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044. Burn

*

Out of everything she's accomplished as the Slayer, dying and then saving the world from unspeakable evil, then dying and saving the world from more unspeakable evil, and so on — Buffy doesn't think she's ever seen a real shooting star before. Not with her own two eyes.

It happens so fast, streaking and almost glowing red.

Wait.

Buffy marches onto the lawn, curiously peeking up to the dark-abyssal, starry skies, and to Faith leaning out of her upstairs window, arms folded.

"How's it hangin', B?" she calls out, teeth clenching slightly around a wilting cigarette.

Another glow-red, fiery cigarette butt gets flicked between Faith's nails, stinging hot. Buffy avoids its descent to the lawn, sighing.

Figures.

"Trying to figure out how I'm going to explain to my mother that I broke the china cabinet and her urn from Israel," Buffy says, rubbing her palm against the back of her plain, maroon turtleneck.

A dim, echoing noise resembling a laugh carries down to her.

"Whatever it is… just leave out the sex," Faith shouts out of her bedroom window, grinning widely, much to Buffy's semi-cringing disapproval. "And the vampires."

"Vampires weren't responsible for the Buffy-sized indent on my mother's furniture, but thanks."

Faith nods meditatively, sucking in a little of her cigarette's nicotine before tossing it down. Ghostly, pluming smoke escapes Faith's candy apple-red mouth, smearing messily with the lipstick.

Buffy's own lips tingle in memory, freshly scrubbed of Faith's cream-based, bargain lipstick.

"No… that would be the sex," Faith points out.

There's an aggressively playful glee in how she rolls her naked, pale shoulders and her throat, positively jittery with energy. Buffy shakes her head, her expression relaxing, arms uncrossing.

"What about you? How are you feeling?" she asks.

Faith leans a bit further out of the windowsill, exposing the rest of her naked top-half, opening her mouth with a slow, sensual lick.

Buffy feels her skin heat up irresistibly under the collar, thankful for this being the dead of night with none of her neighbors walking around. Vampires could almost be easier to explain away.

"Peachy keen, jellybean," Faith says rasp-low. Her dark eyes hood beneath her long, full lashes.

This girl is gonna be involved with the end of her, Buffy tells herself, marching back inside. Faith is an agent of chaos and lust, howling at the moon, for blood, blood, and they're all damned.

*