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
Buffy woke with the dawn and was horrified to find herself naked and curled up in a ball on top of her bed and both hands between her thighs and pressed tight against her very sensitive mons. A mild discomfit also revealed Mr Not-so -Pointy still buried to the hilt inside of her. One terrified look across the room at Willow's untouched bed reassured her somewhat as did her feelings of complete and utter satisfaction and well being. Whatever else she may have thought about the unwelcome fantasies that she had reluctantly surrendered to and which had driven her release all last night, they had made her feel better than she had in months. As she gently eased the vibrator from inside herself she accidentally brushed her fingers across her still erect clitoris and the jolt of pleasure made her moan again. Using the renewed lubrication from between her nether lips she gently stroked the tip of her clit. As she felt another orgasm quickly approach, she started to pinch her now slick nub firmly between her fingers until she came again, stretching out, shuddering and softly moaning the same name that she had been calling all night and seeing the same beautiful face and brown eyes.
On slightly rubbery legs she finally rose from the bed, wincing at the large circular wet patch on the counterpane. Standing she stretched the surprisingly few kinks in her back and legs given last nights energetic activities, then quickly snagged a towel and robe and headed to the showers. Being covered in your own pleasure and smelling like it was so not a good look when visiting a hospital. Also she had no doubt a certain Slayer would be only too happy to call her on it and embarrass the shit out of her if she could.
After quickly showering in the deserted bathroom and dressing in a spaghetti strap top and matching short mauve skirt, she slipped some sandals on, grabbed her pack and quickly headed out of the dorm and through the adjoining park to the hospital. She had told Faith she'd be there when she awoke and that was a promise Buffy was determined to keep.
Slipping in through the main hospital door she was spotted by the nurse at the main desk. Recognising her as the friend of the coma girl, the nurse smiled sleepily at her and waved her through to the lifts.
Buffy instead walked quickly to the door guarding the stairwell and quickly ran up it. She made her way to Faith's room knowing somehow that the dark Slayer would soon be awake. Since sharing the dreams and the blood with Faith it was like she could feel her in her head. There seemed to be this little ball of sensation and feeling she knew wasn't her own. She wondered if Faith felt the same thing and found herself hoping so.
Standing in the doorway of the room, almost forgetting how to breathe, Buffy watched Faith sleep. Already she could see a difference in the other girl. She slept coiled up like a spring and even just lying there, Buffy could sense that there seemed to be more life and energy about her. Even her colour was better.
As though she knew she was being watched, Faith stirred and slowly opened her eyes. To prove that yesterday wasn't the dream she half thought it was the first thing she again saw was Buffy Summers standing in the doorway, with the same uncertain smile and gentle gaze.
As Faith struggled to raise herself in the bed, Buffy moved quickly to her side, supporting her back and putting a pillow upright behind her. Faith managed a harsh croak in response and Buffy immediately reached for the glass of Plasmalyte on the cabinet and held its straw to Faith's lips. Allowing the brunette a couple of swallows she removed the straw and replaced the glass by the bed.
She then smiled at the younger girl. "Hi. Are you feeling any better after a good nights sleep?"
Angrily suppressing the worryingly automatic return smile that threatened to appear, Faith cleared her throat, "Uhh five by five B. What are you doing here?"
"I promised to be here when you woke up, remember? I'll always keep my promises to you Fai'. Now how are you really feeling? The doctor told me there's been some muscle wastage and getting your gut working again is going to be a mission but I figure our healing will fix that quickly."
"If ya really want to know B, my arms feel like fuckin' Jell-o, I can't even feel my legs, my mouth feels like a dirtbox and this fuckin' catheter is really pissing me off." Faith stopped and scowled at Buffy's smile. "That give you a happy then?"
Buffy sobered quickly. "No, no, sorry. It's just it was funny when you said the catheter was pissing you off. You know catheter, bag umm you're right not that funny, No sir."
Faith fought off a smile of her own when she realised what she'd said. "Now you finished having a good laugh at me, what else did the Doc' say while I was asleep?"
Buffy's smile returned and she automatically took Faith's free hand in hers. Faith was too stunned to protest. "Well the news is all of the good. They expect to be able to release you to my tender care in two to three weeks, which for you and me means another one. It depends on how you respond to having to eat again and on how your muscles are recovering. They won't want to try and get you out of bed today, but being what we are you'll probably recover a lot quicker that they expect so the sooner we get you home the better. We don't want to freak the poor doctors out when you start jogging down the hall."
Faith just nodded.
Gently stroking the pale hand she still held, Buffy continued. "There's something I need to tell you Fai'. You may not like it, but it was all I could do at the time to protect you. I got my Mom to sue to be your permanent legal guardian." Buffy stopped at the strange look on Faith's face and her suddenly tense hand, and quickly continued. "I'm sorry Faith but you had no-one else. They told us they couldn't find your parents and they didn't come forward so it was the only way I could stop the Council just walking out with you. I did it to make sure that if they wanted you they had to come through me. And it worked cos you're still here and in one piece."
Faith didn't know what to think. Her first response had been instinctive fury and suspicion that Buffy was trying to fuck up her life. The second had been more unfamiliar. It was gratitude that someone who had so much to hate her for had gone to so much trouble to protect her. And what was really pissing her off was that she couldn't figure out why. It was a hell of a lot of trouble for someone to go to for a mindfuck. And that someone was holding her hand and gently stroking it with her fingertips like she would never let it go. Buffy stroking her hand was the most naturally soothing thing Faith had ever felt and it scared the shit out of her. So, being a Slayer, she took refuge in sarcasm.
"Hey B? What's with holding my hand like that, going all dykey on me now?"
Buffy blushed but didn't let go. Faith for some reason still couldn't bring herself to fight it. "No it's just I sat here for four months exactly like this. It gave me a connection to you and I liked it. Do you want me to stop? "
Still scared, Faith snapped back, "So I am a fuckin' pet." Buffy started to release her, and Faith held on. "Did I say stop? Maybe I like being petted." Buffy's face started to close off and Faith to her own huge surprise surrendered. "I didn't mean it B, don't stop, it feels good to me too. Please?" she added shyly.
As she gave in to the unfamiliar feelings of peace and safety a familiar hated voice started screaming in the back of her head, "what the fuck are you doing, push her away you stupid bitch, she's just fucking with you, she'll hurt you like everyone else. People like hurting you. It's all you're good for." The dark Slayer forced it down with an effort of pure will, this just felt too right to push away. If B was fucking with her, well payback would be even sweeter when it came. Then a more disturbing thought arose, "what if she isn't fucking with me?" That thought was also fearfully suppressed.
Her struggle was rewarded with the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. Buffy's face lit up the room as her smile grew, her expression softening further as her loosened grip firmed gently and Faith's hand for the first time held hers back.
"There's a coupla other things you need to know," started Buffy tentatively. "I've been back to, to your apartment." Faith's hand tightened on hers for a second, then she continued. "I've made sure it's secure. Nobody's getting in there. But I've moved your clothes and gear into our house, into your room. I even carried your weight machine out, which is all of the good cos it'll help with your recovery. Is this OK?" Out of habit she gave Faith the same puppy dog eyes that worked so well on Willow.
The younger woman was feeling a bit overwhelmed. It was pretty clear B had always expected her to wake up and it was also clear that she had always intended to take her in when she did. Faith was getting more confused by the second as to what Buffy actually meant to do with her. Only a lifetime of practice enabled her to hide it.
Faith grinned a bit nastily, "bit confident weren't we B? I might have told you to fuck off and stuck to it. But nah, that's OK. Most of it's stuff the Boss, uh Wilkins got me anyway. But it'll be good to have my own pants back. This gown thing is not me at all."
Trying to cover her disquiet further, Faith then looked at what was in the room apart from the other Slayer and to her surprise saw several vases filled with carnations and roses, lending some much needed cheer and colour to her small world. She immediately choked up as she realised who must have brought them. Again she tried to cover it, this time with a very shaky copy of her normal cocky smirk. "Flowers now B? Holding my hand and bringing me flowers? Shit girl, people are gonna start talkin' about us soon."
Buffy smiled back. That smirk didn't fool her this time. "Yeah, I thought the room could use some brightening up." Then almost shyly, "Do you like them?"
Faith blushed at being caught out. She just couldn't resist that smile, she never had and she hadn't seen it often enough to build any immunity. "Yeah B, I love 'em and they hide some really messy stains that were starting to freak me out, so don't ask for them back. One thing though, the red and pink doesn't really match what I'm wearing," she joked.
Buffy's return grin was evil. "I don't know, I think they sorta go with that blushy thing you've got going on. Look Fai' I gotta go make with the learnin'. Classes start in an hour or so and I just wanted to be here when you woke up. I'll be back this afternoon when the real visiting hours start, and anyway the nurse will be in soon to kick me out, and give you breakfast. How does the sweet sugary goodness of Jell-o sound?"
Faith just growled.
Buffy laughed and rose to her feet still holding Faith's hand. "Oh I almost forgot. I got ya a present." With her spare hand she reached into her pack and brought out a large cream coloured stuffed toy puppy with a blue ribbon around its neck which she placed on the bed beside Faith. "For company in the night. I remembered you once told me you'd always wanted a puppy." She smiled gently at the stricken look on the younger girl's face and squeezed her hand. "No don't look like that. If I hadn't wanted to be chained up " She stopped at the wicked smirk that replaced the guilty look on the brunette's face. She played back what she had said and blushed brighter than the roses. 'Um, um," she stuttered.
Faith took unexpected pity on her and squeezed Buffy's hand. "It's OK. I know what you meant B, but seeing you blush was awful cute. And thanks, it was true yanno, I always did want a puppy."
Buffy straightened and slowly let the still pale hand go. "Hasta la bye, bye baby, be nice to the doctors. And Fai, if you see anyone you don't know come in here, hit your call button, there's security all over this floor. Someone will come running." Buffy paused at the frustrated look on her fellow slayer's face. "You're not strong enough to stop a very sick fly yet, so you need to call for help. People do help Faith; all you gotta do is ask. See ya." And with that she headed out.
As Faith to her own horror started to feel vaguely disappointed that she didn't get a kiss like yesterday, Buffy on reaching the door, turned around and came back like she'd forgotten something. Bending over Faith she softly kissed her cheek, "Bye Fai'. See you this afternoon, and remember what I said about asking."
"Bye B", Faith managed to croak out before embarrassment and self-disgust at her own joy overwhelmed her totally. She then collapsed back into bed holding the puppy tightly, her mind whirling with confusion tinged with disbelief and an unaccustomed hope.
Heading back to campus Buffy had never been happier. She had felt Faith's disappointment in that little bundle of Faithness sitting in her head and had responded to it, instinctively knowing what she had forgotten to do. The subsequent joy that she had felt from Faith made the rest of the day wonderfully irrelevant, even the elderly Danish she grabbed for breakfast at the commissary had been edible. She knew on the deepest level that she had finally gotten through to the younger girl. OK so, she had also felt the confusion, embarrassment and self-disgust at weakness, but hey, Rome wasn't demolished in a day or whatever Giles was always quoting when she wanted something done yesterday.
After sending Oz in to hold three seats, Willow had waited impatiently outside the psychology lecture theatre since coming back from finding their dorm room empty. Given the state of the Slayer's bed, she was wondering just what the hell had gone on in there. She was just about to give up and go in when Buffy turned up smiling so happily Willow's heart turned over. Putting two and two together and getting five the little Wiccan greeted her friend with a big smile and an arched eyebrow. "So big smile, messy, soggy bed, what depraved smoochage did you get up to last night in our room while I wasn't there? Who's your new honey? Are there pictures?"
Her hopes were further raised when Buffy blushed the same colour as Willow's hair.
Those hopes along with her smile fell when Buffy's first words were; "Willow! No, no smoochage."
"But I thought the bed, dopey smile, that you'd finally got someone over ."
Too happy to be embarrassed Buffy's candid reply shocked her friend even more, "No honey smoochage anyway. I was horny after kicking some mugger ass last night and gave my little electric friend a workout," she revealed with aplomb. "No I'm so happy cos she's awake Will. She's awake, almost sane and is coming to live at my Mom's in a week. Isn't that the best news you've ever heard? She even wanted me to hold her hand," half whispered a delighted Buffy.
Buffy's smile faded when she saw the stunned, unhappy expression on the redhead's face. "What's with the gloomy? Give me some happy here. I didn't kill her Will. Faith's alive and awake and I can help her be a Slayer again. Maybe even be a friend again," she added softly.
Willow's face and voice reflected her frustration. "I'm sorry Buffy but she didn't hit you over the head, tie you up and threaten to disembowel you if she got bored. Look we can talk about this later, right now Professor Walsh is waiting." And she hustled a still slightly smiling Slayer into their seats next to Oz, just in time to beat the elegant, if acerbic professor.
Buffy's mind was so full of what she needed to do before Faith arrived at her new home that she completely missed the long speculative looks she was getting from the TA and the black guy standing with him. They on the other hand were wondering what the hell had made her smile like that.
Maggie Walsh was also paying a lot of surreptitious attention to the radiant little blonde at the back of the hall. She was curious as to why the Summers girl looked so pleased with life and her friend, usually so cheerful, looked like her mother had died. She made a mental note to get Riley to check it out after class. In the meantime it was time to get a reaction from the mysterious Ms Summers.
Maggie then launched into the lecture, starting by summarising one about neurophysiology that had lulled everyone into near stupor days before. "That covers what we nearly all fell asleep over earlier, the physical evolution of the brain. To conclude, the best description I've heard of the human brain is that it is like a man riding a dog, riding a lizard. Now the lizard bit is where our most basic responses come from. They are technically described as the four Fs. Feeding, flight/fight and..." she paused for effect "reproduction". The class all snickered appreciatively. "Good now I've got your attention, let's talk about the most interesting drive, the flight/fight response. The physical response is nearly identical for both, so why in one situation do we flee, and why in another do we fight? Ms Summers, stand for a moment please." Buffy looked up startled, her smile fading.
Maggie smiled reassuringly, "No I'm not calling on you, merely using you as an illustration. Now we can all agree I think, that Ms Summers here is hardly the most physically imposing person in the room, compared for instance to Mr Finn." The odd snicker issued from around the theatre. "Now what would she do if say she met someone with evil intent of his size in a dark alley one night? And why would she do it? Her body is prepared to do both so what does she decide? Logic would suggest she flee. Well Ms Summers what would you do?"
Buffy, still wired enough to be reckless looked levelly back. "Well Professor," then she paused and grinned wickedly, "I'd just have to kick his ass."
The class erupted into laughter as Buffy sat down again and even Maggie smiled. She did notice that the only people not smiling were Riley and Forrest who didn't think it funny at all, and Willow Rosenberg who looked stunned. This was something else for Riley to worm out of her.
Maggie waited for quiet. "Thank you Ms Summers for proving my point so well. We make a cognitive choice. It is not a mindless need like food or fornication. And that's why it's interesting. Now for the weekend assignment, collect it from Mr Finn. It covers what we've just discussed and asks for your thoughts. I'm sure Ms Summers' will be fascinating." The rest of the class chuckled. "Now, there is one final announcement. I will not see you all on Monday. Don't look so pleased about it. The college is shutting down from Monday for 10 days to enable testing of our computer systems because of the so-called Y2K bug. Therefore because you have some extra studying time, I expect to find your reading up to date, and yes Ms Rosenberg there will be a quiz next time we all meet. Also, your assignment requirement is longer to take account of the extra time in which you have to do it." Against a sudden, if expected chorus of groans and mumbling, the professor called out again, "Ms Summers a moment please."
Buffy pushed her way through the exiting students to the front of the room. "Yes Professor?"
"I just wanted to make sure you weren't upset by my little illustration just now."
Buffy smiled. "No, no. It's fine, really. I've got used to the short jokes over the years. But me in a dark alley, in these sandals? I so don't think so. I might step in something and ruin them as well as needing a bath" she joked as her smile turned to a grin. "Now I gotta get the assignment and catch up with Willow and Oz. 'Bye Professor Walsh."
As she left Maggie turned to Riley Finn. "I really like that girl. Riley, talk to her friend, Ms Rosenberg again. She knows something about all this. I want you to find out what happened today to make our little Buffy so happy and her less so. I also want you to find out what she knows about the girl's abilities."
Riley looked confused. "What makes you think she knows anything?"
"She didn't laugh. In fact you, Forrest and she were the only ones who didn't. I know why you didn't," Riley flinched, "but why didn't she? She looked shocked like her friend was revealing a secret instead of making a joke." Maggie frowned. "I know she knows something. I'll go and have that chat now with our guests too so join me downstairs when you're finished with Ms Rosenburg. That pretty blonde may be more than even we guessed and I think at least one of our unwilling friends knows what. Dismissed, Agent."
Riley saluted and walked quickly after Willow.
Willow had stopped in the quad while Oz went off to his next class and she waited for Buffy to catch up. As soon as she got within touching distance Willow grabbed her and pulled her down onto a convenient bench. "OK Buffy explain. I'm listening. I'm not full of happy, happy, joy, joy but I am listening."
Buffy looked winningly at her best friend. "Try to understand Will, Faith is my biggest failure. Things could have been so different if I had bothered to listen to her and really tried to be a friend." She held her hand up at Willow's wordless protest. "I know she didn't make it easy, she pushed me away when I did try. But I didn't try hard enough and I let her push. This time I can make it better and refuse to be pushed away. I can make her let me help her, cos she needs help Wills. I don't think anyone, ever, has been kind to her in her whole life. You should have seen her face when she asked me to keep holding her hand. I could see what it cost not to push me away. She was so afraid I was just messing with her head like everyone else did. She doesn't want to ask for help but she's going to get it anyway, and I'm going to need your understanding while I do it. You cleared her arrest record and wanted notices right? And got her a school transcript?"
"Yeah, yeah, did all that and that was another funny thing. She doesn't have an on-line arrest record and the wanted notices were all cancelled. I found yours though. Look, I'm really glad you're such a happy Buffy, but I still think she's playing you. Now when are you moving out of the dorm room and back home? We need to get you packed."
"But I'm not..." started the slightly confused slayer.
Willow put her resolve face back on. "Oh yes you are. You are out of your little blonde mind if you're thinking of leaving your poor mother alone with that psychopath. You are moving back in with them until she is out of our lives and out of Sunnydale for good, or you can forget getting any help from me or any of the others. We all agreed on this Buffy. "
"But" spluttered Buffy.
"But nothing. You may trust that lunatic not to stick a knife in your mom just to get at you, but the rest of us don't. Look Buffy, she's getting out of hospital in a week or so right?"
Buffy nodded. "Yeah. The doc said two, but given Slayer healing, a week should be plenty."
"Well like Prof. Walsh said, on Monday the whole college is shutting down for 10 days to finish testing and repairs on its computer systems for the Y2K bug "
"I thought that was a myth..."
"Like you, you mean?"
Buffy's eyes narrowed dangerously and Willow back pedalled. "Sorry. It's just I get this all the time about Y2K and it's a real problem. Ok maybe not as real as vampires and demons and occasional apocalypses, or is that apocalypti? Anyway there's still there lot's of computers running important stuff that will roll over and die if we don't get this fixed. Did you know that ..." Willow stopped at the exaggerated look of patience on her friend's face. "Sorry, technobabbling again. And hey wasn't I being ironic just then? That was irony wasn't it? Wow, ironic Willow, how cool for me. Anyhoo my point and I do have one is that this gives you more time to spend at home with Ms Natural Born Killer 1999 and to persuade her not to kill us all in our sleep. The air con will be down so there's no classes, it's a perfect chance for you move back into your Mom's place and keep an eye on her without making her suspicious."
Buffy thought about it for a minute then nodded decisively. "OK, but not to protect Mom. It's not her that needs it and she can't protect Fai' on her own. I'll move back in by the end of the week. It lets me spend more time with Fai' anyway." Buffy stopped at Willow's double take. "What? Have I dribbled or something?"
Willow's gaze, if anything, grew more severe. "This is so totally not funny Buffy. So it's "Fai" now? What's going on? Have you completely forgotten what this girl did to you? To us? I know, I know, we've had this out before and I won't change your mind, but don't let yourself get sucked in by her. She'll use you, Buffy, you and your mom both. Look she's even got us fighting and she's not out of bed yet." As her friend's face grew mulish, Willow surrendered. "OK that last was a bit unfair, but . Oh Goddess I give up. Tell ya what, the Dingoes are playing the Bronze tonight wanna make a party of it? Some drinking now we're legal, some music, dancing, looking at Oz, um boys, it'll be all good."
Buffy's smile slowly returned. "OK as a peace offering that wasn't totally sucky. I'll be there after patrolling. Keep a sofa free for me. Now I gotta get to Mediaeval History 101. I'll see you for lunch?"
Willow nodded. "Yeah, I'm free right now; I might go and check out that campus Wiccan group we found." With that Buffy left, but as Willow made to follow a large body suddenly occupied Buffy's previous perch causing Willow to drop her notebooks in surprise.
"Riley, how do you keep doing that?" spluttered the embarrassed redhead. "You're too big to be that sneaky."
"Just natural talent ma'am" replied Riley with mock modesty. "But I need to ask you, why was Buffy so happy? She hasn't found, erm someone else has she?"
Willow looked narrowly at the TA but could only see honest worry. "No, nothing like that. I s'pose there's no harm in telling you, a, um friend, she visited in hospital is going to recover from an um accident she had. Buffy ah, unfairly blames herself for the ah, accident, so she was really happy to get the good news. But enough about that, I've talked Buffy into a visit to the Bronze tonight. If you really want to make an impact, tonight would be good. Remember the Campus shuts down next week, so brush up on the wittiness."
Riley smiled with honest gratitude at his not-accomplice. "Thanks Willow, I'll take you up on that. Make sure you save me a seat next to our girl. Ok that's why Buffy was so happy, I take it you don't like this "friend" so much? You looked a lot less happy than she did."
Willow looked suspiciously back at the TA. Again all she could see was sincere concern and so took the question at face value. "No not really. All her problems she brought upon herself and I hate the way she makes Buffy feel guilty for stuff she didn't do. And another thing... Sorry she tends to get me a bit worked up cos she treated Buffy really badly before the um accident and she's the sort of friend Buffy would be better off without." Willow embarrassed at her dumping on Riley suddenly got up. "Geez look at the time, I gotta get me movin'. See ya tonight Riley, it really is a shame you don't dance." With that she started to leave the still smiling Riley, who had one question still to ask.
"Hey wait up a second."
The redhead stopped and turned. "Yeah?"
Riley assumed a worried expression. "She wouldn't really kick someone's ass in an alley would she? I mean if I piss her off is she going to beat me up?" This last was said with a big disbelieving grin.
Willow again took the question at face value. Trying not to say too much, she gave as honest an answer as she could. "Well she has done some martial arts stuff when she was in LA, to get in shape for cheerleading yanno? But I think you're pretty safe" she added innocently to the still hurting Riley. "She really has this thing about not hurting people and not messing up her makeup. You should hear the complaints when she breaks a nail. Now I really, really gotta go, see ya." She turned away again and was gone before Riley could call her back.
As soon as she left, he was on his way to find out from hospital records who exactly this new friend of Buffy's was, and what she was recovering from. A search of dojo memberships in LA was also going to be on Forrest's to do list this afternoon as well. Self-satisfied smile still intact, Riley limped quickly back to the Frat House to meet his boss.
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