Buffy's lungs were burning from exertion. She'd never run so hard and fast in her life. Even when it felt like her legs were going to buckle, the pain shooting up her shins, somehow they kept pounding the tarmac of their own volition. All she could see was Faith's hair like a dark cape whipping behind her as she ran. God knows how far they'd gone but the totalled squad car was far behind them and they were sprinting into an unfamiliar part of town. Faith seemed to know where she was going though.
The irony of this wasn't lost on Buffy. She felt like she'd been chasing after Faith from the moment they met. Elusive, wild child Faith always seemed just out of her grasp. Just when she though she had the other slayer figured out, the brunette would go and prove that she didn't know Faith at all, that Faith could never be conveniently pigeonholed. She knew that Faith had spent her whole life breaking out of the moulds that other people wanted her to conform to. The lack of expectations and the other girl's unpredictable nature was what made being around Faith so exciting.
Right now, however, excitement was the last thing on Buffy's mind. She was bone tired and riddled with guilt. In a matter of hours she'd become a delinquent and an accomplice in breaking and entering, robbery, assaulting police officers and resisting arrest. Not to mention bailing out on that Chem test. What was she thinking? Did higher brain function even come into when she was with Faith? She was being seduced by Faith's attitude to life, to slaying and everything. She wanted to be that carefree, to not give a damn about anything or anyone.
"Faith," she called out breathlessly. She came to a stop but the brunette kept going. "Faith!" This time Faith heard her and doubled back, the thin sheen of perspiration on her cheeks and forehead glistening under the glare of the streetlights. She looked almost surprised, as if she hadn't expected Buffy to be following her.
"We should split," Faith said, staring past Buffy's shoulder as if she could sense something. "Less chance of 'em tracking us."
For her part, Buffy couldn't believe the other girl was being so calm about this. Still, what could she expect from someone who listed petty crime as one of their hobbies and interests? Unfortunately, Buffy couldn't be so cool about this, thanks to that pesky lifelong sense of responsibility that a good upbringing had lumbered upon her.
"Doesn't it bother you?" she shot out, impatiently raking a few stray hairs out of her eyes.
"B, don't get all overcome with civic pride on me now," Faith replied, dark eyes fixing on Buffy's. She shrugged. "Way I see it, those weapons were just lyin' there gathering dust. What good's that, huh? We coulda used 'em to take out a few vamps. Fair trade, right? Anyways, it's more like borrowing than stealing."
Buffy shook her head at the brunette's skewed logic. "The world according to Faith..." she muttered under her breath.
"Look, for real now, we don't have time to stand around and chitchat. I'm gonna grab and pizza and head back to the motel. So you can come with me or you can go home to your mom."
There was a note of challenge in Faith's voice and Buffy found that it got her back up. It wasn't really a difficult decision. On her present guilt trip, she was sure she wasn't up to facing her mom, not without confessing or something. She could just imagine her mom hitting the proverbial roof. Rant first, ground later. Probably for the rest of her adult life.
"What kind of pizza?" she asked dubiously.
Faith grinned. "You know what?" She cocked her fingers at Buffy. "I'll let you decide."
"Wicked gross," Faith said with distaste as she picked the last anchovy off the final slice of pizza and tossed it into the empty, grease-slicked box. "Damn, B, that's the last I let you pick the topping."
The TV flickered in the corner, the volume turned down low on the old monochrome set but still drowned out by the whir of the ancient air conditioning system. It was a stickily warm night and Faith shifted restlessly on the mattress, the Bostonian still unaccustomed to the heat of northern California. The black tank top she wore exposed her shoulders to the air, the perspiration visible on her shoulders. Clothes were strewn around the room, draped over the solitary chair, hanging on the bathroom door, cluttering the floor, baby T-shirts, leather pants, tight-fitting shirts. The tang of leather and the musk that the dark-haired girl favoured imbibed the air with a scent that was unmistakably Faith, amplified in this stuffy little room that Faith called home. Buffy found that she was strangely comfortable here despite the general unpleasantness of the motel room.
The blonde shrugged happily as she sat cross-legged on the bed. "You snooze, you lose," she grinned around her mouthful of pizza.
Faith snorted and shook her head. "Deadboy won't go near you for a week." At the look that Buffy shot her, Faith pretended to zip her mouth and throw away the invisible key. She also had the good grace to actually look at least a little sorry. Not much, but it was there. Faith had a habit of reducing everything to sex which irritated Buffy because her relationship with Angel wasn't about that. Not simply because they couldn't *have* it, though Faith seemed to take great delight in reminding her of that at every opportunity. She wondered why Faith was so interested anyway. Was it curiosity or was it just goading? So much of what the other girl said, she didn't know how to take.
"Like, *that* would last," the blonde said ruefully. "God, Faith, do you even think before you open your mouth?"
The other slayer slapped Buffy's thigh indignantly. "Hey, I thought slayers were s'posed to stick up for each other."
"You started it," Buffy reminded.
Faith thought for a moment, her eyes scanning the ceiling briefly before returning to Buffy's face. "Hm, I did, didn't I?" She gave a broad grin. "Alright, truce?"
Buffy nodded, slightly distracted by Faith's wide, pretty smile. "Okay."
"And I swear I won't say nothin' about your stinky anchovy breath..."
"You bitch," Buffy said and launched herself at the other girl, quickly and effortlessly pinning Faith on her back, arms raised above her head. It went without saying that Faith could easily have fended her off but she didn't. For a few moments she struggled halfheartedly but she stilled and just stared up at Buffy, motionless. It was then that it really registered with Buffy the intimate position they were in. She was effectively straddling Faith's hard, flat belly, her thighs locked around Faith's hips. The warmth that was generated between them made her feel suddenly weak and lightheaded. Her fingers pressed firmly into Faith's upper arms, marking the soft flesh red in a grip that would've hurt a normal person. The dark eyes of the other girl wandered, swallowing her whole like she was an object for gratification.
"Couldn't wait to get me into the sack, huh, B?" Faith asked roughly and it brought the blonde out of her daze so that there was no longer a Faith-shaped dark blotch on her vision. The brunette swam into clarity before her, thick hair splayed out on the pillow, dark eyes engorged with lust, almost-as-dark lips parted in invitation, the whisper of a pink tongue behind her perfectly white teeth. The tops of Faith's breasts rose and fell in an hypnotic rhythm, exposed as they were by the low-cut, cleavage-enhancing top she wore.
Abruptly, Buffy pulled back and jumped off the bed. She gazed around the motel room, its sights, smells and the sounds of cars outside both familiar and unsettling. Faith hadn't moved, she was still lying on her back but her dark eyes followed Buffy closely. Headlights swung through the room and passed, making the blonde jump slightly.
"I should be going," Buffy began awkwardly. "My mom'll..."
Faith nodded. "Yeah, don't wanna worry her, right?" There was bitterness there, barely under the surface. Buffy was sure of it and she wasn't certain how she felt about that, what it meant. Or the way that Faith stared at her. Greedily, almost.
"Right," Buffy agreed in a hollow voice. There were too many thoughts invading her head. Angel, whom she loved, even though she knew they didn't have a future together, maybe because of that. Just because Faith was looking at her like that, it didn't change anything, didn't mean anything. Not to her. She'd noticed the looks before but she'd never acknowledged the attention. For all her talk of using and discarding guys, it was obvious that Faith wanted her. But Faith had never made a move and Buffy had never wanted her to. She had no reason to, she was with Angel. Wasn't she? Only, now she wasn't so convinced... That's what was freaking her out. And she was surprised at how little it seemed to matter that they were both girls.
Rubbing the goosebumps on her arms, Buffy made for the door. "B." She stopped dead at Faith's voice. After gathering her courage she turned to face the other girl. Faith was off the bed now, Buffy's jacket in her hand. "Don't forget this."
"Oh. Yeah. Right." She reached out for it but Faith held on and Buffy met her eyes hesitantly. "Planning on letting me have it sometime this evening?" she asked with deceptive lightness.
Faith's lips twitched into a smirk. Buffy blushed. "My jacket, I mean."
"Depends," the brunette said. Her smirk edged into a fully-fledged smile. It made her eyes twinkle. "We could make a trade."
The alarm bells were going off in Buffy's head but there was something in Faith's stare that made her feel daring and just a little bit sexy. "A trade?" She crossed her arms. "I hope you don't mean your leather pants." Good with the humour, keep it light, she told herself.
Faith lifted a dark eyebrow and glanced down at said pants. "I wouldn't part with these babies for nothin'."
"I'm so glad," Buffy replied in a droll voice. "So, what did you have in mind?"
The other girl tilted her head to one side and stared at Buffy. "Hmm. Well, lemme see..." Faith scratched her chin. "What do I want you from you?" She took a step closer to Buffy and smiled. "I really wanna see you in the buff, Buff, but..." the brunette paused to flick her eyes over Buffy, "I'll settle for topless."
The blonde's throat was bone dry. "Are
you serious?" Faith just stared at her with a smirk on her lips. "You
*are* serious. And, did I mention, crazy?" She turned to leave but Faith
gripped her shoulder, stalling her. The heat of the other girl's hand suffused
her, burning into her skin like a branding iron but clammy too, she noticed.
"I'll make it worth your while, B," Faith said, her voice husky. "So. What do you want from me, huh?"
Slowly, Buffy faced her again. She forced herself to hold the other girl's stare. "Nothing, Faith."
The brunette shook her head slowly. "See, I don't believe that. 'Cause there's gotta be some reason why you keep starin' at my lips like that."
Caught out, Buffy's eyes fell to the barbed wire tattoo on Faith's arm because it was the safest place to look right now. She opened her mouth without thinking. "Can I... I want to touch it," she said quietly. Without waiting for Faith's permission, she reached out and gently traced the jagged lines of ink with the tips of her fingers, barely touching the downy skin. Even after she moved her hand away she could still feel the softness of Faith's skin tingling on her fingertips.
Faith was smiling slightly. "My turn." Buffy looked up, gaze clashing with the other girl's. Discarding the jacket to the floor, Faith's hands came to the blonde's waist, toying with the hem of her tank top. "Nah. Wait. This isn't fair. There's gotta be something more that you want from me."
There *was* something Buffy wanted but she couldn't bring herself to say it. Because saying it made her vulnerable and she wasn't entirely sure that Faith could be trusted. Instead, she just stared. The smile spread on Faith's face. "You only had to ask," she said flirtatiously and licked her lips. "C'mere," she said as she tugged Buffy closer.
This was wrong and dangerous, Buffy knew, but Faith's eyes were so pretty and so inviting so she let it happen. The brunette bent her head and pressed her mouth to Buffy's. Almost immediately, the smaller girl opened her lips to Faith's tongue, feeling for the first time the velvety softness of it as it tangled with her own, duelling playfully. Faith tasted sweet as candy which was unexpected and her lips were so soft and so much sweeter than Angel's. She felt Faith tug on her lower lip, scraping the tender skin with her teeth almost to the point of pain before caressing the bruised flesh with her tongue. Teasing before dipping in to sample Buffy's mouth again. As they kissed, Buffy brought her hand up to Faith's jaw, stroking back and forth then tangling her fingers in thick, lustrous locks. She'd always liked Faith's wavy hair and was slightly envious of the fact that it looked so good with a minimum of maintenance.
But that inane thought was wiped from her head as Faith's hands drifted down her spine, moving around front to cover her small but full breasts. It was enough to make her lose all inhibition and she kissed Faith hard as the brunette fondled her, nipples painfully aroused under Faith's hands. She couldn't think now, didn't want to, because if she stopped to actually consider what she was doing here then she'd lose her resolve. And she wanted this, desperately. For over a year she'd shied away from physical and emotional intimacy, until Angel returned. But he couldn't ever give her what she craved. And Faith... Faith so easily and blatantly could. She couldn't turn herself to stone and pretend that she had no desire. Yes, Angel was her soul-mate, he probably always would be but she needed something baser than abstract fulfillment. This... thing with Faith wasn't about love or grand passion. It was simply two people coming together, both needing to be satisfied. At this moment, she was a pure pleasure seeker.
It was Faith who broke the kiss, only to attack Buffy's neck with lips and tongue, nipping and sucking at her flesh, bringing a bruise or two to the surface. And Buffy let her leave her mark, tilting her head back to allow Faith to kiss the base of her throat, to dip her tongue into the hollow there. The brunette's hands had slipped under her top now and were travelling up her skin until they were once more over her breasts. The callouses on Faith's palms added that extra special sensation and Buffy moaned quietly at the exciting contact.
Impatient now, she reached for the button on Faith's pants, quickly unfastening it and pulling the zip down. As she did so, Faith drew back to watch her. She smirked. "I always figured you were way too vanilla for this, B."
"Just goes to show, *F*," Buffy paused as she tugged the skintight leather pants down Faith's hips and thighs, "how little you know me."
Faith's dark eyes evaluated her carefully. "Yeah, I guess you're right." She kicked off her pants and flashed a smile. "But you're gonna let me get to know you better, right?"
Buffy made an amused sound. "Well, I'm not going to bore you with my life story," she said, and pulled Faith closer, wasting no time in kissing her deeply and thoroughly.
"It goes without saying that you can't tell anyone about this," Buffy said as she pulled on her pants and tank top.
Faith took a long drag on a cigarette - Buffy had been surprised when the brunette had pulled out a packet of Marlboro from the bedside cabinet but made no comment when Faith lit up. "You think I would brag about it?" Buffy just gave her a stern look. Faith grinned and exhaled slowly. "Yeah, you're right, I would. But I won't."
Buffy scooted around to sit cross-legged on the bed. The other girl was partially covered by the rumpled sheets, long hair spilling over her breasts like a whore in one of those French paintings or something. Just as pretty, the same air of corruption. "I need you to promise me, if any of the gang or Angel find out..."
"Relax, B." Leaning over, Faith stubbed out the cigarette into an overflowing ashtray, making Buffy wonder why she hadn't noticed it before. "Do you trust me?" the brunette asked solemnly.
Buffy considered that for a moment, taking into account everything they'd been through together, how many times they'd saved each other's asses and their previous discussion about trust. She nodded. "Yes. I do."
"Then I promise," Faith smiled and knelt before the blonde, allowing the sheet to fall away. "Cross my heart and hope to die."
Buffy swallowed. "You, um, wanna do this again some time?"
Faith reached out, fingers sliding into Buffy's still mussed hair. "You mean like now?" She pulled Buffy's face towards her own.
The sharp scent of smoke hung around Faith, in her hair, on her breath and Buffy relished it. "Must've read my mind," she managed to say before Faith crushed their lips together in a hungry kiss.