Title: Just Like Me

By TrinityLast

E-mail: trinitylast@wambtac.com

Disclaimer: SO not mine. Trust me. Read it. Joss would NEVER do this.

Distribution: Heh heh. Hey, want it? I mean...go for it. Just tell me first. But there are so few sites that would even CONSIDER this pairing....don't worry. I won't hold my breath.

Rating: R for language and some content.

Spoilers: Flooded. First few eps of Ats S3

Feedback: Uhm...easy on the flames, ok? I burn easily.

Note: This is Buffy/Fred. Please don't kill me before you read it? Pretty please?

//thoughts//

******************************



Buffy followed Angel into the Hyperion and sighed, dropping her bag. She needed a break, and this was really not what she'd had in mind. But it was the best they could manage.

The meeting 'someplace in middle' had been three days ago, and Buffy was going insane at home. So, here she was. As far from home as she could get and still be able to get back.

Angel's hotel.

This would have been a problem if she was still in love with him.

She sighed as he led her to a room. They'd been apart too long...and her time in heaven had left her cold. Unfeeling. She couldn't love him anymore. And she knew it hurt him. He still loved her. But she just couldn't. Nothing felt the same.

Sighing again, Buffy dropped her bag on the bed and waited until Angel had kissed her forehead gently and left the room to fall back on the bed and stare at the ceiling. She had to admit that it was nice...the vampire cared. And he didn't want anything of her. And that really was nice. She still felt something for him, it just wasn't the same as it used to be. But she was grateful for his presence. He didn't push.

Suddenly she sat up again and stared at the wall as a loud thump echoed through the room. She frowned and walked over to it. There was another thump, and she pressed her ear to the wood.

Buffy scrunched up her face. There was a person on the other side of the wall, babbling and moving furniture.

Walking to the door and out into the hall, Buffy followed the noises to a door around the corner from hers. The thumps were coming more often now, and she knocked on the door. A female voice answered.

"I'm fine, really. I just couldn't reach."

Sighing, she knocked again, and then called through the door. "Well, you're thumping, so I thought I'd give you a hand."

The door swung slightly open and a girl peeked out, wearing glasses. "You're not Cordy."

Buffy raised an eyebrow. "No. I'm not."

There was a silence, and then the girl bounced a little, nervously. "So, who are you?"

"I'm Buffy." She held out her hand and the other girl stared at it for a minute before taking it lightly.

"I'm Fred. Well, not really. I'm Winifred, but everyone's always called me Fred, except this one guy in school, and my mom, who hates the name, she says it's only good for a boy, and she never would use it even though my dad gave it to me..."

Buffy grinned at the babbling and reached a hand out to cover the girl's mouth. "I get it. Fred. Nice to meet you."

Fred looked a little startled and Buffy suddenly realized her hand was still at the girl's mouth. She dropped it and glanced around the door into the room. "So, want some help?"

The brunette swallowed and then hesitantly nodded. "Yeah, ok." She walked away from the door, leaving it cracked open, and Buffy pushed her way into the room, then raised her eyebrows. The walls were covered with writing, and there were fast-food wrappers all over the floor...though, other than that, it seemed pretty clean.

Walking over to a wall, she started reading to herself. Some of it was gibberish, but most of it seemed to follow an intense and strangely logical thread of thought. She kept reading and was so involved that she didn't hear Fred come up behind her.

"Hey."

Buffy jumped and turned around, smiling a little sheepishly. "Sorry. You're moving stuff?"

The girl nodded and pointed at the wall where she had a chair on top of a short dresser, then pointed at the wall above it, where the writing stopped about two thirds of the way up. "I can't reach."

"Ahh." Buffy frowned, then lifted the chair down and looked around. Spotting a small, sturdy looking table, she lifted that onto the dresser and stepped back. "Try it now."

Fred climbed up with ease, and Buffy found herself admiring the way the girl moved. She shook herself and frowned. What the hell? What, was she checking the girl out?

The brunette was up now, and stood carefully on the table, then smiled brightly down at Buffy. "Thanks."

Buffy swallowed and nodded, transfixed by the smile, and suddenly started trying to think up other ways to make this girl smile. She blinked, but decided that it was just because it's so clear that the girl never smiled. She obviously needed cheering up, right? Right. It was just her good- Samaritan genes hard at work.

**

Over the next week or so, Buffy helped Fred reach the top part of the wall in most of that room. Apparently, she couldn't move on to the next room if there was still space in here. Which made sense, right? Right. The logic was obvious. And adorable.

Buffy caught herself thinking like that on more than one occasion. And she seemed to keep doing odd things, like watching Fred climb, or bend over, or just focusing a little too closely on her mouth when she talked.

But that was only because she wanted to help. Buffy nodded to herself decisively as she moved a bookcase into the corner of the room. If she watched Fred, she could help the girl, make her feel more a part of the world. She watched her mouth because she needed to smile more...because healthy people smiled. The slayer carefully ignored the part of her that kept pointing out that she'd smiled more with Fred than she had the entire time she'd been back, and that she wasn't exactly a part of the world herself these days.

Buffy piled a hard-backed chair on the bookcase and Fred climbed up to finish her thought. The blonde watched her climb, swallowed, and went back to the spot she'd been reading. The whole thing was really interesting. It wasn't a story as much as it was ideas, all put together and melded. She'd found that she loved Fred's style of writing. It was very fluid and easy to follow, though there were occasional words she needed help with. The thought crossed her mind that if she was gonna spend her time doing this, she might need to go buy a dictionary.

Buffy blinked. Just how long did she plan on spending in here? Eventually Fred would fill the walls. Then what? A few thoughts of buying the brunette journals came to mind, but that was really no good, because the girl would go through a journal a day. So, they'd need a bigger house. When Fred got to the end of the wall space, the first stuff would have been up long enough that Buffy could paint over it for her. The house in Sunnydale might be big enough, but they'd have to strip the wall paper off the walls. Plus, Dawn might not like Fred writing in her room...Will and Tara either, so there were two rooms gone, but if she plastered over the walls in the basement and the garage there'd really be plenty...

What the hell? Buffy looked over at Fred and realized that at some point she'd made the unconscious decision to have the girl move in with her. Wha- ?

But it *was* what she wanted. The idea filled her with a warm feeling. She blinked and her eyebrows furrowed. Some serious thinking needed to be done.

Fred called her over and she snapped out of it. She'd think later. She needed to move the bookcase over a few inches. After all, that was the reason she was hanging out in here, right?

That little part of her mind that was daily becoming more annoying (and larger) made a face at her. //Sure it is.//

**

Angel frowned at the Buffy's door and knocked again. He'd barely seen the slayer since she got there, which kinda made sense. You don't go somewhere to escape if you wanna hang out with people.

But, he'd assumed that she was spending the time in her room. Gently, he opened the door, thinking that if she was asleep he wouldn't wake her, but further inspection of the room confirmed that she just wasn't there. And he knew she wasn't downstairs. So...where was she?

A loud thump and a muffled voice pulled him around the corner to Fred's room, and he knocked lightly on that door. The southern accent floated out.

"Yes?"

"Do you need some help in there?"

Another voice came out. It was muffled by the door, but Angel would know it anywhere. "No, I got it. Thanks." There was another thump and someone giggled.

"Don't worry about it. I never used it."

Buffy's voice came out again. She was talking quietly, but Angel's vamp hearing made it out just fine. "Except when we're doing this."

"So, we'll use something else."

There was a low groan, and then another murmur, this time too quiet for him to hear.

Angel swallowed and backed away from the door, then turned and started back down to the lobby slowly. He could *not* have heard what he just did. Buffy wasn't...was she? And Fred....he blinked. He had no idea. He, really, barely knew Fred. And it was entirely possible that Buffy was. Or at least, she might have those feelings. Most Slayers did, and he certainly remembered wondering about her and Faith...

The vampire stopped walking and closed his eyes as another, louder thump came from behind him, then changed direction and headed for the elevator and his own room. This was *not* how he thought he'd lose her.

It would take some getting used to.

**

Buffy froze when Angel called through the door, then sighed and shrugged, succumbing to the inevitable. After all, it's not like she was doing something in here she should be ashamed of, right? The whole thing was perfectly innocent.

//Yeah. Uhuh. Just keep telling yourself that.//

"No, I got it. Thanks." She moved the bookcase against the wall with a thump and the top piece fell in. Fred giggled. She hadn't been nervous around Buffy since that first day. In fact, the two of them were acting completely natural when they were together...like old friends. But neither had noticed.

"Don't worry about it. I never used it."

Buffy made a face at the broken wood and then sent Fred a pointed look. "Except when we're doing this."

The girl shrugged. "So, we'll use something else." She pointed at the dresser and Buffy groaned and muttered that she hated moving that thing, but went over to it and started pushing.

It took a few maneuvers, but she finally got the oak piece against the wall with a resounding thump. "Ok. Do it to it."

Fred grinned and climbed up. She was wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. A very tight t-shirt. And when she bent to brace her hands on the top of the dresser before pulling herself up, Buffy found herself with a perfect view of the girl's cleavage. She swallowed and stared, breathing a little harder. Then Fred hoisted herself onto the top of the piece and stood up, and the view was gone. Buffy closed her eyes and turned, shaking her head to clear it, and then headed back to the spot she was reading.

**

Fred glanced at Buffy from her perch on top of the dresser and bit back a smile. The blonde was so beautiful. But she was straight. Fred kept having to remind herself of that. Buffy Summers was straight. She used to date Angel. Then some guy name Riley, according to Cordelia.

Fred had gone downstairs on a mission a few days after Buffy showed up, to get information on the petite blonde that was rapidly not only making her feel human again, but giving her that deep tingling feeling she hadn't had since Jessa Parker her freshman year of college.

But Cordy had squashed all hope, though the actress hadn't known it. Fred had found her fun and easy to talk to, but the information she'd had was all disappointing. Buffy like men. Big, muscle-y, beefy men, always at least a little older than her.

Well...Fred was a little older than her, but she lacked several key things. One in particular that took her out of the running. Buffy was straight. The brunette repeated that to herself yet again and turned back to the wall, picking up the thought she'd left off on, all the while echoing the phrase in her head as she tried to keep it in mind.

Straight. Buffy was straight.

Fred glanced over her shoulder again and suppressed a whimper.

Straight, straight, straight.

**

Cordelia sighed and made a face at Angel. He was off in never-never land again. She rolled up her magazine and threw it at him.

"Earth to Angel! Come in, Angel!"

The vampire jumped and blinked at her. "What?"

"Where are you? You've been out of it for four days!"

"I'm just...thinking."

Cordelia shook her head. "You have Buffy-Face."

Angel sighed, then closed his eyes. After a minute or so, he opened them and peered at her. "Did you know?"

The actress frowned. "Did I know what?"

"About Buffy and Fred?"

Her eyes opened wide and her mouth dropped open. "BUFFY AND FRED?"

Angel closed his eyes again. "I'll take that as a no."

**

"Where?"

Fred pointed at the wall by the doorway. "There."

Buffy's eyebrows furrowed. "Ok. Again, I ask, where?"

The brunette giggled and rolled her eyes, then walked over and pointed straight up. There was a painting on the wall, and she lifted it down, carefully. Buffy grinned.

"Gotcha." She started pushing the dresser over, and Fred quietly moved behind her to where she could watch the Slayer's ass as she pushed.

Suddenly Buffy glanced back to ask a question. Fred snapped her eyes up, but the look on the blonde's face told her she was an instant too late. She bit her lip.

Buffy swallowed and just stared for a minute. Then she slowly crossed the room and stood in front of the girl, frowning.

Fred held her breath, waiting for the disgust she was pretty sure was coming.

So, when Buffy kissed her, she was completely unprepared.

But in a good way.

**

Cordelia gaped. "Buffy and Fred? Are you sure?"

Angel sighed again and made a face, then stood up. "Come on."

She stood and followed him up the stairs, frowning. "Where are we going?"

"I'm gonna show you, so you'll stop bothering me."

They got to Fred's room and Angel quietly opened the door a crack and peeked in, then nodded and let Cordelia look. She did. Then she pulled back, blinked, and turned, heading downstairs.

Angel followed her and frowned when she picked up the phone. "Who are you calling?"

Cordy sighed. "Willow. She should know that Buffy's bringing someone home, don't you think?"

The vampire stared for a minute, then swallowed and nodded. There was a loud thump from upstairs and they both looked up, then at the door. The sun was long down.

"Dinner?"

"I'd love it."