Author: lilyme
Title: Finding comfort in leather
Summary: Meeting in a club by chance, two old acquaintances find they have something in common that might draw them unexpectedly closer

Rating: PG-13
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 Network. No copyright infringement intended!
Pairing: Guess... You know me ;)

A/N #1: Special thanks to Elle and Mel for helping me with some details ;)
A/N #2: Don't pay too much attention to any details I'll write about locations in Miami. I've never been there, so I don't really know how things look there ;)

A/N #3: I originally wrote this story in German in late 2008, for a Halloween-challenge. It made third place (yay!) and funnily enough it mentions Halloween only once, and only as a side-note :P Again certain prompts had to be included. This time:

+ Ocean Drive (Florida, Miami)

+ Faith Lehane

+ Nut chocolate

+ "In life it was always better to be a doer than a victim"

+ Offcuts from meat

+ Spell

+ Leather skirt

Hope you enjoy this story! ;)

Finding comfort in leather

Part one of three

If life was a pack of cigs... No, better, if life was a bottle of whiskey, hers was...

Ah, hell, philosophy wasn't her thing . Life is just life, and hers was going pretty good right now.

She wasn't in prison anymore. After Sunnydale's collapse she hadn't returned there. Even though she had actually planned on doing that, very much because she had originally turned herself in to get into a certain girl's good graces again.

Well, that had still worked out kinda. However, not in the way she had hoped. Of course her true hopes concerning this person had been a little too high – they always had been. Still were.

Yet after her escape from prison, which she had only dared to help avert two apocalypses within a few days, they had formed a relatively normal relationship again. Not a friendship really, but at least their days as enemies were over.

But things went the way they did most times. At some point – in this case, after the Hellmouth's destruction – they had gone their separate ways.

She hardly had any contact to the girl anymore. Neither to the rest of the Sunnydale gang, now scattered all over the world. Nor to Team Angel - according to recent information now embodying CEO & Co. of Wolfram and Hart in L.A. She didn't know what to think about that. To each his own maybe... or something like that.

As long as they didn't bring forth the next apocalypse...

Because then maybe she'd be asked for help yet again, and actually she didn't want that. She had come to terms with how her life was going at the moment, had made her peace with it. Even more than just that, because she knew that there were "soldiers" in the fight against evil out there that had been dealt a fairly worse life.

At her own request she had retreated from this fight almost entirely and now lead the life of a slayer in semi-retirement. It was only occasionally that she went out to slay. Down here in Florida, there wasn't much to do in terms of diminishing the vampire population anyway, since only very few bloodsucking fiends ever found their way here.

The reason? Well, too much sunshine probably wasn't it – although it did seem to make the undead's unlife here a little less appealing. Naturally, there was plenty of sunshine here, but Sunnydale hadn't been all that different. How else do you think that name came to be?

No... maybe it had something to do with Florida's reputation as 'senior citizen state'; most vamps probably preferred younger victims.

Of course there was also this eeny weeny, teeny tiny chance that they had watched CSI Miami one too many times and now were afraid to run into Horatio with his sunglasses, his weird monotonous way of talking and his permanently cocked head...

This thought made laugh her every time. But whereas Horatio was only a fictional character, the CSI really existed. She had had dealings with them once, during one of that very few times when they had had a vampire incident.

Apparently they were equally as stupid as the Sunnydale police and had actually bought her impersonation of a Puerto Rican government expert for all sorts of venomous animals. Had believed her when she had told them that the two little holes in the neck of a body found on the beach had been caused by a snake.

Their fault – if they had taken a closer look at her oh-so-official-looking ID, they could have smelled the rat.

But missions like this one were a rare occasion. Her main task now consisted of the occasional tracking down of new slayers, who then would be sent to England to receive proper slayer training. She was responsible for slayer recruiting in the southeastern area of the US and also the Caribbean. The remaining parts of the United States and the rest of the world were handled by other members of the slayer army.

The majority of her time she spent, however, in a much different way. In her "old age", she really seemed to develop ambition. She had started taking evening classes in order to get her GED. If somebody out there knew about this development, that somebody would probably be proud of her. But nobody knew. Like in old times, she preferred to keep private stuff to herself – it was a habit that obviously wasn't very easy to kick, as much as she wanted to sometimes.

Occasionally she also worked in a friend's motorbike shop. She had always had a thing for bikes, and her friend appreciated her work. Despite not having had any kind of professional training in this field, she had remarkable handling and know-how.

Naturally she also had her very own bike by now. Partly to pick up new slayers on her business travels, but mostly for fun. Because that was still her priority. Riding her bike, surfing, flirting, a date or two here, a little non-committal 'sleepover' there.

Over all, life in Miami really wasn't so bad. And if you went scouting in the right places, there was a lots yummy eye candy to discover.

Today it was scouting day again. It was Saturday – the day on which she was most likely to be in party mood traditionally. And in the mood to pick someone up. Who exactly that would be, she didn't know yet; most of the times, these things just happened spontaneously – her eyes fell on someone and she just knew if this person would be it for tonight.

For this night to turn out successful, it was not unimportant to get a little dressed up – that often made the whole of process of hooking up much easier. She decided on her best pair of denims, dark blue, very tight, and a black wife beater. One could almost get the impression, those were the only kind of tops to be found in her closet, because in her earlier years she had worn them almost exclusively as well. Of course that wasn't all true, she also had a bunch of other stuff now, but they still were her favorite, they accentuated her goodies just the way she liked it.

She laid a quick hand on her make-up and her long, dark hair and left the apartment that wasn't particularly big or contained the most luxurious furniture – was in short exactly how she had wanted it. With the financial aid she received from the Watcher's Council, she could easily afford something bigger, fancier, but she knew that she wouldn't feel at home in something like that – it wouldn't feel like hers.

The neighborhood she lived in didn't have a reputation as one of the best addresses in Miami. An industrial area in relatively close proximity to the city's most famous drive.

She decided to walk. Her favorite club was only a few blocks away. It was a walk that that lead her past slaughterhouse waste of the various meat-processing industries. Feathers, beaks, chicken feet, hides, some entrails were and there. Any other person might feel the need to throw up upon being confronted with this. But she barely even took note of this sight anymore, had gotten used to it.

Soon she turned into Ocean Drive, the club already in sight. There was a small queue at the entrance and she got in line, waiting patiently to be lead in. When it was her turn, the bouncer – handsome in his tall, tattooed and muscular way - waved her through with a welcoming smile. He knew her, of course; he knew her pretty well, in fact, being as how she had flirted with him occasionally in the beginning. However, he had always rejected her advances, though very politely so. Only later on she had found out the reason for this.

Yet out of these unsuccessful flirt attempts a friendship had developed, so that now they also met outside of the club and did things. "Have fun, honey. I bet there's someone in there for you tonight," he called after her with a wink of his eye, before he attended to the next in line.

Her bouncer-buddy was apparently right. But that didn't come as a surprise to her; he had real good taste – especially concerning the males of the species. He also had an eye for girls, although he didn't have any sexual interest in them. Which was the exactly the reason for why her flirting with him had been pretty fruitless.

She herself wasn't as 'picky' when it came to potential flirt partners. Guy, girl – as long as she liked the person, that little detail didn't matter.

And tonight there was enough potentially 'likeable' material present.

A blonde guy in a casual suit, whose eyes clung to her tight shirt within seconds. A cute little brunette in a skimpy, dark red dress, whose attention, however, was elsewhere at the moment – the girl was busy making goo-goo eyes at an admittedly pretty attractive male. Another man with piercing blue eyes and stylish black hair, dressed down in jeans and black button-up shirt was leaning against a pillar and raised his glass to her. She knew him. Just like her, he was here often. They had checked each other out plenty and knew that someday they might have a thing or two, but also knew that there was no need to rush anything. About five feet away from him stood another guy. All muscled and toned, but not overly so. Just the way she liked it.

He seemed to be the most interesting candidate tonight; and seemed to be equally as interested in her – the grin he sent her way was already pretty promising.

But just when she was about to make her way over to him, something else caught her eye.

There at the bar... sat the tightest black leather skirt she – the expert in all things leather - had ever seen...

Of course the leathery garment wasn't sitting there by itself. It clothed the body of someone. A someone Faith only paid attention to now. Leaving the skirt, her eyes flew down to the legs. Beautiful, long legs, mildly freckled. Black pumps with not all too high heels graced the feet. From the feet her eyes moved back up, and again they found the skirt. Damn, how she loved leather. On her own body, but also on the bodies of others; especially female others. Her gaze wandered over the nearly see-through, dark red blouse and then landed on the hair. Also red.

This usually wasn't her type. Blond... yeah, that was more to her liking... though she had long made plans to give up this preference. All too painful memories of an unrequited love were the reason.

She watched the girl for a little while longer. Maybe this was the perfect time to try out something new, the perfect time to declare war on this painful addiction to blondes. Or rather to a blonde in particular.

Adjusting her outfit, she went over to the bar. She finally wanted to take a look at the face of the redheaded, leather-clad beauty.

And her wish came true on its own. The redhead turned her head slightly, scanning the club. Her eyes hadn't yet noticed the person that was currently stalking up on her from behind.

When the now-Miamian took in the woman's face, she stopped abruptly, frowning. Not because the redhead wasn't attractive; quite the contrary. But the profile view of the face was enough for her to be very certain that she knew that person.


To be continued...