AN: So this took way longer to get posted than I thought, but with real life taking over I couldn't really get around it. It's kind of bitter sweet to be ending my first fic, but if the interest is there, I may consider doing a sequel. MAY, lol. I have another idea floating around in my head that may have to be taken care of first. Thank you for all the reviews and kind words. You've made this experience an enjoyable one, and I hope I didn't completely butcher the ending for you.
According to all of our research, Evil Larry is supposed to rise tomorrow night. That's great and everything, but that just means I don't have much time with Faith left. There's been no progress in getting her to stay in Cleveland, but it's not like I've been trying that hard. I just sit and watch her and let the memories of the past few weeks take me over. It's easier than dealing with the reality that she's leaving.
She's standing in the kitchen sharpening her knife, and I'm just watching her again. She's concentrating so hard on the already sharp weapon, and it's such a turn on. The world is supposedly ending tomorrow, and here I am wishing she would touch me like she did the night she helped me with my room. It wasn't just sex that night. She showed me how much she loved me, and I want so bad for her to show me again.
It'll never happen, though. She's going to Dallas, and I'm staying here.
I'm pulled out of my thoughts by some harsh words making their way out of Faith's mouth. I stand up from the table and make my way over to her. She's cut herself on her knife, and a steady stream of blood makes it way down onto her arm.
"Maybe the kitchen wasn't the best place to do that." I grimace as a grab a towel and throw it to her.
She catches it and places it on top of the cut on her finger, "Yeah, well, I tend to make stupid choices."
Like deciding to move to Dallas, but I have a feeling that's not what she's talking about.
I move closer to her and take the towel off her finger. It's hard to see how bad it actually is with all the blood still caked on her hand, so I start dabbing at it. She winces, and I look up at her. Her face is inches away from mine, and our bodies are pressed together. It would be so easy to close the distance and connect our lips, but I don't think it would accomplish anything, so I just turn back to her finger.
Most of the blood has been wiped clean giving me a clearer look at her injured finger, and I can't help but laugh at the sight.
"That's a baby cut, Faith."
"Screw you, B. That hurt like hell."
I laugh harder at the pout I know she doesn't want me to see, and it's not long before a small smile starts to form on her lips, too.
"I know what you mean, paper cuts usually do hurt."
She kind of growls at me, and before I know it, I'm pressed into the counter with one of her legs placed firmly between mine. It takes all of my will power not to grind down into it, but it's killing me. She feels so good.
"Laugh it up, blondie, but who's gonna be laughin' when I get blood all over this pretty shirt you're wearing?"
A horrified look replaces my smirk, and I struggle to get her off of me. It's no use, though, she has me pinned pretty tight, and I know I'm not going anywhere, "You wouldn't."
"I so would." It's true, she so would, but she better not. I just bought this shirt, and I'd really hate to have to kill her the night before a big fight. She looks down at me with an evil grin and brings her hand up to look at. It's already stopped bleeding, that's how tiny it was, but there's still blood on her arm that hasn't dried yet. She takes her other hand away from mine, freeing them from behind my back, but I don't push her off of me. Instead, I place them on her hips and wait for whatever is about to happen.
She's still grinning at me, but it's less evil now, "But, since you look so sexy in it, I won't ruin it."
She reaches for the towel again and drags it across her arm in an attempt to wipe it clean. It works for the most part, and once she's satisfied with the results, she tosses it in the sink and returns her hands to the counter behind me.
"You think I'm sexy?"
I smirk at her and tighten my hold on her hips before I start to move against her leg. I bite down on my bottom lip and peer up at her through my eyelashes, "What about now?"
She looks down between our bodies and watches as my hips slowly roll back and forth on her leg. Another growl escapes her throat and she leans in to whisper in my ear, "Especially now."
I moan as her breath tickles my ear and move my hips harder and faster into her. It's just like the dance, only this time we're standing in the middle of my kitchen where anyone could walk in on us. I'm past caring, though. I want this so badly that I don't care if the entire household catches us in the act.
She starts placing tiny kisses along my ear before she catches the lobe between her teeth, and it just puts me more into a frenzy.
She's sucking on my pulse point, now but lifts her head long enough to whisper, "Yeah, baby?"
She brings her hand around to the front of my body and starts to unbutton my jeans, but the sound of someone clearing their throat sends us flying apart. I whip around from my position in front of the counter and see Andrew standing there with a sheepish grin on his face.
"Um...hey?" He says as he walks further into the room.
I hear Faith groan from behind me, and I turn just in time to see her grab the towel out of the sink and make a hasty escape to the living room. Figures she couldn't stay in here with me to deal with the problem known as Andrew.
"What do you want?" It's not very polite, but damn it, he interrupted almost sex with Faith, and with her leaving soon, I need all the time I can get with her. I assume she's still leaving, everything just now came out of nowhere.
"I just wanted to talk. I've missed you guys."
"Are you kidding Andrew? There are things going on here that are much bigger than you wanting to talk."
I was mad before when I thought he had something important to talk about, now I'm just pissed. Before I can make it out of the room, though, he stops me in my tracks.
"Your secret is save with me. I assume it's a secret considering the fact you two couldn't get far enough away from each other when I walked in," I look at him and nod, hopping it conveys my gratitude, but he's not done, "but for the record, it doesn't need to be a secret."
I don't know what to say, so instead of making a fool out of myself and trying to think of something, I just turn and leave. His simple statement is too hard for me to comprehend right now.
I make my way to my room and collapse onto the bed. The softness provides no comfort for me as I curl up into a ball and hope that sleep pulls me in quick so I can get this night over with.
The sun shining through my window gives me an unwelcome wake up call, but it's a good thing my curtains offer no protection from the blinding rays or I probably would have slept through the big battle. Everything that's been going on lately has been wearing me out, and the sooner we kill this Larry guy, the better.
I groan as I get up from the bed and stretch. Sleeping in my clothes from the day before was probably a mistake, but I've been making plenty of those these past few days, what's one more to add to the list?
Voices from downstairs carry themselves into my room, and one voice in particular sticks out. I rush down the stairs and find Kennedy, Willow, Andrew and Faith lounging in the living room. Faith's feet are propped up on the coffee table, and I glare. She knows how much I hate that, especially when she's wearing her dirty boots, but the glare fades when I see the duffle bag laying beside the table.
"Oh, Buffy, you're awake," Willow says as she stands up from the arm of the chair Kennedy is sitting in.
I hear the younger brunette slayer mumble a, "Finally," but I pay her no mind.
"We were just talking about the wonders of Texas with Faith."
I eye the duffel bag again and have to remind myself to breathe properly as my heart clinches in my chest.
"Yeah, like she gets to go to the home of the Dallas Cowboys," Andrew pipes up, bringing my attention to him.
Kennedy snickers and Faith kind of smirks before the former finally answers, "It's a football team."
If this were a cartoon I'm sure a tiny light bulb would be going off above my head. I say tiny because apparently I'm not all that bright, but I'm not stupid enough to let a joke at Andrew's expense slip by.
"Andrew, the fact that you even know what football is is beyond amazing."
Kennedy snickers again and adds her own jab, "Yeah, I thought for sure if it wasn't about spaceships or men with pointy ears and crazy eyebrows you wouldn't know a thing about it."
There's just enough room on the couch between the boy and the girl I want to stay more than anything, so I plop myself down. Faith tries unsuccessfully to scoot away from me, but it's no use, the arm of the couch is blocking her escape.
Willow takes her seat next to Kennedy again and steers the conversation in a more serious direction, "But really, we were talking about what her duties would be while down there and if this was a temporary job or something more permanent."
She says the last part while looking directly at me, and it makes me uncomfortable.
"And I was making fun of her for only having enough crap to fit in that little bag."
Leave it to Kennedy to say something rude to get me off the hook.
"This little bag has everything I need to survive. A change of clothes, a pack of cigarettes and a dirty porno magazine."
Everyone is speechless, and I'm sitting here wondering if that sentence actually made it past her internal censors and out of her mouth, but then I remember it's Faith, of course she just said that.
Seeing all of our reactions, she decides to continue, "Oh, and a knife because everyone knows how much I like to stab things."
And it doesn't help. At all.
The silence is finally broken by Andrew, though, "When you say pack of cigarettes are we talking about kings, lights or menthol?"
"Out of everything she listed, that's what you choose to comment on?"
Willow is almost as disbelieving as I am. I can't believe they think I'm the stupid one.
"Moving on," I say in hopes of getting the conversation back on track, "temporary or permanent, Faith?"
"I'll know more when I get there tonight."
When she gets there tonight, and here I thought she would want to stick around after dealing with Evil Larry.
"Well, it's a shame you're leaving so soon after I got here. I was hoping we would be able to catch up more."
"You're not staying here, Andrew."
He glares at Kennedy and looks up at me for some sort of assurance I won't kick him out when we're done. I give him no such thing. "She's right."
I don't think it's much of a fair trade to have Faith leave and Andrew stay in her place. I certainly wouldn't be having sex with him.
"You'll regret it. I promise you." He tries to be cryptic and sinister by giving sideways glances to everyone in the room, but he fails miserably.
"Did I just hear someone say Andrew's not allowed to stay? That's the best news I've heard in a long time," Xander strolls into the room and makes the three of us on the couch scoot over so he can squeeze in. It just pushes me more into Faith, and I could kiss Xander for forcing us to be this close.
"I hope Evil Larry kills at least one of you. Hopefully it's Kennedy."
We all laugh, but part of me wonders if he's actually being serious. The laughter dies down, and it's replaced with an uncomfortable silence. It's probably due to the fact that no one besides Andrew has a clue what's going on with Faith and I.
I want things to be light and funny like they were a few seconds ago. It helps me get over the fact that she's leaving, makes it seem like it's not a big deal. This silence that's weighing down on all of us just cements how big a deal it actually is.
"It's almost like Sunnydale all over again. All of us sitting here before the big fight." Xander takes us all back in time, but I don't think the past is where any of us wants to be. I can tell by the looks of each of their faces what they're thinking about.
For Willow it's Tara and what could have been if it hadn't been for Warren. For Xander it's Anya and what he could have done differently to save her the day we defeated the First. Andrew is almost certainly thinking about Jonathan and Warren while Kennedy is probably recalling her blossoming relationship with Willow.
Faith's face is a little harder to read, but I know her thoughts are of the bad variety. No doubt blame is being tossed around in her head, and it's something I never want her to think about.
"Whatever. I'm just ready to kill this guy." And just like that, Faith brings us all crashing back into reality.
I need time alone with her so that I can try and convince her to stay, but I've never been brave enough to go after what I wanted, and that's not going to change now. Instead, I'll just sit her next to her and pretend that the duffel bag by the table is full of weapons for the fight later, and not full of her belongings ready for her to walk out of my life.
The walk to Evil Larry's grave is much longer than it needs to be. I have no doubt handfuls of vampires will be there waiting for us, and the feeling that not all of us may survive is growing with each step we take.
We decided not to bring everyone along with the thought that the second wave could take care of what the first wave couldn't. Hopefully it doesn't get to that point, but we aren't taking any chances.
Xander, Willow, Kennedy, Andrew, Rachel, me and Faith, with her duffel bag slung over her shoulder, march forward. She could have at least left the damn bag at the house and picked it up on her way out of town. Now it's just going to serve as a reminder of what's coming, and I really don't need that distraction.
We're just a few yards away from the grave and can see 20 vampires or so crowded around it chanting. I figured there would be more. It's kind of disappointing that there's not, but oh well, that just means it'll be easier for us.
Faith pulls out a stake from her waistband, and Kennedy, Rachel and I follow suit. Willow falls behind us and starts a chant of her own. Hopefully a big stream of sunlight will help us take care of these guys quicker.
Xander and Andrew stand on either side of me, each holding a decent sized sword pretty awkwardly. Great, not only am I going to be worrying about that stupid bag, but now I have to worry about these two. We should have just left them at home.
The vamps pick up on Will's chanting and brace themselves for battle. Faith takes a look at each of us before shrugging her shoulders, tossing the bag to the ground and running full speed into the group of undead.
I roll my eyes as that wasn't part of the plan. We were all supposed to go in together. Strength in numbers and all that, but I have no choice but to chase after her.
If she gets herself killed I'm gonna be pissed because that's so taking the easy way out.
The rest of the group catches up with us, and the fight is on. Every vamp, except two, are swinging wildly at our group. The others are standing by the grave continuing on with their chanting. I need to make it over to them, but the fact that they outnumber us makes it a little hard to do so.
Xander and Andrew are fighting side by side, and I'm more worried that they'll slice something off each other than one of the vamps, but as long as I don't hear one of them scream, I can keep my focus on Faith and her ass.
Wait...what? Not her ass. Bad Buffy. Punch, dodge, stake. That's it, get back into the fight and worry about Faith later. That's gonna be a little hard, though, considering she's standing next to me grunting like crazy.
God, I wish we were having sex.
We make quick work out of the vampires not chanting and turn our attention to the two that are. Willow finally comes through on her spell, and a beam of light shoots out of her hand, dusting them mid word.
We all stand around, breathing heavily, not sure what to do with ourselves.
"Is that it?" Rachel asks, bent over with her hands on her knees.
"Don't be retarded. Evil Larry hasn't risen yet," Faith says as she glares at the girl, making me wonder if she's ever going to get over the missed baseball game.
Just as the words leave her mouth, though, the ground in front of his tombstone begins to move, and a very old looking hand shoots out from beneath the dirt. It's quickly followed by the rest of Larry, and very old doesn't even begin to describe what this guy looks like.
Grey wisps of hair hang down to the middle of his back, and most of his head is just skull save for a few pieces of decaying flesh hanging on his forehead and cheeks. It's totally disgusting, and he looks more like the guy from Tales From the Crypt than anything else.
"Feast. I need to feast." His voice is way too high pitched for something as evil as he's supposed to be.
We all just stand there in various states of confusion before Andrew walks up, and with one quick slice, sends Larry's head rolling to the ground. The body falls forward but turns to dust before it ever hits the ground.
"Did I kill it? Did I kill it?" Andrew asks not believing he would be capable of doing such a thing.
"Wow, that was completely anticlimactic." Faith doesn't believe it either.
"So basically I dragged myself out here to dust some vamps and watch Andrew kill this thing. I better get some great sex to make up for this."
Willow looks around at us sheepishly before walking after her fuming girlfriend who is already yards away from us in an attempt to get home quickly.
Xander just shrugs his shoulders and walks off with Rachel by his side. Andrew follows along behind, dragging his sword behind him, leaving Faith and I alone in the middle of the cemetery. She walks over to her discarded bag and picks it up, but before leaving like I figured she would, she turns back around and stares at me.
I know what she wants, so I walk over to join her.
I can't believe this is it. She's actually leaving, and I'm actually letting her. The chill of the night sends a shiver through me, and I can't help but pull my jacket around me tighter.
"I won't make this long, but I just wanted the chance to get a few things off my chest. I've been kinda distant towards you the past few days, minus the groping in the kitchen, and I really don't want to leave things unsaid between us. I know we were just fooling around, and what happened between us didn't mean anything, but...I don't know, it was really nice."
God, she thinks it meant nothing to me. I can't blame her, though, because I know that's how I acted.
"You know, for once I finally let my guard down and allowed myself to try that whole happiness thing, and I guess I kinda liked it. I've wanted to be with you for so long, and maybe my luck is changing because it finally happened. I know you didn't want me to kiss you or anything, but everything else was really good, and despite all the crap we've gone through, I guess I just wanted to thank you for making me happy."
I can't do anything but stand here and hate myself. I must be the world's biggest bitch because I knew that she wanted me, and if I'm honest with myself, I know that I want her, too, but I only gave her just enough of me to satisfy my needs. And that made her happy.
That's when I start crying. She doesn't say anything, she just wraps her arms around me and pulls me in close. The cold I was feeling before is replaced by the warmth of her body, and I never want her to let go of me. I was so worried about what people thought of me and what they would say if they ever found out about Faith and I that I never let myself get too close to her.
I regret that more than anything. I regret that I used her without taking any of her feelings into consideration, and now it's too late. It's too late to tell her how I feel, that I do want her. I want her to kiss me and be with me, but even if I did have time, I know I wouldn't do it. I'm still not brave enough.
So, instead, I cry and let her hold me. When she starts to pull away, I just pull her back to me. I can't let her go right now because I know if I do, I'll fall to the ground.
"We'll be OK. It's just Texas, it's not like I'm flying halfway across the world, and we both know I'm gonna need your help the first week I'm down there."
Her voice is so soothing, and I hate that because there's a finality there. Like she really is leaving and there's nothing I can do or say to stop it. I almost wish she had left like Angel did after graduation, this is too much for me to handle.
She stirs in my embrace again, but only pulls far enough away to lean her forehead against mine. She tightens her grip around my waist, and I've never felt more at home.
"Best time of my life was here in Cleveland," as she whispers those words to me, I know I love her and that it's over between us.
She dips her head down and captures my lips in a kiss. It's the simplest kind of kiss, and it's the best kiss I've ever had.