Written: December 12, 2006

Rating: PG
Pairing: Buffy/Faith
Timeline: Post-Season 7, AU.
Summary: Faith and Buffy share their first Christmas together as a couple.
Disclaimer: I don't own them, and I don't make money from them.

Author's Note: Written for Desirata41, as part of my Christmas Fic-Gifts deal on Dylan's Yahoo group. As per Val's personal request: "I would like a fic about Buffy teaching Faith how to do the old fashioned two-step, and then having a romantic dance with her by the light of their Christmas tree to Nora Jones, singing "The Nearness of You".

Buffy stood at the picture window of the small cabin, watching the snow falling gently on the surrounding hills. She wrapped her arms around her thin body, hugging any extra warmth to her body that she could spare. The roaring fireplace was warm, but it was on the other side of the room. She just couldn't seem to pull herself away from the window. The falling snow had entranced her.

Without warning, Buffy felt a pair of strong arms wrap around her from behind, engulfing her in the feeling of Faith's warm body.

"You should come back to the fire, baby. It's wicked cold over here, and I'm getting cold and lonely on that big couch all by myself," Faith said gently, breathing deeply so that she could take in Buffy's soft scent.

Buffy smiled and shook her head slightly, waking her from her steady gaze out the window. She turned in Faith's arms and snuggled up against her chest, basking in the warmth that they were now sharing.

"I know, I'm sorry. I just . . . I love the snow. I love this place. I love the Christmas tree that you brought in just for me, and I love that we decorated it together. I . . . thank you so much for bringing me here, Faith." She looked up and met Faith's eyes. "I've always wanted to spend Christmas in Aspen, skiing and just being surrounded by winter. Thank you for making it happen for us."

Faith smiled and pressed her soft lips against Buffy's forehead, letting them linger there for a moment before taking Buffy's hand in hers and leading them back to the large plush couch. She sat back against the corner of the cushions, letting her legs fall apart so that Buffy could sit against her. Buffy smiled and happily complied, resting her back against Faith's chest and leaning her head back onto her shoulder.

The last thing that Faith did was grab the stereo remote and turn on some soft music before pulling a large fleece blanket over the both of them. Buffy snuggled impossibly closer to her, letting out a long happy sigh. Faith smiled even bigger before nuzzling her nose against the column of Buffy's neck.

"This . . . is heaven." Buffy said, a small smile still on her lips. It hadn't slipped away even for a moment. "Have I thanked you enough for bringing me here?"

Faith chuckled a bit, recalling the near-100 times that Buffy had thanked her since they had arrived earlier that day.

"Yeah, you did, B. But there's really no need for it. Everyone else was doing their own thing, Dawn's at school . . . hell, I really just wanted ya all to myself. Up here, we have no distractions, no catastrophes, no cell phones . . . it's just you, me, the Christmas tree, the fireplace, and some Norah Jones."

Buffy smiled even bigger as she stared into the roaring flames.

"Like I said: heaven. Trust me, I've been there. This is highly comparable."

She turned her head, letting her lips press gently against Faith's. They kissed softly, their lips barely touching as the fire crackled from it's toasty hearth.

Faith pulled away after a few moments, looking like she had just remembered something.

"Actually, I forgot to bring out the perfect touch . . . there's a bottle of champagne chilling in the snow. I can go get it, and then we can talk about heaven."

She began to get up, but Buffy stopped her before she could disrupt their position too much.

"I think we're pretty perfect as we are right now, Faith. There's only one more thing I could think of that would make this evening any better." She stopped and chuckled as she saw a look of realization cross Faith's face, then as Faith wiggled her eyebrows in a seductive way. "That's not quite what I had in mind . . . at least not until later."

She winked at Faith, then moved the fleece blanket aside and stood up slowly. Faith watched her with confusion on her face, looking around the room for what exactly could make the moment any better.

After a moment or two, she met Buffy's eyes again and tilted her head to the side.

"What do you mean, B?"

Buffy smiled gently, then held out her hand to Faith.

"Dance with me?"

Faith smiled, but then began to look a bit nervous.

"You know I'm a wicked dancer, B, but I never quite made it to ballroom dancing lessons. I don't know what . . ."

Buffy leaned down and silenced her with a soft kiss.

"I'll show you." She said quietly, smiling even bigger as Faith willingly stood up, still looking a bit timid.

She stepped closer to Faith, pulling the girl's arm around her back so that her hand was pressed against her lower back. Buffy put her hand up on Faith's shoulder, then took Faith's other hand in hers and clasped their fingers together. She looked up into Faith's eyes and smiled, the lights from the Christmas tree reflecting in her eyes.

Faith's heart almost stopped at how beautiful Buffy looked then. How happy she was. How lucky she, herself, felt for having been given the chance to have what she had always wanted the most. It had taken them awhile to get here, but now that they had, she had no intentions of ever letting go.

"It's really simple," Buffy began, "you rock forward on your right foot, then back on your left, then forward on your right again. Then you take a small step, and we turn just a little."

They began swaying gently as Buffy explained, quickly falling into a rhythm with one another.

Just like clockwork, as they finally got the rhythm down, a new song started up on the stereo. "The Nearness of You" by Norah Jones.

And as if the song had been written for them, they fell into perfect step together, Buffy resting her head on Faith shoulder as they swayed gently to the soft music.

It's not the pale moon that excites me
That thrills and delights me, oh no
It's just the nearness of you

It isn't your sweet conversation
That brings this sensation, oh no
It's just the nearness of you

"Yunno, I've never really been into Christmas, B. It wasn't a big deal when I was young, and if not for you, I'd probably be sat at home alone now, playing video games and having some beers."

She felt Buffy's warm breath against her neck and it sent shivers crawling up and down her spine.

"How could you not love Christmas? It's the best time of year. Friends and family, and gifts and . . ."

"Well, that's easy," Faith interrupted softly, "Christmas is about love and family, I guess. I never really had either, so . . . it was just another day for me."

She spoke softly, her voice holding no malice or bitterness whatsoever.

Buffy lifted her head from Faith's shoulder, looking up into her deep brown eyes. Their subtle motions ceased as Buffy took a deep breath.

"I hope you might feel differently about it some day, because . . . you have that now, Faith. In case you didn't know, I mean. I . . ." she took another deep but shaky breath, "I love you, Faith. And . . . you're with me now. You're my family now. And unless you decide otherwise, I'm not about to let go."

They stayed perfectly still, just staring into one another's eyes. They had never said the `L' word before. However, after months of being together, it was all out in the open now. Buffy has said she loved her.

Faith removed her hand from Buffy's lower back and brought it up to the side of her face, letting her thumb trace gently over Buffy's cheek.

"I think I could love Christmas, because . . . I love you so much, Buffy. I always have. I always will."

Before she could say any more, Buffy was kissing her softly, her hands wrapping over Faith's shoulders so that they could be properly pressed together. Faith smiled into the kiss, letting both of her arms wrap around Buffy.

And as the song continued, and the fire roared, and the lights shone bright from their Christmas tree, they continued their slow dance, knowing fully well that Christmas was about family, and love, and being together. And that was all that mattered to them.

When you're in my arms and I feel you so close to me
All my wildest dreams come true

I need no soft lights to enchant me
If you'll only grant me the right
To hold you ever so tight
And to feel in the night the nearness of you.

The End.

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