Author's note: I hadn't really planned to continue this, but this little scene popped into my head and I had to write it down. So this is Buffy and Faith having a little heart-to-heart the morning after the previous chapter.
"Oh God, right there Faith, don't stop don't stop don't..."
Despite Buffy's fingers digging into her scalp, Faith was doing everything right up until that point with both fingers and tongue, but for just a second, she looked up... and lost her concentration completely when the rising sun spilled across the head of the bed, making her lover's hair shine like gold. (Well, that and hours' worth of sweat, but let's be romantic.) Ignoring Buffy's protests, Faith did indeed stop and sat back, shielding her eyes as if blinded.
"No, please, keep..." Buffy grew concerned when she saw Faith's crestfallen expression. "What's wrong?"
"Christ, B..." Faith shook her head, and when Buffy reached out to her she grabbed her wrists and held her off. "Do you realize how fucking beautiful you are?"
"Well... kinda, yeah." Buffy smiled. "I did get a pretty close look yesterday, remember? Not to mention taste... so again with the 'what's wrong?' Don't tell me you're starting to freak out about the whole me-in-you thing, because I think Willow cornered that market already..."
"No. Well, sorta... No. Shit, I'm not saying this right. It's just... it's so easy for you!"
"You're sure calling me 'easy' is the thing to do here?"
"No... I-I mean... OK, coma followed by no sleep at all, plus I probably fried a few hundred brain cells in the last few hours so I may be talking out of my ass here but..."
"As opposed to talking into m-"
"You. Make me. Feel good. About myself." She spat the words out, like pulling teeth. "Better than... better than I should."
"I mean it, B. When we did the bodyswap thing, and then when we... it's no big deal for you to look at yourself and like what you see. You like you. But me..." Faith gestured at her own face, her naked body, trying to surreptitiously wipe a tear from her eye. "I've always known how to make people want me, but... it's been a long time since I've looked at this and wanted it. Wanted to get inside it. Wanted to love whoever was there. Then yesterday... I... fuck it. I'm never gonna be able to explain to you how much that meant to me. H-how much I don't deserve you."
Buffy sat quietly, looking at her for what felt like forever before speaking. "You know, you're right." When Faith looked down, Buffy reached out and tenderly put her hand to her cheek. "About talking out of your ass - which is stunning, by the way. I know you've been through a lot..."
"I killed people."
"Pffft. I dated Angel. As killers go, you're not even close."
"Maybe because I'm starting to get what this feels like." Buffy traced a finger over the knife scar on Faith's belly. "Maybe because I've missed you like crazy this whole year, and now it feels like half of me is there again. Plus, this night? Kind of the most amazing night of my life, and if anything it's me who should be scared that you wouldn't... I mean, you're the one who's Casual Sex Girl, I'm the stuck-up tightass with no sense of fun, right?"
"Uh... sorry. Spike told, huh?"
"No, you told me a few hours ago. Screamed it, actually."
Faith smiled. "Oh yeah... when you did that thing with your..."
"Point is... I think we deserve each other." Buffy leaned in and kissed Faith softly, wiping the remaining tears from her cheek with her thumb. Then she looked up in surprise as a sunbeam reflected off a mirror and blinded her. "Oh. Sun's up."
"Tell me about it." Faith was only looking at Buffy.
"So how about breakfast? I could eat a horse."
"Oh, darn your nefarious powers of persuasion." Buffy grinned. "Alright. You first, then the horse."
Faith had no objections to that plan.