Author Note: This chapter is definitely R rated, but not too racy. You have been warned. Thanks at the end of the chapter.
Chapter Twenty-Seven – Run, Faith, Run
Faith wasn't running. Nah, she told herself over and over again. Even when she was almost all the way across the United States, she still tried to convince herself that she was just taking a break. That she'd get back to the grind and figure this out.
As she wrapped herself in her leather jacket against the cold, she wondered where in the world would she go next. She'd been driving for the better part of a week, trying to put the last couple of months out of her head. It had all been a dream, a dream that she didn't really deserve.
Caught up in a situation that wasn't either of their making, Faith knew that whatever they had between them, it wasn't real. The link that had been created between them had made it seem real for a while.
Giles had told her the story, how Cordelia had manipulated the two of them so that they could take down Angelus. That higher being power that Cordy had gained sure did come in handy, Faith thought. Only she didn't like being played with one bit. She was sure Wes didn't either, but she hadn't stuck around to find out his thoughts.
As far as Willow's research had gone, it couldn't be shut off. Cordy had no way to shut it off either. The more they were around each other, the harder it would be. The voice in his and her heads would get louder, until it drove the two crazy or at least that was the theory. Buffy had talked about having the ability to read people's minds for one day in Sunnydale and how it ultimately drove her insane until Angel had made her drink some potion with the demon's heart floating in it. Although everything at this point was just a theory.
She couldn't risk at the moment that happening to the two of them. As much as she thought she loved Wesley, she loved what was growing inside of her just as much. And that being was a lot more defenseless than he ever would be. She knew in that instant, after Giles had explained to her what he knew, that she would have to make a choice.
Maybe Willow would find a cure. If anyone could, Willow would. The Wicca packed a powerful punch when it came to those kinds of things. And Giles would be right beside her doing everything possible. She had the confidence now that the two actually cared for her well-being. Sometimes it felt nice to have friends.
The leather coat didn't seem to hold off the wind chill enough in her book. Although she had spent many winters in the Northeastern part of the United States, that didn't mean that she had to like it. Cold was fine, snow was fine, but wind not so fine. So here she was, out in the middle of nowheresville, trying to find a place to stay for the night. Thank God no one had cut off her credit card usage yet. An AWOL slayer probably didn't get the benefits that the other slayers did. Until then, she'd milk it for all it was worth.
The small motel, the only motel for miles, had rooms available. She chose the one on the end that was empty. Old habits never died in her mind. Only one neighbor and an easier chance of escaping if there was trouble were a few reasons why she chose that particular room. And she just wanted some uninterrupted shuteye.
It wasn't until she opened the door to the dark room and threw her duffel bag onto the floor that she felt someone else's presence. Slayer reflexes were too slow in her exhaustion.
"Old habits, Faith," the familiar voice calmly told her. His emotions slammed into her, almost staggering her. He'd finally learned to block her too. But not well enough.
"You're too slick, you know that. Who ratted me out?"
Her watcher's eyes glittered in the sliver of light that was coming in from the parking lot. He didn't look pleased. His mind practically screamed at her, angry at her response to trouble.
"A little sloppy too. Made it much too easy to track."
Faith hated it when Wes got that the calm, even-toned voice. That meant he wanted to do violence to whoever was in the room. And she didn't want to even raise her hand to tell him no, much less throw a punch his way.
"Who said that I cared? Is there a reason you followed me all the way across the country? Or did you just miss my winning personality?"
"Well, it certainly wasn't my winning personality that gave you the reason to run, now was it?" Wesley told her, sarcasm dripping from his voice.
Could she tell him it was because she was scared shitless by him?
"Don't worry. I scare myself sometimes too."
She'd have to watch what she said and what she thought. No internal dialogues when she was this close to Wes.
Faith shut the door and bounced down onto the bed, not looking his way. Looking at him always seemed to give him the advantage. And she needed all the help she could get to deal with him.
"What are you doing here?" Faith asked, blunt and to the point.
"I could ask you the same thing."
She hated it when he was so damn smug and smart. Sometimes she didn't have a comeback. So she stayed silent, waiting for him to carry the conversation.
"It seems that we are at an impasse. I suppose that's where we always end up."
"Not every time."
"Faith, you ran away, again. What was I supposed to think?"
"That maybe we had both lost our minds. That maybe whatever we had was a mistake and I was tryin' to let you out of it."
"Mistakes. Those I know about in spades," he hissed back at her, obviously in pain.
"No corner on that market. So we're the poster children for making big mistakes. Get over it."
Wesley didn't answer her right away. He always had an answer to any of her asinine comments. So she decided to sneak a look at him, to see if he showed any emotion on his face. He sat, hunched over on the only chair in the room. Something wasn't right with him. Yeah, he blocked her from seeing. But she got that queasy feeling in the pit of her stomach that he wasn't telling her everything.
"How's the wound?"
"Fine," he grunted out, not looking at her.
As she took a closer look at him in the dim light, she could see that his hands didn't look quite right. Reaching over to turn on a light on the nightstand, the small light added some illumination over the scene.
A slight tremor passed through his hands. She could tell he was trying to control it. No weakness in front of his slayer. He never had shown her any as far as she could remember.
"Wes, something's wrong with you."
He still didn't answer her. She softly made her way over to the chair, not wanting to frighten him in any way. Would this be the way she'd end up from the connection? Or had his wound gotten worse?
As she crouched down to take a look, she noticed the veins on his arms didn't look the way they should. She reached out a hand to touch his.
"Don't touch me," he hissed and drew himself deeper into the chair.
"What's going on?" she asked again, her voice shaking slightly.
"Actions always have consequences."
To hell with him not wanting her to touch him. That was the only way she'd figure out what was wrong with him. So she grabbed a hold of his arm. His skin was clammy and hot to the touch, veins pulsing underneath her hand. His stomach pitched and rolled, head dizzy and unfocused. The dizziness almost took her down too until he flung her hand away from him.
"It'll pass. Just give me a minute."
She recognized the symptoms immediately. She'd seen it in her mother way too many times. Only this wasn't caused by some drug that her mother had shot into her veins -- this was mystical in origin.
"How long have you been like this? Will it go away?"
"Just a couple of days. And it will go away, although I have no idea when."
The dark magicks that Wes had tapped into to save her life were coming back to bite him in the butt. He had drawn on this stuff because of her, consequences be damned.
"It's OK. I can help you."
"No." The finality in his voice made her step back.
"You should lie down until it passes," she continued, voice impassive. She didn't know what else she could do to help. Especially when he didn't want her help. And particularly since he didn't have a secure hold on his emotions. Her stomach pitched as much as his did. Not something she wanted to share with him at the moment.
Wesley staggered from the chair and dropped down onto the bed with a thud. Not only did his arms shake, now his whole body started to also. He curved his body into a fetal position, trying to calm the tremors.
"Maybe I should call Willow. Ask her what to do."
"I already know."
Either Giles or Willow had told him what to do about the shitty consequences or this had happened to him before. There was so much she didn't know about Wesley.
No matter what he said though, she still wanted to help. Going to the bathroom, she found a washcloth and ran cold water over it. She looked at the toilet, wanting to upchuck herself from the emotions rolling off of him, but knowing that he needed her. Coming back into the room, she placed it on his forehead, hoping that it might provide some comfort to him. When she had felt him before, his skin was hot to the touch even though he was shivering.
"Blanket?" she whispered to him.
"Yes, please." Damn, the man could still be polite coming off of some wicked dark magick.
Faith sat down in the chair that Wes had vacated to watch him, make sure he still breathed. Finally he settled down, falling asleep. He mumbled quite a bit, but quieted down after a while. Faith drifted in and out of sleep, getting a crick in her neck from the chair.
"Screw it," she said out loud.
She climbed onto the other side of the bed, to be close, but not touch him. Since he slept a little more peacefully, maybe she could get some too.
She awoke several hours later to find that Wesley had moved to her side of the bed, curling himself around her back, possessively holding her in place with his arm and leg draped over her.
Sighing in relief, she drifted back off to sleep, knowing that at least one episode had passed for him. In sleep, his mind had shut down, giving him some peace.
Wesley awoke early the next morning with Faith draped half over him, holding him into place on the bed. He doubted he could move out of her grasp without her knowing it. So he stayed still, wondering what to do next. It did feel good to have her in his arms and bed again that was for sure. He had thought it not possible. The sleep had cleared his mind and made his body feel quite a bit better. Giles had told him to watch for signs of aftereffects. That was one huge aftereffect he had experienced the night before.
Faith shifted positions again, bringing her hand down to the side of his hip, distracting him from his train of thought. The woman couldn't keep her hands still, even in sleep. He rolled from his back so that she faced him, effectively removing her hand. Which made her snuggle right against his chest and placing her knee right between his legs. He sucked in his breath at the movement.
Even in sleep, her body could be enticing. She generated so much heat; he certainly didn't need much in the way of blankets. He was warm all the way down to his toes, and every part in between. Her arm came out from in between them to snake around him, like she wanted to get closer but couldn't get closer to him if she tried. Her hair tickled his face somewhat, so he lightly blew the strands away, trying not to move in the process. He just wanted to feel her body meld to his.
It had been so long since they had actually touched each other. The connection was nothing compared to the real woman. He wasn't touching skin and wanted to so badly his hand shook with anticipation. Gingerly, he removed his hand from in between them to slide down her back to the hem of her long-sleeve shirt. It was the first time he had seen her in something that covered her in quite a while. He almost groaned in pleasure as he felt the soft, warm skin of her back beneath his fingertips.
The hard planes of her muscles were always in contrast to how soft her skin was. Very much like the woman herself. Soft on the inside, tough exterior shown to the world. He eased his hand flat on her back, gently rubbing circles. She moaned a little in her sleep, adjusting herself yet again, this time removing her leg to fling it over his hip. He grunted at her coming in contact with his morning hard-on. Wishing she had at least stripped him last night, he would have to make due with just touching with his hand for now. They both had too many clothes on and Faith hadn't gotten enough rest in a long time, so he'd have to keep his raging hormones at bay for a while longer.
He didn't even know if she would let him touch her any longer, much less any intimate hugs during sleep. Taking advantage at the moment didn't seem right, but his hand still made small circles on her back. His hands and other parts of his body didn't listen to his logical mind.
It was when Faith removed her hand from his back to slink down his body to come into contact with his other very hard part that he knew she'd been faking sleep. Then he couldn't hold back a groan. She had expert hands.
"Tell me one thing," she spoke into his chest. "Do all guys wake up rarin' to go? Cause that's one impressive show goin' on down there."
"And what would you pay to see the rest of the show?"
Faith removed her hand. "How about you in the shower, right now? I was really tired of the not taking showers thing when we were on the road. Go, now." She swatted him on the butt to make her point. "Don't use all the hot water."
"We could conserve water."
"Hurry up, watcher before I change my mind."
Wesley rolled out of bed, slowly got up and headed for the bathroom. So she wanted to give him privacy to pull himself together after a rough night. He quickly showered, washing the grime of last night's withdrawal episode from his body. When he came out of the bathroom with just a towel draped across his hips, Faith nodded approvingly, and then took her turn.
He wondered if he should call Giles to tell him that he had found Faith safe and sound. But before he could make up his mind, Faith had already finished her shower.
Her dark hair hung dripping down her back, towel tucked in over her breasts. She had washed all the makeup off of her face, making her look younger and more beautiful in his eyes. No, it didn't matter what she wore, unless it was nothing at all. That was what he was working towards as she swayed her hips walking to the bed.
He could sense her arousal through their link, making it all that stronger and intense for him. He knew exactly what she wanted right at that moment. So he reached out for her, pulling on her towel so she came forward into his arms. Smelling the soap from her shower, he grazed his lips over her collarbone, up one side of her neck, and over her throat to the other side. Her gasp of surprise spurned him on to her shoulder and down her arm, until he took a finger and bit down gently. She moaned her pleasure at the action.
"You're really gonna make me suffer, aren't you?" she asked as he returned his mouth to her other shoulder.
Faith snorted at his comment. "Depends on how crazy I make you?"
Wesley pulled on the towel to make it fall to the ground. "Oh, I think the other way around."
"I thought you were the one who wasn't supposed to walk for a week afterwards."
As his mouth moved over her breast, he chuckled. He'd see about that. Besides, if neither one of them could walk, then they could spend all that time in bed with each other. Her body seemed rounder, like she'd put on a little weight after their ordeal. He was so glad she hadn't suffered like he had. She distracted him from thinking too much by reaching down and removing his towel.
He gave equal treatment to her other side, sliding his hands behind her back to support her. If his knees were weak from just touching her, he could imagine how she must feel at the moment.
"Wes, bed now," she cried.
As he came down on the bed, Faith slowly crawled on top of him, kissing her way up his body until she focused on his mouth, devouring him. He pulled her down to crush her body to his, wanting to feel her everywhere.
She released his bottom lip to whisper in his ear, "I can't wait."
His mind was delirious, thinking of Faith and only Faith. She came down on him slowly, taking all of him in with a groan. He let her set the pace, not minding that she took control this time. Hoping that there would be many other times, he watched as she took her time, not wanting to finish too soon. As he stroked her body, he saw that she held back just a little. His body would not last that much longer with her already tight around him.
So he sped up the action a little with his hand, making her moan.
"Come with me, my love," he told her, knowing that he might leave her in the dust this time.
His words had that effect on her to send her over the edge, bringing him with her. She collapsed in his arms, wet hair making the bed damp. But it was her tears that made his face damp as she raised her head to look into his eyes. She started to cry in earnest, not caring that she finally had stopped holding back. A little voice in the back of his mind reminded him that he hadn't been responsible, but he quelled that voice immediately, not wanting to ruin the moment between them.
"It doesn't matter," she whispered as she lay her head down on his chest.
Oh damn, another puzzle just clicked into place. And he called himself a detective. Took him long enough to notice. His body tensed at the thought. Maybe he was wrong. Faith sobbed harder with that thought.
"You, we, did we . . . ."
Faith pulled out of him, slapping him on the chest for his lack of words. The problem was it really hurt when she slapped him. He winced in pain.
"Dumbass. Why are guys so stupid?"
Before Faith could crawl out of bed, Wesley grabbed her from behind and flipped her, pinning her to the bed underneath him. He knew she could get out any time, even hurt him doing it, but he wanted to hear the words from her mouth.
"I'm scared, Wes." And his heart melted. Dumbass, indeed. Even he felt like crying. So he gently touched his lips to hers, trying to reassure her that it would be all right.
"I'm here. And I love you. Remember that." Which made Faith cry that much harder.
Great, a slayer with hormonal surges. He'd have to learn how to duck faster. Wrong thought, as he saw her eyes grow wider. Then she flipped him back over, pinning him to the mattress.
"You. You did this to me. Explain yourself. It's your fault, you know."
This was the one time where he'd take full blame for it. He wanted to be the one to blame. And she could keep blaming him for the rest of his life since he felt like he was on cloud nine.
"I had some help, I'll have you know." And that was the story he'd stick with forever.
Faith looked down at her slightly rounded belly, putting her hand protectively over it. He couldn't wait to see her round and plump.
"Not being able to see my feet, you getting up at all hours for my cravings, which at this point could be anything from mint chocolate chip ice cream to burritos. You'll suffer, right along with me."
Wesley just grinned up at her. He placed his hand directly over the top of hers, linking their hands tightly.
"Baby?" she said gulping.
"You say it like it was a bad word."
"It just might be when you have to get up for two am feedings."
Wesley pulled her down into a hug on the bed. Kissing her soundly, his heart leapt for joy.
"We're doing this, aren't we, Wes?" Her voice held a hint of being terrified.
"Indeed we are."
"So everyone will know that we, you know."
"Had sex. Not too many other ways to make a baby." Wesley reached down to pull the blanket over them, cocooning them underneath.
"You know what the kicker is, that one time we didn't use something, well that wasn't it."
"How do you know?"
"I was tired way before that. And I am never that tired."
"Do you believe, the first time then?"
"My guess. See if I ever trust those vending machines again."
"There won't be a next time, at least under those circumstances."
Faith chuckled at the thought. "Don't say it. Because you'll jinx it all."
Author notes: I know. Torture, torture. But we're not finished. "And Baby Makes Three?" is in the planning stages. I really want to find out about how to break the link, plus will Wes ever make up with Cordelia. And Faith pregnant? Could be dangerous for our mild-mannered Book Man. Cravings, hormones. Could be funny. We'll see.
OK, I know I'm going to miss some of you who have been faithfully reading this fic, but here it goes.
Slayerfan, Steph, Insane Sketchbook, and whoever else stuck with it—you guys have been with it all the way, at the beginning. Thanks for all the help and pats on the back.
All the people who have come in and really made these fics great – gkith, tp96, Mila, Wav, Brandywine421, Imzadi (hey, I made Lindsey a good guy and he might get the girl to boot).
Thanks to all who have read. Now on to the sequel! I just have to finish all my other fics too!