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

Rating: R
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: Special thanks to Elle and Mel for helping me with some details ;)


Finding comfort in leather

Part three of three

Willow watched as Faith headed over to the dance floor and began to do what she did probably better than anyone else the redhead knew. Dancing. Luring.

And it was within seconds that a cluster of people formed around her, closing her in. This was to be expected; when dancing Faith emanated an attraction, you simply couldn't resist...

Unless your name was Willow Rosenberg and you were still trying to digest her tirade. The slayer was right, though – with everything she had just said.

Yes, she had come here to have fun... fun on an interpersonal level that possibly should have found an even more interpersonal end. Yes, she had wanted to pay Kennedy back with that.

And... yes... these clothes weren't her style.

She hadn't even known she had them in her closet; had known even less why she taken them with her when she had packed her bags for her trip to England with stopover in Miami...

Or why her stopover had to be here of all places. Here... in the town Faith lived in. A circumstance that she hadn't even been consciously aware of back then.

Faith's most veritable statement, of course, gave her most food for thought. With the slayer showing up she had thrown her plans overboard – startled, ashamed. It wasn't because it was Faith... It was because it was a person who knew her. She would have reacted in a similar way, if it had been someone from Angel's crew – and half of these guys she hardly knew.

She watched Faith, who in the throng was hardly even to make out any more, watched as this one did exactly what she herself should be doing now. Because even if Faith and Buffy weren't a couple, had never even remotely been one... the fact that Buffy had – yet again – hooked up with a demon, presumed vampire, had hurt Faith deeply. Just like Kennedy's cheating had hurt her.

Dancing had to be some sort of heartsickness medicine for Faith. For herself dancing was... mostly shuffling her feet clumsily and moving her arms in preferable harmony with them, trying to stay in tact.

It was hard work – and she really couldn't say that about Faith.

Today wouldn't have been any different. Only after she hopefully would have been able to depart with the knowledge that it had been worth it and that she would never see the people who had witnessed her dance again.

And now she was put off by the presence of a familiar face?

No... Again Faith was right. She needed to loosen up, if she wanted to score with someone around here. Even if the someone was Faith. Because the brunette was... oddly, even pleasantly friendly tonight.

Okay, even to her own ears that sounded pretty bad.

Faith was simply... different... than she remembered her. Well, apart from the clothes. But she seemed to have become a little tamer in the last months, was a little more at peace with herself. A small bit of the aggressiveness from earlier days was still there, but only surfaced, if old wounds got reopened.

Just like it had happened a few minutes ago.

She couldn't hold this against her, as hard as she tried to... To have an excuse to not follow her onto the dance floor. She wanted to dance with Faith, test out if Faith's medicine might work for her as well...

Only where should that relaxedness come from that Faith was talking about? This relaxedness she needed – as she knew herself.

Suddenly she remembered the glass she was still holding in her hand. Her drink. She downed the rest of it in one and waited for the liberating effect... that didn't come. Simple reason – too little alcohol. Peaches, strawberries, sugar and a little bit of champagne – no wonder this didn't work.

But right next to her stood Faith's half empty Jack Daniel's. She thought about it for a moment, grabbed the drink and gulped it down, before she had a chance to change her mind.

Gross.

Her throat burned and for a moment she thought she'd never get rid of that taste again. But at least the whiskey showed the desired effect – her inhibitions disappeared... to some extent, at least. So, liquid courage did help after all... Or maybe it was just her belief.

She took a deep breath and went on her way. Faith was so busy flirting with some random guy that she didn't notice her.

At least that's what she thought.

But barely had she approached the brunette about three feet, this one turned to face her with an expression somewhere between a knowing smirk and an encouraging smile. "Hey, Will, missed you already," she breathed and put her arms around Willow's neck immediately.

And the redhead was promptly confronted with not one, not two, but three very diverse, partly confusing thoughts. One, it hadn't really looked like Faith had missed her. Two, Faith had just called her "Will". The slayer had used this, her actual nickname, only once, if she remembered correctly. Back then, in the Hyperion Hotel, when they had gotten ready for their trip back to Sunnydale. Back then, they had worked together, managing to restore Angel's soul, defeating Angelus. Would they work together tonight again, defeat their lovelornness together?

Three was immediately linked to thought two. Faith came exceptionally close to her, and with that helped her with her little I-can't-dance-problem. The expert slayer-hands moved to her hips and guided her moves. She helped Faith with her presence, Faith helped her with the dancing. They helped each other just like they had back then – only this time there wasn't a lost soul involved, but two broken hearts.

She simply let herself be lead by Faith's hands and slowly found the right rhythm. Still there was one problem – she had no idea what to do with her own hands - and arms, in fact. At the moment those were hanging down her sides uselessly. But little later this problem was solved, since Faith decided to change their dancing position by turning her around and putting her arms around her from behind.

Reflexively Red's hands clasped onto the slayer's arms. At first a little panicked, because the last time she had this much body contact to the brunette was more than five years ago. She still remembered Faith sliding along her throat with her shiny new toy, this horrible knife the Mayor had given her.

But she relaxed quickly since Faith held her gently this time. Suddenly she felt comfortable in the brunette's arms – something she would have never thought possible. Least of all since they were still standing on a dance floor!

Faith took delight in Willow's new-found relaxedness. She knew what had caused this to some extent – she could smell the Whiskey on the redhead's breath. She grinned – good thing she had left her drink there, because Red just felt incredible in her arms. She could even dance if you showed her how, if you gave her some help... Help that was very much dependent on body contact.

She loved it. It wasn't like dancing with B had been. B would have never let her touch her like that. No, this here was way better – Red was way better, because she let her caresses happen, seemed completely consumed by them. To Faith, it wasn't even over the top to say that Willow needed her caresses. And if only for tonight; if only to take revenge on Kennedy.

Willow, however, didn't even so much as think about her still-girlfriend. Right now the brunette in whose arms she was cradled softly seemed so much more exciting than Kennedy had ever been. And this wasn't only owed to the bodily...qualities... pressing into her back...

Still she was so focused on these that she almost missed the soft lips grazing the side of her neck, kissing it tentatively and sadly much too briefly. Were they making amends for the knife that once had been pressed to this delicate spot?

They danced like this for a while – in tune with themselves, in harmony with each other. Connected by their mission to fight their heartbrokenness – or at least suppress it a little.

When the third song they had danced to together ended, they got ready to leave the dance floor. And Faith took heart and put out a question that had been on her mind for several minutes. "So, uh... you... wanna go to my place?" she asked the redhead walking in front of her. And this one faced her with somewhat surprised eyes. "I live nearby". Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. Maybe Red wasn't even ready for more. "It's not all that pretty there or anything... but..."

Not without reason was Willow astonished. Nobody had asked her this question before. At least not with the connotation she believed she had heard it from Faith's mouth. It sounded like one of those phrases you hear in overly corny, cliché-ridden movies. Only thing missing was the mention of a stamp collection...

Sure... for Faith their dancing together must have been some sort of foreplay. But... maybe she was wrong, and Faith didn't even mean it... that way?

"I...," she stopped, not knowing herself, what she really wanted to say. Before she could think of something to complete her utterance with... in whichever way... her stomach grumbled a reply.

This had to happen – she hadn't eaten anything tonight. She suppressed any kind of emotion, hoping Faith had missed the growling in all the noise of the club. It embarrassed her a little.

But of course... "I've got food..." Slayer-hearing; she hated it sometimes. Faith's look, however, was not at all mischievous, which would have fitted this situation. Rather the slayer seemed almost afraid. Afraid that Willow would reject her.

No, she couldn't just say 'no' now. For one thing, the offer to get her something to eat seemed really sweet, and for another, the motto for tonight was... 'all or nothing'. Sure, she could just leave it here, leave it at just dancing, but Kennedy hadn't left it at just flirting either.

Yet this wasn't about revenge anymore. She wanted this last step for herself – and she wanted it for Faith.

Also she knew that Faith needed this – for her – proper finish for tonight, knew that the brunette would if necessary find someone else to... finish … with. And she could barely stand this thought. No, tonight was their night. "Okay".

Faith smiled in relief. Quickly she handed the barkeeper the money for their drinks, including an extra generous tip and then offered Red her arm. This one accepted and together they left the club. Her bouncer-buddy gave her the thumbs-up and Faith winked in goodbye, pointedly patting a slightly blushing Willow's hand.

After leaving the club, Faith waited until they had rounded the first corner before reaching into the back pocket of her jeans and producing a pack of cigarettes. The club was smoke-free, and the slayer was glad to be out in fresh air again.

But she hadn't counted on Willow. Because just about light one, she felt her action being halted by a resolute hand. She looked over at the redhead questioningly. "If you wanna lecture me and tell me that smoking is bad for my health..."

"I don't," Willow replied immediately, before adding "...although it's true" as an afterthought. She grinned, "but... I really don't wanna kiss an ashtray..."

Smirking, Faith understood this promise and stowed away her bad habits immediately. Willow-smoochies and more definitely sounded yummier right now.

It didn't take them long to reach Faith's apartment. Willow sat down on the bed and let her eyes wander, while Faith retreated to the small kitchen, hunting for food. The brunette had told the truth; it really wasn't the prettiest thing. Though it wasn't all that bad either. Just scarcely decorated and furnished. Only a few pictures hang on the walls, and there weren't any plants to be seen. But apart from that it was okay. Definitely a progress from Faith's little motel room in Sunnydale – even though she only knew that one from hearsay.

While furnishing and decoration seemed of little importance to Faith, the technical equipment in the one-bed-roomer was drool-worthy. She noticed the newest PlayStation... as far as she could tell, she didn't know a lot about gaming consoles. Computers were her terrain, and thus she was aware that the exemplar in Faith's possession was a true beauty. The plasma TV as well left nothing to be desired. Only the stereo, in all its battered glory, seemed a little out of place.

What really impressed her, however, were the school books that were piled up neatly – according to Faith's standards – and resided next to her computer. It brought her some not only academic delight when she saw them. She knew that Faith didn't have to get her GED, Giles would make sure, that she was doing fine financially. But the fact that it still seemed important to Faith to graduate made Willow proud in some way. Who knows, maybe Faith would even head towards an academic career and join her, who now finally was a master of computer science, in the academics club. She had the potential, and Willow was convinced that she also had the necessary skills and knowledge – though Faith had never been one to flaunt this.

"Knew you were gonna notice those," Faith motioned with her head over to the books, stepping into the room again. "Five weeks till the big day". She sat next to Willow Indian style, spread out the eatables between them and busied herself with not looking too embarrassed at the delighted look Willow still sent her way...

...Until the redhead finally focused on the food. Good thing she liked candy, Willow thought, because... Faith hadn't brought her much more than that. Two chocolate bars, one nougat and one caramel with nuts. An apple. A bag of liquorice. A Red Bull. An interesting combination...

With raised eyebrows and an amused smile, she looked at Faith anew. "Oh, wait," the brunette turned around and rummaged through one of the drawers of the dresser near the bed. And conjured up a bag of shrimp chips.

The redhead laughed. Yeah, that should be enough. Only she didn't know how she'd feel after this very special meal.

She pondered, which of these... delicacies... she should try out first and decided on nougat bar; Faith grinned and laid claim on the remaining one. They didn't talk for a while, neither about Faith and school, nor about Kennedy, Buffy or even the others. They seemed to get along without words, and all necessary things about this had been said anyway.

Besides... Faith was busy with something else. Was yet again busy ogling Willow in her sexy leather skirt. Leather – she had to repeat that word over and over in her head. Red in leather. Simply... wow...

Willow noticed the fascinated look, of course, and couldn't bite back a, "You're still into leather, huh?"

Faith just wiggled her eyebrows – there was no reason to deny the obvious.

"You know... this skirt is nothing. Once I had on a skintight, black leather corset, combined with black leather pants. Oh, and let's not forget the leather boots...". Faith's sudden 'Okay, now you're shi...uh, kidding me'-face almost made Willow choke on the piece of chocolate she still had in her mouth in amusement. "I'm serious. Back then I had to pose as my vampire doppelganger to prevent a massacre in the Bronze..."

"Huh?" came the bewildered return. Even more Willow in revealing outfits. Why hadn't anyone told her...

"Long story," Willow stopped any of Faith's thoughts with a wave of her hand, "but, uh... I think you would have liked that outfit. And the Willow vamp".

Faith thought about this for a second. "The outfit, yeah, really would have liked to have seen that. But a bloodsucking Will isn't my thing – I'm weird like that. I like you much better the way you are now".

Willow smiled flattered, and continued her... 'dinner'. The apple, a bit of liquorice and big sip of Red Bull. As a precaution she passed on the chips.

Faith waited patiently the whole time, and tried to not think about that one special person whowas into bloodsuckers. And when Red finally seemed sated, she got ready for 'attack'. "So... since you didn't let me smoke and all... Can we get started then?"

"That's so romantic...," Willow commented Faith's impatient-sounding utterance sarcastically and watched as the brunette's hand slid up her leg.

"Who said I was romantic?" the other girl grinned before her hand came to rest on the redhead's thigh. Then the grin turned into an affectionate smile. "But if you want that, we could turn on the... damn, the stereo is broken," she remembered that this also meant listening to one of those 'Light FM' radio stations was out of question and pouted. "Hm, I'd say we could play a CD in the PlayStation, but I don't think you're the heavy metal type – and I don't have anything else," she added.

"Oh," Willow covered the hand on her thighs with hers, because Faith's depressed face didn't sit well with her at all. "I can do something about that. What kind of music you want?"

Faith looked up, wondering what Willow was up to. "You decide," she finally said and smiled expectantly.

"Okay. Then you go and a put the food away, while I work on the music". Said and done. Faith put the remains of their dinner back to their appropriate places and Willow concentrated on the music.

She had told Faith that she didn't use magic when it wasn't absolutely necessary – but right now it was. A little spell to contribute to the mood. There wasn't anything wrong with that.

Faith seemed surprised when she entered the room again. "You fixed it?" she asked and checked her stereo. Which was still broken. She cast Willow a questioning look.

"Unfortunately not. But we can do without it." She motioned with her finger, not pointing into a specific corner of the room, indicating that the music wasn't coming from a speaker, but rather was in the air.

"Pretty," Faith laughed. She didn't know the song that was playing, but still she liked it.

"So... can we get started then?" Willow repeated Faith's charming sentence with a sly grin.

Faith flashed her dimples and came over, crawled up on the bed whose headboard Willow had leaned against in the meantime and laid beside her. Cradling her head in one hand, the other one found its place on Willow's thigh again. But she wasn't forceful, was rather cautious. She looked the redhead in the eyes. "Did I already mention that you look hot tonight?"

"I dimly recall," Willow replied, locking eyes with the slayer next to her. The girl she had never thought she would ever find herself with in a situation like this, but now knew was exactly who she needed tonight. "But... you're not that bad either", she added sincerely.

The brunette accepted this compliment with a smile, pulled Willow closer and leaned in to kiss the redhead for the first time. Mmm. Chocolate, liquorice, a bit of apple, Willow's funky fruit cocktail thing and most notably her Whiskey – a very special flavor mix.

Faith's gentle, tender kissing technique surprised Willow. She had expected a more demanding, brusquer modus operandi. Or was Faith just being this tentative, since usually she only got 'in touch' with men? Probably not... but this thought still entailed a curious question.

And when the slayer released her lips again... "C-Can I ask you something?" Willow dared, not all sure if she even had the right to put out this question to Faith or how she would react to the slayer's answer.

"Sure," the brunette replied, though she much rather wanted to continue with what they were doing right now. Not yet aware that the coming question held some importance for Willow.

"Have you dated a lot...of women?" the redhead got out with a little bit of hesitation, suddenly painfully aware that this little question-and-answer-game might kill the entire mood of this situation.

Faith frowned briefly, wondering what Willow was getting at, but finally replied, "If by 'dated' you mean if I've slept with them..."

"Well, kinda...yeah," her counterpart interrupted. By rephrasing 'dated' with 'slept with', Faith had shown her that she had understood her question like she had meant it. Plus the way the brunette had started her answer had already given her enough information, she thought. And it scared her a little.

The brunette slayer had a certain reputation when it came to bedroom activities. Mostly due to her own bragging. "It's just, um... maybe that means you have more experience than me," she explained her hesitance, unable to stop her hand from fumbling with the hem of Faith's shirt, avoiding eye contact. "Quantitatively. With women, that is. Not men. Well, men too... but, um... I just... I've only been with two girls and..."

"Willow," Faith stopped her, raising her chin with a gentle finger, making her look up again. She knew what Willow wanted to say. The redhead felt a little nervous, feared she wouldn't be able to keep up with her. In early years she had witnessed Willow babble, and it had often been a sign of insecurity. But it didn't belong to Willow now. The Willow of today was a self-confident young woman. And that self-confidence should not be limited to non-sexual parts of life.

Willow looked into the deep brown eyes, the use of her full name telling her that Faith was serious with what she wanted to say now.

"Who cares about experience? It's not important. Plus, I'm pretty sure that you can show a lot more than you think". After all, Willow had been in two long relationships, whereas she had had only one-night-stands with the girls she had ever slept with. "Just think of this as a little more practice, for both of us", she smiled, giving her a short, gentle kiss before leaning back and waiting for the redhead's reply.

Maybe Faith was right, Willow thought. Quantitatively, she probably had had more sex with women, but with much less women than Faith has had. "Practice sounds good," she grinned in her turn, putting an arm around Faith's neck and putting an end to this in retrospect pretty silly discussion by kissing her again.

And so two people came together who had known each other for a long time, had never gotten the opportunity to really get to know each other, however, but still knew enough about each other to understand why this was happening. Revenge and heartbrokenness that melted together and formed a craving on a new level. A level that didn't have to do with Kenny or Buffy anymore.

Of course they were realistic enough to know the following: one of them would be gone come morning, would have returned to her hotel to prepare for the last part of her trip to England. And one of them would be able to smoke again extensively and would weigh up whether or not she should finally take that one guy from the club home with her. Just because. Life goes on.

But they wouldn't ever forget this night spent together. A night without any trace of lack of experience or other problems. And maybe they would have agreed on a re-encounter. Or several.

If only to 'practice' some more.

END


A/N: Okay, guys, that's the end of this story. Thank you all for reading and reviewing! I hope you like how this turned out ;)