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


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PART NINE: 5th July to 23rd September 2004
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Chapter Eleven: I'm Sorry For The Tears You Made Me Cry

Faith shut the door behind Asklepios and slumped back against it, closing her eyes. Unaware or uncaring that Buffy was still watching her; curious as to how her demeanor had changed from angry to defeated in the shutting of a door, and to why Faith had looked so angry again in the first place.

"You think that was funny?" Faith finally asked, her voice low.

"Which bit? The bit where you nearly crippled me for life or the bit where your doctor tortured me in the name of traditional medicine? And how do you know a demi-god anyway?"

"The bit where you find my life some great big joke," Faith snapped, pushing herself away from the door.

"No, Faith, I don't think any of this is funny, and I don't think your life is a joke either." Buffy snapped back. "I do think your attitude is though."

"My attitude?" Faith stomped around the room, turning the music off, the lights down lower and grabbing her cigarettes. "This is my home, B, and I'll act any damn way I wanna act. You're the one with the nerve, coming in here, laughing at me..."

"It's Troy's home," Buffy replied flatly. "Your home is in Cleveland, not that you seem to care about it anymore."

That actually made Faith pause in the act of lighting a cigarette, which was of the good, because it gave Buffy the time to inch closer to the edge of the couch. If Faith got any more menacing and she needed to get to her feet... foot... fast, she was going to have to rely on her hands to do the boosting. Every second counted.

"And when did I laugh at you? In between the agony and you being a bitch, I haven't had a chance to yet."

"Where do you get off, huh? Coming here so convinced that this is all a sham that you don't even bother to hide it?" Faith held the lighter to her smoke and took a deep, unhealthy drag.

"What's a sham?"

"My wedding!"

"You said it, not me." Buffy would have gone for smug if she wasn't getting so annoyed; as it was, she bit the words off, glaring at Faith. "And do you really think I'd have come five thousand miles and spent a week living in a shoebox surrounded by the stinkiness of Dawn's feet and Andrew's annoying Andrewness if I didn't think your stupid wedding was scarily real?"

"All I know is I came five thousand miles to get away from you and you fuckin' followed me!"

That stung. Buffy shrank back, looking away. "I'm sorry I cared."

"You don't care, B! If you cared you wouldn't be here."

Faith came closer to the couch. Buffy would have to look up at her to meet her gaze now, but she didn't give her the satisfaction, her gaze stayed obstinately on one of many bridal magazines under the coffee table.

"On the phone you said you wanted me here for the wedding. Or were you so drunk again that you can't remember anything you said that time either? And, I'm just throwing this out there, but, if you can't stop thinking about me every time you get drunk, maybe you're marrying the wrong person!"

Faith left that alone for thirty seconds, enough time to not use the first response that popped into her head, maybe. Taking a final pull on her cigarette, she looked like she wanted to grind it out on Buffy's conveniently placed head, but thankfully chose the pristine ashtray on the coffee table instead.

"I wasn't drinking the last time we spoke. And when I said I wanted you here for the wedding, I meant the day itself. Figured it would be nice to have at least one person on my side of the church, ya know? I don't know why I thought that person could be you, but... I don't know. What I didn't mean was for you to fly your ass out here straight away to try and stop me."

With a mocking tilt of her head, Buffy met her eyes again, smirking. "Are you sure?"

"Fuck you, Buffy."

"No, Faith, fuck you!"

Faith reached over the coffee table for the whiskey bottle, but Buffy grabbed the bottom before Faith could drink any; getting her attention back.

"You can't even answer my question, can you?"

"I don't have to answer you shit." Faith pulled on the bottle neck, trying to get it away.

"Don't or can't?" Buffy held on, her good foot digging into the thick carpet for leverage. "If it wasn't already on your mind, why would you be so convinced that's what I'm here to do?"

"Okay, maybe I thought about you coming here to change my mind." Faith gave the bottle a vicious tug. Buffy's refusal to let go meant she was suddenly up on one leg in front of her. "But only because I wanted to see the look on your face when it didn't work. You don't get to win here, B."

"When do I ever get to win with you?" Buffy shouted in her face, her emotions - and not the weepy ones this time - finally getting the better of her.

She was incensed, irate, infuriated, other words that began with 'I' that made her fists itch with the urge to punch Faith. Just like in the good old days. Things really had been simpler when the only urges she'd had around Faith involved violence. Sure, it involved pain too, but somehow it was a much cleaner pain than the one she always carried with her now.

Always.

Before Christmas, or before Faith had made her move, sometime before anyway, she could put Faith out of her mind for weeks at a time. Never giving her brain time at all unless it was absolutely slay-relatedly necessary. And the not thinking of Faith had been easy. Buffy didn't even have to think about not thinking about her; it just happened.

It had been a good time. A simpler time.

Now...now Faith was everywhere she turned. There was no escape. There was the full-sized Faith standing in front of her, and there was the one who visited her nightly, invading her dreams like she owned the place, and then there was the little mini-Faith that lived inside her head; the one that must have mini-Buffy tied and gagged in a corner somewhere, leaving her free to take over.

These days mini-Faith was her voice of reason, the voice of her conscience, the nagging doubter at the back of her mind. She was probably to blame for the mental 'Slayer Skinamax' theatre between her ears these days too, and she was definitely to blame for why Buffy was balancing on one leg, thousands of miles from home, shouting at the full-size Faith.

"I don't, ever, win with you. No matter what I do, it's never right."

By some miracle she wrenched the bottle free from Faith's better grip. The bitter liquid burned down her throat, settling in her gut and stoking the fiery rage coursing through her veins.

"Boo fuckin' hoo." Faith snatched the bottle away while Buffy was still drinking, smacking it painfully into her teeth.

Buffy wiped angrily at her mouth. "If I tell you I love you, I'm all talk. If I come all the way here to prove our friendship matters to me, I'm obviously trying to sabotage your happiness. If I show my support for your stupid decision in front of Troy's friend, I must be making fun of you."

"Sounds about right."

"Why? What did I ever do to give you such a bad opinion of me?"

Faith didn't have an answer for that one, but she managed to keep her sneer in place as she drank from the bottle.

"Fine. I want out, Faith. I need out. I can't do this anymore."

Faith pointed with the bottle. "There's the door. Happy hopping."

"No," Buffy shook her head. "I mean out of you and me. I'm sorry, I thought if I hung in there long enough, that... that you'd see and we'd be okay, but you're making it too hard. You were right, Faith. I don't get to win. Neither of us do. I am so sick of letting you treat me like dirt just because I was stupid enough to fall in love with you."

Faith stared back, her face cold, emotionless, if you didn't look in her eyes anyway.

"You about done? Only, I've read this page already, and while I'm glad you're finally catching up, it's not what I'd call great bedtime reading." Faith fidgeted on the spot, trying to call her out with her eyes, her body language daring Buffy to argue.

Buffy just balanced there, seething inside

"Good," Faith muttered, but didn't sound all that happy about it. "Thank God," she added with a little more strength and started to turn away.

"Wait!" Buffy grabbed her arm as she had a thought. A thought that nearly made her laugh because it was so ridiculous, but, when thought about in the same sentence as Faith, maybe what was ridiculous was that Buffy had never thought it before.

"What?" Faith tried to shrug her off, but Buffy held tight, digging her fingers into the bicep.

"That was my mistake, wasn't it? Actually caring for you, I mean. All this time, you weren't scared I was using you, you were scared I wasn't!"

Faith took a step back, shaking her head, still trying to pull away. "No. You're just talking shit now."

"I'm not. You can't handle getting what you really want; you can't even believe it might happen. You won't let yourself. That's why the harder I try to love you, the harder you push me away. Is control really that important to you that you'd rather have it than be happy?"

"I am happy!"

"You don't look it," Buffy shot back, feeling like she was really onto something here.

Faith was looking like a scared animal, her eyes flicking this way and that for an escape route.

Buffy pushed the offensive while she had it. "That's why you're marrying Troy, isn't it? You know he's using you for real, and that's so much easier to deal with than someone who isn't. You already know he's never going to really love you, so no risk..."

The slap came out of nowhere, stinging the side of her face. It hadn't been that hard, but balanced on one leg as she was, it didn't have to be. She crashed back onto the couch, yelping in pain at the jolt to her foot.

"Shut up! You don't fuckin' know anything." Faith yelled, seeming to tower above her. "He loves me. He loves me better than you ever could. So just shut up before...!"

Apparently it was already too late and Buffy just had time to dodge her head to the side to avoid the fist coming for her nose. It made a sharp thwack against the leather.

Outraged, more by the second shot than the initial slap; Buffy ignored her pain to lurch forward and grab the front of Faith's tank top. Dragging her down, she punched her in the side of her head.

"This is how you want us to end?" she asked through gritted teeth. As Faith crashed down on top of her, Buffy punched her in the head again. "By screaming and fighting until we hate each other?"

"You got a better suggestion for how to end this?" Faith scrambled on the couch, kneeing Buffy here and there as she tried to get a stable purchase above her. "All we were ever good at together anyway. Should never have stopped."

"All you was ever good at, you mean. I'd have been perfectly capable of having an adult relationship with you."

"Oh yeah, 'cause you've done such a stand up job in the past."

"That was all your fault." Buffy said, her voice coming out strangled.

Buffy was through sugar-coating anything. Sick of taking all the blame all the time. Plus, Faith had a hand around her throat, and it was making her feel less than charitable. It was the hand still holding the bottle, so while her grip wasn't tight, the bottle dug painfully into her neck and chin. It was going to leave a bottle-necked shaped bruise that would probably raise an eyebrow or two on the street.

Faith punched her in the eye with her other hand. Great, two bruises.

As they struggled with each other, both landing blows that had more feeling than strength in them, they slipped sideways on the couch. Once upon a time, like an hour ago, this would have been Buffy's dream position. Trapped on a couch with Faith on top of her. Now it just pissed her off and she fought to get away.

Faith went up on her knees for a better aim just in time for Buffy to punch her under the chin; knocking her head back and making her lose the grip on her neck. Whiskey poured from the bottle onto her dress and she hoped it was expensive, and that it stained the couch.

"See what you do to me, B?" Faith shook off the blow and nearly broke Buffy's nose in return. "Do you get why I can't stand being around you anymore? This is how you make me feel every fuckin' day." Faith was landing punch after punch now. Buffy wriggled her head this way and that trying to avoid them. "You wanted me to let go of my control? To let you in? You liking it so far, bitch?"

"You're fucking sick, Faith!" Buffy tried to get away, tried to strike back, but Faith was sitting on top of her now, her blows relentless and Buffy's seemingly ineffectual. Her smashed foot was screaming at her in the language of pain, leaving her with no hope that she could twist Faith off and get the upper hand. "You fooled everyone into thinking you've changed, but really you're just the same bent in the head bitch you've always been."

"Only with you, baby," Faith promised derisively. She dropped the bottle so that she could close her hand properly around Buffy's delicate throat, holding her in place for the hitting.

"All you know how to do is hurt people. It's the only thing you've ever been good at and I'm done with it." Buffy caught Faith's fist in her hand and squeezed it as hard as she could.

Faith grunted in pain, trying to pull her hand back, but Buffy held on, trying to crush it as bad as her foot.

"You're not worth it, Faith. Do you hear me? You're nothing. I fucking hate you." Buffy choked out, feeling the hand around her throat getting tighter. "I'll always hate you!"

Faith stared down, breathing heavy, flexing her hand over and over, her face screwing up in self-disgust that she was too angry, too distraught to hide.

"That's what you wanted, right?" Buffy asked, expecting any moment to have the life throttled right out of her. "That's what you needed me to say? Well, how do you fucking like it?"

Faith stayed silent and still above her, apart from the ragged panting that made her chest heave. Her eyes were wet with anger and all the other emotions she was trying to keep inside. She shook her head slightly, denial in her eyes as she glared at Buffy.

"I...I'm not...I don't..." she started weakly, but her breath caught in her throat and she had to stop, her eyes watery windows to a tattered soul. "You... What...?"

Her face bruised, her foot on fire, Buffy awkwardly sat up, wanting to comfort her; it seemed like the most natural thing to do right now. It wasn't greatly received.

As soon as she sat up, Faith shied away, but Buffy made a quick grab for her and pulled her closer, her heart breaking as the pieces started falling into place. She tried to wrap her arms around Faith, but she was fought off. Faith wriggled backwards and away, pushing at her hands and chest to keep Buffy at arms length.

"Get off!"

"No!"

"I mean it, stop!"

"Hold still!"

"Buffy!"

It took some doing, but Buffy got her arms around Faith's waist and held her tight. Faith still struggled, but it was feeble now, like it was okay for her to give in if she made it look like she didn't have a choice.

"I didn't get it," Buffy said against her shoulder. "I do now."

"No...you don't." Faith's voice broke and she tried squirming away again.

"I do," Buffy said simply, holding on tight, taking as much comfort from hugging Faith as she hoped Faith was getting from being hugged.

"You can't..."

"I can, in fact I am."

"You don't..."

"Understand? No, not really. I probably never will. That's okay." Buffy spoke soothingly, pushing her own turmoil deep inside of her.

"How can it be?" Faith let a sob slip past her defenses.

"I don't know. It just is."

Faith slowly stopped fighting and let herself be held, burying her face in Buffy's neck. Buffy risked loosening her grip to stroke her hair.

"Faith, put your arms around me, please."

Compliant as a child now, Faith did as she was told. Buffy could feel her balled fists pressing tight into her back. Letting out a shaky breath, she closed her eyes, resting her head against Faith's.

*****

Buffy didn't know how long they sat there like that, taking comfort from just being so close to each other. A comfort that they could only accept and provide after physically, mentally and emotionally beating each other senseless. They really weren't good for each other, were they? Other than driving each other insane of course, but that was only ever a good thing when they were naked, and they couldn't spend the rest of their lives naked. They couldn't go slaying naked. Plus Buffy had a job and, oh yeah, Faith had a fiancÚ. With a sigh, Buffy buried her face even more in Faith's neck, determined to make the most of it before she had to pull away forever.

It was Faith giving a big sniff and deliberately wiping her nose on Buffy's bare shoulder that finally broke the strange peace between them.

"Faith!"

"Had to do something, I was getting uncomfortable," she muttered softly.

"You're uncomfortable? I'm the one with someone sat on my extremely tender leg."

"That's not the kind of uncomfortable I meant."

"Oh. Well, I still have an extremely tender leg," Buffy said, reluctantly. "So we either have to let go or lay down."

"How will laying down help it?"

"It might take my mind off of it a little." Buffy grinned, and then rolled her eyes over how 'too easy' it was to fall into this banter. Not helping.

Faith gave a soft wet chuckle into her neck before sitting up properly, her hands slowly sliding away from Buffy to rest on the couch by her knees.

"You really don't give up, do you?"

Buffy started to glibly agree, but a sigh welled up and escaped instead. Her shoulders slumped in defeat and she let her head drop to stare at... well, Faith's crotch actually, but she wasn't really seeing it. Or maybe she was, and that was the reason for the deep regret in her voice when she looked back up.

"Actually, I do."

"What?"

"I can't put up with this anymore, Faith. I love you, I probably always will, but if that's not enough for you now, it's never going to be. I've spent seven months chasing you and..."

"I spent longer than that chasing you..." Faith started to argue.

"No you didn't," Buffy countered softly. "You never did. You fell in love with me five years ago and you never even told me. Any chasing you did was in your imagination."

"Not like you'd have been interested anyway."

"Maybe, maybe not. The point is, you never gave me a say in it. You made that decision on your own, same as you made it at Christmas. You never listened to my side of it then, even when you knew I was interested, you just made up your own mind that it wouldn't work and that was that."

"It wasn't like that!"

"So what was it like?"

Faith hung her head, not answering.

"Don't get mad, okay?" Buffy warned. "But, did you ever really love me or was it just a game that got out of hand?"

Faith met her eyes, hurt, "How can you think that?"

"Because so far I haven't seen any evidence to think otherwise. I'm through now, Faith, I mean it. You were right, we are no good for each other; all we do is cause each other pain and I can't handle that anymore."

"Then what does it matter if I loved you or not?"

Buffy took a deep breath, exhaling slowly. "I don't know. I guess it would just be nice to know I wasn't the only fool here. That, even though we'd suck as a couple, I'm not the only one who wishes it could have worked out differently. That all this heartbreak wasn't solely for nothing more than a..."

Faith pressed her lips to Buffy's, shutting her up in more ways than one. Her mouth popped open in surprise as Faith leaned into her, one hand coming up to softly cup her cheek. Buffy's eyes slipped closed at the softness, the unexpected sweetness. Naught to delirious in sixty seconds. There was a moan rising from somewhere so deep in her, it ached, and she did her best to stifle it. Faith's tongue licking over her bottom lip and sliding dizzyingly slowly into her mouth to tease her own both helped and hindered that goal.

Buffy's hands slipped into Faith's hair, kissing back like her life depended on it, as inch by inch she slowly laid back down. Faith stayed with her without seeming to realize. Careful not to make any sudden movements, she eased her bad foot to the very edge, out of the way, and bent her other knee up to rest against the back of the couch. Faith fit snugly between her legs.

"Mmm," Faith made a humming noise deep in her throat as she noticed. Leaning up, breathing heavy, she asked, "Thought you were through with me?"

"I am." Buffy licked her lips. "Thought you were through with me?"

"I am." Faith kissed her again, her tongue dipping deeper into her mouth this time, tasting, reacquainting. "Just couldn't think of another way to prove I loved you."

Buffy murmured against Faith's lips in agreement. "Nothing says 'I love you' like break-up sex,"

Faith back up fast, "Whoa."

"I meant break-up kissing." Buffy said quickly. "It's like the Yelling of the Aggrieved that we did earlier, very important custom in my country, bad luck not to keep doing it." She risked a tiny smile.

Faith shook her head with a smile of her own. "Guess I shouldn't risk any bad luck, huh? Don't wanna fall down a well and break my leg or nothing, not when I have to walk down the aisle soon."

She let that hang there, and so did Buffy, knowing Faith was gauging her reaction.

After a moment, Buffy smiled slyly. "Nope, you should do all you can to avoid bad luck before your big day."

She leaned up to re-capture smiling lips, slipping her tongue between them. Faith opened her mouth willingly, sucking Buffy's tongue in deeper and resting more bodily on her again. Slowly Buffy dragged her hands down to the hem of Faith's top, and then, sneaking underneath, she palmed smooth skin all the way up to her shoulder blades.

"Buffy," Faith warned as her top went along for the ride, baring most of her back and bunching under her breasts only because they were pressed to Buffy's.

"Do you know what's considered a really good luck custom in my country," Buffy grinned. "Especially before something big and permanent like a wedding?"

"Break-up sex?" Faith guessed wearily, but she had a smile.

"Gets rid of all those unwanted urges once and for all," Buffy promised, "Or your money back, guaranteed."

"Yeah right."

"Come on, Faith. Don't tell me you didn't see me in this dress and think 'I just wish I could do her one last time.' Even I wanted to do me after looking in the mirror." Buffy laughed as Faith rolled her eyes. "What do you say, baby, as we seem to be half way there already, one last time before you put on the ball and chain?"

"One last time never seems to be one last time though, does it?"

"So tell me no," Buffy moved her head so she could gently nibble at Faith's neck between sentences. "I'll respect your decision. But I meant it, Faith. I'm done being your bitch. After tonight..." she slipped her hand around, under Faith's arm to ease her top over her breast so she could touch. "...you're not getting this cosy with me again."

Faith sighed noisily as her nipple tightened under Buffy's fingertips.

"Tonight, though," Buffy whispered playfully, her lips touching Faith's ear. "I wanna scream your name one last time."

"You know you can never just scream it once, B." Faith smirked as she bent her head to kiss her again, taking her time to make sure Buffy's lips were good and tingly before she pulled away. "My bedroom was just down the hall remember? Sometimes I heard you scream it three, four times."

So much for smothering it with a pillow! She would have been embarrassed, but Faith started kissing her neck, making her head roll back in pleasure and pretty much numbing her brain in the process.

"You should hear me now I've taken Mr Buzzy out of the box." She murmured, pushing up to rub against Faith, who was still lying so comfortably between her legs.

Faith looked up, not getting the reference. "Huh?"

"Nevermind." With a hand sliding sensuously into Faith's hair, she pulled her back to her neck and her eyes slid closed as Faith started gently sucking under her chin, her tongue seeking where the pulse beat wildly under her skin. "Oh... me like."

Buffy was having trouble believing this was happening. Had she passed out with the pain in her foot? Was this all part of the concussion Faith's fists had no doubt given her? If so, for once she wasn't complaining.

Except, Faith's breast felt amazingly real and natural in her hand. Like it was always supposed to be there. Buffy brought her other hand around to gently prise Faith's top up further, leaving both breasts nakedly touchable. That one felt perfect too.

Faith pushed herself to her knees a little; Buffy took the opportunity to gently scrape her nails around her nipples and Faith sucked in a surprised breath, reacting favorably, but accidentally jostling Buffy's bad ankle, who couldn't help wincing. So not sexy.

"Sorry."

"I'm okay," Buffy breathed out, trying to ignore that pain in favor of more kissing.

She could feel Faith slowly pulling the straps of her dress from her shoulders, down her arms and her heartbeat picked up, but she kept her lips to Faith's, her eyes closed, her hands sliding over Faith's warm skin. Faith peeled the damp, clingy material down until Buffy's breasts were exposed.

As warm hands caressed the newly bared area, Buffy gasped into Faith's mouth, her eyes opening again. "Are we really doing this?"

"Looks that way," Faith gave her an uncertain smile. "Unless you don't..."

"No, I'm good." Buffy kissed her again quick, cutting any doubts off before they could fully form. She also tried to roll them over, wanting to feel Faith beneath her for a while, but she only made it half way when the pain shot up her leg and she froze completely, her mouth going all rigor mortis rictus-y against Faith's.

"You okay?" Faith mumbled against her lips.

Buffy made a squeaking sound in the place of anything unintelligible.

"You need to stop?"

She shook her head, getting her wits back as the white hot needle feeling subsided. "No to stopping, but I think we can rule out the Kama Sutra. I'm a one-position woman tonight."

"Which position were you thinking of," Faith leered.

Buffy rolled her eyes, smiling. "The one I'm in now, 'cause I am not moving my leg again."

Faith sat up a little, careful not to jolt her, and frowned down at said position, then she looked behind her, still frowning. "Okay, we can try, but don't come too hard or you're gonna knock me off the couch."

"Well, that's pretty much in your hands," Buffy pulled her back down beside her. "And anyway, I thought you liked it rough?"

Laughing, Faith kissed her with one hand holding the back of her neck and the other sweeping up her side to find her breast again. Buffy started pulling Faith's top off.

Faith pulled back, shaking her head. "Can't ride bareback, B."

"What?"

"Gotta keep all our clothes on."

Buffy was about to ask why, and then realized it would have been a stupid question. Troy's apartment. Troy's couch. Ha, Troy's couch! She almost giggled.

"Okay, clothes can stay on, but..." She mumbled against Faith's lips; keeping her top bunched up and pressing closer so that skin touched skin. "That doesn't mean I can't feel you."

"Feeling's good," Faith agreed. "You feel good."

Actually, she felt great. Faith's kisses were always so intense. Even now, when it was just a brush of lips and a slip of tongues, she felt it sizzle in a straight line from her mouth all the way down to the Bay of Buffy between her legs. Where it was high tide. And Faith's fingers were about to take a dip.

"Can you put your leg over mine?"

"Uh huh."

"Easy, B, don't hurt yourself."

"I'm okay; just... open your legs too."

"In a minute."

Buffy went dizzy all over again as the fingers drifted slowly under her dress and along the strait of her inner thigh. She almost couldn't speak when they bumped gently into her cotton flood barrier.

"You don't have to stop there."

"I know," Faith's breath came in shallow bursts, warming Buffy's cheek as she toyed with the damp material between her legs. "Just, this bein' the last time, I guess I wanna appreciate it right."

It was, without doubt, the sweetest thing Faith had ever said to her. Buffy smiled, tilting her head to find her mouth again, letting her know she felt the same.

Buffy knew now. It was the light in Faith's eyes, the passion in her kisses and the slow burning confidence in her touch. It was nice to finally know she wasn't alone in this, but it was bitter-sweet. The thought that the first time they were making love would also be their last. Not through choice but because forcing things to go any other way would just tear them apart for ever. Their love was too dangerous, too major, too epic to have a happy ending.

Or perhaps she would just believe anything when Faith's fingers were sliding into her underwear. Besides, this wasn't exactly what she would call an unhappy ending. And there were always sequels.

Thumbs in the waistband, Buffy tried pushing Faith's shorts down her legs.

"B, no."

"A little." Buffy insisted softly, and got her way, baring Faith's succulent ass. "Peachy." She grinned, letting her hands test for ripeness.

"Moist and delicious," Faith quipped, pushing two fingers into her and then pulling out to slide the wetness around her clit.

Buffy gasped, rocking her hips forward. "Delicious?"

"Gotta good memory."

"Good." Buffy said, voice muffled as she set her lips to Faith's sweet neck. "You're gonna need it for all those sexless nights once you're married."

Faith laughed, until Buffy's hand slipped between her legs, and then her words came out on a moan, "Not gonna happen, babe, but if Troy ever does lose his appeal... plenty of little blonde chicks with big eyes and bad attitudes out there."

"I'm the one with the bad attitude?"

"Buffy... shut up." Faith begged, tugging her panties down a little.

"I can... do that." Buffy pushed the shorts down further while Faith was too busy to notice, trying not to lose her purchase on the supple skin below her ear at the same time.

"Wrap your leg around me."

"Why?" Buffy asked, even as complied.

"Need to fuck you." With one hand on Buffy's ass to reduce the amount her leg moved, Faith rolled them over again.

Underneath her again, pressed to her as intimately as it was possible to be, Buffy's breathing quickened as she moaned out, "Oh God."

"Fuck, you get me so wet!" Faith's words rushed out quietly, with so much feeling it didn't sound as porn-film as it could have done, as she pushed herself up with one arm and started to thrust her pelvis in a very Buffy-pleasing way. "Your leg okay?"

"What leg?" Buffy mumbled against her throat. "Faith, you feel... so fucking...."

Full sentences were beyond the pair of them now, both single-mindedly, or perhaps dual-mindedly considering how well they did it together, rocking, rubbing, grinding and pushing each other towards the pinnacle of their doomed love. All down hill from here, baby, but the view at the top was gonna make it worth it.

"...You too, B, fuck, fuck..."

"...Faith, oh, damn, oh, damn..."

"...Jesus...that's...nearly...fuck..."

"...Yes, oh, like... oh, oh..."

Two steps from the peak a strange loud ping pervaded their moaning and grunting. The elevator! Both of them, somehow, managed to freeze in what they were doing, trying to listen hard over the sounds of their ragged breathing, staring at each other in, well, Faith looked horrified. Buffy knew she probably did too, but only horrified that they had to stop.

Talking could be heard now; Faith leapt off of the couch in one not so graceful move.

"Shit!" she hissed, tripping as her shorts fell to her ankles. She dragged them up. "Move!"

"I can't." Buffy reminded her huffily, pointing to her ankle that was starting to throb again now that Faith wasn't on top of her. See, her theory had been right; it had taken her mind off of it.

"Your hands work fine, don't they?"

Reluctantly, but quickly all the same, Buffy pulled the dress straps back up her arms, covering her breasts. She was just pulling her panties back into place when they heard a jangle of keys.

"That didn't count as our last time," Buffy whispered irritably as she tried to sit up. "Not if we didn't get to..." A pillow smacked her in the face from the direction of the bedroom. "...Ow."

"Not now, B." Faith warned, reaching for the switch to turn the living room lights off altogether. "Just pretend you're asleep. I'm gonna try and get him straight into the bedroom so's we don't wake you."

"Okay, so far, being your mistress officially sucks," Buffy grumbled, but, grabbing the blue blanket, she pulled it over herself as she gingerly lay back down.

"You're not..." Faith began, just as the door opened, letting in a shaft of light from the lobby that fell on the back of the couch, but left Buffy in shadow.

"We'll see," Buffy muttered, mostly because she was beyond horny and with no hope of relief.

"Fai?"

"I'm here. Keep it down, babe. We got a guest on the..."

Troy smacked a light switch by the door, washing the room with light far brighter than either woman had been ready for. As Faith blinked stupidly, Buffy hid her eyes under the blanket. It smelled way too strongly of whiskey; or maybe that was just her.

"Buffy is still here?"

"You knew she was here?" Faith asked, still blinking.

"How do you think I got in here?" Buffy asked, and then clapped a hand over her mouth. "I mean, ahhh, lampshades with fangs, I can't get out of the teapot, ahhh, lollypop daisies..."

"What the hell, B?"

Buffy pulled the blanket off of her face. "I was sleep talking."

"What the hell do you dream about?"

Buffy curbed the impulse to say, 'You.'

"I saw Buffy in the street on my way out, so I brought her up to see you." Troy explained casually as he came further into the room. "I thought you would be gone by now though."

"Bet you did."

"There was a kinda accident," Faith said, pointing at the bandaged foot sticking out of the blanket, and looking like she wanted to kick it.

"Yeah, Faith slammed my foot in the door and shattered it. Turns out you were right, Troy, she wasn't happy to see me."

Troy smiled, but there was surprising concern in his eyes. "Are you okay?"

"I called Asklepios," Faith said, before Buffy could answer. "He came and fixed her up, but she can't walk so she has to stay here the night."

Troy nodded. "And what did you do with the rest of your time? Did you have a good talk?"

Troy was addressing her, so only she saw the panic flash through Faith's eyes.

"Uh..."

"No," Buffy shook her head. "We argued, there was punching, and then we decided to sleep on it before things got stupid and Faith turned the light off and went to bed."

"You left her in here on her own?" Troy asked Faith, his eyes darting around the room and landing on his desk as if checking she hadn't stolen anything.

"I kept myself amused," Buffy grinned. Wriggling her hand between her body and the back of the couch she pulled out the empty bottle that had been digging into her side. She held it up. "See?"

"You are drunk?"

"But not stupid," she lied.

"Babe, why don't we go to bed?" Faith came close enough to curl her fingers around the back of his neck. "Leave B to sleep it off."

Troy gave his desk another fleeting glance before smiling at Faith.

"That is a wonderful idea." Standing up, he took her hand. "There is more liquor in the cabinet if you wish it, Buffy."

"Thanks," she said vaguely.

She was staring at the desk trying to figure out what was so interesting, but as she realized they were walking away, she watched them head for the bedroom. Faith was going to screw him! Buffy had just saved her ass and now Faith was going to cure the horniness she was responsible for by screwing Troy. While Buffy had to lie out here listening to them!

"Actually," she called after them before the bedroom door shut. "Is there any chance one of your minions, I mean, staff could give me a ride back to my hostel?" Troy and Faith both turned to her. "Only, Dawn and Andrew are there waiting for me, they're gonna worry if I don't go back."

Troy came into the room. "I understand your concern, but it is after two in the morning, Buffy. I have no spare man to take you, and Faith and I have both been drinking tonight."

"Oh." Damn it, she was stuck here, and now she had used them as an excuse she realized Dawn and Andrew really would be worried.

"Can't you call 'em?" Faith asked, pointing at the phone.

"I don't know the number."

"Smart, B."

"I didn't expect you to break my foot, F!"

"Ladies, please." Troy held up his hands. "I will go, it is no trouble."

He gave Faith a quick kiss and started for the door. Buffy's eyes lit up in excitement for a moment, and she was sure Faith's did the same, but then she had one of those annoying thoughts.

"Wait, you can't. If you go they'll think it's a trap. They'll think you killed me."

"Buffy!" Faith shouted.

"I'm sorry," she gave a shrug. "But it's true."

Troy laughed, not in the least offended. "Perhaps tomorrow I'll take them for lunch and then they will see I am not such a bad man."

Buffy raised her eyebrows at that.

Sighing heavily, Faith started for the door herself. "I'll go. Hotel and room number?"

Buffy told her, realizing as she did that Troy apparently hadn't needed to ask for it. Faith left before Buffy could say thank you.

Troy tilted his head as the door shut, grinning not entirely pleasantly. "So, Buffy, it would seem we finally have a chance to talk alone..."

Buffy pulled a face, 'Oh crap!'


Chapter Twelve

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