PART SEVEN: 2nd June 2004
Chapter Three: Peaches In Brandy
"This one?" Toni asked, trying on her fifth hat since they'd been in the shop.
The large-ish store was supposed to sell leather goods, which was why Buffy had suggested they wander in, but along the back wall was a huge hat rack and a bunch of mirrors. So far it was proving a fun distraction out of the rain while they waited for their table reservation at Il Convivo.
Buffy turned to see the Day-Glo green cowboy hat on her girlfriend's head and burst out laughing.
"Well, it's certainly got a certain something to it," she nodded, walking around Toni to see it from all sides. "I'd never lose you in the dark that's for sure. I think I like the orange one better though."
"It is the day of the great Italian republic," Toni took the cowboy hat off of her head and placed it back on the rack. "Green, red and white are the only acceptable colours today."
Buffy chuckled and looked for another one to try on herself. At times like this, when they were just chilling out and having fun together, it seemed really stupid for her to be suspicious of Toni's ambiguous moral leanings. It was easy to forget that she even had suspicions in the first place.
Besides, it was ludicrous to think that Toni might have anything to do with Troy's hold over Faith. Toni couldn't stand Faith and Troy was apparently madly in love with her - it didn't make any sense for the two of them to be in league with one another when they were coming from two such opposite angles, but it did explain to a certain extent why Troy's absence wasn't bothering Toni as much as say Willow or Xander's absence would bother her. Maybe they'd fallen out over the other Slayer and weren't even friends anymore. Actually that was probably too much to hope for.
"How about this one?" Toni asked.
Buffy turned again, her eyes widening as she saw the garish hat her girlfriend had picked this time. "Okay, that's pink, not green, red or white, and are you really set on the whole cowgirl theme?"
"I think it could be fun," Toni smiled at her reflection in the mirrored wall, tipped the hat a little lower over her eyes and reached for imaginary six-shooters at her hips.
"Yeah, well, so could sex in one of those fitting rooms, but that doesn't mean I wanna do it." Buffy indicated the curtained changing booths along one wall with a light grey fedora in her outstretched arm before trying to toss the hat onto her head.
It missed, hitting her on the forehead and falling to the floor at her feet. As she was bending down to pick it back up, Toni came up behind her, hands sliding around her hips as she stood flush against Buffy's butt.
Buffy straightened up and her back was pressed snugly to Toni's chest. It felt nice - too nice for in a shop - but she didn't move away as an arm encircled her stomach.
"You don't?" Toni murmured playfully into her ear.
"Okay, that doesn't mean I'm gonna do it," Buffy corrected herself, smirking. "At least, not here. The curtains don't even reach all the way to the floor!"
"Not even..." Toni took the candy pink cowboy hat from her own head and put it on Buffy's, adjusting it as she continued to whisper. "...if there was a way to ensure that only one set of feet could be seen from the outside?"
"Are you serious?" she asked.
A trickle of excitement brought a burst of colour to Buffy's cheeks as her eyes darted around the shop, already checking out potential roadblocks to the plan. They weren't the only people in the store, but it was a big shop and of the few other customers dotted about, no one looked like they might be trying on clothes any time soon. She looked to the three empty fitting booths next - she could see they were empty, no legs whatsoever - then to the cashier counter right at the front of the store.
"How?" she asked next. "I mean, how would you ensure people could only see two feet and not four? Are you really Spiderman?"
Toni chuckled, "No, but there is a way."
Buffy met Toni's eyes in the mirror in front of them, half sure her girlfriend was just messing with her. So far their most adventurous location had been an off-limits to anyone office somewhere upstairs in Matrix which had been carefully prepared earlier. Okay, so it had been prepared by Faith and not them, but it was still a hell of a lot less spontaneous than doing it in a changing booth in a leather ware - and not the kinky kind of leatherwear - store.
Toni looked serious though, and maybe as turned on as Buffy was with the idea of doing it in the fitting cubicle. Now that the idea had been put in her head, she really wanted to do it. It wasn't that they didn't already have a good sex life. Buffy wasn't sure how much sex would be considered normal in a healthy lesbian relationship - she'd never been in one before after all - but they had plenty; it was just... well, it wasn't very adventurous.
What was the word Faith used?
Vanilla! That was it, their sex life was totally a single scoop vanilla cone - tasty for sure and highly enjoyable but it wasn't about to win 'The most thrilling dessert ever' award. It was no 'Peaches in Brandy'.
Her relationship, such as it was, with Spike and then her brief-ish fling with Faith had obviously turned her into a kinky pervert who got off on risky sex. In public places. With Women.
Although she probably couldn't blame that last one on Spike.
"Do you really want to?" she asked quietly.
Toni's hand stroked lower over Buffy's tummy, not obscenely lower, but low enough for it to affect her breathing and answer her question.
With her other hand, Toni reached past Buffy's shoulder to a shelf of 'old man' hats. Trilby's, if Buffy remembered correctly. Her grandpa had had one. Toni picked a dark red one out and stuck it on her head, the hand on Buffy's tummy moved lower still as Toni used her other hand to tilt the Trilby how she wanted it.
Buffy pushed herself slightly against the hand now resting on the fly of her black 501's. She'd never gotten to... finish in bed this morning, and the thoughts running through her head and the closeness of Toni was just whipping back up her lingering horniness from earlier.
"How does it look?" Toni's voice in her ear was so low and honeyed, it was practically a purr.
Turning within the circle of Toni's arm, Buffy looked up, her head tilting a little to one side as she prepared to appraise the hat and fully expecting to come down on the anti-side of her girlfriend wearing an ugly old guy hat even if it was a nice colour.
"'Kay," Buffy smiled, surprised. "Apparently Grandpa Hats look ridiculously hot on gorgeously sexy women."
She was leaning in to kiss Toni on the lips when she realized what she was doing, or rather where she was doing it. Getting turned on by sex in public places was one thing, but she could at least be subtle about it. She checked out the customer situation again over Toni's shoulder and found there were actually less now and the young man behind the cash register was busy flirting with one of them.
"So, those booths?" she smiled.
"The hat is that hot?" Toni murmured, smiling back at her.
"You're that hot, the hat just clinched the already attractive deal." Taking Toni's hand, Buffy lead her in a deliberately round-about way to the nearest of the dressing rooms. "Besides, you bailed on me this morning when your brother phoned. I've been hanging out for more ever since."
"Ah, that must have been painful for you," Toni smiled impishly, her voice low like Buffy's as they carried on their conversation.
"Precarious more than painful. I was worried I might cause a scene on the bus à la Meg Ryan," Buffy admitted, grabbing a pair of leather pants and a leather vest from different racks as they passed them. They couldn't go into the booth claiming to be trying on the hats.
"I do not understand."
Buffy smirked, "Let's just say the bus was very rumbly, and rumbly buses tend to vibrate up through the back seat and vibrating tends to cause..."
Toni cut her off, guessing, "Something you have been hanging out for since this morning?"
They'd reached the curtained cubicle furthest from the front of the shop now and Toni slipped through, pulling Buffy gently after her.
"Can I lose the hat?" Buffy reached up to take the bright pink eyesore off.
Buffy let her hand drop as she pushed through the thick curtain. It didn't matter; it wasn't like she could see the thing on her head.
She looked around as Toni pulled her forwards and could see the hat reflected from all three solid sides of the cubicle.
"Mirrors - kinky!" Buffy's giggle was subdued by Toni's tongue in her mouth, but came back as soon as they stopped kissing. "At least they don't have them on the ceiling," she grinned, giving it a quick glance to make sure as she hung the black leather pants and vest decoy outfit on a hook in the centre of the back mirror.
Toni took this as a chance to kiss her way along Buffy's neck, pulling the light white jacket off of her shoulder as she went.
"Why, would that be too tacky for you?" she breathed against Buffy's now damp skin, sending shivers of pleasure through the blonde.
"Well, yeah kinda," Buffy kept her neck tilted to the side as she felt Toni up over her white t-shirt. "But I was more thinking that people outside might see our reflections."
Toni nodded, her smile big and mischievous. "But you do not mind that we can see our own reflection?" She kissed Buffy, her hands between them nimbly unbuttoning Buffy's green shirt from the top to the bottom as she used her body to push Buffy back against the side mirror. Her hands slid teasingly up Buffy's stomach to pull her breasts out of her flimsy bra.
Buffy, leaning back against the mirror which felt cold even through the two thin layers she was wearing, could pick up the snatches of conversation from the customers scattered around the store. Her increasingly fast breathing meant that she couldn't really make out whole sentences, but the occasional word drifted to her sharp ears behind the heavy curtain.
Just enough to keep Buffy aware that they weren't entirely alone as Toni pushed her shirt back on her shoulders and lowered her warm mouth to the newly exposed area.
"Watch." The Italian demanded huskily as she moved her lips over Buffy's breasts.
"Oh I am," Buffy promised, her head turned slightly to the side to do just that as her back arched on the mirror behind and she felt her arousal manifest in her patriotically red panties.
As Toni hollowed her cheeks, sucking hard on very happy nipple, Buffy gave a tiny grunt and her head fell back, banging with a soft thud on the mirror behind. As her toes curled and her hips pushed forward, she changed her mind and wished there were mirrors on the ceiling, because right now the tension tightening her muscles was insisting she look upwards.
Giving her a bit of a break from the building pressure, Toni switched to licking for a while, slowly making her way back up Buffy's chest to her neck again. Buffy's head rolled slightly, her shoulders sagging against the mirror.
The clothes they'd brought in with them caught her eye as Toni cupped her face with one hand and kissed her again, fast and furious. Buffy closed her eyes as she kissed back with equal enthusiasm. Toni would look so good in the leather pants and vest thing; maybe she could try it on after.
Through with being submissive - not that it wasn't fun, but they were kinda on a time limit here - Buffy brought her hands up to fondle Toni through her t-shirt once again, pushing her backwards at the same time so that they switched mirrors and reversed positions.
"Buffy..." Toni breathed with a smile as their lips broke apart and Buffy's hands dropped to the bottom of her t-shirt, lifting it slightly until her hands touched the warm bareness of Toni's stomach.
Buffy had been about to dive in and kiss her deeply again, but Toni weaved a hand into her hair, keeping her inches away and just looked at her, her lips still curving in a gentle smile, her dark eyes totally expressive but in a way that alluded the Slayer.
"What?" she murmured; there was still a trace of amusement in her voice but the intense look she was receiving was making her feel a little self-conscious. Her hands continued to rest on Toni's tummy, the skin feeling so smooth under her stake-chafed palms.
Toni held her eyes forever, or a few seconds maybe, before swallowing and looking down just ever so slightly. When she was meeting Buffy's eyes again, her smile was even wider.
"Nothing, I just..." she stopped, did that looking down and back up thing again before adding, "...You are very beautiful, Buffy."
"So are you, Antonella." Buffy said sincerely, still with no idea what was going through her girlfriend's mind right now. One second she'd been getting ready to unzip Toni's pants and now they seemed to be having a decidedly lovey-dovey moment, which was fine but couldn't they wait until after the throbbing in her own pants had been relieved?
The look on Toni's face was adorably cute at Buffy's use of her full name and her head dipped again. "I am only just realizing that I have not been appreciating our time together as much as I should have done."
"Well," Buffy started slowly. "It's not over yet, is it? We still have plenty of time to make up for lost appreciation." Sliding her hands around to Toni's back, she ran them up to her shoulder blades and back down to her ass. "Wanna start appreciating?"
Toni laughed loudly, breaking the tension that had been forming with her weirdness. Buffy shushed her, first verbally and then with her lips as the hand in her hair loosened enough to let her lean forward.
Buffy continued to kiss the other woman, but it wasn't the fiery, tongue-dueling affair it had been before. It was slower, gentler, their tongues barely flirting with each other.
Buffy pulled away just a little, raised an eyebrow.
Toni's face was flushed, her breathing deep as she stared back, smiling a bit at Buffy's quizzical expression as she ran her fingers from Buffy's taut nipples all the way down to the button fly of her classic Levi's.
Buffy watched Toni's quick slender hands working on the buttons for a second before she remembered herself and moved her own hands back to unzip Toni's pants. They were eye to eye again as their hands slid beneath clothing and they touched each other at the same time.
Buffy bit her lip as she slowly moved her fingers at the same pace as Toni's. They didn't really have time for slow; they had lunch reservations some time in the very near future, but this didn't seem to be about a quick screw in a risky place anymore.
She didn't really have a clue what it was about now, but when Toni urgently breathed the words: "Kiss me!" Buffy didn't hesitate and it was the same kind of slow, tender kiss as before.
As the fingers deep inside of her urged Buffy closer and closer to what she'd been hanging out for all day, she worked the hand she had in Toni's panties into a position where she could stimulate the other woman from the outside as well as the inside.
This was easier now for her than it had been, now that she knew what Toni liked. Buffy could practically play her like a flute, knowing exactly where to kiss or press her fingertips to elicit sounds as far ranging as breathy little sighs to ear-piercing shrieks and all the notes in between. She couldn't do most of what she had learned here though - there wasn't enough room for one thing and also the audience was a lot more attractive when it was unknowing. She didn't want the audience suddenly pulling back the curtain and catching them, so shrieking was probably a bad idea anyway.
Toni was breathing through her nose, but Buffy could still tell the point when breathy sigh became ragged pant. The slayer smiled against Toni's lips, loving this new power of hers, and pressed more into her until they were touching from lips down to knees, her free arm wrapped around Toni's back eager for as much contact as she could get in this position. Her enthusiasm banged the brim of their hats together, knocking them both askew and jerking them from the moment, bringing an abrupt end to the kissing.
"Okay, it's coming off," Buffy panted, her hips still pulsing forwards even as she was reaching up with her free hand to pluck the dazzling pink cowboy hat from her head. "You're not even appreciating my wearing it for you anyway; your eyes have been closed!" She dropped it to the floor.
"Then I will take mine off also," Toni pouted, reaching up to remove the wine-red trilby.
"Oh no," Buffy caught her wrist. "You can leave yours on."
"È quello così?"
Buffy didn't understand the words, but the challenge in Toni's eyes and the fact that she still tried to reach the hat left her with the impression that she'd just been given the sarcastic Italian version of: "Oh really?"
"Si." Buffy said with a smirk and trapped Toni's wrist between her hand and the mirror.
Toni still tried to reach her hat, but she didn't stand a chance, not if Buffy didn't want her to. She played dirty, using the hand she had in the blonde's pants to distract her. Buffy was plenty distracted, but that didn't mean she let go of the wrist, instead, after shifting her feet further apart, she upped her own game.
Toni moaned Buffy's name low in her throat and Buffy kissed her again, leaning into her, only seconds away from release as Toni's harder thrusts brought wave after wave of pleasure.
It was this pleasure that weakened Buffy, giving Toni the opportunity to pull her wrist away and instead of taking off her hat she used it to grab Buffy's shirt collar and push her into the mirror beside them. They slid across the mirror sideways as they playfully struggled together, the sweet kissing gone and the hungry kissing back in its place as Buffy sought to get Toni off first and knowing she didn't have long to do that.
Toni's back hit the other mirror as Buffy pushed her backwards effortlessly with a hand on her breast, their lips not parting for even a moment and yet somehow tiny grunts of desire were still starting to escape from them both.
Buffy heard the voices coming closer to their curtained off booth of love and paid it no mind. She didn't care. She could tell they weren't talking about the perverts in the fitting cubicle; they were talking about trying on a suede shirt so there was no reason to stop the delicious things they were doing to one another. Shutting it out to a certain extent, she concentrated on using her free hand to push Toni's pants further off of her ass; grabbing one now bared ass cheek she pulled Toni against her.
As the footsteps came closer, Toni must have suddenly heard the voices. She froze, pulling her head back, her eyes wide with alarm.
"Don't stop!" Buffy whined in a whisper.
It took Toni a moment before she urgently hissed, "Piede!"
"Feet!" Toni translated. As she tried to climb up Buffy's body, she added, "Lift me up!"
"Oh, good idea," Buffy started to lift Toni with the hand on her ass and had her six inches off the floor when she realized that she'd made that look too easy.
She let go and Toni's feet thumped back to the floor.
"Of course you can; you are very strong, si?" Toni was trying to climb her like a gym rope again. It made Buffy stagger a little towards the curtain which swayed outwards dangerously.
"Not that strong," Buffy hissed back, righting herself and in the process pushing Toni against the back mirror again. "You lift me, you're taller."
"I could not hold you up, Buffy," Toni replied in a pretty reasonable tone of voice considering the situation. "You are much stronger. I have seen it many times."
The voices were pretty much right next to them now, from the sounds of it, one woman was in the cubicle either next to them or the one at the end and another was waiting right outside to see what her friend looked like in the suede shirt. They were talking loudly to each other through the curtain and there was a slim chance they didn't know what was going on right next to them...yet!
Buffy knew they should stop and just give it up. The toilets at Il Convivo were small but always spotlessly clean, maybe they could try again there. Besides the fact that there were now people very close by, Toni's insistence of Buffy's superior strength was starting to give her the wig.
Did she know? And if so, how? Because Buffy still hadn't mentioned anything about her Slayerness. The tiny but irremovable doubts she kept having about Toni's involvement with any nasty plan of Troy's had stopped her from revealing that little secret so far.
Toni though, didn't seem to want to give it up yet, which was flattering but...
Toni pushed Buffy away from her just enough so that she could jump up and wrap her legs around her waist. Buffy could feel the momentum of Toni's jump push her backwards even further towards the curtain and she had a split second to decide whether to prove Toni's strength theory true or act like Willow would in this position.
Her brain chose the Willow-route, protecting her Calling, and it was only as Buffy dropped her Slayer muscles into human mode and started falling backwards that she realized that maybe protecting her modesty should have come first.
"Merda!" That came from Toni as Buffy's back burst through the curtain and hit the worn carpet of the main shop floor.
"Ditto!" The trilby smacked into Buffy's eyes, probably nearly blinding her, but she couldn't help feeling a sense of relief that at least their bickering about who was strongest had caused them to stop fingering each other or else this could have been so much worse.
She shook the hat from her face and saw a woman, presumably the woman waiting for her friend to try on the suede shirt. She looked pretty shocked, one hand held to her mouth the other to her chest, which was better than disgusted, but then that might come later.
Toni sat up, her thighs astride Buffy's stomach and spoke to the shocked customer and to her friend who had now emerged from the end booth to look at them with equal surprise,
"These changing rooms, they are a disgrace; they are not big enough for two people to try on garments at the same time."
Buffy burst into giggles as the suede shirt wearing woman started to sympathize, obviously clueless, and her friend, perhaps being more observant and taking in their flushed faces and still-slick fingers - oh and Buffy's boobs hanging out - started to call for the manager.
Toni got to her feet, also giggling and the two of them disappeared back behind the curtain in a flash.
Buffy rearranged her bra so it did what it was supposed to and buttoned her shirt and jeans. Toni grumbled half-heartedly switching from English to Italian and back again about Buffy being a goof for not holding her up when she could have as she fastened her own pants. They were both still finding the funny though.
When they were ready to re-emerge, they didn't, choosing instead to look at each other, staring into one anothers' eyes. While it was completely out of the question, Buffy found herself wanting to jump Toni and begin all over again.
Ultimately, Buffy leaned into kiss Toni sweetly on the lips before drawing back and asking, "Ready?"
"Si," Toni nodded and grabbed the leather pants and vest from the hook.
Buffy drew the curtain back sharply and jumped when she came face to face with the young man who'd been manning the register.
"What's been going on in there?" he demanded immediately. He looked Italian but he had a New York accent and he also looked like he couldn't have cared less what had been going on if the woman stood to his side, the observant woman from before, hadn't been adamant he cared.
"Uh, trying on clothes?" Buffy hazarded, giving him an apologetic smile.
"And they do not fit!" Toni handed him the leather outfit like it was his fault they didn't fit.
"You are paying for this!" he insisted.
"Paying for what, trying on clothes?" Buffy asked, feeling less sorry now the guy was being a jerk.
"No, this." He held up a squashed and battered pink cowboy hat.
"But I didn't..." Buffy began. She didn't know how the hat had gotten into that state, but it hadn't looked like that when she'd taken it off.
"You landed on it when you and your..." Observe-o Woman began before pausing to come up with an appropriate word, "...significant other..." that had been a better phrase than the one Buffy was expecting, "... got a little rambunctious."
"Oh." Buffy looked at the squished hat again. It couldn't be that expensive and besides, Toni liked it for some strange reason. She could always wear it again, in a room that had no mirrors. "Okay. We'll take the other one too," she added brightly, seeing the dark red trilby in his other hand.
They started to follow the pacified shop man back to his desk, but Buffy paused, looking back at the two women that had unwittingly stopped her fun long enough to say,
"That shirt? No. It may be the day of the great Italian Republic but lime green suede... just, no." She shook her head as she walked towards the register, pulling her purse from her bag and finding her Watchers Council emergency credit card. This was an emergency; she needed to see Toni in that hat again!
As Buffy paid, Toni took the hats that had been bagged up for them and went to retrieve the giant umbrella they'd left by the door. She looked at her watch and then up at Buffy - who was just joining her - in dismay.
"Our table reservation was twenty minutes ago!" she said alarmed.
Il Convivo was a small popular place and if you weren't there on time, the patron had no qualms about giving your table to someone else. Toni was well known - and well-liked as far as Buffy could tell - there but today was a busy day for them; it was why they had to book in the first place.
Buffy let the news that they may have lost their table sink in, knowing that they might not get another, at least not anywhere that served food as good as Il Convivo when a much more alarming thought came to her; something she'd completely forgotten about in the heat of the moment so to speak.
"Willow and Kennedy!"
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