*A/N: Please do not distribute or post this story anywhere without my permission.*

Sparks

Faith is still brushing errant specks of Kakistos's dust from her clothes when they come out of the diner, full with greasy fries and the thrill of winning. "So," She shoves her hands in her pockets and bounces on the balls of her feet, "I guess I'll see you tomorrow."

Buffy starts to nod and then remembers, "Wait, your door is busted."

When she shrugs, the other girl's t-shirt slides further up her already exposed abdomen. Buffy looks away as Faith says, "I'm a slayer, B. Pretty sure I can handle any home invasion attempts."

Buffy's still struggling to figure out this new slayer. She's so different from calm, polite Kendra. "I know you can. But my mom's gonna wanna know why I was out til two, so why don't you come with me and keep her off my back?"

Tilting her head as if she's considering it, Faith finally flashes her a smile. "Guess I could help you out."

She rolls her eyes but leads the way toward her house. Around them, the air is cool and heavy with impending rain. The streets of Sunnydale are dark and the quiet is broken only by the sound of their feet falling in unison. Gone are Faith's stories of alligator wrestling and naked preachers. The other slayer's body seems more relaxed now and Buffy thinks she understands why—it wasn't that long ago she faced the Master.

They near an overgrown bush and Faith steps closer to her to go around it. Buffy's surprised when the other slayer sticks close to her side once there's plenty of room for them again. She sneaks a look at Faith. The brunette looks back at her. Buffy expects an eyebrow waggle or a smirk, but Faith surprises her. She just dips her chin, her big dark eyes staring into Buffy's in a way that makes the smaller girl's stomach somersault.

Buffy looks forward quickly, aware of the flush spreading up her neck to her cheeks. Neither of them steps away and half a block later, she pretends not to notice when Faith's fingertips ghost across the inside of her wrist. It's so quiet that she can hear the way their breathing has aligned. Her pulse quickens and she wonders if Faith's is racing too. She imagines pressing into Faith to find out, feeling her heartbeat through her skin.

"Buffy," Faith murmurs next to her as they arrive in front of the Summers' house.

"Yeah?" Buffy' starting to slide her hand in her pocket for her house key, when Faith's hand hooks around her elbow and stops her. She looks questioningly at the other girl.

Faith takes a step closer. Her breasts brush Buffy's shoulder. When her cold fingertips glide across Buffy's hip, she tries not to shudder. Faith's tongue darts out to wet the corner of her mouth before she asks softly, "Am I out of line here?"

The rational parts of her know she should be saying YES. But she's feeling good tonight. Her belly's full and her muscles have that just been slaying tingle. And then there's the small matter of the sparks of electricity radiating from her hip in the exact spot Faith's fingertips have settled. She tilts her chin up, boldly meeting the probing brown eyes looking back at her. "No," She says and then lets her hands do the talking. She takes Faith's face in her palms aggressively, pulling their mouths together hard.

The other slayer responds immediately, pawing insistently at her waist and drawing her in so they are belly to belly. Buffy gasps as Faith's fingers tug her hair back. Her hips roll forward and Faith's press back against her. And oh. Faith kisses like the most perfectly choreographed scene in a movie. She kisses like they're living the final moment before the world ends.

For them, the world usually is ending. But tonight, with Faith's hand cradling the small of her back and Faith's teeth grazing her bottom lip, Buffy's world is beginning. For months, she's been going through the motions, trying to pretend the guilt of killing Angel isn't eating her alive, fumbling toward something with Scott Hope. She's been a stranger in her own life, afraid to really return to being Buffy. She doesn't understand why or how, but that spark, that heart squeezing, blood pumping, alive feeling is spilling over her in waves.

Faith's hands are all over her, caressing her back, tangling in her hair, sliding under her shirt to dip into the hollows of her hips. Only their combined supernatural balancing abilities are keeping them standing. As it is, the silence is broken by the shuffling sounds of their feet as they press against one another, struggling to get closer. Buffy wraps both arms around Faith, as much to remain standing as to feel more of her and the brunette makes a little pleased noise in her throat. Suddenly, she's thinking about taking Faith upstairs. She sees her palms gliding up Faith's bare thighs, parting them so she can slip between them. Buffy's imaging doing things she's not even sure how to do. Trying to catch her breath, she pushes against Faith's shoulders.

"What's wrong?" Faith asks, her flushed face centimeters away. Even in the shadows of the porch, Buffy can see how swollen and rosy her lips are.

Almost dazed, Buffy shakes her head. "Nothing." Her hands travel down Faith's arms until her fingers tuck inside the other girl's palms. This is just a lot to process, she means to say, but instead her mouth opens and she replies, "Let's go inside."

XXXXX

Faith takes to Buffy like bees to honey. It's nothing she can put into words, but each day, the excitement builds hour by hour as she waits for the sun to dip below the horizon. The nights belong to the two of them. They hunt and kill in perfect synchronicity, the ancient force that lives in both of them guiding their movements. Faith has always loved slaying, but doing it with Buffy elevates it from something that she merely enjoys into something she lives for. With Buffy by her side, she feels invincible. More than that, she feels truly connected to another person for the first time in her life.

It's not exactly one-sided either. Willow and Xander have exchanged more than one knowing glance since Faith came to town. Buffy's feelings are obvious to everyone except the two slayers. Her eyes light up whenever Faith strolls into the library. Her blows land with just a little more viciousness if a vamp gets a lucky shot in on the other slayer. Even when she rolls her eyes in disgust at one of Faith's more vulgar stories, she grins a little.

Tonight, they're finishing their sweep when Buffy turns to Faith with a mischievous grin. "Wanna go to your place?"

"Depends," Faith smirks. "Am I gonna get lucky?"

Laughing, Buffy starts to walk toward the exit. "About as lucky as you usually get."

Usually, she gets lucky enough to slip her hands under Buffy's bra, palming the other girl's perfect, soft tits while they kiss frantically until the blonde has to head home. Which, granted, she does feel pretty lucky about, but Faith's eager to do a little more. "Come on, B," she wheedles half seriously, hooking her fingers into Buffy's belt loops and tugging her backward. "I'm feeling extra lucky tonight."

Buffy leans her head back against Faith's shoulder as the other slayer holds her from behind. "I'm feeling a medium amount of lucky."

Gently, Faith lowers her lips to Buffy's neck, kissing a line up her throat until her lips are close to the other girl's ear. "You know it'd be good…" She whispers.

Buffy swallows hard, her eyes closing as Faith's tongue circles her earlobe softly. It's getting hard to remember why waiting to sleep with Faith is a good idea.

Faith's hands circle her waist firmly, her splayed fingers on the front pockets of her jeans. She's kissing Buffy's shoulder now, and the blonde melts against her. "Let me make you feel good," Faith's voice is muffled, as her mouth moves to the nape of Buffy's neck.

It's her sweet, husky voice that's the hardest to resist. It steals under the edges of Buffy's resolve and touches places inside her she's never even known she had. It takes her breath away, the way just Faith's voice is enough to ignite a little spark of heat somewhere just below her belly button.

"We shouldn't," She reminds them both, oblivious to the trembling of her voice.

"Why not?" Faith pulls Buffy's shirt up, her hands sliding across the warm skin of her stomach.

"Because," Buffy answers weakly, no longer sure what they're talking about. Faith's fingertips slide under the waistband of her jeans and she sucks in a deep breath.

"B," The brunette's fingers stop moving, "Did you hear something?"

Buffy's eyes snap open a second before a large body crashes into them. She and Faith are knocked apart and she strikes her head on a gravestone. Faith is more fortunate and she's back on her feet quickly. She kicks the intruder and he goes tumbling to the ground.

Buffy's senses are screaming and she shakes her head, dazed. He's a vampire. That much is clear. He's naked and launching himself at Faith again, and Buffy struggles to sit up, blinking away the double vision. Faith evades his grasp, dropping to a crouch and kicking his legs out from under him.

She leaps on top of him, stake poised and ready, but the vampire growls and swings a powerful left hook into her jaw.

Faith tumbles off and he leaps at her again.

Rolling, she evades him and hops upright. He turns to come at her again and Faith lets him get close enough to swing at her.

She ducks and drives her shoulder into his gut. The vampire goes down, winded.

The full moon illuminates his face just as Faith goes in for the kill.

"No!" Buffy screams, "Faith, don't!"

The vampire cries out in pain as Faith's stake stops centimeters from his heart. The slayer looks at Buffy like she's grown two heads. "What the hell?"

Buffy doesn't reply, just drops to her knees beside the pair, her face a mask of shock. "Angel?"

And just like that, everything changes.

XXXXX

By the time they figure out Mrs. Post is evil, the damage is more than done. Buffy's been trying, really, she has, to get through to Faith again. But the other slayer has been completely withdrawn since the night Angel returned. And the fact that they've beaten the crap out of each other hasn't helped matters.

"Hey," Buffy says quietly, as she steps into Faith's motel room.

Faith just nods nonchalantly in response. Her face is bruised, her lip still swollen and tender. She leans against her headboard, a magazine in her lap.

"The place looks nice." Buffy offers awkwardly, unsure how to start what she came here to say.

The other girl gives her something that passes for a smirk. "Yeah, it's real Spartan."

She wants to come closer, sit down next to Faith and take her hand. But she grips the handle of her purse and asks, "How are you?"

"Five-by-five."

"I'll interpret that as good." Buffy smiles faintly, but Faith doesn't seem up for talking. She starts to flip idly through the magazine. "Faith," She takes a small step closer to the bed. "I know things have been kind of weird, um, between us… I just wanted to say I'm sorry about," she gestures towards Faith's injured face, "everything."

Shrugging, Faith raises blank eyes to the other girl. "Is that it?"

Hurt, Buffy looks at her for a long moment. "Yeah, I guess."

"Alright." Faith turns her focus toward the TV. "Well, then, I'll see you."

She turns to go. This isn't at all what she came here for. The truth is that she misses the other slayer. Misses their banter and Faith's mischievous grin. She misses Faith's mouth and her hands and heavy beat of her heart when their bodies are pressed close together. "That's not it," Buffy says, still facing the door. She turns and goes toward Faith.

The other slayer watches her approach through unreadable eyes. Buffy sits down beside her, letting her hand graze Faith's bare thigh. When the brunette shifts her leg away, Buffy tries to keep the hurt from showing on her face. "Why are you being like this?"

"Like what?" Faith's eyes are looking past her.

Angry, Buffy leans forward, gripping Faith's arms until the girl looks at her. "Like you're mad at me! What's your problem? Why have you been avoiding me?"

"Nothing," Faith shrugs, still not meeting Buffy's eyes. "Just thought you'd want time alone with your boy." Her words have a slight hint of malice.

"Faith," Buffy says softly, but Faith interrupts before she can finish.

"Can you just go now, B?"

She thinks about listening. After all, Faith is being unreasonable and it's not like Buffy's ever been immune to hurt feelings. But she remembers the way Faith's face glows when she's happy. She remembers that first night on her porch, the way her skin tingled under the other girl's touch. Buffy doesn't leave. Instead, she determinedly strips her coat off.

"What are you doing?" The other slayer looks hostile.

Before Faith can protest further, the blonde is next to her. She wraps her arms around the other slayer, trying to ignore the rigidness of Faith's frame.

Faith doesn't push her away, but neither does she react, even when Buffy's lips tentatively meet the sensitive skin of her throat.

Buffy's hands cup Faith's neck as she kisses her softly. "Kiss me," She pleads, when Faith doesn't immediately respond.

Faith doesn't know why the other slayer is here in her bed. She wants to tell her to leave. It's so obvious that Buffy still loves Angel. She has no right to come here and kiss her like this. But there's something about Buffy that stills calls to her. Even as she curses herself for doing it, she turns toward Buffy and kisses her hard.

Relief floods the blonde's mind. She holds Faith gently, pressing her lips apologetically against each bruise and scrape on her face.

Faith is impatient, wanting to touch more and more of the girl in her arms. She grasps Buffy tightly, pulling their mouths together.

"Faith," Buffy whispers, having so much more to say.

But Faith isn't interested in talking. She covers Buffy's mouth with hers, pressing her down onto the bed at the same time. She sets a frantic pace, which Buffy keeps up with. Their fingers knot in each other's clothing. Buffy's dress slides up her thighs as Faith presses her knee between them. Leaning over the smaller girl, she's unprepared for the onslaught of painful feelings she's suddenly got. She can't help but wonder what's led to this moment. Has Buffy been under Angel like this?

Trying to push the thoughts away, she burrows further against the blonde. Their tongues dance, soft blonde hair slides through her fingers, eager hands caress her back, lifting her shirt. Faith struggles to maintain her composure.

"Faith?" Buffy asks gently. The girl above her is looking down with shining eyes.

Pressing her hands against Buffy's slides, Faith meets her eyes. "Tell me you want me." She says with her husky voice.

"I want you," Buffy repeats.

"Yeah?"

Buffy hears something in Faith's voice that gives her pause. She searches the other girl's face and the longing there is plain to see. She doesn't fully recognize or understand what that expression means but somehow it twists her heart all the same. She reaches up, pulling Faith down into the circle of her arms. "Yes," She whispers, "I want you, Faith."

Faith doesn't say anything else, just lets Buffy pull her close. "I want you; I want you; I want you," Buffy whispers, her words mumbled against Faith's neck, her face, her shoulders.

"Want you, too," Faith responds finally, hands firm on Buffy's hips. Their tummies are flush, noses touching.

Buffy has that feeling again. Like the pieces of her life are knitting themselves back together. Her lips part in a soft smile. "Show me," She says.

XXXXX

Thanks for reading! Please review and let me know what you thought! :)