Author: lilyme

Title: Rose

Summary: Willow makes up an excuse to lure Faith into the 'Casa del Summers'. But why? Is there something special about today?

Timeline: Season seven, before the SITs. The killing of Finch never happened, therefore Faith didn't turn evil. Tara didn't get shot in „Seeing red"; she left shortly after her break-up with Will mid-season six. Guess that's all you need to know ;)

Rating: PG-15

Part: 1/2

Feedback: Yes, please

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". They were created by Joss Whedon and belong to him, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Television, Kuzui Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television and the WB Television Network.

Note #1: A big thanks to my lovely betas, Wil and Fai :)

Note #2: There's a funny story behind this fic. You can read about it at the end of part two.

Note #3: You don't have to like this story, hehe. It's sort of a birthday present from me to...uh, me (born August 7th)...and me likes it :P

What the heck was I thinking? Maybe I shouldn't have called her today...At least not with that excuse.

'I need a hand assembling this shelf'. Yeah, sure. But it's a good thing that Dawnie bought one last week. Otherwise… I would have had to magically create one.

She said 'No prob' without even thinking about it. Well, honestly… If I were her, I would have thought about it.

Because right now she's probably thinking that I really only want her here for that, as a cheap worker to assemble Dawnie's new piece of furniture.

Well, I couldn't possibly have said something like 'Hey, sexy, how about you come over and we'll do a little bit of woo-hoo,'...although...being her, I'm sure she would've liked that.

I grin.

But that would have ruined my plans for today...sort of. Because today is no ordinary day. Well, I guess it's pretty ordinary for 99, 73...something per cent of the population, but it's a special day for the remaining 0,27 per cent. Or at least it should be. And I'm making sure that today will be special for her.

Hm, if she knew that I know that today is her...But she doesn't know that I know, so that's...

Makes sense? No? Okay.

Anyway, that's why I spent the last 25 minutes in the bathroom already...which is probably enough time for her to get really, really miffed...Well, I made it sound as if I would help her with the shelf. But I hope she understands why I took off…once I'm done here.

I tried to be quick, but I want this to be really perfect; after all perfection needs time.

You wouldn't believe how many different make-up styles I tried in those last 25 minutes.

Not easy to find just the right amount. Too much make-up is...god, when I think back at my Junior year...oh, definitely not a good thing.

And if I consider the rest of my current...attire...maybe make-up isn't a good idea at all...

I take the cotton ball and start to clean my face. And when I'm done I look at myself again. I groan. This so frustrating – apparently I can't even to make myself happy today...

Okay, let's do this again, then…luckily Buffy has a big collection of powders, eyeliners, lip sticks...and she let me borrow it.

It wasn't even hard to get Buffy and Dawnie out of the house. Once I told them what I had planned, they were all giddy about it...especially Dawn. I swear, that girl is a pro in loving vicariously. I had to make a promise to give her all the details once she and Buffy get back from their trip. Well, she's not gonna get all the details, that's for sure. Buffy would kill me if I did that.

Back to Dawn and her 'loving vicariously'...I guess...this is something that simply happened; I'm not talking about Dawnie, I'm talking about me – and my feelings for Faith.

I know that it started as a casual thing. Friendship with occasional sex. No bonds. No obligations. No hurt feelings.

I guess it was exactly what I needed at the time. Tara had just left me and I was about to drown in my sorrows. And she didn't let it happen, helped me through that phase. She didn't mollycoddle me. Oh, no, she really made me see what I did wrong, gave me a proper kick in the pants whenever I needed it.

And somehow we bonded over this. I mean, we had been friends before this...But I guess, I guess last year with all its craziness...simply drew another twosome of craziness closer together.

But it was nothing relationshippy. It was the right thing for me and Faith... well, let's put it this way – she's downright afraid of commitments.

I know the reasons for this by now, we had plenty of time to talk. And she started to cope with it; said that I helped her a lot.

Anyway, relationshippy or not – in one long night of talking... and giggling and fooling around, it happened. Unforeseen, but not unwanted, it felt like the right thing to do.

But, you know how it is...things change and you suddenly feel like you're ready for something more than casual. I know that I'd love to have more than just a 'friends with benefits' thing with her, and I hope that it's the same for her. If not... maybe today can do something about that. And finally my make-up looks okay for my taste – hey, big achievement! Now I feel ready to actually go through with this. I swallow and look down at myself. Or not...? Before my brain has any chance to reconsider the situation, I grab the red rose that I bought for her and leave the bathroom. A few seconds ago she started to actually work on the shelf, the repeated hits with the hammer are the indicator for this. I should get down there before something happens.

And as on cue, there is this dull sound, like stone on flesh... or maybe metal on flesh. And when I hear a "Ouch! Jesus fu...rickin'...Christ!" from the living room, I have a pretty good feeling what just happened there. Oh, poor baby, I'm so bad... Guess I deserve the sympathy pain that is invading my left thumb right now... high probability that she hit exactly that poor thing just now.

I really should save her. I reach the foot of the stairs and near the living room slowly. I step inside and see her cowering in front of the fire place, hammer flung away from her. She is staring intensely at her left thumb. Yep, I was right...

I have to suppress the urge to go over to her and to blow on her thumb to make the 'ouchie' go away. Maybe I'll do that later, but right now... I suddenly feel far too nervous to move. Was this a good idea? I-I mean, I could still sneak back upstairs and pretend that I didn't wanna do what I'm about to do right now. But then I'd have to come up with an excuse for what I've been doing up there for 30 minutes. And I already cooked up enough excuses for one day, so...

"Faith?" I venture and it sounds more resolute than I actually feel, but at the same time way too anxious for my taste.

"Yeah," she faces me, with that look of anger and pain on her face that I honestly expected to find there. "What's up, Re...," she stops as her eyes whoosh over my body, moving up and down, and up and down, stopping briefly at level with my stomach, then move further down and up again, repeating this several times. Her expression changes to perplexed. "What are you doing?"

Very good question...must be a pretty weird image. Me, standing here, on a not really cold, but for Californians still pretty cold winter day, with just...

My eyes land on the rose that I'm holding. Makes me remember, why I'm doing this exactly. "Giving you your present?" Why does that sound like a question? Uncertainty about how she'll react to my knowledge of her…I-I mean, she never told me about it…not that I asked; it seemed like something that she didn't really want to talk about anyway.

I'm not sure if my fears are justified…her look gets ever so soft, as things seem to click in her brain. I watch her face intently and for a moment it looks as if she is going to start crying.

But then she gets up, walks over to me slowly, stops – just inches away from me. She enclosed my hands with hers and looks at the flower with a soft smile. That's a good sign, right? The smile?

Then she redirects her beautifully dark eyes, locks them with mine. For a few seconds she simply looks at me, searches my eyes for a reaction. I don't know what my eyes look like right now, but I bet she can still see some fear in them…it's not gonna go away this quickly.

Yeah, she can most definitely see the fear. Since after a few seconds, she moves to kiss my cheek gently.

And when I feel relieved, and feel the urge to return this gesture, not with a simple cheek-peckie...but with an I-wanna-make-this-one-to-remember kiss... she takes the rose out of my hands, steps out of my reach and...

"That's a beautiful rose, Red, thanks,"...what (?!?), leaves the room...?

For what feels like long minutes, I simply stand here, at the entrance of the living room...slap-faced.

I wish I could see that look on my face right now, but I'm unable to actually to get my legs to move – making looking into a mirror impossible.

What just happened here? I mean, okay, sure, the rose was part of the present, but the rest...

I look down at myself.

I don't get it. She couldn't possibly have missed that I'm not entirely...

Great, here I am, overcoming my last shred of bashfulness, and she, what? Ignores it? Doesn't notice it? Is angry at me nonetheless, but didn't wanna show it? Or did I just scare her off? No, wait, she smiled…means not so scare-age.

Means I'm almost back to 'I don't get it'.

This is not how I thought that this would work. Not sure how I thought it would work, but this...

I look in the direction she disappeared into. No sight of her, I can't even hear a sound.

Kinda hard to describe what I'm feeling right now. I guess, 'confused' is a good starting point. Maybe miffed and anxious too...and the 'miffed' part is practically hustling me to go back upstairs and forget about all this.

But then, all of the sudden, two slayer-y arms – and a rose – are tackling me from behind, embracing me tightly...annulling that thought. Thank God!

I shake my head inwardly. Silly me... she likes to play, I shoulda remembered that, guess she learned that from me. And one year older or not, she's still the same adorable goof.

"I like my prezzie," I hear her growling next to my ear, and look down at her strong hold on me.

She bites my neck playfully.

I grin and turn around, when she finally loosens her grip a little. And again her eyes scan my body repeatedly...except for my arms, which are resting on her shoulders, and my face, which...and I'm not femininely-upset as I'm saying...thinking this...doesn't seem to be the most interesting part of me right now.

And, oh, right, don't even ask me how I brought up the courage to do what I did today...guess it was a sudden whim of extreme craziness. Definitely took me some time to convince myself. I didn't tell Buffy and Dawn about this part of my plan. Would have been more than a little embarrassing, I gotta say. That's one part that made me nervous about Faith's reaction too.

But when I consider that look on her face...then I gotta say, it was worth it.

Then she's finally done with my body and focuses her attention on my face again. She studies my face intently; okay, so it's not just the part of my body that is below neck level that is of interest to her. But then again…I knew that already.

I eventually try my luck one more time. And this time she lets me kiss her. Not just that, she kisses me back...slow, at first, but then, very quickly...with an intensity that gets...oh! with every second. Oh, God, why is it that my brain always starts talking gibberish when her hands start doing...THAT!?

And how is it that she can go from ' thumb...' to 'let's get down and dirty' within, minute? Surprises me every time…not that she hurts her thumb that often…

B-But...oh, stop right there, brain...tongue located in the area of ear number...'number'?...never mind...

Oh, Gods...if she keeps doing that, my knees are gonna go weak and we're gonna crash to the floor...Oh...keep going...

Whoa, hey, I jinxed it! My legs start to buckle, but she grips me tighter and keeps me standing upright. Well, not like her hands weren't in a very convenient position, anyway...good thing the rose doesn't have any about not-so-much-sympathy pain on my part. And I don't think she'd fancy picking little pieces of wood out of never know...Not that I wanna give it a shot.

Faith releases my ear and looks at me. One reason – she's making sure I'm okay; the other reason...uh, her eyes show me what she really wants to do right now...which brings me back to that thought...the one before the tongue.

Oh, yeah, from 0 to horny in record time...but that's what I was going for.

I nod to her silent question and she gives me another short kiss. "What about the...?" she asks, this time out loud, and motions with her head.

I look at the barely assembled shelf. Good thing that I got finished in time; who knows how it'd look if I had come down a few minutes later. Oh, no, I'm not thinking that she's incompetent, but...slayer strength and slayer delicacy is...well, not the same thing...

I know that Buffy isn't good at building things either.

"Are you kidding?" I grin. "Xander's gonna come over sometime…maybe tomorrow or the day after that."

She chuckles in relief, "Oh, good. You know what that means?"

"What?" I know exactly what it means, but I wanna hear it from her.

She gets that mischievous look and, before I can react,, womanhandles...huh? Oh! Slayerhandles…me over her shoulder and dashes up the stairs. "That means I got aaaalll day to play with my prezzie!"

This position gives me an interesting view of her butt and I simply HAVE to pinch it.

"Hey, I think I said that I get to play with my prezzie," she barks jokingly and tightens her grip on my butt a little. Guess that's possessiveness, I didn't have the feeling of slipping out of her hands any second; so that's the only reason I can think of right now.

She carries me into my room and kicks the door closed with her foot.

You wanna know what happens next? Well, use your head, then. I'm not gonna tell. The only hint – it's gonna be a pretty, pretty party with only two party guests.

We're gonna have the bigger party when Buffy and Dawnie get back. Oh, Xander will be there too (the shelf can wait, though), and maybe Anya.

And I know what some of you are thinking right now. Get your minds out of the gutter, I wasn't talking about that kind of party…

Any things unclear? Probably ;) Don't worry, it will all make more sense once you read the second part