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for all my paths in life will lead me, lead me back to you

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“Hey, B?” Faith asks—voice garbled around a Twizzler she’s busy going to town on—from where she’s sprawled out on the tiled kitchen floor, thick textbook open in front of her and GED practice sheets messily spread out all around her. She’s been studying all weekend—which is great, Buffy reminds herself, it’s great, except for when she won’t move off the floor (and their kitchen’s already tiny as it is) and she keeps demanding “fuel” aka sugary, unhealthy snacks, and tries to bite Buffy’s ankles every time Buffy has to move around her to actually get the food for her (and actually succeeds once—the bite marks still sting). At least her ass looks hot in the boxers she refuses to change out of. “What’s,” she squints down at her notes, “saccharine mean?”

Buffy lowers her magazine and flicks her eyes towards her wife, scrunching her brow thoughtfully. “Hmm, I think I remember that word being on a vocab quiz Giles gave me in high school once. Maybe. Um….” she taps her finger against her chin. “Oh!” A light blinks on in her eyes, and then a slow, mischievous smile spreads across her face. “It’s—like you this morning.”

Faith frowns, an adorable look of concentration coming over her face, then flashes a dirty smirk Buffy’s way. “Horny? I was that,” she says smugly and rolls over and crosses her arms over her chest, like it’s something to be proud of—and maybe, just maybe it is, Buffy can’t help but secretly think, even though she rolls her eyes on cue. Faith is pretty damn good at it...tapping into carnal energy, let’s just say. “When the temperature started droppin’ and you backed up against me, only you weren’t wearing any bottoms and your ass got all up in my business end?” She wiggles her eyebrows, grinning. “That shit was wicked hot. Damn, they have these kind of, uh, “erotic” words on the GED test? I woulda figured these guys were a bunch of tweed wearing, F-minus-giving tight asses. Or wait, is this some kinda word porn for the literary types, or some shit? ‘Cause I could get into—”

“No!” Buffy cries, flushing bright red. “Not that. Remember—this bed? Only not with the naked times.”

Faith leers. “Well, gee, B, I’m having a pretty hard time remembering anything but the naked times.” She flashes an exuberant smile. “That rhymed. See, I know some stuff.”

Try. And I noticed, F. You’re very smart, sweetie,” Buffy coos patiently.

Faith blows out her breath, faking an irritated sigh. “Fine. Annoyed? When I was trying to watch The Shaolin Temple and you made me turn on House Hunters International?” Buffy can just barely hear a murmured “ballbuster...” coming from Faith’s lips.

Buffy glares. “No. And don’t even get me started on that. I am so not a ball buster, I like to think I’m a gentle, helpful, loving wife who is here to support and… maybe nudge people in the right direction, once in a while. Come on, watching that movie is practically a cry for help. Those kicks are so fake. And you got to pick the show the last three nights!”

Faith smiles. “All right, fine, you win this time. And for that, I’ll let you watch your sad reality shows once a week.” She ducks to avoid the swat Buffy’s aiming at her.

“Any more guesses?” Buffy demands. “One more and then you have to forfeit.”

“Forfeit what?”

“I don’t know just...forfeit.”

Faith purses her lips. “Badass? When we heard that coyote howling and I said I would protect you by going out and grabbing it by the tail and dragging it away?”

Buffy snorts, just managing to stop herself from giggling. “No, but that was very brave of you, baby.”

“Hell yeah, those things are fierce.” Faith sighs. “All right, well I give up, B. What does it mean?”

“It means...sweet, Faith. You were so sweet. When you held me in bed, and cuddled with me, and even sang me some of Killing Me Softly when I asked you to. You are so sweet,” Buffy says softly and smiles at Faith, laying her hand on Faith’s forearm.

A hand which is promptly thrown off when Faith jerks forward. “Oh hell no, B! I am not sweet! Gentlemanly, maybe. Protective. Not too much of a bitch most of the time. But not sweet. And I didn’t cuddle….

Buffy outright—outright!—laughs. “Face it, F, for all your angst and posturing, you’re the sweetest person I’ve ever met.”

Buffy leans in close to Faith’s ear, ignoring her disgruntled pout. “Now, don’t you want to know what I get since you lost the game?”

Now that’s more the kinda thing Faith likes to hear.