No Time To Choose
Prequel to the House of the Setting Sun Series


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PART THREE
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Chapter Fifteen: A Night of Truths Laid Bare

Two hours, twenty-one pizzas and two incredible stories later, everyone was sat around in the lobby of the hotel. Extra cushions had been brought in and splayed around the floor and the new Slayers had made themselves comfortable down there. Willow was also laying on the floor with her head in Kennedy's lap.

"Yeah that spell has really taken it out of me, but it was worth it. I've never felt so full of..., I don't know how to explain it. I felt power like it before but this was just a whole other ballgame," she was saying.

"You did good Will," Xander told her, he was spinning around in Cordelia's old desk chair. "So do they know what's wrong with Queen C. Apart from being taken over by an evil entity, which, y'know, haven't we all."

"It's a coma, natural now we think, it's just a case of hoping she wakes up," Wesley said.

"She will, she's tough. Look at me, I was down for eight months and I'm still kicking," Faith said.

"You have a son!" This was not the first time Buffy had said this. She seemed to be working through the full range of emotions. From disbelief, to confusion, to anger, to hurt, to whatever came next. Everyone just rolled their eyes, except Angel who said,

"Spike saved the world." He was doing the same as Buffy. The rest left them to it.

Giles declined the beer Gunn was offering and leaned forward on the couch. "So tell me how this works again Wesley. You saved the world from peace and love and cosmic harmony and your reward is an evil law firm."

"Yes well, when you put it like that, it does sound rather bad, doesn't it?"

Faith took the beer Gunn was holding out. "Thanks bro, you got one for B here? It might knock her out of this groove she's stuck in."

"Sure." He handed over another bottle. "She sure ain't like what I thought she would be. The way everyone carries on around here like she's the new messiah or sommat. I think she's kinda...weird."

Faith smirked at him and handed Buffy the beer.

She smiled at Faith as she took it. "Angel has a son."

"Yeah I know, B. Connor. He's alright, bit of a whack job like his pop."

"Are you sure Spike saved the world?" Angel asked, pulling their attention back to him.

"So I'm gonna hit the sack B, you coming?" Faith asked nervously, getting to her feet.

"Yeah I'll be up in a minute." She smiled at the dark Slayer, while her tummy felt like it was a washing machine being spun dry.

Faith nodded and went up to their room.

Buffy leaned her head against the back of the couch. In a few minutes she'd be laying next to Faith, in bed. The first time they'd be sharing a bed since Buffy had admitted her feelings. The first time since they had kissed. Buffy knew without a doubt that by morning she would be completely and totally crazy.

They had both been putting off going to bed, the only other people still awake were Giles and Angel. Angel spoke now.

"How's it going between you two?"

"It's not, we talked, she wasn't interested. End of story," Buffy said bluntly.

"This isn't easy for her Buffy, I know she cares for..."

"Yes Giles, I know. Everyone keeps telling me how much she cares for me. Everyone except Faith, which isn't a lot of good. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go and spend an excruciatingly long night laying about a foot from her. Do not expect me to be coherent in the morning." Buffy stood and started to walk to the stairs.

"You did a wonderful job today Buffy, you should be very proud of yourself," Giles said.

She turned and gave him a pleased smile. "Thanks. Night guys." Then went up to her room.

Faith was just climbing into bed when Buffy walked in. She was dressed in just her t-shirt and panties. She answered Buffy's eyes before the blonde could ask the question.

"Guess Fred didn't think about jammies."

"No, well we'll just have to go clothes shopping tomorrow. Maybe we can go together?" Buffy asked brightly as she shut the door behind her. 'That's it just talk about normal stuff and you can get through this until she falls asleep.'

"Uh dunno, B. I don't know if I'll be about tomorrow." Faith didn't look at her, she just smoothed the covers out over herself, watching her hands move over the white sheet. 'Damn I really don't want to talk about tomorrow. I just want her to get into bed and fall asleep.'

"Oh okay. Well I'll just go and brush my teeth, shall I? I don't want to be breathing pepperoni over you all night. Not that I'll be breathing over you all night, just, never mind." It was a race to see who went red first but Buffy didn't wait to see if she won. She dashed into the bathroom and slammed the door.

"That was so smooth, Buffy. I bet I get back out there to find she's gone, choosing to sleep on someone's floor than next to Obsession for Faith," she whispered to the mirror. She brushed her teeth hurriedly and splashed cold water on her cheeks to try and calm them down a bit. She pulled off her jeans, socks and t-shirt and bra, then pulled her t-shirt back over her head. With a going-to-the-guillotine feeling, she opened the door.

Faith was still laying in the bed, staring at the ceiling, her arms straight down at her sides holding the covers down.

'Is she trying to stop me from getting to close or did Dawn tell her about my habit of hogging the blankets?' Buffy wondered. "Shall I turn out the light?"

"Unless you're afraid of the dark, B."

Buffy flicked the light switch. The room wasn't completely dark. The light from a three-quarters moon and the orangey glow from the street lights shone through the window, enough light for Buffy to see her way around the bed and climb in. Careful not to disturb what Faith had obviously marked as her territory, she lay in the same position as Faith.

"After what we saw this morning, I don't think anyone can blame us if we are," she said.

"But we won. That should be enough to cure the nightmares. I know it's going to damp down a few of mine."

They lay in silence for a few minutes.

"I saw you talking to Wesley and Giles earlier. What was that about?" Buffy asked, her curiosity had been peaked ever since she'd spotted the three of them deep in conversation, only to have them clam up when she approached.

"Not a lot, B."

"Is it all to do with these mysterious plans of yours?"

Faith didn't answer straight away. "Yeah."

"And you still can't tell me what they are?"

Silence from Faith.

"Even though they're to do with me?"

"They're not to do with you, Buffy."

"But they affect me. They're the reason you won't..."

"Buffy, can you not do this again? We've been through this."

Buffy rolled onto her side facing Faith. Faith didn't move.

"Okay, I promised I wasn't going to do this but I've changed my mind, so sue me. Firstly we have not been through this, you just keep saying "I can't...I can't", but you won't tell me why. Secondly I know you feel the same way as me, Faith."

"You don't know that."

"Faith, you were standing on the edge of Hell with an apocalyptic battle raging around you and the only thing you could see was me..."

Faith started to climb out of the bed, but Buffy grabbed her by the arm held her there.

"... and the only thing I could see was you...and I don't care what your mouth says, 'cause your eyes are telling me all I want to hear."

Faith turned her head slightly to look at the blonde. "I thought you were dying," she said quietly.

"So you're only gonna tell me how you feel on my death bed? Don't you think that's a bit of a waste?" Buffy forced a chuckle.

"If you think you know how I feel then I don't need to tell you."

"Would be nice to hear it though." Buffy loosened her grip on Faith's arm and trailed it down to hold her hand.

Faith shook her head. "There's no point to this B, it's just gonna make things harder. I've got to..."

"Do stuff tomorrow," Buffy cut her off. "Yes I know, but that's tomorrow and we'll deal with it then. I promise whatever your big plans are I won't get in the way." She thought for a moment. "Unless it's illegal. It's not illegal, is it Faith?"

"No it's not illegal, but Buffy, I'm a wanted fugitive, remember? Just laying here next to you is illegal." Faith geared herself up. 'Okay, this is it. I'll tell her the truth and we'll deal, just like she says.'

She faltered when she felt Buffy's fingernails trail softly up her inner arm. "Kinda makes it more exciting when you put it like that."

Faith laughed softly. "The weirdest things turn you on, girlfriend."

"You turn me on, girlfriend," Buffy whispered.

Faith sat up, leaving a lot of her skin in Buffy's nails. "Okay, that's it, that's enough. Buffy I get you like me and boy you have only touched the tip of the iceberg of how much I like you. There, I admitted it, okay? Are you happy now? But...but this isn't going to happen. I'm sorry. You're not thinking straight, you're upset about Spike and Anya and the others, but mostly Spike probably and I get that now. He wasn't so bad for an undead fiend and I respect that you're upset that he had to die in order to save the world..."

Faith sitting up and scooting backwards had caused the covers to pool around her knees, leaving a lot of bare thigh, just inches from Buffy. She took advantage of this now, resting one hand on Faith's leg, just above the knee, and her head back against the pillow to look up at the dark Slayer.

"This isn't about that."

Faith was looking at Buffy's hand. Her palm was resting flat and only her thumb was moving, tracing little circles on her trembling skin.

"...O...Okay, then... obviously you're horny, big fight, lotsa big monsters to slay, plus a lot you didn't get to. I know how that leaves you struggling with the double H. Not even all the pizzas in the world would be able to settle it alone. I'm feeling it too." 'Shit, why did I say that?'

"I know you're feeling it too. Either that or you've got a vibrating phone in your pocket." Buffy leaned over and lifted Faith's tank top slightly. Faith shrank back against the pillows. "Nope, no pockets. Soooo," Buffy dragged the word out as she climbed to her knees in front of Faith. "If you're feeling it and I'm feeling it, then what's your next reason for not doing this?" She leaned forward to kiss Faith who leaned so far to the side she nearly fell off the bed.

Buffy grabbed hold of the head board and steadied herself before they both landed in a heap on the floor. Sitting back up, she made do with just taking Faith's hand between her own again. She also surprised both of them by laughing.

"Okay Faith, this is getting silly now. I realize I'm not the seasoned seductress that you are and I've never tried my moves on another woman before, but I didn't think I'd suck this bad at it."

"It's not you," Faith said, sitting back up against the pillows.

"Well not to sound big-headed but I already worked that one out. So what is it?"

"This is just too much." Faith looked down at their joined hands.

"This is too much, but you didn't think re-enacting the Kama Sutra with Principal Wood was, in any way, too much?" Buffy tried to keep her voice light to disguise the irritation she was feeling.

"That didn't mean anything."

"But this does?"

"Yeah."

"And that's bad because?"

Faith looked up at Buffy. "Haven't we hurt each other enough with out finding new ways to do it?"

"Faith, slow down. How did we get from wanting each other to hurting each other in like, five seconds?"

"If we do this now, tonight, we'll get hurt. Probably you first and then me," Faith said, thinking about what she had to do in the morning. "And I don't want that to happen. I...I...I like you too much." There she'd said it, cue lightening bolt. When she wasn't struck down by a blinding flash of light she risked looking up at Buffy again.

Buffy was staring straight back at her. "Do you really trust me so little not to hurt you, that you think it's better not to try?"

"I trust you Buffy, it's me I don't trust for God's sake. I'm built for destruction and I don't know how to turn that off. Until I do, this shouldn't happen."

"Sorry, I disagree," Buffy taunted. "I think you're scared. You've built so many stupid walls around yourself, you can't even see me trying to climb over them."

"That's not it."

"You're making up all these excuses to not do this, trying to make out like you don't give a damn, because you're too scared to admit that you might actually give a damn after all and then where would that leave you."

"I just told you I like you, what more do you want?"

"Oh yeah it's easy to say you like me, but you haven't got the balls to prove it. And I thought you were fearless, the badass rogue Slayer, who took what she wanted, did what she wanted and had," Buffy rested her hands on Faith's knees and leaned closer, "who she wanted. Must have all been an act, because now you can't even kiss me without wanting to turn yourself in."

Faith's heart missed a beat when she said that, but Buffy didn't realize and Faith's pissed expression didn't waver.

"Yeah, I can trust you not to hurt me," she said evenly.

"You're hurting me," Buffy shot back.

"Then thanks for proving my point. The difference is I'm not deliberately trying to hurt you, but I can if you want." Faith grabbed Buffy's wrists and used her body to push her off balance until she fell over on her back.

Buffy didn't try to fight it, she lay still as Faith crawled over her, straddling her hips and held her hands above her head.

"Is that it B, do you want me to hurt you?" Buffy remained silent, looking up into Faith's flashing eyes. "You want me to throw some vicious verbal shit at you too? You want me to point out all your faults for you? Will that be fun? Will that help us bond?"

"I'm prepared to try it if you think it will get through to you, because nothing I'm saying is," Buffy said calmly.

"You wanna know what I'm scared of B? You really wanna know?" Buffy nodded. "I'm scared of screwing up my life again."

"And you think being with me would do that?"

"Way back when, I couldn't see the lines where you were concerned, or where I was concerned. I wanted more than I had and I wanted it all from you. It didn't make any sense, but neither did my life. I wanted you, I wanted your boyfriend, I wanted you, I wanted your friends, I hated your friends and your boyfriend because they had you and I didn't. I hated you 'cause you had them and I didn't. I hated your mom and I wished I had one just like her and the same with your watcher. I hated Wesley 'cause he was never gonna be my Giles and I hated Giles cause he loved you like a daughter and I was only a Slayer. Do you see how screwed up I was?"

Buffy nodded. "That's why you went to the Mayor."

"S'not why I went to him. It's why I stayed with him though. To him I was the one and only and he cared about me. I wasn't getting that from you."

"I'm sorry Faith, I really am. I did care, I just didn't know how to deal. I didn't know how you felt. I'm not saying it would have made a difference if I had, I mean I was with Angel and I'd never thought about girls that way before, I'd have probably still freaked. Things are different now though. I know how I feel about you and I know how you feel about me and the whole girl thing only freaked me out for like two days; I'm over it already. We can't change the past Faith, but we can stop it from ruining out future."

Faith let go of Buffy's hands and sat up straight.

"And what if someone else comes along and you fall for them? How do you know I'm not gonna go all evil again? Do you wanna live your life knowing that one kiss with someone else could cause them a whole lot of pain?"

Buffy sat up and hooked her arms around Faith's back. "Not gonna happen and if it did, you're not that person anymore."

"What if I don't like how much time your spending with Red and Xander and so I tie them up and threaten to kill them?"

"They forgave me so they'll forgive you." Buffy leaned forward and kissed her softly on the lips.

"Really, you did that?" Faith asked when she could feel her lips again.

"I'll tell you about it sometime, not now though, got better things to do." Buffy leaned in and kissed her again.

"What if I get wicked angry 'cause you keep talking about your ex, and I try and kill him, what then?"

Buffy chuckled and slid her hands up under the back of Faith's t-shirt. "Angel was a bit worried about that, to be honest, but you're both big kids. I'll let you sort it out between you." She kissed Faith again, letting her fingers trace random patterns as she slowly inched the shirt higher.

"I was thinking more of Riley actually," Faith admitted, her breath deepening.

"What about...what about...B, I can't concentrate when you're kissing my neck like that." Faith pouted, then made a humming noise in the back of her throat and arched her neck to the side.

"That's kind of the point F."

"I haven't agreed to this yet, I mean...Gnah..." Faith's mind when blank when Buffy's tongue began stroking her pulse point. "...I'm pretty sure I would have given in eventually..."

"Then think of this as just saving time." Buffy reluctantly pulled her lips away from Faith's neck and swiftly pulled her shirt over her head before she could protest. She smiled at the uncovered territory. "Yeah, that was worth it," she breathed.

"Buffy, you're missing the point..." Faith's hands were running up and down Buffy's back while she tried to remember the point she was missing.

"Nuh-uh, got them right here." Buffy's hands moved teasingly slowly up Faith's body to cup her breasts. Faith let out a groan.

Buffy smirked. "What were you saying?"

"Oh forget it, just don't hate me in the morning." Faith's mouth crashed down on to Buffy's, the force pushing Buffy back on the bed. Faith covered her body with her own and gripped the hem of her shirt, trying to lift it off.

Buffy rolled them both over and lifted her arms so Faith could pull it off and fling it away. "I won't," Buffy gasped as Faith slid her hand down into the back of her panties and cupped her ass. "As long as you don't stop."

Faith rolled them over again, tangling her hand in Buffy's panties and pulling them off with a graceful sweep. Looking down at the older Slayer, her breath caught in her throat and she thought she might pass out due to lack of blood in the brain. "I don't think I could if I tried," she panted, before kissing her way over Buffy's breasts to rain more fire on her lips.

Buffy wrapped arms and legs around the brunette and refused to give up her claim on Faith's lips. Forcing her tongue into the other girls' mouth, she kissed her thoroughly, letting her know exactly how much she wanted this, needed this. One hand wrapped itself in silky dark hair while the other moved over soft skin and then cotton to cup an ass cheek, pulling Faith down into her, making them touch everywhere.

Faith pulled away long enough to gasp: "I need to get my panties off." If this was gonna happen, it was damn well gonna happen properly.

Buffy moved her hand down and grabbed the material between Faith's legs and tugged it sharply until it tore. "Better?"

Faith was kissing down the blonde's neck so the word "Hella" was muffled.

Buffy didn't hear it anyway because Faith chose that moment to start really touching her. Arching her back off the bed, she pulled the brunette's mouth harder against her breast, her eyes rolling into the back of her head at the yummy feel of fingers between her legs.

"Faith!" She panted, her breathing ragged.

Faith smiled around the part of Buffy in her mouth and licked over the nipple, her own need crashing over her as she gave Buffy everything she had. "I know baby," she murmured against smooth skin in-between wet kisses.


Chapter Sixteen

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Part Three Quick Jump:

Chapter One || Chapter Two || Chapter Three || Chapter Four || Chapter Five || Chapter Six || Chapter Seven || Chapter Eight || Chapter Nine || Chapter Ten || Chapter Eleven || Chapter Twelve || Chapter Thirteen || Chapter Fourteen || Chapter Fifteen || Chapter Sixteen


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