DISCLAIMER: Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel the syndicated series and all other characters who have appeared in both shows are the sole property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy & UPN. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices. All song lyrics are used without permission and for my own amusement. There is no intention to profit from them in this work or to defraud the composers and publishers.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: All works remain the © copyright of the original author. These may not be republished without the author's consent.
Thanks for all their help must go to three wonderfully talented women who I am honoured to consider friends: Michele, whose magical work "Complement" turns all who read it into abject Fuffy 'shippers and inspired me to write. Carola, who writes so many things so well, gave me great advice and then was kind enough to tell me this wasn't all bad and insisted I write some more. And finally Amanda who was the first to read this and say she liked it, and whose wonderful "Back to the Beginning" made me so mad I had to write to her and tell her so. It's funny how friendships start.
SPOILERS: Series 3 and 4, (What do you mean you haven't seen them yet?)
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Would She Make of Me
As dusk rolled down and over another sunny Californian Saturday, Buffy Summers awoke in the usual tangle of naked limbs with her wife. While they were sleeping her spouse had spooned up against her, intertwined their legs and wrapped her arms tightly around Buffy's torso from behind, her hands gently cupping Buffy's high, firm breasts and her thigh tight against Buffy's humid core. Her dark head was buried in the curve of Buffy's shoulder with her lips soft against Buffy's neck. It was, thought Buffy a bit smugly, the only proper way to sleep.
Buffy lay there in the strong, possessive embrace of her mate, basking in the comfort of their unbreakable bond, a constant reminder of the profound changes in them both. She felt Faith's steady breathing against her neck, the warm, sensuous feel of Faith's hands and thigh against her and the brush of Faith's moist curls against the base of her spine. Only with Faith could she experience that sense of complete rightness and security. She had a sudden impulse to rub her whole body against her mate like a big cat full of catnip.
Through their link Buffy felt Faith start to awaken. She gently and reluctantly untangled their legs and then turned inwards still within their embrace, and wrapped her arms around her lover, so as to watch her eyes as they opened. She had made it a cardinal rule to ensure that her face was the first thing Faith saw when she awoke and her kiss was the first thing Faith's lips felt.
Faith protested sleepily as she felt her hands moving from Buffy's breasts to her back and her thigh leaving its warm, damp nest. She then slowly opened her eyes to the familiar solid topaz flame of her mate's gaze. She knew her own eyes burned similarly, and a loud feral growling started deep in both their chests. Buffy's kiss caressed her mouth, the little Slayer's tongue tracing delicately along Faith's lips, , and finally dipping down to the join between them, as Faith's mouth softened in response.
Buffy raised her head slowly, purred "Good evening baby", and then bent again, this time to meet Faith's now open mouth with her own. Faith's response was immediate as their embrace tightened and her tongue sought out her mate's as she rolled Buffy over and on top of her.
The slayers slowly broke the kiss and as one bent to the identical scars on each other's throats. Again as one, two sets of deceptively sharp canine teeth delicately broke the skin and two tongues tasted the others blood to privately renew their public vows to each other. As their legs again interleaved and a slick thigh ground against each hot, wet core in a rhythm as old as life, their loving ritual also reaffirmed the blood fueled magick that had made them what they were now.
In the 60 years they had been mates, they had always awoken to each other in the same way and always would. Strangely, neither could think of a better method to do it.
Buffy, rapidly losing herself in the sweet release of her impending orgasm, briefly wondered at the beauty and strength of her chosen, at the indomitable spirit that was her Faith and also at the miracle that Faith had chosen her. And she marvelled again at how close they both had been to throwing it all away all those years before. Still with her mate's blood on her lips and tongue she bent her head and captured one of Faith's nipples with her mouth As their hips began to dance with more power forcing them ever more firmly against each other, both Slayers came screaming the other's name, each forever secure in the only rock solid certainty they had left.
I love myself I want you to love me /When I feel down I want you above me/
I search myself I want you to find me /I forget myself I want you to remind me/
I don't want anybody else /When I think about you I touch myself/ Ooh I don't want anybody else /
Oh no, oh no, oh no /
You're the one who makes me come running /You're the sun who makes me shine /
When you're around I'm always laughing /I want to make you mine/
I close my eyes and see you before me/ Think I would die if you were to ignore me/
A fool could see just how much I adore you /I get down on my knees I'd do anything for you
I don't want anybody else /When I think about you I touch myself/ Ooh I don't want anybody else .
Guilt and Angel's persistent nagging before he left for LA were what first made Buffy Summers visit Faith Spencer at Sunnydale General Hospital. After spending most of the 1999 Summer vacation at Faith's bedside it had become obvious that her motivations had changed. She came to treasure the peaceful time spent with the injured Slayer, to the extent that she actually resented having to spend a week of the vacation with her father and his loathsome new girlfriend in LA instead.
She'd become such a regular visitor that all the hospital staff at least knew of her. Most of them thought her dedication to the unconscious girl and her questions of the medical staff on patient care deeply touching, if a bit futile. Now coming into the start of their first semester together at UC Sunnydale, she was finding it very hard breaking all this to her best friend over a final pre-College mocha at the Espresso Pump. "I'm going to keep visiting her Will, I owe her that much."
"You owe her nothing Buffy", Willow snapped with uncharacteristic heat. "She tried to kill Xander and Angel, remember? It was just your boyfriend and one of your best friends. Not to mention beating me up and kidnapping me, killing Finch and murdering that poor Professor Worth. She's a crazy, evil, psycho bitch we're well rid of. Whoa, I have a great idea. Why don't we all visit and then I can help beat her to death while she's asleep."
"Ouch Will, harsh much? That one got me", winced Buffy dramatically, holding her hand to her chest. She then gave her friend big puppy dog eyes, "This isn't my sweet, kind, peace-lovin' Willow, Why so angry?"
"I'm not a-angry at you, I'm just being an honest vengeful Willow." snipped the redhead
"She's just a vicious psychopath Buffy". Willow continued, getting totally frustrated at not getting through to her best friend. "Why can't you accept that? She'll just hurt you, us again even if she is in a coma. Look at me, I'm only thinking about her and already she's making my stomach all acidy. Why don't you spend some distracting time with some nice guy instead? Someone normal for a change like that TA you dropped books on. Oops, sorry, I didn't mean that your last boyfriend wasn't normal, even though he wasn't, and neither is mine and normal is good but not really and your not and shut up Willow " as her voice descended to a embarrassed mutter.
Buffy hadn't heard the last mangled comment. "She's not completely evil Will. She did save my life after all, and I know she did totally evil things, but we didn't help her not to do them. Think about it. I only ever patrolled with her by accident cos I was so wrapped up with Angel and we never included her in Scooby meetings unless we needed the extra muscle. I was the one who pulled Finch out of his little hidey-hole and I could have been the one to kill him. If I had, I don't think she would have left me like I did her. In the end I think she just gave up trying cos she couldn't see the point, and went to the Mayor 'cos at least Wilkins gave her a place to live."
Buffy's voice dropped. "Will I'm being honest with myself for the first time since it happened, and I know now how badly I screwed up with Faith. Sitting there in the hospital, looking at her, I actually started to think."
"You're thinking?" Trying to break the mood, Willow suddenly leaned over and grabbed Buffy by the shoulders, laughing, "Who are you and what have you done with my Buffy?"
Buffy pulled back, "I know, I know, don't laugh, there's a first time for everything. I realised that that day, before the, the accident, was one of the best of my life. Even being arrested was sort of fun and the escaping bit was great. We really connected then for the first time but then I freaked and ran away from her. She didn't deserve that and I'll regret it for the rest of my life." Buffy's hazel eyes, always so expressive clouded with pain and her voice choked up. "Whatever she did, she is a Slayer Wills, like me. She needed and deserved my help and I didn't really give it to her then. You know half the High School thought I was a murdering psycho too. I was 'the girl who carried wood,'" she said bitterly. "I know what she must of felt like when I, we thought the same of her, even before she did anything really evilly. I knew and I did nothing but leave her to bear it alone."
"You didn't leave her Buffy. You tried to help, we all did" said Willow fiercely, "she left us you. Forget her, she's not worth your time." She then tried another tack. "What about classes, you'll have to skip some, so not a good idea for a lowly but talented freshman."
Buffy had thought of this. "I've been able to schedule nearly all of my classes before visiting hours start. The last one finishes and I'm coma ward bound."
"Why are you doing this?" demanded Willow again. " How are you going to do homework and stuff? What about Bronzing or, or Scooby time?" *Or Willow time*, she added silently.
"I can take books with me and do it there, The Slayage gets done after visiting hours" Buffy explained, deliberately ignoring the rest of Willow's comment. "I've told you," said Buffy a bit wearily, "I just need to do this. I also need a favour Will."
Willow looked suspicious, "What?"
"I need you to hack the Hospital's computer records and have my Mom and me listed as Faith's next of kin. I don't want anything to happen to her without me knowing about it."
"What sort of thing?"
"Waking up, Councilly things, the Apocalypse, you know the standard Hellmouthish stuff. The hospital security doesn't give a warm, safe feeling at the moment, yanno?"
"Buffy haven't you listened to a word I've said? We're all better off with her dead!" Willow was almost shouting and starting to attract attention.
Buffy replied quietly, "But Wills, is she?" She tried the puppy dog look again, "Come on. Do it for me. She did tell us how to kill the Mayor and save the world after all. Even if it was in a dreamy type thing."
"Damn it Buffy that's not fair, trying to guilt me into helping with this insanity."
"But the guiltage is working, yeah?"
"Yeah. I'll do it, but only for you, not for her. And I'll say I'll told you so, in a loud, sing song voice when she turns on you when . if she wakes up."
Buffy smiled at her best friend, "She's a Slayer silly, of course she'll wake up. Thanks Will, you won't regret it. I promise. This is something I have to do and it's worth an 'I told you so'."
Buffy's gaze turned pensive, "Now I need to talk my Mom into suing to become Faith's legal guardian."
Willow looked at Buffy suddenly, "What?"
"It's the only way I can protect her Will."
Willow just looked helplessly at Buffy at that, then said, "Does Giles know?"
"No! And don't you tell him or anyone else either. I'll let him know when I want to. I don't trust him not to tell the Council." *And I couldn't take the nagging* she thought ruefully.
"OK. Buts it's another mistake. You can trust Giles to not hurt you Buffy."
"Its one I'll have to live with Will cos' I can't trust him not to hurt Faith, and after last year I'm not 100 per cent sure I can trust Giles not to hurt me either."
"You're wrong Buff, he loves you like a daughter."
"Didn't stop him hypnotising and drugging me so that vamp could try and kill me and my Mom", Buffy replied a bit indignantly.
"OK OK, enough already, I won't tell him."
Buffy impulsively hugged Willow, "Thanks. One day you'll see I'm right. Will, sweetie, I need that hack done quickly. Tonight would be good." She got up. "Now I need to find Mom."
"OK Buffy" Willow said impatiently, as Buffy got up to go and find her mother, "I said I'd do it. I just hate why you want it and who you want it for. And I still think you're making a huge mistake."
Later that evening when Buffy asked Joyce to become Faith's Guardian she was surprised to find that her Mom put up very little fight. Joyce thought that it would only be a formality; Faith was in a coma and would be for a very long time and she had always had a soft spot for the younger Slayer. She felt sorry for the girl that had appeared that Christmas night so full of bravado and hiding loneliness beneath it and if it made Buffy happy, she was willing to see a lawyer or a judge and sign a few forms.
As it happened when they went to their appointed early-morning hearing at the Federal Building with their family lawyer some days later, after a short almost dismissive interview with a clearly overworked CPS case worker, the transfer of guardianship went surprisingly smoothly. Faith's father it turned out, was in a Federal Prison facing 12 to life on unspecified charges and had neither means nor will to contest the guardianship of a dying girl. Her mother, being dead, had no say in the matter and the judge hearing the case just wanted his ticket cleared. So when there were no objections from CPS, Joyce found herself the legal guardian of a comatose, teenaged girl.
"Mom, that could be the most important thing you've ever done for me," Buffy thanked Joyce when they got back to the gallery. "I promise you won't regret it."
"I hope I don't regret it too, dear. Now you'd better get moving, you don't want to be late to your first class if you want to make visiting hours later."
"Will you visit with me sometime Mom? Come and see your new daughter?"
Joyce smiled. "I'll try Buffy, but I can't promise. She did after all try to kill people I like."
Buffy grinned lopsidedly. "Admit it now, you didn't really like Angel did you?"
"Well, he was a bit old for you and he did lack a few things, - like a pulse".
Buffy laughed, kissed her mother, snagged the keys to the SUV and quickly left before she could protest.
Joyce winced as she heard the car squeal away from the curb and went back to worrying about her daughter.
The morning's classes passed slowly. Psychology especially, taught by a stern looking woman called Professor Walsh seemed to drag. Willow nagged at her before class and looked at her accusingly all through it and Professor Walsh had intimidated her from her first minute in the lecture theatre. Riley Finn, the large, good looking TA she'd assaulted in the bookshop tried to talk to her as she left, but she blew him off with a smile and an apology and headed off to the Neurological Ward of Sunnydale General and it's single long-term patient.
Buffy found Faith's room and went quietly in. Faith was lying there much as she had been for the best part of the previous 3 months. She looked very young, thin and pale in her blue hospital gown. While the nurses gave her a regular utilitarian haircut and manicure her lack of colour and the absence of the energy that defined her made her look somewhat forlorn and neglected. She had an IV stuck in her left arm and a catheter tube appearing from under her sheet and going off to 1/4 full bag hung on a stand. An ECG monitor was attached to Faith via a lead stuck to her chest and an EEG had leads attached to her temples. Buffy felt tears coming again as she looked at the pathetic shell of the vital, infuriating girl she had known and could have liked and then had reduced to this.
Buffy walked to the chair by the bed, sat down and took Faith's limp right hand in her own. "Hi girlfriend." Suddenly she felt a presence in the doorway, and turned to see a man in chinos, shirt and leather jacket pushing a wheelchair into the room.
Christopher Blackman had worked for the Council for twelve months before getting what all considered a plum job as his first solo mission. He had found the rogue quickly enough and decided the easiest way to get to her was to look like he was moving her within the hospital. He then "borrowed" a wheelchair from the ER as camouflage and headed confidently into the rogue's room. He was surprised to see she had a visitor, a small, young, blonde woman dressed in a short pastel blue coloured skirt and matching halter top who was sitting by the bed, holding her hand.
In his clipped English accent, he said "excuse me young lady, I have orders from Ms Spencer's guardians to move her to a different clinic. Please let me get her out of the bed."
He was a bit surprised when the small blonde girl in front of him stood up and placed herself between him and the bed. "I said, excuse me! I need to move this patient."
The blonde looked at him. "I don't think so."
"Fine. I have my orders and you just got in the way." Patience was never his strong suit. He went to grab the girl and somehow found himself flying then landing heavily on his back outside the door. The blonde was still standing there, not a well coiffed hair out of place.
Angry and humiliated Christopher charged the girl and once more flew through the air, this time hitting the wall, hard, in the corridor outside the room.
As he stood slowly and regained his breath, the girl had seemingly forgotten him, going back to hold the rogues hand in a display that only served to infuriate him further. He slowly got up and walked back into the room.
"I don't know who you are young lady, but I'm taking her now." He then drew a nightstick out of a long pocket in his slacks. "If you don't want to get hurt, I suggest you get away from her."
The blonde stood, released the rogue's hand and looking at the baton spoke almost dismissively. "And here was I thinking you were just glad to see me, what a blow to my ego. Not. Now if you don't want to have some important bones broken I suggest you get away from her."
Christopher looked at her, a niggling doubt entering his mind. " Who are you?"
"I'm Buffy, and you are ?"
"My name is irrelevant Ms Summers. Yes I know who you are, all you need to know is that I work for the Council and that I'm here to deal with the rogue, now please be a good little girl and let me do what we both know is necessary."
"No." said Buffy coldly. "One, I'm not a good girl anymore, and two, your being here is totally unnecessary."
Christopher had never believed the warnings about this Slayer and seeing the slight, pretty girl in front of him, his scepticism reasserted itself. He sidled closer. "It's for the greater good Ms Summers. Now please let me do my job." He lunged at her, nightstick swinging. To his chagrin and great discomfort he suddenly found himself held firmly against a wall, his own nightstick pressed with painful force against his Adam's apple.
"What part of No don't you understand?," asked Buffy in a low, savage growl. "I'll say this slowly so you do understand, Faith ..Is.. Under.. My.. Protection. You and the rest of Quentin's bunch of wrinkly psychos will leave her alone, or I will become one very cranky Slayer and you really wouldn't like me when I'm cranky. Do I make myself clear?"
"Crystal, Ms Summers. The Council will hear of this. They will act accordingly, I assure you."
"What, try and kill us both? Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Didn't work that time, won't work now."
"You have no idea what .."
"Shut up asshole and listen" snarled Buffy, "You have no idea what I am capable of. By the way what is your name? I can't keep calling you 'asshole'."
Christopher conscious of the nightstick at his throat answered hoarsely "C-C-Christopher Blackman."
"Good boy. Now C-C-Christopher, this is what's going to happen. You are going back to Mr Travers and you are going to tell him that next Council shithead to attack me or Faith will be returned to him in pieces, got it?"
"If I see you anywhere near here again I will break both your legs. If you ever call me "little girl" again I will kill you, slowly and with loving attention to every gruesome, blood stained detail. Now get out before I start thinking you'll look better with 4 knees." As an afterthought she added with an evil grin, "And asshole, think long and hard about what a pain having to use crutches would be, before you come back."
Christopher fought a strange impulse to run as Buffy pushed away from him. Quentin was right after all. Both these two were rogues with no proper loyalty left to their natural leaders at all. He had looked into the blonde's eyes and seen only a pitiless contempt for himself and the Council he so proudly served. He pulled what was left of his dignity about him, " We'll be back Ms Summers,." he said weakly as he walked as quickly as he dared out of the room.
As he left he heard the Slayer go back to the rogue and say, "now Fai' where were we before we were so rudely interrupted?" He turned his head and saw her back in her original position, holding the other girl's hand. He shuddered slightly at the arrogant dismissal.
Christopher did report back and ignoring the melodramatic warning from the Summers girl, the Council decided to try again. Buffy however had warned the hospital and the next Council attempt was thwarted by hospital security who had been told that the Mob wanted to kill Faith due to her work for the Mayor. A small hack into their patient database by a reluctant Willow had helped convince them and security was present on the Neurological ward for the first time in years when a two man Council team tried to reach the rogue Slayer two weeks later.
Willow had in fact originally been more than reluctant when Buffy had told her, over a coffee, all about the first attempt. She hadn't wanted to but Willow put her resolve face on and insisted.
"You threatened to break his legs? Buffy what is w-wrong with you?"
"Well it wasn't a threat Will, more like a promise. He really pissed me off, and it felt really, really good to say it. Sort of like chocolate for the soul. Anyway he called me 'little girl' and I couldn't let that lie" said Buffy without the slightest trace of shame. "And I don't think there's anything wrong with me. You'd tell me if there was, right? I don't have a zit or something do I?"
"You know that's not what I meant Buffy. And no, no zits" said Willow impatiently. "It's just, you did go a little ..I think the word is crazy over Kathy. Not bitchy crazy, more like homicidal maniac crazy and now you're starting to sound like a real psycho killer."
"What? Getting a little angry when I'm attacked by a Mocchachino demon who wants my soul, and a Council killer means I'm going insane?"
" It was a Mok'Tagar demon and no, getting angry over that doesn't mean you are nuts, It's just going all Pulp Fiction when you got angry is so not you. It's like you're turning into 'I'm going to get medieval on yo ass' Buffy."
Buffy's tone turned pensive. "You know I told you I had been doing a lot of thinking in the hospital? Well I don't want this getting around, it'll destroy my rep as an airhead completely, but I also read some of the psychology books on the reading list we were given with our acceptance letters. They showed me that I've been in denial about a lot of things Will, but the biggest one is slaying and the violence that goes with it. Faith was right, it is fun. I admit it. I enjoy hitting and hurting things that threaten me and mine. I've just never admitted it to myself before. You know denial is one of my best things? Well, that and hitting things that is. Well I'm not going to hide from myself or anyone else any more Will. God I even try to hide that I'm almost as smart as you, how lame is that? But I will try to tone the threats down, I promise. Now will you help me here?" Buffy begged, trying to look adorable.
Willow surrendered. "Yeah I'll do it, but no leg breakage OK?"
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