The first time it happens, Buffy thinks...well, she doesn't think anything. After all, when someone new's just come into your life, someone with whom you have a profound connection and who's, okay, maybe making you feel a little insecure about your place in the world, it would make sense that you'd have some heavy symbolic dreams about her, right? And if it's someone who also happens to be really...in-your-face with her sexuality well then sure, it's perfectly reasonable that said dreams might not maintain a PG rating all the way through.
So no, Buffy doesn't think too much about it the first time she wakes up gasping for air with the memory of Faith's tongue in her mouth and Faith's hands under her shirt and Faith's...everything everywhere else. She's a Slayer, after all, she's used to weird dreams; this one was clearly just some combination of her own anxieties and Faith's out-there sexuality playing around in her subconscious, or whatever. Even if it was...even if she did wake up feeling...whatever, there's no reason to get bent out of shape about it.
The next time it happens, a couple weeks later, it's more involved. There was no context the first time, no background even, but this time they're at the Bronze together, dancing. It's something they've done on occasion, usually to help take the edge off after a patrol and/or help Faith find some random guy to help take the edge off even more, but in the dream it doesn't stop with dancing. Faith starts kissing her neck, biting it, sliding her hands under her clothes, and before she knows it she's laid out across the pool table, naked, the crowds around them still dancing and watching as Faith climbs on top of her and—
She wakes up with a start, soaked with sweat and...just sweat. She puts it out of her mind, promises herself she won't think any more about it. The way she is with Faith is already strange enough, the magnetic, animal bond that people are starting to comment on; she doesn't want to dwell on it any more than she has to.
Which is why what happens the next night at the Bronze nearly knocks her off her feet. Faith and Xander are playing pool: not unusual, as strange a pair as they make. Faith's winning, which also isn't unusual; even if she didn't have Slayer reflexes she'd still have skintight leather pants and a plunging neckline that both get stretched to the breaking point when she bends over the table—not that Buffy's watching or anything, because of course she's not—and before he knows it he's three games and forty bucks in the bag.
Xander scowls and hands the beaming Slayer a twenty. "You know it sure is lucky someone invented this special table for the express purpose of letting you take my money."
Faith chuckles. "Oh, I don't know, I can think of some other ways to use it." And then just for a second those dark, knowing, burning eyes meet Buffy's and Buffy feels her heart stop.
No. No way, that was...that was just a coincidence. It had to be. Right? There was no way Faith could...actually know?
The next one comes fast, just a few sleepless nights later. There's no preamble this time, just their tongues in each other's mouths and their hands in each others hair and their thighs wrapped around each other. She knows it's a dream this time, but still can't ignore the heat she feels wherever Faith's skin touches hers—which is fine, after all, it's just a dream, she can't control it and it doesn't mean anything. She winds her fingers through a handful of Faith's hair and pulls back, parting their lips with a wet snap and burying her head in Faith's chest, the taste of her fellow Slayer's tongue still strong in her mouth. She lets out a shaking sigh. "I don't suppose you could be really helpful and just explain the perfectly reasonable, non-lesbian reason I keep dreaming about you?"
She feels Faith's body stiffen against hers. "Uh...what?" Buffy looks up to find Faith staring down at her with a decidedly non-dreamlike expression. "You're not dreaming about me, I'm...dreaming about you."
Buffy blinks. "Wait. What?" She shoots up out of bed with a snort, heart hammering and the knowledge of what the inside of Faith's mouth tastes like still very much foremost in her mind.
So the next morning she does what she always does when she's panicking so hard she can hardly breathe: she asks Giles.
Well, sort of. Actually what she asks him is "I know that Slayers have...you know, prophetic dreams. But now that Faith...now that there are two of us, is it possible that we might, I don't know...see...each other's dreams?"
Giles blinks down at her from the stacks. "Well. I...I can't say I've ever considered the possibility, but then I'd never really considered the possibility of having two Slayers either, so...I suppose it's possible." He sets down the book he's examining to examine her instead. "Am I to assume you've been...experiencing dreams you believe to have originated with Faith?"
Buffy's pretty sure her cheeks are bright red. "Oh, uh, maybe. You know...leather, senseless violence, heavy eyeliner, that kind of thing."
If Giles suspects anything, he doesn't say. He just starts cleaning his glasses. But that could mean anything, right?
Buffy waits on tenderhooks—or whatever the hell the expression is—for the next one. In the interim things with Faith have been getting more tense, but then things with Faith have always been tense and, if she's being entirely honest, in the exact same way. She's almost desperate enough to go talk to her face to face when it finally happens: one minute she's tossing and turning in bed and the next she's screaming and moaning with Faith's face buried between her legs. The pleasure's so intense, more so than anything she's ever felt, so much so that she can't bring herself to make it stop, to talk like she's been thinking about doing all week; she can only ride the wave, moaning and gasping as Faith rules her. When the tide finally ebbs and Faith's face pulls back, Buffy swallows. "I talked to Giles."
Faith blinks. "Oh." Buffy winces, not half because Faith's still between her legs. "So you're, you know...here?"
Faith grimaces. "Okay. So...awkward?"
Buffy blushes. "What, just because I suddenly know you're having all these sex dreams about me?"
Faith pulls back and stands up. "Whoa, hold up. What makes you think these are my dreams?"
Buffy's mouth drops open. "Well...I just, I mean...come on, you're....you know..."
Faith wipes her chin and smirks. "Oh really? Where are we right now?"
Buffy looks around, only now realizing they're in the shower together. She clears her throat. "Um...the upstairs bathroom?"
"In your house," Faith says. "Where I've only ever used the downstairs one." Her smirk widens. "So if this was my dream, how would I know what it looks like?"
Fortunately for Buffy, she wakes up before she has to think up an answer.
Faith never says a word. They seem to come to some sort of unspoken agreement; what happens in the dreams stays in the dreams, and waking life goes on as normal...well, with every interaction saturated with frustrating sexual tension, but then with Faith that is normal. Since they never talk about it Buffy doesn't know how well Faith's handling the difference, but she knows that she's not having the easiest time. There are times when she considers talking to Willow about it, or even Mom, but...no.
So they go on like that, circling each other uncertainly while they're awake and ripping each other to shreds while they sleep. It gets more intense as they get closer, the line between waking and sleeping getting blurrier and blurrier and Buffy feeling Faith's pull harder and harder until...
Well, until it snaps. After Faith...after that, it stops. Like she's shutting Faith out, or like Faith's shutting her out, and either way it's for the best, she tells herself over and over. She tells herself that when Faith 'turns' Angel, when she almost kills Willow, when they're holding knives at each other's throats, when she has to...
After that, after she gives herself to Angel and is barely clinging to life, they share one last dream. It's different this time—maybe because Faith's dying, maybe because she is—but it's also not; just like always, Faith gives her exactly what she doesn't even know she needs.
One last dream...and then it's over.
Needless to say, the next one hits her like a truck.
It's been years, like literal years, and she's had some strange dreams in the interim but suddenly she has her face pressed against a cold cinderblock wall and a very familiar body pressing up against her back. Faith's lips are sucking hard on her neck, fingers between her legs, and Buffy can't do more than whimper and ride it out, just like that time in the bathroom that she occasionally has to remind herself didn't really happen. When her body collapses against the wall she can feel Faith still shaking against her back.
"I...I'm sorry." The weight disappears from her back, and she turns around to find Faith sitting on the threadbare bunk hanging from the other wall. Faith shakes her head. "The girls in the cell next door were really goin' at it tonight, must have gotten me..." She shakes her head.
Buffy licks her lips. "How are you, Faith?"
Faith shrugs. "Okay. Prison's...you know." Buffy bites the inside of her cheek. She doesn't know, of course, and they're both keenly aware of it. Faith smirks. "Apparently if you've already got your muscles and tattoos when you show up it's not so bad."
"What?" Faith looks up and raises an eyebrow. "You gonna apologize?" Buffy looks down at the floor and Faith blows out a breath. "Yeah, me neither."
The silence settles over them like fog. Buffy sucks in a deep breath of it. "What if...it wasn't you?" Faith looks up in shock. "The dream, I mean." Buffy shrugs. "My personal life's been...fraught lately."
Faith smirks. "Yeah, I know what you mean. Big Marla stole my applesauce last night at dinner and I'm still waiting for her to apologize."
Buffy tries not to smile. "Faith..." She shakes her head. "I don't know what to say."
"Do you hate me?"
Buffy's eyes snap up to find Faith's on the floor. She frowns. "I...I don't know. No."
Faith just nods, her eyes briefly flicking up to meet Buffy's in the dark. "Well...I guess that's something."
Having Faith in the house again is...weird beyond description. Of course everything that's happened this year has been weird beyond description, but somehow having Faith back is the weirdest. With all the potentials running around, fumigating the house with teenage hormones and reminders of the last time she and Faith were on the same side, it only makes sense that the dreams would start up again.
Something's different now, though. Before they were always so hard, Faith taking her with animal passion, all rough grips and grinding and pleasure so loud it almost hurt, but now...now she's lying in bed and Faith's kissing her, slowly and gently, and she's kissing Faith back the same way. Faith's hand caresses her cheek, her own hands slide around to grip Faith's waist and pull her closer, and it just feels...different.
When it's over and they're lying in each other's arms, flower petals lazily falling down around them because apparently at some point the setting of the dream changed from Buffy's bed to some kind of hidden forest glade without her noticing, Buffy realizes that this is something they've never done. Whether they were hers or Faith's, the dreams have always focused on the action; maybe there was a prologue, but she always woke up not too long after the climax, before anything had time to settle. Now instead of sitting in bed alone, gasping and shaking and trying to come to terms with what had just happened, she's lying in Faith's arms: quiet, and warm, and maybe even content.
She can't help wondering what that means.
Buffy moans as Faith's lips seek out her neck. "Mm, really? Haven't you had enough?"
She can feel Faith grin against her skin. "See, that's what's so great about the dream thing; we can do it until we pass out, then we can keep going..."
Buffy bites her lip as Faith's mouth works its way down. "We need to talk about the Slayers..."
Faith snorts into her chest. "Really? You're having a wet dream, and you want to spend it talking about business? Jesus, B, you really are so predictable."
Buffy reaches down and pinches the first handful of Faith she can find. "Oh, I'm the predictable one? Is that why we're in the motel room again?"
Faith looks around at the Spartan surroundings with a sly shrug. "What's wrong with my motel room?"
"Oh, I don't know, the fact that it hasn't existed for fifteen years?"
"Hey, I got some really nice memories of staying here."
"Oh really? Like what?"
Faith rolls on top of her, pinning her arms to the mattress with a smile that's half predatory and half overflowing with love. "Like waking up from the best sex of my life with this insanely hot blonde who I was absolutely crazy about..."
Buffy pushes up to kiss her, and just like the hundreds if not thousands of other times it's hard and soft at the same time and full of the taste of Faith that she first got to know in her dreams and has since gotten to know very, very well outside of them. Faith relaxes into her with a smile, which is all Buffy needs to roll on top of her. Faith pulls back from the kiss with a surprised huff to find Buffy grinning down at her.
"Well then...if this bed makes you think of the best sex of your life, it'd be a shame to break that streak..."
Faith grins back and rises up to meet her with another kiss.