So Close

Summary: When Dawn gives Faith a letter from Buffy she wasn't meant to read, Buffy will do anything to get it back before she opens it! F/B

Rating: T

Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all characters and ideas related to the show are property of Joss Whedon and others. I own nothing, nada, zilch, zippo… you get the idea.

A/N: Thanks so much to everyone who reviewed! If you guys like this chapter then I might be persuaded to write a sequel or at least an epilogue…

Apparently people liked the Strip Club scene… hehe… I can't imagine why...

Thanks again and please review this chapter! I hope you love it!

Chapter Three

Meanwhile, Faith decided to sit down and study. She really did. But then this vampire interrupted her and she had to spend the last ten minutes dusting him and his friends. Geez, people can't even find some quality peace and quiet to study in a cemetery anymore! Then she got anxious, with the adrenaline pulsating through her veins and the heat spreading through her limbs. Then she was itching for some action. The Bronze seemed like a likely spot to blow off some steam. So she gathered her jacket and left in search of a guy to get rid of her post-slayage hornies. And maybe grab a bite to eat on the way.

Buffy and Dawn waited in the loft section of the Bronze watching its patrons mill about the place and dance to the music. Dawn sipped a smoothie while Buffy waited and watched anxiously. This was her last resort and she was hoping that some deity in the universe thought that repeated saving of the world equated just a little slack. Just a little. Just this once.

Then she saw her. The dark Slayer had claimed the dance floor as her own territory and she prowled the area calling all available, and some unavailable, males to her. Her hips rolled with the hard metallic sounds of the band and her hair flowed down and over her ample breast and her shapely shoulders. She was a predator; Buffy could see that from her place perched high above the crowd. And she couldn't take her eyes off the younger girl. She followed every move she made with her eyes and wished silently that she were on the floor with the others to bask in the Southie Slayer's presence.

"Buffy? Buffy…" Dawn called and awoke Buffy from her reverie. "Look. Faith is down there, I told you,"

"Huh? Oh, yeah… she is," Buffy feigned ignorance to escape incrimination.

"And look! The letter is still in her pocket! I'll bet she hasn't even taken it out yet!"

"I hope you're right…"

Under the spotlights and the strobelights, Faith danced with abandon. She let herself lose and surrendered control to the music around her. Every rhythmic beat matched her pulsating heart as she found herself wrapped in the seduction of the Bronze. People danced all around her. Bodies crushed together and filled the air with a thick, musty scent, and yet, she was all alone. This dance floor was hers alone. This dance was hers alone. This song was hers alone.

Then it was theirs…

The music changed tempo and transformed into the song she and Buffy had danced to the night they had been arrested. The night Faith had shared her world with Buffy and Buffy had accepted the tour.

'Chinese Burn.'

Our song.

Buffy had surreptitiously integrated herself within the crowd of people surrounding Faith. She danced to the music but her eyes were trained on the other Slayers backside. Because the letter was there… in the pocket… the back… pocket… thus the backside… viewage… nevermind.

She ducked down and reached her hand towards the protruding letter as she heard the music morph into their song.

Our song.

She slipped suddenly as her resolve wavered and her attention faltered and a manicured hand lightly grazed across Faith's tightly encased rear.

"What the…?" Faith asked suddenly and furiously as she pushed the man behind her hard. He tumbled backward, taken by surprise at the incredible amount of strength the girl had hit him with. "What the fuck? You think you can just grab whatever you want? This ain't no lap dance pal, and do I look like a stripper to you? Get some fucking decency, perv. "

She left the Bronze in a hurry and stepped into the cool night air. She let it wash over her and calm her tingling nerves. She needed a fight. She needed a screw. But most of all… she needed something to munch on and a cappuccino.

If Buffy ever found out I like such a wimpy, foamy drink… but she won't. Not like we'll ever go out for coffee or anything… we're not like that. And we'll never be…

She determinedly made her way over to the Espresso Pump to get that coffee and do her homework.

Buffy flew out of the Bronze in search of her dark-haired quarry. Dawn followed slightly behind.

"You didn't get it? Where is she Buffy?"

"I… I don't know," Buffy stopped her futile pursuit in the darkened alley and hung her head. "Damn it," she said softly. "She's going to hate me. I don't know if I can take that. The world comes crashing down on my head everyday… but if Faith leaves… I don't think I can stand it,"

"What? What was in that letter Buffy?"

"Everything…" she trailed off, lost in thought. "Come on Dawn. Forget it. Fate has determined to torture me in every imaginable way possible. But I was so close…"

"Come on, Buff. Let's grab some coffee and head home,"

"Yeah, I guess you're right,"

At the Espresso Pump, Faith unfolded the envelope from Buffy and flattened it across the table in front of her. She took a sip of her cappuccino and a bite from her muffin and was startled to find that the notes she asked for were in the form of a letter… a letter addressed to her.

Buffy and Dawn sat in a booth and slowly sipped their drinks. Buffy's macchiato was getting cold and she stared emptily at the table before her.

"It's not so bad, Buffy," Dawn attempted. "It's not like the world is ending... yet. That's something, right?"

But Buffy couldn't answer her.

Four tables to the left of their own, Faith sat on a stool and her eyes finished reading the last lines of the letter. She swallowed hard and calmed her nerves before tears threatened to fall. Then she turned around, determined to go to Buffy's house and wake her up and wave this letter under at her and scream and yell… but then, she saw her. Buffy, sitting at a booth not twenty feet from her, saved her the trouble of walking in the dark and cooling off before she got to her house. Now, all the emotions coursing through her veins could explode here and now…

She walked over, meaningfully and slammed the paper on the table in front of the blonde girl. She kept her powerful hand flat across the letter and Dawn and Buffy followed the arm to the face that was connected to it.

"Faith…" Dawn squealed.

"What the fuck is this?" Faith asked loud enough to turn the heads of all of the coffeehouse's late night patrons. She was furious and she didn't care who knew it. Buffy looked down, away from the other girl.

"Faith…"

"No, don't look away from me," Faith told her as she caught Buffy's chin between her thumb and index and turned her towards herself. "Tell me now, Buffy. Tell me what you couldn't say before because you were too damn scared. Tell me what I had to find out by reading a damn letter that I wasn't even supposed to see. Say it, Buffy. Say everything. Anything," Buffy chanced a glance at her sister but Faith pulled her attention back to where it belonged.

"No, don't look at Dawn. I want you. I want you to tell me what you couldn't say before," she challenged.

Tears threatened Buffy's eyes but she blinked them back.

"That you hate me?" Faith offered, a little more softly this time.

"That… I love you," Buffy managed.

"That was all I needed to hear, girlfriend," Faith assured her as she lowered her face and caught Buffy in a searing, heart-wrenching kiss that dropped every jaw in the place.

It was soft and rough at the same time, as they mashed their mouths and lips and tongues together hungrily. It was awkward and new but so right and familiar at the same time. The way Faith smelled vaguely of espresso and cinnamon. The way Buffy tasted like vanilla and something sweeter. It was everything a first kiss for two people should be. A perfect blend of right and wrong. Light and Dark. Buffy and Faith.

Like they belonged together.

Reluctantly, Faith let her go and looked deep into her crystalline eyes.

They were so close, Buffy could feel the other's breath curling at her lips and she wanted desperately to kiss her once again.

"Uh… Buffy?" Dawn interrupted. "Does this mean you're not going to kill me?"

"Yuh-huh…" Buffy said, dreamy eyed, as her gaze never left Faith's. "But you're grounded till infinity…"

"What?"

Then she couldn't stand it any longer. She reached up and pulled Faith down for another, less chaste, kiss. And another. And another.

"Uh… guys? Guys?"

So anyway, as you can see for yourself, I am the one who they should be thanking and bestowing gifts upon, not grounding! My efforts have been completely unappreciated. But, anyway, you're probably wondering what happened to my sister and Faith, right? Well, I have no clue but if they ever come out of the bedroom, I'll be sure to let you know! Just kidding… sort of. I feel a happily ever after coming on though…

A/N: Romantic enough? Like I said before, if y'all liked it please review and maybe I'll write a sequel or an epilogue… Aww… Faithy!