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Like A Friend

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I splash some cold water on my face and reach over and grab a towel off the rack to dry it. Putting it back in its place, I bring my hands down and brace myself against the sink and look at myself in the mirror. "What the hell does she think she's doing?" I mumble to myself with a slight frown before reaching up to run a hand through my hair.

We kicked off our little game-fest a couple of hours ago and everyone is having a good time drinking some beers, taking a few shots, and just shooting the shit and relaxing. Xander's acting like a total asshat because he's kicking my ass at Madden. What can I say, sport games aren't really my thing. Give me something with some combo moves or some run and gun and I'm all over that shit, but sports? Not so much.

That's not what has me up in my bathroom hiding out and talking to myself like some crazy chick though. No, my little cowering episode is caused by none other than the tipsy little cute blonde chick that decided she was going to show up tonight after all. That's right, Buffy finally made it over and decided she wanted to fuck with my head a little. Now, I don't think it's intentional, the girl can't hold her alcohol for shit, this we all know. However, the fact that she's been all over me since she took her third shot of tequila is what's got my head in spin.

B and I patched up our little almost-spat from this morning. She came to see me right after she was done making sure all of the squad leaders had their girls signed up for her little impromptu classes, and apologized for being such a bitch. And yep, just like that I forgave her, not that there was anything to forgive. Just because we're all good now and making with the friendly doesn't mean we're going to always agree and get along. We're allowed to have disagreements, hell with us being so different we're bound to collide. The trick is that we know when to draw that line with each other now, so the world doesn't come crashing down around us like it has in the past.

So we're all just sitting around, having a good time, I'm seated on the floor with my back against the couch and what does she do? She comes and sits behind me so that I'm seated between her legs. Now the scent of her is all around me and she smells so damn good that it's intoxicating and makes my head spin. The heat from her body is surrounding me in a warmth that makes me just want to melt into her.

No big deal right? Wrong…it is a big deal simply because one, she never does that. That's like some shit couples do. In fact I've seen Red and Ken that way a few times when we're hanging out and I admit, it's kinda cute seeing them that way. In me and B's case though, it's way too intimate for the nature of our relationship. We're just friends.

I try to ignore her, really I do, and I'm also try to ignore the sly looks Kennedy kept throwing my way. But not only am I sitting B between her legs, she's been running her hands over my head and rubbing my shoulder a little. It feels damn good and it makes that rush of energy that I feel when she's near go into overdrive.

But I say again, she never does that. Sure, we get down with the playful, touchy feely stuff sometimes, and I flirt with her all the time, and sometimes she flirts back. I mean friends do that sort of thing, right? It's never really meant anything other than that we're comfortable with each other now to do shit like that. But what she's been doing tonight though, is just way too much and it's really fucking with my head. Case and point, me up here in the bathroom wondering why I'm acting like such a pussy and reading so much into this.

After finally scoring a touchdown on Xander's ass because I refuse to let him just beat me down like that, I jumped up and started talking mad shit to him. It was all in good fun, everyone was laughing and messing with him. I was acting like I'd won the damn game, but I was just happy to score that one damn touchdown knowing that the game wasn't going to be a blowout like he'd predicted. So when I finally sat my happy ass back down….and yes, I did sit back down between her legs like I belonged there, B drapes an arm over me and leans down.

'You're such a spaz.' She whispers in my ear and then chuckles slightly. Goosebumps started forming all over me at the tone of her voice and the way her lips brushed along my ear. Before my brain could come up with a reply, she brings an arm up to cradle my head and places a kiss on the side of it and rests her forehead against my temple. 'And it's really adorable.'

I turned my head slightly and could see she had her eyes closed. Her lips were parted and I could feel her warm breath against me. My heart was beating so hard it was making my chest move. I turned my head slightly and when I did, she moved her arm and buried her hand in my hair. I licked my lips, and it seemed like she knew that I did and I watched as her tongue slowly slid out over her own. And damn that shit turned me on and it took all I had not to close the small distance between us.

Instead what do I do? I freak out a little….and okay, so I freaked out a lot and stood up. She looked up at me all confused and I and gave her an uneasy smile. I looked around the room a bit, but no one seemed to be paying any attention to us, except for Kennedy who had a shit eating grin on her face that I wanted to smack right the hell off. I scowled at her, knowing that she's probably gonna give me shit about this later and I gave a lame excuse that I had to go to the bathroom. Not that it was that much of an excuse because I really did have to go, I'd drank quite a few beers, but it was a good enough excuse to get me away from her and making a fool of myself.

You see, this isn't the first time I've almost done something stupid like kiss Buffy. I mean yeah, there's been a few times I've actually thought about it. Okay, so I've thought about it plenty, but there's only been one other time other than tonight that I've almost given in. The first time was a little over a year ago on her birthday.

A few of the juniors decided it would be a good idea to throw Buffy a surprise birthday party. Really, I just think it was an excuse for them to party. But hey, they need some kind of normalcy in their lives too, can't be all about fighting and killing. It's why I think the Scoobs, sans Buffy, finally agreed even though they know how she is when it comes to her birthday.

The castle is big enough that they were able to go all cloak and dagger and her not find out about it. Plus she had mentioned to anyone that was willing to listen that she did not want to make a big deal out of her birthday. Ever. So I think she was expecting them to actually listen.

Needless to say, she freaked out big time when she was finally led onto the courtyard near the back of the castle and saw what was going on. She turned around and walked right the fuck off, saying she'd be up in her room sharpening her knives and stakes, preparing for when the shit hit the fan. Such a damn drama queen.

I originally wasn't supposed to be there because I was on a demon tracking mission, but after an unsuccessful night I thought what the hell, and at the last minute decided to have Willow transport me back for the night. After spewing my guts out in my room, I cleaned up and joined in on the festivities only to find B not there.

After learning about her meltdown, I went to search for the missing birthday girl, hoping I could convince her to just kick back and relax. Yeah, I was wrong….initially anyway. After I found her stewing in her room, she went on a rant about how her birthdays are cursed and how they shouldn't have thrown her a party to celebrate. She was thoroughly pissed, but I could see that she was also a little sad about it. I think she really wanted to be a part of it, but just couldn't get over her fear of bad things happening on her birthday.

I was at a loss for what to do, but I hated seeing her so jaded about it. So fuck it, I just went for it. Don't get me wrong, I would've happily stayed in her room with her all night, I mean she was the reason I had teleported in. But I knew the juniors felt bad about her running out. After all, they didn't know about her irrational fear of celebrating her birthday, no one had actually explained it to them and were afraid they had done something wrong.

I promised her that I'd make sure she had a good time and we'd kick the shit out of anything that dared to ruin her night. The Chosen Two together, along with our band of merry Slayers could put the beat down on anything that dared try to fuck this night up for her. Then I told her that she wouldn't get the present I had for her if she didn't. For a girly girl like B, that got her attention. Needless to say, I hadn't really bought her anything.

Now at this point B and I were okay, better than okay even, and over the course of the time we'd been doing the getting to know you thing she told me about her hating to celebrate on her birthday. So I actually listened to her and didn't get her anything like the asshole that I am. What can I say, when a chick says she doesn't want to celebrate her birthday you should listen right? Wrong again, because I saw the way her eyes lit up when I alluded to the fact that I had gotten her something. So yeah, I was fucked.

Even though she was adamant about not coming down, she was intrigued at how I was planning on 'showing her a good time', plus she wanted to see what I'd gotten her. So on top of having to make an attempt to make her forget about the party and the impending doom, I had to come up with something to actually give her. Sounds complicated, yeah? Yeah I thought so too. This means I had to improvise.

While she went about putting away her weapons, I ran off to my room to see what I could come up with on the fly. Grabbing what I needed, I met her in the hallway and we went off to join the party. The whole way down she was looking at me, trying to figure out if I had anything stashed away.

'Chill out B, I got this.' I told her when she wouldn't give up on trying to figure out what I was up too. I really didn't though, but I was hoping what I was going to do she'd be okay with and manage to enjoy herself at the same time.

See, I have this playlist on my Ipod, one of many, each meant for different things. There's one for my workouts, one for getting the adrenaline going before going out slaying, but more to the point, one made especially for her. It's made up of songs that make me think of her, how I feel about her or just us in general. Needless to say it has some slow jams about love and some other shit thrown in there. You know, the kind of shit you only listen to when you dig the hell out of someone. As I took her hand and led her down to the room where the party was held, I was nervous as fuck and starting to rethink my decision and considered telling her to just go back to her room and sulk. I couldn't do that though. Seeing the way her eyes light up and the fact that she actually was trusting me to make things good for her, gave me the courage to do whatever I had to do to make sure she was okay about celebrating her birthday. Plus I wanted to make her happy.

When we walked into the room, the party was still underway. Despite feeling bad about B's exit, the kiddies were still having a good time. I could see the Scoobs visibly light up at the fact that I'd actually gotten her to come back down. I was still nervous as hell though. I don't know what the hell I was thinking wanting to share this with her. Hopefully I could pass it off as just some tunes I liked and thought maybe she'd appreciate them too and not see them for what they were.

Refusing to be deterred, I pulled her out to where the others where dancing and then pulled out my Ipod along with headphone splitter and the extra pair of headphones that came with the accessory pack I bought a while ago that I had snagged from my room.

Plugging in all of the gadgets to it, I handed her the extra pair of headphones. Taking them in her hand, she looked at me with a frown. 'You got me headphones? Great, just what I needed. I'm sure they must've cost a fortune. But hey, maybe I can drown out what these girls are passing for music these days.'

'Yeah B, that's the plan.' Sarcastic little shit. She said it all with a smile though. She was right about the music though, wasn't really my style either and I'll listen to just about anything. Then I smiled a dimpled grin at her and leaned in closer to her so she could hear me and I confessed. I told her that I really didn't get her anything, making sure to throw in there that I actually paid attention when she said she didn't want to celebrate her birthday. I told her that despite my little lie, I was hoping she'd give this a chance and just go with it.

I put my earphones in and motioned for her to do the same. After giving me a skeptical look, she finally relented and put the pair I had given her in her ears. This made me smile wider and breath a sigh of relief that she didn't run out on me. After selecting the playlist I wanted, I told her I hoped she liked the music. She laughed and told me that she'd heard some of the music I listened too and most of it gave her a headache. Refusing to explain more, and telling her that this was something a little different than the 'kill the puppies' music she'd heard blasting when I'm working out.

Once again swallowing my nerves, and a little of my pride because under no other circumstance would I be able to let her listen to this playlist and not feel self conscious about it, while hoping that I wasn't wearing my heart on my sleeve. Music holds a lot of meaning, and in the right setting, with the right person, it can tell you everything you need to know about how a person feels, or it can say what they never would. Plus this all felt like I'd made a mixtape or something for her. Do people even do that kind of shit anymore?

I don't know what I was thinking when I thought just being with me, and trying to make the world melt away, would be enough for her to forget about the impending doom she associates with her birthdays. I just wanted to make her happy, and prayed to the PtB that I could make it happen without giving too much of myself away.

So I attempted to make a joke out of it, and told her that this was going to be my lame attempt at trying to get her to just forget about hating her birthdays and the fact that I didn't actually buy her anything. She laughed, nodded and told me she'd think about forgiving me only if the night turned was demon-free.

I selected the playlist I wanted, turned the volume up to drown out as much as I could of the music surrounding us, and then hit shuffle. I stuck the Ipod in my front pocket, and as the strumming of the guitar on 'Make Love To Me Forever' by Snow Patrol began I pulled her closer. I placed my hands on her hips and looked in her eyes. She stared at me for a few moments before she finally allowed her hands that were on my biceps, to snake their way upwards, and she wrapped her arms around my neck.

We danced like that for the entirety of the short song, me with my hands on her hips and her with her arms around my neck as we stared into each other's eyes. It felt intense as hell and had me wondering just what the hell I'd gotten myself into. I wasn't backing down though, I was going to see this through to the end if she went along with it.

For the next few of songs we danced close. Not that we had much of a choice with being hooked in together and all, but it felt nice. We danced to a few more songs, sometimes appropriately, and sometimes not so appropriately, to a few tunes like 'In Your Eyes', by Peter Gabriel, 'Wild Horses', the remake by The Sundays, 'Did I Imagine You', by Dot Allison, 'This Year's Love'' by David Gray, and my ultimate favorite, 'We Belong', by Pat Benatar. It always makes me think about me and B.

It made me get really grabby with her and I pulled her impossibly closer and wrapped my arms around her waist. She didn't seem to mind though and wrapped her arms tighter around my neck and laid her head against mine, which was buried in the crook of her neck, and we moved to the beat of the music. I even found myself pulling back on certain parts to look at her and mouth the words of the song.

I suggested we take a break after that because I was feeling way too damn much at that point, so we headed off to mingle around. We never separated though because B held my hand the entire night and when we chatted for a bit, about nothing in general to each other and to others. She only pulled the Ipod out of my pocket and turned the volume down on it so we could hear.

There was one particular moment when Eminem's 'Crazy in Love' started playing that B chuckled in mid-conversation with Willow and then she looked to me and rolled her eyes slightly. I grinned and then winked at her and I could've swore she blushed. I wondered if she had figured out what the playlist was all about, but if she did, she didn't say anything and went back to chatting it up with her friend.

We danced together the entire night, taking breaks in between when something faster started playing and chatted it up with some of the other Slayers or her friends. A few of the younger Slayers asked about the headphones and told us how "dorky" we looked with the slow dancing when others around us were dancing to the faster beats. We both just laughed about it and B told them that we old people just moved slower. She kept me close though, and I was content to stay by her side the entire night.

We finally went back on the dance floor after we'd had enough of the mingling, but it was getting late and some of the others had started leaving, and I knew it was also nearing the end of the playlist. I was happy that she had stayed the entire night and seemed to be enjoying herself, and it was a plus that no demons had made an appearance, and nothing had gone wrong. Mission accomplished. Another song started up and it was 'One And Only', by Adele. Now don't get me wrong, all of the other songs make me think about her, but this one in particular really tugs at my heart where she's concerned. I thought about pulling away and letting the night end for us, but I just couldn't, and it didn't seem like she wanted it to end either.

My heart thudded in my chest and I knew she could feel it, because I could feel hers as we danced in each other's arms to the music as the words filtered through the headphones. Before I knew it, my hands had started to roam again. They'd started on her hips, but as she pulled me closer, they slid around her waist. They slowly began an ascent and I started rubbing her back. Her hands started to move also. Her arms, which were wrapped tightly around my neck, had loosened as one of her hands tightly gripped my shoulder and the other found its way to the back of my head.

By the time the song was nearing an end, she had dug her hand into my hair and pulled back slightly. I pulled back as well and we were locked in a gaze so intense that the building could've crashed down around us and I wouldn't have noticed. I don't know if it was just me imagining things, or just tunnel vision that had impaired my senses as I saw only her, but it was if her head was slowly moving forward. I licked my lips and lowered my head slightly.

I wanted to kiss her so bad and I moved in, she didn't appear to be backing away. My heart thudded impossibly harder and blood was rushing so fast through me that it drowned out even the sound of the music in my ears. Before I could lean in and close the distance, a very distinct flash broke my vision.

We both pulled back suddenly and looked over to where the flashing light had come from. There stood Xander in all his oblivious, mood killer glory with a camera and a grin on his face. By that time the song had ended and so had the playlist. I looked back at Buffy and smiled nervously, she seemed to be just as nervous as I was. She untangled herself from me and stepped back slightly, so I reached up and pulled the headphones out of her ears, and did the same to mine.

Once she was free, she moved away completely and I tucked the headphones into my pocket with a sigh. She thanked me for making her birthday "less sucky". I just shrugged and told her that it was probably the music the others were listening to that probably kept all the big nasty's away. We both laughed uneasily while trying to avoid looking at each other.

Xander had made his way over to where we were and started chatting it up with her about the party and how he was glad she'd decided to come down and join in. He gave me a pat on the back for a job well done and then I watched her walk away with him. Even though I was a little frustrated with him, I ran a nervous hand through my hair and silently thanked him for the interruption. I'm not sure what would've happened if he hadn't, but what I am sure of is that I probably would've kissed Buffy that night, which could've been one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I did get a copy of that pic he snapped though. What can I say, it was a good night for us while it lasted.

But no matter how good it felt to hold her in my arms and feel like we were the only two people in the world, I knew that whatever moment we had was now over and was probably all in my head. And now I had to get going back to my mission, and not a moment too soon because I don't know how I could look her in the eyes again after almost screwing things up by doing something like trying to kiss her. I felt like I'd violated the trust we were building and that's what fucks with me the most. Later on when I got back from my mission, she did ask if I would download the playlist into her Ipod, and even knowing what it meant to me, how could I say no? And that means she liked it and wasn't weirded out by it, right?

"Get it together," I give myself a little pep talk while getting my head back into the here and now and hope things won't be awkward when I go back down stairs. I flip the light off and step into my room, I freeze when I see B has made her way up and is now curled up in my bed. The moon is full and bright, and it's spilling over into the room through the outside balcony. I watch her for a second with the moon seemingly illuminating the figure laying in my bed like she's some kind of heavenly being. Kinda makes sense seeing she spent a some time there.

"Whatcha doing B? You alright over there?" I take a few steps towards the bed.

"Mmmm, just resting my eyes." She sounds tired. "And trying to stop the room from spinning," she says with a little chuckle. It makes me chuckle too. No more alcohol for her.

"Good luck with that." I smile a little at how cute she looks and I'm loving the way she looks in my bed. "I'll leave you to it then." I start walking towards the door, forcing my eyes away from her.


"No?" I stop in my tracks and look back to her and watch as she raises her head a little and pats the space beside her, inviting me over.

I glance towards the railing, hearing the commotion going on downstairs and knowing that it won't be too much longer before the drunken mob starts wailing for us to come back down. But this is an offer I can't refuse, so I pad my way over to her. Once I reach the side of the bed she leans up and grabs my wrist and pulls me down to lay with her.

Not really knowing where she wants me, or if I want to be so close to her right now with the way she's been acting with being all over me, I just lay behind her while trying not to touch her. She sighs and slides her body back closer into mine and then pulls my arm around her. Apparently she has opposing ideas about not being close. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but one thing I am sure of is that I'm loving the way she feels against me. Her warmth envelops me again and she's softly stroking her thumb over the back of my hand and leaving a warm tingling feeling in its wake.

"You sure you're okay?" I whisper and bring my arm up to prop my head against my hand and look down at her.

Another sigh from her and she turns to lie on her back. I look down at her, looking into her eyes and I get lost.

"I'm fine Faith, just a little too much to drink I guess. You know me and alcohol aren't the best of buds." She giggles a little when says that but then she's all quiet again and is just laying there looking at me. She's right, she can't handle alcohol for shit.

I can't help but stare at her because she's just so damn perfect and beautiful. Sometimes when I look at her, it hurts. My heart contracts painfully, like it's trying to free itself from the painful vise grip she has it in. My stomach churns itself in knots as if it's trying to swallow down the feelings that I have for her. It's so damn agonizing sometimes because I know that she's not mine and never will or can be. It's something I made peace with a long time ago and something I've come to be content with. Just knowing that we've made peace with each other is enough, and it's better this way.

The kind of crazy love I have for her is better kept in check and I'm content with keeping it under wraps. I've done it for so long it's become as natural to me as breathing. I slay, I fuck at will, and she tries to make a go with whatever guy she deems worthy at the time…all is right with the world. And my sanity, for the most part. I stay away long enough to not have to be witness to her fawn over her guy and I get what I need from whoever I want. Yep. Perfectly natural.

But still, I can't help myself because I can't look away from her. My eyes study her closely as she looks up at me with a soft smile playing on her lips. Even though I don't know what she's thinking, I can always tell what kind of mood she's in…her eyes give her away. They seem to change color by her mood and I wonder if she knows that they do that.

Right now they're the color of the ocean when it's green. They're so clear with just a hint of light brown swirling around the edges and right now I feel like I'm drowning in them. It means she's content, at rest….she just is. When she's mad or excited, the sea of green mixes together with light brown making them hazel. Like a storm raging inside of her eyes, making the colors come together, and it pulls me under even further to watch the colors mix together. But no matter what color they are, they're beautiful, and I lose myself in them each time I look into them.

As I watch her watching me, I try not to think about how much I want to lean down and kiss her. It'd be so easy to do it because she's so close, like she has been so many times before, and like all the other times, I know that I won't. I can't, B and I are just friends and doing something stupid like that will just lead to badness.

Then she surprises me and reaches up and tucks some hair behind my ear and then her hand slides down over my neck before she rests it on my face. I fight the shudder thats willing its way out of my body at the feel of her warm hand against my face. She smiles a little and strokes her thumb across my cheek before she removes it and turns back onto her side.

I release a shuddered breath and plop down on the bed. What the hell is this girl doing to me? I know she doesn't mean anything by it, but damn…if only she knew what she was doing to me she wouldn't do things like that, or anything at all, except keep her distance.

"Can I ask you something?"

"Sure." I bring myself out of my moping to answer her. She's started up the slow stroking on the back of my hand again and I just bask in the feel of it. She's quiet for a long time before she finally asks her question.

"I know you said that you weren't dating that woman that you were with last night," she starts, and I groan.

"B…c'mon now don't start that shit again," I groan out and turn my head into the bed, really not wanting to have this conversation again.

"Let me finish, please?" She taps her thumb over the back of my hand as a warning. I sigh out heavily and bring my head back around to lie against the bed, but I don't say another word. I just listen. "I know you say you two aren't dating, but you're actually sleeping with her right?'

Uh….we've established that already haven't we? And as if I asked the question out loud, she continues.

"I mean I know you're sleeping with her, but does she actually stay the night? I mean you brought her here and you had been drinking. I like to think you're responsible enough to not drink and drive, so that means you had the intention for her to stay."

So basically she's asking if this chick was just a simple 'get some and get gone', or if I had plans on fucking her and then snuggling afterwards? I guess it's a valid question, but not one I'm exactly sure why she's taken such a big interest in. She has a boyfriend after all, why does she care who I keep, or don't keep, in my bed?

"Buffy," I whine and drop my head heavily into the mattress face first again.

"I'm just wondering why you never told me you were dating someone."

"That's because I'm not," I mumble against the bed.

"Sure looks like it to me," she disputes and she sounds so sad. So much in fact that it makes me raise my head to look at her again.

"Like I said before, it doesn't mean anything," I answer truthfully. She apparently isn't satisfied with that answer and she turns over to look at me with a frown.

"It has too." She shakes her head slightly. "You say you're not into relationships, and I've heard you say countless times that you never stick around for morning afters. So what makes this time so different? Why does she get to stay?"

The last part is said so quietly that if I wasn't laying right next to her I probably wouldn't have heard her.

I regard her for a moment because she's taking this way too seriously and I can't figure out why it even matters this much to her. I want to ask her, but with the way the conversation is going I'm sure it'll come off as being defensive and will probably just further drive her suspicions. Or maybe she just thinks I'm not letting her in on some important part of my life, and that's so not the case here.

"It doesn't mean anything B. I'm not the one to get caught up in the emotional bullshit. The dating scene isn't for me, you know that. I don't want to make myself responsible for someone else's happiness when I know I can't give them what they're looking for, you know? So I keep it simple and just do what feels good. It's like what you have with your guy, but it's only sex...not all the emotional baggage that comes along with being with what's his name," I'm trying to explain but she interrupts me.

"Orlan, that's his name, we dated for six months, I can't believe you don't remember his name," she says with a little smile on her face.

Ah yes….Orlan, that's that fuckers name or at least that's what B calls him. Orlando, that's the flavor of the year's name and he's the typical cookie cutter boy toy that she falls for. At least of the human variety. When it comes to her human lovers she's still looking for normal. She wants the tall, chiseled from a God handsome type with a 9-5, and totally oblivious of who and what she is, or does. She likes to be taken on dates, and have flowers sent to her 'just because'.

That's no way for someone like her to live her life though. I mean sure she deserves all those things that she wants in a relationship, but she needs someone who's going to accept her for who and what she is, and that's a Slayer…one of the best ever. Or maybe that's just my way of thinking because I can't stand to see her with those guys she falls for.

I guess I just need to realize that despite who she is and all she's done….she's still just a girl. And B's a girly girl, one that needs to be shown she's wanted, desired, and treated right, and I suppose that's what he does for her. Guess I should be happy for her, that's what friends do, right?

"Not like I've been around all that much to get to know the guy B." I shrug a little and refrain from telling her that I really don't give a shit to know him either.

"Well I guess it doesn't matter now anyway." She closes her eyes and sighs.

"Why not?" I frown, but really it doesn't matter whether it's then or now, him or his name never mattered.

She opens her eyes to look at me and she sighs before she turns over to lay on her back. "We broke up," she says quietly, "or more accurately he broke up with me."

Well damn. If I had been paying more attention I would've caught on to the fact that she said "dated". But oh well. I try not to show just how happy I am about that because really I guess I shouldn't be, but whatever, it makes me feel good not to have to think about some guy getting to be with her. Call me selfish because I still get mine whenever I need it, but it's not the same and I call it for what it is….get some, get gone.

I prop my head against my hand again and lay my other on her stomach and nudge her a little. "So what do I need to do, just rough him up a little or does he need to spend some time in the hospital?"

She rolls her head in my direction and laughs a little. "Neither will be necessary but its sweet of you to ask that….again." She's smiling at me now because it's something I always ask when she's had a breakup. And that's what every good woman like B needs in her life, a friend that will be willing to throw down and break a few bones on the asshole that broke her heart or just fucked with her. I don't know how many she's had exactly since we left Sunnydale, but in my book, way too damn many.

Usually she finds some hot, clean cut stud that flashes the pearly whites and feeds her all the lines of normalcy and romance that she wants to hear and is desperately seeking, but once the newness wears off or the sex gets boring, cause let's face it, a Slayer having normal everyday sex with a run of the mill Joe blow just doesn't cut it in the end, trust me, I know. Or she has to start telling lies about why she has to cut dates short or run out in the middle of the night because the world is in some peril, either she or he decides it's not working out and it ends. Just like that.

This means not only do I have to sit back and watch her get all worked up over how great things where when they're going good, but I also have to sit back and help her put the pieces back together when they go belly up. So right now I'm waiting for the breakdown at hearing the news because I know it's bound to come. That's just how she is.

"Why can't I be more like you?"

What? That's totally something she's never asked before and something I never expected and I'm not even sure what she means by it. I hear her sigh, but I don't say anything just yet because I'm sensing that she has more to say, or ask. I just slide closer to her. Why? Because it just feels right. She sighs again when I do and shifts back onto her side to look up at me and then gives me that cute little half smile, the one that always make my heart do that fucked up beating thing it shouldn't be doing because I swear if she keeps doing it, it'll give me a heart attack one day.

"That's a weird question right?"

I chuckle. "I've heard you ask some weirder shit before B, I'm past the point of being weirded out or shocked by anything that comes out of that pretty little mouth of yours." She blushes slightly at that and just smiles wider. It was a pretty weird question though, but she's been drinking which I guess is what's taking the edge off the break up she just told me about and why she isn't acting out and being a total chick about it. But I'm betting I can definitely give her something to take the edge off a lot better than the alcohol. We're not ready for that yet though, and probably never will be. Just friends remember?

"I mean if I were more like you then this wouldn't keep happening to me, right?" She sighs again and breaks out that cute little pout. "Why does this keep happening? Why can't I ever just find a nice, normal guy that wants to stay with me for more than a few months before taking off?"

I roll my eyes because we've been over this too many times before. But I guess it makes her feel better to talk about it even though it makes me want to rip my own tongue out so I won't have to talk about it, and puncture my eardrums so I won't have to listen to her whine about how she's not good enough for the losers she always end up with.

"Well it's cause you're defective B," I say nonchalantly, giving her an answer to her question. This causes her to gasp and look at me all shocked. I normally just try to reassure her that there's nothing that she's done to make her feel like such a failure. But enough is enough, she needs to hear the truth, or at least my version of it anyway.

"And not for the reasons you're thinking though Blondie, so reign in that lip. It's far too adorable and makes me want to do all kindsa unfriendly things to you."

She rolls her eyes, cause yeah, she thinks I'm not serious and just doing my usual flirting, but she puts it away anyway. "It's because you're all serial monogamy chick B. And I think you're looking a little too hard for Mr. Right for all the wrong reasons and passing up Mr. Right Now and not seeing him for what he is or what he could be."

"Oh yeah? And what's that Dr. Phil?" She sits up now and makes my arm fall away and it kinda disappoints me, but I don't sweat it.

"He was what he was B, Mr. Right Now, just like all the others. Someone you can get off with, scratch that itch for you and release some of that frustration you got going on down there." I make my point by shimmying a finger around over groin area.

"Oh stop." She swats at my hand playfully, and it makes me chuckle. "I don't want to hook up with some nameless Joe, screw for a few hours, and then pray I never see him again. That's kinda dirty and not to mention unsafe." She pulls a face when she says this. "Besides, if I'm out screwing around with the nameless Joe, how will I know I won't be missing out on Mr. Right?"

I roll my eyes at this circle we're about to fall in; we could be here all night with this. "Look B. You've spent far too much time looking for a guy you know doesn't exist for you."

"Faith how could you say that? You make it sound like I should just give up now!" She throws her hands up.

"That's because you should…no just let me explain." I add because she looks like she was about to protest or leave. I've obviously struck a nerve with the little blonde Slayer. So if I want to keep her here, and I really do, then I'll need to tell her what the fuck I'm going on about. I grab onto her elbow to stop her from moving, she shoots daggers at me with those gorgeous green eyes, so I have to counter with flashing my dimples. They seem to work because she settles back down on the bed, albeit not as close to me as she was before.

"All I'm saying is you've spent your life with guys you knew it wasn't gonna work with. First there was Angel, a relationship you knew was doomed from the beginning, no matter how much you fought for it… No, no, let me finish," I tell her and hold up my hand to keep her from interrupting me.

I chuckle when I see the pout that has made its way to her lips again. "What've I told you about this little tool of the devil, B?" I emphasize by tapping the tempting fleshy bottom lip and she grabs at my wrist and brings it down and lays it between us and she holds my hand.

"As I was saying…," I get back to business. "Then you have Mr. GQ Parker, who I must say B, that could've potentially been your best effort at having a casual fuck buddy."

"But I didn't want just a fuck buddy, Faith. I wanted him to take me on dates, the hand holding, bringing me flowers and all the other relationship goodness." Told you she was a girly girl.

"See that's the problem B. You went all clingy chick on him and didn't give him a chance to know the real you instead of the psycho you. But really, even if you hadn't given it up on the first date, it would've never worked out in the long run."

"And just why not. Parker was smart, he was in college! Smartness abound. He was easy on the eyes and…and he had great hair!" It's cute, even knowing the guy was a complete tool to her, she's still defending her right to be wrong.

"You were in college B, doesn't mean you're smart because you were." I tease, which as I suspected earns me a swat. "I'm kidding, you're a regular fucking Einstein."

"Now you're just making fun of me," she says with that adorable little pout she has. She just can't help herself with that thing, and neither can I for loving it so much.

"He was a rebound guy B." I tell her trying to get the conversation back on track, and to prevent myself from turning into a puddle of nothing. "Nothing ever lasts with a rebound guy." She only nods her understanding. She then shifts a little closer to me and I can't resist the urge to grab her hand again. When I do she looks down at our hands and she looks like she's trying to figure out the meaning of life before she starts rubbing her thumb across the back of my hand. That heated tingling feeling spreads through my body and it's really fucking distracting.

"I um…," I stop to take a second to clear my throat, "uh…where was I?

"Hmm..," she hums as if she's thinking about it then lifts her eyes to me. She doesn't say anything, she just stares and I don't know if I'm losing my mind at this point because it feels like she's moving closer to me because the distance between us is diminishing.

I don't know what the hell is happening here, so I continue on with the conversation at hand. "So um…yeah B, that brings us to Captain America . I don't even know why you even wasted your time with Riley, especially after you found out who he really was."

"What does him working with the Initiative have to do with anything?" She asks curiously. "Riley was a genuinely decent guy Faith, and he wanted me to be happy."

"But were you?" She doesn't answer me and I sort of expected that she wouldn't.

"I was." She looks like she's thinking about it, but I think it's more of her trying to convince herself than me because I know she's full of shit. "At first, when all we knew about each other was that we were two normal college kids, it worked, we worked."

"So in other words, it worked when you were lying to each other?"

She rolls her eyes and then looks at me. "Why do you always have to be so technical?"

"It's not being technical, it's called being right." I smirk at her. "C'mon B, you know even if he didn't turn out to be all secret agent man it wouldn't have worked. The fact that he was a part of something that related to your life as a Slayer, with the whole demon hunting thing, he still couldn't accept you for you. He couldn't handle his woman being stronger, faster and better than him at everything. It wounded his ego. You need someone to be an equal Buffy, and not some army experiment reject with the personality of a peanut hull. You need strength and understanding, someone who isn't gonna hold you back, but instead help you fight to the death if they have to, because that's what you're meant to do and that's what you deserve. Someone to be your equal."

Now she's looking at me all intense-like and she stops stroking my hand. I admit, it's making me kinda nervous. I'm expecting her to lash out at me for being so damn upfront and honest about her failed relationships.

"So you're saying I need someone like you?" The question was asked so softly and she's looking me in the eyes.

"Exactly," I say before I know it. "Wait…no," I frown a little and look away. She caught me off guard with that shit and now how I am supposed to explain. I slowly drag my eyes back to her, and she's looking at me with this amused look and my brain scrambles for something to say. "I um…well….ah, c'mon B, you know you already have me to kick around and take your shit. I'm a Slayer like you, I'm supposed to get how it is."

It was weak, I know, but how else was I supposed to answer that? 'Yeah B, I'm what you need. I can be with you night after night kicking the shit out whatever big bad that stands in our way and not slow you down. I can fuck you so good, and exactly how you need, you'll wonder what the hell you've been doing all this time because I know what it takes to calm that primal urge inside of you. How do I know? Because there's a part of you inside of me and I know exactly what it needs. Fuck no, I can't say that shit to her because it'd probably be last thing I say before she kills me or sends me out of the country.

She only smiles at the lame ass answer I give her though, causing me to sigh at what I'm hoping was a crisis averted. The last thing B needs to put in her head is that we have a shot at something more than friendship, not that she was saying that or anything, or that she even wants that. There's no way I'm gonna put her through my bullshit and end up on that list of losers that come and go.

"I never asked for this." She says in almost a whisper and it breaks my heart because I know she's talking about her calling.

"No, but you are who you are B, and you should never have to be less than what you are for anyone."

"I know, but, it just makes finding someone extremely difficult."

"Well maybe you should stop looking." I say with a shrug and I can tell she's thinking again and it takes her a long moment to say anything.

"But isn't that what life is all about? We live, we learn, we love. Then we have oodles of sex, get married…or should we get married before the oodles of sex, but I'm not that much of a prude for that to be a deal breaker obviously…and buy the big pretty house with the white picket fence and have fat chubby babies and get a dog." She recites the instilled American dream indubitably.

"That's a lot of 'we' in that little pipe dream B." I chuckle, trying to lighten her mood a little.

"You know what I mean." Her tone is playful and I'm glad for it.

"Yeah I know whatcha mean." I sigh just wishing she would stop letting her life revolve around trying to find someone to fit the mold of what she think life should be. "But is that really what you want? I mean you could've had that with Riley right? Soldier boy with a good steady job and a good solid background. And as flawed as he turned out to be, he could've given you some semblance of a normal life. Plus he knew all about you and the slaying, even participated in it. By standards…that was your normal."



"Yeah, I guess in the end we never would've worked. He felt threatened by me being a Slayer and being stronger than he was. His testosterone fed ego would've never allowed for him to have stayed with me. It would've never lasted. I just think that before he found out about me being a slayer he was all, 'Ooh pretty girl to take to the frat parties and maybe take back to the farm to get her barefoot and milking goats.'"

I laugh hard at that. "You do have cute little feet B."

She laughs and I'm glad to hear it because I know she was just drowning in her 'I'm not good enough' pool of bullshit. She is good enough, just not for any of the guys she's trying to make things work with. Now she's looking at me again and she has a soft smile on her lips that makes me smile too. She squeezes my hand a little and then brings it up to her lips and kisses it. I try not to show just how much something as simple as that is affecting me and I close my eyes to get away from her lingering gaze.

"I always dump these type of messes I get myself into on you. I know you get tired of hearing it, believe me I'm tired of living it," she says with a soft chuckle. "But you always know how to make me feel better no matter how horrible I think things are at the time. And I guess what I'm trying to say before I keep saying stuff that I know you don't want to hear, because again with the always dumping stuff on you and…"

"Spit it out Blondie, not getting any younger here." She's rambling now in that cute Buffy way, and I know if I don't stop her we'll be here all night and she'll yet to have made her point.

She blushes slightly before she takes a calming breath. "I guess what I'm trying to say is it's good to have you here when I need you, Faith. You've always been here no matter what, so thank you."

She's looking at me with her shy half smile, it makes me smile and want to lay her down and kiss her slow and tell her I'll always be here whenever she needs me.

"S'no big deal B, I'm sure you'd do the same if I was a train wreck with relationships." I break out the dimples and grin to let her know I'm teasing her.

"You are a train wreck with relationships Faith," she laughs out before she sighs again, looking all serious. I swear the emotional rollercoaster she's on right now is making me dizzy. "And I just wished you would give it half chance for yourself and someone else to see how good I know you could be if you just let it happen." I raise my brow at that and she continues. "So you being here for me is a big deal Faith, at least to me it is." She drops her head and sighs and I can see that she's still kinda sad and it breaks my heart.

I sit up slightly, leaning on my elbow and I bring my finger up to her chin and lift it so that she meets my eyes. "No B," I answer softly, "It's not. Because I know that eventually you'll see that you're way too good for those guys. They don't get you. And I guess Angel is the exception here," I say with an eye roll, "But can you even honestly say that you loved them, any of them?" When she doesn't answer I continue. "So no real heartbreak there. I think it hurts your pride more to be dumped and you know it."

"Well what if I said I do know it?" She's moving now to lay back down but stops just as she's about to lay her head down against the bed and looks at me pointedly. "Not that I'm admitting that you're right or anything." Of course not.

"Well that's definitely a step in the right direction Blondie." I try to hide the smirk threatening to break out and I nod my approval. Finally, she's understands. Or maybe she has all along and is just a glutton for punishing herself with trying to find the right guy.

She smiles at me and situates herself to lay back down in front of me. She reaches behind and grabs my hand to pull my arm around her and I happily comply and bring my body down to spoon her. I'm such a fucking sucker for her and I think she knows it. We lay like this for a long moment before the silence is broken and I hear a yell from downstairs.

"Faith bring your ass back down here before I have to kill Xander!" It's Kennedy and I chuckle at her tone. They probably started a new game by now and the score is probably already embarrassing her. Then I hear…

"You don't think that they're, you know?" That was the forever with his mind in the gutter and in between a girl's legs, Xander. And if I didn't want to disturb Buffy, because I think she's fallen asleep on me, or move away from this feeling of her in my arms, I'd get up and go Slayer slap the shit out of him.

"Fuck no they ain't, Faith's too much of a pussy to try to get some from Buffy, we all know that." Kennedy again, and now everyone is laughing. Fucking brat.

Then that's when I feel more than hear Buffy chuckle and I groan and my face gets hot because I know she heard that shit. She doesn't say anything though, at least not about what dumb and dumber just said.

"Can I stay here tonight?" she asks sleepily and then closes her eyes.

"Of course, I'm sure the rest of the drunken mob will be bunking here tonight too. Just don't get pissy when they show up late for their classes tomorrow." That's how we roll. We hang, we get wasted, and then we find whatever available spot to crash.

She laughs quietly. "They won't be, I'll make sure they're all up bright and early to make sure everyone makes it to class on time. That includes you too….someone has to be the responsible one." She laughs again when I groan. "But I meant can I stay in here, with you?"

Ah hell. I had a feeling that's what she meant but I wasn't gonna ask seeing as she's all comfortable and about to fall asleep now. We've slept in the same vicinity before, but we've never shared a bed. This could get awkward.

" that okay?"

I look down at her and see she's looking at me again. I guess I got quiet on her too long when my brain shut down at her asking that.

"Uh, yeah sure B." I hope that didn't sound as uneasy as I feel. "Just don't go humping me in your sleep or anything," I say with a grin, trying to lighten the mood, and calm myself.

She smiles and then closes her eyes again. "No promises." Ah hell.

We're both quiet for a while, and I'm just staring down at her. Man, she's beautiful and I'm so screwed I think as I finally lay my head down next to hers and get as comfortable as I can. I want to ask if she wants to maybe get in the bed properly, but I don't want to disturb her. Plus that may means she'd want to undress and get a little more comfortable and I don't think my libido could handle a half naked Buffy in my bed right now.

"I guess you're right Faith." I hear her mumble and I could've swore she was asleep, or at least damn near close.

"Right about what?" I mumble back.

"I need to stop wasting my time looking for someone when I know I've already found this 'right person' and ending up with people I know don't really matter. The one who I know can give me everything I want and need. The one that just gets me," she mumbles out and tucks my arms under her tighter.

My eyes pop open at this and I frown, her words makes me sigh roughly. Didn't we just go over this?

"Oh Christ B. Seriously? You just broke up with what's his face and you already have another chump lined up? There is something seriously wrong with you girl and I can't seem to talk any sense into you." I sigh out again, not really wanting to hear about whatever new guy she has in mind. I'm so over this.

She only laughs quietly. "All this talk about me wanting to find someone normal, which you say will never happen, right?"

"Right B, just be content with your badassedness and know you look wicked doing it. Stop being such a chick and just go with it."

"Well, the only other person I can be myself with and hold nothing back is with you. You know all there is to know about me. You've seen me at my absolute worst. You know my flaws, and more importantly, my shoe size." I can hear the grin in her voice. And oh shit. Is she insinuating what I think she is, because if she is, a big fucking NO to that.

My heart starts pounding and I know she can feel it. I just stare at the back her of head and really hope she's just fucking with me. "I'm not buying you shoes, Blondie." I try to inject some humor into this fucked up sitch she's spewing. But she's right about the shoe thing. I do know the size of her tiny feet, hell I've bought far more for her than I care to admit and how fucked up is that? Buying her shit and I'm not even fucking her. I'm like the sugar daddy or something. "It's bad enough I have to suffer through helping you pick them out."

"Oh you love it, admit it." She's teasing me now.

"Oh hell no B, there is no way watching a chick try on 20 pairs of shoes to only buy one pair is a good time." Okay, so it's sorta a good time, but I only go because she lets me put the shoes on her sometimes. There's nothing sexier than having her calf sliding inside of my palm just before I reach down and slide the shoe onto her perfect little foot. How fucking Princess Charming of me. The only thing missing is me turning into a pumpkin. Wait. That doesn't sound right.

"Just face it F," she says and turns slowly in my embrace to face me. Her hand reaches up and tucks some hair behind my ear and then she places her hand against my cheek. "You're my perfect guy and you don't even know it yet."

I chuckle, but only to hide the strangled noise that was threatening to pull its way out of my mouth. "Yeah B," I indulge her and agree. "I'm your perfect guy. I'm here for you always and I promise to never let you down again. It's just too bad we're just friends." I have to throw that shit in there because there is no way in hell I'm even going there or letting her go there either.

"Hmmm," she says and moves her hand as she snuggles impossibly closer by burying her head into me and throws her arm around my waist. "Yeah Faith," she yawns sleepily, "just friends."

Ah hell.