The Jack Daniels Effect
by Anne
Rating: NC-17

Disclaimer: Joss Whedon and any others who own the characters of BtVS, I'm just dabbling. Unfortunately they're not mine.
Spoilers: Set after S4, so anything's game.
Author's Notes: This was my first real go, so forgive me. I've finally read through it, and as I'm in posting mode, thought I would give it a go!
Feedback: If you think it's worth writing home about...

The sunshine felt good on her shoulders. It felt like it had been a long time. Luckily, a few assaults meant only a few months inside for Faith. Thank goodness for Mayor Wilkins. Somehow all evidence that had tied Faith to murder had mysteriously disappeared. And by putting in a guilty plea, well, there hadn't been much time for things to change while she'd been away. Now she was back and, man, it felt good.

As they let her through the gate that led to the outside world, she noticed a car with blacked out windows. Angel's car. Not only was she going back into the world, she had someone waiting there for her. He had been good to her, she smiled to herself. Writing to her in prison, offering words of encouragement along the way. She wished he could have come and visited her, but with the whole sunlight thing, that was out of the question. In all the time she had been inside, she had had only one visitor. And then just the once. Two months after she had made her confession, Buffy had come to see her. Try to talk things through, resolve some differences. *B could never resist a challenge.*

Faith opened the car door just a crack, making sure Angel was out of the light's reach before getting inside. She was surprised to see Wesley there and was more than a little uncomfortable. She noticed he had a few more scars since she had been with him. And unlike her, it didn't all fade. "Er, hi Wes. Hi Angel."

"Glad to be out?"

"You bet."

"I can offer you a bed at my place, until you find your feet again," Angel offered.

"Sure." Even after all this time getting to know herself, trying to escape her past, she still had the urge to run. It was something that was always there. Angel had warned her that it might be the toughest demon she ever had to face. But he had trusted her and had shown faith in her. And that was good enough reason to try. That was all she ever needed to know. "So, how's tricks?"

"Usual vamps and demons. No Hellmouth here remember? More your run-of-the-mill evil."

"I can help you out though, right?" There was uncertainty in the voice. "I mean, I know I'm a little rusty but..."

"Of course you can help us Faith. With your Slayer strength and experience, I'm sure you will be a valuable asset to our team."

"Er, thanks Wes. Cool."

*****

Buffy hadn't been to LA for a while. Not since she had visited Faith in prison, and then she had been discreet. She had deliberately not visited Angel, though she was sure that with his connections that he must have known. It just made it easier for both of them. Their feelings ran so deep it would take more than a few months to heal, to forget. Things were all quiet on the Hellmouth front, she and Riley were going steady, and the whole gang were getting on well again. But she never forgot about Faith. She knew she would be out of prison soon, and did not want it to be a surprise like when she came out of the coma. She knew that if Faith could stay on the straight and narrow then it would be inevitable that they would have to work again together some day. Two Slayers were always better than one.

So when she found out the date that Faith would be getting out, she had decided to go back up to LA. Not for a fight or for revenge, but for peace. When she had visited her in prison, Faith had been broken worse than the time that they fought Kakistos, and they had sorted out very little between the tears and the shaking. After months on her own in that coma thinking of nothing but Buffy, now she was thinking about nothing but Faith. And the worse parts are always the ones you remember most. Buffy hoped that she would be calmer now, and that they would be able to talk properly. She had let Faith down and Faith had let her down, but they had to stay in the past. She knew that she had Angel on her side, and that was a strong asset. But when she pushed open the door to Angel's office she had no idea what to expect.

"Buffy!" Cordelia's smile was a cross between 'good to see you again' and 'if you start a fight don't even think about involving me this time'.

"Hi Cordelia. Everyone out?"

"Actually, Angel and psycho-Slayer are downstairs."

"Still not best friends, huh?"

"Never trust anyone who bruises your face. Battered wife look does nothing for your career. Anyway, she's staying here. Do you want to go down?" At that moment the lift door came back and Angel and Faith were standing there. Buffy noticed that he looked defensive.

"Hey," she said, raising her hand in a peace gesture. "I'm not looking for trouble this time. I just wanted to make sure you're okay."

"What can I say B? Five by five?" Faith smiled at her old cliché, something that was a part of her old life. Buffy couldn't help but smile back. Five by five. She was a sucker for the old lines.

"Glad to hear - what the hell!" Buffy span round just as a demon crashed its way through the air vent. "Looks like it's party time!" The demon bared long claws and swung for her. She dodged easily. "Hey, do either of you guys want to handle this one? I'm supposed to be on vacation!"

Faith raised her leg and kicked him square in the stomach, surprised by her actions. Naturally, she knew she would be able to do it, but expected to be a little rusty at least. Still, she had to admit that it felt good. He fell back into a filing cabinet and she followed up with a quick right hook to the face. Her second punch was blocked, as was her third, and Faith found her arms being held tightly. "Move, B!" she yelled, as she fell down and backwards sending the demon soaring over her head. Buffy moved over just in time for him to sail past her. Before anyone could do anything it had scrambled to its feet and was running out of the door.

"Gee guys, you know how to give a girl a welcome!" Buffy walked over to where Faith was still lying on the floor and offered her a hand up. It was more of a symbolic gesture, and Faith returned it, allowing herself to be pulled up.

"Thanks B." There was a long awkward pause.

"Coffee?" exclaimed Cordelia, clapping her hands together as she realised a way to break the silence. There were frequent silences when Mr. Mean 'n' Moody himself was your boss, but she could spot awkward a mile off. Where was Wesley when you needed him?

"Thanks Cordelia. That would be lovely."

"Faith?" the name came as if it had been strangled out of Cordelia's throat.

"Sure. Whatever." Faith looked like she was nonchalant, but Buffy could see her wringing her hands together and guessed how uncomfortable she must be feeling. Angel might have been willing to welcome her back with open arms, but she would have to prove herself to everyone else. And Buffy knew Faith wasn't used to proving herself. At least, not in that way.

Coffee was filled with smalltalk, Angel not looking at Buffy, Buffy not looking at Angel, Cordelia not looking at Faith, and Faith avoiding looking at all three. Buffy found herself wondering how in the space of one short year it could come to this. How they could change so much and yet still be pretty much the same.

"So Buffy, why do you think that Demon attacked us this morning? I promise you, things like that don't happen very often."

"I've never seen it before. I'm sure I'd remember something that ugly."

"Oh yeah," chipped in Cordelia, eyes wide open. "Talk about in need of a facial."

"What about you Faith?" Buffy asked gently. "You ever seen one before?"

"Er...no. Not that I can remember. Except that maybe..." Faith shook her head as if trying to make the picture clearer. "No....it's not there. Sorry."

"Oh well, let's just hope he's gone for good then. So what's the plan?"

"Whatever you want Buffy. You came here after all. You had something specific in mind?" Angel asked the question, even though he was sure he knew what it was.

Faith had given up on telling herself that she had always had things so much worse than everyone else. Those thoughts always led her straight into trouble somehow. But there she was sitting there drinking coffee and listening to them talking, when she found out she was thinking that way again. It was always Buffy that brought it out in her. Just when she was getting better about things now, even the thought of Buffy sometimes was just too much. Too many insecurities because Faith could never get over all the things that Buffy had, even when she was being offered them anyway. Now Buffy had turned up in LA again and things had been thrown straight back into her conscious mind. There really was no escape from Ms. Summers. Angel had warned her many times that Buffy would be the one to bring that demon back, because she was the one that brought it out in her. And Angel should know. She literally brought it out of him.

So when Buffy had turned up in Angel's office, Faith had nearly choked on her doughnut and then nearly bolted for the door. She realised that maybe she was only there to speak to Angel anyway. Then she could feel really stupid for feeling that somehow she had been high on the list of her priorities. Now she looked up to see just what it was that Buffy wanted, and found herself finally making eye-contact. Buffy was looking straight at her, trying to work out what to say.

"Angel, can Faith and I have some time alone? We'll promise to be good." She gave a little half smile.

"Sure," Angel nodded, but gave Buffy a warning look that told her not to push too hard just yet. Take it slow was the message. "I'll be just upstairs if either of you need me." He said it to both of them, but they all knew it was a reassurance for Faith. If she knew he was nearby she would be less likely to run. Angel and Cordelia left in silence, and Buffy suspected that as soon as they left the room Cordy would have her ear pushed up to the door.

They sat for a while in silence until Faith suddenly sprang up and began pacing. "So what do you want to talk to me about B? 'Cause I feel like I'm walking a real thin line here. Please don't make it any harder than it has to be. I'm not sure I can do this. I mean, I want to, but it's so hard. I can't sleep without dreaming of all the things that I've done to you. I just want to be able to forget again. To make the pain go away. And I know that's selfish but..."

"Faith, shhh." Buffy walked over to her, and placed a finger on Faith's lips. "I'm not here to make you suffer, or to talk about the past. Neither of us want to relive it. That's why I came. To say that we should put it behind us. If you'll let me." She hadn't moved her finger, so Faith could not interrupt. "I'm going to be here for a week or so, and we can get to know each other again. A clean slate Faith. You can show me that person again that I liked so much before we both messed things up. What do you say?" Buffy finally removed her finger and Faith missed it as soon as it was gone. She opened her mouth to speak but when no sound came out she just nodded. "Okay Faith. Then I guess we're five by five."

*****

"So Faith, you feel like you're up to a quick patrol?"

"Sure B. I'm game." Since their little talk Faith was feeling much more like her old self. Well, the good bits of her old self anyway. And she was more than ready to slay some vamps. It was what she was meant to do and her body ached to go out and feel the adrenaline and the thrill of the hunt. Angel was about to offer to go with them when he realised that this was a Slayer-bonding exercise. It would do them good, but he was a little concerned that Faith may not be up to her full strength.

"So where do you suggest we patrol Angel. The mean streets of LA are slightly different to those in Sunnydale. You have to watch out for humans here as well..." Buffy cringed as she realised what she was saying. Patrol and killing humans were things not to be mentioned in the same sentence around Faith. Buffy was mentally kicking herself when Faith put a hand on her shoulder.

"Relax B. You said that we were going to put it behind us. That means that you have to be relaxed around me. Don't worry. I know what I've done and guess what B. I can now look you in the eyes and say I do care. So I don't want to do it again." She smiled and Buffy became more relaxed. "Besides, you have to relax. I don't want to be saving your ass on the first night I'm out of prison!" She looked Buffy up and down as she said it. Oh yeah, Faith was back.

*****

There was a big difference between the city vamps and the suburbs vamps, Buffy had been right. In LA there was no-one to be seen in the cemeteries but the Slayer sense kicked in as they walked passed an alley on the way back to Angel's apartment. They both reached out to each other at the same time, knowing that the action was to be found a little further down the darkness. Faith could feel the beat of the bass from a nearby club pounding along the sidewalk, and realised that this would be the first alley that a vampire would reach if he was bringing his victim out of the club. Just then there was a muffled scream, and they both broke into a run.

Expecting one vampire, they were surprised to be confronted with four. "Well, B, looks like we interrupted a gang-bang."

"Four to two. I like those odds."

"Oh yeah." With that Faith ran up to the vamp nearest to her and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, yanking him towards her. "Party's over boys!" she called as she threw him over her shoulder and into a pile of trash cans. The others turned round and lunged at her. They seemed a bit more co-ordinated than the ones she was used to. Either that or she really was out of practise. They both threw punches at her head at the same time and all she could do was duck. She heard a crushing sound behind her and guessed that Buffy had taken out the fourth vampire or at least was trying to. She punched one square in the jaw, and spun round driving her stake straight into the chest of another one. She had pulled out and moved on even before he had turned to dust. Two down, two to go. She turned around to see Buffy grappling one on the floor, her stake just inches out of her reach. Faith was about to run over when a punch snapped her head back. In her distraction she had forgotten about the other vampire. Her head collided with the wall behind her, making her momentarily dizzy. He advanced on her, and she reacted as quickly as she could, lunging at him with a quick volley of punches to the face and a quick upward staking movement to the chest. As the dust cleared in front of her, Buffy came into view. The vampire was still on top of her, but she was struggling less now, his hands around her throat. "B!" yelled Faith, lunging forward and throwing all her weight into his back stake poised. She pulled out of him, raising the sharp point over her shoulder just as she felt the solidness give way beneath her. She fell a few inches, landing squarely on Buffy. "You okay B?"

"I think so."

"I told you I'd end up saving your ass!" Faith chuckled as she rolled off Buffy and onto her side. Her left leg was still trailed across Buffy as they lay there, both trying to get their breath back. "Where are we anyway?"

"About two blocks from my hotel room."

"Come on. Let's get you back there and cleaned up before we report back to Angel. You got some nasty cuts on you B." Faith got up and extended her hand, helping Buffy up, and letting her lean on her on the way back to the hotel.

*****

"Nice place you got here B," said Faith, opening the minibar.

"Help yourself to anything in the minibar if you want," Buffy called back, through the sound of running water. Faith knew that she needed to get cleaned up as well, but that could wait until she got back to Angel's. Buffy had some cuts that had needed cleaning up straight away. She smiled as she pulled two miniatures of Jack Daniels off the shelf and emptied them into glasses. That would do just the trick she thought as her stomach rumbled. Good to see that some things hadn't changed. A good slaying and she was starving. And....she shook her head, refusing to let the image in. Yeah, things hadn't changed at all. "I think I could really use one of those now, so I hope they aren't both for you!" Faith spun round to see Buffy on the way out of the bathroom, wearing nothing but a towel, wet hair sticking to her shoulders. The image hit the front of her brain anyway. She was most definitely hungry and horny. This was what she had been trying to put to the back of her mind. This had been the thing that had caused most of her problems in the first place. Things had been going so well until she had made the mistake of killing someone. She thought that there was something there between them. Scott out of the picture, things uncertain with Angel, and there was starting to be more and more of a response every time she had made a pass at her. Nothing too heavy, but just enough to make sure that it was there. And then she had gone and screwed it up like she always did. And there was no going back once she screwed up. But now everything was becoming all right again, they had slayed some tough vamps together, and B was standing in front of her wearing nothing but a towel and a smile. Faith swallowed.

"Help yourself B." Her tone was double-edged without her meaning it to be. And as Buffy walked passed her to get the glasses, Faith could have sworn she came a lot closer than she really needed to.

"A toast," she said, handing Faith a glass. "I don't normally drink as you know, but I think this is a special occasion. A celebration of your welcome home Slaying."

"To Slaying." Faith raised her glass. "You do realise, don't you B, that this is supposed to be knocked straight back." Faith could not believe what her mouth was saying, but her brain knew why it was saying it.

"Really? Okay then, here goes." Buffy raised the glass and threw the liquid down her throat as Faith did the same. She could feel it scorching its way down into her stomach, burning her throat. "Jesus Faith, how do you drink this stuff all the time?"

"It's just a double B, so you should be okay. Helps you loosen up a little."

"What about you F! Will it help you loosen up a little too?"

"I see it's working on you already. Jeez B! When are you going to learn to hold your drink. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. One sniff and she's down."

"You're funny Faith" she giggled.

"Oh great! Angel is going to love it when I take you back drunk."

"Don't take me back then, we could stay here." Buffy shook her head, torn between trying to sober up and just giggling helplessly. The action was too much for her, and she stumbled.

"Shit B!" Faith lunged forward and grabbed her just in time. As she tried to steady her, Faith stomach let out a low growling sound.

"So slaying still makes you hungry...." Buffy leaned into Faith further, their lips inches apart. "Does it still make you horny as well Faith?" Buffy leaned in a little further until she was at the point where Faith could feel her breath on her lips. Faith could feel herself getting light-headed and she knew it wasn't because of the JD.

"B, do you think we should..." the feel of Buffy's lips against hers silenced her, as everything she had thought of for so long started to transform into some kind of reality. The thought made her inhale deeply, and Buffy took the opportunity to oh so slowly slide her tongue into Faith's mouth. Instinctively Faith responded, sliding her tongue against Buffy's, reaching behind her to pull her closer as she felt arms tighten around her neck and shoulders. But she held herself back, and the kiss was slow and steady, letting the passion build as they both explored the others mouth gently. They both wanted this so much. At the same moment they both pulled away gently.

"Wow...Faith...I...."

"Shhh B. Do you want to carry on?"

"I..."

"I want to make love to you Buffy. Will you let me? Do you want me to?"

"Yes," Buffy sighed, pushing her hips towards Faith with a slight grinding motion. "I've never done this before Faith." She confessed. "Have you?"

"Once or twice," she murmured into the hollow of Buffy's throat, trailing her tongue along the clear definition of her collar bone. "Enough to know that I wanted to do it to you from the moment I first saw you." Buffy could feel her knees going weak with desire. Then she pushed Faith away.

"Faith, stop." Buffy could see the hurt and confusion in those wide brown eyes and smiled. Reaching up she untucked the towel from where it was fastened, letting it slide over her body and onto the floor. Stepping out of it, she crossed the short distance between them and pushed the full length of her body against Faith's. "Make love to me now," she breathed into her mouth. Faith needed no further invitation. This time their kisses were not hesitant, but filled with the pent up energy of something that they had been trying to suppress from the moment that they met. It was passionate and loving all at once, and everything that both of them had always hoped that it would be. There was nothing else in the world at that moment except for the two of them. Faith could feel Buffy's damp hair tickling her wrists where she held her tight around the waist, and the new dampness of her body as desire made her skin wet with sweat. Faith was glad of her Slayer strength when she easily picked Buffy up and lay her down on the bed, sliding herself on top of her. "Faith. Clothes."

"Shhh. Let me do this for you, and then we can... you know." Faith kissed her way gently along Buffy's neck and up to her ear, nibbling gently on the lobe, as her right hand slid along her body. She felt Buffy groan beneath her, and her own words from the past echoed in her head. *If you're a screamer B feel free.* The nipples were already hard under her fingers, and Buffy arched her back, pushing further into Faith's hands. She could smell the arousal coming of her skin, could taste it as she kissed her way down Buffy's body, taking first her right nipple and then her left between her teeth and rolling them gently with her tongue. She could feel Buffy's hands slide down the back of her neck, her nails digging into her back. Encouraged Faith sucked harder, trying to ignore the own needs of her body that wanted her to slam against Buffy and find some release. Instead she slowly, deliberately fluttered her hands down over her stomach and across the front of her thighs, feeling Buffy open up her body for her. She ran teasing fingers up the inside of her thigh, stopping just short of Buffy's arching body before bringing them back down and doing the same along the other thigh.

"Faith, please," Buffy whimpered. "Please...please....oh God....Faith...ooooohhhhh!" Buffy was shocked when Faith's hands stopped the slow gently movement and raced up between her legs, plunging two fingers inside her straight away. Faith felt her tense against her fingers instantly and then began to relax again as she began the slow, rhythmic plunging in and out, her thumb gently caressing the outside of her body, Buffy's hands locked firmly behind her head. Slowly but deliberately Faith increased the speed, as Buffy's hips bucked up to meet her stroke for stroke, harder and harder until Faith could feel the pulsing around her fingers, coming in waves until they gently faded away. Without pulling out, Faith crawled the top half of her body over Buffy and captured her mouth with her own. "Was that okay?" to Faith's surprise she found that she was gasping as well, Buffy breathing too hard to reply, simply nodded her head and pulled Faith in closer for another deep kiss.

"Faith...let me make love to you now. I know you want me to," she whispered, sliding her hand down to touch Faith through the thick material of her jeans. Faith groaned and got up quickly, literally tearing off her clothes before getting back on the bed next to Buffy. "Wow, that must be world record time. Here. Now." It was all the invitation that Faith needed to lean back into Buffy's kisses and feel the blond Slayer run her hands up along her back. Faith was already so worked up that she did not know how long she could take the softly softly approach. She was wondering how to get B to move things along when she suddenly found herself pushed flat on her back by Slayer strength, and pinned down by the shoulders as Buffy's tongue trailed across her neck.

"I thought you said you'd never done this before B?"

"What can I say," Buffy murmured "I had a good teacher." She also had quite a good idea of how Faith liked to have sex. She was pretty sure that sex was all that she had ever had before as well. This time Buffy wanted it to mean more, for Faith to finally understand. But she also knew that Faith probably wouldn't be able to wait around that long. So Buffy had a plan. To fuck Faith senseless and then make love to her so perfectly until she screamed with pleasure. And Buffy had to admit, as she took Faith's nipple into her mouth, it was one hell of a plan.

She took her head away quickly and heard Faith groan with disappointment. She put her mouth back to Faith, and whispered against her lips, "So tell me Faith, is this what you want?" and felt Faith groan into her mouth when she slid three fingers straight inside her. Buffy had been right not to underestimate the girl, as Faith arched her hips up to take them all in and bucked under her fingers, inviting Buffy in as deep as she could go. Buffy began to pump her hand hard and fast, knowing that this was just what Faith needed right now.

"Oh God, B," she groaned, tugging on Buffy's lower lip, and when she realised that she was biting down hard transferred her mouth to Buffy's shoulder. Buffy could feel her cry of pleasure muffled against her shoulder at the same time she felt Faith's muscles tightening on her hand, squeezing so hard, Buffy thought she might just break her fingers, before Faith collapsed back onto the bed panting.

It was then that Buffy decided to put phase two of her plan into action. She slowly removed her fingers and kissed her way down the other Slayer's body, moving her tongue in slow lazy circles over the flesh. As she made the descent from Faith's naval she murmured, "I didn't hurt you did I Faith? Because if I hurt you then I have to kiss it better."

"What the...uurrghh" Faith reached up to grab the bedframe as Buffy's body parted her legs and she felt Buffy's mouth gently, fleetingly caress her. Faith's hands instinctively went down to Buffy's head, making sure she could not pull away as she arched into her. Faith could feel her second orgasm building, even more intense than the first, and she had not thought that would be possible. She felt one finger slip inside her, and it pressed upwards just enough to send her over the edge and into some kind of mindless oblivion.

When the body beneath her ceased to shudder, Buffy crawled her way up Faith's body, leaving the palm of her hand pressed between Faith's legs for comfort. "You okay Baby?" she said, when she saw Faith tears. She thought she would be ready for it now, so she took a chance. "I've wanted to do that for a long time now, and do you know why? Because I love you Faith." The words hung between them, and Buffy wondered if she had said too much too soon. More tears slipped down Faith's face.

"I..I....I love you too." Faith finally, truly broken, she buried her head in Buffy's shoulders and sobbed with relief as the pain she had been carrying for years lifted itself away. She was no longer alone.

...continued in The Morning After...

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