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All Around Me

by DarkbluGirl
Rating: R

Disclaimer: These are all Joss Whedon's characters as well as the wonderful land of Sunnydale.
Timeline: Season 3 before things went bad, Buffy and Faith are hanging out. Angel isn't back yet.
Note: I have read fanfics on lists and archives for years. I have always wanted to post and never have. Avoiding writing papers will drive one to do surprising things. I'm glad it did. The story is kind of cliché I know. Hopefully it will end up somewhere more promising. If you have any suggestions or comments, they'd be appreciated. Thanks. So, here goes nothing…

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CHAPTER 1

They were surrounded. Two slayers. A circle of vampires. The slayers were back to back in fighting stance. They could hear the growls of the vamps as they closed the circle around them. There was something so exhilarating for the chosen two to be in this position. Hearts pounding. Blood pumping. That familiar tingle of slayer sense. The leader of the vampire pack stepped closer to the two girls. His ripped jeans and biker leather jacket dating him to a mid-80s time. He cocked his head taking in the sight of the delicious young treats standing before him. A view of two young firm girls trapped excited him. A blond, looked a bit like a cheerleader, too bad she wasn't wearing the uniform, she looked innocent, and she was more petite than the brunette. The brunette more curve, he'd enjoy ripping her throat out. She looked like a bad girl. He liked bad girls. He smirked.

"Guess it is our lucky night boys," he stated followed by a throaty chuckle, soon to be echoed by the full gang.

Without even looking at each other the two girls share a simultaneous smirk.

"Sorry, to ruin this for you guys, but you may not be saying that in a few minutes," the blond shrugs.

A look of arrogance passes the vampire's face; some girls just don't know when to shut up. He looks forward to teaching her a lesson. "Oh, look," he motions to the girls, "our dinner is talking back." The group chuckles and steps closer.

"So says dead guy," Buffy motions. The vampire looks amused.

"Are you gonna break this too them or should I, B?" Faith asks with her smoky voice.

"How about we both do the honors!" Buffy pauses. The vampires never knew what was coming. Buffy's round house kick knocks the leader to a stumbling position before he can blink. Faith power punches a greasy haired vamp into a grave stone. She jumps up onto it as two more vamps are following her and she uses the momentum to swing back over, with a heavy kick, to the others knocking them to the ground.

Buffy blocks one vamps punches and then knocks him in the side of the face. Both slayers pull out their stakes and slam them into two vamps simultaneously. Both girls look up to check on the status of the other. There is an exchange of knowing smiles, followed by a classically flirtatious wink from Faith, leading to a blush from Buffy. The pause is long enough for Faith to be knocked down by the eager lead vampire. He punches her in the stomach, winding her as he grabs her by the hair and gives her a good right hook connecting with her jaw.

"Faith!" Buffy yells out as she trips and then stakes one of the other vampires.

Faith has already recovered and flips the lead vampire on his back and is using his head as a punching bag.

"I'm good B," she wails on him. She holds the vampire down "now I'm really pissed! Why,-" she slams her fist into the side of his face, "-do you vamps" another punch to his head, "always" she slams his head down against the gravel, "haveta hit me-" she punches him in the nose, "-in the face?!?" she grabs her stake. The lead vampire tries to struggle but there is no use. "Lucky night, hmm…?" she questions as she puts the stake through his heart. He doesn't have time to respond, he is dust before he can.

Faith dusts herself off and looks over to where two vamps are taking turns hammering away at her fellow slayer, while a third one holds her in place. She growls and springs into action, staking one instantly. Buffy lunges back, knocking her head into the vamp that is holding her; she hears a yelp of pain and a cracking sound, presumably the vampire's nose. She bends down and grabbed her stake that had fallen to the ground during her pummeling. She spins around as the vampire is still grasping his wounded nose. She kicks him in the stomach, then uppercuts her stake into him.

Covering her face as the dust flies; she can still hear Faith in battle with the remaining vampire. She recognizes her grunting. It always sounds overly erotic. But, well, it is Faith everything was overtly sexual.

Faith backhands the vamp; he manages to land a punch to her shoulder. This only works to further frustrate Faith. Off balance by the punch she swings her body and roundhouse kicks the vampire to the ground. Buffy looks on appreciatively. With another grunt Faith has sprung herself and is on the vampire, straddling him. He tries to push her off but she knocks him in the side of the head.

Buffy continues watching; still out of breathe from her slaying. He swings back at Faith but she blocks him and draws back her stake and slams it into him with a sexy raspy yell. She falls forward onto her hands and knees once the vampire explodes. Her body out of breath and panting.

She is quite a sight with her tight leather pants molding perfectly to her curves. Her always plunging neckline, of the white tank she wears, displaying her heaving chest as she tries to catch her breathe. Her long dark hair falling over her shoulders. Buffy is frozen standing there watching her. A trail of sweat, cool, as it drips down the back of her purple pastel tank.

"What?" Faith questions as she finally starts to regain her composer and looks up at Buffy catching her eyes and catching her off guard.

Buffy just stares back with a deer caught kind of look, trying to clear her throat. Watching as Faith leans forward on her hands and knees, arching her back and sticking out her chest, putting on a show while smirking at the blond, then moving back to rest on the back of her boots while still on her knees, pushing her long dark hair out of her face.

"You like watching me work, dontcha B" she states with extra rasp in her voice, winking for good measure.

"What? I-what?" Buffy chokes out.

Faith laughs a throaty laugh, while pushing herself to a standing position and dusting herself off, being sure to teasingly run her hand down her neck to her chest then over the rest of her curves.

"It's okay B, I don't blame you really, for not being able to take your eyes off me when we're gettin' all hot and sweaty. I am pretty smokin' hot" Faith states.

"Whatever Faith." Buffy has recovered, now with her hands on her hips, rolling her eyes at her counter part.

"What? You ain't so bad yourself Blondie," Faith states flirtatiously while checking out the blond in front of her as she moves closer. "Anytime you want to get a little bit of a closer view here," she says motioning to herself, "I'm certain that I could make it more than worth your while."

"Yah, yah, yah…" Buffy looks exasperated, trying to rebuttal.

"What? Buff, you know I could show you a good time, I could definitely scratch that itch of yours" she smirks.

"No" Buffy states laying down the law.

"No?" Faith questions puzzled. "Ah, B, I think I could definitely do it for you" she says sizing Buffy up.

"No Faith" Buffy says backing away.

"B, I'm gonna have to disagree here, I got some mad skills," Faith says moving forward, "I am sure I could give you the best--" Buffy gasps, looking shocked and covers Faith's mouth with her hands.

"Oh, my, god Faith, we're not talking about this!" Faith tries to speak but Buffy's hands are still covering her mouth. Buffy gives a stern look and then uncovers Faith's mouth with her hands up with a backing away motion.

"I'm just saying…" Faith starts but Buffy cuts her off again.

"No!" Buffy shouts.

"No, you won't let me give you a go?" Faith questions.

"Yes" Buffy says.

"Yes?" Faith gets that look in her eyes again, teasing Buffy.

Buffy gets worried again, "no" she discourages, "no, we aren't scratching any, um, any itches, of each others" Buffy looks embarrassed, "okay." Buffy exhales.

"Oh, alright, B, it is one thing for you to be a frigid stick in the mud, I'm used to that" Faith mocks relief while moving right up against Buffy pressing her body against the shorter girl's, "but for a second there I thought you were questioning whether I could make you come harder than you ever had in your life" she states moving the blond's hair behind her ear as she feels Buffy's body tense she huskily whispers into her ear, "and we both know that is the truth." Buffy body shivered at her words and her breathe.

Faith slowly peels herself away from Buffy, gives one last satisfied glance, then moves away, leaving a statue of a slayer standing there. Faith exhales, smiling bright and turning to leave the cemetery.

"So B, where we headed for some grub, I could eat a whole steakhouse right about now… oh and I need some chili fries" she turns when she realizes the blond isn't following her. "B?" she asks thinking of how cute Buffy looks all shocked and freaked out standing there.

"Ah, ya, yes" Buffy replies coming out of her daze.

"You coming?" Faith motions.

"What? No! I mean-yes. Yes" she starts after the brunette.

"Oh, Buffy, you're such a spaz!" Faith chuckles, swinging her arm around the girl as she arrives at her side.

"No I'm not!" The blonds pout insistent. Faith looks at her with disbelief. Buffy continues, "okay, okay, maybe a little bit of a spaz, but not overly, and it is other people that bring out the spastic behaviour, I don't think it is naturally-"

"B, just give up," Faith suggests.

"No, I will not, you shouldn't be, um…" Buffy stalls.

"Shouldn't be what B? Looking so friggin' fine?" Faith winks.

"Ah, Faith, do you ever let up?" Buffy looks annoyed.

"Nope. Persistence. That is what I got working for me B, along with just being completely irresistible, and having a smokin' bod and-" Faith boasts.

"Faith, come on. Let's just go get you those chili fries," she pulls Faith in that direction.

"Score. And then steak?" Faith asks hopefully.

"We'll see," Buffy humours.

"Cool" Faith smiles.

CHAPTER 2

The Sunnydale streets had already cleared for the evening by the time the slayers had reemerged from their feeding frenzy. They exit the last of the string of fast food joints that they had hit post slaying. Faith slurps the last out of her large cola through the straw and knocks around the remaining ice left in the cup.

"Oh god, B, I-am-stuffed!" Faith ennunciates.

"That is not surprising with the 3 cheese burgers, 2 chili fries, 1 slice of pizza, 1 chocolate shake, and oh" Buffy motions to the giant cup Faith is currently making a racket with, "and let's not forget the giant cola you just polished off" Buffy finishes her list.

"A girl's gotta eat" Faith shrugs, "and you didn't do so bad yourself girlfriend," Faith playfully shoulder shoves Buffy as they walk.

"What, I can keep up" Buffy says proud of herself.

Faith pauses and turns towards Buffy putting one hand around her waist, "oh can you?" she smirks.

"Faith..." she playfully swats the other girl away, "you never give it a rest do you."

"No, mam, I guess I don't" Faith smiles, still knocking around the ice cubes.

"Don't call me mam, it's weird" Buffy scrunches her nose.

"Well, we solved half of our post-slay cravings, I just thought I'd attempt to get started on the second part" Faith shrugs running her hand through her hair.

"Well, your own your own for the rest of the solving of your" Buffy motions to Faith, "problem."

"My problem," Faith quotes.

"Yes" Buffy states plainly.

"I know you're suffering too girlfriend, no point denying it. I know slaying makes you all hot and ready for action" Faith runs her unoccupied hand down her body.

"It does not. Just cause you are like a sex addict or something, doesn't mean I am too" Buffy retorts.

"Sure B" Faith says teasingly.

"Your problem is a Faith thing, not a slay thing" Buffy resolves wittily.

"Whatever B, if that is what you want me to believe" Faith smiles knowing that she is pissing the other slayer off.

"No, it isn't what I want you to believe" Buffy states: "it is reality."

Buffy fails to notice, the one person that had crossed their path the whole stroll so far. An elderly woman, who works as a shop clerk in one of the old boutiques in Sunnydale that Buffy and her mom used to visit during mother-daughter days, who knows what she was even doing out this late.

"Alright, it is okay that you have no sex drive, don't be ashamed, you could go talk to someone about it; I think there are pills for girls now too" Faith says being mock serious.

The woman recognizes Buffy, before the blond even realizes there is anyone else around.

"I have a sex drive Faith, I have hormones you know, and don't call me frigid!" Buffy shouts with frustration, crossing her arms.

"My word young lady!" the elderly woman huffs. Buffy realizes that she has just witnessed her outburst.

Buffy's mouth has fallen wide open. "Ah, hello, M-Mrs. Peterson." The woman just gives her a dirty look and turns to walk away. Buffy is mortified and covers her face with her hands, "oh… not good, not good at all."

Faith can't stop laughing, she grabs her sides. She manages to stop laughing in time to get a few lines in, "Oh B, don't worry, it was just that once, normally your sex drive is fine" she says loudly hoping the elderly woman is still in range. "Besides B, the sex is normally amazing between us" Faith smirks coming closer to embrace Buffy.

"Ah, Faith, shut up!" Buffy says exasperatedly.

"What?" Faith throws her hand up, "you are gonna give yourself an ulcer or something, cool down Buff, you get way too worked up," Faith states while Buffy pouts. "Oh, come on B, lighten up, it was hilarious." Faith tries to win her over with a big smile.

"Oh, alright," Buffy breaks into a smile, "it was pretty funny, horrible and tragic, but humorous, in a funnier if it had happened to someone else, kinda way" Buffy shrugs.

"Yah I know" Faith gloats, "besides I didn't call you frigid" Faith states still knocking around her cup of ice.

"Yes, you did, before in the cemetery" Buffy says, Faith still giving her, a doesn't ring a bell, sort of look. "Before, when you were all with the boasting, about you, and your," Buffy wiggles in a trying to be sexy move and motions a bit, "your skills." Buffy tries.

Faith starts laughing again, "okay, yah, now I remember, B, you are too much, what was with the wiggle, that is great, oh my god that is gonna keep me up laughing at night, what was that, your sexy wiggle" Faith laughs.

Buffy shoves her, "no, shut up. I am very sexy," Buffy pouts.

Faith turned to her and stops laughing, her eyes looking a bit softer for a change, "I know," Faith smiles caringly, "I know you are B, very sexy." They pause to share the moment and then the look is gone and the flicker in her eyes was back and she's giving Buffy one of her checking her out looks.

"Let's go, and oh my god Faith, you got to throw out that cup, the rattling is driving me nuts" Buffy exasperates.

"What this?" Faith continues to knock around the ice and smile.

"Yes, stop that. Give it to me." Buffy grabs the cup from Faith. "I'll find a garbage. Just stop that annoying racket" Buffy scolds.

"Yes, mom" Faith teases.

"Don't call me that," Buffy replies.

"I drank too much, I gotta pee so friggin' bad" Faith remarks.

"Now we wonder why I have to act like your mom?" Buffy looks pleased with herself.

"Whatever. And yah, I guess cause you are old." Faith shrugs.

"I'm not old!" Buffy states.

"Yes, you are, way past your prime," Faith announces motioning dramatically.

"Not true, wait I'm not much older than you, so shut up" she shoves Faith playfully.

"You'll probably be bouncing off the walls with all that caffeine you just drank, we are almost at my house you can just pee there and hang out for a bit," Buffy suggests.

Faith looks around like she is lost, "How does this always happen, how is it that no matter where in town we are, we always end up closer to your place?" Faith questions suspiciously.

"I don't know, I guess I am just more central" Buffy solves the mystery.

"Nuh-uh blondie, not true, you just get me talking and walking and we always just end up here cause you want to be near your place and you want to make me walk all the way across town when I finally get tired, while Princess B gets to go to bed" Faith states.

"No" Buffy says with a guilty look.

"Sure B" Faith rolls her eyes as Buffy tugs her by the hand the few remaining blocks.

"You know my mom doesn't mind if you stay over anytime, she's all about slayer safety, and you know you are just gonna come in and get hungry again and eat all our food," Buffy explains, "while you'd just stare at your empty fridge at home."

"Hey, I got stuff in my fridge."

"Really?" Buffy questions knowingly.

"Yah, um, beer, um, beer, ah mustard, those cheese stick things, and well other stuff..." Faith defends.

"Yes, quite the selection, we can hang out at your place some other time, although you don't really invite me over, and well, I have to get up for school tomorrow, and well, I don't think you can be late for, I'm sorry what is it you do, professional menace to society?" Buffy suggests.

"Harsh B, a la Queen C - fine, your place it is. I guess that it is a good thing we decided, cause we're here" Faith acknowledges.

"Faith you could just put your own spin on it and be flattered that I am always trying to take you back to my place" Buffy smirks flirtatiously.

"Is that so," Faith smiles moving closer to her, now holding Buffy's hand softly between both of hers. They pause looking into each others eyes.

Buffy looks away first, laughing nervously, and gently removing her hand from Faith's grasp. "Guess that is one way to look at it" Buffy smiles tugging Faith playfully to follow her in.

"I guess," Faith shrugs, exhales, and brushed her hair out of her face with her hand, following Buffy into the Summers' residence.

CHAPTER 3

Faith followed Buffy into her house. It was quiet. The lights were still left on because Mrs. Summers knew her daughter would be coming home well after dark. It was still difficult adjusting to having a daughter whose job it was to go searching for all those things that went bump in the night. All those things that a mother promises her young children that she will protect them from. Protecting her daughter from monsters under the bed or in the closet, this was not in the plan for a slayer's mom as she learned. Her daughter had to protect the world from all the bad stuff out there, things she had not quite come to understand, maybe never would. Least she could do is keep the lights on for her to return to late at night and keep the fridge packed with lots of food and try to hope that Buffy's life would remain as normal as possible, besides these unique circumstances. Mrs. Summers wanted the best for her daughter. Every mother has to adjust to raising a teenaged girl; she was adjusting to raising a teenaged slayer. There was no parenting guide for that.

"Do you think your mom has any of those little jalapeño cheese things, those are so awesome" Faith asks excitedly.

"Faith shh… my mom is probably sleeping already" Buffy hushes. "I thought you said you were stuffed" Buffy reminds and Faith shrugs. Then suddenly she remembers.

"Oh, but still have to pee… be back in a minute" Faith races off to the bathroom.

"Just be quiet Faith" she says in a whispered voice.

"Buffy?" she hears her mother's tired voice coming from the top of the stairs before she sees her appear and descend down the stairs in her brown robe. She looks half asleep, her hair flat on one side, her eyes adjusting to the light of the much brighter downstairs.

"Mom?" Buffy asks, still whispering unnecessarily. "What are you still doing up?" Buffy questions thoughtfully.

Mrs. Summers smiles sleepily, pulling her rob shut for warmth and tying it as she reaches the bottom steps. She sighs, "Isn't that what I am supposed to be asking you?"

Buffy just stood there, she knew her mom was still having a hard time having found out she is a slayer. "Mom, you know I have to..."

"I know, I know, Buffy, but I am your mother, I can't help but worry, I am still getting used to this whole... thing" Mrs. Summers says softly touching the side of her daughter's face.

"I know mom, you don't have to worry" Buffy tries to reassure.

Mrs. Summers exhales, bringing her daughter into a light hug, "I wish I could believe that but I don't think it is true. I do worry Buffy, I will always worry; you are my daughter. I just thought I would be worrying about you keeping up your grades and about you getting your heart broken" she sighs releasing Buffy but still resting her hand on her shoulder. "I did not anticipate that raising a teenager would involve so much violence and you putting yourself in so many dangerous situations..."

"I don't put myself in dangerous..." Buffy tries to correct.

"I know dear, it's the job, the danger finds you... but you are still my little girl..." her mother reminds.

"I know mom" Buffy gives her a smile.

"I just want to keep you safe" Mrs. Summers remarks.

"You can't" Buffy says sadly.

They were startled when the brunette returned from the bathroom. They were both a little relieved that the moment was over. It was nice that her mom worried, but she was a slayer; her mom couldn't keep her safe.

Faith came swaggering out enthusiastically, not realizing what she had interrupted. "B, oh my god, I was just thinking about that vamp dude's smug look disappearing just as I rammed" she motions, "that strake right up into his-"

"Faith!" Buffy tries to get her attention, giving her a disapproving look.

"What?" Faith is confused.

"Hello Faith" Mrs. Summers smiles warmly.

Faith stops in her tracks; she hadn't realized that Mrs. Summers was still awake. She feels a little awkward and pushes her hair out of her face, "Oh, hi Mrs. Summers."

"Faith, call me Joyce" she says sleepily. Faith just smiles awkwardly and looks at her boots. "I take it you girls were careful tonight?" Joyce questions.

The girls look up and then at each other, and reply.

"Yes."

"Yup."

"We're just gonna get some snacks and hang out for a bit mom" Buffy tries to break the silence.

"Buffy, it's a school night..." Mrs. Summers tries but Buffy gives her an, are you serious look, "oh alright. Don't make it too late girls."

"Okay mom" Buffy suffices her.

"Oh, and Faith, I bought those jalapeño poppers you like, they are in the freezer" Mrs. Summers smiles.

Faith looks up smiling, "Thanks, Mrs. S"

"It is the least I can do, the life of a slayer's mom," she says retreating up the stairs. "keeping the fridge stocked" Mrs. Summers laughs sleepily.

"Thanks mom" Buffy calls after her.

Mrs. Summers pauses and then heads up, "you're welcome, good night girls."

"Goodnight" the girls reply.

CHAPTER 4

Faith and Buffy polished off the jalapeño poppers Buffy's mom had left for them. Faith seemed to enjoy them most after she tossed them up in the air and caught them in her mouth, seeming very amused with herself. Buffy preferred to eat them bite by bite. Faith was munching on some potato chips and sucking the flavour off her fingertips after, while Buffy was eating something with a spoon.

"Man, your mom is cool" Faith remarks.

Buffy looks up, "Yah she sure is" she unenthusiastically states.

"No, really B, she seems like a cool lady, I am not all good with parental types but your mom is always been alright to me" Faith explains.

"Yah, well she likes yah" Buffy suggests. Faith looks up and smiles a bit. Buffy pauses in thought, "yah, I guess she is alright, she's doing better about the whole slayer thing, god I was so mad at her before, Giles kinda helped me see that it was all such a shock to her and that I had to give her time, blah, blah, blah" Buffy exhales, "He said she was so worried about me when I ran- when I was gone this summer" Buffy looks down. "I didn't mean to scare her; I just couldn't deal with being around her if she couldn't understand..." Buffy trailed off.

Faith had stopped her munching and was looking at Buffy sympathetically, "us slayers, hard to understand sometimes, I guess" Faith offers.

"Yah, I guess" Buffy says thoughtfully. "I just needed to get away then, especially after Angel..." Buffy trails off.

Faith looks on, she has always been a little curious about those two. She had heard a great deal about Angelus from her watchers, basically very, VERY evil vampire, got off on torturing his victims, drove a lot of them insane. It was hard for her to believe that this was Buffy's type. I guess he might have acted differently with that soul. From what the Scoobies had said, Buffy was madly in love with him and then he went bonkers again and did a lot of damage. It always seemed like a really tense subject for all of them, especially Buffy. Well, a slayer in love with a vampire, definitely intense.

"Yah, about that B, what was it like, you know, boinking the undead?" Faith asks dryly, she always did have a way with words.

Buffy shook her head annoyed, putting down her spoon. "Faith do you always have to be so vulgar." She was annoyed.

"What? Come on B, you screwed a vampire, the living dead, that is well, I mean, I like a little kink and all but that is even a little much for me" Faith states.

"Not everything is about sex Faith, you know, some things are about feelings and emotions and that thing we like to call love, heard of it" Buffy spat out harshly.

Faith was caught off guard by the tone; she didn't mean to show the hurt in her eyes. Buffy regretted being so harsh immediately.

"Yah, whatever B, sure yah, I don't know a thing about love, being such a big skank and all," Faith got up from the table, "not too big on love" she heads out of the kitchen.

Buffy didn't mean to be so harsh. "Faith, wait," Buffy follows her.

"No, whatever B, I should motor."

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to get all lashy," Buffy put her hand on Faith's shoulder.

"It's cool whatever," Faith sulks.

Buffy flops down on the couch. Faith pauses and than reluctantly follows. They sit in silence for a few moments, it makes Faith really uncomfortable. Her eyes keep darting for the door.

Buffy exhales, "It was just kinda with the big and the traumatic, you know" Faith stares at her not sure how to respond. "Angel was just, it was intense, and mysterious and seemed all wrong, but was amazing. I fell in love, we made love" Buffy beams and then her expression changes to a more saddened look. "And then he went bad and I didn't think I could live, I thought a part of me was ripped out. I couldn't breathe. I needed him and he was gone and in his place was a demon that took," Buffy pauses, choking out the words, "pleasure in terrorizing me and my friends. He wanted nothing more than to destroy me and the ones I loved. I loved him and when I finally got him back, in a brief moment, he had no," she whimpers, "he had no idea what he had done. He was back looking into my eyes," she pauses again, "and then I had to shove a sword in his heart and send him to hell." Buffy spat, the tears slowly streaming down her face.

Faith is at a loss for words. She didn't know what to say. She moves across the couch slowly and wraps her arms around the smaller slayer. She tightens her grip around her; she can feel Buffy's body trembling. Buffy clings to her. Faith can feel Buffy's tears on her neck, and the gentle hum of their slayer connection. She feels so good in her arms. Faith feels like scum that she is getting turned on being this close to Buffy, she inhales her scent. Her skin feels so smooth; God she smells good. Buffy is calming down and finally pulls away wiping her tears on her arm. Faith misses their embrace immediately.

"Sorry," Buffy says regaining composer.

"No, it's alright B" feeling awkward. She pushes her hair back where it has begun to stick to her tear stained shoulder and neck. She stares at Buffy not knowing what to say, so she just goes with what comes naturally, "so, then, does that mean that the sex wasn't that good?" she inquires.

Buffy just stares at her with a shocked look on her face. She pauses completely thrown. Faith just stares waiting. Buffy finally breaks. She starts cracking up, laughing away the remainder of her tears. Faith looks relieved and smiles back at her and receives a playful slug from Buffy.

"What?" Faith inquires smiling.

"You're nuts you know that, you-are-nuts" Buffy shakes her head still laughing and then pauses, "thanks," she says sweetly.

"For what? No B, I really want to know, how was the sex, wasn't he like cold" Faith asks.

"Ah, Faith, I don't know" Buffy is hesitant.

"Come on, you got to tell me, this is too weird" Faith pleads.

"Gee, thanks" Buffy rolls her eyes.

"Well, but was it like cold inside?" Faith motions to Buffy's lower regions.

"Faith!" Buffy is shocked.

"B, um, your mom is trying to sleep you know" Faith says giving her a playful attitude.

"Well, then don't ask me inappropriate questions." Buffy crosses her arms across her chest.

"What? We're both girls, just give me the low down, how did this Angel guy compare?" Faith leans forward waiting for her response.

"Compare to what?" Buffy asks puzzled, "and I don't think you being a girl makes it any more of an appropriate share time."

Faith doesn't quite get it and then she does, "wow, wow, wow," she is all juiced up, "back it up there blondie, wow, don't tell me that you lost your v-card to a vamp?!?" Faith exclaims.

Buffy looks really awkward but she doesn't deny it.

"Oh my god Buffy this is too much," Faith is really surprised.

Buffy shrugs. Not knowing what to say. She loved Angel. It seemed right at the moment, she didn't know how much she would regret it later. All the destruction it would lead to.

"So, okay, Angel was V boy, but what about after? I mean I know how crazy slaying makes us, I am still like buzzing, you can't tell me you've been flying solo since then?" Faith asks expectantly.

Buffy just stares at her, "I am so not answering that," her eyes are bugging, "I am so drawing a line, the line is here" she motions, "your questions are way over there" she motions to the other side of the line, "with all the other things you are not suppose to be asked." Buffy gives a resolve face.

Faith looks pleased with herself, "well, Blondie I think you just did answer it."

"Whatever Faith, I have to go put away my yogurt it's still sitting out, excuse me." Buffy gets up and heads to the kitchen. Faith follows.

"Oh, was that the crap you were eating, Buff, I thought you were joking about that, curing your hungry and hornies, with a low-fat yogurt." Faith mocks.

"It works for me Faith" Buffy says putting it back into the fridge and the spoon in the sink.

"Sure it does B," she mocks. "I just can't believe you haven't kicked it with anyone else. I thought for sure you and that Scott dude were you know" she gestures.

"Scott? No. Well, we you know, but I mean nothing you know" Buffy gestures which makes Faith laugh and Buffy pout.

"What does that mean? What you only gave him a hand-job or something?"

"Faith! No. We just kissed" Buffy states.

"Oh. Well, why didn't you just say" Faith rolls her eyes.

"Well now I wish I would have" Buffy mumbles and leans with her back against the sink.

Faith gives her a smile and moves closer. "Well, if that is the case you must be like going insane B" she places an arm on other side Buffy's body and chews on her bottom lip seductively eyeing Buffy. "With all the slaying we've been doing lately and no one to help you out, you must be just itching for..." Buffy looks like she is checking for the nearest exit. Faith pushes her body against Buffy's seductively "a release." Faith is still so turned on and would love to just take the blond right here against the counter. She could fuck her so good she would never need a stupid yogurt ever again.

Buffy could feel Faith's hot breath on her neck and her firm body and soft curves pressed up against her, she lied, slaying did really get to her too. It was so hard sometimes; she'd lay awake all night, her body just buzzing, unable to even find her own release. But, Faith, what the hell! She panics and pushes Faith away.

"Stop joking around Faith" Buffy says blushing.

"Who's joking B?" Faith goes to move closer again. Buffy walks away.

"It's not funny, that's all." Buffy explains.

"I'm not kidding B, come on, I know you must be all riled up, let me help you out" Faith shrugs.

"I'm thinking not. No, I'm quite all right Faith" Buffy resolves.

"Fine suite yourself Blondie, just trying to help" Faith smiles, trying not to let on how incredibly turned on she is.

"Well, then," Buffy says awkwardly, "we should head to bed" she turns to head up stairs.

"Now that is what I'm talking about!" Faith enthused.

"Faith," Buffy laughs, "I mean cause it is late and we should try to go to sleep."

"Oh," Faith looks a little disappointed. "Am I staying over?" Faith asks.

"Yah, you should it's late, besides this way you'll get breakfast in the morning " Buffy suggests.

"Fine, but you don't know what you're missing" Faith licks her lips sexily.

"I'll bet." Buffy muses sarcastically.

"I think I need a cold shower or something" Faith states as she heads up the stairs following Buffy being sure to check out her ass as she climbs the stairs in front of her.

"I think that would be a good idea Faith" Buffy agrees.

CHAPTER 5: Dangerous With Donuts

Buffy stood at her mirror finishing brushing out her hair. She put down her brush and then grabs a hair tie to put her hair up. She had taken a quick shower before Faith, she'd been sure to bring her PJs in with her so she wouldn't have to change in her bedroom while Faith would inevitably be looking on staring her down. She buttons up one more button of her pink sushi print flannel pajama's, she is wearing a hot pink tank underneath but no bra, so she thought it be best to keep herself buttoned up. The shower has helped her cool off, hopefully it would do the same for Faith. Buffy exhales and puts her layered hair that has escaped the tie behind her ear. She rests her hands on her dresser. Faith's behavior has gotten progressively more forward over the last few weeks. She didn't really know what to make of that. I mean sure the brunette has always been flirty, but that was Faith she was like that with everyone. That is how she interacts with people, that's how she gets a rise out of them so to speak. It wasn't just with her. If anything riling Willow or Xander has been more entertaining for the dark slayer. She recalls an incident with the other Scoobies earlier in the week.

---

They were in research mode in the library, rounds of books for all. They had sent Faith on donut duty because although the dark slayer was highly noted for her combat abilities those talents did not lend themselves well to doing research. Unless she needed to slay a book. Which, as the blond recalled she had attempted before. Giles was less than amused to say the least to find his 200 year old book about hell dimension demons had met its demise as a casualty to Faith's bow and arrow onslaught. When Giles had returned to inquire how their sparing and target practice had gone, Buffy had guiltily said it went alright, while Faith took this opportunity to announce she had killed a book. Buffy tried to back her up by explaining that it had been a very bad book and explaining that it needed to be slayed. He was none too pleased. So, this was just one of the occasions to prove that Faith was not an asset with the books; she couldn't sit still for more than five minutes.

Faith had returned from donut duty, pleased with her finds. "I come baring treats kitties" Faith said swaggering in holding a box of donuts, balancing it like a trained waitress and holding a bag of cans of pop in the other hand. Her tight dark jeans clung to her as she moved and her dark flowing hair bounced around her shoulders only covered by the thin straps of a deep red spaghetti tank top.

Xander looked up immediately, "yey treats!" he said eyeing her as she walked towards them. He always turned into babble boy when she was around and she enjoyed just making it worse. She put the donut box down in the middle of the table on some of the books they were currently using signaling all to subtlety that it was time to take a break. She opened the box of donuts for all to see, proud of her find, she leaned over the table giving Xander and the rest of the room a view of her ample cleavage.

"Now who wants a treat" she said smirking. Giles took off his glasses and rubbed the crux of his nose.

Xander had not taken his eyes off her breasts since she had walked in. He could be such a goon sometimes. He looked like he was gonna start drooling.

"Want one?" Faith asked seductively.

"Yes, please, I would like you as a treat" he said in a daze.

Willow elbows him, "Xander!" she scolded.

"Huh, oh um," he snapped out of it and tore his eyes away from her cleavage. "Sprinkles! I love sprinkles!" he grabbed a donut and starts eating it embarrassedly.

"You'd like me as a treat eh, Xan-man?" Faith smirked, "that could be arranged, what are you doing later? You can put sprinkles on me too..." she winked. His eyes bug out and he jumps up and grabs a book to hide the bulge forming in the front of his pants.

"Research! Got to get back to the books" he nervously explained and disappeared to the book shelves.

"I guess I'll have to save my sundae toppings for another day..." Faith shrugged. Buffy gave her a dirty look but she just pretended to look all innocent.

The room was silent. Willow tried to break it by grabbing the box of donuts.

"Oz, do you want one" she offered to her boyfriend who seems unfazed by the whole scene.

"No thanks. I'm good" he said grabbing a can of pop from the bag and cracking it open.

"Alright, Buffy, you want the other sprinkles?" Willow offered enthused.

"Yes please, sprinkle me" Buffy said reaching over and grabbing it from the box her friend graciously held out to her.

"Giles, there is a coconut one here with your name on it" Willow playfully remarked.

Giles put his glasses back on and met her to pick it up, "thank you very much Willow, I do enjoy those" he received it giving her a smile and went back to his book at the counter.

"You're very welcome Giles," Willow cheerfully replied and headed back to place the donut box on the table. She stared over the box carefully trying to decide. Oz watched her thoughtfully. "I think I will go with a powder one with filling" she exclaimed excitedly and sat back down.

"Hey Red, what, no donut for me?" Faith asked cocking her head and leaning back in her chair.

Willow had yet to take a bite of hers; she exhaled and got up again grabbing the donut box and reluctantly headed for the brunette. Willow had not warmed up to the dark slayer; she mostly made her very nervous. "Faith, which would you like?" Willow asked.

"Thank you for asking; let's see what we got here, hmm..." taking her time as Willow held the box impatiently. Faith looked up, "what have you got there?" Faith asked motioning to Willow's. Willow was reluctant; she did not want Faith to steal hers. "Um, well, let's see," she took a bite, some of the powder remained on her bottom lip. She chewed and smiled, "it has cherry filling." She exclaimed.

Faith eyed her for a moment then stood up moving right up to Willow staring her in the eyes. Willow looked scared as Faith cocked one of her famous eye brows. Faith reached out and ran her thumb across Willow's bottom lip slowly. "You got a little somethin' here Red" Faith rasped.

The look of fear on Willow's face turned to terror, then Faith brought her fingers to her own mouth and proceeded to lick them clean seductively. "Mmm... tastes good" Faith moaned. "Can I have your cherry..." she paused, "filling"? She asked. Willow dropped the box of donuts on the table and ran back to her seat. Oz sympathetically patted her leg.

"I guess not" Faith said flippantly. Buffy just rolled her eyes. Faith picked up the box of donuts and slouched back down in her chair putting her feet up on the table and grabbing the first of many donuts out of the box. She glanced over at Buffy and winked.

"Don't even start with me" Buffy stated. Faith mocked being wounded.

Faith managed to polish of a few more donuts. Everyone was too worried to go back for seconds. Cordelia wandered in after a while. Xander remarked, "Oh look who decided they'd join us."

"What you think I have nothing better to do with my weekend than spend it here with my nose in an old book" Cordelia remarked. She stopped when she saw the donuts sitting still in Faith's lap. "Ooh, donuts!" she moved to reach for one when a panicked red head caught her eye. Willow was shaking her head anxiously to try and warn Cordelia away from Faith.

Faith looked up "what?" she questioned smiling, "I don't bite." She said innocently.

"Has anyone actually confirmed that yet" Xander retorted earning him a sexy wink from Faith.

---

Buffy stares into her mirror; see she is like that with everyone, she tries to convince herself. Faith just wants to get a rise out of me and everyone else. She is just kidding around. Or it is possible she just wants to sleep with everyone that is very possible too. Faith was the most sexual person she had ever met. She didn't discriminate. She'd seen her leave the Bronze with countless guys. She had begun to block out all the countless descriptions of her sexcapades. She didn't understand why Faith would want to be so intimate with so many strangers. Sure there was the whole hungry and horny thing, but Faith could do so much better than all those loser frat boys that would buy her a beer and then take her home. Buffy hated watching them grope her. Sometimes she wished they were vampires so it would give her an excuse to...

"Earth to Blondie," a raspy voice interrupts her internal rant, "if you've been staring in that mirror waiting to hear that you're the fairest of them all, I'll tell you right now babe, you're a total hottie." Faith states running her hand through her hair and smirking.

"Huh?" Buffy is so caught off guard. I guess Faith had finished her shower, and oh my, she was standing in the middle of her bedroom with nothing more than her cleavagey tight white tank and a pair of tight black boy short underwear. Buffy hoped that her mouth wasn't actually wide open right then.

"What are you catching flies? I think it is about time I took you to bed, don't you think." She wiggles her eyebrows and smiles.

Buffy turned away from the brunette mentally repeating: she's like this with everyone, she's like this with everyone, she's like this with everyone.

CHAPTER 6: If You Throw the First Pillow Be Prepared...

This was going to be a long night. Faith had slept over before, she had always made a few innuendo-y jokes, Buffy usually laughed them off. But it had seemed as of late that Faith was taking things further. Just a glance at Faith's skimpy sleepwear made her uncomfortable. Or maybe it was all in Buffy's head, maybe she was taking this all too seriously. Faith did joke around with everyone she reminded herself. She would even occasionally joke back with her, maybe that was it, she was taking it to mean more lately and that just inched Faith on. She should just try to ignore her and then Faith wouldn't find bugging her so entertaining. Sounds like a plan.

Buffy exhales, "Faith, do you want to borrow some PJs?" she tries.

"Nah, I'm good" Faith dismisses her.

"No really, I insist, I have a whole drawer full, let me find you something," Buffy says.

"Buff, if you think I am gonna put on a pair of those cartoon kiddie jammies you got there, you got to be kiddin yourself. Ain't no way I'm putting on a pair of your sponge bob jammies, I got a rep going you know, can't be wearing that" Faith states.

"What you don't think they'd let you compete again for slut idol" Buffy retorts.

"Good one B, that one stung a bit" she grabs her arm and pretends she has been stung. "Besides if I wore a pair I wouldn't be able to use my nifty temperature detection device," she looks down at her breasts that through her white tank, her lack of bra was definitely apparent. She jokingly points to her nipples that were straining the tank. "Hmm, I'd say it was about-" before she could get an accurate reading she is hit with a pillow that Buffy has tossed at her. "Hey!" Faith laughs. "Watch it Blondie" she warns, "you don't want to be startin' something' with me."

Buffy does not adhere to her warning and chucks another pillow at her.

"Oh you are gonna pay" Faith states as she swiftly moves across the room and leaps at Buffy, they struggle a bit. Faith grabs another pillow and gives Buffy a few good whacks with it. Buffy tries to begin her onslaught again but Faith manages to knock the pillow out of her hand. Faith knocks her to the bed and they wrestle for control and Faith gains the upper hand and pins the blond to the bed. They are both laughing and out of breathe.

"Let me up, no fair" Buffy giggles.

"No way, you started this" Faith laughs. They both exhale. Faith is basically lying on top of Buffy supporting herself with one hand on the side of Buffy's head and resting on her elbow on the other side. They laugh, gazing into each other eyes and smiling. They hadn't yet noticed their position.

Buffy clears her throat, suddenly realizing that the other girl's firm and not highly clothed body is pressing up against hers. Faith was making no move to get off of her. Faith's expression was also changing from a light hearted smile to her predatory stare, the corner's of her full mouth were turning up, this is not good, not good at all Buffy thought. Buffy tries to move away but Faith does not shift off.

"I guess I got you right where I want you B" she smirks and sexily licks her bottom lip. Faith leans in a bit, Buffy is panicking, what the hell is she doing? Why is her face getting closer? Oh my god. Oh my god. Faith dips her head lower and breathes. Buffy can feel the hot exhale after on her neck. It gives her goose bumps. She can feel a strong tingling sensation in her stomach and lower. How is that possible? Faith pauses in the crook of her neck for a long moment and inhales.

"God B, you smell good" she whispers into her ear. The vibrations against her ear and neck hit straight to her groin. It happens instantly. She can feel Faith's lips and Faith's breathe against her neck, suddenly she is feeling the curves of Faith's chest against hers and the heat of her body pressing against her own. It is all too much. She doesn't know what she is feeling, but mostly it is scared.

"Faith, stop" she says shoving none too gently knocking the brunette off of her.

Faith thumps down beside her, "what the hell, you didn't need to shove you know, you sure don't know how to take a compliment" Faith states and smirks amused with herself. "You sure do smell good though" she winks.

Buffy doesn't know what to do. Faith was just playing with her. She doesn't know what to do. So, she babbles.

"So, um, what are you up to tomorrow Faith? Any plans?" she inquires.

"Nope not really" Faith stares at her, "figured I would just head to school with you in the morning and bug Giles for a while" she answers.

"Oh, um, alright," she pauses, "I so didn't get my readings down tonight for science class, hopefully Will can fill me in before class that would be good and..." she trails off. Faith is still staring at her; it is making her tummy feel weird again.

"And what?" Faith asks waiting.

"And uh, I don't know, it is late we should try to fall asleep." She turns and switches off her lamp.

Faith is a bit puzzled by Buffy's behaviour but shrugs it off. "Ah alright," she says getting under the covers as does Buffy. The lights are out and Buffy tries to get comfy and accidentally rests her arm against Faith's side and retracts her arm immediately.

"Sorry," she jumps and moves further towards the edge of the bed.

"No problem" Faith says still puzzled. Faith is resting on her back with one arm under her head. Buffy has turned away to face the other direction on her side. "Goodnight B," Faith says softly.

Buffy pauses a moment and then answers "goodnight," and lays perfectly still waiting for sleep to come.

Both of the girls toss and turn for a bit. Sleep finds Faith first, the bed was a lot warmer with two in it and Faith had pushed the covers down to waste height and fallen asleep on her back with one arm above her head and the other resting against her stomach.

Buffy's head was all over the place. What had happened? What was that feeling she got when Faith was pressed up against her. Buffy tries to get the thoughts out of her head. It's just Faith; she was just messing with her. It was the slaying. She didn't like to admit it but she did really get all hot and bothered after slaying and she hadn't been with anyone in well since... Angel... Buffy exhales. This was Faith, she turns to watch her. Faith looks so much less harsh without all the dark makeup Buffy admires. Her dark long hair was sprawled across her pillow. Her chest rising and falling as she quietly sleeps. Buffy stares. She really is stunning, Buffy thinks. Buffy turns away again and faces the other direction. What am I doing? Buffy closes her eyes. I am over thinking all of this. I was not turned on. Not by Faith. Faith was just messing around as usual. She is like that with everyone. She is like that with everyone. She is like that with everyone she thought as she drifted off to sleep.

CHAPTER 7: Caught Coping a Feel

Buffy groggily awoke, she hoped it wasn't morning already, she hadn't gotten much sleep and now that she's all comfy and warm, hopefully she has a bit longer. She yawns. She tries to think back and then she freezes and her eyes pop open. In the middle of the night she must have shifted because she woke to find that her head is resting on the brunette's shoulder and that her arm is resting across the other girl's chest. Arg! She is afraid to move, not wanting to wake the other girl with her sudden movement, this is less so because she cares about the other girl's beauty sleep and more so because she predicts that the younger slayer would never let her hear the end of it.

Buffy holds her breathe and gently removes her head from the brunette's shoulder and back to her own pillow. Part 1: success. She exhales. The other slayer still appears to be sleeping. Must be my lucky day the blond thinks. Careful now. She concentrates and slowly begins to lift her arm off of the girl's chest. Buffy is feeling hopeful about this. Just then Faith's hand snaps forward and grabs Buffy's wrist keeping it from retreating any further and jerking it so that Buffy follows and is pulled partially on top of her. Her eyes are still shut.

"What the hell do you think you are doing?" Faith demands.

"What? I-" Buffy tries to struggle to get her arm away and get off of Faith.

"You trying to cop a feel while I was sleeping?" Faith questions.

"What? No! I wasn't. I just. I woke up-" Buffy tries to defend.

Faith finally opens her eyes, "save it! I wake to catch you with your hands on my chest and you are going to play it off?" She says determined.

"Faith, come on, it wasn't like that I just woke up, I would never-" Buffy explains.

Faith scoffs, "I can't belief you B, I trusted you and you go and take advantage of me and get a feel in."

"Faith, I wasn't. I just must have moved in my sleep. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to" Buffy apologizes.

"You should be sorry B" Faith exhales dramatically, Buffy seems so embarrassed, "at least you could have done was wake me first so I could enjoy you feeling me up" Faith winks.

Buffy just stares down at her realizing she has just been teasing her and that she wasn't actually mad. Faith is smiling up at her looking quite satisfied with herself.

Buffy slaps her playfully with her free hand. "Arg! Faith, you live to make fun of me?" Buffy asks trying to move off of Faith but Faith holds her in place.

"Nope, but it is a big part of a fulfilling day for me and look I'm not even out of bed and I'm already off to a good start" she smiles awarding her with another slap from the blond. "Hey you were the one feeling me up in my sleep-" Faith is cut off by Buffy.

"I wasn't!" Buffy states.

"Oh, but you wanted to" Faith explains.

"No-I-did-not." Buffy states at the absurdity.

"Oh, come on B," she says looking down in between them at her own breasts in her white tank, Buffy's eyes naturally follow Faith's eyes, "you know you want a go at them, everyone does," she pushes her chest up a little arching her back to show them off a bit more. Buffy's eyes just naturally continue to look down. "Buffy you know you can stop staring at my breasts now" Faith says dryly. Buffy looks up caught.

"I wasn't! You said and then you looked down and then of course my attention is going to follow yours that makes sense! It makes sense Faith," Buffy is determined. Faith starts laughing, "what!" Buffy demands.

Faith is still laughing, "oh B, you are just so easily riled, it is too fun" she laughs. Buffy realizes again that this is all a ploy and swats her and begins to laugh as well. God, that girl did manage to push her buttons so easily. She laughs and gives Faith another slap to the shoulder. "Hey, is that anyway to treat your favorite pillow?" Faith asks. A look of recognition hits Buffy's face.

"You knew? You were a wake?" Buffy asks of her using the brunette's shoulder as a pillow.

"I'm a light sleeper and I didn't want to wake you" she explains looking up at Buffy sweetly.

"Arg!" Buffy laughs and slugs her again.

"Hey!" watch it. "No need to be so rough I'm willing" Faith smirks while placing her hands on Buffy's lower back and pulling her more against her. Buffy has a panicked look in her eyes and tries to struggle away. She remembers last night and the way being pressed up against the other girl made her feel. "oh come on B, give Faith a little morning loving" she laughs.

"Faith, stop it!" Buffy says. Trying to climb off of Faith.

"Oh, fine, be no fun" Faith looks disappointed then smiles.

Buffy moves to her side of the bed. Faith rolls onto her side to face Buffy. "Why are you such a spaz Buffy? It is too funny" she stares.

Buffy shrugs glad that she managed to move off of Faith relatively quickly but she is still pouting.

Faith smiles warmly at the blond, "you're cute when you pout you know," the blond can't help but break into a shy smile. Faith smiles back giving her a display of her dimples. They stare at each other for a moment.

"I should get up" Buffy explains.

"Yah," Faith agrees and reaches over to put some fallen hair behind Buffy's ear.

"Buffy? Are you up? Breakfast is almost ready." They hear Mrs. Summers shout from downstairs, startling Buffy.

Faith's eyes light up, "as promised" Buffy says and gets out of bed gathering clothes for a quick shower. Faith watches her.

Before Buffy leaves for the bathroom Faith calls after her, "hey, ah, Buffy," Buffy turns, Faith rarely calls her by he full name.

"Yah?" Buffy asks.

"Ah, thanks for letting me crash here" Faith says genuinely.

Buffy pauses, "no problem Faith" she smiles and heads to shower.

Faith lays back down in the bed and stretches out on her stomach and inhales, Buffy, she thinks. Her scent is all around her. Faith smiles to herself.

CHAPTER 8: Scared of Ms. Chase

Buffy headed into first period and grabs the seat Willow is saving for her just as the bell is ringing. She sits down and pulls her textbook out of her backpack and opens it. Willow's is already opened. "Hey Buffy," Willow says warmly.

"Hey Will," she smiles greeting the other girl.

"How far did you manage to get in your readings last night?" Willow asks knowingly.

"Um, well, I was going to open the book after dinner but then I left for slaying and then well... I'd have to say a great understatement of not too far." Buffy confesses scrunching her face as a sign that she knows she should have been better.

Willow opens her notebook and slides it across to Buffy, "I figured" she smiles sympathetically, "I made very concise notes care to take a gander?" Willow offers.

"Yes, yes ready to gander" she says sighing in relief, "oh, Willow you are a lifesaver" she says beginning to skim the page.

"Yes, I know, I am like the science slayer" she says goofily.

"Yes, you are Willow" Buffy agrees. "Um what is this diagram? Is it right side up?" she asks confused and beginning to turn the page.

Willow exhales, "Buffy that is from two chapters ago."

"Oh, well, hello again old friend" Buffy pretends.

Willow just shakes her head, "You know sometimes you are worse than Xander." Willow states.

"Now that is harsh..." she pauses, "but sadly true" Buffy rests her head against the desk. "I'll try to catch up on readings tonight" She promises.

"Sure Buffy," Willow smiles.

*****

Buffy and Willow exit Science class, "That wasn't as bad as I thought" Buffy states.

"Only because you were never called on" Willow explains.

"Very true," Buffy smiles.

"You know you are going to fall behind if you don't get those books a cracking Buff..." Willow reminds.

Buffy exhales, "I know," she says feeling guilty.

"Did slaying last night take that long? Was everything alright?" Willow asks with concern.

Buffy looks up guiltily, "um, everything was fine just a few vampy goons, very annoying actually, you should have seen their clothes, an 80s nightmare... didn't take too long..." she trails off.

"So, didn't you have time to go over the readings after?" Willow asks.

"Well, see, Faith was hungry and you know how she gets, oh my god Will," she explains excitedly, "you should have seen how much she ate, when I thought she couldn't eat more, she proved me wrong..." Buffy trails off again sensing Willow isn't amused. There had always been tension between Willow and Faith. Willow went through the motions but it was obvious she never really warmed up to the brunette.

"So, then you went home... you could have got in some studying then" Willow prods.

"Um, well, see, we kinda decided to hang out for a bit, she ended raiding the fridge and then it got late so she stayed over" Buffy explains.

"Uh huh..." Willow looks on expectantly as Buffy looks down in childish defeat.

"And yes it was a school night and I have a responsibility to my school work and I am sorry and I'll try for it not to happen again, mom" Buffy says smiling innocently.

"I'm not saying a word Buffy," she nudges her, "you just work on figuring out which way is right side up on the diagram" she laughs.

"Point taken" she says smiling linking arms with the redhead.

"Hey ladies" Xander approaches them from behind and puts his arms around their shoulders. "How are my gal pals doing this morning?" he asks chipperly.

"No complaints" Willow states.

"Behind in readings" Buffy admits.

"That I can relate too..." Xander also admits.

"Where's Cordelia?" Willow asks not seeing the brunette.

"Um, well, there was a, I gonna say incident" Xander states anxiously as the girls look up at him with amusement. "You see, she's a little well, um about several yards past peeved at the moment," he laughs nervously. "She bought new jeans, and well she asked me what I thought," Xander explains.

"Oh this isn't going to end well" Buffy offers.

"Nope definitely not heading down the friendly path" Willow agrees.

"I don't even know how it happened, but somehow she got the idea that I hated the jeans and I was calling her and her mom fat" Xander seems frightened.

The girls laugh, "What? How did that happen?" Buffy asks entertained but baffled.

"I don't know! I don't even think anything resembling that came out of my mouth, but she is really a very angry woman right now, so I am reasonably frightened," he rationalizes, "in a the manliest of manly way," he adds, "so I am hiding out with you guys" Xander hugs them.

"So, you want Buffy to protect you?" Willow inquires.

Buffy looks at him expectantly, "Well, no not in a defend me kind of way, although, you'd have my back if it came down to it, right Buff, our bosom buddy bond, beats out the whole estrogen thing you share with her, right, I can count on you?" he asks pleading.

"Um well, how do I know you are not going to turn on me, or Wills, or my mom and start telling us we look fat in our jeans, hmm?" she teases. Willow laughs.

Just then a very pissed Cordelia Chase storms down the hall. "She's spotted me!" Xander shrieks throwing his hands up.

"Xander Harris, are you avoiding me?" She calls to him.

"No!" he yells down the hall, "Gotta go!" he says as he runs off the opposite direction.

Buffy and Willow laugh and walk forward to meet Cordelia. "Where did my fashion critic boyfriend go?" she inquires resting her hands on her hips expectantly squinting at them.

"Um, he was late for class, it is an important one" Willow offers.

"Yah, right" Cordelia says walking with them to their next class. She looks off to the lockers on the side spotting a familiar face and comments. "So what does Faith just use the school as her own personal dating arena now?" Cordelia asks.

"Huh?" Buffy asks spotting Faith leaning against a wall near the lockers talking with some guy that looked a little too old to be a student. She had changed into one of her spare outfits she kept in the library. She was wearing the dark jeans from the night before, with a v-neck tight vintage t-shirt and playing with her belt as she talks with the guy. It seemed to be distracting him as he kept looking down or just kept using that as an excuse for his eyes to wander.

"So what's the deal?" Cordelia asks again.

"Ah, we had a late slay night last night, so she just tagged along to school for the Scoobie meeting later," Buffy continues to watch Faith with the guy. She seems into him as far as she could tell, but it was Faith so she seemed into most people. He is pretty good looking and tall; he looks mature in his shirt and tie but he was probably only mid-twenties. He definitely is into her.

Buffy's thoughts are interrupted by Cordelia. "He's a total hottie, I have him as a Sub for third period, so she better give him back by then" Cordelia remarks, Buffy smiles uneasy and heads to class with the girls.

CHAPTER 9: M-I-A w MR. H-O-T-T-I-E Man

On lunch break Buffy stopped by the library, she wanted to check if Faith wanted to join the Scoobies for lunch, she usually just met them in the cafeteria but she wasn't there. Giles told her that Faith said she would meet with them after school for the meeting but she had something to attend to first. Obviously, Giles' words not Faith's. Buffy wondered where Faith had gone to. She headed back to the cafeteria to meet the others and grabbed a tray of food in the line up.

"Hey Buffster" Xander greets her. Cordelia was sitting with him so they had obviously mended things since this morning.

"Hey guys" Buffy says sitting down.

"Where's Faith?" Willow asks.

"Good question." Buffy replies. "Giles said she had to take care of some stuff but would be back later," Buffy explains.

"Yah I'll bet" Cordelia scoffs. The rest of the Scoobies look up inquisitively. "What?" Cordelia responds, "I bet you she's taking care of things with that hottie Sub teacher, Derek." She exclaims.

"Derek is not a hottie and why are you on a first name basis with Mr. Hottie Substitute man?" Xander scolds, "and what is Faith taking care of with him?" Xander asks. Cordelia gives him a look. "Oh." Xander says embarrassed.

"No, I don't think so," Buffy shakes her head.

"Yah, Cordy, he is a teacher." Willow reprimands.

"He's a substitute teacher and she doesn't even go to this school" Cordelia dismisses her rolling her eyes.

"But she would be like jail bate for him, plus he's at work" Buffy explains.

Everyone looks back to Cordelia, "This is coming from the girl who's last boyfriend was how many hundreds of years older?" They all considered this against Buffy's argument. "Plus, I mean it's Faith, she like hypnotizes guys with the depths of her cleavage, one look and it's like they've been turned into drooling goons." She looks over at Xander he's staring off into space which earns him another slap.

"What?" Xander cries out.

"You really want to ask me that Xander Harris?" she threatens. "Case in point, sometimes even past glimpses turn men into buffoons." Cordelia declares.

"See, that's not fair I was a buffoon way before her..." he trails off as he's caught by Cordelia giving him an 'are you actually serious' look. "I am very, very sorry, please don't hurt me." He apologizes.

Buffy and Willow give each other a look smiling, Oz just rubs Willow's back lovingly, signally he is in no way affiliating himself with Xander.

"I really don't think that is where Faith disappeared to." Buffy states.

"Well, they did look a little chummy this morning Buffy" Willow offers.

"Chummy! Please. They were basically ripping each others clothes off with their eyes!" Cordelia explains.

"Really!" Xander asks excitedly. "You saw this for real?!? Arg! I miss all the good stuff." Cordelia slugs him. "And now I say ow." Xander pouts.

"Maybe she just had a few errands to run" Oz offers casually.

"Whatever" Cordelia stands up and looks to Xander, "are you coming?" he stands up and grabs her tray to dump it out for her.

"Yes, dear." He follows still looking scared and waving goodbye to the others.

Buffy is staring off into space. Would Faith really go and hook up with the substitute teacher. I mean she was a little bit riled up last night, well a lot and he was well, there. Sometimes, she didn't understand Faith. She got wound up after slaying too; she didn't act on it though. I guess Faith was just different than her. She was a lot more sexual for one.

"Buffy we should head to class" Willow says.

"Oh, is it time already..." Buffy whines.

On the way to class Buffy passes the library and quickly glances in looking for Faith, but she doesn't spot her.

...to be continued...

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