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Sweet

by GP
Rating: R

Disclaimer: All characters and aspects of the fictional environment are property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Fox, et al. There is no intent, or remote possibility, of anyone profiting from this.
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"You see, the difference between a garden variety slime demon and a Tregorian slime demon is a simple one. A stake, sword or knife to the heart will cause the typical slime demon to slowly melt into a rather small pool of nasty smelling goo. The Tregorian variety however will under the same circumstances explode covering all and sundry within twenty feet with a thick layer of foul smelling glop."

Giles paused and then spoke hesitatingly into the phone, "the demon that I sent you after, couldn't possibly have actually been..?"

"No shit Sherlock" came through angrily from the other end.

"I'm terribly sorry Faith, I thought you knew... Oh I remember telling Buffy .."

"Who is taking tonight off," Faith continued the thought. "You really put me in the shit G."

"I'm terribly sorry. I believe the stuff washes off fairly easily, from skin that is."

"What do you mean, 'from skin'?"

Giles swallowed and thanked his lucky stars that this was a phone conversation.

"Clothing is probably a lost cause, and..." Giles hesitated.

"And what?" Faith asked in a voice shaking with anger.

"Cleaning your hair could be.. ah.. problematical," he said.

"And that means?" she continued.

"Look on the bright side, I'm sure it will grow out in no time," Giles said rapidly and put down the receiver.

The phone began to ring a few moments later; Giles slowly gathered his things, put out the light and locked his office door. He could still hear it ringing when he reached his car. He decided to make himself scarce for the next few days, just to be on the safe side.

Faith threw the cell phone against the wall where it shattered in a hundred pieces.

She stood looking at the green remains of the demon she'd so confidently staked a few minutes ago. Looking down at herself, it was hard to tell where the demon stopped and she began. The thick green liquid covered her from head to toe except for a strip around her eyes where her forearm had protected her.

She could feel the squishing in her shoes and down her back and in more personal places too.

Of all nights, she thought, the first real date with Buffy and she gets slimed but good.

They'd been exploring their relationship for the last few months and had finally confessed their mutual feelings. After that momentous and to Faith most frightening occasion, Buffy proposed that they have a real date.

That was the reason Buffy had begged off patrolling tonight, without, of course, a word about the reason to Giles or any of the other Scoobie's. They'd decided to keep things quiet at least for the time being.

Buffy was spending all day making herself beautiful, although Faith thought she was beautiful enough already, and here she was covered in this green crap her clothes ruined. She gingerly touched her hair, and who knows what she'd have to do about this.

She hurried home as best she could through back alleys and side streets. The reaction of the dogs and cats she encountered reminded her of how bad she must smell. She couldn't smell anything anymore.

By the time she arrived at her motel, she had a plan. The small grubby swimming pool was deserted and her eyes lit up when she saw the abandoned beach towel draped across the back of a plastic chair.

Standing behind some bushes, she stripped and then ran for the pool. In a few moments, she was vigorously scrubbing and rinsing herself.

"Kinda cold for skinny dipping isn't it?" asked a voice.

She looked up to see Frank, her middle aged neighbor in the next unit sitting in the plastic chair, a cigarette in his hand and a smile on his face.

She kicked over to the edge, "how about a smoke neighbor?"

He came closer and placed one between her lips and lit it with a plastic lighter.

"Is that your stuff," he nodded toward the bushes, or did something crawl up there and die?"

"Bad day Frank, what can I say?" she said taking a deep drag.

He leaned in closer and then backed off, "whatever that crap was, it sure messed up your hair. It smells like a skunk convention."

Ready for a sharp comeback, he was surprised to see the concern in her eyes.

He rose, "stay here kid and I'll get you some shampoo and soap." He picked up the threadbare towel, "and I'll bring you some clean towels."

After his return, she managed to use deodorant soap to remove the smell form her skin, but no matter how much shampoo she used, the hair was still too much.

Frank held up a large towel and looked away, "Ok I think you've done everything you could, come on out."

She did as he said and wrapped herself in the towel.

"Dry off and I'll be right back," Frank said.

He came back with a black box under his arm, "sit down, I think this is your only choice, "he said opening the box to show several combs, a pair of scissors and a set of straight razors.

"Wait a minute," Faith said, "I thought you were managing the thrift shop, not working in the beauty parlor."

He started to comb her out, "nope, but I used to be a barber, hair stylist that is, and I still have the tools."

A few sniffs of her long dark hair convinced her, it had to go.

A half hour later, Frank held up a small mirror for her, "what do you think?"

It's so fucking short, she thought panicking, I look like GI Jane. Then she looked a little closer, it wasn't quite that short and it was almost..she'd never admit it but..it was almost cute.

"Thanks Frank, you're a life saver."

He shrugged and offered her another cigarette.

Taking it, she said, "Ok but I gotta get dressed soon, big date tonight."

She saw Frank's face fall and got a very unpleasant feeling. What the hell could happen now?

Frank sighed out a cloud of blue gray smoke, "the manager was at your place when I got home from work. He said he was tired of waiting for the rent every week and he was going to do something about it."

"Hell," Faith said, "let him put a new lock on, I'll bust it off just like last time."

"That's what he said, so he went in and took your clothes, your alarm clock, your.."

"Son of a bitch," she said, "everything?"

Frank nodded, "just left the hangers."

Faith glanced toward the motel office, "don't try it," Frank warned, "he thought of that too. He put the stuff in his car and took off."

She put her head in her hands, "I'm fucked, royally fucked. I've got a big first date tonight and no hair, no clothes, no shit, I'm fucked."

"Hey," Frank said, "I got a trunk full of stuff for the store. This lady donated it, all washed and ironed and dry-cleaned. Maybe there's something there that you can wear."

Faith let herself smile for the first time since she poked old faithful with her stake and followed him back to his place.

Frank was waiting outside his bedroom door, "come on Faith, it was the only thing in your size, how bad could it look? Anyway, there were shoes with it too, a whole outfit."

He watched the door slowly open and Faith step out.

His mind went back years to his sister's twelfth birthday; it looked like the same dress. It was white and lacey and seemed to have frills on its frills. The matching black patent leather Mary Janes completed the look.

Faith looked at him questioningly.

"You look .. you look.. ah .. sweet."

With one quick stride, she had him by the shoulder, "take that back, I am not sweet, I am sexy, I am cool, I am bad, but I am not sweet."

"I'm sorry," he said with a grimace, "you reminded me of my kid sister."

She relaxed her grip.

"On her twelfth birthday," he said moving quickly out of reach.

She took another step and he put up his hands, "come on Faith, I did my best. It's the only thing in the whole shipment that came near to fitting you. I think it looks.."

She glared.

"It looks .. nice," he said and she moved closer, "and kinda sexy too," he added quickly.

He checked the wall clock, "shouldn't you be going?" he asked.

Faith shrugged, "I guess, hey front me a pack of smokes and a lighter," she asked.

He handed her a new pack and his lighter and watched as she stood with them in her hand with a puzzled look in her face.

"What's wrong?"

"Pockets, this damned girly thing's got no place to put anything," she fumed.

Frank smiled and stepped into the other room and returned in a few moments with one hand behind his back.

"I don't want you to take this the wrong way, it's just that it's part of the outfit and it might solve your problem."

Then with a flourish, he held out a small black patent leather purse shaped like a small basket complete with a handle.

Grumbling, she snatched it from him and stuffed the two items into it.

She headed for the door and then turned, "no one ever finds out about this, right?"

Frank nodded, "wait, let me get my camera."

She gave him the finger, turned and hurried off.

*****

Buffy checked the table for what seemed like the hundredth time. The wine was in the cooler and the glasses and plates were all ready. She'd already checked and triple checked the dinner that Willow had fixed for her.

She didn't really break her word to Faith, she didn't tell the red head, it's just that when she asked her for some recipes for a really romantic dinner, Willow got that funny look on her face.

"A romantic dinner for her, wouldn't that be a six pack and a case of beef jerky?"

"Will, how did you.."

"You mean other than almost stepping on her tongue every time you come into the room and the way you sneak a peek at her butt when she wears those leather pants?"

Buffy blushed to the roots of her hair.

"What do you think I was looking at when I saw you?"

"Just as an interested observer," she added.

Willow promised to keep their secret and to help her by fixing dinner.

Buffy checked her watch again; I hope Giles didn't send her on some stupid mission she thought; but then, her irritation was displaced by the cold fingers of fear.

What if something happened to her? What if she's hurt or captured or... She couldn't stand it.

Her heart leaped when she heard a noise from the back porch. She always came in that way to avoid notice.

"Faith is that you?" she called.

After waiting for a few moments, she called out again, "who is it, Dawn, Giles, Will, Xander?"

"It's me B," she heard from the darkened porch.

Buffy smiled and went to the door.

"Hold it B; I need to ask you something."

Buffy stopped.

"I need to ask, it's me you like, not the clothes and the hair and the smart ass talk, right?"

Buffy's voice softened, "I don't care about any of that stuff, I like .. hell .. I love you, not an outfit or hairdo or .. well I do like your smart ass, so get it in here Ok?"

She watched the door open and Faith come hesitantly into the light.

Buffy was shocked, then she smiled and nearly laughed, then she put her arms around her.

"I think you look ... sweet," she whispered into Faith's ear.

Feeling the blonde's breath on her ear, Faith decided she might like being sweet after all.

They sat and sipped wine while Faith told her story.

"You have a matching purse?" Buffy almost shouted, "where is it?"

Knowing Buffy wouldn't let her smoke in the house, she'd left it on the porch.

Faith retrieved it and at Buffy's direction, stood in front of her to show off her outfit.

"I wonder?" Buffy said in a low voice.

"Wonder what?" Faith asked.

The blond glanced down at the floor, "if patent leather shoes reflect up."

"If they did, you'd get a real show, I drew the line at second hand undies."

"You mean," Buffy said with an evil grin.

Faith nodded, "commando all the way."

Buffy pulled the other girl onto her lap and began to slowly slide a hand up under the dress.

First Faith thought that it might turn out to be an Ok day after all and then she lost her train of thought completely.

The End

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