered for a few minutes? It got me thinking that maybe she did have some kinda feelings for me too. She didn’t have to say the words. I felt it in her kiss; in her heart, which was pressed right up against mine.

We stopped kissing after a few minutes, but we stayed in that position for hours. She moved only to call her Ma and say she was staying at mine cos I got hurt on patrol, but she was back in my arms as soon as she hung up.

Maybe I shoulda let the fact that she lied to her Ma about why she was really staying bother me, but I ignored it.

I was just happy to have her with me.

Happy to have her in my arms.

We didn’t kiss or talk anymore. She simply curled up in my arms and we slept.

Sure, I was thinking about all the dirty and nasty things I wanted to do to her. My body was trying to react to her presence in a sexual way, but my mind was keeping my body in check.

When she got up in the morning and had to go, I didn’t wanna let go of her. I woulda been happy staying in my room with her for the rest of my life but I knew that I couldn’t keep her there forever.

And the worst part? I knew that I wouldn’t be able to spend time again with her like I had the prior night unless it was on her terms. I wouldn’t be able to walk up behind her and wrap my arms around her in front of her friends, and that kinda hurt me a little.

But beggars can’t be choosy and I was willin’ to take whatever B would offer, whenever she offered it.

After another chaste kiss, B squeezed my hands and gave me another hug before she walked outta my room.

As soon as she was out the door, I plopped back on my bed and grinned as I stared at the ceiling, reliving every moment of the night before as I lay surrounded by the blankets that held her scent.

I had to wonder where things were gonna go from there. With Angel outta the picture, that tentatively left a spot open for me. I was hoping that she was gonna let me fill the vacancy.

I didn’t think about it for very long as I slowly began to fall off into a peaceful slumber. I know that I was wearing a huge smile on my face as I drifted off and the goofiness of the situation didn’t even bother me.

Cos I was in love . . . and I think that B mighta been too.

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