Damned If I Don't, Damned If I Do
Part Three of The Damned Series


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PART SIX: 11th April 2004
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Chapter Three: Come Stand A Little Bit Closer

Buffy was floating through the air, buoyed up by something strong and warm and... safe. Letting out a gentle, content sigh, she relaxed into the feeling.

The only thing not good about her present position was that her pillow felt funny. Smooshing her face against it a little, she tried plumping it with her cheek, but it stayed hard and lumpy so she gave up. At least it smelled nice - sort of leathery and Faith-y.

Faith-y?

She opened one eye and peered upwards at...yep, Faith.

'Mmm Faith dreams - all the goodness with none of the guilt' Buffy smiled to herself. 'It's not cheating if I'm asleep.'

Snuggling her head into dream-Faith's shoulder, Buffy realized two things not of the normal when it came to dreams of this nature. Firstly, Faith was carrying her through a dark tunnel, and secondly, Faith was fully clothed and so was she.

This was looking a lot like a prophecy dream when Buffy wanted a sexy dream. She could talk with Faith about work any time she liked when she was awake, but she couldn't do stuff with her.

"I know I said clothes were optional baby, but I changed my mind." Buffy murmured into dream-Faith's warm neck, her hand coming up to caress Faith's breast through her t-shirt at the same time. "Let's get naked."

Faith's arms disappeared and the ground came up to meet Buffy's ass, and that was when she would have woken up... if she'd been asleep in the first place.

"Ooops." Buffy jumped to her feet, not looking anywhere near Faith. "Wow, musta really hit my head when I fell down...here." she breezed as she looked around. "Uh where is here?"

"Beats me." Faith was just standing there, her hands deep in her pockets as she gave Buffy a good long look. "I was walking along minding my own business, and the next thing I know the ground opens up in front of me and I'm sliding along like I'm on a fucking Olympic bobsledding team, obviously without the comfort of the bobsled."

Now Buffy could see that Faith's clothes were a little rumpled, well even more rumpled than they had been after being worn on a date the night before. There was mud streaked down the back of her jacket and the back pocket of her jeans had been torn, causing the square flap of material to hang down.

Buffy felt a little dirty herself.

"How did you get down here?" Faith asked.

Her tone wasn't unfriendly like Buffy would have expected, but she seemed sort of closed in on herself, and she was still watching Buffy closely. Probably worried about grabby hands. Buffy felt the tips of her ears going red. How did she not know she was awake already? Okay, so a little woozy from being unconscious, but that was no excuse.

"Uh," Buffy pushed her thoughts away and tried to answer the question. "There were cows, and then there was falling - quite a bit of falling, and then nothing until...until I just woke up right then on the floor, just there." She pointed to the spot where Faith had dropped her on her butt; fingers crossed hoping to be believed.

"Nothing at all?" Was Faith genuinely asking, trying to get to the bottom of their tunnel mystery, or was she hinting that she knew Buffy was lying.

She was over-thinking it. It had been a mistake, the...God!...groping, better just to pretend like she really had been asleep. Buffy flexed her groping hand a couple of times; she could still feel the heat of Faith's breast in her palm.

'Bad hand, why didn't you realize I was awake?'

And the... Oh God, she'd said stuff! It had all seemed so natural with the porno-dream music playing in the background which, Buffy cocked her head slightly to the side, she could still faintly hear. Huh?

"Buffy, answer me, is that all you can remember?"

Faith was coming closer, and Buffy shied away, not because she wanted too, but because if Faith laid a comforting hand on her, to go with her suddenly comforting voice, she was going to see something in Buffy's eyes that made them both extremely uncomfortable.

Faith stopped an arms length away, hands still stuffed into her pockets. "Are you concussed?" she asked gently. "I don't know how hard you hit your head, but you were out cold when I found you and that was probably an hour ago."

"You've been carrying me around for an hour?" Buffy asked, surprise making her look at Faith. "Your arms must be killing you."

"Well that's why I dropped you, arms just gave way." There was a slight smirk on Faith's face, but for all intents and purposes, she'd just let Buffy off the hook.

Whether she believed Buffy was asleep or not, she obviously wasn't going to make a thing out of it and embarrass her. It made Buffy feel a little...well she didn't know really, but it was kind of disappointing that she'd had so little, if any, affect on Faith. So little that the other slayer didn't even feel the urge to tease her about it.

That was a good thing though, right?

"So I guess that either the earth itself wanted us underground for some reason or..." Buffy began.

"Our demon freak did," Faith finished for her. "And I'm pretty sure the money's on option two, 'cause there is definitely something freaky going on down here."

"Freakier than being sucked into the earth in the first place?" Buffy was happy to be concentrating on work related stuff now, wanting to use it to push the other thoughts out of her head. Although it seemed she could push the thoughts away, but her body was still reacting to the dream-that-wasn't in a happy way.

"Hell yeah," Faith started walking along the tunnel and Buffy followed.

Moving was good, moving would quell the compulsion to step closer to the other slayer and find out if she really was as indifferent to Buffy's charms as she seemed. Buffy could think of at least a couple of ways to test this, but moving would make it more difficult.

"Walking good," she murmured.

Faith looked at her, "What?"

"Nothing, just...feeling a bit wired." Buffy shot her a quick smile before checking out the tunnel walls, which appeared to be made of rock. Knocking her knuckles on the solid grey stuff confirmed her suspicions that it was rock.

"Know what you mean," Faith's words caused Buffy to look her way again. "I'm feeling a bit..."

"What?"

Buffy watched Faith's lips form a word, but then she hesitated, and what she finally said was a completely different word. "Wired, like you said."

Buffy nodded and concentrated on the tunnel once more. "We're in a grey rocky tube, how can I see you so well?" she asked.

"There's light, somewhere up ahead. It's what I was aiming for, what I was told to aim for." Faith corrected herself.

It was true; there was a pinkish glow reflecting off the walls, although the walls themselves didn't actually look capable of reflecting light. The pinkish light was definitely brighter in front of them than behind, proving Faith's point that they were walking into the light...

Hang on!

"Someone told you to walk into the light and you're doing it. Haven't you ever seen the movie with the bugs? Going into the light is bad!"

Faith blinked at her. "I didn't exactly have anywhere else to walk. It was either walk into the light or keep rebounding off a wall of solid rock like a retarded wind-up toy. And I think the question you actually want to be asking..."

"Who told you to aim anywhere?" Buffy cut her off.

"There ya go, and the answer is...I got no damn clue, or not one that makes any sense outside of Wonderland anyways," Faith chuckled. "I hit the bottom of the hole pretty hard, must have been a little dazed or something because I could see this white..." Buffy looked over to see why she had stopped talking, Faith was trying to shape the words she wanted with a lot of hand waving, finally settling on, "...cotton ball bouncing around in front of me. It said 'Come on' and so I followed."

"'Come on' was all it took to convince you?" Buffy asked, dubiously.

"Well it said more than that," Faith admitted.

The light was slowly getting brighter as they walked through the tunnel, but Buffy still couldn't see what the source might be. Some kind of clue as to what they might be walking into any minute now would be nice and so she asked, "Well tell me, it might be important."

"It said, 'Come now and take your destiny - the powers rise and the powers fall, stand entwined with she who shares your call." Faith said it casually enough, but Buffy could hear a little thread of worry coming through as she continued. "When the time has come to fight the son, only then will you know the peril of love undone."

Buffy was quiet as she repeated the words in her head, looking for any obvious meaning. There wasn't one.

"Faith, listening to a bouncing cotton ball talking about destiny is even worse than going into the light!"

Faith looked pissed off for a second, but then with a wave of her hand she said, "You have a point."

"So do you have any idea what it meant?" Buffy had a few ideas of her own about the 'she who shares your call', but Faith had had more time to think about it.

"That something bad is coming," Faith answered with a shrug of her shoulders. "After a while I could see the cotton ball was the ass end of the demon, not exactly a surprise there, but it didn't say anything else. Just lead me through the tunnels to you, and by the time I'd finished checking you were still alive, it had gone."

"Well thanks for picking me up and bringing me with you, especially as you were mad at me and that. I wouldn't have blamed you if you'd been tempted to bash my head in with a handy rock instead."

"No problem." Faith was silent for a beat before casually adding; "Besides, there weren't any handy rocks lying around."

"I guess I got lucky then."

Faith shot a smirk in her direction, asking playfully, "I thought that was me?"

Buffy winced at the reminder of her faux-pas, but at least Faith was being cool about it. Still, she should probably face the music and clear the air, she didn't want Faith thinking...what - the truth?

"So," Buffy glanced briefly at Faith before facing front again. "You're probably wondering about the whole..." she paused, unsure of the best way to say 'reason why I grabbed your boob.'

Faith seemed content to let her struggle to find the words as she walked along, boots scuffing the rocky ground, hands still deep in her pockets and the denim square of her pocket flapping uselessly against her ass.

'Why am I looking at her ass?'

Running her fingers through her hair, pulling it forward and effectively shielding her eyes from any view of Faith, Buffy continued. "About why I..."

She paused again as, up ahead, the tunnel began to widen out.

"Felt me up?" Faith now finished for her with obvious glee.

"I was asleep," Buffy responded automatically, busy looking at the view opening out in front of her. "I was sleep-feeling."

The tunnel they had been following wasn't so much a tunnel anymore as a cavern. It was big, lit by pink torches, and the music Buffy had assumed was her dream-porn backing track was actually made by water as dozens of little waterfalls cascaded down from holes in the walls and rocky roof, splattering noisily into pink-tinted pools below.

"You were no more asleep then, than I am now." Faith said as they both looked around at the impressive underground space. Faith looked downwards towards the pools. "Okay maybe I am asleep."

"Wow," was all Buffy could think to add as she looked down at what had captured Faith's attention.

"Pinch me?" Faith asked, and then all of a sudden she took a small step forward, squeaking.

Buffy smiled at the unexpected noise. "What? You said 'Pinch me'"

"I meant my arm or something, B, not my ass!"

"Sorry, it was just the first thing to hand." It was true, Buffy realized, and they were standing awfully close together as they gazed around in awe. She told herself to step away, there was plenty of room on the ledge, but she didn't.

Even as they walked down the unevenly cut steps into the cavern, they were side by side, the backs of their hands brushing together every other step or so sent tiny tingles through Buffy's arm.

Once at ground level, or underground level maybe, they walked as one to the nearest egg cup-shaped dais.

"Look at all of these," Faith ran her hand over the treasure resting on the dais. "It's like Christmas down here."

Buffy looked at her. "I don't think Christmas is quite the look they were going for." Faith didn't seem to get it, so Buffy added, "How often did you get Easter Eggs at Christmas?"

"Hell, B, I never got Easter Eggs at Easter. Give me a break."

Buffy laid her hand on Faith's back, "Sorry."

There were dozens of the large, decorated eggs strewn around the cavern. Most were on the bowl-topped stalagmites growing out of the rocky floor like the one they were standing next to, others floated in the bubbling pools or littered the edges around the rocky walls. Most were decorated in brightly coloured designs, making those that weren't look unfinished.

"Who did all this?" she wondered aloud, a little entranced.

"The demon?" Faith offered.

It was the only idea that made sense, except it didn't actually make any sense.

"Mr Cotton-tail did all this? With paws? How, and more importantly why? And even more importantly, why did he want us to see them?" Buffy looked about her again. "And even more importantly than that, what do a barn load of Easter eggs have to do with your destiny?"

With Faith's answering shrug, Buffy realised her hand was still resting on Faith's back. Surprised, she jerked it away and held it with her other hand so it couldn't creep back again. The other slayer didn't even seem to notice as she picked one of the eggs out of the shallow bowl in front of them.

"You probably shouldn't touch it." Buffy said, considering now the possibility that the eggs were actual egg-eggs, like demon eggs with baby demons inside.

Faith looked at her, "Well it wasn't revealing any big secrets just sitting there."

"Just whatever you do, don't break it," Buffy began and then that was the least of her worries. "Faith, what the hell are you doing?!" she shouted, her voice echoing around them.

"It's chocolate," said Faith, still chewing the big bite of the egg she'd taken.

"Faith, you have to stop putting things into your mouth before you find out what they are," Buffy exploded. "You're going to get yourself poisoned one of these days."

"It's chocolate." Faith repeated with a smirk. "What's the worse that could happen; I put on half a pound?"

"Yeah, well it doesn't look like chocolate and you didn't know it was chocolate. It could have been a bomb!"

Faith shrugged, unconcerned, looking inside the bitten open egg now. "There's something in here." She worked her fingers into the gap her teeth had created and pulled out a thin roll of parchment, at least it looked like parchment.

Buffy, taking it from Faith before she could put it into her mouth, unrolled it.

"Love sought is good, but giv'n unsought is better." She read aloud.

After reading it again, it still made no sense. "Any ideas?"

"Yeah, we have a very random demon on our hands. Damn this egg is good," Faith bit off another chunk.

Buffy watched her warily, but there didn't seem to be any immediate ill affects. She waited until Faith had finished the whole thing before she spoke up again.

"Okay, here's the thing: demons don't lead slayers into beautiful underground caves filled with pretty chocolate eggs containing fortune cookie cryptics for any good reason."

"Sure you're not just a little paranoid there, B?" Faith grinned.

Pink chocolate was smeared over one side of her lip and she seemed in no hurry to lick it off. Buffy found herself staring at it.

"What does it taste like?" she asked, still staring at the smudge on Faith's lips.

"Like the best chocolate you ever had." Faith picked another egg from the dais and held it out to her. "Here, try for yourself."

Ignoring the egg in Faith's hands, Buffy was already leaning in for a taste...

'Gah, what am I doing?'

Pulling back fast, she whirled away.

"No, chocolatey goodness goes straight to my lips, I mean, hips. Wow, is it getting hot in here?" She unzipped her hoody, pulled the two sides apart and flapped them a little for emphasis.

"Yeah, it's getting hot." Faith's voice sounded kinda absent, Buffy turned to see why.

Faith was staring at her, the decorated egg was still in her hands, but she seemed to have forgotten she'd picked it up.

"Faith?" Buffy couldn't be certain, but if she had to make a guess it would be that Faith was staring at her chest. She looked down herself to make sure a breast hadn't popped out of her tight tank top by accident.

Nope. By the time Buffy looked back up, Faith was already inspecting the new egg in her hands, leaving her not knowing if she'd imagined the hungry look in her ex-lovers eyes or not.

Faith bit into the egg and chewed up the brightly coloured chocolate as her fingers squeezed into the egg and pulled out another thin roll of parchment.

"Here ya go," she handed it to Buffy. "Let's see what this one's got to say."

"Love, like a river, will cut a new path whenever it meets an obstacle." Buffy read aloud, before adding, "Okay I'm starting to detect a theme."

"Really?" Faith walked over to a different stalagmite dais, one holding green eggs instead of pink and picked one up. "'Cause I'm not."

"Love unsought... love is like a river...You're really not seeing the connection?"

"There are hundreds of eggs in here; for all we know the next pearl of wisdom might be 'Don't eat yellow snow.' The demon's just jerking our chains, B; don't buy into its Dr. Ruth act."

"I think if it was channeling Dr Ruth, the eggs would be filled with top tips for great oral sex, not rivers of love. This demon is the old fashioned kind; the kind that buys you flowers and reads you poetry before eating your head." Buffy argued. "What?"

Faith was staring at her again as intensely as she had a minute ago, but at least this time it was at her face. "I know you're feelin' it," she said quietly, like the observation was purely for her own benefit.

"What?" Buffy repeated, feeling her temperature rising with the way Faith was looking at her, making her want to back away and walk towards her in equal measure.

"Nothing." Faith's demeanor changed again and she easily broke the green egg in her hands apart, looking for the fortune inside. Finding it and unrolling the parchment, she read it to Buffy:

"Love is like a mountain, hard to climb, but once you get to the top the view is beautiful."

"See, it's all about love." Buffy grabbed an egg herself, also green, and broke it open. The parchment fell to the floor at her feet and she stooped quickly to pick it up and read it to herself. "More love."

After crushing two or three more where they lay in the over-sized rock egg cups, she sifted through the brightly coloured chocolate for the pieces of parchment she knew she'd find.

"Love, love, and yet more love," she finished as she read them all. "I think we have to face the facts that the demon waxing lyrical about your destiny is a big fan of love; and of waxing lyrical."

"But why, what's love got to do with it?" Faith asked, whirling around as if looking for the demon in a corner of the cavern.

"You're not about to burst into song, are you?" Buffy eyed her warily, imagining her breaking into a Tina Turner number.

That would be surreal; actually this situation probably couldn't get all that much more surreal. Faith belting out a love ballad would probably push it a little towards normal. And with all the multi-coloured Easter Eggs of love scattered around the beautifully lit cavern full of waterfalls - the music video would be awesome.

Faith glared at her, bringing Buffy back to the here and now. "I meant what's love got to do with my destiny?"

"You don't think you're destined to find love?"

"I think I'm destined to die at a tender young age and if I'm lucky, I'll cum at least once a day between now and then; I don't need love for that. Got better things to do with my time." Faith told her crassly as she smiled and popped some more of the broken up chocolate in her mouth.

Buffy knew Faith was lying, not from her expression or the inflection she put on her words, but just because.

Maybe she didn't need love to have an orgasm; after all who did these days? But there was other stuff, the stuff you couldn't do with just a casual partner, the couple-y stuff that came after you'd run out of new places to go on a date so you stayed at home watching bad kung-fu movies wearing one pair of pyjamas between you... not that she could actually remember what that was like.

"You don't mean that." Buffy challenged, mostly to break her own train of thought.

"Don't I?" Faith still smiled.

"No you don't, because it's not always about need. Sometimes it's about want and I think you want to be in love; I think deep down everyone wants to be in love."

"Maybe I'm the exception that proves the rule," Faith started walking over to her, hands out to her sides. "Because all I want is a warm, no make that hot body to get naughty with. You know what I mean, B?"

There was something predatory in Faith's moves now. Her steps casual and so self-assured as she covered the short distance between them, her eyes seeming to flow like heated oil over Buffy's body as she spoke, voice low but teasing, guaranteed to get her wet...

Whoa, it was like the needle had been dragged from the record as Buffy shook her head, blinking. Something was going on here, something other than the obvious.

Faith was now less than a foot from where Buffy was standing, looking a bit confused with how she had ended up so close. "Uh, what was I saying?"

Should she tell Faith that something was going on that was making her act all seducey? Surely Faith could tell; after all she was the one who was acting weird and she was a big girl, she could figure it out for herself.

"You don't need or want love." Buffy reminded her.

"Yeah, that was it." Faith grinned.

Whatever spell Faith was under appeared to be an intermittent thing because her voice was back to normal now, and although she still stood close enough to hug, if Buffy had dared, her stance wasn't screaming sex like it had been a second ago.

"Does Troy know you don't do love?" It was kind of a low blow, and also encouraging Faith to talk about things Buffy really didn't want to listen to. She had to ask though because . . . well, she really wanted to know the answer.

"Hey, Troy and I are all good and he's a great guy, but...I don't know," Faith leaned back on her heels, hands deep in her pockets again. "It's not as complicated as love."

"What do you mean?" Buffy asked, aware that Faith was still standing close enough for Buffy to smell the sharp leather-tang of her jacket and the citrus-y traces of the soap she must have used that morning and, beneath that, the peppery scent that was just Faith. It was a heady mix and she leant back against a stalagmite to get away before she gave into the urge to bury her nose in Faith's oh-so-close cleavage.

"I don't know," Faith said again. "We go out, we have a great time, the sex is out of this world, but there's none of the crap to go with it."

"So you think love equals crap?"

"I don't think it; I know it and so do you. That's why you're with Toni."

"What makes you think I don't love Toni?" Buffy asked, knowing fully well it was a stupid thing to ask, because of course she didn't love Toni. But Faith using it as a reason why she didn't need love was stupid.

Faith smirked, "Do you love her?"

Buffy hesitated but there was no point in lying for the sake of it. "I like her a lot."

"But you don't love her, at least not in the 'I-can't live-without-you-never-ever-leave-me-or-I'll-die' kind of way," Faith pushed.

"So you could live without Troy?" asked Buffy, skeptical, "I only ask because just recently, like for the past three months, you've been doing a great impression of someone who couldn't...live without him."

"I could live without him, but that doesn't mean I want to, B." Faith grinned. "I'm having a good time right now, all of the fun with none of the sappy stuff to ruin it."

"And by sappy you mean..?"

"Flowers, poetry," Faith tipped a nod to the Easter eggs laying around "Baby talk, pet names and snuggling." She finished her list, her lips twisting a little with distaste on the last word.

Buffy felt shocked. "You and Troy don't snuggle?" Faith started chuckling at her. "Not even after..?"

"If you had a chance to spend some quality time with this body - would you waste it snuggling or would you do something a little naughtier?" Faith asked as she ran her hands slowly over her breasts, down her stomach to the flare of her hips and then around to rest on her butt. Shifting her hips forward, she let her shoulders roll back - effectively displaying herself for Buffy.

Buffy eyes followed Faith's hands before she realized what they were doing and she jerked them back up to Faith's face again. "I think that's not a question for me to answer."

"And I think that's the chicken shit answer, but whatever," Faith chuckled some more. "I don't do snuggling and Troy doesn't expect me to. Hell, maybe that's love after all."

"So what do you do after you have sex?" Buffy asked, a natural born snuggler. Anticipating the answer, she added, "And don't say, 'do it again.'"

"Sleep," Faith offered with a small shrug, like she'd never really thought about it. "Eat; talk. Troy likes to talk about stuff."

"What, after sex?"

"All the damn time," Faith rolled her eyes.

Buffy raised a brow. "Looks like that bothers you as much as snuggling."

Faith smiled, "Nah, it's cool. It's kinda nice to have someone who wants to listen to me yap, ya know?"

That caused Buffy to frown. She was supposed to be the one listening to Faith yap. She'd offered up free usage of her ears to Faith anytime she wanted them; and then she'd gone and made herself as scarce as possible for a couple of months making it hard for Faith to talk to her about anything, especially important stuff.

In fact, they'd been talking more openly since they'd been stuck underground in this Aladdin's cave - if Aladdin was big fan of Easter eggs anyway - than they had since Valentines. It was nice, and something Buffy had missed way more than she realized.

The Slayer-side of her mind, the side of it always focused on work, added that it might also be a way of getting to the bottom of the Troy-mystery. If Faith felt comfortable talking about him, something might crop up that would help Buffy in figuring out what he was up to.

Buffy had already considered exploiting the best friend angle before now, but had decided it wasn't something she was comfortable doing. Knowing Faith was going on vacation with the potentially evil jerk in a few hours made exploitation seem that much more doable.

"So what do you talk about?" she asked, casually. "I mean, it's not like we have the luxury of talking shop with our partners."

"Guess not." Faith said, looking at the dais of chocolate eggs behind Buffy.

"There's been times when I just wanted to tell Toni about the whole Slayer thing, get it out in the open," Buffy admitted, "but it changes things, or at least it did with Riley and he was a super secret agent all of his own. Toni's cool, but I don't know how well she'd handle finding out I'm not all that I seem and it seems pointless to bring it up if it's just going to ruin things, don't you think?"

"B, I told Troy," Faith blurted, not looking at her. "He took it pretty well actually," she added.

"You told him you're a Slayer?" she asked incredulously, loud enough to create more echoes.

Yes, Buffy had been fishing for information just like this, but she'd really hoped not to catch anything. What spin did this put on things?

"Yeah, last month, I told him a few days after the party. He was freaking out about it still and I figured that telling him that there were people around who knew how to deal with that supernatural shit would put his mind at rest." Faith explained.

So Faith hadn't told him before the party, meaning whatever he knew - or he thought he knew - about them hadn't come from Faith anyway. So just what or who was his source?

"How was he at the party?" Buffy asked, struggling to keep it friendly and not sound like she was now interrogating Faith. "I know he was pretty agitated, but was he okay?"

"He was fine, was Toni okay? She seems the type to be hysterical," Faith shot back.

"Well she had bigger things on her mind, and then we were kind of busy for a little while and then she fell asleep," Buffy reminded her, keeping her voice light. "So the storm didn't really seem to bother her much."

"Airhead then." Faith smirked.

"No!"

The cavern seemed to be closing in on them, not literally, just a feeling in Buffy's gut.

"Only busy for a little while?" Faith asked sympathetically. "That's too bad, B. Really, I'd hoped for better for you."

"We were busy for a big while Faith, I was just downplaying it to save your feelings." Buffy lied. "And if Troy was so fine then why was he still freaking out about it a few days later?"

"He wasn't freaking out, he was just curious."

"Oh yeah, and why was he so curious?"

"Because we were smack bang in the center of a freak weather occurrence," Faith said, "Do you know how many people got struck by lightning that night? I think the real question should be why wasn't your girlfriend curious? Either she was too dumb to realize what was going on or..."

"She's not dumb!" Buffy retorted, "She's majoring in Business which is a lot smarter than Art."

"Then it's or: She knew something was going to happen and that's why she wasn't fazed," Faith finished.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Buffy asked, dangerously, pushing herself off of the rock she was leaning on, closer to Faith.

"You tell me, she's your evil girlfriend!"

"Toni is not EVIL!" Buffy finally found the conviction in that statement that she had been looking for earlier. "If you wanna talk evil, what about your boyfriend?"

"Yeah? Bumping uglies with evil is more your deal than mine," Faith pointed out smugly.

"No it's not," Buffy snapped, her body tingling.

"You want to count them?" Faith asked and, without waiting for an answer, she brought her hands up near Buffy's face, counting each one off on her fingers. "Angel: went evil after you fucked him; Riley: cheating on you with evil vamp chicks; Spike: evil when you were fucking him; me: previously evil. Don't tell me I'm the only one spotting the pattern here?"

Buffy wanted to slap Faith, especially for the Riley comment, but instead she just grabbed Faith's hands and pulled them down. When they were out of her face she still didn't let go. Her skin felt hot.

"Just because I've made some stupid choices in the past, doesn't mean that Toni is evil. And what about you - you're not exactly squeaky clean!" She glared, her hands shaking slightly as they held onto Faith's.

"Actually, if we look at my past mistakes," began Faith, "Xander: demon hunter good guy; Robin: demon hunter good guy; despite being in prison the most evil thing Kirsty ever did was cheat a little on her taxes and even Charlie the guard was a nice guy compared to some of the assholes in the place." Faith chuckled, "And you B, well everyone always says you're the good one."

"Yeah, but what about all the rest of your conquests Faith? The ten thousand you didn't mention, how many of them were evil?" Buffy drew Faith's right hand up between them and softly kissed her knuckles without knowing why.

"I guess being the good one doesn't stop you from being a bitch," Faith swallowed, "Why did you do that?"

"Be a bitch or kiss your hand?"

"Both?"

"I don't know." Buffy admitted, gazing into Faith's eyes. "I just did."

Faith gazed back, gently tugging her left hand free and reaching up to play with the toggle hanging from the hood of Buffy's jacket. "Is it getting hot in here?"

"Yeah and I'm getting the uncontrollable urge to take off all my clothes." Buffy quipped with a gulp.

"We probably shouldn't do that." Faith's hand drifted up into Buffy's hair.

"Probably not." Buffy's arm slipped around Faith's waist.

"It's the chocolate," Faith grunted. She sounded like she was in pain, but if she was feeling like Buffy was at that moment, it wasn't about pain.

"Uh huh, except I didn't eat any of the chocolate." Buffy remembered. "We should move."

Faith's hand moved to stroke Buffy's cheek. "On three?"

The feel of Faith's breath on her lips made Buffy ache. "I can't wait for three."

"Now then?"

"No."

"Buffy."

"Okay."

Still they didn't release each other or move.

Buffy's hands were now rubbing Faith's ass, one of them playing with the flap of pocket hanging down. "This is crazy!"

"And then some," Faith agreed.

Buffy looked into her supposedly ex-lovers eyes and saw the desperation that mirrored her own. This wasn't right. It felt right, but that's why it couldn't be. Something seriously wacky was going on here and they needed to cool down and let their heads do the thinking instead of the parts of them that were currently in control.

Faith must have been thinking the same thing, because as Buffy lifted her hands lightning fast to push hard at Faith's chest, the other Slayer did the exact same thing back to her.

Stumbling back a few steps, Buffy fell on her ass and Faith did exactly the same, staring at her stupidly expecting her to have the answers.

"I..." Buffy began, but she had nothing.


Chapter Four

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Part Six Quick-Jump:

Chapter One || Chapter Two || Chapter Three || Chapter Four || Chapter Five || Chapter Six


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