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Like A Friend

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Buffy Summers. The woman of my dreams, and she never even knew it….until now. Leave it to B to pull a wild card and expose my feelings for her when I'm finally at peace with the fact that we'll never be anything but friends. And with good reason. I can't go down this road with her. It would only lead to badness. So much that I don't think she has even thought about it. She's just caught up in the here and now, but it's the past and future that my mind is reeling over.

Our past is filled with so much hurt and betrayal that I don't think that even my love for her could make things okay. And the future will only end up with me hurting her, or myself, and I promised that I'd never do that again. I'm not about to make myself out to be a liar just because she decides she wants me to be the new flavor of the month.

The way I feel about her destroyed me before, and the memory of it never stops stinging. The fact that she didn't return the feeling made me hate who I became because of it. We're in a good place now, and I'd like it to stay that way. There's no point in trying to make a go at a relationship, or whatever the fuck she wants to have, just because she suddenly decides she wants to experiment or whatever it is she wants to do. I know better than to trust in what I feel for her and have it get me caught up in her need to not be alone. I won't even entertain this madness.

I hate her for saying that I was being "devoted" to her. I hate that she knows this. I hate that it's exactly what I was doing. I mean seriously, who gets all whipped over a woman that you aren't even screwing, and just spending time with? Well….me, that's who! What a fucking idiot I am to let my feelings show like that for her. And here I was thinking I was concealing that shit pretty good. Boy was I wrong.

I don't know whether she's just that conceited, or if I suck that bad at keeping all this in. Whatever it is….I hate it. I hate how she just assumes that everyone wants, and cares about her. Hell it's true though, and I hate that she's right. Everyone she touches ends up being swept up in the Buffy Summers whirlwind, unable to stop themselves for falling head over heels for her, and I hate that I'm no exception.

That's why right now her gorgeous hazel eyes are looking down at me while she straddles me. And damn she's so warm. Her sex is hot and so damn wet as she sits on my stomach waiting for me to touch it. I run my hands all over her, loving the way her skin feels under my palms, and anticipating what it will feel like to touch her there.

First, I start at her slender hips and then up her sides, before bringing them around to her taut stomach. Buffy has always been in shape. When we first met she was all cute and bouncy with her youth and curvy body drawing me in more and more. Now she's more toned with muscles and curves in all the right places. Damn she's perfect.

My hands continue to explore as I slide them upwards, loving the sexy sighs passing between her lips as I palm her breasts. They are small and pert, with her pink nipples hard and ready. Fuck they feel so good and perfect in my hands. She places her hands over mine and squeeze them while starting to grind down against me as I roll her nipples around between my fingers. She's so soft and so damn hot, and she's all mine.

Wanting more of her….all of her, I bring my hands back down, one to grab her hip and the other to grasp the back of her thigh. I flip us over so that I'm on top and settle between her legs. What can I say, I've never been much of a bottom. My body presses against hers and I hook one of her legs with my arm and settle my leg under it, and my other leg over hers. We both moan at the feel of our bodies melding into one another everywhere. I close my eyes at the feel of her under me because fuck she feels good. I'm already so into her, and I know if I don't get myself under control this will be over before it even gets started.

Feeling her hands cup my face, I slowly open my eyes to look down at her. She's looking at me again with those eyes and it makes my heart race and fall deeper in love with her. I want to worship her because I need to. I need her to feel how much I want her, how much I need her….how much I love her. I lean in closer and our breast press together making our already hard nipples graze against each other as she arches into me. Just the feel of her against me is driving me insane.

I bring my head down to kiss her bottom lip before licking over it and then sucking it, remembering just how good her lips tasted from our first kiss. I feel her mouth pull into a smile and I release the tasty flesh. Her smile widens and it's the most beautiful, heart stopping smile I've ever seen and it's contagious, so I smile back down at her unable to help myself.

Bringing her hands up to run her fingers through my hair, she grabs the back of my neck while raising her head up a little to bring our lips together again. I moan into her mouth and savor the taste of her as she slides her tongue past my lips. I don't hesitate to let her in and she kisses me so deeply that I feel it everywhere. It's hot and needy and it feels like we're trying to devour each other.

Needing more, I press my hips hard into her, bringing us together even more and feeling my pussy melt into hers. We break the kiss and moan out into the room as she lays her head back down. I follow her down against the bed and bury my head in her neck as I grind against her. We thrust hard into each other and her hands travel lower, scratching down my back. Her touch makes me hiss and raise my head to look down at her again. Her eyes are closed tight and her lips are parted and she moans a little louder with each thrust. She looks so damn good with pleasure etched across her face, and I want to make sure it stays that way.

She moves her hands even lower to grab my ass, trying to pull me into her more. I lower my head to take her lips again because I can't get enough of them. Our clits press hard into each other as our pace quickens. I moan into her mouth, and she drinks it down as she raises her hips to meet my hard thrusts. I can feel she's about to let go and take me along with her. I pull away from her mouth and drop my head into her neck again as I feel that pull inside of me announcing that I'm about to come all over her. So much for trying to make this last.

"Faith," she moans out and rolls her head over to lay against mine and wraps her arms around me tight and I fuck her harder. I attach my lips to her neck and suck hard against it, pulling back slightly as her name falls on lips.

"Buffy," I sigh out into her neck. She feels so good and I don't think I'm able to hold out any longer. I move against her quicker and harder, and just as I feel myself about to come, I'm being roughly pushed aside and she's no longer under me.

Fuck! And shit, now I'm blinded by the sudden rush of light that has invaded my eyes and I slam them shut.

"Fuck, what're you doing?" I mumble out while waiting for the tiny circles and flashes of light to clear.

"Are you serious?" An angry voice asks.

I open my eyes slowly, blinking them and trying to adjust to the harsh light. I sit up and lean back on my knees and rub at my eyes. When they start to clear, the view is fuzzy, but a brunette comes into view. Damn, it's Victoria, the chick I've been screwing, the same one that I ran out of my loft weeks ago when B showed up and she does not look amused.

"What?" I ask harshly, trying to figure out what's up her ass because it's definitely not me at the moment.

"What? Are you serious?" Her angry voice sounds off in my head. "Faith, do you even know where you are right now?"

I blink rapidly again and look around slowly, trying to fully take in my surroundings and I can see that I'm at her place and in her bed, where I've been plenty of times before. "Of course! What the hell is wrong with you?" I asked back trying to squash down any anger I feel at being robbed of the feeling inside of me.

She sighs and reaches down and pulls the sheet over her naked body. A lazy smirk crosses my lips. "No need to be modest now babe, I've seen and had the goods plenty." She only scowls at me. "Why'd you stop?" I ask, the smirk gone and confusion now settling in.

She shakes her head. "You know Faith, I get that this is just sex….believe me, I'm not looking to get involved past what we have now because you're so damn emotionally unavailable, but even I have to draw a line somewhere."

"What the hell are you on about?" I rub my eyes again and try to clear my head so I can fully understand just what her fucking problem is. "If you get that it's just sex….then why stop the sexing!" I'm starting to get angrier now and my head is swimming from all the alcohol I drank earlier. A drunk, angry Slayer is not a good combination, and that mixed with a horny one on the brink of getting off and having it cut short is definitely not of the good.

She runs a hand through her hair. "I can put up with you saying her name while you sleep, but when we're fucking? Really Faith, that's just a bit much, not to mention rude as hell."

Huh? I know my face is the picture of confusion right now as I stare at her trying to piece together what she's saying. "What….who the hell are you talking about?" I don't even know why I asked that, because seriously, I already know. She just stares at me for a moment and raises a brow. I shake my head and before she can answer, I bring my hands up to cover my face.

"Shit," I mumble into my hands and start to think about the moments before when all I could see was Buffy. She's all I ever see. I knew this woman wasn't Buffy, and honestly that's how it all began when I pursued her. She wasn't Buffy. There was no rejection from her. No getting my heart ripped out or another knife to the gut again. No having my world turned upside down because I couldn't have her. But damn that felt real and did I really say B's name? This is a whole new level of fucked up.

I hear her chuckle and feel her shift a little on the bed. "Yeah, that reaction lets me know that you know exactly who I'm talking about. It's the woman that has your head so screwed up that you think you're making love to her when you're with me." I feel her grab my hands to pull them down and I open my eyes to look at her. "I should've known something was different because you've never been so…..gentle. You've never been that way before. You were making love to me like you were making love to someone else. It wasn't me you were just with, at least not in your head. "

I sigh heavily as I look at her. "Damn V, I'm sorry….I don't know how…why I did that…shit." I rub angrily at my brow and run my hand over my face.

"Yes you do Faith, you're in love with her…that's how and why."

I get that this is just sex, but damn, she's taking this really really well. I don't deserve this, her being so calm right now. At least if she was angry or yelling at me to get out I would feel better about this whole fucked up sitch, and then I could leave feeling like the asshole I am. But she isn't. How am I supposed to deal with this?

"Why?" I asked her out of confusion. "Why are you being so….so damn nice to me right now? Why keep doing this if you know that…that I'm into her? And shit, I actually say her name when I sleep?"

That's some shit I never knew I did. Then again it's not like I would, and it's not like I've ever actually stuck around and fallen asleep with someone for them to tell me. I look down because now embarrassment is settling in. We've been fucking for months now and yeah a few times we ended up staying at the others place. It makes me wonder just how many times I've done it. She really doesn't deserve this because she's a really cool chick.

She shrugs slightly and then a grin makes its way across her lips. "Because you fuck like an animal, that's why….and you're hot." She winks. That gets a chuckle out of me. Yeah, the sex is wicked good, this I know. "And I'm not trying to win your heart or anything Faith. You're just fun and easy to be with. Not like most of the assholes I've been with before."

"But this is beyond fucked up V, you don't deserve this….I don't deserve you being so understanding right now."

"You really don't." She laughs. "But you let me decide that okay? You've never given me any reason to believe that this could be more. It is what it is, you know? You blow in and out of my life and I've accepted this for what it is." She shrugs.

I just sit back and watch her, waiting for her to turn into some vengeance demon or something nasty looking and pull my heart out and eat it. She doesn't though, she just stares back at me and it's making me wicked uncomfortable.

"Uh...so yeah, I guess I better motor." I state and start to look around hoping to recognize some of my clothes strewn about.

V has other plans though and she reaches to pull me down to lay beside her. "You're not going anywhere." I'm hesitant at first, thinking this has to be some kind of trick. She just keeps pulling me though and I finally comply and cautiously lay with her.

She's gonna go all basic instinct on my ass any minute now and pull an ice pick from under her pillow and start stabbing me I just know it. On instinct I try to remember where the hell I pulled my boots off at, there's a small dagger that I keep there. But I was drunk off my ass when we got here, there's no telling where they are. I'm so fucked right now. And not in a good way.

"Relax Faith, you've had a lot to drink tonight which is why I had to drive us here remember? I'm not going to send you out like that. Plus you're freakishly strong so I promise I'm not going to try to do anything weird to you. I wouldn't even think of it." I feel her chuckle when she says this and I guess she can feel the tension coming off of me. "I'm not mad or anything….okay, not much….but I am really disappointed because you fucked up what was about to be a body numbing orgasm, but I can deal."

I smile at that and look up at her. "Well if you're okay with how screwed up I am, do you wanna go again?" I look up at her and wiggle my brows and it makes her laugh again.

"No…I've had enough embarrassment for one night. I think you just need to sleep right now and clear your head." She reaches over me to turn off the light and then settles down next to me and pulls the sheet across us both. Damn…why can't I let myself fall for this girl because she's seriously too good to be true?

We're both quiet for a long moment, me thinking about what just happened and the fact that all I saw was Buffy when I was with V and how real it felt. I needed it to feel real and boy did it. I needed it to be Buffy and damn, it was. It was like I could feel and smell her. Even though I know it was all in my wicked mind, I can't help as my body recharges itself at the memory in my head of fucking Buffy and the fact that I didn't get off. But there is the fact that it wasn't her I was doing those things to, it was this warm body lying beside me. I slide my hand across V's stomach, making my way lower before it's stopped in its track.

"That's not leading to sleep….now stop." She chuckles and moves my hand and holds it.

"Oh c'mon…we can even turn the lights on so I can see that it's you this time."

"You're an asshole." She laughs as she says this so I know she's not mad about it.

"Yeah I get that a lot." I grumble.

She doesn't say anything else, nor does she let go of my hand letting me know that we're done fucking tonight. I will myself not to get frustrated by it, because hey…I don't have the right. And honestly I know that I only want her because of the wicked images I have in my head of a certain blonde Slayer. I just lay here in her arms and listen to her breath before allowing myself to fully relax and do what she asked….sleep, or try to anyway.

But I can't. The more I lay here the more wrong it feels. I shouldn't be here. I don't even want to be here. I'm only with her to try to prove a point, one that I know I'm wicked wrong about. I only wanted to fuck this woman again to prove to myself that I could. But now all I feel is an incredible sense of dread flowing through me. It kinda feels like I'm cheating. How fucked up is that? Feeling like you're cheating on someone that you aren't even with. Damn. Devoted huh? Like a motherfucker.

"Maybe you should tell her how you feel." It was more of a statement and not something to be ponder even though she said maybe.

"Don't have to, she knows." I mumble against her shoulder and think about when I made my confession. It was done purely out of anger at Buffy for thinking she knew what I was feeling, and thinking I was denying it to myself.

"Oh." She's quiet for a few minutes. "So you told her?"

I shake my head a little and chuckle. "No, she told me, then I freaked out on her and left."

"So is that why you came to the club angry and trying to drink the place out of business? She doesn't feel the same way?"

"I don't know. She didn't exactly say anything about how she actually feels, just that she knows how I feel." I sigh heavily and pull out of her arms to lay on my back and stare into the darkness. I think about this for a moment. If B would've let on about how she feels would I have stayed to hear her out?

I was so caught up and angry over her reading me and calling me out that I just bolted. Would she even have said she felt something for me too? I mean she did kiss me. You don't do something like that unless you feel something right? Just what the hell does she feel? Is she just playing me because she knows I want her? Or does she actually want to try something?

Does it even matter though? Whatever she does feel could never amount to how I feel about her. A one-sided thing where one person is giving and the other is just taking is just something I don't want to deal with. That never leads to anything good. Me and B could never amount to anything but me being a fool in love and ending up with my heart being ripped out again.

No. It doesn't matter. None of what she says does. And nothing I feel for her does either. I've dealt with this for far too long to let having her knowing about it screw with me. I just hope she doesn't try to push this and ruin the friendship we have. If we even have that anymore.

"Well she has to feel something right? Why else would she even acknowledge what she thinks you feel for her if she didn't feel the same way? Or at least be something she wants to explore?"

Another sigh. "You don't know Buffy like I do. She's…..difficult, and complicated as hell when it comes to her love life. She's use to people wanting to be with her."

"And you aren't? You're a gorgeous woman Faith, and you're really sweet when you aren't being a jackass and calling out another woman's name." I feel her chuckle and then smack me lightly.

I smile a little. "Yeah I know I'm hot, that's why you put up with me." She smacks me again. "But it's different with B. Even when she's being a grade-A bitch, she still manages to draw people in and they end up tripping over themselves for her."

"Me thinking she wants to be in some kind of relationship, with me of all people, is about the stupidest thing I could be thinking right now. Besides, she's never even been with a chick….at least not that I know of. She probably just wants to experiment or something now that she's single again." I confess, not really getting why I'm talking about this with her. We don't usually talk about our lives or anything heavy. We fuck, joke around with each other and laugh. We keep it simple, that's why I like this girl. No strings.

"And you don't want that? Not the experimenting part, I think you got the girl on girl action down pretty good." Another chuckle. "But I mean the relationship part. Don't you even want to try with her?"

I think about the weight of that question. Do I want that? A relationship with Buffy? "I don't know," I answer honestly. Playing lap dog just doesn't seem appealing to me.

"You're in love with her, how can you not know?"

I pull away slightly. "And who says I'm in love with her. Why can't I just ya know, be in like with her or something like that?"

Now she flat out laughs at my ass. "I think we both know you're way past the in like stage Faith. The night she saw us together you couldn't get me out of your place fast enough. And hello, you called her name when we were having sex. You don't do shit like that over people you just like a lot. You're in love with her, just admit it and save yourself the drama."

Damn. Am I really am that transparent? When the fuck did I become such an open book for people? There's no telling who else is running around reading this fucked up tale. Man do I feel like a chump. And okay, I guess all the points she just threw in my face, it isn't really that hard to read. And yeah I know exactly how I feel about B, but for other people to know that shit as well ain't cool.

"Doesn't matter how I feel about her. B and I have a past, and not a very good one."

"But the two of you are friends now, and you work together. It seems your past isn't an issue anymore."

"Our past will always be an issue….you don't do the shit we've done to each other and it not be. It's complicated."

"Most things worth having usually are. Sometimes it's better to risk everything than to hold on to nothing because you're afraid of what will happen. If you keep living in the past how will you ever know if you have a future with her? "

I think about what she's saying. "How many fortune cookies did you have to eat to put that shit together?"

She laughs genuinely and grabs a pillow and hits me over the head with it. "That's it for you Faith, I'm done playing cupid to your morbid love life. You're on your own now." She says, but it still doesn't stop her from running her hand through my hair and over the top of my head. Yeah, she still digs me.

I have to admit that this sitch is getting more fucked up by the minute. Not five minutes ago I was having sex with this woman, and now she's trying to hook me up with my dream girl. Yeah. Only in my screwed up life would something like this happen. 'Faith the Vampire Slayer: The Tragic Love Story - the Saga Continues'. But hey, it could be worse. I could have an ice pick in my chest right now.

"Do you think maybe you should talk about it?" She asks while she's still stroking my head.

"Uh…no, I've had all the fucked up conversations I can stand in one night." I really have, but I still wouldn't talk about it anymore with her anyway. That's me and B's thing….our fuck up, she shouldn't have to hear about it, nor would she understand it. I'd have to tell her all about me, and about Buffy….vamps, demons and the whole lot of it for her to fully understand how we got to that place where we hurt each other, and I'm not even going there.

She laughs. "No silly, I didn't mean with me, but maybe you should talk about it with her. I'm guessing you haven't or it wouldn't be bothering you this much."

"Oh." Yeah. Oh is right. Me and B never talk about the past and I'm kinda glad about that, there's no point in reliving all that shit by talking about it. The time I threw the Angel deal up in her face and we fought was about as close as we've gotten to talking about our past. It's way too painful and just something I don't want to deal with.

Through the years that we've been doing the 'get to know you' thing, not once have we talked about things that happened when we were kids. Not me siding with the Mayor. Not her trying to feed me to her boyfriend and stabbing me. Not me coming back and trying to get revenge. Not any of it. We just kinda glossed over the bad parts and moved on from all that and became something I never expected us to be. Friends. Just friends.

The conversation ends at that and I'm grateful that she doesn't say more. I turn back to her and drape my arm across her waist. She pushes herself close to me and kisses the side of my head before throwing an arm and a leg across me. When the hell did I get so damn….snuggly? I don't do this kind of thing. I've slept in the same bed with this woman before, but only after a night of drinking and hot sex, but we've never cuddled and now here I am just letting her hold me.

I admit, I'm not exactly hating it, only it's not with the one I really want to be doing this sort of thing with. She doesn't feel right. There's no warm feeling inside of me from being this close to her. She doesn't taste right. And yeah, a few kisses with B and now I'm all addicted.

I breathe in real deep and then sigh out into the room and finally feel some semblance of sleep falling over me. It's probably just the weight of all the shit that has happened tonight taking its toll. Then something hits me.

"I really say her name when I sleep?"

She answers initially with a sigh of her own before she answers the question. "You really do."

"Damn, so is that how you knew who she was even though you've never met?" I lift my head slightly. "You two have never met right?"

Another laugh from her. "No, we've never met and from what you say about her I'm glad of it or I might find myself head over heels with her too. But yes, that's how I figured it was her when I saw her." She's quiet for a few minutes. "She's pretty, I can see why you like her so much."

I make a noncommittal noise before laying my head back down. Understatement of the year because B's beyond that. And what another weird fucking conversation to be having right now. So I don't say anything else, hoping that she won't either, about Buffy. But then something else hits me, something Buffy joked about and it still cracks me up.

"Hey, do you go to college or something?"

She laughs harder this time. "No, I actually like my job…it pays well and affords me a nice shoe collection." I guess she knew where I was going with that.

I chuckle at that and feel myself finally starting to relax a little. Another damn shoe fetish chick…gotta love em. Or at least I do…well, only one of them. I'm so fucked.


 

"What's the what B?" I push my way inside of her office and stand near the door to see her sitting behind her desk and staring at her laptop. I already know the score. She's either about to yell at me or give me one of her big speeches on responsibility. She doesn't say anything though, she just keeps sitting there staring, and it's making me uneasy. More uneasy than I've already been feeling around her.

Things have been strained between us since the last time we went out and she dropped a bomb on me. And yeah, since the last time because I've been avoiding her like the plague recently. But I haven't had to try real hard because I think she's kinda been avoiding me too. But that's probably my fault though.

We've been fighting for the past three days. And fighting probably isn't the best word to use. It's more of me picking a fight, her yelling at me, and me walking off. The first little spat we had was on a night of patrol with some of the juniors. We came across a few vamps and she yelled at me for staking them all. What can I say? I'm a Slayer damnit, I was only doing what was natural. Only B didn't see it that way. She gave me the 'we're supposed to be teaching them' speech. I gave her the 'fuck off' speech. I mean really, what better way to teach them than to show them how it's done?

The next day we had another meeting to discuss the flying vamp sitch. I yelled at Giles and Red for once again dragging me into another pointless meeting about nothing because they still didn't have any info. B gave me the 'they're trying and sometimes these things take time' speech. I gave her the 'fuck off' speech. Hmmm, I'm sensing a pattern here.

I don't want to fight with her. I really don't. It hurts more than I can ever say to be doing this especially when things have been good between us. Every time I see her all I want to do is drop to my knees and tell her how sorry I am for acting like such an asshole and ask her to forgive me and have us go back to how things were. But I won't.

It would only feed into whatever she has in that pretty little head of hers, and if I know B, she won't stop trying to push this even if she knows she could be wrong. This is why I never wanted to act on my feelings for her, if thing went bad, what I feel now will only be magnified and I'm not going down that road again. I wish she never would've said anything about knowing how I feel. I wish I didn't feel this way. But she did, and I do. And now here we are.

This probably isn't going to end well. I'm already frustrated as hell and I know she's been tense. Yeah, this definitely won't end well. I already know why she asked me here. I just wish she'd say something already so we can get this over with and I can be on my way.

"Uh, B? You wanna get this show on the road? Just got done with my first class, I'm wicked hungry and all the juniors are tearing through the cafeteria right now."

"Yeah, sorry….I um," she mumbles and blinks a few times like she's pulling herself out of some kind of daze and then finally looks at me. "I just wanted to know if you thought you'd need some extra help with this mission."

I frown slightly. Is this what she really called me in here for? Not to yell, or give me shit for leaving. She wants to know if I need help. This has to be a trap. I ease my hands into the pockets of my sweat pants before cautiously stepping inside of the room more to stand in front of her desk. I have to tread carefully here, I'm half expecting some of the pictures sitting on her desk to come flying at my head any minute now.

"Uh no, I'm good."

"Are you sure? I mean I get that you're the best tracker we have, but for them to need the best would mean it's a pretty big deal right?" She's staring at me with an intensity that I feel all over. Something isn't right here.

"They've been looking for this creep for a while B, just thought I could help out and get this fucker dead sooner rather than later, ya know?"

"Yes I do know Faith." She rubs at the bridge of her nose before closing the lid on her laptop. "I know that you chose this mission not because they needed you, but because you're trying to put some distance between us."

See. I knew it. A fucking trap! I shake my head, scoff and then let out a humorless chuckle. Not because I find the funny in this, but because she's right. Not that I'm going to tell her that though.

"Leave it to you to think that the world revolves around you B. I took this mission because they need help, and like you said Princess, I'm the best Slayer we got to find this guy. Has nothing to do with you, just doing my job."

"Knowing what we have going on here, you decide to up and leave and you expect me to believe that you aren't running away so you don't have to deal with what I said the other night? That's a load of bull and you know it."

"There ain't shit going on here B! It's like we're sitting around waiting on nothing to happen. The super geeks don't know shit. We haven't ran into anything freaky out on patrol because we aren't actively looking for anything! And so what….I take on a mission like I always do to help out. I'm doing my fucking job B. They need me!" I yell angrily.

"I need you!" B yells back while standing and she slams her palm against her desk. There's so much fire in her eyes and it was said with so much conviction and emotion it floors me.

My mouth gapes open with my heart threatening to fall out of it as it hangs in my throat. I watch as she rounds the desk quickly and she stands in front of me. Her eyes are glistening, and fuck I hope she's not about to cry. I know that if she does it will be my undoing.

"I need you Faith." Her tone is much softer now as her hands come up to cup my face in her hands.

The sad look in her eyes makes me want to put my arms around her and let her know that she has me. Always has. But I don't. I can't. Instead I bring my hands up to remove hers, shake my head and take a few steps back. I can't be this close to her because so many emotions are flowing through me right now. I feel anxiety, sadness, and dread. The one thing I feel the most though is love, and it feels so overwhelming that it makes me want to break down and cry.

"You don't need me B, you never have." My voice catches in my throat when the words come out. It must've tripped over my heart that's still stuck there. Now I'd like to think that when she said she needed me, she meant that she needed me here helping her figure out this flying vamp sitch, or to help train the other Slayers. I know I'd be lying to myself if I believed that though. It was the way she said it and the look in her eyes, that lets me know she meant it in another way that I'm not ready to deal with.

"And you're stupid if you believe that, because I need you so much, and in so many ways Faith." She says while disregarding my effort to put some space between us and closes the distance again. She places her hand against my stomach and clutches at the material of my t-shirt. The slightest touch from her is enough to put everything inside of me into overdrive.

"Why now B?" My voice comes out small and I hate that she's making me feel this way. "Why do you decide that now is the time that you wanna do this? Why throw all this shit at me now? It just doesn't make any sense."

She sighs and drops her hands before she turns away from me and starts fiddling with the pictures on her desk. It's like she's nervous or something. Okay, so now she chooses as the time to get all quiet and nervous? After a long moment, she shakes her head and picks up one of the pictures before looking back up at me with a small frown on her face.

"Nothing about any of this was sudden Faith. It's not as if I just woke up one day and thought, oh hey, I think I'm attracted to the most complicated and closed off woman on the planet."

"Complicated and closed off huh? You may want to check with the judges on that one B, I think you may be in the running for first place on that one."

She chuckles, but I can see there's no humor in it. Then she looks down at the picture in her hand before she looks back to me and turns it over for me to see. I stare at the picture she's holding and I'm stunned. It's the picture of me and her on her birthday, the night where I almost kissed her and Xander went all Jimmy Olsen on my ass. And damn. When did she get this? More importantly, how long has she had it sitting on her desk? I slowly reach out and grab it from her and stare at it. This was a good night.

"Like I said, nothing about this was sudden. What I do know is that this night?" She grabs the edge of the picture to look down at it. "It made me realize that maybe you might've felt something too."

I look at her to see that she's staring at me with those eyes. And fuck they are going to be the death of me.

"You went out of your way to make sure I didn't have another year to add to the 'Buffy bad birthday' list. That night made me realize that maybe I wasn't the only one feeling something more."

"B, that was over a year ago. The year after that I was on another mission and all I sent you was a crappy card that I found in a convenience store in the middle of nowhere."

"It wasn't crappy at all Faith, it was sweet. The fact that you found the time to send me anything at all made me happy because I knew you were thinking about me."

She takes the picture from me and looks at it for a long time, and all I can do is stand here and watch her. She has a small smile on her face and I can't help but wonder what it is she's thinking about. I don't say anything though, because I'm still stuck in stupidville over the fact that she has it, and it's sitting on her desk.

"You know, I found out when your birthday was. I wanted to do something special for you and make yours just as memorable as you've made mine, but you always never seem to be around." She frowns slightly. "In fact, you never seem to be around during any of the major holidays. I started to think it was done on purpose, so I didn't want to make a big deal and make you uncomfortable if you were being all avoidy."

She's not wrong. Birthdays and holidays have never been an especially happy time for me, so I avoid being around people if I can help it when they roll around. After so many years of horrible memories where they are concerned, I've just avoided them altogether. But that's beside the point. I still don't get all of this. Why she all of a sudden wants to drop this shit on me now.

"So I remembered your birthday B, big deal. What does that have to do with anything? If you've been feeling….whatever the hell you have been, why tell me all of this now? Why not before? I don't get it."

She sighs before placing the picture back on her desk. I can tell she's trying to look at anything but me now, and hell I'm grateful that she is. I'm not sure I can take looking into her eyes right now.

"After all the signs and mixed signals we were throwing at each other, I still wasn't sure of what was happening or even understood it. I figured that if I wasn't sure of what I thought I was feeling, I couldn't say anything about it and expect you to understand it either. So I waited….I waited because I wanted to be sure of at least what it was I felt. Then throughout all of the waiting it turned into something that was a whole lot more than I expected."

Fuck me. What the hell is she saying? I still don't understand all of this. Is she saying she has feelings for me? What the fuck is she saying already!

"B, you're talking in circles here. Just what the hell are you on about already? You still haven't answered me when I asked why now. What made you so sure of all of this now after so long?"

Another sigh from her and she finally looks at me. I clench my teeth at the look in her eyes because I know I have to prepare myself for some shit I'm not ready for.

"When I saw you with that other woman….it…it just." She shakes her head again before breathing in real deep and then letting it out. "I didn't like it." I open my mouth to say something but she holds up her hand to stop me. "I'm not stupid enough to believe that was the first woman you've ever been with, but it was just soooo….so in my face you know?" She shrugs.

I scoff at this. Is she kidding me? Uh yeah I do know B because that's what I've been feeling for years where her and her at the time boyfriends are concerned.

"You've been screwing around with your pretty boys far longer than it took you to see me with someone. So you see me with another chick and what, you were jealous?" And Damn. That jealously shit crossed my mind at the time but I brushed it aside because I never imagined that it could actually be true.

She nods and shrugs slightly. " I guess I just finally came to the decision after having all of these feelings and not doing anything about them. That I was the only, and last woman, I wanted you to be with. I knew that if didn't stop being so afraid, and go after what I wanted, I'd miss my chance and lose you to someone else."

Wow. I don't even know what to say to that. Honestly, what can I say to that? So I go with that thought and just don't say anything, and just stand here and stare like a moron. Luckily for me, she isn't done talking.

"But even before I saw you with her, none of this was sudden. When we had that huge fight in Cleveland and you said those things you said to me, it made me think."

I open my mouth to tell her that that was years ago and that I was angry when I said those things, but she holds her hand up again to keep me from speaking.

"I got so angry with you but not because of what you said," she pauses for a second and looks thoughtful. "Okay, so yeah it was mainly because of what you said, but deep down I was mad because I knew you were right on some level. Right or wrong though, I heard you Faith….every single word, and god I wanted you so much that night but just couldn't bring myself to give in to that at the time."

"Why couldn't you?" I find myself asking. I know I shouldn't be entertaining this because deep down I know she's about to say something that's gonna tear me apart. And I've always wondered about that night. I've wondered if what I was feeling from her was the fact that she wanted me, but she pushed me away in the end so it left so many doubts in my mind and nothing really happened after that. But now, here she is saying that she wanted me just as much as I wanted her. What a mind fuck.

She sighs heavily again and suddenly finds her hands interesting. The tension in the room is thick as hell and I'm holding my breath, hanging on for her next words.

"I had been so angry with you for so long, and I never would've allowed myself to give in to anything that resembled feelings of the let's get naked and have angry sex variety. I guess I wasn't ready to forgive you then. I always used to wonder why I couldn't. In one night though, you made me face it…..all the reasons why just seem to hit me like, all at once. I felt betrayed by you, and it hurt…a lot. I was so angry when things got so bad between us, but more so with myself because I knew that I could only feel that much hurt and anger over someone I really cared about."

She's fiddling with her hands again. "And I cared about you Faith, to a point that I didn't know what to do with it, so I did the only thing I could do. I turned on you too and I wanted you to hurt just as much as I was hurting."

"Believe me, a knife to the gut definitely hurt B, you were right on the money with that one." I stupidly blurt out and instantly regret it when her head shoots up and she looks at me. Her eyes are large, like she can't believe I just said that, hell I can't believe I just said that because I thought I put all that shit behind me.

And Jesus Christ, she looks like she's about to cry and I can feel my resolve crumbling because I can see how much what I said hurt her. It's almost like I can feel how much it hurts her and it makes me sick. I promised myself that I'd never do anything to hurt her again and then I go and say something stupid like that.

"I shouldn't have said that." I mumble out and look away because I can't stand the way she's looking at me now.

"No, it's okay, it never should've gotten that far. We've both done things that we can't take back now and I was filled with so much anger and rage at you that it just….it all just got out of hand before either of us could stop it, and I'm sorry for the part I played in that."

I raise my head to look at her and my mind is so blown right now and I don't know what to think about this. All I can do is stare at her like she's out of her mind. So yeah. That has to be it….she's lost it because there's no way she's in her right mind right now, to say what she's saying about being sorry and having feelings for me, and actually mean it.

"You're insane," I mumble, and now I'm pacing because this is all just too damn much. "Yeah that's it. It's the only explanation for this….you're out of your fucking mind." That's really all I can come up with because I refuse to believe what she's telling me. It just doesn't make any sense. Buffy hated me. She stabbed me and tried to feed me to her vamp boyfriend for fucks sake. Now I'm supposed to believe all of this shit?

"Maybe, but not about this. I think part of the reason I was so hell bent on you going back to prison when we left Sunnydale was because I knew if you came with us I'd have to deal with my feelings, and I wasn't ready for that just yet. But you did come with us, and I was so mad at you because you did, so I shut down."

Shut down is putting it lightly. She was a bitch to me every chance she got, and with me being around all the time, that was a lot. Nothing I ever did was good enough and she made sure I knew it. That doesn't exactly scream warm fuzzies to me.

"I stopped wasting all of my energy on being mad and trying to hate you, and that's when I really started feeling so much more." She shrugs slightly like she's thinking about something, then she continues on.

"I think that us finally taking the time to get to know each other all over again, and building the trust we have now gave me the chance to grow into and accept things I never would've before. There was still an unknown factor here though. I wasn't real sure on what it was you were feeling. With all the flirting and mixed signals, I couldn't bring myself to believe that just maybe you felt the same way, because you flirt with everyone and there was a real possibility that I was reading you all wrong."

She shakes her head again, indicating she knows she was wrong. She looks up and her gaze locks onto mine and she slowly starts to move towards me and I'm powerless to stop her. She smiles a little and stops in front of me. She's looking me in the eyes, and all I can think of doing is walking over to her and kissing her again. She doesn't realize how much what she's saying means but I know I can't allow myself to get caught up in it. Nothing good will come from me letting her words touch my heart in ways she'll never fully understand.

"But when we kissed the other night? There was no mistake in what I was reading then, and I know you felt it too." She stops in front of me and now we're staring each other in the eyes. "So I guess that makes me sane girl right now because I know what I want…and that's you."

Damn she's said a mouthful. Too damn much in fact. And I asked for this shit? What the hell was I thinking? She has that look about her that says she's made up her mind and nothing anyone says or does will change it. She's convinced herself that this is what she wants. That I'm whatshe wants, and I think I hate her right now for sounding so sure. Okay so maybe I don't….I could never hate her.

"So I think it's you that's the insane one Faith. If you can honestly keep fighting this and pretending you don't feel anything."

Is that what she thinks? That I'm denying how I feel about her? And now I've gone and changed my mind because I do kinda hate her right now. I hate that she thinks she has all the answers, yet she's so clueless. I hate that I feel this way about her. Most of all I hate that she really has no clue about what it is that I'm really fighting where she's concerned. She thinksI'm falling in love with her. Fuck her. I'm way beyond falling. She honestly has no fucking clue.

Does she really think that just because she's just now 'growing' into her feelings that what I feel for her hasn't been here all along? How fucking selfish of her to think that just because she wants this now, I'm suddenly supposed to fall in line. Well fuck that.

"Fighting this? Is that what you think I'm doing?" I sneer at her and close the remaining distance between us. "You have no clue about what I'm fighting B."

"Well then clue me in F, because when you ran out on me, and the fact that you're trying to leave now, and pretend like nothing ever happened, says more than you ever will."

I grab her face in my hands and look directly into her eyes because I've had about all I can take of this. I want her to know that what I'm saying isn't a lie or me pretending. She only stares back at me with wide eyes and I can see that they've darkened to that beautiful hazel which means she's fighting with something….or she's afraid. Either way I don't care because I'm sick of her little head game and now it's time that she knows the truth. The real truth and not the Buffy Summers version of it.

"If you think that I'm pretending that I don't feel anything for you then you really are out of your goddamn mind, do you know that?" I don't wait for an answer because honestly, I'm tired of hearing her talk…it's time for her to listen.

"I love you more than I need to breathe Buffy, because everything thing inside of me….every part of me, is in love with you, and always has been. When we kissed it felt so damn good that it's all I can think about."

Her mouth is gaping now and she looks like she's having trouble breathing, but she doesn't say anything. Good, because I'm not finished.

"There isn't a second of the day that goes by that I don't think about you. You're all I see and all I want. I dream about you when I sleep…fuck B, I dream about you when I'm awake. My head is so screwed up I swear I'm losing my fucking mind because I can't seem to draw that line between dreams and reality anymore with you. So you think I'm afraid to admit how I feel about you?" I wait a beat, just so I can gauge her stunned reaction before I finish. "I'm not afraid to admit that Buffy, I've always known. I just live with it better now."

How's that for clueing her in?

Her eyes go wide at my little confession and I can see unshed tears in them. I honestly didn't mean to go that far, but when I started I just couldn't stop and now I'm filled with nothing but regret for letting her know. No one, especially the person that can hurt you with it, should know shit like that. I release the hold I have on her face and she grabs one of my hands before I can move away.

"Faith, I…," she starts, but I stop her from saying anything. Whatever it is she's about to say I don't wanna hear it….I can't hear it.

"Don't Buffy….just don't okay." I hold up the hand she doesn't have a grip on to stop whatever she's trying to say.

'Faith I didn't think your feelings were that strong'

'Faith I never knew you felt that way about me'

'Faith I love you'

I shake my head at what my fucked up mind conjures in her unspoken words. Whatever it was she was about to say, I don't wanna know….I can't know because it will probably destroy me.

"You see B, this can never happen." I motion between us. "It's too dangerous."

"D…dangerous?" She manages still holding on to my hand.

"Yeah, because I loved you once to the point of madness B, and I can't go back to the person I was then. This is why this can't happen. Not now….not ever."

I tear my hand out of hers, step away and turn my back to her knowing that if I continue to stare into her eyes I'll crumble to my knees in front of her.

"We nearly destroyed each other once because feelings were involved. My feelings. I was a fucked up kid when I allowed my feelings to control my actions and everything that happened after that is still just too raw for me, you know? And it probably always will be."

She's quiet now and I turn to look at her and she looks so confused, like she really didn't know that I had feelings for her back in the day. How could she be that stupid and unaware of something that was so blatantly obvious?

And okay so maybe I'm being unfair. I wasn't exactly confessing my undying love for her and giving her any reason to think I was anything more than a horny, fucked up kid with a bleak view on relationships and the world.

Or maybe she was just too wrapped up in her own drama that she couldn't see that I was drowning in her. Either way it doesn't matter. None of it matters now, and I refuse to allow myself to fall back into that.

If she doesn't get it then she probably never will. I can't make her understand just how bad us trying to be something more than we are, will be for the both of us. I do know that this is just too much and I really just need to get the hell away from her. I so wasn't expecting this conversation when I stepped into this room. Now I've had my fill out it. Time to motor.

I back away from her and turn slowly on my heels to make my way to the door.

"Faith wait….please."

I sigh, but stop dead in my tracks even though I know I shouldn't have. I don't turn around though. I hear her footsteps behind me and I moan quietly as I feel one of her hands thread through my hair and she grabs my hand with the other.

"Promise me," she says quietly and lays her head on the back of my shoulder.

Fuck. I knew I should've kept walking. I'd be out the door by now and away from her touch. I'm such a fucking idiot.

"Anything." My voice cracks as I say it and I close my eyes because I know she's about to ask the impossible of me.

She doesn't say anything though, instead she wraps her arm around me from behind and place it on my stomach and squeezes the hand she's already holding. The warmth of her pressed against my back and her warm hand in mine has my senses on overload and it's making me dizzy. She feels so good and it's like she's melting into me she so warm.

"I understand why you think you have to run from this, so I won't push, but I don't want to lose you to whatever doubts you're having right now. So please promise me that you just won't walk away from me….or from us without thinking about how good and how right we could be together...how right we have been." She tightens her arms around me, her voice cracks and she sniffs trying to hold back her tears.

I sigh and squeeze my eyes shut even tighter. I stand here for a long moment breathing heavily. I can feel her strong heartbeat thudding softly against my back and falling in sync with my own. Even when I know I should be moving, I can't because of the warm feeling of her all over and inside of me. With another deep sigh, and finally turn around to face her. She looks so sad, but so damn gorgeous with those beautiful hazel eyes looking at me and making me lose my resolve.

I bring my hand to the back of her head and lean in to lay a kiss on the side of it, once again giving her my answer. It's the answer I always give. It's the one that let's her know I'd do anything for her. And because I'm a big fucking idiot I bring my other hand up to her cheek and lay my forehead against hers.

"You're half of the flesh and blood that makes whatever it is inside of me whole Buffy…I could never walk away from that, even when I know I should." Then I place a lingering kiss on her lips, but tear myself away when I feel her starting to respond. I release her and take a step back, and this time when I turn around, I really do leave.

And just like that, she's walked right back into my head again.