The third time

Author notes: Just a short, post-Chosen little story… Fuffy, of course 

The first time that Faith kissed her, it was completely on impulse. It wasn't like she'd never had the thought before… god, far from it. But never before had she gone so far as to stop Buffy in the middle of a patrol, taking her by her shoulders , and stopping her in mid-sentence with a short but firm, not-entirely-playful pressing of her lips against the other girl's…

As Buffy's eyes had grown huge with her shock, and she had frozen under Faith's touch, made as helpless by her seeming horror as if Faith had shot her up with some paralyzing injection, Faith had grinned, backing away with a casual knuckle tap to Buffy's shoulder.

"Just keepin' ya on your toes, B," she'd said nonchalantly, as if Buffy's reaction hadn't made her stomach squeeze, her heart crumple into a hard ball of pain inside her chest…

The second time had been just after she found out that she had been played, that Buffy and Angel had tricked her, faked the return of Angelus to make her reveal her own treachery. Before she fled, Faith had first grabbed Buffy by the shoulders, giving her a hard, almost fierce kiss to her forehead, meant to convey to her all that she wanted Buffy to know that she felt. But inside her mind, she was doing so much more… inside her head, Faith had Buffy up against the mausoleum wall, was kissing her with aggressive, furious passion as she forced her tongue into her mouth. In her desperate inner fantasy, Buffy writhed under her hands, moaning with helpless desire as Faith ran her fingers over her…

But the third time… the third time was different. No impulsive, hurried act, no brutal, frustrated fantasy… the third time was years later, and a lifetime of change apart. The third time was hesitant, her lips moving against Buffy's with a shy, gentle sweetness… and the third time, Buffy kissed her back.