New Beginnings, Old Enemies
by Dylan
Rating: NC-17

+21=22=23=24=25=26+

CHAPTER TWENTY ONE

Buffy trotted down the stairs after Faith, watching her small backside and feeling the urge to slap it. She was grateful nobody else had followed them. After all, how hard could it be for two slayers to find a book on their own?

"Um, B," Faith said, her eyebrow arching playfully as she turned to face Buffy. "You don't think maybe two slayers is overkill for fetching a book? I mean, I know you like me but I'm pretty sure all I'm likely to get is a few paper cuts," she chuckled.

"You never know," Buffy said, keeping a straight face. "These books of Giles' can be tricky. I mean, that last one went all crazy on us and sucked us into weirdsville," she pointed out.

"B. . .that was you," Faith grinned, stopping in the middle of the shadowy basement.

"Hey," Buffy exclaimed with a pout, "how was I to know? Anyway, I'm here as backup so get looking, and no making us disappear this time."

"Again, I point out that it was you last time, B," Faith said, pointing at Buffy. "If anybody needs backup it's you."

They stood facing each other, the room a quiet hush of fresh cobwebs and dusty shelves. The floorboards creaked above them as chairs were shuffled about in, and furious book reading was indulged in.

"Take that back before I kick your ass," Buffy said slowly, her eyes roaming Faith, watching and waiting.

Faith licked her lips, studying every movement of Buffy's eyes. "You think you could take me?"

Buffy smiled, a little half smile full of challenge and temptation. She walked steadily towards Faith, every step echoing off the dull concrete of the walls, a little sway to her hips that a thousand vampires had seen but few had told the tale about. She looked around, gauging the size of the room, the space for movement, the objects and furniture that could get in the way or be utilized. Faith was doing the exact same thing; two slayers who knew how to stalk, how to bait, when to move.

"I'm sure I could try," Buffy said, almost a whisper to Faith's ears.

They stepped closer to each other, the heavy footfalls of boots chiming their intent. Close enough to hit, to grab, to touch. Buffy stalked Faith's face with her eyes, admiring and seeking, allowing herself to feel.

"How are you feeling?" Buffy asked softly. "How's your head?" She reached out to Faith, gently stroking over the disappearing bruise on her forehead with her thumb.

Faith blinked, momentarily taken aback. She wasn't used to Buffy caring, not like this. Not without recrimination or consequences.

"It's ok," Faith answered, unsure quite how to respond.

A mist of awkwardness descended over them and Buffy pulled her hand back, pushing a lock of blonde hair from her eyes as she searched for something to say that wasn't way out of their comfort zones. It was one thing wanting somebody, and having in the heat of the moment sex with them, but quite another trying to be open and kind when there had only been barriers and harsh words before.

"You look good," Buffy said, her heart open and her defences down.

"You coming onto me, Buffy?" Faith asked, a small smirk drifting over her lips.

Buffy laughed quietly and shook her head, smiling at Faith as she stood before her relaxed and unthreatening. Buffy wasn't sure if she'd ever viewed Faith as unthreatening, but she was glad she could see it now. Faith, for all her darkness, her violence and intimidating depths, was without a doubt a vision of majestic beauty. Buffy allowed herself to see. To truly see beyond the façade and the beliefs she'd held of her.

"Yeah, I am," Buffy replied, her voice gentle and truthful as she gazed into Faith's eyes.

Faith smiled, unable to restrain it behind her need to be safe. She closed the distance between them, waiting for any sign to step back. Burning through the awkward mist, she leaned into Buffy, letting Buffy's scent crash over her as she breathed in. Buffy closed her eyes and did the same; swimming in the heavy aroma of the other girl. They didn't reach out, didn't quite touch. Standing impossibly close, just feeling the need and the overwhelming burn to be that bit closer, they drank each other in. Like a fight without movement or sound, the slayers tested each other's limits.

Buffy felt the faint tickle of Faith's dark hair against her cheek as Faith leaned closer. She could sense the heat of her skin, almost feel the softness of her lips as she shifted a little and their noses touched. So close to giving in. To having what was rightfully theirs.

They were both breathing heavier in anticipation, deep, shuddering breaths as the world faded, leaving only them. Only this moment. This moment in their own reality.

"I wanna kiss you, B," Faith whispered across Buffy's lips, causing them both to sigh inside.

"I want you to," Buffy assured, lifting her head just a little, just enough for their lips to delicately touch.

Faith closed her eyes, immersing herself in the warm sensation Buffy was pulling her into, her lips tasting the softness on offer. She parted her lips and they kissed tenderly, testing for objections. The warm slide of their mouths grew more confident and Faith lifted her hand up into Buffy's hair, letting it flow over her fingers as she kissed Buffy deeper.

She responded – without hesitation – her lips open for Faith, their tongues meeting in a sweet greeting of wet warmth. Buffy moved her hands up to rest on Faith's shoulders, fingers disappearing into thick curls of dark brown. Kissing more fully, letting go of the safety net and tumbling into each other, they sighed as their lips and tongues did their duelling.

Buffy moaned, deep and needy from within, as Faith pressed her body closer. She wrapped her arms around Faith, needing to feel her heat, her softness, the desire flowing from her. Faith slipped a hand under Buffy's jacket, finding exposed flesh at her back with the halter top she was wearing. Pulling her lips away from Faith, Buffy took a much needed breather, her skin tingling where Faith's fingers brushed over it.

She looked deep into Faith's dark eyes, charting every gold fleck within them as Faith brought both hands to her back. She felt the heat from Faith's palms burn through her. The strength in her fingers whisper promises over her as her brown eyes devoured her.

"God you're hot," Buffy blurted, wishing the words had stayed in her head. She didn't want to reveal quite how much of a limp mess Faith could leave her just yet.

A lascivious smile caused Faith's dimples to enchant Buffy and she realised the effect Faith had on her was obvious now, without her having to spell it out.

Faith moistened her lips and dipped her head towards Buffy's ear, breathing over it heatedly. She kissed the sensitive area just below it and spoke quietly, her voice husky and drenched in desire. "And you're beautiful, B. I want you more every second you're near me. I want you here. Right now." She kissed along Buffy's jaw and down to her neck. "I want you needing me. Wet for me."

Buffy groaned, her pulse quickening as Faith sucked gently on her. "I'm already that," she confessed breathlessly, unable to lie. She could feel her panties growing damper by the second.

She couldn't think of another person that had done that to her with just a kiss. Buffy had thought she knew desire, but this was a whole new level she'd never reached before. This was Faith overwhelming her senses, pulling at every fibre of her body, calling to the very basic, primeval need of her sexuality.

Buffy pulled Faith back to her lips, placing her hands either side of her face, needing to kiss her until they couldn't breathe any longer.

They kissed, hungry and eager. Tongues delving and lips bruising as Faith pushed Buffy back until her rear hit the edge of a desk. Buffy felt the rumble of Faith's moan as she slid backwards onto the surface, sitting on the low desk as her leg lifted to wrap over Faith's hip. Faith's hands slipped to Buffy's waist, holding her there, thumbs scorching heated patterns over her skin where her top rode up.

Buffy's fingers tangled into silky brunette, and she yearned for more contact. More skin. Her ass was close enough to the edge of the desk to keep her pressed against Faith and she rocked her hips just a little, their sighs drifting into each other's mouths as Faith pushed back. A hand found its way under Buffy's shirt, blazing a trail up to her bra. Faith's searching fingers enveloped her breast and her thumb grazed over Buffy's hard nipple.

Buffy unlocked her lips from Faith's, sucking in a sharp gasp of air as Faith sent jolts of lightning from her nipple to her center. She felt her pussy quivering for her. Needing her fingers, her tongue. Just needing Faith in a way she'd never needed anybody.

She was breathing hard and heavy, such great desire hidden away and finally able to be free taking them both by surprise. Without thinking, without stopping, without a thought to the world around them Buffy caught Faith's free hand in hers and pushed it down. She inched it under the loose waistband of her pants and let go as Faith continued.

"B," Faith began, her lungs clawing for air as they kissed with every ounce of their surrender, "are you sure?" If it had been anybody else she wouldn't have stopped for one fraction of a second to ask, but this was Buffy. . .her dream. Her hope.

Between passion fuelled kisses Buffy replied "Are you?" asking her own question as her questing fingers made short work of Faith's belt buckle and buttons.

Faith groaned, stilted breaths distracting them both as Buffy hovered her fingers dangerously close to Faith's pussy, resting them just above her tiny black panties. She crashed her mouth back to Buffy's in answer, her fingers dipping into her cotton underwear and seeking out the source of Buffy's heat.

"Oh, God," Buffy breathed out, her head tilting back as she arched into Faith's touch.

Faith drifted her fingers over Buffy's pussy, spreading her juices all over them as she discovered just how turned on she was. She slipped up over her clit, the slick-wet sound of need taking away any hope of self-control. Her fingertips brushed deftly over Buffy, causing her to shudder and moan. She'd forgotten where Buffy's hand was until eager fingers slid in-between her folds, gathering her arousal to smear it over her clit as Buffy circled it and teased it.

"Fuck," Faith groaned, nuzzling into Buffy's neck as they clung to one another.

Buffy smiled into Faith's hair, closing her eyes as she enjoyed the sensation of feeling Faith wet and swollen for her. It wasn't like touching herself; it was a whole different feeling. Faith's sighs and reactions were due to Buffy's fingers, moving, slipping, teasing Faith just right, and she loved the sensation it gave her. It made her impossibly wet, her insides burning passionately from touching and being touched. From touching Faith and having Faith be the one to make her moan and tremble and crave the climax she could give her.

It was impossibly perfect.

Faith pushed against Buffy's fingers, her whole body yearning and crying out for release from the hands of the girl she craved more than anything in the world. They both circled their fingers around swollen, hard clits, grasping at each other with their free hands. Faith could feel Buffy getting close already, her slim body trembling as Faith flicked and rubbed her fingertips faster and harder. Little strangled noises escaped Buffy despite them both trying not to make a sound.

She began to breathe out Faith's name on every panted breath, her fingers curling deliciously around Faith's clit, pulling her to the edge with her.

"I love it when you say my name like that," Faith groaned, her body moving with Buffy.

Just as Faith felt Buffy about to spiral into her climax she heard a loud scraping noise above them, and footsteps. . .headed to the stairway door.

"Shit," Faith mumbled through gritted teeth.

They looked at each other, eyes wide, listening as the footsteps grew closer.

"Oh, God. Oh, God," Buffy repeated over again, panicking as she slid her fingers from Faith's panties and dropped down to the floor.

Faith pulled her hand away from Buffy, quickly fastening her pants and belt as they tried to straighten themselves out. They leapt further apart as the door swung open, illuminating the shadowy basement with the light from the shop.

"Everything ok down there?" Giles called from the top of the steps.

"Yep," Buffy replied, her voice shaking a little, "just having trouble trying to find the right book, but. . .oh, here it is," she called up after quickly scanning the nearest bookshelf.

"Wonderful," Giles exclaimed cheerily. "Could you bring it right up, we're almost onto something rather important. I'm also going to need an in-depth report of your time in the alternate dimension, right away. I think something is amiss." He shuffled away, leaving the door open.

Buffy groaned and lifted her hand to her head, instantly regretting it as she caught the scent of Faith's juices on her fingers. She almost swooned right onto the floor, her mind a frayed tangle of lusty thoughts about Faith and how she wanted to sample every part of her. Taste the delicious musk of her pussy and indulge until Faith was limp and quivering.

"You ok, B?" Faith asked, trying to calm herself and douse her arousal enough to be able to walk and talk.

"Not even close," Buffy sighed. "I can't believe we almost let that happen. I mean, I'm not usually like that. I don't. . .I don't cheat for a start, and that would have been the second time. That was the second time." She shook her head, gripping the book in her hand and trying to think pure thoughts.

"I'm sorry, B," Faith said quietly, looking down, unsure what was happening and what she should say. They'd both been into it for a start, not just her.

"Faith," Buffy said softly, getting Faith's attention with a gentle finger beneath her chin. Once she was looking at her she dropped her hand and slipped it into Faith's. "I'm not blaming you. I pushed this as much as you, if not more. We won't go back to me blaming you." She smiled and kissed Faith on her nose, smiling wider as Faith gave her a puzzled look. "I like your nose," Buffy confessed shyly.

Faith chuckled and squeezed Buffy's hand. "I shoulda been more restrained though," Faith said, meaning it as much as she felt it.

Buffy practically burst out laughing, releasing Faith's hand to clutch her belly. "Coming from you, that's just too funny," she giggled.

"Hey, I've learned restraint," Faith said, pouting. "It just doesn't work around you," she added, shrugging.

"I know the feeling," Buffy said, continuing to chuckle. "We'd better go upstairs though, in case they send a search party."

"Yeah," Faith agreed, wishing things were just a little simpler.

Buffy stopped as she noticed the slightly dejected look on Faith's face. She didn't like to see the disappointment. She loved Faith's smile. Buffy didn't want to see it go.

"We'll get together soon, Faith. I promise," Buffy assured, standing in front of Faith, her fingers subconsciously drifting up towards her dimpled cheek. "Very soon, `cause you're. . .all kinds of wow." Buffy grinned from ear to ear. "I'm not going to be able to wait for more of that."

Faith felt her heart warm at Buffy's words. She felt warm all over.

"Are you blushing, Faith?" Buffy asked, looking more than a little shocked.

Faith stood tall, digging her hands into the pockets of her jeans, willing her face to cool down. She wasn't a blusher. Ever.

"You ask that again, B, I'm gonna give your ass the biggest kick it's ever had," Faith said, a mock glare landing right on Buffy.

"You wouldn't dare," Buffy challenged, squaring up to Faith, getting close to her. Too close if they were going to get out of the basement anytime soon.

"Try me," Faith retorted, feeling her body jump back to the horny high it was on just a few minutes previously.

Buffy was almost pressed against her as they stared each other down, hands wanting to be free to roam and explore, and bring pleasure.

"I plan on it, Faith," Buffy said with a sly grin, lifting her fingers to her mouth and placing one between her lips, tasting nothing but Faith on it.

She moaned quietly as she experienced Faith's sweet taste for the first time. She closed her eyes, her tongue indulging in the sticky essence. Buffy felt her insides melt and she knew she had to have more. She wanted the stunning brunette laid back for her, moaning for her as she licked and sucked on her dripping pussy. It was all she could see. It was a long buried fantasy that had torn her apart in the past. Now it only served to remind her that her panties were very damp and sticky, and that Faith was right there in front of her. . .wanting the same thing.

Buffy removed the finger from her mouth and lurched forward, capturing Faith's lips with her own as she stood stunned at Buffy's little display. She kissed Faith passionately, leaving no doubt in either of their minds that they were going to be together. Only impending doom would deter them from their goal now.

"Buffy?" Giles called from upstairs. "We really do need that book, I think the world could be in grave danger."

CHAPTER TWENTY TWO

Note: It may not be a great chapter, but it had to be done and I'm happy with the way it turned out.

Faith pulled up a chair next to Buffy, noisily clattering it on the wooden floor as the rest of the gang round the table furtively looked up from their books. She ran a hand through her thick hair, waiting to see if anybody had heard her fumblings with Buffy downstairs. Nobody seemed to be suspicious or freaked out, so Faith was fairly certain they hadn't given the game away.

She felt a little uncomfortable, sat in moist panties with the urge to throw Buffy up onto the table and fuck her senseless. Faith knew she had to keep herself in check, however. She doubted Buffy would be too keen on revealing all to her friends just yet. At least not in such an unsubtle way. She could wait. Buffy was worth it.

"So, what's the what?" Buffy asked, looking at Giles, ready to fight another day.

Buffy did her best to ignore the fact that Faith was right beside her, causing her to struggle against the need to leap onto her lap. She was glad she'd chosen to sit near her; it showed how far they had come to the others, but it was also incredibly distracting.

"There may be a possibility that the spell we did the other day was completely. . .wrong," Giles answered, placing his glasses down on the table as he paced a little beside it.

"Wrong how?" Willow spoke up. "We did everything you said, and. . .we have two slayers sat right here." She smiled their way.

"Well that's just it; I'm not really certain how they're here if I'm right about this." Giles picked up the small leather-bound book the slayers had fetched and handed it to Willow. "Right there in the text it says we needed the Essence of Gardok to transfer their bodies back in one piece – I'm paraphrasing – yet they came through just fine."

Willow mulled over the book, handing it to Tara as she looked up at Giles. "You didn't say we needed it when we were preparing."

"Yes, a large. . .very large oversight on my part. I should have researched it a little more," Giles mumbled, rubbing his brow as five sets of eyes bored into him.

Buffy glanced over at Faith, watching her brown eyes as she listened to Giles. "Then how are we here?" Buffy asked, cutting to the chase.

"I'm not exactly sure, Buffy," Giles replied. "Maybe if you tell us more about the dimension you were caught in we might be able to piece it together. Any information could help, especially if you can tell us if you bumped into any demons or similar there."

Buffy nodded and was about to begin, only to be interrupted by Xander.

"Does it matter? I mean, they're here, safe and in one piece as far as I can see," he pointed out.

"Yes, but by my calculations, we did indeed open a rift into this other world, and that rift is quite possibly still open," Giles explained gravely.

"That doesn't sound good," Buffy noted, stating the obvious. "Where did it open?"

"We'll need to do another spell to determine that, if I'm correct in my assumptions," Giles replied.

Faith shuffled in her chair, feeling her slaying impulses kick in. If there was trouble, she was ready. She'd sat idle for long enough, and she was born to slay. There was an instinctive part of her that needed to be out fighting vampires and demons and all things evil. She had been torn when she'd gone to the Mayor, her instincts battling with self-preservation.

"More spells?" Xander asked uneasily. "I don't know about anybody else here but. . .I'm a little wary now. One wrong ingredient and we could all be cake mix."

"This one wouldn't be as complicated, Xander. It's a simple locating spell," Giles reassured.

They all nodded, knowing whatever they had to face, whatever they had to do, they'd do it together. They were a unit. They'd proved that much against Adam.

Giles sat down on the only comfy chair around the table and indicated for Buffy to tell them about where they had been and what they'd seen. Buffy complied, recounting the tale of how she'd woken up with Faith unconscious, how they'd kept safe in a cave until they could go out and search for signs of life. She told him about the bones and the incident in which she'd almost been eaten alive. How they'd followed directions to the valley and been greeted by the resident demon Garashk. That he'd asked them to kill the old woman to get them back home.

The gang listened intently with Giles making notes as she spoke.

"And when she spoke to you, did she infer that she would send you home?" Giles asked, aware that the old woman they now knew to be called Estella could be the only reason they had been freed.

Buffy once again looked over to Faith, wondering how much she should gloss over. They had agreed not to say much, and not to place the blame on Buffy like the old lady had, but Buffy knew Giles needed to know everything. She had to be honest.

"She said a bunch of stuff," Buffy began, turning back to the group. "Stuff about guilt, and about us being bound in some way. She said it was my fault we were there, because of what I'd done to Faith. . .and she was right."

Faith was about to interrupt, uncomfortable with allowing Buffy to take the blame when she understood why she'd plunged the knife into her.

"It's ok, Faith," Buffy assured, smiling at Faith.

Giles chewed on the end of his glasses, listening and learning, making sure he had everything written for future reference. "So you both got transported there because of your slayer link? I'm presuming that's what she meant by you being bound," he mused.

"I don't know," Buffy said with a shrug, not sure if she was certain she was telling the truth. There was much more to it than their slayer link. "But she did say she couldn't fix it. That it was down to us. . .to heal."

"That's very interesting," Giles said, sitting forwards. "If Estella didn't have a hand in you coming back, however did you manage it?"

He looked from Faith to Buffy, clearly waiting for some kind of further explanation. They were both sure they had been freed because of the love they'd expressed by being in each other's arms, and because of the apologies they'd made, but saying anything about it would divulge more than they had agreed on.

Buffy fought a monumental war within herself, knowing what had to be said yet fearing the reactions.

"She said we were damaged, and that we'd done it to each other," Faith explained, speaking softly, wetting her lips before saying more; knowing what she had to divulge would change everything. "Just before we got pulled back Buffy let me tell her how sorry I was for everything. And I told her I love her. I think maybe that kinda fixed us, or me at least."

The room became a hush of stalled brain activity. They all looked wide-eyed between Faith and Buffy, waiting for Buffy to say something. To explain.

Faith didn't want to make life difficult for Buffy, but Giles had to know what was going on to figure out what had happened. She had a feeling that her confession, their act of love, had brought them home. She knew Buffy would be mad at her for saying too much, but she hadn't incriminated Buffy in any way with her admission. She'd merely told the truth. That she loved Buffy.

Giles opened and closed his mouth a few times, and Xander fidgeted like he had ants in his pants. Faith wanted to stand up and hide away from their eyes. She knew what they would be thinking; she could see it behind the stares. They wanted to know how she dared say she loved Buffy after all she had done. They wanted to tell her she didn't have the right. That Buffy didn't need her love. She knew they were right. She could feel that they were right with every passing second. She had been stupid to say anything.

Faith looked down, unable to meet their stares any longer; feeling like the world was about to come crushing down upon her once again.

Buffy could sense that Faith was being judged and that all eyes were on her. Disbelieving eyes that only saw how much she had hurt Buffy and her friends. She could see through their stares, she could tell how much it must have hurt Faith to know what they were thinking. She couldn't allow it to go on. She couldn't leave Faith to cope alone with her feelings anymore. . .not when Buffy shared them.

"It wasn't just that," Buffy spoke up, her voice shaky yet her heart sure. "Just before we got sucked back we. . .we made love." There was an audible gasp from Willow, and Xander turned a very pale shade of pale. "Whatever it was that was damaged in us because of the past, we fixed."

Buffy could feel her own hands shaking. She needed an anchor. She turned to Faith, looking up into brown eyes that were full of love and admiration. Reaching out, she took Faith's hand in her own, bridging the gap, making it clear that they were indeed `fixed', and that whatever her friends said it didn't take away from the fact they meant more to each other than anybody could possibly understand.

Willow was the first to break the suffocating silence as they all stared in disbelief at the pair holding hands. "You. . .you made love? Of the sex kind?" she said, her voice sharp and high like she was sitting on a pin. "With the nakedness and the. . .oh, that's why you came back without your clothes on." She paused. "I'm gonna stop thinking about that now."

She was clearly flustered, and she wasn't the only one.

"I'm pretty much stuck on the thinking about it thing," Xander mumbled, his eyes glassy as he blinked. "And. . .yeah. . ." he was lost for words.

"Well, that's a first, you've rendered Xander speechless," Giles said with a sly smile. "It does indeed seem like you freed each other from damnation's clutches, and stumped us all in the process. What with you err. . .having. . ."

"Don't say it, Xander might explode," Willow warned, as she perched on the edge of her seat wanting to know more about the revelation.

Buffy chuckled, squeezing Faith's hand a little as she felt her remain rigid and prepared for attack beside her.

Giles pushed his glasses onto his nose, smiling gently at the two slayers before him. "I can't say I'm not a little surprised, but it's not my place to tell you who to. . ." Xander twitched. "Yes quite," Giles finished up, leaving his sentence unfinished in order to allow the rest of the gang to cope with the change.

He stood, shuffling his books into a pile as he tried to work out why he hadn't noticed what was between the slayers before. He thought maybe he had seen something; a tension between them that couldn't have been put down to hate or hurt. Something under the surface that he realised had always been there just ready to bubble over. Giles hoped they were making the right decision. They'd caused each other so much pain in the past.

Glancing as he noticed Buffy move Faith's hand into her lap, he smiled gently. He watched for a second from his place behind the counter as Buffy's thumb traced patterns over the back of Faith's hand. Something very important had obviously passed between them while they'd been away, and he could see the love Buffy had for Faith. A blind man could see it.

Faith was stunned into silence, much like Xander. She couldn't quite believe Buffy had told all. That she had laid herself on the line in front of her friends. She would never have expected her to tell them, not so soon. She would never have put any pressure on her to do it, even though being kept a secret would have hurt. Faith felt herself smiling just a tad despite trying not to. She let Buffy hold her hand in her lap, and allowed the feeling of complete calm to wash over her before all the questions began.

"I'm happy for you b-both," Tara stated quietly, her eyes smiling as much as her lips.

Willow took heed of her girlfriend's words. She of all people shouldn't be judging Buffy's choice to be involved with another girl after all. It couldn't have been easy for Buffy to tell them what she had. Not only did it break the boundaries of `normality', but there was also the fact that Buffy and Faith had been mortal enemies to take into consideration. Whatever it was between them, it had to be pretty major.

"Were you always? I mean did you before?" Willow asked, not quite managing to get a full question out.

Buffy chuckled and took pity on her friend. It was a lot of information to take in all at once. "I've always liked Faith, yeah, but no. . .there was no before. I was in denial. Big style," Buffy said, hoping Faith was ok with everything that was happening.

"We both did the denial thing," Faith continued, leaning forward, keeping tight hold of Buffy's hand. "It kinda screwed us up, but I think we've put that behind us." Faith hoped that to be true more than anything.

"Wow, and that was certainly a lot of screwing. . ." Xander swallowed hard "up," he said, correcting himself quickly; his face still pale as he looked back and forth between the two slayers.

Faith smirked, fighting the urge to laugh. It was serious stuff. Buffy had just basically outed them both, telling her nearest and dearest that she was sleeping with a girl that had done some pretty bad things. That had killed, and been on the brink of evil. She tensed up, wondering why she had allowed Buffy to be so forthright. Wondering why she thought she had the right to claim her and expect everything to be ok. Xander was right, there was a lot to make up for.

Buffy felt the change in Faith. "Hey, are you ok with this?" she asked gently, turning to Faith and gauging her reaction through her eyes. "I didn't mean to just blurt it out, but I thought. . ."

"You thought right," Faith reassured, lifting her free hand to tenderly stroke her thumb over Buffy's cheek.

"Wow," Xander murmured slowly, his mouth unable to shut as his jaw kept firmly attached to the floor. "I wanna be a lesbian too."

Willow smacked him on the arm but he didn't flinch as he kept his gaze fixed on the slayers.

"I don't really know if that's what I am," Buffy said, looking puzzled in her own confusion. "I just know I really, really like Faith in all the un-Catholic ways." She kept her eyes fixed on Faith's, unable to look anywhere else. Not wanting to look anywhere else.

Faith smiled, her dimples leaving striking marks down her face as she gazed into Buffy's eyes. She felt her heart thudding deeply for Buffy; each beat a notation of how much she truly did love the girl before her. She wanted to kiss her. She needed to, despite the enthralled audience.

Before she leaned forward and captured Buffy's lips, the shop chime rang out, disrupting the quiet atmosphere.

"Riley!" Willow practically screeched.

Buffy quickly pulled away from Faith, releasing the grip on her hand. Faith allowed a calm mask to slip over her face, and shook her head at Willow as she opened her mouth to ask if he knew. Xander's mouth finally closed shut with a clunk, and Giles stopped his tidying as Riley strode forwards toward Buffy.

"Did I interrupt something?" Riley asked, looking around the shop at the faces turned up at him. They were unusually quiet, and he wasn't happy about Faith being near Buffy at all.

"No," Buffy replied, shaking her head. "We were just setting Giles right about the dimension we were caught in. We explained, he took notes; it was pretty uneventful."

Buffy rose from her chair, moving towards him as his eyes landed on Faith and stayed fixed there. She gazed back at Faith, sure of what she needed to do. The beautiful brunette she had handed her heart to was waiting for her. Waiting for her to have the guts to take what she truly wanted. She knew Faith wouldn't pressure her into anything, but Buffy couldn't lie. She couldn't hide. She couldn't deny her own heart.

"Riley, we need to talk," Buffy said quietly, looking him in the eye.

"Sure," he nodded, not quite certain why she was looking at him the way she was. "I have a little while before I have to get back, but I can't push it after everything that happened. They're really on my case, and I have to prove that I am the soldier they thought I was."

Buffy smiled sadly at him and lead him to the far side of the shop, away from the others.

Buffy parted her lips to speak, but the words wouldn't come. She just looked at him, knowing what she was about to say would hurt him.

"Buffy, what is it?" he asked impatiently, reaching out to gently grab hold of her arm so she would focus.

Faith rose from her chair, her eyes cutting like steel into Riley as she watched him grab onto Buffy. She was willing herself not to listen, but she hadn't been able to just turn away. At the very slight hint that he was getting agitated she stepped forward, making sure he knew she wasn't going to allow him to even try to intimidate Buffy.

"Faith, it's ok," Buffy called before turning back to Riley. "We should go outside," she told him.

"What is it?" he asked again, his heart rate increasing as adrenaline pumped through his veins. Faith was the last person he wanted having anything to do with Buffy, yet there she was. . .dark and dangerous eyes piercing through every inch of him as Buffy failed to tell him what was going on.

Buffy didn't answer. She pointed him to the door, walking with him as she felt Faith watching. It wasn't fair on either of them, so one had to go, and there was no competition. As they made their way outside, Buffy breathed deep, filling her lungs with the cool evening air. She turned towards him, stopping him as he tried to reach out to hold her.

"Is this about Faith?" he asked. "You know it meant nothing to me. I look at her and. . .I hate what she did to you." His gentle eyes hardened as they darted about, looking for answers.

"It may not have meant something to you, but it meant something to me, Riley," Buffy said calmly, trying to will the words out. "And not in the way it should have."

He scratched his head, confusion clearly evident on his boyish face. "I don't understand," he said, shrugging.

Buffy had to bite the bullet. It was now or never. Things hadn't been right with Riley since Faith had woken up from her coma. She'd thought too much about her. She'd thought less and less about him. There was no future between them, despite the fact she really did wish she could love him. He was the easy option; the simple option. But she didn't want that, or him.

"It is about Faith," she confessed, looking deep into his eyes and wishing there was an easier way. "You touched her," she continued slowly. "You touched a part of her that I hadn't and it hurt."

A tear rolled from her eye as she recalled how much it had hurt to know her boyfriend had slept with Faith.

"I don't understand," he repeated, looking down at his feet.

"Neither did I, but I do now. I'm sorry," she said, her voice practically a whisper as he looked up at her, eyes heavy with unshed tears.

It was sinking in. He knew what she meant and his heart was breaking. His eyes began to shed their weight as he looked from the shop door back to Buffy.

"Do you love her?" he asked quietly, no sign of the strength she knew he had inside him.

"I'm sorry," she said again, nodding.

He wiped at his nose, pulling himself up to his full height, swallowing all the pain she had just caused. There was nothing he could do. He had been waiting for this day. He had never expected it to be Faith who took Buffy away, but he had known he was just a filler. A stop along the way as she moved through life, affecting everybody she ever touched. He couldn't fight. He couldn't argue. Buffy loved Faith. He could see it in her glistening tears as they slid down her cheeks.

He nodded, clenching his jaw and taking a steadying breath.

"Please, be happy, Buffy. That's all I ask," he said, reaching out to wipe away a tear from her cheek before turning to leave.

He didn't look back as he got into his jeep and she was grateful. He was a good man and she'd hurt him. She didn't want to see it, she felt guilty enough. But it had been the right thing to do. For both of them.

She whispered goodbye as he pulled away and turned the corner, leaving nothing but tracks in the dust.

She could move on now. Fully. Finally.

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

Faith paced at the back of the shop as she waited for the return of her lover. She had her arms tight around herself, her eyes darting around as the gang lit candles and scattered smelly herbs around a chalk circle. She wondered why magic wasn't easier if it was so powerful. Why there always seemed to be a need for this herb, or that talisman, or a bunch of candles. She was glad she was a slayer and not a witch. Using her strength right from the source, right from her fists, felt more real than relying on concoctions and words.

She couldn't deny that Willow and Tara knew what they were doing. She couldn't deny their particular brand of strength either. It just wasn't strength that Faith was acquainted with.

She glanced back to the shop door, her heart pumping slow steady streams of blood through her veins; the dull thud filling her ears as she waited for the door chime. Waited for Buffy to let her know how they were going to go forwards. The gang knew now, though she guessed they didn't understand at all. She was sure there would be questions and worries on their part, and she couldn't blame them. She'd done a lot to Buffy, a lot to them all to make her words of love a hard thing to trust. She was sure of her love, and though she was pacing - worried that Buffy would come back and tell her she was staying with Riley – Faith was pretty sure of Buffy's love too.

"I'm gonna stand over here, away from the possibility of sucky portals and slime," Xander grinned, hugging himself as he backed away from the witches now beginning their chant.

Faith stopped her circuit of the table and stood to watch as crackling light flickered around the stones laid in the center of the chalk circle. Giles placed a map of Sunnydale over them and stood by as Willow sprinkled what looked like fairy dust over it. A soft whizzing noise filled the space and the map began to glow.

They peered at it, trying to work out what it meant. It wasn't very precise. The glow encompassed at least two cemeteries and the hospital.

"It's like it's not sure exactly where it is," Willow stated.

"Coulda fooled me," Faith added, ignoring the frowns.

"Maybe you did something wrong. . .again," Xander called from his spot behind the counter.

Willow scratched her head and looked around. "Nope, we have everything; I just don't think the energy is strong enough for it to place exactly. Like maybe. . .it's just a little mini portal or something."

"Well, at least only very tiny demons can get through then," Xander chuckled to himself.

Faith couldn't help but laugh along with him. Whatever it was that was out there, she was sure her and Buffy could deal with it without too much hassle.

"Well, let's not get our hopes up too high. From little things big things can appear," Giles said, making them all wonder what he meant.

"Yeah, it's not the size of the hammer but the size of the nail you're throwing it at. . .or something," Xander interjected, his silly grin making his eyes dance.

"I'm pretty sure that's not how it goes, Xan," Faith snickered, deciding not to point out that sometimes size did matter. "Maybe we should load up on bug spray though, in case there's critters crawlin out of it, wherever it is."

"Critters? Bug spray? Are we infested?" Buffy's eyes went wide as she breezed into the shop, catching the last of the conversation. She looked around to make sure there were no creepy crawlies about to pounce at her.

"Ah, that's our Buffy. . .slayer extraordinaire, who's afraid of little itty bugs," Willow smiled up at her friend as she helped Tara out of the circle.

"I'm not afraid. . .just cautious. Some bugs burrow, and that is not of the good," Buffy pointed out, twisting her face to indicate the severity of the squickiness.

Faith smiled at Buffy, her dark eyes instantly softening as Buffy smiled sweetly back. They didn't speak; no need for words as Buffy moved closer to her. She looked deep into Faith's eyes and placed a soft kiss on her lips. Just for reassurance. Just to reconnect. Faith sighed almost silently into the soft touch of lips as she kissed back, her hand finding Buffy's cheek as she prolonged the caress.

They broke apart, gazing into each other; eyes only for one another.

"You ok, B?" Faith asked, her thumb gently brushing over Buffy's cheek, her tenderness a surprise to them both.

"I am now," Buffy assured, standing as close to Faith as she could without leaping on top of her.

"Um, I really. . .hate to interrupt," Giles said, clearing his throat, "but we do rather need to discover if we have a problem yet or not. Though the location spell didn't pinpoint exactly where to look, I think we ought to cover some of the area on foot."

"You're right, G," Faith affirmed, letting go of Buffy for now. "There's some nasty shit in that place that we really don't want hanging around here on vacation."

Buffy nodded, slipping into her slayer mode as she thought about the task in hand. She was a leader, and not unaccustomed to just getting on with the job, no matter what. So she'd just broken up with her boyfriend and come out as a raving girly loving - or Faith loving at least – type; there was still evil to quash. Still slaying to be done.

"Draw on the map where we need to look and Faith and I will get right on it. No need for you guys to lose the rest of your night, we'll just stake the place out, no pun intended," Buffy said, striding over to the concealed weapons chest nearby.

"Are you sure that's wise?" Giles asked, unsure whether or not Faith was ready to go patrolling, especially with Buffy. "I'm sure nobody here minds tagging along and making the job quicker, and you never know. . .the portal maybe. . ."

The gang nodded in affirmation, looking eager and ready, but stood by for Buffy's final decision. A decision they knew they would follow without question.

"Giles, we're slayers. . .we'll deal," Buffy gave him her best winning smile, confident that Faith would do fine by her side.

She wasn't sure how she knew - maybe it was just a feeling - but Buffy had no doubt that Faith was there to fight the good fight now. That she wouldn't stray, or even litter the path of evil once again. Buffy wouldn't allow it. Not this time. She could see how much Faith had changed, and had experienced it in the other dimension. Faith was her ally, her lover, and she trusted her. The revelation of trust came as a little shock to Buffy, but she couldn't refute it. There was just something about Faith now, something untouchable, indefinable. Where there had been troubled darkness, now she only saw strength and a desire to put right her wrongs.

She threw Faith a short handled axe and pulled out a heavy knife for herself. She tucked it into her jacket pocket alongside her stake, and glanced around the room. Her friends were busy clearing away the remnants of the spell, chattering as they went, not paying attention to Faith who was twirling the sharp axe like it had always belonged in her hands.

It seemed they all had seen a reason to trust Faith, despite how crazy it seemed.

Faith slipped the axe into her belt, the handle dropping in plain view below her jacket but the sharp blade hidden as she tugged it around herself. It was dark now, but she still didn't think walking through Sunnydale swinging an axe would go down too well. The residents were used to weird, but she didn't want to risk it. . .not now she was so close to getting everything right. Standing by the doorway, waiting for her fellow slayer, Faith took a second to wonder at how easily she seemed to fit in now. At how little of a struggle it had been.

She'd expected much more hate and hurt from the people bustling around the small magic shop, but it had been quite the opposite. Maybe they'd seen too much of it. Experienced so much evil that they could distinguish between what was truly bad and what were the actions of the lost and afraid. These people she had once hurt now looked at her with smiles. There was still wariness, but it wasn't as cutting as she thought it should be.

They'd all changed. Willow with her witchcraft, strong and more powerful than she probably even knew. Her love for Tara keeping her grounded and secure, despite the harshness of living in a society that looked down on that kind of love. That despised it and rallied against it still, despite the fact that love was deeply in need in their harsh world.

Xander who was dating an ex-demon; his boyish charm and looks still there, but hardened by the years of knowing what evil looked like. Facing it daily, yet never running. Never wavering from Buffy's side. Faith had treated him badly, but he'd bounced back. Obviously being able to love a girl that once wrought vengeance on the unknowing had made him look at life a little differently.

And Giles, Faith's new mentor, her solid anchor in the midst of emotional turmoil. He had come through for her this time. He wasn't about to handle Faith all wrong like he once had. He was trying, moulding, helping in every way he could and Faith couldn't be more grateful. She didn't know where she'd be without him there, steadying her hand and pointing her along the correct path. Angel had started the ball rolling, but it was Giles that stepped by her side now, giving her something to lean on when she grew weary and unsure.

She wouldn't have accepted his kind of help when she'd first arrived in Sunnydale, too on edge and afraid of what she couldn't control. They'd all opened their hands to her only to have her slap them away. They hadn't pushed their friendship, and she hadn't looked for more. Mistakes on all their consciences. Now was a different time. A new beginning, with old enemies opening their hearts to her without condition.

She hoped they truly believed she wouldn't lose sight of what was important now, because Faith had no intention of making the same mistakes again.

Faith watched as Buffy folded the map away into her pocket and turned to join her, but Giles caught her arm, his fatherly gaze causing Buffy to halt her advance. Faith chuckled and leaned against the hard wood of the doorframe, closing her eyes as she went to a nice place in her head. One in which Buffy was naked and moaning her name.

"Keep an eye on her, Buffy," Giles implored quietly as he looked from the reclining figure at the doorway to the girl he still felt the need to protect.

Buffy looked up at him gently, giving his arm a squeeze as she replied, "I will. We can trust her, Giles. I can feel it." She hoped her eyes conveyed the truth.

"I know, Buffy. She has come a long way already and I can feel it too," he assured. "I just worry, for you both."

"She'll. . .we'll be ok," Buffy stated confidently. "I may have gotten things terribly wrong when she first came here, but I plan on putting that right. And that doesn't start with not being sure she can slay by my side without me worrying if her axe might slip my way."

He smiled at her then, at both of them. He doubted very much that Faith could ever hurt Buffy now, but Faith was still fragile. Still healing.

"She's an extraordinary young woman, Buffy. She needs a lot of love," he said, knowing where his words would hit Buffy the most. Knowing that he should have been aware of that himself the first time around.

"I know," Buffy agreed, turning to gaze at Faith fondly. "And I can give it to her this time. I'm ready."

"It seems we're both ready," Giles nodded regretfully.

Buffy turned back to the man she still called her watcher, a mischievous glint in her green eyes. "Though hopefully only I have the privilege of sleeping with her," she pointed out with a grin.

His cheek twitched a little as he sought the words to agree without thinking too much about the deed itself. "Yes, indeed. . .that's entirely your. . .business with her, Buffy," he stuttered.

"Oh, I wouldn't call it business," Buffy chuckled, her grin becoming a full on smirk as she wiggled her eyebrows; toying with him and his stuffiness.

Giles reached up to his face to remove his glasses, his hands demanding that he set about cleaning them to diffuse the situation. He felt around but it was a fruitless search.

"Looking for these?" Buffy asked, plucking Giles' glasses from the counter top beside them and handing them to him.

She turned towards Faith, happy with the flustering going on behind her as Giles rooted around for a hanky to wipe the shine from his glasses. She felt good. Perky even. Things were settling into place finally and she couldn't help but beam at Faith as her dark eyes opened to take in her advancing form.

"Ready to motor?" Faith asked, her eyes sliding over Buffy like melted chocolate.

"I'm ready," she replied, hinting at everything she truly was ready for.

They made their way to the part of town that had glowed brightly on the map, keeping a look out for anything odd, or at least stranger than usual. Nothing portal-like had caught their eye and they were down to the last area, the last dark corner of a graveyard clouded in the dusky moonlight.

Faith had been itching to slay, craving it almost as much as she craved Buffy. . .but there hadn't been a single opportunity to plunge her stake into something evil. She needed to, to reassure herself that she could still do it. That it was still her calling. She was antsy, agitated and twirling her stake as they slowed their pace to prolong the night.

"This blows. My first night out here slaying and. . .no vamps. What gives?" Faith whined, her normally sex hazed tone giving way to something bordering on cute and girly.

Buffy chuckled and nudged into Faith with her shoulder, forgetting just how juiced slaying could get her new lover.

She had come to call Faith her lover in her head, sure that the word fit; that they fit it perfectly. There was love, and there was the promise of lots of sex, so her mind wrapped its way around the word and claimed it as theirs.

Her reverie was interrupted as she spotted two mounds of earth not too far to the left. She grinned, sure that Faith would have her fun. Just as she was about to point out the possible hope of vamp action to Faith, her senses began to prickle.

"You feel that, B?" Faith asked, stopping on the path and looking deep into the darkness.

"Yep, I feel it."

Vampires were most definitely close by. Buffy could feel the heat rising up the back of her neck. The prickle of anticipation. The itch that wouldn't go until they'd driven the demons from their world.

"I'm guessing two, not counting what might crawl out of those graves over there," Buffy said, turning so she was back to back with Faith, knowing that they wouldn't have to go looking for their prey.

A snarl broke the quiet around them as a large vampire stepped onto the path ahead. "Oh look, it's Goldilocks and her. . ." he paused, the cogs attempting to turn in his rotten skull, "friend."

"Wow, the standard of vamps in this place has really gone to shit, B. You shoulda told me, I woulda stayed in LA," Faith laughed, sizing him up and waiting for his partner.

The partner stood out of the shadows and onto the path, even bigger than the mentally challenged vampire. The vamps growled at each other, licking their lips in anticipation of the prize to come.

"Aww, look at that, Faith. I think they're lovebirds," Buffy cooed, feeling her own partner reaching for a stake, ready to show them just who owned the town.

"Well I don't plan on watching them get down n dirty, so let's party," Faith said, a delicious grin curling her lips as they moved to stand side by side against their foes.

All four of them paused as the atmosphere held its breath for the fight to come. A groan resounded from the left and Buffy watched as two newly formed vampires crawled from the sodden earth. They shook the dirt from their bodies, yellow eyes piercing the shadows, locking onto the two slayers.

"Now this is more like it," Faith said excitedly, every inch of her skin alive as she burned to kill the monsters now approaching them.

"You remember the drill?" Buffy asked, recalling past times when they'd slayed together and trained together; attuning themselves to each other.

"Could never forget it, baby," Faith replied, giving Buffy a stunning smile before launching herself at the closest vampire.

Buffy watched Faith as she flowed. As her tight clothes strained against flexing muscles and heated skin. Fists raining down their birthright and legs spinning and kicking; an exquisite show of force and power. Faith had always looked beautiful when she fought, but now that her power was fully under her control she oozed sex like it was living under her skin.

Buffy looked on in awe. She had felt her heart skip a beat as Faith called her by an apparently entirely new nickname, and it felt good. It felt right. Buffy felt alive in ways she hadn't done for a long time. In ways only Faith could make her feel.

She gripped the hard wooden stake in her hand and jumped into the fray, instantly pummelling and pounding, beating the smirk from the face of evil.

The slayers were back, and they were better than ever before. More together than ever before.

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

"Here, B. . .catch," Faith called with a smirk as she threw the last of the vampires towards Buffy.

Buffy was waiting with pointed stake in hand, her reflexes alive with adrenaline. Her aim true as she struck her target and span out of the way of the falling dust. She took a deep breath, feeling her muscles relax as the sting of supernatural tingles dissipated from her spine. All she could feel now was Faith; the delicious sensation of the other slayer stalking her body with her eyes as she drew closer.

Looking up into the dark brown of Faith's eyes, Buffy could tell Faith had enjoyed the work out. Killing vampires was in Faith's veins. It crawled under her skin and tore through her muscles just like it did with Buffy. They both knew what it felt like. They both knew how much it took to restrain themselves when their bodies hummed with the rush of the slay.

Every second they had fought the vampires Buffy had been listening to every grunt and gasp of her partner. She'd watched her exchange blows, spin and kick like she was dancing. Every twist, every flexing muscle and sigh of pleasure as her stake pierced dead flesh had captured Buffy's attention; even as she fought her own foes, finding them easier to kill than their size at first suggested.

She allowed her eyes to roam over Faith now there was nothing else around but the piles of dust on the floor. Her green eyes took in every inch, imaging every taste, every touch and breath. She wanted Faith most after slaying. It had always been that way. There had been a time she would have ignored it; pushed it aside in fear and confusion. But they were past that now. They were on the same page, writing their own words of love and desire upon it with every longing look.

"That was fun," Faith said, regaining her breath quickly as she slotted her stake back into her pocket. "I thought they were gonna be tougher, but ya can't have everything I guess."

She was grinning. Her full lips turned up in victory as she strutted closer to Buffy. She looked like a champion. Like the demons of her past had released her just that little bit more; tipping the scales back in her favour a little by ridding the world of the monsters that roamed it. Buffy couldn't take her eyes from Faith. She watched as Faith trailed her tongue over her dimpled lower lip, still grinning, still with conquest written all over her in every movement.

The urge to tell Faith she was beautiful and magnificent rose to her throat and she opened her mouth to speak. The words never left her lips as Faith stole the last step between them and brought them together, her mouth hot and wet on Buffy's; kissing with such desire it took all of Buffy's willpower to keep on her feet.

She moaned into Faith, her arms wrapping their way up around her and keeping her close. Their tongues sought salvation in each other, dipping and twisting. Heated breath flowing from them as their lips possessed and hands clung tightly.

Faith wanted to push, she wanted to lower Buffy to the ground and take her. Every inch of her skin cried out for Buffy's and she let it all pour out in the kiss. She sucked on Buffy's lower lip, her teeth scraping over it as she pulled away so they could take a second to breathe. Buffy's eyes were heavy with lust and Faith was lost inside them. She moved her hand up to whisper a soft touch over Buffy's temple and down her cheek, savouring the hot burn of her flushed skin.

"I really fucking want you, B," Faith whispered, her voice coarse with need.

Buffy couldn't help but smile. She could see into Faith's depths; unravelling every layer of her and loving each one more than the last. In the past Buffy would have called Faith's words crude and unromantic, but now she could see deeper. She saw the love. She saw the need and the desire to please. She saw the Faith that had stolen her heart and ensured her body would react to nobody but her.

Parker, Riley, even Angel. . .none of them had been able to scratch Faith from her skin. She'd never been possessed by her physically, but from the first moment they had made eye contact Faith had claimed her and there was nothing Buffy could do about it. She didn't want to fix it like she'd been trying so fruitlessly to do. Not now. Now she could enjoy it. She could take the scorching heat that rose within her when Faith settled her dark eyes on her. She revelled in the heat. She wanted Faith just as much, if not more.

Bringing their lips back together, Buffy showed Faith just that. She wrapped her tongue around Faith's, tasting deep and long, her hands buried in thick brown hair. They sighed almost in unison, bringing their bodies together, breasts straining to feel skin on skin.

Trailing her lips from Faith's mouth to her jaw and neck, Buffy felt her need soaking her panties. There was nothing more she wanted than to have Faith discover how wet she was. For Faith to know exactly what it was she did to her. There had never been a kiss as powerful as Faith's that had excited her and aroused her. Nobody had ever turned her knees to jell-o the way Faith's body against her own could do. She was powerless to stop it and she didn't want to. Never again did Buffy want to push the feelings aside that Faith instilled in her.

It had left her hollow. It had left her endlessly searching for something to fill the void, but nothing had ever come close. Faith was all she needed.

"I love the way your skin tastes," Buffy sighed as she kissed down Faith's neck, sucking on her pulse point; flicking her tongue out as Faith moaned softly for her. "I wanna taste you all over."

Buffy scraped her teeth over Faith and quickly found herself being propelled backwards towards a nearby crypt. She bit her lower lip as Faith pressed hard against her, pushing Buffy into the old wood of the rotting door with her slightly larger frame.

"Man, you can't say that to me and not expect me to want to rip all your clothes off," Faith pointed out breathlessly.

She was finding it difficult to hold back. Buffy's eyes, her lips and her hands were driving her wild. She was used to how horny slaying could get her but this had little to do with dusting the vampires. This was Buffy. It was knowing what she felt like under her touch. Knowing how her skin felt against her own. Faith wanted more. Every taste of Buffy left her hungry and screaming for more. The memory of Buffy's skin was seared onto her own and the desire she had for her now was indescribable.

"That makes two of us," Buffy said, her voice quivering as Faith kissed patterns over her jaw and neck. "You can't tell me you want me and not expect me to want you more for wanting me."

Faith raised her head from Buffy's neck and looked quizzically at her. "Yunno, sometimes you make no sense," she chuckled.

Buffy chuckled along with her, her heart warming to the sound of them both. "Then kiss me again and stop me talking."

Brushing her lips over Buffy's Faith did just that, kissing her slowly this time, letting the heat build back up between them. She trailed her fingers up over Buffy's thigh, feeling her legs fall open just a little so she could slip herself between them. As she nestled in between Buffy's thighs she kissed deeper, feeling Buffy's moan against her chest. Slipping her tongue over Buffy's she pressed against her, their bodies fitting perfectly, their clothes in the way of feeling pussy against pussy.

Faith rolled her hips into Buffy, causing them both to groan with the desire to feel more. Rubbing up into Buffy, Faith didn't allow their clothes to distract her from her need; and she needed to hear Buffy reacting to her. She craved each sigh and gasp, every moan and press of Buffy's fingers in her firm backside.

They moved together, passion winning over sobriety and sense as their arousal seeped out in a plea for a lover's touch. Their bodies sought each other out in the dank confines of the graveyard, trapped against a creaking door as they kissed hungrily.

The creaking grew louder as Faith pulled her lips from Buffy's, her heart pounding as she pressed against the girl pushing right back at her. Her clit was swollen and crying out for attention. Faith needed all restrictions gone, but she couldn't tear herself away from Buffy, and Buffy was gripping on, moaning as she moved against her.

"Faith," Buffy sighed hoarsely, the only word she could think of. The only word that mattered right then.

She began to repeat it as she felt herself almost tumbling over the edge. She wanted every part of Faith pressed into her and wished she could blink away their clothes, but she couldn't stop the agonising ecstasy of having Faith grinding into her, her powerful body demanding Buffy to react.

They kissed hard again as Faith moaned deeply, her body ready to release its desire despite the fact she was fully clothed. It didn't matter; she felt Buffy all over her and right then it was exactly what she needed. Thrusting harder, Faith waited for the tremble to begin, but before either of them knew what was happening a sickening crack infiltrated their concentration.

Buffy was on her ass before she had time to react, with Faith sprawled above her, eyes wide as they both tried to compose themselves.

Faith looked down at Buffy, the position perfect for carrying on what they had started, but something was lurking in the darkness. Faith could see it skulking and trying to hide.

"We're not alone in here, B," Faith pointed out quietly, trying to catch her breath.

Buffy sighed, wishing they could have carried on until Faith had decided to rid them of their clothes.

"What is it?" Buffy asked, reeling in her arousal in order to align her reflexes.

"No idea, but I'm guessing it came from that little blue swirly thing further back," Faith said, just noticing the anomaly as her eyes quickly adjusted to the inky blackness.

"The portal?" Buffy asked.

"Could be," Faith confirmed, slowly moving her body from Buffy's, instantly missing the contact.

"That's just great," Buffy sighed.

They both got to their feet, making no sudden movements as their eyes searched the shadows for their guest. They could see a figure moving in the depths of the crypt just past the portal. Whatever it was it was hiding, but not very well.

"We can see you," Buffy called, reaching for her stake.

"You think it's the big blood guy?" Faith asked, scanning the area ahead as they advanced.

"If it is. . .he's owed a world of pain."

Faith could feel her muscles readying themselves for action. Her senses weren't picking up demons but she was still on alert. Sometimes demons were clever and discovered ways to mask themselves.

They could clearly see the shimmering light of the portal now. Its blue hue warped in and out like a strobe, clearly telling them it was active. They didn't need to be witches to feel the energy it was giving off. Faith stepped ahead, choosing to grip her axe as she heard the shuffle of feet behind a large stone tomb. She doubted it was Garashk himself, but they had to be careful.

Buffy indicated for Faith to go round the tomb one way as she went the other. The blackness cleared as their sight adjusted and in the corner of the dank crypt they spotted a little old man in a loin cloth. He was standing in a defensive position. His hands thrust out before him, nails like claws ready to shred and cut. His eyes were red and darting between the two slayers, lungs rasping for air as they approached.

"It's the little guy that led us to the other guy," Faith remarked, looking around and making sure he was alone.

"Very eloquent, Faith," Buffy chuckled. "And yeah, it certainly looks like him."

As the portal crackled beside them they moved closer together, waiting for any sudden movements or threats.

"You can't stop him. He's on his way," the little guy said as he whipped his head left and right, looking for an out. "He is the Lord. He will become ruler here. He's the. . ."

Faith lunged forwards and grabbed the little guy by the throat. The creature looked like Golem, and smelled like rotting cabbage. She did her best not to vomit her lunch as she swung him towards the portal.

"Yunno, I'm getting pretty sick of this whole Lord crap. How about you send him a message from us," Faith said as she pushed the small fellow to the floor at the foot of the portal. "We don't need a fucking ruler, and we certainly ain't gonna stand for him thinking he can strut his funky stuff here."

As he flashed his nails at her, preparing to jump towards her, Faith spun gracefully and kicked him hard in the chest. He flew backwards into the portal and the room exploded in color. He disappeared and the portal imploded. The light show temporarily blinded the two slayers, but as they strained to see they could tell that the small swirly blue thing had gone.

"Wow, I was expecting more," Buffy said, stepping beside Faith as they peered into the darkness where the rift had been.

"It's just a night full of frustration I guess," Faith chuckled, turning her attention to Buffy.

Buffy laughed along with her, cursing their luck as they left the dark confines of the crypt. "I guess we should let Giles know what happened," she pointed out, wishing they didn't have to stick to business when they both just wanted to spend time with each other.

"I'll call him," Faith said, pulling out her cell phone and dialling his number.

She explained briefly what had happened, describing how the portal had seemed to implode on itself as the little old man had been pushed back through. He hummed and ahhed and vowed to look into it properly in the morning. It was late and he needed sleep. He seemed pretty certain that they'd managed to avert disaster by closing the rift, however.

"At least the night wasn't a total bust," Faith remarked, flipping her cell phone closed and placing it back in her pocket.

Buffy brushed her now scruffy pants down and smiled at Faith, enjoying the easy atmosphere between them. "You saved the world, Faith. Welcome back to the slaying."

"Hey, all I did was get rid of freaky loin cloth guy. I had no clue it would make the portal go all implode-y," Faith said as they began making their way out of the cemetery.

"Still, I think it's a reason to celebrate," Buffy said cheerfully, glancing sideways at Faith. "We could go dancing."

"Um, B. . .you do realise how late it is right?" Faith asked as Buffy wrinkled her brow in answer. "I'm pretty sure Giles would throw a fit if I stayed out much later, even if he is going to bed."

"Wow, you really are trying to keep straight, huh," Buffy said, feeling her heart swell with pride even though she would have loved to have spent a few hours dancing with Faith.

"Not exactly straight, B," Faith said with a wink, causing them both to laugh.

"I'm proud, though," Buffy said softly. "Although, I'm so gonna have to have a word with Giles and let him know I expect you to be able to come out with me now and then. . .for more than slaying. I swear he's worse than my mom with the fussing."

"That'd be great, B," Faith said thankfully, the back of her hand brushing against Buffy's as they walked side by side.

Buffy glanced down at where their hands were touching and she took a risk, curling her fingers around Faith's and holding gently. The warmth of Faith's hand instantly made her feel safer. She'd never had anything truly make her feel safe before, not when she knew just how unsafe the world really was; but Faith was a slayer. She was her equal. She was her love.

Faith smiled to herself as she felt Buffy give her hand a little squeeze. She wasn't used to holding hands with anybody, but the fact it was Buffy made her all kinds of float-y. She liked it. It was new, but it was what she wanted.

They agreed that Buffy would walk Faith home in order not to terrify Giles at the prospect of Faith being alone. They could both tell he trusted her, but he was a worrier and they didn't need a fussy Giles fretting over Faith when she was doing so well. They reached the small courtyard to Giles' apartment and slowed their pace to a stop.

Buffy didn't want to let go of Faith. She wasn't ready to. The idea alone made her want to jump on her and just hold on. She didn't want to be clingy; the thought of being that and terrifying Faith away made her squirm in her own skin, but they'd been through so much and it felt wrong to walk away. She wanted Faith's arms around her. She wanted to sleep in them and keep Faith beside her. She needed to show Faith her love. After all the hurt that had passed between them. . .it was all Buffy wanted to do.

"Guess this is my stop," Faith said quietly, breaking the silence that had fallen between them as they'd stopped by the door.

"Yeah," Buffy replied, looking down as Faith turned towards her.

Faith noticed Buffy's change in mood. "What's wrong, B?"

"You'll think I'm crazy," Buffy confessed.

Faith used her free hand to lift Buffy's face up so she could look into her eyes. Her gentleness surprised them both, but then they'd both been full of surprises over the past few days.

"Try me," Faith said, her fingers soft on Buffy's cheek.

Buffy couldn't find the words to explain herself as she'd never felt quite the way she was feeling right then. There was something pulling her to Faith; an undeniable force that neither of them could break this time. There weren't words for how she felt and what she needed; it went beyond them, meanings lost in the overwhelming need to just be. To just be with one another.

She closed the distance between them and kissed Faith, instantly drowning in the sensation of Faith's plump lips possessing her. She slipped her tongue over the delicious cleft of Faith's lower lip, feeling herself becoming more aroused by the second. Faith's hands pulled her closer as she placed them on Buffy's hips, ensuring they were pressed together once again in the heat of the moment.

Their mouths grew hungry, lips demanding and tongues sliding as they sought to quench each other's thirst. Buffy manoeuvred Faith backwards, the cool wall next to the door becoming their temporary anchor.

Faith sighed softly as she felt fingertips glide up under her shirt. Tender fingers heating up her skin as they touched; as Buffy reminded them both that they had been on the brink twice that day only to be interrupted. They kissed deep and long as Buffy pushed Faith's top up, her hand grazing over the swell of her breast as she hunted for some kind of relief.

Pulling her mouth from Buffy's, Faith gasped a little as fingers eased over her nipple, causing it to strain against her bra for more contact.

"B," she breathed, her tone full of need. "You're getting me wet. . .again."

Buffy groaned almost carnally as she sucked Faith's lower lip into her mouth and teased the hard nipple beneath her fingers. She wanted Faith wet. She wanted her now.

"I don't wanna leave," Buffy confessed, moving her lips to Faith's ear, her breath hot against it. "We can sneak in. Giles won't know."

Faith grinned a little and brought Buffy's lips back to her own, pushing her tongue into her yielding mouth as she showed Buffy just how much she wanted to say yes. As they parted for air she willed herself to say no, not wanting to disobey Giles or anger him, but Buffy was still toying with her nipple and fitting into her curves in an enchanting way. She licked her lips - tasting nothing but Buffy - and nodded.

Taking Buffy by the hand once again, Faith opened the door as quietly as she could, checking to make sure Giles wasn't lurking around downstairs. He wasn't anywhere to be seen and all but one lamp was switched off. They headed towards Faith's bedroom, their footfalls soft but their breathing hard in anticipation of what was to come.

Buffy kept her eyes locked on Faith, her gaze roaming over her body as they made their way. She felt her heart pounding and her stomach fluttering as the thought of being with Faith again filled her senses. She could barely wait to feel Faith flush against her skin once again; to feel her touches and her kisses. To feel her need and her desire.

With a cute smile firmly planted on her lips, Buffy followed Faith into the darkness of her bedroom. She felt the soft fingers untangle from her own and took a deep breath as Faith shrugged off her jacket and turned her dark eyes towards her.

Buffy was struck by the lust she saw in them; dark depths full of promise. Full of love.

There was no going back.

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

They stood a few feet apart, just looking, waiting and wanting. Buffy could feel the tension rolling over her skin. Each soft hair on her body prickling as Faith devoured her with her eyes. She let her jacket slip from her arms, catching it with her fingertips and holding it out to Faith, not once leaving the warmth of her dark eyes with her own.

Faith took the jacket and flung it on top of her own on the nearby chair. They slowly began to move together, the heavy clunk of boots ringing out on the hardwood floor with every step. Like a drumbeat pushing them towards each other. A soundtrack to accompany their searching eyes. All they could see was want and desire, and a wealth of love they hadn't even scratched the surface of yet.

Stopping close to Buffy, Faith reached up and brushed an unruly lock of blonde from Buffy's brow. Her fingers were gentle, a slight tremble that conveyed just how much she needed this; needed Buffy.

"I wish it could always have been this way," Buffy whispered, chasing away the silence now their boots had ceased their telling thuds.

"We're here now," Faith said with a soft smile.

She touched her fingers to Buffy's cheek and leaned in to kiss her. It was soft and warm and held all of the passion just on the outside, letting every other feeling flow through in its stead. They knew passion would come crashing back through them, but just for a moment they both wanted to feel everything else. They needed to taste the depth of what they meant to each other; and they could. With every slide of their lips and tender flick of tongue they knew what they had and how it had changed them.

Faith smiled and felt Buffy respond in kind against her lips. She could taste the love, and she could sense the desire. It was everything she'd wanted from Buffy and more. Kissing Buffy deeper, Faith pushed them back towards their goal. She felt hands trying to work her out of her top and knew Buffy wanted exactly the same thing she did.

Stepping back just a little, keeping the heat trapped between them, Faith pulled her top off and flung it to the chair. She aided Buffy in ridding herself of the confines of her own shirt and crushed their lips back together once again, lost without the feel of them on her.

She would never grow tired of Buffy's lips. Soft and supple, willing and aggressive. The perfect combination to make the perfect kisses. Faith had never felt the need to keep kissing somebody so much. She'd never been the type to dwell on the kissing, preferring to get straight down to business. But Buffy must have been some kind of expert because she never wanted to leave her lips.

Moving backwards, feeling Buffy follow every step as they struggled to stay upright and kick off their boots at the same time, Faith took them closer to her bed. Fingers tripped over her bra strap, tugging at the clasp and finally freeing her from its grip. She lost it to the floor and Buffy's bra followed without question. They clung to each other; arms wrapped up in one another, tongues duelling and dancing.

Buffy sighed happily as she felt Faith's warm body press against her own, the soft push of her breasts against her heating her up all over. Faith had a fantastic body and to have it so close to her, naked and needing to be touched. . .it made Buffy's head spin in all kinds of directions. Faith turned her on in ways nobody had come close to. Just the sight of her, the smell of her; Faith was intoxicating and Buffy wanted to feast on her.

The back of Faith's knees hit the bed and they tumbled backwards, landing on the soft mattress with an oomph and a giggle. Situating themselves further up, their mouths still locked and pulling heated sighs and moans from one another, the slayers fell into a comfortable position. Buffy flicked her tongue over Faith's lips, a small grin playing on her own as she relished the feel of Faith's breasts pushing into her own. She lifted herself a little way, letting her breasts slide over Faith's; hard nipples brushing and teasing over each other as she watched the pleasure on her lover's face.

Faith ran her fingernails over Buffy's back, asserting just enough pressure to cause Buffy to moan and push down into Faith in all the right places. As she pushed, however, a disgruntled look crossed Faith's features and she furrowed her brow.

"Fuck," Faith mumbled, reaching underneath herself as Buffy gave her a little room to manoeuvre.

She pulled out a shabby looking brown teddy bear and Buffy instantly smiled.

"I'm hoping that's yours," Buffy chuckled, sitting up so she was straddling Faith, taking the bear from her just before she was about to launch it across the room.

"Yeah," Faith answered, looking a tad embarrassed.

Buffy smiled down at Faith, trying not to laugh at the look on her face. She seemed horrified that her night-time companion had been discovered.

"He's cute," Buffy cooed, "and so are you." She placed the bear on the bedside table, facing it away from them.

"Can't say anybody's called me cute before," Faith laughed softly, her hands resting on Buffy's thighs, fingers making little patterns over her.

"Well, you are," Buffy assured. "But you're also extremely sexy," she said as looked Faith over then leaned back down to kiss her, "and gorgeous, and beautiful," her kisses continued, moving down to Faith's jaw and neck, "and delicious, and sexy."

"You said sexy already," Faith chuckled, her breathing quickening as Buffy's lips moved to her breasts.

"That's because you're double-y sexier than anybody else I've ever seen," Buffy placed a teasing kiss over Faith's tantalisingly hard, dusky nipple, ". . .and then some," she finished with a grin before wrapping her lips around her prize and sucking.

"Hmm," Faith moaned, her dimples making their mark at her cheeks as she enjoyed Buffy suckling on her. She couldn't object because she couldn't find any more words now; she just wanted to feel.

Faith's fingers slipped into silky blonde hair as she allowed Buffy to suck and kiss over her breasts. She could feel herself getting wetter with every pull on her nipples; with every touch of Buffy's fingers across her skin. Her body was pleading for Buffy to take it, and she'd never before felt so compelled to be taken. She was a doer not a taker, but as she tried to regain her control and flip Buffy over she realised Buffy was having none of it. The blonde girl wanted to be on top. She wanted to take her time with Faith, and Faith didn't have the will or desire to stop her. She was Buffy's.

As Faith's body started reacting to every touch from the girl above her she felt fingers unzipping her jeans, and hands tugging them down.

"I wanna show you how I feel about you, Faith," Buffy said quietly as she placed wet kisses down Faith's stomach.

Buffy felt the muscles jump under her lips, daring her to kiss more; to taste the heat of Faith's skin. She was sure Faith wasn't about to flip her over, but wanted to tell her what she wanted. Buffy wanted to love Faith; to let her know exactly how beautiful she thought she was. To let her know that she desired every part of her, in every way.

There were no objections so Buffy pulled off Faith's pants and panties, taking every scrap of clothing from her body so she was gloriously naked before her. Buffy's heart was pounding in her chest as she pushed the garments off the bed and trailed her fingers up over Faith's legs, her fingernails scratching lightly as she studied every inch of the girl she longed for so much.

Faith raised herself so she was sitting up more, wanting to get Buffy out of her pants too before things got out of control. She needed to feel her skin all over her.

Kissing Buffy impatiently, Faith made her intentions obvious as she deftly began to usher Buffy out of her pants and panties. Buffy willingly helped, pushing them down and off herself then climbing back into Faith's arms. They crashed back down to the bed, stilted moans escaping them as their bodies sought confirmation that they fit perfectly together.

Their mouths were hungry again, kissing with tongues plunging into one another, hot skin melting for each other as their arousal seeped out. Buffy could feel Faith's wetness coating her pussy and she slipped herself over her, their gasps filling the air around them.

"I want you so much, Faith," Buffy said breathlessly as she trailed her hand down Faith's side, feeling the girl moving to her touch.

"I'm yours," Faith assured, giving herself up to Buffy as she bent her leg and spread wider, opening herself up.

Buffy's fingers tripped down over her firm stomach as she shifted to Faith's side just a little. She nuzzled into Faith's neck, kissing and sucking as her hand moved lower. She wasn't sure who moaned loudest as her fingertips dipped into Faith's pussy, sliding between her moist lips as she spread her juices all over her.

They were both breathing heavy and deep, the scent of lust tainting the air and filling their greedy lungs. Buffy guided her fingers to Faith's clit, drinking down the groan she caused as she circled it then brushed over it more determinedly. Her fingers had a plan, and it was working well. Faith moved against her touch, the hand at Buffy's back gripping her more tightly as she pleasured her new lover.

But Buffy wanted more. She didn't want Faith to come just yet and she could tell that she was close already. Biting her lip, Buffy dipped her fingers lower and watched as Faith closed her eyes and moaned deeply as she slipped inside her.

Her fingers were engulfed in warm, wet bliss and Buffy felt her own pussy dripping all over her inner thigh at the incredible feeling. She slid in deeper as Faith raised her hips and sighed out into the night. Keeping her eyes locked on Faith, Buffy indulged herself with the sensation of having her fingers inside her. She'd never imagined it would feel so good; that it would make her heart flutter and pound at the same time. But it was all about Faith; all about how much she craved her and loved her.

Buffy wanted to fill and fulfill her and be everything to her that she could be, and as Faith began to moan louder with every slow penetration of her fingers, Buffy realised she was doing just that.

Moving over subtly so she could slip a little further into Faith, Buffy teased her lips across the other girl's ear, telling her how good she felt and how much she'd wanted this for so long. Faith responded with whimpered groans and soft pleas for Buffy to keep doing just what she was.

"Fuck, B," Faith breathed out heavily, her voice husky and thick as she tangled her hand into blonde hair. "Fuck me harder," she pleaded before kissing Buffy with every ounce of need she had for her.

Buffy complied without hesitating, her fingers slipping easily into Faith as she fucked her. She thrust harder and faster, the wet sound of Faith's pussy scorching her ears as they both began to pant.

Faith wasn't sure why she hadn't flipped Buffy over to take charge like she would have done with anybody else, but she didn't dwell on the question, feeling in her heart that the answer was obvious. Both of them needed Buffy to do this. Both of them had to show how much they'd changed and how much they now trusted one another.

Spreading her legs for Buffy, Faith took everything she had to give. She kept one hand in soft, silky hair as her other gripped the sheet. Having Buffy inside her was something she'd never thought she'd feel and it was the greatest sensation she had ever known. Buffy's fingers were soft yet hard, teasing yet pleasuring, and sliding in and out of her perfectly.

Faith's breaths quivered out of her as Buffy slipped another finger inside her tight, wet hole. She filled her and fucked her faster, thrusting to every roll of Faith's hips. Using her body to help thrust deeper, giving Faith what she obviously wanted given the vocal gratitude.

"Oh, yeah," Faith sighed. "Fuck me, baby."

Buffy couldn't bite back her smile or her own groans at just how sexy Faith really was. She was stunning, in every way. Buffy looked down Faith's heated body, watching as her fingers slid in and out of her, seeing as well as feeling just how wet she was. Buffy had Faith at her fingertips, softly moaning her name into the quiet of the night. It was almost perfect, except for the fact she desperately needed to taste Faith.

Slowing her fingers a little, garnering a whimper of disapproval, Buffy quickly kissed her way down Faith's now slick body. Faith's scent was heady and rich, practically making Buffy's mouth water. She drove her fingers deep into her, watching them plunge into the softest part of her. Bringing her fingers back out, she slipped them into her mouth and tasted pure Faith. She moaned deep in her chest and felt a soft hand in her hair once again; not pushing, just keeping them connected.

Faith was poised, ready for whatever Buffy needed and wanted to do. She couldn't deny the girl anything, not when she was making her feel so good, and so adored.

She rested her head back again as Buffy's mouth descended towards her. Faith felt an exploratory swipe of Buffy's tongue over her pussy, licking her from dripping hole to swollen clit. She nearly shot off the bed it felt so good; so good because it was Buffy. The girl she had wanted for as long as she'd known her. The girl she'd dreamt about, fantasised about and longed for in the worst way. It was almost too much, but Buffy stilled her with a strong hand on her hip, holding her firm as she licked her way around her soaked pussy.

"You taste so good," Buffy groaned, breathing hot air over Faith, placing open mouth kisses over her clit.

She'd never done this kind of thing before, but Buffy didn't feel intimidated. She knew what felt good, and she was prepared to do anything to make Faith feel as much pleasure as possible. She listened to each reaction and felt every tremble run through Faith, quickly learning what and where to kiss and lick. She was enjoying it just as much as Faith was, and could have stayed there forever.

Faith lightly dug her fingernails into Buffy's scalp, letting her know just what she was doing to her.

Grinning and taking pity on Faith in her ultra-aroused state, Buffy flicked her tongue fast over her clit and plunged her fingers back inside her, slipping them in deep and hard.

"Fuck!" Faith cried out, causing Buffy to cringe a little at the loudness.

If Giles wasn't awake before he most definitely was now. Still, there was no way she was about to stop. She picked up the pace with her fingers, stroking them in and out of Faith fast and hard, pulling the most delightfully girly moans and gasps from her. Buffy couldn't help but fall in love with every sound.

She peeked up to watch Faith, her pupils instantly dilating as she saw how Faith was using her free hand to clutch at her own breast, pulling hard on her nipple as Buffy fucked her. She glided her unoccupied hand up from Faith's hip, not wanting her to have to do anything but receive. She nudged her hand aside and replaced it with her own; fingers toying and teasing, the soft swell of Faith's breast filling her grasp. Faith licked her full lips and dropped her hand to the sheet, curling her fingers around it as she bucked up against Buffy.

She felt Faith nearing orgasm, her pussy slick and hot as Buffy fucked her as deep as she could, her tongue pressing firmly on her hard little clit as she licked and flicked over it.

"Oh, fuck. . .Buffy," Faith moaned loudly, filling the room with sounds of their love; the hot wet slap of Buffy's fingers and the hard panting and moaning of the girl about to come all over her.

Buffy pressed her tongue down hard on Faith, pushing deep and fast into her, causing Faith to crash over the edge. She moaned out Buffy's name over again as she came, her breaths quick and trembling and body quivering as Buffy's fingers became drenched in her.

As Buffy felt her fingers being covered, she wrapped her lips around Faith's swollen clit and sucked, rubbing her fingertips upwards and hoping she'd hit the right spot. She wanted Faith to keep coming for her. She wanted to make it special. Make it more.

Faith didn't disappoint. Her fingers dug into Buffy's scalp and she practically screamed out into the heated air, fresh floods of come gushing out.

"Oh, God, Buffy," Faith cried, her body shaking as Buffy fucked her good and hard. "Fuck," she repeated loudly with every pant, offering up all she had to Buffy as she felt another wave hit her full force and send her barrelling over the edge.

She tried to regain composure but Buffy was unravelling her, making her scream out like she'd never done before during sex. She gripped the headboard and heard a snap as something gave under her strength. It didn't matter, as Buffy plunged her tongue inside her, pushing it as deep as it would go and sucking at her pussy with every thrust.

Faith held onto Buffy and filled her mouth with her come, feeling it spilling over them both as she let the final orgasm wash through her with a loud gasp. She was spent; well and truly fucked, and there was nothing to do but collapse back onto the bed and let out a long, contented moan.

Buffy beamed, feeling proud of herself. Feeling elated at what Faith had given her. She pulled her tongue from Faith's pussy with a wet slurp, lapping at her to drink down all she could, never wanting to leave what she'd just discovered. It was too good. Faith felt incredible and tasted even better. If it were possible, Buffy had fallen even deeper in love with Faith, her heart no longer her own. Her soul crying out to entwine around Faith's and never let go.

She felt tears spring to her eyes, feeling so lucky to have this chance. To finally get it right.

"Come here, baby," Faith drawled huskily, her hands gently pulling Buffy upwards.

She wrapped herself around Buffy as the smaller girl nestled between her legs. They stayed quiet as they both tried to calm themselves physically and emotionally.

Faith felt Buffy's tears on her shoulder and her own slipped free to join them. She wasn't crying out of pain or regret. It was happiness. Pure unadulterated happiness that she'd never felt before. Somehow she understood that Buffy felt the same; that they were both completely on the same page now. Experiencing the same sensations; the same love. Buffy hadn't said the words exactly, but Faith felt it running right through her from the little slayer.

She took a deep breath, pushing aside the tears and embracing Buffy tightly. She felt Buffy chuckle and nuzzled her nose against her blonde hair.

"If you squeeze any tighter, Faith, I might pop," Buffy said with a giggle.

Faith laughed along with her "Sorry, you just kinda. . .blew me away a little there," she confessed.

She released her grip enough to allow Buffy to lift her head and look at her, raising a hand to wipe away the last of Buffy's tears.

Buffy smiled and kissed Faith's fingers. "That kinda blew me away too," she said shyly. "I mean, I've never. . .and you're. . .amazing, and. . .wow." She couldn't form words, the taste of Faith still all over her lips causing her mind to wander around drunkenly.

Faith smiled and kissed Buffy softly, just letting their lips stumble over each other in a tender, unspoken vow of love and devotion. Her body had never felt quite so charged yet so fulfilled at the same time. Buffy had by far outdone herself, and any other lover Faith had ever had. Maybe it was the depth of their feeling, or maybe it was just skill and the need to please. Whatever it was, Faith was completely sated, and quickly falling asleep.

She desperately wanted to give Buffy the same feelings and sensations in return, but her eyes just wouldn't stay open, and Buffy could apparently tell.

"Sleep, Faith. I'll be right here when you wake up," Buffy said quietly as she gazed at Faith, her eyes and her words full of nothing but affection.

Buffy gently pulled the blanket from under them and wrapped it around them both, making sure not to stray too far from Faith's arms. She snuggled back into them and settled against her beautiful lover, kissing her lips and feeling Faith smile.

There were words that Buffy desperately wanted to say, but she didn't know if she deserved to say them; not yet. She felt them. . .more than ever she felt them, but remained quiet. Faith too remained quiet, but as Buffy allowed the kiss to linger as Faith tumbled into sleep underneath her, she felt her mouth the words against her lips.

Faith silently told her she loved her, and Buffy felt her heart skip a beat.

She rested her head on Faith's chest, listening to how their heartbeats slipped into the same rhythm. She loved Faith with everything she was. It seared through all the past pain and hurt, the anger and mistakes. . .and left nothing but the slow burn in her chest that blazed for Faith.

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

After snoozing for only a short time, Faith woke to find herself resting on top of Buffy. She wondered how they'd switched positions and why she'd suddenly become the snuggle-y type, but as Buffy breathed softly beneath her she gave up caring. It felt good to be in her arms; to be resting on her so soundly with Buffy holding her close.

She lifted her head, resting it on her hand as she looked down at Buffy. A happy smile situated itself on her lips and she couldn't shake the feeling that everything was fitting into place. Even if they had further struggles Faith somehow knew that they'd never go back to how it was. She could feel that they'd always share the connection they'd found now. It was pulling them together instead of forcing them apart, and that could only be a good thing for both of them.

The pains in her stomach had gone too. Faith didn't know why exactly and she still wanted to talk about them with Buffy, as she'd seen how they'd also affected her. It was just another thing that proved how much they meant to each other. How bound together they truly were.

Softly brushing her fingers over Buffy's collarbone, Faith felt her body heating up with the memory of what Buffy had done to her. She really had been blown away. Every touch, every kiss, everything that Buffy had done had been full of desire and love. She'd felt it coursing through her, fixing all the broken bits inside of her.

Faith couldn't fool herself into thinking everything was perfect now; she still had her demons and the guilt that would always linger around her, but now she had Buffy and that made her feel steady. It made Faith feel like she could stand amongst them again, rightfully taking her place as one of them; as a slayer, as a friend. As what she always should have been. Buffy's acceptance had finally come, and it was all she needed to help her make that final step out into the light.

Her fingers tripped lower, the feeling between her legs crowding Faith's thoughts with the need to touch Buffy. She felt a little sore, but in the good way that told her Buffy had fucked her good and hard and made her come over and over again with more intense feeling than she'd ever felt before. It was an exquisite sting that proved she was now Buffy's completely.

Lowering her lips to the other girl's forehead she kissed softly, not wishing to wake her just yet. She moved cautiously lower, pushing the blanket down with her hand as her gentle fingers drifted over Buffy's warm skin. Here eyes grew darker as she brushed over the small pink nipple that firmed to her touch. A little sigh escaped Buffy, but she was still fast asleep.

A devious little smirk appeared on Faith's face and she brought her lips down to Buffy's breast, her kisses barely touching but still managing to tempt and arouse her. Moving to Buffy's nipple, her fingers drifted lower as she kissed a little more, her mouth open and taking the pink prize between her lips. A modest suck, just to enjoy the sensation it caused within her, then a light flick of her tongue. Buffy shifted, her body becoming aware though she was still snoozing.

Faith let her settle again before kissing over both breasts, slowly and surely from one to the other, getting Buffy aroused and aching for her. She loved the sensation of them on her full lips; the softness of Buffy's breasts and the firmness of her nipples. The perfect combination to make her dizzy with lust.

She had to have more of Buffy. She needed to know her taste and feel her against her lips.

Moving so she was hovering over the girl beneath her, Faith settled between her legs, nudging them apart gently as she watched Buffy's face. She could tell Buffy was on the brink of waking and she was glad; she wanted to see how she affected her. She wanted to hear Buffy react to her.

The temptation to lower herself down and feel Buffy against her nakedness almost stole away her need to taste her, but she kept her resolve. They'd have plenty of opportunity to slide breathlessly against each other later.

Taking her time, Faith kissed teasing patterns down over Buffy's breasts and stomach, her breath hot against her skin, each kiss growing more firm, every pause filled with the flick of her tongue against Buffy. She descended to Buffy's spread legs, moving the blanket further down so she could look at her lover. She almost growled as she gazed over Buffy's glistening folds, the soft flesh just begging for her touch.

Grinning, Faith blew softly over Buffy as she held herself up with her hands placed either side of her hips. Buffy moved just a little, her body reacting enough to bring her to consciousness. A quiet moan indicated that she was becoming more aware so Faith blew again, getting closer to Buffy as she did so.

"Mmm, Faith," Buffy sighed softly.

She opened her eyes and looked down between her legs. The sight of Faith poised between them, her beautiful smile capturing her and her lush dark hair tickling over her thighs, made her quiver. She instantly began to breathe heavy, her need obvious in her eyes as she gazed into Faith's.

Guessing it was ok to carry on Faith lowered her head. She melted with the delectable scent of the other girl; the aroma filling her lungs and making her wetter than ever. She wanted to dive in but didn't want to rush. This was Buffy. This was her and Buffy and she was going to take every delicious second she could to enjoy it.

Faith placed tender kisses over Buffy's mound, not yet parting her folds to taste all that was on offer. Buffy noticeably reacted, her stomach tightening at every touch. She lifted her hips a little towards Faith, giving her no doubt that she was ready, and that she desperately needed Faith to make love to her.

And that's what it was; not fucking or screwing, but making love with every ounce of what they'd felt for each other for so long.

Faith kissed Buffy more fully over her pussy, her caress making contact with the soft moist flesh that was now hers to indulge in. She licked over her slowly; languorous strokes to taste and tease, then she brought her mouth directly over Buffy's already swollen clit and took it gently between her lips. She sucked and Buffy gasped, her hand now finding its way into Faith's hair. Buffy was practically trembling with need and anticipation and Faith didn't want to leave her hanging for too long. They both needed this. They both needed the intimacy and the confirmation of what they craved from each other.

She shifted position slightly, pulling Buffy's legs up over her shoulders, and then she flicked her tongue quickly over Buffy's clit gaining an enthusiastic moan in response. Each moan and hitched breath from Buffy was like an affirmation of how much Faith wanted and needed her this way. She wanted to spend hours making love to her, fucking her, making Buffy completely hers. There was no doubt that Buffy wanted the same.

"Faith," Buffy groaned, her hand pulling her closer, needing more. "Take me, please," she sighed.

Faith gave Buffy's clit one last long suck before sliding her tongue lower, holding it just over Buffy's tight wet hole. Buffy was already trembling, her body waiting for Faith to experience it the way they both wanted. The way they'd both dreamed about since first tumbling into each other's eyes so long ago.

"I'm gonna fuck you with my tongue, B," Faith said breathlessly, every part of her on fire for Buffy. She had Buffy's scent sending her dizzy and her taste driving her wild; there was nothing that she wanted more, and no fear about what they were doing. "Then I'm gonna fucking making love to you all night long."

Buffy closed her eyes and felt contented tears threaten to fall. She never imagined Faith would call it making love. She never imagined they'd ever get close to what she'd always secretly needed. Her heart was impossibly full, and as she was about to tell Faith just how much she loved her, her thoughts became a blur as Faith's tongue slid deep inside her.

"Oh, God," Buffy gasped shakily, lifting her hips to meet Faith half way. "That feels so good."

She was close already, her desire for Faith far outweighing the wish to go slow or feel Faith's tongue inside her for as long as possible. It felt incredible, intense, amazing and so above and beyond what she'd ever felt before, and she was fast approaching orgasm as Faith began to thrust in and out of her.

When Faith's fingers hit her clit, slipping quickly over it, she was done for. Each wet slap of Faith's tongue plunging into her caused Buffy to cry out her name. Faith was licking and sucking and wiggling in a feverish display of her skills, and Buffy couldn't hold back the volume of her moans or the veracity of her cries.

"Faith. . .oh, fuck," Buffy panted loudly as she felt her body tremble to its climax, the exquisite tingle rushing through her in a powerful jolt.

Faith clung onto Buffy, keeping her tongue buried inside her as deep as it would go as she came. She groaned as she felt the hot flood of Buffy's come wash over her tongue and lips. She tasted incredible and it felt truly wonderful to have Buffy's pussy grasping at her tongue, pulsing for her as she shook. The sensation was intense, and Faith vowed to fill her days and nights with more of the same.

She kept true to her word and they spent the night making love, tasting and thrusting and holding tight to each other as they came again and again. They never left each other's arms, always connected, feeling everything they could with each other until their bodies were sore and their eyes heavy with the need to sleep.

As the day fully began outside, the two girls finally pulled the covers up around them to rest, holding onto each other in the heat of their sex scented skin. They both wore contented smiles, safe with each other; limbs entangled as they brushed kiss swollen lips over the bites and marks of their passion.

*****

When Faith woke the second time she found the bed a little less full as she noticed Buffy wasn't there. She could still smell her all around. She could still feel every touch and every playful bite mark as she stretched and looked over to her clock. It was well past lunchtime and her stomach growled on cue. Lifting herself onto her elbows as the sheet fell to her waist, Faith searched the room with her eyes for clues as to Buffy's whereabouts.

She was certain Buffy wouldn't just up and leave and it was Sunday so she had no classes to go to. She saw that Buffy's jacket was still draped over her own, and her clothes were still strewn around. She certainly couldn't have gone far.

Relaxing back onto her pillows she closed her eyes and waited for Buffy's return. She wasn't waiting long as Buffy bustled back into the room carrying what looked like two cups of tea.

"Morning, beautiful," Buffy said softly as she entered, noticing that Faith was now awake. "Or should I say. . .afternoon." She smiled sweetly as she placed the cups on the bedside table, then she dropped Faith's robe from her body and crawled back on top of her.

"Giles make that or are you turning all English?" Faith asked with a chuckle as her arms slid up and around Buffy, pulling her close so she could feel whole once again.

"It was Giles," Buffy answered, her lips drifting enticingly over Faith's, barely touching as she kissed her between words. "And it was awkward."

Faith laughed, imagining how pissed he must be having had to endure them getting noisily acquainted with each other for most of the night.

"I should apologise to him later. Wasn't fair of us I guess," Faith said, tying to remember she was now a responsible adult.

"It's all done," Buffy assured, resting her head on Faith's shoulder and looking up at her. "I told him we're sorry. He wasn't really mad, just a little upset that he'd lost some sleep. And he made us tea, so I think it's gonna be ok."

They chuckled again, the mood so easy and so free of the bad tension that had always brewed between them. Now the tension was only of the good kind that both of them were happy to satisfy with each other.

"He didn't happen to be making anything to eat did he?" Faith asked. "I'm fucking starving here."

"You and me both," Buffy nodded, her stomach rumbling against Faith. "And yes, he's cooking something up, though with the whole turning bright red with embarrassment thing I didn't stick around to see what."

Faith smiled down at Buffy, pushing a lock of blonde from her brow as she kissed her forehead.

"You gonna stay and eat, or do you need to get back?" Faith asked, not sure if she wanted to hear the answer. She felt so good with Buffy draped across her, her leg thrown possessively over her.

Buffy sighed. She didn't want to go anywhere. Right where she was situated was perfect. Her body cried out to have Faith pressed against it and the thought of leaving to spend the night alone made her carefree smile disappear.

"This feels. . .amazing, Faith, and I really don't wanna get up and leave," Buffy confessed, her fingers drawing little patterns over Faith's hip.

"Yeah, I know what you mean, B," Faith sighed. "Maybe we can get away with another night. You could call your mom or something, and we'll hide up here from Giles."

She grinned and gave Buffy a squeeze. She didn't want just one more night, though. As much as it scared Faith she knew she wanted so much more.

"I wish we could have longer," Buffy said softly, almost whispering.

Faith felt her heart go out to Buffy. They'd gone through so much together and parting seemed like the worst event possible, but they had to be practical. They both lived in somebody else's house and neither of them had an income, but neither of them seemed willing to let go. She had an idea, and as crazy at it would have seemed just a few days ago Faith was sure it's what they both wanted. What they needed to keep them happy and wrapped in the love that had weaved its way so solidly around them.

"Maybe I could get a job," Faith said, unsure how her suggestion would go across. "And maybe get a place of my own, as long it's allowed with the whole guardian thing Giles signed. You could come round whenever you wanted then." She smiled, seeing Buffy's eyes light up.

"Would forever be ok?" Buffy chuckled, making it sound like a joke but meaning it with all her heart.

There wasn't another person in the world she'd rather spend her nights with, close, warm, and able to show their desire and their love without worry. They were young, but compared to most people their age they'd lived a thousand lifetimes. Now was not the time for holding back.

"If that's what you want, B," Faith replied, her dimples joining Buffy's broad smile that clearly indicated it was what they both wanted.

"I want you, Faith. Always. I think I always did, even though I fought it and fought you," Buffy said with a regretful sigh.

"We'll make it happen, B. We got this far so ain't nothing gonna stop us now," Faith assured. "I've never been a white picket fence girl and I'm no saint who isn't gonna screw up now and then, but I wanna spend every night making you mine."

"I am yours," Buffy said with a nod, more than happy to give herself up to Faith.

She believed in Faith; in them both in fact. The future was a little scary, but Buffy knew her future was by Faith's side.

They kissed softly, every inch of them in tune with each other, carved out for each in unquestionable need. Soaring on one another's touch, they ignored the tap on the door as Giles told them he'd left a tray of food outside for them as he was off to run some errands. They were too busy heating each other up once again, ready to take each other to the heights they both craved.

As the day turned to night the two of them thought of nothing but each other and saw and needed nothing but each other. Eventually sleep slipped its fingers around them once again, pulling them down to settle on one another, wrapped in their spent passion and their hopeful smiles. It wasn't long before dreams took their waking minds to places where nothing could touch them. A place demons avoided and fears kept their distance.

Buffy smiled, feeling a gentle wind ruffle the soft linen of her dress within her dream. She looked out to the sea, her eyes reflecting the deep reds and pinks that adorned the sky above. She was standing on the damp grass of a cliff, the sounds of rolling waves the only interruption to her thoughts. She had never felt so at peace, and so hopeful of her future. The air was warm and sweet and carried her heart on its breeze.

"It's beautiful," she said, folding her arms around herself.

"You're beautiful," Faith whispered behind her as she came forward to wrap her arms over Buffy's.

Faith stood behind Buffy, enveloping her in her love, her strength keeping Buffy safe within it.

"Do you think we'll be ok?" Buffy asked, her eyes still fixed on the restful horizon.

"I know we will, baby," Faith replied. "I know I love you."

Buffy sighed happily, feeling the words touch her in places she never knew existed. She turned slowly in Faith's arms and looked up into her deep brown eyes. She was still amazed at how soft they could be when they looked at her; how much love she saw in them as Faith let her in through the tough walls that kept her hidden from everybody else.

Her fingers delicately brushed over Faith's eyebrow and down her cheek to her endearing dimple. She had never felt so loved.

"I love you so much," Buffy said softly, melting into Faith body and soul. "I'm going to show you every day just how much you mean to me."

Both girls smiled openly, looking deep into one another; their dreams and reality finally merging as one. Their hearts finally allowed to have what they'd denied for so long.

They brought their lips together, little moans and soft sighs grounding them to one another as the sun began to set in the distance; a beautiful end for a beautiful beginning. They finally had their truth; no lies and no hurt, no doubts and no demands. Just their hearts and their bodies seeking the one thing that made them whole. Each other.

Forever each other.

A/N: Ok, so this was always meant to be a cheesy ending, so I hope it didn't dissapoint. I wanted a feel good fic when all was said and done, so decided not to fuck with them anymore, but give them their much deserved happy ending. Thank you all so much for reading and reviewing :)

The End

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