Buffy poked the brunette with her toe, feeling bored.
An hour had passed since the portal closed. A whole hour. And they still hadn't actually understood what had happened or why and whether or not they were ever going to be taller than three feet.
But hopefully that was about to change.
Anya and Xander were sitting down on the carpet, a bag of popcorn between them, while the tiny Slayers lounged casually on the different ends of the couch, a distance between them that could easily be crossed when Buffy felt like poking the other girl.
Which, since she was so bored, happened often.
Willow, however, stood stiffly in the middle of the room, facing the rest of them.
Of course, the redhead was a little nervous because of the task at hand, but nothing else had worked. She hoped that she could do this. That she could pull this off. She felt capable, she felt... like she was about to faint.
Damn that performance anxiety of hers.
She exchanged a nervous half-smile with her girlfriend, who was nearby, acting as moral support while hanging up a white fabric in front of her.
See, once the portal closed, all of her friends had been so confused. At first, Willow had tried to get Giles to come down there, since he had experience trying to make the Scoobies understand complicated things like demons and rituals and... and well, everything really.
He had even tried to explain the innocence of bunnies to Anya.
Fine, so one of his attempts had failed epically, but overall, his explanation record was still pretty outstanding.
However, just like before – when Xander had tried to get him to come down to see the portal – Giles had not picked up his phone.
So that left her in a situation, where she had to explain the rules and laws and everything. At first, she had thought it would be simple enough. The laws of physic were usually self-explanative and magic was just so easy and fun.
And yet, as soon as she started to tell them about how the portal was conjured and how it works... all she got in return were these blank looks. So she had gotten rid of the long, explicit terms of physics and tried to tell them in simple English.
They hadn't understood a thing.
It had agitated her a little, since it's not like periodical shift in the protonic paradox of time is a complicated thing really. But since she was a good friend and all, she decided to give it another shot.
So she had pulled out magical markers and enormous papers so she could draw the portal. She had even used a variation of colours for each important sector of it.
Anya had noted that if she drew pizzas, she should always add cheese. Otherwise it wouldn't look as appetizing.
Willow had huffed in response, before trying to draw it from a different perspective. As a result, the blonde child – who she now identified as her best friend, stuck in an itty-bitty body, had rotated herself in one million ways, until she hung upside-down from the couch.
Only then had she looked at Willow and murmured something. Something, Willow didn't even understand. However, Faith had seemed to, because merely a moment later, she too lay in a similar position. She said something to the blonde, who blinked, tilted her head just an inch and then burst out laughing.
Willow had taken it as a clue that they really had no idea what she was trying to portray. The beyond confused look on Xander's face and the way Anya was just sitting there, examining her nails told her that they were not following either.
Hence her current plan.
She stood behind the cloth, finally ready.
Extreme measures had to be taken.
She exhaled. Inhaled. Exhaled. Inhaled. And then... stuck her left hand, one stuck inside a woollen sock, in the air, so it appeared over the edge of the sheet.
"Hello! My name is Mr. Sockportal!"
"We fuckin' died, didn't we?"
Buffy, curled up on one edge of the couch, glanced over to the brunette.
Faith's chin rested on one of those couch cushions, her left hand under it, while her eyes were on the so-called Mr. Sockportal, who was now talking about his parents and how he came to be in this beautiful magical world thanks to his mommy Protonical Vortex and his daddy Magical Neutron.
"Chemistry sex," the brunette finally dragged her eyes to meet the blonde's green ones. "We're in hell. We have to be. And they're torturin' us with some damn chemical thingies that have sex and give birth to woollen socks!"
Buffy snorted, unable not to. She tilted her head and grinned.
"At least she didn't draw more penises."
Faith's lips curled as she peered at her over her cushion.
"I thought you were sure it looked like a rocket from that angle."
"Yeah, well, that was before you pointed out the ... details." Buffy rolled her eyes good-naturedly. She glanced back at her bed sheet and her old sock, which was peeking out and currently telling her its life story.
She sadly accepted the fact that this was a relatively normal situation for her.
"And then I started to grow, until I was a big, functional Sockportal!"
"Why are my friends so weird?"The blonde paused, before quickly adding."No. Wait. Don't answer that. You'll probably say something about pots and kettles and other kitchenware. Plus you'll make it sound dirty somehow."
"I didn't even have to say anything."
"I met Ion soon... The two of us had... uh... chemistry."
Buffy watched as the tiny brunette nearby sat up and stretched, arching her back in the process. The move, seemingly innocent, made her black T-shirt rise up just enough for her scar to be seen. Unable to stop herself, Buffy's eyes immediately locked on it, remaining on the spot even when the fabric was lowered again.
It was painful. Even on regular Faith, the scar would've made her feel beyond guilty. It would've reminded her of the way they both had screwed up last year and the way she had almost taken a human life with such ease.
But now... Marking the skin of a small child – barely past the toddler stage of her life – it felt so utterly wrong. So horrible.
"It'll prolly disappear in a small while. Coma slowed down the kickass healing."
Faith's voice made her eyes travel up, slowly, until brown eyes were locked with hers.
Faith's face remained expressionless as she shook her head.
"But when Ion and his friends got into a fight with this bad guy – Hydrogen, as he was called by his pals, they accidentally caused an explosion... BOOM!"
Faith's gaze snapped onto the redhead – or technically her hand. She then looked back at the blonde and asked,
"Shouldn't we actually try to follow the explanation of Red's crazy sock?"
Buffy glanced over her shoulder at her friends: Willow kept going on about the adventures of Mr. Sockportal, while Anya and Xander were seated on the carpet, looking up at the show with something akin to delight on their faces.
So easy to amuse, those two.
But since this was kind of important to them – and it wasn't like they could ask her about it later, since their speech was still incomprehensible – she reckoned Faith had a point.
"Yeah, probably," She replied, shifting on the couch so she could see her sock talk to her. She bit her lip and squinted, trying to follow. However, soon she realized that the words seemed to form nothing but...
So who could blame her for letting her eyes (and thoughts) wonder. At first, as her eyes landed on the brunette, she thought about their past. Then she remembered that she was hungry. After that, her thoughts seemed to involve mainly sandwiches and pickles.
She wasn't even aware that she was still staring at Faith – being busy thinking about food and all – but the brunette chose to remind her.
"Ya know, checking me out makes more sense when I have boobs, B," she replied, smirking while her eyes remained on a spot past Buffy – on Mr. Sockportal, Buffy assumed.
However, a moment later they fluttered to her.
"For reals, B, I thought you wanted to know this shit."
"I do! I just..."the blonde trailed off, not even knowing what she 'just' did or wanted. "...Never mind."
The brunette kept her gaze on her for a split-second, before humming and looking back at Willow. Buffy followed suit, but barely two minutes later, she felt ... a little odd. So she glanced at her right just to find Faith looking straight at her, a pensive look on her face.
"Who's checking a child out now, you weirdo?" she joked half-heartedly.
Faith made a small sound of amusement at the back of her throat, before placing her chin on the palm of her hand. She glanced at Willow, then back at Buffy and spoke, completely matter-of-factly,
"I have no idea what the hell she's talking about."
Buffy looked back at her, before innocently shrugging her shoulders.
"Don't look at me. I've been thinking of pickles for a while now."
Faith's brows furrowed and she opened her mouth. Then she closed it. A moment later, she groaned,
"Fuckin' awesome, B. Now I'm bored as well as starving."
"Ditto," the blonde responded. She then bit her lip and nonchalantly looked around in the room. Tara, Xander and Anya were all engrossed in Willow's incredibly long puppet show slash explanation and Willow herself couldn't see them thanks to the thick bed sheet between her and the mini slayers.
Good. Nobody to stand in the way of her sacred quest then.
"Come on," she sat up, speaking quietly. "Let us hunt."
"Hunt?" Faith repeated, a touch of mockery in her voice. A moment later she pushed herself up. "But if that's a wicked weird codeword of yours for gettin' food from the fridge, then I'm game."
Buffy gave her a look and waved her left hand a little.
"You say potato, I say..."
"Watermelon." Faith interrupted. "But I'm five-by-five with it. Just as long as the damn thing's edible."
She then surprised the blonde by grabbing her hand as she slid off the couch.
"Let the hunt begin!"
The portal had closed about an hour ago.
Ever since then, all of them had come to a realization that they were stuck in an interesting mess for the next four weeks. A mess, they didn't quite know how to clean up.
So they had begun a small discussion over the things they needed to do. A small discussion which soon became a large one, since they realized there were one billion and one roadblocks in their way. Plus a crater. And some nice meteors about to crash into them – the biggest meteor of currently being the Watchers' Council. The Scoobs were slightly afraid of the possibilty that the Council could strike at any moment and take a completely innocent Faith with them.
So Giles was assigned to go and fight off that meteor. The translation: He was in the other room on the phone with a representative, trying to make the Watchers' Council understand that Faith has come around and now wants to fight the good fight again.
Xander was sure he heard something about supporting the world peace and saving homeless kittens as well.
That left everyone else in the room trying to figure out the way around the crater called college, which Buffy had to attend. Surprisingly, Buffy actually seemed to want to do it and it was her Mom and Willow who figured it was not the best idea.
At that moment, the only guy left in the room figured he had fallen asleep and gone to a twisted world, where everything was possible.
Then he remembered that's what his life was like every other day.
But Willow's explanation that Buffy was different in this reality and that people could find out that something had happened and thus start asking questions, made sense in a way. The issue however remained without a solution for the time being, since they smoothly moved over to the question about where will Faith and Buffy live.
For a split-second Faith had suggested her apartment.
Then Buffy gently reminded her that the Watcher Council doesn't support crazy psycho Slayers and that she probably doesn't even have a place anymore.
That had been the end of that idea.
The solution the group had come up with was that they'd both live in here for the time being; at least until they figured out whether or not Buffy would return to college this month.
After that the issues kept coming with ease, the solutions – not so much anymore. So, when after a rather exhausting debate over their usual patrolling, Xander leant back in his armchair, he was surprised to notice something missing from his armrest. He quickly glanced at his girlfriend on the couch with Mrs. Summers and then turned a little so he could look behind him.
One more glance at the couch.
"Guys? Hey! GUYS?"
The chattering finally stopped and everyone turned towards him. He could still hear Giles softly speaking in the kitchen, but it didn't matter right now. All he wanted to know was,
"Where are Buffy and Faith?"
There was a pause during which everybody looked around the room in confusion.
"They were just here!" Willow exclaimed. Then frowned. "Weren't they?"
Xander scratched his head in response, not able to figure out how he didn't notice a girl, who was practically using him as a footstool a while ago, just disappear.
Joyce seemed to be doing the same, as she kept frowning and glancing to her left.
"I think they went upstairs." Anya took the last doughnut and bit into it, before adding, "About ten minutes ago."
"What? Really?" Xander blinked, unbelievingly. "Ten minutes? And you didn't even ask where they were going? Or why they're not here to discuss, you know, the important things we discuss."
Anya raised a single eyebrow and gave him the universal 'duh' look.
"Why would I ask something I know?"
"Wait, so wheredid they go?" Willow directed at Anya. The blonde just smirked at her, but it seemed that was all it took, as a reddish hue appeared on Willow's cheeks. "Oh. Wow. Uh..."
"No way." Xander stared at the doorway that led to the staircase with blatant interest. "Really?" He then turned to Willow. "Go check."
"What?" The redhead exclaimed. "What if they're... I already... No! You go." Then as if understanding what she said. "Wait. No! You can't go either."
Xander blinked, his expression mirroring the train of thoughts in his head. Slowly, but surely a small smile appeared.
"But maybe I should go. You know, just to see if they're okay and... and..."
"To prove you're a perv?" An amused voice interrupted. He quickly glanced towards the doorway, where Faith stood now, a glass of water in her hand. "B's fixin' up a sandwich for herself." She shifted her weight against the doorframe. "We went upstairs to grab an Advil. Lots of changes, ya know?"
Xander flushed ever-so-slightly and opened his mouth, probably to defend himself, but a loud knock interrupted him.
As in one, all heads turned towards the front door. Faith, almost on instinct, backed away from it while a cheerful, "I'll get it," rang through the house.
Before anyone could even try and stop her, Buffy bounced to the front door and pulled it open, a sandwich in her left hand.
The blonde blinked in surprise, looking up at the guy in front of her.
"Oh, hey... Uh..."
No more words were necessary as unexpectedly two large arms went around her, pulling her closer. Her sandwich still in hand, she gasped when her lips were covered by bigger ones. Ones that seemed to be trying to vacuum hers off.
So, doing what every girl in a situation like this should do, she pulled away, clenched her right hand into a fist and punched the big guy right between his eyes.
The man, caught completely off-guard, stumbled backwards and tripped on the doorsill. An action that made him fall and hit his head against the wooden doorframe in the process. It was very likely that the guy was out cold even before he collided with the floor.
Willow, the one that had screamed out the blonde's name, hurried to his side. She crouched down next to him; glad, when she realized that he was okay and just unconscious. That made sure, she looked up at her best friend, bewildered.
Buffy stood there, wide eyed, staring at the body in front of her.
Then she silently lifted her sandwich and took a huge bite out of it. Her eyes met Willow's before she spoke, rather defensively,
"Hey, Riley Finn doesNOT get to kiss me."
She tensed for a split-second, when hands suddenly encircled her from behind, but almost immediately relaxed her stance once again. She leant back into the soft body behind her, placing her head on the taller girl's shoulder.
An impish grin appeared on her lips a moment later, when Faith spoke up, the slightly possessive tone in her voice clear.
"A-fuckin'-men to that."
A/N – I got a PM few days ago, asking me to update. Being in an awesome mood, I promised to do so before the week ends... So here it is, people - Chapter 12. And some dare to say I am not kind ^^
I know the updates have been scarce lately and god, how I wish I could write more often, but school... it just sucks hardboiled eggs, people. I think most of you know that titbit, but eh, I just had to mention it.
So, I thank all of you, who're sticking with it. If you've reviewed this story, you've probably made my day a lot more tolerable. If you've PM-ed me, then hopefully I've replied and thanked you for caring enough. If I haven't, well PM me again and tell me off for not replying the first time ^^
Anyways, cya at the end of the next chapter, people!