image of woman sitting in armchair writing

If This Ain't Love

Buffy couldn't get Faith out of her head.

She hadn't expected to run into the other slayer in broad daylight, let alone on her turf, on campus. She kept going over the insults they'd exchanged and one thing stuck in her mind. When she'd said that none of them had wanted to think about Faith, it simply wasn't true. For months after graduation, Faith had haunted her dreams like a dark stain on her conscience. She'd visited the hospital twice, the first time to make sure that it was true, to convince herself that Faith was really in a coma. The second time, it was guilt that made her go.

She'd looked at Faith lying in that bed, tubes connecting her to an assortment of machines that beeped intermittently, pale, nothing like the wild girl that'd been all big mouth and leather pants. She'd been sorry, that it had to come to that. But one of them had to go and Buffy had won that particular battle. Now Faith was back and intent on winning the war or at least taking Buffy down with her if she lost. In that hospital bed, Faith had seemed peaceful at last, not her usual restless, volatile self. She'd looked innocent. Well, looks could be deceiving. Buffy wondered if Faith had any shred of innocence left in her, if there was any sense of right and wrong there at all. Even now, she wished that the rogue slayer was capable of redemption. She still believed that she could help Faith, if she could just get through to her. Even if she failed, Faith was her problem to deal with. The question was how?

This situation was really the last thing she needed. Things were finally going well, with school, with Riley. The old proverb about bad things occurring in threes seemed to be true, first Dr Walsh, then Adam and now Faith. Seeing the other slayer again had been such a shock, although she was always cogniscent that the brunette might regain consciousness some day. And she had - Faith, large as life, just as arrogant and just as magnetic. Despite herself, she'd always been drawn to Faith, even when the other slayer had hurt everyone she loved, even when Faith had tried to kill her. She couldn't explain it; she'd just assumed it was some sort of slayer bond or something. At least, that's what she tried to tell herself. Never mind it had more to do with the fact that Faith was gorgeous.

She remembered her first sight of the brunette, and recalled being mesmerised by watching another slayer in action. The feelings that had assailed her in that moment, intrigue, jealousy, antipathy, and attraction all rolled into one. The attraction part, she'd only recognised when it was too late. But it still seemed to be her overriding motivation around the other slayer. Abstract glimpses came back to her; Christmas Eve when Faith had turned up for dinner, eschewing the alleged party invitation (Faith was always a terrible liar), Faith appearing at the Chem class window, drawing a heart in the misted pane, dancing at the Bronze, their fingertips touching as Faith unlocked their handcuffs after being arrested, the uncontrollable shiver that had uninvitedly elicited in Buffy.

Last year, the most random of thoughts had always led eventually back to the other slayer. Even when the deputy mayor's death was prominent, she couldn't help thinking about how she'd wanted to kiss Faith that same night. All eyes had been on them as they'd danced and she'd never felt more proud of what she was. They were two slayers together: separate from everyone else, untouchable, a force to be reckoned with. Back then, Faith had made her feel invincible. She remembered how closely they'd danced, the proximity of Faith making her feel daring and dangerous. Then the urge to kiss her, because she was curious and wanted to see Faith's reaction, to see if all the flirting actually amounted to anything. Only her own uncertainty and Angel's unexpected appearance had stopped her. Which seemed pretty insurmountable obstacles at the time.

She wondered now what might have happened if she'd gone with that impulse. Maybe Faith would have just used it to hurt her in other ways.

Well, there was no point in dwelling on the past. Only one thing was for sure: Faith was psycho and any feelings she'd had or was having for the other slayer were irrelevant. Besides, the whole Riley thing negated any thoughts she might be having about the brunette slayer. Riley - sweet, naïve, dependable, safe…dull. She cared a lot about him, was even falling for him; she was finally over Angel. She didn't want to go back to that place, to the feelings that Faith was inextricably a part of.

So why did she keep thinking about how hot Faith looked? How her heart had raced the moment she'd set eyes on the dark-haired girl again. This went so beyond their mutual slayerhood, that was all she understood. She hated the things that Faith had done but there were so many mixed-up feelings about Faith the person. Criminally insane, that was the phrase she kept using to describe Faith, but surely it was Buffy who was the certifiable one for feeling this way?

"Hey, B. You're losing your touch."

Buffy spun on her heels to face the brunette, immediately raising her fists in fighting posture.

Faith smirked. "Easy, tiger. If I was here for a brawl, you'd be on your back already."

Buffy lowered her guard slowly, eyeing the other slayer suspiciously and gave a typically barbed retort. "I bet you say that to all the girls." It was so easy to fall into old familiar routine of verbal sparring, like no time had passed at all. In a sense, it hadn't, Faith had just picked up where she left off, her coma a minor intermission.

"Only the ones I like." Her eyes tracked unabashedly over Buffy.

"You know, stalking a girl really isn't the way to her heart but... is that an offer?" Buffy asked, rising to the bait. If she completely honest with herself, she'd kinda missed this. She met Faith's eyes directly, holding the other slayer's dark gaze. "Or are you just all talk?"

Faith's eyebrow rose a fraction. "I heard about college broadening your horizons but..." Her lips formed a provocative pout. "You think you can handle me, B?"

"I know I can. Question is, can you handle me, F?" Buffy's stare was a challenge in itself. Was that nervousness she saw in the other slayer's eyes? The brunette couldn't be half as petrified as Buffy was.

Faith shifted her weight from one hip to the other. "What're your little Scooby friends gonna think?"

"Do you care?"

"No," Faith replied with a dark smile. "Lead on, B."

She was crazy for going through with this, for trusting Faith. Any second the other slayer could stab her in the back and that was just Faith's style. She hadn't really intended for it to get this far, she hadn't really expected the brunette to call her bluff. In the past, when Faith had flirted with her, she'd always pretended not to notice. She wasn't really sure where to go from here. Take Faith back to her dorm room? She knew Willow wouldn't be there tonight. But what if Riley showed up? She didn't want to think about him right now, she didn't want to think about anything. She just wanted Faith in the most unfriendly way.

"Are you staying somewhere?" Buffy asked as they walked, with no particular destination in mind, other than away from the cemetery Buffy had been patrolling .

Faith's expression shifted into something unreadable. "Don't wanna be seen with me?" She didn't wait for Buffy's response. "Motel, same old."

A silent fifteen-minute walk later they'd arrived at a rundown motel far off the main street. It was skanky to say the least but it had the right air of unseemliness, appropriate for what they were about to do. Faith jimmied the lock and they went inside. Almost as soon as she shut the door behind them, the brunette had Buffy pinned up against the wall.

"Not one for smalltalk are you?" Buffy managed to say before Faith lunged forward to devour the blonde's mouth, biting and sucking, pulling sharply on the full lower lip until Buffy gave a groan that was almost indistinguishable between pleasure and pain. When Faith drew blood at last, she lapped it up in tiny strokes. Then she drove her tongue into Buffy's mouth, parting sweet lips with insistent force. Leather clad hips ground against Buffy and she loved it. The blonde's hands shot to Faith's buttocks, grasping and kneading the other slayer's ass. Faith's hands were in her hair now, dragging calloused fingers through shiny, silky blonde strands, impatiently grabbing a handful to yank Buffy's head back, deepening the kiss further.

The kiss ended as abruptly as it had started. "Are we here to talk or screw?" Faith said, dragging a stray dark lock away from her face.

"First, some ground rules," Buffy said, holding the other slayer back with one hand on her chest. "We need to promise that we aren't going to try to kill each other. In a literal sense at least." Really she didn't know how many more bone-melting kisses like that she could take, or if Faith didn't take her soon, she might just expire on the spot. "Tonight, anyway."

"Deal," Faith moved to kiss Buffy again but the smaller slayer forestalled her. "What else?" the brunette asked with slight irritation.

"Just that, I don't screw." Buffy grasped Faith by the hips and pulled her closer, kissing the taller girl more gently than Faith had kissed her. She could tell that the other slayer was thrown by the tenderness conveyed in that meeting of lips when Faith didn't respond straight away. God knows how many minutes later, the kiss ended abruptly and Buffy felt cool saliva on her lips, around her mouth. It was exciting and decidedly oogy at the same time. See could see Faith's lipstick smeared over a pale cheek and she only just stopped short at the urge to lick it off.

"Strip," Faith said, watching intently as Buffy shakily complied, quickly shirking her pseudo-trenchcoat and shoes before throwing off her sweater and pants. Finally, she stood in her underwear, trembling with lust and anticipation. The brunette stepped closer again, a smirk resting faintly on her lips. Reaching around the smaller girl, she unhooked Buffy's push-up bra with a deft hand. It fell with a satisfying flop to the floor. Dark, almost-black eyes dragged themselves from pert little breasts to large hazel eyes and back. Faith whet her lips and hooked two fingers into the waistband of Buffy's panties. In one swift movement they were around her ankles. The scent that rose from Buffy was musky and sweet and a grin spread over Faith's lips as she glanced down to see just how turned on the - bottle - blonde was.

"B," Faith whispered, overcome with lust, though she didn't stay overcome for long.

Dropping her head, Faith kissed her way around the swell of a breast, mouthing at the full, soft flesh. Buffy arched instinctively, mutely aware of the other girl reaching for her hands and pinning them against the door, entwining their fingers securely. The blonde struggled to press closer but Faith kept her firmly in place, touching only with her mouth and where her hands held Buffy's.

"Please," Buffy whimpered, "touch me."

Showing some uncharacteristic mercy, Faith released Buffy's hands and trailed fingertips up and down the blonde's sides, drawing ripples of response, alighting nerve endings effortlessly. She continued to smother the smaller girl's breasts with kisses, burying her face in the warm valley between them. The heat was so different to the coolness of Angel's touch, the touch softer than Riley's large masculine hands, she thought as Faith's warm tongue circled around her nipple before flicking across the sensitive nub. When she gasped, the brunette fastened her generous mouth around it, tugging the flesh torturously. Much as she enjoyed the sensation, she wanted to feel lips against her own again. With both hands, she pulled Faith's head up and kissed her hotly, plundering that expressive, beautiful mouth, her tongue sparring with the other girl's.

She gazed down at Faith so busily feasting upon her breasts and it seemed impossible that, a year ago, they'd had a strange and tenuous friendship, a year ago, Faith had never spilled a drop of human blood, a year ago, she'd been hopelessly in love with Angel. A week ago, Faith had still been asleep to the world, a week ago, she'd thought that maybe Riley was the man she'd like to marry. Don't think of him, of his broken heart, if he ever found out... Her nipples were red raw from Faith's indelicate attention, the ache bringing tears to her eyes, but she didn't want the other girl to stop. As long as that mouth was on her body she could forget about everything, especially the fact that Faith was volatile and not to be trusted under any circumstances.

****

Faith pulled away, leaving Buffy shivering with obvious need. The brunette was gazing with admiration at the flawless canvas that was Buffy's hot little body, at the purpling bruises that covered small breasts, the tiny hurts that would remain long after this night was over. Then she was angry with herself for marring that beautiful skin, angry that in a matter of days the marks would fade anyway. For a moment she wondered how B was going to explain away her bruises to Beefstick. She'd left some teeth marks for good measure. Yeah, honey, it must've been a vampire. Yeah, right. She wanted to tattoo her name on Buffy forever, so the blonde would never forget. Well, maybe she'd have her chance soon... courtesy of the Boss's little gift.

She pressed forward again, allowing Buffy to feel the length of her body, letting B undress her slowly, letting B think that she was in control here. Small hands made short work of her tank top and bra but struggled with the buttons of her leather pants. In time, they were discarded too and B seemed a little surprised that Faith wore nothing underneath. Then the blonde was kissing her again, soft, undemanding kisses scattered over her jaw and chin and finally her lips that were so alien to her but were so Buffy. She'd never been kissed like this. Kissing was like a battle of supremacy for Faith but the smaller girl was leading this, drawing kisses out like honey and any thoughts that this was just about sex were fast disappearing from Faith's mind. She didn't have the time or inclination to work out what that meant for her plan.

They found themselves beside the bed, briefly breaking contact to lie down. Buffy was on top, that was something new again... Her mouth went dry as Buffy's crawled further up the bed, as those firm little breasts dangled invitingly over her face. She wanted to kiss the bruises she's made in reverie, in apology, but the small globes remained tantalisingly out of reach. Instead, Buffy settled her hips on Faith's chest, giving the brunette a sordid view of her drenched sex.

"Fuck, B..." she said in a libidinous stupor, her voice cracking. She could only watch as Buffy began to rock her hips in a slow rhythm, slicking Faith's breasts with her essence. The blonde's expression was intense and she'd only seen that look of pure, undiluted lust on B's face once before, after taking out that nest of vamps last year. Even then just witnessing it had turned Faith on. Now that look was directed completely at her. Unable to stand the temptation any longer, she grabbed Buffy by the hips and guided the blonde's sopping cleft to her waiting mouth. That first taste almost made her come herself. Taking that sweet, salty goodness onto her tongue, she groaned into Buff's muff and felt B jerk at the vibration. Holding onto the headboard for dear life, Buffy slowly rode Faith's tongue. Muffled groans, B's panting and the creaking of ancient bedsprings filled her ears.

Taking a firm hold of Buffy's pumping little hips, Faith forced her to be still, allowing herself to set the pace. Stealing a glance up at Buffy's face, she smirked at the look of complete concentration, the fully dilated hazel eyes staring back at her. Maintaining eye contact, Faith brushed her lips against the blonde's swollen clit and watched Buffy gasp. She dipped just the tip of her tongue into B and the smaller girl ground her hips to try and take more of it inside her. It seemed the blonde had been waiting a long time for this too.

"Faith..." Buffy said, something between a plea and a sob.

Relenting, for now anyway, Faith slipped two fingers into the blonde's grasping, soaked passage and fucked her like she'd wanted to ever since she first set eyes on Buffy Summers. She drove over a year of pent-up lust into B, a year of watching Buffy smooching her piece of undead meat, a year of training and fighting together and believing the lie that they could ever be friends, a year of loving Buffy so much that she hated her. The moans were coming high and fast now as Faith pumped furiously and B was bucking like the little whore Faith always suspected she was. Finally, the brunette latched her mouth onto Buffy's clit, sucking hard, and the smaller girl arched suddenly as she came and came, bathing Faith's hand with her moisture. Slowly, the brunette withdrew her fingers and Buffy let out a little growl of sated pleasure as she sank down onto the sheets beside Faith.

Wiping the come off her mouth, Faith turned her head to look at the other slayer. The blonde's eyes were closed and, after a few minutes, Faith realised Buffy was asleep. This was when people, people who cared about each other, were supposed to cuddle or something. Somehow that thought didn't fill her with loathing like it normally would have. Beefstick was the kind that likes to cuddle post-coital, she could tell that just by looking at him... This was also the ideal opportunity to try out the Mayor's present and there was nothing B could do to stop her. But Faith didn't move, just kept watching the other girl, torn between the urge to kiss her and smother her. She opted for the former, pulling Buffy into her arms, despite the sleepy mumble of protest at being disturbed, and kissed the blonde's forehead. This holding someone was actually okay, not that she'd want to make a habit of it or anything. She held her breath as Buffy's arms slipped around her and let it out slowly. Not bad at all, she thought as she rested her head against Buffy's.

Hours later, Faith awoke gradually to a tickling sensation at her side. She squirmed slightly and heard a soft laugh close to her ear. When she opened her eyes she watched Buffy stroking the underside of her breast with silver varnished nails. Her dark eyes slid to the partially shut curtains and the thin shard of pale amber light over Buffy's thigh as it sprawled over her own. She grasped the blonde's hand, stilling her teasing fingers. "It's morning, that means the truce is over, B."

She watched the warmth retreat from Buffy's eyes to be replaced with that old look of hurt. The blonde pulled back, glancing around almost in confusion. Say it, B, she wanted to say, say it doesn't have to be this way and I'll believe you this time. She didn't want this. But Buffy didn't say anything, she just slipped off the bed and began gathering up her clothes. Faith wanted to grab her, shake her hard, kiss her until the blonde said what she needed to hear, those three little words that could end all of

When the blonde reached for the door, some miscreant urge prompted her to speak. "Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out." Buffy paused, as if she was going to turn around and Faith desperately wanted her to, for Buffy to see the act for what it was. But she didn't look back and the door slammed shut and Faith was left alone again.

The End