Faith watches the blonde across the bar. The woman seems somewhat familiar, like she'd seen her before but not being able to place her, Faith dismisses it and continues to watch her down another drink.
Having been released from jail for good behavior and some help from the Watcher's Council, Faith had made her way back to Sunnydale. She'd finally called Buffy a couple days after getting in, to let her know she was here, and not wanting to cause trouble, but figured the Hellmouth deserved to have the slayers here to defend it.
Buffy had told her in no uncertain terms to stay away from her and her friends. Shaking her head at the remembrance, Faith had finally contacted the Watcher's Council again, asking them where else they might need her, since she was persona-non-grata here in good ol' Sunnydale.
When they'd said to stay put and try and help out without hopefully causing anymore tension, Faith had sighed, but done as asked. They were giving her a monthly stipend that paid for her food and monthly bills, thankful she didn't have to worry about rent, since her condo was still hers and in working order. Though she was working as a bouncer here at one of the lesser known bars, figuring Buffy and the gang would never come here, even if they knew it existed.
The Bitch Club was definitely not a mainstream bar by any definition and not well known. It catered to a more... select group of women, and that was one of the reasons Faith's interest had been piqued by the blonde at the bar. She definitely did not look like a person that would frequent this type of place.
Frowning and going on her toes, Faith notices one of the regulars heading towards the blonde. Watching intently as 'Zane' as she liked to be called practically runs her hands all over the woman while whispering something in the blonde’s ear at the same time. Watching as the blonde shakes her head and reaches for another drink, Faith growls softly as Zane grabs the blonde by the hair, jerking her head back.
Before she realizes it, Faith's across the bar and has Zane dangling from her hands. "Leave, now." Faith snarls in her face, watching the woman turn deathly pale and nod her head quickly. Faith was paid well to make sure the customers weren't bothered that didn't want to be bothered and that any 'unsavory' types were kept out, meaning the vampires and demons. All the regulars knew better than to cross her, or they'd end up waking up the next day with more than a hangover making their heads pound.
Tara purses her lips as she narrows her gaze on the brown-haired woman that had saved her from the overzealous Dominatrix. Blinking to try and bring the woman into focus, Tara tilts her head, smirking as something clicks. "Well, this is kinda different." Tara slurs, even as she grabs her glass, downing another shot of whiskey. "Comin' to the rescue instead of tellin' me I can't speak worth a damn." Tara nods her head to the bartender for another shot. "Thought you were more into the threatenin' end of things than the savin' end, Faith."
Faith turns in shock to the woman, her eyes looking at the blonde again, as her words circle around in her head, finally realizing that the skinny blonde woman was the young stuttering woman... Tara, yeah, Tara, that had been at the Bronze with Red when she was inhabiting Buffy's body in one of her worst ideas.
"Yeah, well, people change." Faith huskily states, looking at Ginny, the bartender and shaking her head to giving the blonde any more to drink.
"Got that right." Tara nods her head hard in agreement. "People that supposedly love you fuck up your mind, like Hell Gods didn't fuckin' scatter shit around enough. People you consider your family don't want you to come ‘round no more, after all, the girlfriend rapin' your mind ain't nothin'. Phhhttt... What're a few memories here and there, right?" Tara's words slur more even as she slowly starts to slide off the bar stool.
"Oh, shit." Faith groans, capturing the blonde as she passes out. Looking up at Ginny, she shakes her head. "How much did she drink?"
"See that bottle?" Ginny points to a half drank bottle of Jack Daniel’s Black Label.
"She drank half of it?" Faith shakes her head at the woman drinking half a bottle of whiskey straight.
"No. She drank half that bottle and almost a full bottle before that." Ginny winces as Faith growls at her. "Don't say it. I know I shouldn't have served her, but she said she'd get a cab home, that she didn't own a car anyways."
"Fuck." Faith groans, lifting Tara and moving her to an empty booth, settling the Wiccan as comfortably as she can. "Where's Dan?"
"In the office." Ginny answers quietly. Curious as to the unusual display from their normally keep to herself, bad ass bouncer.
"Keep an eye on her, and make sure nobody fucks with her, or I'll kick their ass and yours." Faith warns, her eyes glittering with anger before she turns and strides towards the office.
“Dan, I got a…” Faith blinks and unconsciously looks towards where Tara is, though not being able to see the blonde. “Someone I know, that is in a seriously fucked up state. She’s down for the count right now, and I’d like to get her outta here.”
Danielle looks up from where she’s doing the numbers for the week, somewhat surprised at Faith’s words. The woman never having admitted or even acted like, she had any friends. Faith had come across as the quintessential loner that didn’t need or want anyone. Remembering when the ex-con had helped out one night when some… unusual people had tried to cause problems, prompting her to hire the woman on the spot. Faith had been working with them for almost two months, and other than the dark-haired woman telling her that people didn’t much care for her, and that she was an ex-con with murder on her rap sheet, that’s about all she knew of the woman.
Setting down the pen, Danielle leans back in her chair and clasps her hands over her stomach as she considers the brunette for a few minutes. Something about the woman had made her decide to trust her and hire her back then, and she hadn’t regretted the move. Their problems in the bar had dropped to almost nothing and they were actually making more money than before, not counting the furnishings that they didn’t have to replace on an almost nightly basis. Of course the beautiful dark-haired bouncer was a good portion of the draw, quite a few women, both bottoms and tops had tried their wiles on Faith, with no luck.
Danielle had thought that maybe Faith wasn’t interested in the fairer sex, but she’d caught the bouncer checking out quite a few women at different times, and though Faith may not be strictly lesbian, she obviously wasn’t above playing in the pool, per se. Looking up at the clock, Danielle notices it’s almost one o’clock and that they were only going to be open for another hour. “Is Lane still here?”
“Yeah, we had a pretty full place, so she was stickin’ around just in case.” Faith replies quietly.
Danielle gathers the paperwork, placing it in her desk before locking it to follow the bouncer out of her office. “Be careful, and I’ll see you on Tuesday.” Danielle curiously follows the dark-haired woman, to see who she cared about enough to make sure she got home with her own personal body guard. Looking over the unconscious blonde, Danielle quirks an eyebrow, wondering what it was about the blonde that Faith sees as the woman gently shifts her out of the booth and places her carefully over her shoulder before looking at her.
“Thanks, Dan. And thanks for the few days off, gives me a chance to take care of a few things around town.” Faith quirks her lip, usually doing patrols after the bar closes, knowing Buffy will normally do patrols earlier, but wanting to try and get down in the warehouse district and the docks, knowing Buffy normally didn’t get to that side of town, and there was some rumblings of some heavy hitters coming into that area.
“Be careful.” Danielle looks pointedly at the woman, though they never discussed it, Danielle was aware of the creepy crawly happenings in Sunnydale, and with Faith around, the weird happenings didn’t seem to happen near as much around the bar, like they used to.
“I will.” Faith nods as she strides out of the bar without a glance back, one arm wrapped around Tara’s thighs to make sure the woman doesn’t shift, while Faith silently prays that Tara doesn’t decide to get sick on her.
Faith sighs quietly, remembering she was out of coffee and was going to stop on the way home from work tonight to pick up a can. Unconsciously patting Tara on the butt, Faith smirks and shrugs her shoulders. “Still can, Jackson ain’t gonna fuckin’ care if I carry a woman into the store, probably won’t even fuckin’ blink with some of the shit he sees.” Faith chuckles and turns at the next corner to put her by the corner store that was a couple blocks from her condo.
Nodding her head to Jackson behind the counter as the man buzzes her into the store, she heads to the right aisle, grabbing a large can of dark roast coffee before grabbing a couple bags of those small powdered donuts for breakfast. Carrying the items up to the counter, she sets them down and pulls some money out of her pocket.
“Hey, Faith. Does that have a scanner code?” Jackson smirks as he rings up the coffee and donuts, pointing the scanner gun at Tara’s ass afterwards.
“Probably couldn’t afford it, if it did.” Faith chuckles and winks at the slightly older guy as she hands him a twenty.
“She okay?” Jackson questions seriously as he gets Faith’s change, before bagging her items.
“Yeah. Her and Jack D got intimately acquainted tonight. And I honestly don’t think this is something she’s used to.” Faith allows a small smile to cross her face. “She’s gonna be hurtin’ come the mornin’.”
“Try and shove some aspirin and a glass of water down her throat. That usually helps me if I take it the night before.” Jackson offers chuckling.
“Thanks, Jax. I’ll see if I can get her to take it. I’m just hopin’ she ain’t gonna puke all over.” Faith frowns as she heads towards the door. “Take care. See ya’ later.”
“You, too, Faith.” Jackson calls out as he buzzes the woman out of the store, chuckling quietly about how there was no telling what Faith would look like when she came into the store. Or, now, possibly have dangling over her shoulder.
Faith takes the elevator out of deference for the woman still thrown over her shoulder, thinking the blonde probably wouldn’t appreciate the bouncing she would receive when Faith took the steps three at a time up the five flights.
Unlocking the door to her apartment, Faith quickly strides to her small kitchen table, placing the bag on it, before making her way to the bed, stepping up onto the dais, and gently easing Tara onto the bed. Sighing quietly, Faith shakes her head at the woman, before going back to the kitchen to get a large glass of water and four aspirins.
Setting the items down on the nightstand, Faith quickly unties the army boots, smirking at the sight before pulling them and the woman’s socks off. Looking up at the cargo pants Tara’s wearing, Faith tilts her head. “They ain’t gonna be comfortable to sleep in, but is she gonna be with it enough to even notice?” Faith sighs quietly, before reaching up to unbutton and unzip the pants, gently easing them down the woman, frowning as she distinctly remembers the woman having curves before. Plus the room in the pants makes Faith growl quietly at the weight the woman had obviously lost.
Placing the cargo pants over the back of a chair, she shrugs as she works on lifting the woman’s top up. “In for a penny, in for a pound.” Finishing stripping the woman of her underwear, Faith digs around for one of her oversized t-shirts. Finding one, Faith gently eases it onto the woman, before sitting down beside her, gently patting her on the cheek. “Hey, Blondie! I want ya’ to take these aspirin and water, can you come back enough to do that?” Getting a soft grunt and a light snore as an answer, Faith rolls her eyes. Maneuvering the woman and pillows around, she props her up and grabs the glass of water, placing it to her lips and tilting it so the liquid hits her lips, smiling as Tara reflexively swallows. Reaching over with her free hand, Faith grabs the pills and pulls open Tara’s lips, popping one of the aspirins into the woman’s mouth before tipping the glass to her lips again. “Swallow the pill. It might help ya’ in the mornin’.” Faith explains to the unconscious woman, hoping she understands. Getting a mumbled response even as Tara’s throat works, Faith opens the woman’s mouth, seeing the pill was gone, she pops another one in, chuckling quietly as she slowly works on Tara taking the pills and drinking the majority of the water.
Lifting the woman up and cradling her against her with one arm, Faith pulls down the covers and settles her in the bed, covering her gently. “Yeah, if they could see the bad assed, murdering slayer now, huh?” Faith grumbles quietly, sighing softly down at the woman that had seemed so innocent and sweet when she had been such a bitch to her their one previous meeting. Nodding her head to the fact that Tara had every right to be pissy to her, Faith heads to the refrigerator pulling out a beer. Tossing the cap into the trash, she plops down on the couch and turns the television on, turning it down so it isn’t as loud before taking off her shoes and socks to get more comfortable. Propping her feet up on the coffee table, Faith drinks her beer and flips through the television stations, not really paying attention to what’s playing as she thinks about what the blonde had said that night, wondering what the hell was going on around here for there to be such a change, and who the hell fucked with Tara. Wondering silently if Red would do something like that, or if someone else had.
Tara groans quietly as she turns over in the bed, frowning at the feel of the firm mattress, compared to the somewhat broken down mattress of her dorm room. Inhaling, she realizes that the pillowcase doesn’t smell like her pillow, but more of an earthy, somewhat spicy smell to it. Wincing as a shot of pain goes through her head Tara whimpers and lifts a hand to her forehead trying to remember what the hell she’d done the night before.
Slowly memories come back to her. She’d run into Dawn out with a couple of her school friends, and the teen had pretty much shunned her. After having been out of the Summers’ residence for almost four months, Tara had hoped the girl had forgiven her by now and possibly understood why she had to move out, but that obviously hadn’t been the case.
Feeling upset and hurt, Tara had remembered the gay woman’s club that some people had been talking about at one of those gay/lesbian mixers. Deciding to give it a shot, Tara had arrived early, and after realizing it was an S&M club, she’d decided to say to hell with it and stayed. Sitting up on a bar stool, she had spent the majority of the night getting royally drunk off her ass.
Slowly dragging her hand down her face, she takes inventory of her body, thankful when she doesn’t feel any soreness or anything else odd, other than her aching head and questionable stomach. Licking her dry lips, Tara slowly tries to drag one eyelid open, whimpering and closing it shut again as a streak of pain goes through her head.
Deciding to continue lying here for a little while, Tara tries to remember what happened after she’d pretty much drank herself into a stupor, vaguely remembering some woman hitting on her briefly before someone had come to her rescue. Rubbing her fingers gently over her eyes, Tara tries to remember what happened after that, having a gut feeling that she hadn’t been exactly nice to the person that had saved her, but for the life of her, she can’t remember what she had said or done. Feeling a dip in the bed, Tara cautiously pulls her hands down and tries to open her eyes again.
“Maybe ya’ should try some more aspirin and water.” Faith offers quietly, having heard the quiet groans and whimpers coming from the Wiccan. “I don’t think opening your eyes is a good thing right now.” Faith quirks her lip as a bloodshot blue eye tries to focus in on her, before the eyelid slides closed back over it. “Here’s four more aspirin.” Faith places the items in the woman’s hand. “I have a glass of water here, with a straw in it for you to take ‘em. After that, if you get to that point, maybe a trip to the bathroom and a shower or bath might help ya’ out some more. I got ice for your head if ya’ want it, also.”
Tara whimpers at the soft, husky voice talking quietly to her, easing the pills into her mouth and wrapping her lips around the straw that’s placed between her lips, sucking down the life giving fluid, her body feeling dehydrated.
“Want more water? And do you think you can handle it with some ice in it?” Faith questions after the blonde sucks down the glass.
“Please.” Tara croaks out the word quietly, whimpering as she raises her hand to her head again.
“Want ice for your head, while I’m up?” Faith heads into the kitchen area, opening the freezer to gently place some ice in the glass, allowing a small smile to cross her face at the woman who grunts out a quiet yes to her question. Grabbing a dish towel, Faith grabs a couple handfuls of ice and wraps it up in the towel, before refilling the glass with water and heading back to Tara. “Water or ice first?”
“Water, please.” Tara mumbles sipping quickly on the water after the straw is placed between her lips again, licking her lips after she finishes the glass, starting to feel slightly less dehydrated. Sighing quietly as a towel is gently placed on her forehead, Tara feels the person get up again and the water running as the glass is refilled. Silently wondering who her benefactor is, Tara tries to open her eyes again, whimpering and closing them as the pain intensifies.
“Might be best to keep ‘em closed for a while yet.” Faith offers as she gently eases down, helping the woman. When she stops at about halfway through the glass, Faith tilts her head. “That all ya’ want for now?”
“Yes, thank you.” Tara places a hand on the ice, shifting it slightly. “Thank you for your help.”
“Yeah, well, it’s the least I could do. I’m tryin’ to work on my karmic balance shit.” Faith admits. “Will the smell of coffee brewing upset your stomach? I could really use a caffeine fix about now.”
“Go ahead. Don’t worry about me.” Tara waves her hand, surprised when she comes into contact with warm skin, realizing she’s touching the woman’s upper arm. Gently squeezing the arm, Tara tries a small smile. “Thank you, anyway, whoever you are.”
Faith snorts softly. “Yeah, well, when you figure out who I am this time around, I don’t know if you’ll be happy, pissed or ready to fuckin’ run away.”
Tara frowns at the woman’s wording, really curious now as to who it is, the abrupt tones of the woman’s accent ringing a bell in her head, unfortunately the hangover wasn’t letting her connect the dots.
“Try and go back to sleep.” Faith pats Tara gently on the shoulder before standing and heading towards the kitchen to make a pot of coffee.
“I should probably go home.” Tara mumbles, trying once again to open her eyes, whimpering as the sunlight makes her head hurt.
“It’s Saturday and nine in the mornin’. You got someone waitin’ on ya’? Or somewhere you gotta be?” Faith questions softly as she opens the can of coffee.
“No. No one waiting and nowhere to be.” Tara admits, relaxing back into the bed, laying her arm over her eyes listening to the quiet sounds coming from the woman as she thinks about what the woman had said.
“I don’t know what your stomach feels like, and I ain’t a cook, but I do have some powdered donuts I picked up last night on the way home. Food might help out, if ya’ think you can handle it.” Faith offers quietly as she waits for the coffee to brew, inhaling the rich, dark aroma, thinking nothing like an extremely strong cup of black coffee in the morning to get the motor revving.
Tara whimpers as her stomach gurgles, not knowing if she can handle donuts or not quite yet.
“Yeah, well, waitin’ might be a good thing for right now.” Faith chuckles as she fills her large mug, turning to sit down at the table, sipping on the coffee as she looks across the room at the blonde lying in her bed. Thankful the woman hadn’t gotten sick. Opening one of the bags of donuts, Faith slowly works her way through the bag and the cup of coffee. Watching curiously as the woman starts to shift on the bed. “Need somethin’?”
“Unfortunately, the bathroom.” Tara mumbles, frowning as she shifts to sit up in the bed, her head thumping harder. Carefully feeling around, she swings her legs to the edge of the bed, surprised when she feels warm hands taking the towel from her hands and helping her to stand. Cracking her eyes open again, they come into contact with warm brown eyes looking at her curiously. With the contact the comments she’d made to the dark-haired slayer the night before come flowing back, making Tara groan loudly.
“Come on, I’ll help ya’ to the bathroom.” Faith offers as the blue eyes are hidden again. Wrapping an arm around Tara’s waist, Faith finally just eases her up into her arms and carries her to the bathroom, having seen the flicker of recognition in the blood shot eyes before they’d been closed to her.
Tara relaxes into the strong arms carrying her effortlessly to the bathroom, able to get enough of a ‘feel’ for the dark-haired slayer to realize the woman had changed a lot from the angry at the world woman that had been here before.
Setting Tara down on her feet, Faith keeps her hands on the woman’s waist to steady her. “Do ya’ want to take a shower while you’re in here, or do you just want to use the facilities and come back out?”
Tara raises a hand to settle on Faith’s shoulders to help steady her. “If I fall in the tub and crack my head open, just throw me out with the trash, okay?”
“Nah. Can’t do that, they’re startin’ to question all the bodies in the dumpsters around my buildin’.” Faith jokes quietly, watching as a half smile crosses the blonde’s face. Noticing Tara’s a little more steady Faith eases her hands away from her waist. “I’ll be back in a sec.”
Tara nods, and opens her eyes again, keeping them narrowed, thankful that the pain isn’t quite as bad as before as she watches the woman walk out of the bathroom. Finally realizing she is wearing a shirt that she knows she wasn’t wearing the night before Tara looks down at herself, blushing lightly in realization that the slayer had obviously stripped her and placed the t-shirt on her.
“Here. If ya’ need anythin’ else, let me know.” Faith sets down a couple clean towels, wash cloth, a new deodorant and toothbrush. “There’s shower gel and shampoo and shit in the shower.” Faith backs out of the room and shuts the door behind her, leaving a slightly bewildered Tara in the room alone.
Tara stares at the closed door, before her eyes land back on the items the slayer had gathered for her. Slowly pulling off the t-shirt, Tara has to chuckle at the incongruity of the woman that the Scooby’s had talked about, compared to the woman being extremely nice, considerate and hospitable. “Thanks, Faith.” Tara calls out softly having a feeling the woman would probably hear her, before she uses the bathroom and starts the shower.
Faith listens intently to the woman in her bathroom, making sure she doesn’t fall and hurt herself as she finishes off the pot of coffee and decides to make another pot while eating half the other bag of donuts.
Tilting her head as she hears the shower shut off, Faith sips on her coffee contemplatively, wondering what had happened in the two years she’d been in jail. Obviously whatever she thought had gone on between Red and the blonde either was over with or never really got started. Shaking her head, Faith grumbles quietly under her breath. “Ain’t none of my business no how. If they are together, aren’t together, never were.” Faith shrugs as she downs the rest of her coffee and stands to re-fill her mug, walking over to the sliding glass doors, opening them to step out and walk to the edge, leaning against the wall surrounding the small balcony.
Tara slowly dries her hair with a towel, feeling about seventy-five percent better. Looking at her blood shot eyes in the mirror, Tara groans quietly. “Whatever possessed me to get drunk… and on whiskey at that?” Tara slowly shakes her head, the item in question still throbbing before she reaches for a hair brush, silently debating before going ahead and using it. Finishing brushing her teeth and putting on deodorant, Tara cleans up after herself and puts on the t-shirt she’d been dressed in. Looking down at the t-shirt ending prematurely mid-thigh wondering what, if anything, the slayer had thought when she’d stripped her. “Yeah, right, Tara. Looking at your scrawny assed bag of bones is gonna turn anyone on, especially someone like her.” Tara snorts in self-disgust as she steps out of the bathroom.
Faith smiles as she hears Tara come out of the bathroom and cautiously make her way through her apartment. When she feels the woman stop at the doorway to the balcony, Faith cocks her head but doesn’t turn around. “There’s coffee, orange juice, water, milk and the donuts. You’re more than welcome to any and all of ‘em. If ya’ just wanna crawl back into bed and see if a few more hours of sleep might help, you can do that, too.”
Tara leans against the frame, tilting her head and closing her eyes to the sun warming her body. “Why are you being nice to me? I wasn’t exactly pleasant to you last night.”
Faith shrugs, sipping her coffee. “I figured I had it comin’. I wasn’t exactly nice to you the first time we met, either.”
“Does the rest of the group know you’re in town?” Tara questions softly.
“B does. I called her to let her know after I got here a couple months ago.” Faith answers quietly.
Tara blinks in surprise at the slayer’s admittance. “You’ve been in town for a couple of months?”
“Yeah. The Council decided it was best for me to stick around here, instead of sendin’ me somewhere else. Got a feelin’ somethin’ big is gonna go down, and that’s why they’re wantin’ me here even though B don’t.” Faith runs a hand through her hair as she finishes the coffee, slowly turning to look at the blonde. “I didn’t escape, they paroled me.” Faith explains, seeing the confusion on Tara’s face.
“I figured that.” Tara blinks as she stares at the brunette, having her faculties in better working order she searches the brown eyes seeing calmness in the depths that wasn’t there before. “You’ve changed.”
“Yeah.” Faith nods her head, her eyes becoming distant. “Spendin’ a couple years in a maximum security prison’ll do that to a person.” Faith shrugs, thinking about the shrinks she’d talked to, the Council had sent in one of their people to deal with her, so she could talk without worrying about slipping up about demons and the like. The two years dealing with them had been an eye opening experience on both sides.
Tara feels her body trying to drag down again, slowly easing her eyes open she looks at the slayer staring intently at her. “Do you mind...?” Tara trails off, waving her hand around.
“Make yourself at home. I’ll probably be ordering somethin’ to be delivered for lunch in a couple hours, so if ya’ think you can handle somethin’ to eat, better put your two cents in now.” Faith’s lips quirk slightly.
Tara unconsciously holds her stomach that had flipped somewhat at the thought of food. “Not just yet.” Tara shakes her head, watching curiously as the slayer’s lips turn up into a fuller smile, showing a hint of dimples.
“Go lay back down. I’ll fill up your glass with water.” Faith offers quietly, watching as Tara nods her head and cautiously makes her way back to the bed, smirking at the sight of the woman crawling under the covers and pulling them over her head.
“Thank you for obviously protecting me and making sure I was safe, Faith.” Tara murmurs quietly, pulling a pillow to her chest as she slowly falls asleep.
Faith stops from where she was picking up the glass, staring down at the lump of covers that is the blonde, slightly shocked at being thanked, not remembering ever being thanked before for something she did. Blinking a couple times, Faith turns around and steps off the dais to fill up the glass, replacing it on the nightstand before stepping back out onto the balcony, sitting in the lawn chair and propping her feet up on the wall as she thinks about the woman asleep in her bed.