Chapter Notes:

Nearly 6k words for this one. Holy crap.

Warnings: Extremely explicit sex and use of marijuana.
Note that the sex in previous chapters is basically rated G compared to this. Merry Christmas. :D

Prompt #20: Laughter

The past year has been the best of my life. After the Hellmouth fell, several of the new Slayers went back to their respective families while our core group stayed in L.A. to regroup. After six weeks of rest, relaxation and the making of plans, we headed on over to Cleveland.

Don't get me wrong- I was a little uncertain about taking up residence over another Hellmouth, having planned on taking more of a backseat to the Slayer title while Faith, Vi, Kennedy and Rona fought for shotgun. But it didn't take me long to realize I would never truly escape my calling- and that I really never wanted to. Slaying had been my life for too long. It was in my blood, and something in those first few months out of Sunnydale made it clear: I was a Slayer- the Slayer, no matter how many of us there now were- and after years of putting so much emphasis on how that impacted my life, I finally realized how much I loved it.

We had won battles before- saved the world, averted the apocalypse. Time and time again, my friends and I had come out on top. But this time was different, and we all felt it.

Giles had taken me aside one day soon after the battle, and he expressed his regret over having tried to kill Spike and the way it drove us apart. He told me he understood how wrong it had been; by the time he explained that it killed him to have the woman he considered a daughter so upset with him, I was a blubbering mess in his arms and gave him my forgiveness. I told him if we went to Cleveland, he'd better come with; I made sure he fully comprehended that it just wouldn't be the same without him.

A noticeable weight had been lifted off all our shoulders, driving away from the Sunnydale that was no more; but poor Xander carried another weight, one that would probably be there for life. Anya's death impacted us all in different ways, but when my longtime best friend began drinking heavily, he hid it from all of us.

It was surprising that Faith was not only the first to see it, but the first to do something about it. She'd gotten rid of all of the alcohol in Xander's apartment, and then at the Academy- much to the others' chagrin. She sat us all down, gave us a stern Giles-esque talking-to, and the next day we had an intervention.

Suffice it to say, Xander is now nine months sober. He sees the Academy's psychologist, Theresa, every week; and he and Faith? Thicker than thieves.

Kennedy proposed to Willow just weeks after we'd settled in Cleveland. Today- an exact year to the day she proposed- they were been joined as partners in one of the most beautiful ceremonies I'd ever witnessed.

There hadn't been many of us at the service. It was our group; Dawn and I, Giles, Xander, Faith and Andrew, along with several Slayers- some who'd traveled for the wedding- our small handful of staff at the Academy, and a few members of the Coven in England, including the Wiccan high priestess who'd performed the handfasting.

Now, it was down to just Faith and I, where we sat at one of the abandoned tables in the courtyard where the reception was held; each of us sipping the last of the champagne bottle from small glasses while we talked.

Did I mention Faith and I were now really close? I think that slipped my mind.

Just days after leaving the crater formerly known as Sunnydale, Faith approached me as I sat in the kitchen of the Hyperion, finishing a glass of orange juice and stack of waffles. She made small talk with me as she poured herself a tall glass, then sipped at it while her other hand tapped nervously on the counter. I asked what was up, and she finished a particularly long gulp of OJ before looking down at it, muttering something about "not enough vodka", and looked up at me.

"I know I don't got a right to ask this," she began, and her eyes returned to the glass in her hand. "I don't even really have a right to be here right now or nothin', you know?" Faith swished the liquid around inside her glass, and then her eyes met mine again. I nearly gasped. I still don't know if that was the first time I'd ever seen that much emotion in her gaze, or if before then, I just never looked.

The brunette stood before me took a deep breath. "I want to start over with you," she said. "I mean, all of you guys. But you especially." She set down her glass, on the counter next to her, and then stepped toward me until I could almost feel her body heat.

"You probably haven't forgiven me, and I would understand if you never do; hell, I wouldn't be surprised if the thought of it made you bust out laughing."

There was a light smirk on her face as she said it, but Faith looked away for a moment before turning to me again- her eyes continuing to shine with emotion. She covered my hand with her own as she started to speak:

"I want you to know I'm sorry," her voice is barely above a whisper, and deeper than her normal husky tone. "I will spend the rest of my life proving to you how much; how badly I want to take back the things I did. The people I hurt, the men I-" her voice cracks, and she looks down at her hand, which I've covered with both of my own. This time, it is a whisper that escapes: "The men I killed…"

Now, it's my turn to look down at the hand I'm holding in mine as Faith takes a moment to clear her throat. Her words, no longer a whisper, are clearer now: "But the one thing I want more than anything?" Our eyes meet at the same time. "Another chance. To make up for what I did, to try and make some sort of amends for what I've done. To try and gain your trust back, no matter how hard it will probably be."

Faith brings her other hand to mine, clasping our fingers together. She looks nervous as she does so, watching the action as if she doesn't know why it's happening, or how I'll react. One more time, she raises her head to meet my gaze.

"I want to be your friend, Buffy. The friend I should have been when I first came to Sunnydale."

Several long moments pass. I'm lost in her gaze- Faith's chocolate colored irises display more than I think I've ever seen in another person's eyes; there's sorrow, guilt. Flickers of hurt and self-hatred that make my heart ache. And then I see the huge, blinding lights of hope, and a silent plea aimed right at me.

I don't even think before gently pulling her by the hand and slipping my arms around her waist, enveloping her in a tight embrace. Faith's muscles turn granite, and I loosen my grip, but I don't let go.

"It's okay," I tell her, my voice only audible enough for the two of us, though we were alone. My arms tighten around her a fraction. "It's okay, Faith."

I wait a few seconds until her arms hesitantly find their way onto my shoulders. She's still tense, and I can literally almost feel the fight or flight response in her body, so I let my fingers trace soothing patterns over her spine.

Faith and I stand there, locked in our embrace, for what seems like an eternity. Slowly, her arms tighten over my shoulders, and her fingers slip into my hair. Her muscles loosen even more slowly, and still twitch slightly by the time I speak again.

"I want that too, Faith. I want to have the friendship we always should have had," I say to her. I let a few moments pass before continuing:

"And, Faith?" I pull back far enough to meet her eyes. "I forgive you."

Faith startles, a gasp escaping her lips as she instinctually jerks from my hold on her. I just pull her closer to me.

"It's okay, Faith, I promise it's gonna be okay," I breathe into her hair. "I forgive you, and I want to do things right this time."

As I finish, she starts to cry.

It was then, I know now, that I started to realize my attraction to her- without making with the major denial this time around. Over the months, my feelings for her only grew in size. Our friendship blossomed, and so did my ginormous crush.

At this point, I knew I had a major thing for her, but had almost subconsciously not allowed myself to fall for her. I honestly am convinced she doesn't feel the same for me; though she flirts all the time, and our friendship began to slowly but surely become one of physical affection, I felt like I had given her enough openings for her to have made a move by now.

Definitely doesn't help the fact that I'm having such a hard time not undressing her with my eyes today.

Kennedy had given Faith the honor of best (wo)man, and Faith- in all her femme slash butch glory- showed up dressed in a formal black vest top and dress pants, along with her trademark Doc Martens. She also wore the cutest, sexiest bow tie choker necklace around her neck, and it certainly didn't help my dilemma very much.

We'd probably been sitting there talking for over an hour when we noticed the orange hue of the sunset, deciding it was about time to head home. Faith downed the rest of her champagne, rising from her seat before offering her hand.

"My lady," she says, her dimples on dazzling display. I know it doesn't mean to her what it means to me, but her smile is infectious. So I grin at her, slip my hand in hers, and let her help me to my feet.

Hooking an arm through hers, I nudge her with my elbow. "Such a gentleman, my Faith," I tease.

"S'what I'm here for, B," she replies, winking at me. "Only the best for my girl."

We chatter about nothing in particular for a few minutes as we walk back toward the Academy. The reception had taken place just a few miles from our home, so it was a fairly decent walk back.

Halfway to our destination, I nudge Faith lightly with my elbow. "Do I wanna know what crazy little schemes you're plotting in that head of yours?"

Faith gives me a full-on, toothy smile- complete with the dimples that make me weak at the knees. "Prolly not." She says, and she's quiet again.

"Oh my god, tell me," I finally say. She chuckles, giving a little shrug. "I dunno, B," she gives me a look out of the corner of her eye. "Not really sure if you'll be cool with it."

I slow, putting some space between us, and moving my hand down her arm to clasp with her own. My eyes narrow at her.

"What are you up to, Faith Ember Lehane?"

Faith shoots me another hesitant look before she lets out a sigh of surrender. I smirk, knowing I've won again- but my expression turns confused as she reaches into the breast pocket of her vest.

"Aaaand you're feeling yourself up because…?" I say nervously, hoping to God I'm not blushing.

I get a raised eyebrow before Faith presents me with the item she had dug out of her pocket.

A cigarette?

Wait, no….

A joint?!

My feet root in the ground. "You have marijuana?!" Okay, so maybe I shouldn't have said that so loud…

"B, fuck!" Faith looks around. "You know this shit ain't legal yet, right? Keep it to a dull roar, yeah?"

My eyes are apologetic before looking back down at the small paper in her hand. "Wow," I say in a heavy exhale. "I don't think I've ever seen pot before… Not in real life, anyway."

Faith gives me an incredulous look. "You mean you've never smoked before?"

I just shrug at her, and watch as her eyes grow dark with mischief.

"Oh no, missy," I tell her. "No way. Nuh-uh. No how."

"Come on, B," she whines. Yep, she's a whiner sometimes- but only because she knows I usually give in. If it's not the whine (how can someone still sound sexy as hell whining?) that makes me cave, it's the pout. Oh, god, don't give me the pout…

Shaking my head, I look at the joint. "Faith, I don't know. I've never been good with this kinda stuff…" But I can feel my resolve crumbling, and I know Faith can too.

And here's the pout.

"Pretty please, B? With cherries and puppies and pretty white roses on top?"

I try, very hard, to tear my eyes from her bottom lip. When I manage to do just that, I put my hands over my face.

"Oh my god, I'm gonna regret this, aren't I," my hands muffle my voice. Faith chuckles, and I look up as I hear her lighter catch.

She inhales a healthy chunk of smoke, and her eyes close as she breathes it in deep. After a few seconds, her mouth opens slightly, and- while I have the chance, what with Faith's eyes closed- I allow myself to stare at her lips as smoke curls out from between them and into the air.

Faith's doing this on purpose, I just know it.

Taking the joint between her plump, delectable (okay, okay) lips for one more hit, she gestures a "come here" motion at me. When she finishes, she holds it out for me to take, a light smile on her face.

Yeah. I'll probably regret this.

"Oh my god, I think I'm dying."

"You're not dyin', B."

"Am too." Sprawled out on my stomach, face buried in Faith's pillow, I turn to look at her through hooded eyes as she grabs the TV remote and sits next to me.

She gives me a once-over and smirks.

I whine wordlessly. "You're so mean." My face buries into the pillow again. "I know what dying feels like and this is definitely it."

"B, you're definitely not dying," Faith replies. "You're just high, and ain't used to it yet." I feel her place a hand on my lower back. "Come on, babe," she says. "Sit up and have a sip of water; you'll feel better."

Letting out a series of displeased moans, I roll over and let her help me to a sitting position. She hands me the bottled water, to which I gratefully swallow half before handing it back and leaning into the pillows behind me.

Faith settles just next to me and presses a button on the television remote. The TV starts up slowly, so I let my gaze drift to the brunette at my side.

It doesn't even occur to me that I'm ogling her so openly. But she doesn't notice, because her hands move to her neck as she begins to untie her bowtie choker.

"Ohmygodnooo," I whine again, my words streaming together as I reach to grab one of her wrists.

Faith raises her eyebrow. "Why are you stopping me from taking off my bowtie?"

Had I been any degree of… well, less stoned, I would have cringed at my reply: "Because it's sexy. Leave it on."

I turn to the TV as a channel appears, so I don't catch the look on her face.

"K then," she says, and lays next to me with a light chuckle.

Normally, I'd beg Faith to turn something else on- or steal the remote myself, and switch the channel- when she has on South Park. It's the most ridiculous show, and I tell her that all the time when I find her watching it with Kennedy and Xander. It's horrendous, immature, offensive and definitely not funny.

But of course, I'm high. And now I understand why it's such a popular show.

We're watching it for maybe ten minutes, and I'm confused as all hell as the cartoon style switches from the "normal" style I've always seen to the Japanese anim-ee.. Anime… whatever that I see one of the new girls named Satsu watching all the time. I've figured out that the kids on the show are pretending to be Japanese warriors of some kind when it happens.

The show is styled in the "anime" design, and they're pretending to fight or something- the little boys on the show- when one of them chucks a throwing star at the other. It suddenly turns back to the original cartoon style, and I don't really know why I'm laughing, but I am.

Faith is looking over at me, smiling. "Buffy," she chuckles. "Why the hell are you laughing right now?"

"You didn't…" I can barely choke out a word between the giggles- "You didn't see that?"

Tears are rolling down my cheeks, and I laugh harder when I look over to see Faith staring at me, her brow furrowed in confusion, as she laughs with me.

Our giggle fit dies down after another minute or two, and I burrow back down into the pillows once more.

"Ugh, I'm dying again. No more gigglies."

Which sets off more "gigglies".

"Okay, okay- seriously, I feel icky," I tell her, and I roll over to cuddle into her side, letting my eyes close.

This is more intimate than we've ever been, and my body begins to tingle at the feeling of her against me. Faith moves her arm behind me, wrapping it around my shoulders; and, again, had I been sober, I probably wouldn't roll completely on top of her like I just finished doing.

I contemplate rolling back over for a few moments- when I moved over her, she grew extremely tense- but she relaxes before I do so, and I suppress the urge to moan as I feel her hands start to caress my back and shoulders.

We're quiet for several minutes. South Park fades into the background as I listen to both of our hearts beating rapidly against each other, though I'm unsure if Faith's is really beating as fast as mine or if I'm imagining it. I can feel myself getting warmer- in more ways than one- at our current position, and I don't know if it's better to believe that the heat I feel on my upper thigh, emanating from between her legs, is real or another figment of imagination.

I'm just about to either run, pass out, or grab and kiss her when she speaks up.



"You wanna try a shotgun?"

I lift my head to look at her. "Wha's that?"

Faith doesn't reply; instead, she leans over to grab the remainder of the joint out of the ashtray, and slips her fingers into her breast pocket again.

Which is right next to my face.

Faith's breasts are literally in my face right now.

I'm about to lose it when Faith turns away to light the joint. She inhales deeply, sets the smoldering joint in the ashtray, and turns to me.

Her eyes search mine for a moment, a silent question in her gaze. I didn't truly know what she was about to do- but maybe I did, because Faith seems to find her answer. Her fingertips slide under my chin, and she cups it lightly, her thumb moving to my bottom lip to urge my mouth open. I watch her lips as they part slightly, and then she leans forward and presses her open mouth to mine.

I subconsciously suck in the breath that she exhales into my mouth, the burn of the smoke barely registering paired with the feeling of her lips against mine. Several seconds pass before either of us moves again, and Faith's mouth closes lightly, her tongue lightly brushing my upper lip before she pulls away.

The desire in her eyes- hell, in the burning heat I feel coming from her skin- pretty much sets me aflame. My hands slide up, tangling in her dark curls, and we're already breathless as our mouths meet again and our tongues move slow and wet against each other.

Faith tightens her hold around my waist, rolling us over until I lie just under her. She clasps our hands and moves them upward, gently pinning them on the pillow above my head, as she stares down at me.

Her hair- cut shorter just a few months ago, barely brushing her shoulders- is wild, and rests on only one side of her face. Mouth open, she pants lightly, and her chest heaves with each breath. Eyes that are normally brown are now pitch black. Faith looks as if she's about to devour me.

So I arch into her, bringing a leg around her waist, and pull her back down.

Our kisses are wet, hungry, as she presses her body into mine. I respond by grinding the thigh still intermingled with hers into her heat. A moan escapes from deep in her throat.

She brings one hand into my hair, tugging lightly as her mouth dips below my ear. Faith's tongue leaves a hot, wet trail along my pulse point before she pulls the skin into her mouth, suckling lightly. It's my turn to moan, and I pull my hands from hers to tangle them into her hair.

Faith burns her way down my throat with her tongue, nipping at my skin here and there while she moves lower. I feel like I'm nearly on fire with my need for her, the sensations of every touch, lick and suck amplified from the pot we'd smoked.

A hand pulls my sleeveless dress down, and I barely register the cool air that hits my breast before Faith sucks my hardened nipple into the heat of her mouth. I moan once more, my eyes closing as one hand finds its way along her waist and the other twists in her hair.

I refuse to relinquish all of the control, however. Faith pulls my nipple between her teeth and slips her tongue back and forth, and it only makes me lose focus for a second, and my other hand at her waist continues its journey.

Before she realizes what's happening, my hand slips under the waistband of her dress pants. She finally gasps as my fingers move her panties aside, and then meet no friction as they slide smooth into her wet heat.

"Oh, fuck," I hear Faith breathe, in a deep moan. She's hovering above me, and her hips now grind against my hand- desperate for more contact. Her expression is frantic with need as she stares down at me.

I move my fingers over her clit, watching her shudder and moan again, and I let my other hand drift down to her button up vest. Part of me wants to rip it open, anxious to feel her breasts against my palm and my mouth, but hell, I like this vest. I want many more opportunities to take it off in the future.

So I make quick work of the top two buttons, enough to push it aside and free her right breast, while I tease two fingers at her opening. Faith's hand covers mine as it moves over her nipple, and she rolls her hips enough to practically impale herself on my fingers. I let out an appreciative whimper as she moans herself; a loud and strangled sound that I can feel vibrate through her body.

Curling my fingers inside her, I know she's already close. My hand is drenched in her desire, and I can feel the steady pulse of her muscles grow more rapid as they tighten around my fingers. Her head is bowed, but I can see her eyes shut tight and her lips parted in the slack of her jaw as she gasps, moans under my ministrations; one hand grips mine over her breast, and the other clutches the fabric of my dress.

It's a sight that leaves me breathless, too, and I'm impatient to feel her, watch her, as she comes. So I pull Faith to me, suckling her nipple into my mouth. My fingers work quicker inside her, curling hard and fast against the sweet spot of her pussy, and she desperately grinds her aching clit against the palm of my hand.

Faith clutches me hard against her when her muscles start to spasm. "God, Buffy," she cries out, her hips rocking hard against my hand and thigh. She rides my fingers, and her orgasm, for a few long moments, and then she's gasping out small whimpers as her body starts to relax. I release her breast from my mouth just as she collapses against me, her face nuzzled into my hair and neck.

I slip my fingers from her gently, and she lets out another tiny gasp before stifling a moan by sinking her teeth into my shoulder, making me hiss at the contact. But it feels good, and I need more of it, so I push her harder into my shoulder.

Instead of tightening the grip of her teeth on my skin, like I wanted her to, Faith pulls away. A moan of disappointment at the loss of her mouth bubbles up in my chest, but as she draws back, I see her eyes again- still onyx with lust. Her hand moves around the wrist that is still half buried in her pants and she slips it out. I want to whimper at the feeling of my fingers leaving her wet heat; then, when she suckles those fingers beyond her lips and keeps her eyes on me the whole time she does it, I do whimper.

Suddenly, it's no longer gentle. No more sensuous touches, or light nips on each other's skin.

No, now Faith is practically ripping my dress off of me- maybe she's thinking the same I did about her vest, or she knows it was a little pricey, because she doesn't let it actually tear. But not even two seconds pass before she tosses it to the floor and her lips find my breast again.

My hands find their way back into her dark locks; then I move one down to continue unbuttoning her vest. Faith catches my eyes, and releases my nipple with a "pop" of lost suction, moving to pull my hand from her clothing.

But I don't relent, and I arch up into her. "I want to feel you against me," I breathe out. The look in her eyes turns primal.

She lets me remove her vest, and we get lost in each other's lust found in our gazes. I'm drowning in the dark pools of desire emanating from her, so much so that I don't notice her hand between my legs until she lightly rolls my clit between her fingers.

The force of my hips jerking underneath her could have knocked anyone else off of the bed- but strong and sure are Faith's thighs, moving underneath both of mine and bending my knees at her waist. She watches, mesmerized, as my eyes slam shut and moans escape my throat while her fingers explore my heat.

Faith's touch is agonizingly slow, and I find myself rolling my hips toward her for more friction several times. But she doesn't relent. She just continues to play with the liquid fire between my legs and watch as I grow crazy under her ministrations.

"Faith," I moan, a desperate plea as I grip her wrist and push my hips harder against her fingers. Her free hand pins my hips to the bed, still choosing to tease me. She moves forward and captures my lips with her own hot, wet mouth; we moan in unison as her body slides along mine and her nipples brush my own hardened nubs.

Fingers still slipping along my clit, Faith sucks my tongue into her mouth, and runs her own along the length. This continues for a few moments, and then she slows, giving me a series of wet, open-mouthed kisses before moving back down my body.

I watch as her eyes move down to my core, and she pulls her hand free only to put both on my hips, slide her fingers under both sides of my panties, and glide them down my legs.

So I move my own hands to her hips and help her out of her pants and panties, and barely allow her to slip her feet free before I slide a thigh between hers and pull her flush against me. Faith moans, swearing under her breath, and I think I mumbled something unintelligent; the dripping heat of both of us mixes together as she settles above me. Her hands grip my hips, and she rolls hers downward, causing the most perfect friction as her pussy slips wet against mine.

Some far away thought about wanting to take it a little more slowly, to savor the feeling of Faith's body- Faith's desire, hot and wet and open against mine- crosses my mind. But as she pulls my thigh up over the crook of her elbow and gives the inside of my knee a short nip, still grinding her hot center into mine, I suddenly forget the definition of the word "slow".

My nails dig into her thigh at my side, and she presses her mouth, open and gasping, against mine again. We're swallowing each other's pants, whimpers, moans as the bucking of her hips becomes more desperate. Faith rests her arm over my chest and places her hand at the side of my face, pulling her lips barely a breath away from mine.

"Come for me, Buffy," she gasps.

And, almost as if Faith could have flipped a switch, I'm crying out hard into the bedroom. I don't know when exactly she starts to come too, but I know she is as she grasps me hard against her, and I hear my name spill from her lips like a mantra.

We both melt into each other as our bodies start to calm. Faith nuzzles my hair and neck again, like she did the first time she came, her hands still soft against my face and thigh as she starts to let her fingers stroke my skin.

There's a long, peaceful silence between us as we catch our breath and let the wild gallop of our hearts slow to a steady beat, flush against each other's chest.

Maybe five, ten minutes pass that we just hold each other; neither intent on letting go any time in the near future. But Faith's cell phone goes off, and she wiggles toward the edge of the bed to reach into her pants and retrieve it.

"Yeah?" Her husky burr, still slightly breathless from our earlier activities, still sends a shiver through me.

"Yo," I recognize Kennedy's voice on the other line, "If you guys are done having sex now, Willow and I would really like to know where the plane tickets are- you know, for our honeymoon."

Faith shoots me a look. If she was expecting me to be surprised, or horrified, that Kennedy heard us, she certainly doesn't find it. She chuckles at my sleepy, sheepish grin.

"Yeah, K. Just a sec- I'll bring it to your room."

I hear a scoff through the phone line. "And let the pot smell and the sex air out into the hallway? No, thank you. I need my brain unscrambled to have my own sexy times in the near future, thank you very much," Kennedy jokes. "Just stick 'em under the doorway."

The line goes dead, and Faith tosses her phone onto the nightstand before grabbing the tickets- a wedding gift from all of us- from the top drawer. I take this opportunity to ogle the hell out of her gorgeous body as she saunters over to the door and bends- holy Christ- to nudge the tickets under the door.

When she turns, I have no shame in her catching the ogling, and she knows it. She smirks, and crawls back up onto the bed slowly, a hand running up the side of my body. I shiver, my eyes glued to her as the way she moves reminds me of the graceful stalk of a panther.

"Slayer hearing's a bitch sometimes, huh?" Faith breathes into my ear, pulling the lobe between her teeth.

I'm about to come up with some clever retort, and then her hand nudges my legs apart, and she buries a finger inside my heat.

"Hnggggh," I manage to croak out. She chuckles in my ear again. I'm pretty sure I'll be okay with losing focus this easily; as long as she doesn't stop what she's doing.

Her tongue slides along my pulse point. "What do you say, B?"

A gasp is my first response. Then I decide it's my turn to have some fun, so I flip us over- Faith now nestled underneath me- and pin her arms above her.

When I catch sight of her- breath growing heavy once more, skin flushed and slick with sweat- my heart skips a beat. Then I look down at the choker still around her neck.

"I don't know, but I really like that bowtie," I tell her, and slide my fingers between her skin and the satin of the tie to pull her back to my lips.

I worked hard on this one and am super proud of it. Please do let me know if you liked it. :)