Several minutes later everyone was in the living room. Andrew and Xander sat on the couch like

kids at Christmas waiting to open presents. Giles was standing by the door, quietly observing.

Dawn stood in the doorway, next to Willow. Buffy started walking around the room with a large

trash bag. To each potential

she gave a weapon. A sword for Amanda, an axe for Vi, a small dagger for Rhona, a switch-

blade for Molly, a Chinese/English dictionary and some stakes for Chao-Ahn, a and set of

throwing knives for Shannon. She then stood in front of Kennedy, and handed her a brand new

crossbow and a nice set of arrows. Kennedy looked up at the slayer with an expression of awe.

"Thank you." Kennedy said in the kindest manner any of them ever heard her speak. They all looked at

their gifts and thanked Buffy, and Willow. Buffy handed Kennedy a box. Inside were necklaces, each

bearing a silver cross on a black string.

"Take one and pass it around. Everyone gets one. Except for Spike...Hey where is Spike?"

"In the basement, has been all morning. He's kinda pissed that you disappeared." Andrew said, "Now

where's my present?"

"Oh, right." Buffy got another bag. She put it down on the coffee table. It was a first aid kit that looked

like the whole inside of a hospital's supply closet. "I might need you guys to take care of some of these

girls when we fight." Andrew looked disappointed.

"How come everyone else gets cool toys and we get Band-Aids?" He whined.

"Look at the bottom." Willow smiled.

There was a wide assortment of brand new comic books.

"Thank you guys, you're the best!" Andrew stood up and gave Buffy and Willow the biggest hug he'd

ever given. Xander just smiled.

She walked back over to where Giles was standing. She gave him a journal.

"It's so you can record all the stuff you learn...for future watchers."

"Thank you." He said, pulling her in for a hug.

"Where did all this stuff come from?" He asked.

"They robbed the mall. Probably got lots more stuff in the car." Dawn said flatly.

"I got something for you, don't worry." Buffy smirked at her sister. "But first there's two trash bags on

the porch full of clothes. First come first serve." Buffy pointed the way and several teenage girls ran out

on to the porch screaming.

Willow stepped back so she wouldn't get squashed and accidentally stepped on Giles. He caught her and

just smiled, and patted her on the shoulder. He then went into the living room, to enjoy his new gift.

The only people left standing in the hallway were Xander, Buffy, and Willow.

"The world's gonna end isn't it, Buffy?" Xander asked shyly.

"It's not. These are gifts of hope." Buffy smiled at her friend.

Kenndy peeked her head through the door. Seeing Willow still there she smiled and walked back in.

"Buffy, you have no idea how much this means to me."

"It was Will's idea."

"You, did that for me....after..." Kennedy stuttered.

"I knew you're appreciate it..." The witch smiled, but her expression changed quickly. "But it doesn't

mean anything. I'm with Faith now."

"I know." Kennedy looked at the floor. "She's a lucky girl."

"I gotta go..." Willow started. Kennedy nodded. Willow proceeded up the stairs with a little present for

Faith.

Cut to the living room:

Dawn and Buffy are sitting on the couch.

"Why'd you do all this Buffy?"

"Because I needed some serious time at the mall. Ok, and because we needed the supplies...So, this is for

you."

Buffy handed Dawn a small box. She opened it to find a pair of earrings and a silver necklace. Dawn

hugged her sister.

-----------------------

Cut to Willow's bed room:

It's almost 1:30 p.m. Willow walked up to the door and listened before knocking softly and then entering.

Faith was lying on the bed, asleep, but it looked as though she'd fallen asleep reading something.

Willow quietly began to undress herself, careful not to make and noise and wake up Faith. She kicked off

her shoes and slid her jeans down her legs and let them rest on the floor. She stepped out of them and

reached over to the bag she'd brought with her. She pulled out a black thong and matching bra. She

smiled at the thought of showing these to Faith. She was nervous, but she was ready, to give this woman

her body. The red head slid down her underwear and replaced them with the new thong. She pulled her

shirt over her head, exposing her stomach and supple breasts. She unclasped her bra with one hand and

took the tags off the new one. She put on the lingerie and a T-shirt over top for a disguise; and slipped her

body under the covers. Faith began to stir at the disturbance in the bed.

"Red...you're back." Faith said sleepily.

"Yes, and I have something for you."

"Where'd you go?"

"Buffy and I, we went to the mall...did a little shopping."

"For five hours?"

"Four...but it was much needed."

"But isn't everything closed down?"

"We kinda shop-lifted...instead of regular shopping." Willow bit her bottom lip.

"Red, I didn't know you had it in ya." Faith smiled at Willow. She sat up a little. The book on her lap fell

to the floor.

"Fall asleep reading? Faith caught in the act of something educational. Quick! Call the Feds!" Willow

joked.

Faith planted a kiss firmly on Willow's lips to stop her from talking. "That's not funny."

"I'm sorry." Willow kissed her new girlfriend's cheek.

"So, what were you reading?"

"Writing, actually...It's a journal, something my dad gave me when I was a kid. I didn't start writing in it

until after I got out of jail."

Willow snuggled up to Faith, wrapping her arms around the pensive brunette. "Wanna talk about it?"

"No." Faith said blandly.

"You gonna stay in bed all day?" Willow teased the slayer. She started tickling her stomach.

"Hey, hey...Watch it, Red.."

"What, you don't want me to make you laugh? Faith's gotta be the tough guy?" Faith began to giggle at

Willow's attempts.

"Alright, cut it out, Red. You win." Willow was smiling and very proud of herself for making the brunette

slayer giggle.

Willow leaned in for a kiss, but Faith pulled away. Willow made her cute pouty face.

"What'd you get at the mall?"

Willow kissed Faith's lips hungrily, but Faith pushed her away. "Will you answer my question?"

Willow nodded yes. "I want you." She whispered in the slayer's ear.

"Willow, Red...there's so much going on right now... maybe we should..." Faith sat up straight. Her

voice trailed off. Willow had climbed on top of Faith's lap, straddling her. Willow's hands were on

Faith's shoulders. Before she could do anything about it, Faith was being smothered in Willow kisses (not

that she was complaining).

Willow kissed the slayer's lips, her forehead, one cheek, then another. She kissed her chin, the very tip of

her nose, and her lips once again. Willow bent her head towards Faith's ear and whispered,

"Beautiful...you're so beautiful."

A tear fell down Faith's cheek.

"Oh, goddess, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you cry. I just wanted-"

Willow was stopped mid-babble by Faith's lips against hers. Willow wrapped her arms around her slayer

and deepened the kiss. Both women enjoyed the feeling of their tongues tasting each other. Their lips

were dancing together. Willow playfully bit Faith's bottom lip. "You have the best kisses." Faith stopped

and said for just a second before kissing the witch again. Willow broke the kiss this time, and placed her

hands on Faith's cheeks. She looked into those big brown eyes, "Faith...take me...touch me, taste me..."

"Are you sure, Red?" Faith asked, even though she herself wasn't sure.

Willow nodded as she bit her bottom lip. Faith kissed Willow softly on the lips. Willow deepened the

kiss, her tongue begging for more.

"Red, stop." Faith looked at the woman sitting on top of her. "This is, hot, /I are hot, but I

gotta tell ya Red, it's not time."

"Wha- whatddya mean it's not time? I thought you wanted this.."

"I do, Willow, I do." Faith put her hand on Willow's cheek. "I want you so badly, to look at you and

touch you,"

"But?"

"But last night you had a dream, a nightmare and you were crying, almost screaming in your sleep. You

were talking, saying things that scared even me. I think we need to take it slow, Red."

Willow rested her head on Faith's shoulder. "I feel like such an idiot."

"No, hey...you're not...not at all, Red. You're on fire. You're right on, it's me, I'm still getting used to

this...girl thing."

Willow just sat silently. Tears began to fall.

Willow climbed off of Faith's lap. She was still wearing the lingerie covered only by her T-shirt. She

stood looked at the woman in her bed.

"I'll go get dressed." She whispered sadly. She felt defeated. But inside she understood.

(China –by Tori Amos)

China all the way to New York

I can feel the distance getting close

"Willow wait—"

You're right next to me

But I need an airplane

I can feel the distance as you breathe

Willow slammed the bathroom door and rested her back against it.

Sometimes I think you want me to touch you

How can I when you build a great wall around you

She slid her body down the door until her butt hit the floor. A few more tears fell.

In your eyes I saw a future together

You just look away in the distance

Faith stood and pulled on a pair of jeans. She walked over to the bathroom door and knocked.

China decorates our table

Funny how the cracks don't seem to show

"Willow, Will don't do this..."

Pour the wine dear

You say we'll take a holiday

But we never can agree on where to go

"Can we talk...come on..."

Sometimes I think you want me to touch you

How can I when you build a great wall around you

Faith put one hand on the door, and sat outside the bathroom on the floor.

In your eyes I saw a future together



You just look away in the distance



Cut to: The basement.

Spike is sitting on his cot, smoking a cigarette. His hea leaning up against the wall, his eyes

looking up at the ceiling.

China all the way to New York



Maybe you got lost in Mexico


Buffy descended the stairs.

"Got somethin' for you."

"Is it a stake?"

Buffy walked over to Spike and held out her hand.

You're right next to me

I think that you can hear me

Funny how the distance learns to grow

Spike looked down to see Buffy holding the ugliest, gaudiest necklace he'd ever seen.

"Thanks, luv. Steal it from King Tut's grave?"

"Angel gave it to me. Says it's supposed to be worn at the final battle. By a champion...it's you Spike."

Buffy leaned down and kissed Spike gently on the lips.

Sometimes I think you want me to touch you

How can I when you build a great wall around you

Cut to the upstairs hallway.

Faith is sitting on the floor, one hand banging gently on the door.

"Willow...Red... open up!"

I can feel the distance

I can feel the distance

I can feel the distance getting close

Tears begin to fall. "I love you..." She whispered to herself.