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Love Bug

by automatic badgirl
Rating: NC-17

Author's Notes: I took the liberty of playing about with the events in Season Three to suit my purposes so this can be considered a slightly AU version of it. In my little world (and I love living there so bear with me) Angel isn't here. He comes back after the events in this story (perhaps he is still in Hell wearing the Leather Pants of Evil!; I just don't know…) and Wesley shows up on the very next transatlantic flight to Sunnydale just after the pesky Miss Gwendolyn Post is turned into a crispy critter. He is still very much the snotty prig we know and love however. In general more time has elapsed on the whole.
Thanks: As always to Incomparable Ali for being Constant Reader and to nwhepcat for her marvelous versions of Faith that inspire me greatly. This story is dedicated to Rory. Thank you for your kindness and encouragement as I learn to find my voice and for the telephonic support and giggles in general.

+1=2=3=4=5+

PART 1

"Slow night huh?" Faith looked over at Buffy. They were completing one last circuit of the latest graveyard they'd hit on this patrol.

"Yeah kinda, but I'm not complaining. It'll be a nice change to try the whole 'eight hours' sleep thing I've been hearing so much about. I've been bagged at school lately." Faith laughed and shook her head.

"See B, that's why I don't get up until the crack of noon, no pesky classes to interfere with my beauty sleep."

That was when the screaming started.

"Wicked awesome! Sounds like our night just got a bit more lively."

Faith ran off towards the source of the screams. Buffy hesitated a moment then followed with a sigh.

"Yeah, lucky me."

They raced through the graveyard, sprinting past tombs and crypts until they came to one crypt whose door was standing open. The screams were coming from within, shrill wails echoing weirdly in the flickering semi-dark space.

"One way in, could be a trap," said Buffy.

Faith shrugged and plunged through the open door.

Chalk up one more reason as to "Why I love patrolling with Faith", no wasted time thinking of a plan, just straight to the fighty parts… Buffy pulled out her stake and followed.

Two figures writhed on the stone floor, frantically batting and slapping at thousands of tiny beetles swarming over them. Candlelight glinted off of their iridescent carapaces and the sound of thousands of tiny shells sliding past one another was dry and whispery.

"What the fuck are those!" Faith looked over at Buffy.

"Don't know, don't care, those people are in trouble."

Well excuse me Lil' Miss Superhero! Where I come from I don't generally see people covered in tons of bugs unless of course I dropped some bad acid. Faith's snarky thought was interrupted when Buffy started forward. Faith stilled her with an upraised hand.

"B, exactly how do you plan on fighting these things, unless you happen to have a giant size can of Raid handy?"

"Oh darn I just remembered it's in my other coat."

Faith quirked a brow.

"Kidding okay? But we have to hurry up and do something!"

The screams seemed to be growing quieter; the figures' struggles were slowing. Buffy looked desperately around the crypt for the source of the strange bugs. On the floor of the crypt were mandalas made from sand, candles, cryptic chalk marks and in the centre, a large stone urn. As the two Slayers watched more beetles poured over the lip of the jar and scurried over towards the heaving mass of insects that shrouded the two people on the floor.

"It's got to be some kind of spell! We have to destroy that, that— vase thing!" She pointed towards the urn, "Look cover my back, I'll try to smash the vase and you keep the bugs off me."

"Sure thing—Lord knows how much I love fighting bugs."

Faith swallowed past her rising gorge. It would have to be fucking bugs. Always had a "thing" about bugs, plenty of cockroaches and other creepy-crawlies at some of the dives I've crashed at. B's probably never had to squish a cockroach in her entire lily white, middle-class life. Hope that she's right about breaking the spell, otherwise... She shuddered and rolled her eyes, moving close behind the other girl.

Cautiously Buffy took off her jacket and held it in front of her. As soon as she stepped over into the sand circle the beetles, which had been ignoring her until now, scuttled busily in her direction. Buffy began to sweep her coat back and forth, trying to clear a path to the urn.

"Okay maybe not such a great plan." The bugs resisted her efforts.

Ugh, just get out of my way you little bastards. File this under lamest rescue attempt ever. The beetles swarmed towards her and Faith, clambering over their slower comrades, mindlessly intent on their targets.

"Hurry the fuck up B!" Frantic, Faith tried stomping the bugs. Her boots began to skid and slip in the masses of crunched beetles.

"Oh God this is gross! Give me a plain old Polgara demon any day." Buffy darted forward and raised the jar over her head, preparing to smash it. Beetles raced up her arms searching for her flesh. Gah! I'm not going to scream. I. Will. Not. Scream. She threw the urn down. It smashed dramatically in a burst of light and hot pulsing wind of spent magic. Buffy could hear Faith's revolted cries behind her. She risked a look and saw the other girl, swatting and flailing at the beetles that had crawled up her legs towards her. Buffy began brushing off the dead and dying beetles. The crypt echoed with the sound of thousands of tiny insect bodies hitting the floor.

"Faith are you—ouch!" One last tenacious beetle had reached the neckline of Buffy's shirt and reaching bare flesh, bit her, causing a sharp pain followed by lingering warmth. Fucking thing bit me! Her hand closed around the insect and reflexively crushed it, smearing goo all over her hand. She gagged and wiped her hand on her pants. No I'm going to have to file this under oogiest patrol ever.

"Jesus B! Jesus, they're all over me!" Buffy heard the panicky tone in Faith's voice and forgot her own disgust and rushed over to her. Buffy brushed off the last of the dead insects and grabbed Faith's arms stilling her.

"Faith! Faith—listen! They're dead; you don't have any bugs on you." Faith's brown eyes were shining with barely suppressed terror. "Look, don't wig on me now, we have to check on those people." The brunette nodded dumbly and shuddered. Can't lose it in front of B. She held it together; I can too. She visibly took hold of her emotions and looked over at the two prone figures. Cautiously they approached.

"Are they dead?" Faith asked.

"I don't think so—look." As the two girls watched, the figures stirred and struggled out from underneath the masses of dead insects. Staggering, a teenaged boy stood up and turned to haul up a younger teenaged girl beside him. They looked dazed as they brushed the last few beetles from themselves.

"Wha-what happened?" the boy said.

Faith's fear and loathing sparked into anger. (What Happened?!)

"The fuck you think happened, Loser? You were covered in godammed bugs! What the fuck were you doing?"

Buffy could hear how the anger broadened her voice, stressing her Boston accent. Have to watch out if Faith ever calls me a `loosah'.

Faith stood fists knotted, breathing heavy, glaring at the two teens. Oh Yeah. She is severely pissed—Red alert, we're at Def Con One—she can't admit those beetles gave her a wiggins so it's time for some damage control. She placed a gentle restraining hand on her companion's arm.

"It's okay Faith." She said quietly, looking intently into her eyes. The anger there didn't disappear just backed off a little. Go to yellow alert ladies and gentlemen… Buffy turned to the kids. "I know you right?" She pointed at the boy, "You go to Sunnydale High?"

He turned glazed eyes to her, "Yeah, I'm J—" He swallowed and started again "Jeff Pruitt, this is Nancy." He indicated the swaying girl at his side, "she goes to Kent Prep." He finished and stared dumbly at the two Slayers then at his girlfriend Nancy. Tentatively she crept over into his arms and hugged him tightly. He murmured to her and began to nuzzle her hair. Okay, obviously we're not dealing with the brainy bunch here. She continued.

"What were you two doing" Buffy prodded, "Magic?"

"Nothing really—just some…stuff. Messing around you know?"

Nancy began to trail kisses down his neck. Jeff hugged her to him tightly. She made a pleased sound, and stroked his groin suggestively. Surprised Buffy muttered to Faith, "Tasteless much?"

Faith nodded, adding, "Get a room, why don'tcha?" She shook her head, I can't figure these two out, less than a minute ago: covered in thousands of fricken' bugs. And now: acting like they just can't wait to bump uglies. Whatever.

She looked over at Buffy. The blonde read her look and shrugged imperceptibly. Don't ask me, I don't get what's going on either.

Faith rolled her tense shoulders and stalked away. Still feels like I've got bugs on me. Buffy kept one eye on her as she wandered around the crypt, skirting the piles of dead insects. Looks like it's safe to stand down, Faith isn't about to go nuclear now. She felt some measure of relief.

Faith tried to walk off the lingering sensations of creepy- crawliness. By the time she had paced one circuit, she saw Jeff and Nancy disappearing through the door.

"Did they fess up as to what they were doing?" She asked. Buffy shook her head and frowned.

"No, they remained the incoherent horn-dogs you saw earlier. I was afraid if I kept talking to them they'd start dry humping right here so I let them go. We can catch up with Jeff at school if there's any major problem. I say we head back to the library and give Giles and Wesley the what's-what about this whole deal."

Absently Buffy rubbed her arms. It's too hot in here. I need to get outside and cool off then I need to shower when I get home, for like a week. Probably should mention to Giles that one of those bugs bit me, she thought as she scratched at the spot. Her clothes felt itchy and uncomfortable. Buffy had a moment's wild urge to peel off her top and bra and let the cool night air caress her body. Jeeze! The 'Jeff and Nancy show' must've really got to me, what's wrong with that picture? She headed for the door with Faith trailing behind her. They two girls headed back to the library.

"S'up B? You're awful quiet."

Startled Buffy jerked her mind back from her fantasies about… something. Just vague impressions. Heat and sweaty skins bumping and sliding past one another. She stared hard at Faith, not answering. Faith was wearing one of her usual "stalk and slay" outfits and Buffy's gaze was drawn to the tight leather pants and the tiny slice of belly revealed by Faith's too small top. She chewed on her lower lip, I want to drop to my knees and run my tongue over that. She looked at the scrap of tender flesh framed by the waistband of Faith's pants and the hem of her top. I wonder what her skin tastes like. Her mouth watered. Whoa! Drag my mind out of the gutter—What the hell am I thinking that for? She shook herself and dragged her gaze up to meet Faith's.

"N-nothing, just tired I guess." The lie made her blush. Faith watched her puzzled; she looked down to see what Buffy had been staring at. Is my fly unzipped or something?

"Are you okay? You look a little flushed." Buffy nodded, crossing her arms nervously in front of her. Please don't catch on—oh please don't let her realize that I'm lusting after her. Brain cease all naughty sex thoughts now!

Faith narrowed her eyes, B looks strange, almost like she's….

Her mind picked at the idea, when it clicked Faith grunted in surprise. My god, little ole' B's good to go! That's odd; we didn't get much slaying action on this patrol. Faith smiled broadly at the thought of horny Buffy. Poor girl's gonna have to resort to some DIY action at home. Why she won't let me help her with that problem…

Faith sighed deeply with wistful regret and then grinned when she caught Buffy staring fixedly at her breasts as they lifted and fell with her breath. Fuck me! B's gotta have it so bad she's checking me out! Faith knew it was futile but still she felt the slippery warmth between her legs at the thought of Buffy being aroused by her. It certainly beats thinking about those gross bugs. She put an extra sway into her hips and arched her back. Check out what you're missing babycakes.

Buffy was in agony. She was painfully aroused by the sight and smell of the other girl strolling nonchalantly beside her. What's wrong with me! I don't like girls that way. Her thoughts were in turmoil. Every mental chastisement she told herself sank into the morass of desire that was swamping her brain. She ached for Faith, longed to crush her body to her and lick the entire length of her soft skin. Angel never got me this worked up. Miserable, provoked and half mad with lust, she watched Faith's hips rolling like oiled ball bearings under the tight leather pants. That's not walking; I don't walk like that…that's—that's sex on heels. She's doing that on purpose damn her!

Faith was enjoying teasing Buffy. She was plotting other ways to get the blonde even more stirred up when she thought she felt something moving on her back. Horror enveloped her and she scrabbled at her back.

"There's one still on me B! Get it off!" She spun crazily swiping at her back. Buffy watched distracted for a second, ohmygod! Her tits are amazing…Wait! Bug! Buffy leaped forward and pulled Faith's jacket off and tossed it on the ground. The two girls lurched forward and Faith found herself pressed up against the cool marble of a headstone. She felt Buffy's tiny hands tugging and finally tearing her shirt down the back, parting it in two. Faith was a bit surprised at that—Little extreme there don'tcha think B? Buffy's hands searched the smooth paleness of Faith's back, quartered only by the straps of the black bra she was wearing. There was no evidence of a beetle.

"There's nothing there, Faith. You're imagining things."

Buffy slowly stroked the other girl's skin, soothing the jumping muscles. Gradually, her strokes lengthened and slowed, sliding across the smooth satin of Faith's back. Faith was trapped against the gravestone, held there by the slow caresses from Buffy's hands. What the? Her ruined shirt flapped against her shoulders. She shrugged absently and it slipped down her arms onto the ground; Buffy's hands smoothed across the cap of muscle on Faith's shoulder. Without quite knowing why, she stepped closer to the other girl, one hand dropping to steal around and rest on the bared skin of Faith's belly.

Faith groaned when she felt the little puffs of heated breath on her back and shoulders. Buffy's mouth was so unbearably close to her skin. Jesus Mary and Joseph her hand, her mouth, does she know what she's doing? Heart's beating so fast, feel like I'm going to faint…or come right now. Faith's skin rippled with goose bumps. Cursing herself for trying to be noble, Faith forced words from her passion-thickened throat.

"Listen B—" She jumped when she felt Buffy's hand tighten, pulling her into intimate contact with her body. Buffy's breasts were firmly pressed against Faith's almost naked back and her hand was sensuously tracing the muscles on her stomach, threatening to dip down below the waistband of her pants. Now I really am going to faint! Why is Buffy acting like this? She groaned and tried once more.

"We should go and find Giles and Wes and tell them about what went on tonight, maybe there was something dangerous about that vase- thing, something could've gone wrong…"

Like this, Faith's mind insisted, as much as I've dreamed about getting you in this exact position B, this isn't right and you and I both know that… Her resolve to do the right thing was rapidly crumbling with every caress from Buffy's hand, every second her body remained pressed up against Buffy's. Her insides were tight with equal parts need and fear. What do I do? I have to stop what's happening here. How do I stop what's happening here—just what the fuck is happening here? Ooh God her hand! —I don't want her to stop.

And oh yeah since when is "Deer in headlights" a good plan? The frantic internal debate was cut off when Buffy spoke. Her voice sounded different, throaty and smoky and yearning.

"Dangerous? Does this seem dangerous to you Faith?"

Hell Yes!

She undulated sexily. Faith could feel the silk of her blouse like a fall of cool water sliding across her back, her nipples were hard and they left shivers in their wake as they traced over Faith's back.

She continued. "What's the matter, I thought you liked danger? I thought you got off on it." She punctuated her words with a wet swipe with her tongue, licking up the side of Faith's neck and sucking on her ear. Faith moaned helpless to deny the surge of passion Buffy was making her feel. Can't stop her now…

Buffy reveled in her erotic power over Faith. I like being in charge, calling the shots, this is a new experience for me. I could get used to this. Each moan and sigh she elicited from her prey made her more aroused. She smiled. Finally found a way to one up Faith. She's shaking, Must be she's jumpy or horny, either way—I like it. Faith's heated and perfumed skin slid under her mouth as she kissed the other girl. Such soft, warm skin. She couldn't stop. Deep down a small shocked part of her was surprised by her brazen actions—

Am I really doing this?—But it was drowning in newfound feelings of sex and heat and need.

Buffy slipped her hands up Faith's ribs and cupped the heavy weight of her breasts in her hands. Hmm her breasts are larger than mine. Nice though. Buffy reveled in the difference. Approvingly, she held them, tracing tempting fingers over the smooth satin of Faith's bra. She welcomed the surge of triumphant desire she felt at Faith's taut nipples and her breathless moans. Impatient, Buffy pulled the bra up with a soft growl, freeing the other girl's breasts for her greedy hands.

Oh Christ! Who knew B would be so good at this? Faith spread her legs and arched back into Buffy who teased and pulled at her aching nipples. The strength she knew Buffy possessed acted like a spur on Faith's fevered mind. She could bend me over this stone and fuck me silly…and I couldn't do a damn thing about it. Not that I would anyway. She bit her lip, until now she had tried to keep as quiet as she could, afraid to alarm Buffy and end her intense explorations. But the sensation of the blonde's hands on her breasts, the gentle touches, the eager tugs and pinches were too much.

"So. Fucking. Good. Don't stop—feels so good…"

"Like it baby? Hmmm?"

Faith's ragged breathing was answer enough. Still pressed against her back, Buffy's tongue traced the pulse in Faith's neck.

Her hands never stopped caressing the brunette. Stunned with desire—

This is Buffy!?—Faith belatedly began to stroke any part of Buffy she could reach; running her hands down her thighs, tousling her hair. Wanted to touch you like this for a while now B. When Faith's hand strayed near her mouth, Buffy nibbled and sucked on her fingers, making Faith gasp and press harder against her. Oh that's first-rate; she'll be an all-star fuck. She's so amazingly hot.

"Kiss me Faith, I want to taste you."

Faith needed no encouragement; she turned and seized Buffy, crushing her mouth in a demanding kiss; transmitting all of her heat and passion to the blond, with teeth, and lips, and tongue. Once the initial frenzy was over, Faith slowed her pace and teased Buffy. Time to turn the tables, baby. I'm going to make you sigh and groan like I did.

"Oh Faith. Yes..."

"Yes what?" Faith ran her tongue across Buffy's lower lip and paused staring at her challengingly, hand cupping her face gently; Buffy stared back, all huge green eyes and raging need. "This?" Faith answered for her as she kissed her deeply, tongue sliding into the wet cave of Buffy's mouth. "Or this?" She then bit Buffy's lower lip and sucked gently.

Buffy moaned and fisted her hands in Faith's hair and kissed her hard, grinding her hips against her. I've got you hot now, don't I? Just you wait…Laughing softly, Faith broke the kiss and tugged Buffy down to the dewy grass, pulling her small body on top of hers. "Maybe this?" and Faith slid her hands up underneath the shirt Buffy was wearing and skimmed her thumbs over her breasts teasing her nipples. Lace bra—very nice. The flesh she could feel through the gauzy fabric was firm. It molded perfectly into the palm of her hand. Buffy leaned back and let Faith fondle and stroke her. Her eyes were half closed with pleasure and the breathless cries and groans she was making were making Faith wild with need. And of course she's a noisy one—sexy little bitch. Driving me crazy.

As if she heard Faith's thoughts, Buffy swayed wantonly on top of Faith, rolling her hips, creating delicious friction. The cool grass felt very good to Faith's heated skin. She knew they were right out in the open, in a graveyard, where anyone, vamp or human could be watching. Fuck! We could be in the middle of the fricken Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and I'd still let B do this to me, her thoughts trailed off as Buffy bucked harder against her, desperate to feel Faith's skin against her own.

"B! I can't take much more…" I need to fuck you, make you scream.

From her perch straddling Faith's thigh, Buffy's smile was the smile of a predator, pure and simple-minded towards it prey. Faith's gut lurched with pleasure at the dark promise contained in her gaze. Slowly, teasingly Buffy licked her way down Faith's stomach, settled herself between her thighs and tugged at her belt.

"Are you wet for me baby, do you want me to taste you?"

She asked that so innocently, her eyes locked on Faith's. The brunette groaned and trembled, unsure she could speak coherently—

Yes! ohyesyesyes! Her blood was humming, and she ached to be touched, to have Buffy's warm mouth on her. Still…? B definitely wasn't acting like herself tonight. Tenderly, she smoothed Buffy's hair back from her face and asked the question that was really troubling her.

"B, are you sure—you don't have to—"

In answer, Buffy grunted as she yanked on Faith's pants.

"Off. Now!"

Faith needed no more encouragement; she shimmed out of her pants, and kicked off her boots. It was a difficult task. B's mouth— such a pretty mouth—very distracting, kissing and licking my skin all over. Can't wait to have it on my cunt.

Pulling off her blouse, Buffy explained, "I need to feel your skin on mine."

Faith was almost too far-gone to notice the angry red bite mark the beetle had left. But through the fog she glimpsed the bite and sat up, making Buffy sit up too; the blond pouted and squirmed trying to get back to nuzzling Faith's thighs.

"What's that?"

"What?—S'nothing baby, let me kiss you…"

"No, look!" Faith gave Buffy a little shake and pointed with her chin at the bite. Buffy glanced at it quickly, shrugged and tried to wrest free of the other girl's grip. Gingerly Faith traced the bite mark with her fingers then pressed gently. Buffy hissed in pain, and then threw her head back as an intense feeling of pleasure rocked her body. She felt like she had been plucked like a taut string and now echoes of sensation beat within her, springing from the small mark the insect had left.

"Oh! Oh! Faith! Yes God! More!" Gasping, she closed her eyes and allowed herself to slide deeper into the heady feelings. Catlike, her tongue stole out to slick moisture over her lower lip. Buffy thought she could almost taste the desire she was experiencing. Thick and bittersweet like fine chocolate it melts into me. Faith could only watch with puzzled alarm as the tiny blonde girl rocked urgently on top of her. Buffy's pussy felt damp and hot as it pressed harder against Faith's thigh. Faith's own cunt grew wetter in response but Buffy seemed lost to her, ready to spiral away; only the need for climax kept her connected to the moment.

"Do that once more…" she pleaded "I'm really close…"

"Fuck No! B, this is fucked up. Something's really wrong with you."

Faith scowled, in order to hide her worry and the crushing sense of loss she felt. Knew this was too good to be true, no way B'd go for me willingly, she's under some kind of spell.

Angrily she stood up, and began dragging on her pants. Top is a total loss, just have to cover myself with my jacket. Dismayed, Buffy crawled across the grass towards her, clutching Faith and pressing her face into her belly. Her pleading tone was agonizing for Faith to hear, "Please don't go—did I do something wrong?"

Her hand shook as she gently brushed back Buffy's hair and tilted her chin up to look at her.

"No—you didn't do any—anything wrong. But we need to take you to see Giles. Okay?"

"Why?" Buffy's eyes were becoming calculating and angry.

Faith sighed when she realized she'd have to play her along for a bit.

"Look, we check in with Giles, give him the all clear, so he's not all worried, then you n'me can head back to the hotel and do things right. I want to take my time with you, I want to make you come all night long for me. I want it to be special between us."

Faith's insides twisted. That last part wasn't a lie at all. I really did want to make love to Buffy. Still do. She hoped the sincerity in her voice, the trembling need, would lure Buffy back to the library with her. It was a pyrrhic victory when she saw Buffy's eyes soften and then shine with unshed tears.

"You want it to be special—for me?"

"More than anything B. More than anything…"

Faith waited until Buffy had finished gathering her clothes. Then, she held out her hand and smiled, despite her heavy heart, at the blond when she twined her fingers trustingly through her own. Together, they headed back through the graveyard towards the library.

PART 2

"An insect bite?"

"Yes, some fricken bug."

"And you didn't think to bring back a specimen?" The last comment was from Wesley—it was just like him to want to make this into a damned science experiment. Frustrated she bristled at his tone.

"Sorry Chief, didn't think to what with the civilian saving and the fact that there were a fucking million of them crawling everywhere trying to bite us!"

Giles stepped in again.

"Quite alright Faith—are you sure it was a spell?"

Shooting Wesley one last look of pure venom, Faith sighed and dragged a hand through her hair.

"Dunno—I guess…B said it was, and when she broke the vase thingy they all died."

"The people?"

"No the bugs—they were beetles—the people were okay. Just some dumb kids farting around with magic. I guess B got bit just before she broke the vase."

Wesley jumped in again.

"Can you describe the vase?"

"Yes—Stone. Vase-shaped. Broken now."

Unperturbed by her snotty remark, Wesley mused aloud.

"I don't recall reading about any magics where insects come from a vase…one memorable case in the 16th century of a church in England that had flies issue from the baptismal font for a period of days, but not a vase…are you sure it wasn't a cauldron or a canopic jar or some sort?" He flipped through several books, and finally went to get more from the shelves. Astounded, Faith turned to Giles.

"That dude needs to get another hobby—stat!"

"Try spending eight hours each and every day with him."

Wearily Giles sat and regarded her.

"Where is Buffy now?"

"Um—out in the hall. I thought I'd tell you before you saw her—" She moved to intercept his progress towards the swinging doors at the front of the library. "See there's these side effects, kind of…" She saw his alarmed look and halted him again. "She's okay—it's just…" She broke off, embarrassed to go any further. A small part of her wondered if Giles would be acting so concerned if it was her in Buffy's situation. That thought fueled her resentment and pushed aside any lingering shyness. "She's under a spell and it's making her wicked horny, like 'Yes! Fleet's in town. Hello Sailor!' horny." She emphasized her words with a "Uunnh!" thrust. Giles looked at her appalled. Faith cringed inside, why do I always act so crude around him? Giles blinked then spoke to cover his discomfort.

"Oh erm—should I—we" he indicated Wesley who was now listening intently, "stay away from her then?"

Faith had a moment to wonder why then it clicked. She snapped her fingers.

"Right! Yes—she may try to jump you like she jumped me."

Then she understood what she had just revealed to the two men. They stared at her.

"Nothing happened! As soon as I realized what was wrong I stopped—" They continued to look at her as if she had stepped in something nasty but was too clueless to realize it and they were far too polite to mention such a crude matter in civilized company.

Furious she spun on her heel and went to get Buffy. Looking at me like that. Where do they get off? Like Wes never drools all over himself whenever Cordelia shows up. She let her angry thoughts boil up; their scalding heat soothed the aching slight of always being second in their regard. Oh No! Evil, perverted Faith has soiled their precious Buffy…

"You two go in the office, don't come out until I tell you." She snapped.

She slipped out into the hall. Buffy came towards her eagerly.

"You told them right? Gave them the sitch? So we can head out right?"

"They need to talk to you."

Exasperated, Buffy flipped her hair off of her shoulders; Faith couldn't help but notice the elegant lines of her neck and jaw.

"Why? Everybody's okay right? Let's just go." She tugged at Faith's hand.

"They want to see the bite, they're worried."

"This—it's nothing" Buffy poked the bite; Faith was relieved and intrigued to see that when Buffy herself touched the bite there was no reaction. Wouldn't do to explain why B was doing the 'Porn Star Pussycat' revue out here in the hall. "Besides if worrying was an Olympic event those two could take the gold, easily."

"Still—let's just get it done so we can get gone." Wryly Faith thought of her Momma. When sweet-talkin' don't work, try outright lies.

With the sigh of the very much put upon, Buffy banged through the doors and stalked into the library, she slumped into a chair and called out for the two men in a bored voice.

"Giles, Wesley c'mere and look at this bite so I can go, `kay?"

Faith glided over to the book cage and removed what she needed. She slipped up behind Buffy and smiled down at her.

"Oh Giiiles. Come out, come out wherever you are…some excellent bug-bitey action over here." Buffy looked up at Faith. "Where the hell are they?" Impatience colored her voice.

"They're around, give `em a minute."

"Screw that! Let's go."

"Look at me for a sec B."

Obligingly she tilted her head back towards the other girl. Faith felt a moment of guilt at the look on Buffy's face when she saw Faith's fist loop up and smash into her chin. Then she drooped sideways, dazed. Quickly Faith knotted the rope around Buffy's hands and through the rungs of the chair. Won't hold her all night but hopefully the Tweed Twins can fix her up in a hurry. Faith patted Buffy's shoulder as she was moaning and shaking off the punch.

"Sorry baby, but you need help."

"The hell are you doing—Faith—why?"

"Yo Giles! Wes! It's safe to come out now." Faith watched as the two men opened the office door and moved towards Buffy as if she were a dog they weren't sure would bite them or hump their legs.

"Is-is she contained?" Wesley said.

"What like Ebola? No—she's just tied up so get your look quickly and fix this thing."

Giles crouched down beside Buffy and examined her.

"She hit me Giles." Buffy's aggrieved tone twitched a smile from his lips.

"Yes I believe she did…rather a good one too." He slid over her shirt to inspect the bite more closely.

"Well she just can't go around hitting me—we were all being cuddly and then she punches me." Buffy's wounded glance hurt Faith.

"Hey I said I was sorry. It's just that you're not yourself right now. Tell you what, you can punch me when you feel better."

Probably will too, once she realizes what's happened. Faith sighed.

Giles said, "What do you think?" This was directed at Wesley who was leaning in for a closer look.

"Not sure, it's obviously mystical—what did you say the precise effects were?" He looked at Faith expectantly, she felt like she had been called to the front of the class and she hadn't done the homework.

"Well, she seemed fine when we left the crypt then she just started to get all—you know, all of a sudden wicked horny and eager for the kissing and stuff." She finished embarrassed. Wesley looked at her for an uncomfortable moment then back at the bite, dismissing her. Then it was Giles' turn at the mike at Squirmapalooza.

"Ah...did you initiate—uum—this behavior in any way?"

"No! No I just went with it, I thought B'd gotten experimental on me." She trailed off. The three of them turned surprised at the sound of Buffy's voice when she chipped in.

"Look Giles, don't wig but she's right. I-I just wanted to experiment a little. Don't tell me you haven't sensed all the undercurrenty stuff between us?"

"Well actually…Yes I had thought there was something but—" He broke off when he understood what he had been duped into admitting. He whipped out his handkerchief and furiously removed the invisible smudges from his glasses as a distraction. Wesley cut smoothly in.

"I believe mystical bites are mentioned in the Skvaldic Compendium, why don't you question Faith further while I go look that up."

Yes why don't you escape this train wreck of TMI and just do that, you weasel. Faith saw that a similar thought was echoed in Giles' expression.

Resignedly he said, "Tell me again, you can gloss over the—ah intimate parts, and just get to the point."

"Buffy uh—Buffy she—" Faith could see no way to get around the 'intimate parts' so she just plunged on, hoping the quicker it was out the less mortifying it would be. "She… camereallyhardwhenItouchedthebite."

He stared at her flaming face until the meaning sank in, then red began to climb in his cheeks as well.

"Ah—she did, did she? Quite..." He was lost in thought for a moment then called over to Wesley. "Try and cross reference mystical bites with love or lust spells." He turned back to her, "What prompted the—erm encounter?"

"Buffy was checking out my back. I thought I felt a beetle on it. She kinda tore my shirt off to see."

"Was there—a beetle?"

"No just me having a creep moment" Faith shrugged "and then after that, things happened. I brought her right to you as soon as I realized what was wrong." She felt the need to justify herself to him.

"Umm hello guys, sitting right here. There's no spell so you can stop with the cross-referencing." Buffy fidgeted in her chair edgily, testing the strength of the rope.

"Anything yet Wesley?" The 'Hurry-up for Goodness Sakes Man!' tone in Giles' voice was unmistakable. Fussily he pushed his glasses up on his nose and bent down to peer at the bite. He looked over at Faith and raised his brows. "You—ah…just touched the bite did you?"

She nodded faintly, realizing what Giles was about to do. Maybe Buffy will be too pissed at Giles for this to really get all that mad at me, oh well we might as well all overshare in the awkwardness.

"Forgive me for this Buffy…" He reached out and prodded the bite gingerly. Wesley stopped the sanctimonious page flipping to see what was going to happen.

"Ow! Giles that hurts!" Buffy twitched her injured shoulder and glared at her Watcher. "See, didn't I tell you that I was fine, really you may as well just untie me and—" Faith darted past the obviously relieved Giles and jabbed the bite quickly. The two men watched with pained and horrified expressions as Buffy arched and writhed in the chair in the throes of a tremendous orgasm. An awkward silence reigned when she had finished broken only by Buffy's slowing gasps for breath. Finally Giles said in a weak voice.

"Yes—well…that was…really—I'm begging you to tell me you've found something Wesley?"

"Perhaps…" Wesley crossed back to them holding a thick book open towards Faith "Were the insects like this?"

She peered at the book and frowned. Her hopes for a speedy cure were disappearing. "No, they were about yay long" she held her fingers apart to indicate, "and this shimmery bluey-green color."

"Can you draw one?" Resolutely not looking at the flushed and sweaty girl tied to the chair in front of him Giles handed Faith a small notebook and a pen; she quickly sketched the bug for him and handed it back. "Looks like a scarab of some kind. Wesley the spell may be Egyptian or Babylonian in origin. The Skvaldic Compendium won't help with that."

Wesley slammed the book closed irritated.

"Well of course not! But when she said vase I assumed—Faith, I explicitly asked if the vase was a canopic jar of some kind."

Pushed beyond her limits Faith exploded, "How the fuck am I supposed to know what a fricken' canopic jar is, what is that anyway? A jar uptight pricks get when they join the Watcher's council? Here ya go! Welcome to the Watcher's council— the stick for your ass is in the canopic jar!"

"Y-You impudent…tart! If you took your Slaying duties half as seriously as you took snogging with anyone who catches your fancy—"

"Enough!" Giles' harsh shout aimed to stop the brewing confrontation between them. He added dryly "And I believe when you join the Council the stick comes in a lovely little inlaid box, now if we can just get back to the business at hand here."

"He called me a tart!" Outraged Faith whirled towards Giles as Wesley stalked off towards the bookshelves. Buffy took advantage of the ongoing argument to wrench her wrists back and forth; the rope seemed to be loosening.

"Faith, you must understand he didn't mean it—"

"Yes I did!" Wesley exclaimed, "A Slayer must always be focused on the task at hand not on her…base hormonal cravings. A true Slayer knows that their duty to their calling is more important than personal desires. Buffy would've known that." He leaned over the balcony with a satisfied smirk on his face, missing Giles' patented eye-roll of disdain at the thought of Buffy always placing duty before desire.

"Not if there was imminent peril getting in the way of a sale on ridiculous shoes," he muttered.

Faith felt hot rage fill her heart. "Oh Buffy would've known that—like she knew to stop jumping my bones and go get some help!"

Giles could see that Faith was about to go critical and that Wesley had no clue when to stop pushing her.

"I'll thank you to not help anymore Wesley!" Giles barked.

"You forget I'm the Watcher here, you're merely the librarian." The smugness was barely contained.

Buffy watched the exchange and kept working at undoing her bonds. She felt driven to take Faith away. I need to be alone with her again, just the two of us.

"I knew it." Faith's voice was hard and shook with barely controlled fury. "I knew you all thought Buffy was better than me."

"Faith, that's not true…I never—" Giles stopped when she turned to him, savage anger on her face. He felt any chance of controlling the situation slipping away rapidly.

"Isn't it?! I've been there right by her side" she pointed at Buffy "fighting hard, putting my ass on the line but doing it my way and deep down I knew you were all wondering when I was I ever going to wake up and realize I could never be as good as your little pet Slayer. Poor Faith she thinks she can measure up to Buffy. Isn't that right?" The depth of the hurt and rage in Faith stunned Giles. Briefly he wondered how he could have been so blind to her pain when Wesley's voice dropped like a stone into the tense silence.

"Well it wouldn't hurt to model yourself after a superior example now would it?"

The final blow had been struck. Fuck you and Fuck this! I'm gone. Faith turned and blindly pushed her way through the swinging doors, tears blurring her vision. She angrily swiped at her eyes refusing to indulge herself by crying and slammed out of the school. She failed to hear Giles' irate shout because the sound of shattering glass from the trophy case she had just smashed with her fist on her way by drowned it out.

"Goddammit! You bloody fool, have you learned nothing? You're supposed to be the adult—not bait some poor child to tears, you idiot!"

Wesley felt shame flood his being when he realized how rash he had been to give into his petty anger. Surprise replaced the shame when he saw that Buffy had almost freed her one arm from the ropes. He shouted a warning at Giles. Quickly the two men began to struggle with the almost free Slayer.

PART 3

Faith lay on her back, wearing only a tee-shirt and panties, heels spread to the corners of the sadly used motel bed. She nursed her hurt and anger at Giles and Wesley the way she might nurse a shot of alcohol; where every sip warmed her, sustained her rage. On the battered black and white T.V. an old movie was playing, but she had no interest in the plot and had watched the flickering figures without really seeing them. She stared at the long jagged cracks on the ceiling, zigzagging in and out of the water stains. Outside the skies had opened like a vault releasing a spill of hard rain onto Sunnydale. Reflections from the rain added their own texture to the ruined mosaic of the ceiling. The sulfurous glow of the sodium streetlights outside made the water beading on the window look ugly and poisonous; matches my mood.

Troubling her further was her desire. It swirled in a heady mix with her anger, as a result she felt restless and jumpy. Maybe I can't give that prick Wesley the beating he so royally deserves but... She ran her hands down her stomach, over the smooth curves of her hips. Sure as shit blew any chance I had with Buffy. Her hand drifted lower and she cupped herself, feeling the damp heat between her legs. God. Why do I even bother trying to do the right thing, I always get burned anyway. The tender skin that she could feel was velvet soft and punctuated with the small pricks of her pubic hair where she had missed a spot shaving. She could smell herself, her arousal. Faith thought about Buffy. Didn't even get a taste. I was so close tonight. Never get a chance like that again. I wonder what she would sound like if I had my mouth on her. She slipped a finger under the edge of her panties and slid a finger into the slick wetness that was waiting there. She thought about Buffy and her— together. Faith began to moan quietly.

There was a quiet knock on the door, almost lost in the rumble and susurrus of the rain. If it hadn't been for her Slayer hearing Faith wouldn't have heard it, or the whispered phrase that followed.

"Faith, it's me."

She had a shocked moment to wonder if she had conjured her visitor out of her fantasies, when she saw the handle of the knob twist.

"Just a sec B."

Rolling off the bed Faith went to unlock the door; she briefly thought about getting completely dressed. Screw it. I don't care. She unlocked and swung open the door, hand cocked on her hip. 'Fuck you want' look pasted firmly on her face. Buffy stood just outside the door. The strange orange light from the streetlight made a shimmering halo out of the water beaded on her hair. Faith's breath caught, even bedraggled Buffy with rained on hair, makes me ache to kiss her. Instead she said,

"So all fixed up then—Giles and Wes work the mojo on you. No more spell?"

"Yes."

"Why are you here then?" She was about to follow with a caustic remark but decided to let the question hang in the air. I'll be dammed. I really do want to know why. Maybe she's—

"Can I come in?" The hope leapt up and squeezed Faith hard, Down boy. Remember I'm not the 'heart on my sleeve' type, more the 'stomp your heart under my heel' type. She stalled.

"Again with the why?"

Ignoring her Buffy brushed past Faith into the room bringing with her the smell of rain.

"Look if this is about what happened between us B—it's no big. You were under a spell and hey I just thought—" Is she buying this?

Buffy turned and caught Faith in a kiss. Surprised Faith began to pull back then she relaxed into it, hands coming up to cradle Buffy's nape under her wet hair. The cool feel of Buffy's lips pressed up against her made Faith shudder. The warmth of Buffy's tongue entering her mouth made her shudder again. She had to know.

"Buffy—why?" She couldn't express her need to the other girl; I don't have the words, it's too important. It's all stuck in my throat.

"Why you, why now? Is that what you're asking me?"

Faith said nothing, just cupped the other girl's head in her hands and looked at her.

"I just realized that spell or no spell, I had to see you again, kiss you again," Buffy flushed and looked down, "and I wanted to see if you'd keep your promise." She finished.

"What promise?"

"That you'd make it special between us." Buffy brought her hands up to curl around Faith's wrists. Her thumbs gently stroked the fine skin on the inside of her wrists. The tenderness of that gesture coupled with the shy question in Buffy's eyes thickened Faith's voice. Just cause I want her so bad that's all. She blinked the blurring moisture back.

"Of course I will. I've always wanted you. From the moment I met you I wanted you." God why now at this moment of moments do I have to sound like a cheesy cowboy from some romance novel. Should've finished school—well at least English classes anyway. This occasion called for poetry, not fumbling exhortations of need. Lacking poetry Faith tried to express herself with her mouth another way; with soft kisses, kisses that slowly drew Buffy's hands from around her wrists, to twine naturally about her neck. Faith's hands worked their way under the clothes Buffy was wearing until they stroked the smooth skin of her back. Buffy molded herself to Faith and rediscovered the heat of her mouth, the feel of her tongue, the slight salt taste of her neck. Murmured sighs changed timbre deepening into mutual expressions of want. Each breathed in the breath of the other. Faith was shaking with need. She raised herself from another lengthy kiss for air.

"Jesus B!"

"I know, this feels…"

Faith watched the words fill her face thinking, Right, this feels right.

"Gotta sit, lie down, something. I'm all trembly."

Faith stumbled backwards, until her knees hit the bed and she sat down abruptly. She pulled Buffy down onto her lap. She asked her,

"Better?"

"Depends."

"On what?"

"On whether you can fuck me in this position or not."

(Can I fuck her…!?) Positions? She's thinking of positions already?

Faith laughed and then she rubbed her thumb along the seam of Buffy's jeans, pressing it into her clit. She watched the sensations take Buffy; she gave herself over to them, closing her eyes and bending backwards slightly in order to bring herself into greater contact with Faith's hand.

"What makes you think I'm going to fuck you B?" Startled Buffy's eyes popped open.

"But I thought—"

Faith nuzzled Buffy's neck and seductively began to speak, mixing her words with kisses.

"I think I'd like you to fuck me. I want to watch when you go down on me, I want to see my come shining on your chin, I want to taste myself on your tongue when I kiss you…"

The dirty talk was having an effect; Buffy's eyes shone with the possibilities as she stared at Faith. She undid her jeans and slid her hand down until she felt her own wetness. Buffy bit her lip in a vain attempt to suppress the swelling sounds that climbed up her throat when she fingered her cunt. She looked at Faith; oh her eyes— everything she wants to do to me is in them. She's holding nothing back… The minute motions of that slender hand hypnotized Faith as Buffy stroked herself again; the moan she made was matched by a similar groan from Faith. Buffy grinned like any cat with canary feathers on its muzzle. She couldn't help but notice how she was affecting the other girl. Let's see how "been there done that" Faith really is…She withdrew her hand and traced her dewy fingers down Faith's cheek and stroked it across her lower lip. Faith could feel the slick progress of that hot, wet line; smell the saltwater and musk scent of the other girl. She licked her lips, tasting the flavor of Buffy's cunt; Damn! Looks like B isn't so vanilla after all…she gripped the slim hips straddling her more urgently. Buffy continued,

"On one condition…"

She leaned in for another kiss. This one was sloppy and passionate; both girls were excited. They licked at each other's mouths, sucked on tongues.

"What—anything."

Softly now, "That when I'm done fucking you, I get to have all those things done to me."

In answer Faith spilled Buffy onto the bed and climbed on top of her. Clumsy fingers fumbled with the buttons on her already untucked blouse. Buffy tried to help by wiggling out of her jeans. Faith whispered her intent into the curve of Buffy's neck; it will be so good baby I promise I'm going to show you how good it can be. In answer, she felt Buffy's hands slide underneath her panties and cup her ass bringing her closer to that lean belly, heat poured from the tiny frame of the girl underneath her. Kissing and softly speaking loving obscenities to one another they shed their clothes.

Then Faith froze on top of her.

It was rage and not desire that made her tremble now, rage and a terrible keening pain that bulleted up from her soul and threatened to engulf her.

"What's this?!"

"What?"

"This! This! What the fuck is this?!" She was pointing to the mark that the beetle had left. It was still clearly outlined on Buffy's flesh, red and angry. Buffy craned her head to see, Faith was holding her down roughly.

"The bug bite." She said, looking at Faith as if she were rather slow.

"I know that! Why is it still here if you're all cured?"

"I don't know, maybe it takes some time to heal up or something." Sensing the bitter anger in the other girl Buffy stroked her face, "don't worry about it I'm fine…Now let's get back to the fun okay?" But Buffy's light tone was lost on Faith. She held herself out of the blonde's reach and studied her intently; Buffy squirmed under her searching gaze.

"Look I told you I'm all cured, no more spell, so can we—"

Faith cut her off by laying her hand on the bite mark. Gently ever so gently. Still she said nothing and watched for Buffy's reaction. Was it true, did she see anticipation and banked desire in her eyes? Please No. Don't make this all a lie. Buffy's breaths came faster. Faith waited, she knew Buffy would reveal her true intentions. The rain seemed suddenly very loud. Faith watched as Buffy's lips—I've just kissed those lips—whispered one silent telling word.

"Yes."

Faith felt the world spin away from her into blackness. Her betraying eyes filled once more with tears and she pressed down savagely on the bite.

"Is this what you want? Is it?" She screamed at Buffy and Buffy screamed back, not with pain or anger but desire, dark and seductive desire.

"Yes! Oh Yes! God Yes!" Her hips bucked and twisted under Faith's as an orgasm wracked her body. Faith's tears, so long denied, finally fell unnoticed onto her body.

The small and foolish part of Faith, the part that had dared to hope and dream, was blasted by Buffy's dishonest cravings. In the face of that assault hope lay down and died quietly, mourned only by the girl to whom it was so important.

PART 4

The slender cage of Buffy's body seemed too small to contain all of the furious sensations exploding within it. Quivering with a rage beyond telling Faith gently held her lover until the storm of climax had passed and she lay trembling but quiet in her arms. Faith pressed her fists deep into the mattress on either side of the pretty blonde head beneath her to keep them from taking out her anger on Buffy.

"Why?" she croaked.

"Hmm?" Satiated, Buffy nuzzled Faith's neck oblivious to the fury that action provoked. Faith craned back out of her reach and tried again.

"Why did you come here?" Why did you lie to me?

"I wanted this—wanted you. What's wrong?" Faith almost laughed because the bewilderment on Buffy's face was genuine. Spell it's the spell she can't help it.

"I think you should go."

"What! Faith what's wrong with you? Why are you acting like this?" Quieter, wounded now, "Is there something wrong?"

No Baby. There's nothing wrong; the look of you the feel of you in my arms is so perfect it would break my heart if you hadn't already done that for me.

"No. It's just…" Sudden thought, "What happened to Giles and Wesley?" Evasive now. Faith watched those lovely eyes slide off her face as Buffy lied once more, this time consciously.

"I told you they're fine. They cured me and—"

"Stop." Please God let them just be knocked out or tied up or something, bad enough she did this while she's under the spell if she hurt them or…

Agony bloomed at the touch of those lips on her neck, searching for her mouth. She rolled off of Buffy and sat up. Back to the other girl she squeezed her hands tightly together wishing her sorrow could so easily be throttled. Buffy tried to pull her back into another embrace.

"I said stop! Get dressed and go." I can do this. I can send her away. She would want me to.

"Faith why are you being so mean?" Tears welled in Buffy's eyes. Joining them was the knowledge of Angel, the betrayal. Are all my lovers going to cast me out? The hurt in her voice nearly undid Faith then. She half turned to Buffy, the need to explain large in her.

"Buffy…this isn't real."

"Yes. It is. I love you Faith." Faith's eyes closed; any other time those words would be the balm of Gilead to her. Now they burned like acid. Her eyes opened and Buffy stared at her. Then her lips moved the words almost too quiet for Faith to hear.

"I've never loved anyone like this. Not even…"

Angel. Oh how could I have forgotten about Angel?

Very soon after she had learned about Angel's existence Cordelia had bitchily filled Faith in on all the gory 'curse' details one slack afternoon in the library. Faith had remarked that it was "wicked harsh" thing for Buffy. Willow, misunderstanding Faith's words had defended Buffy staunchly. "Angel was Buffy's first true love and she had to kill him in order to save the world from being all sucked into hell, that's not wicked or harsh. That's the bravest thing ever." Then Buffy had shown up and awkward silence had descended. Faith remembered watching Buffy closely thinking, my first time was no great shakes but this chick takes the cake for tales of doomed romance. Now here was Faith preparing to rip out Buffy's heart yet again only this time Faith wished she were the one who was cursed, or sent to hell. Anything or anyplace where I don't have to see the pain in her eyes. She closed her eyes again when she felt Buffy's hand tentatively resting on her back.

"Faith, please…" Don't make me go, don't do this, don't make me beg. How do I do the right thing here?

Faith made her decision. Her back was a rigid line of tension.

"I'm sorry Buffy." Please forgive me—after.

She drew Buffy into her arms and kissed her lovingly. Kissed away the tears that spilled down her cheeks. Stroked the blonde hair with hands that were stiff from being clenched into fists.

"I don't know what's wrong with me—why I did that. I'm sorry. I can't hurt you. I'm so sorry I can't hurt you. I must be some kinda nutjob kicking a fine piece of ass like you outta my bed." Smile, like it's okay.

Buffy blinked then laughed. It sounded unsure.

"You don't want me to leave?"

"No I don't. Never did."

She wants to believe me, so convince her. She continued.

"I'm just fucking with you—pretty lame huh?"

"Yes!" Buffy slapped at her playfully "You really had me worried you—you freak!"

Faith's smile was rueful and sad.

"That's me." Some freak who can't turn away a girl who wouldn't look twice at her if she wasn't under a spell. She lowered her mouth to Buffy's and kissed her slowly, taking her time. First time together will also be our last—just my fucking luck. Better make it worth her while…

*****

Faith kissed Buffy reverently. Her hands and mouth tried to memorize all of the slopes, curves and planes of Buffy's body. Hollow of her throat, soft flesh on the crook of her elbow, scent of her nape. She felt full to bursting with sadness and loss. Intermingled with the pleasure she was giving made Faith feel as if she were performing a sacrament. Sex as holy atonement; Buffy was the altar on which she had sacrificed herself.

I am sorry, Most heartily sorry, please forgive my sins…

Buffy cries and arches up off the bed when she feels Faith's heated breath against her neck, feels her fingers slip into her. She spreads her legs wider and offers up the full breadth of herself to the wonder of fullness, completeness.

Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault…

The slow rhythmic motions of Faith's hand, like the rumble and wash of waves on the shore, rocks gently within Buffy's warmth. Faith's fingertips brush softly along the inside looking for the area that unleashes fervor. A passionate moan acts as a sign, fingertips press down harder seeking release.

I ask forgiveness…

Tension draws Buffy's muscles tighter; her cries are caught in the soothing touch of Faith's mouth. Faith anoints Buffy's eyes with kisses as she tumbles towards ecstasy.

Most Immaculate Heart…

Faith watches for Buffy's climax. She wants to remember the expression of helpless pleasure on her face. She continues her slow caresses even though the velvet walls of Buffy's cunt are gripping Faith's fingers tightly, beating like a heart.

Pray for us…

Buffy is suspended for an agony of moments in rapture then she transcends and sinks into bliss.

Faith gathers the limp girl to her breast and holds her, lips gently brushing the golden corona of hair.

I ask this in thy name. Amen.

PART 5

In the gloom of the hotel room Faith lay quietly with her lover and listened to the hissing charge of tractor-trailers as they rolled down the highway in the rain. I should feel something—guilty? I took advantage of Buffy. She'll never forget that I couldn't turn her away when I should've. She reached out and traced her fingers down the arm of the girl dozing beside her, brushed a strand of hair away from her lips. Buffy shifted and muttered, curling closer to Faith. Don't feel guilty though. First time in a long time that I feel quiet inside, no crazy energy burning me up. I wish I could stay here with— Shit. What am I thinking? Buffy's gonna have a fit when she realizes—

"Hey." Green eyes open now, Buffy looks at Faith. She offers a drowsy smile.

No sign of impending freakage from B. Love spell still operational: check.

"Hey yourself sleepyhead."

"Yeah. I guess I kinda crashed on you…after—sorry." She blushed and dipped her head.

Fucking spell—Seems so much like her. I know she'd be acting all shy and feeling vulnerable just like this if…this were real.

"It's okay. I like lying here with you—it's nice." Nice? Oh way to be smooth…

"Yeah it is nice." She leans over and kisses Faith, "Sorta ruins your tough girl, "get some and get gone" rep however."

"Tell anyone and I'll deck you." She smiles to show it's a joke; her throat squeezed tight against the pain. This isn't real—remember.

"Already did in the library—or did you happen to forget?" Her tone was light, teasing.

"I said I was sorry."

"It's okay. I forgive you."

Oh Buffy I wish I could believe that.

Buffy stretches, "Holy God Faith. I don't think I've ever felt this tired after…that. Is it always like this with girls?"

"What am I, the expert?"

"Well I just figured…" Embarrassed Buffy lets the question hang there. Now I'm the one acting all prudy and stiff? What's up with that? So you've been with people—girls—before her…No big. She wants to know so tell her. But what if she thinks I'm—why do I care so damn much what she thinks?

"Not usually. Maybe it's because we're both Slayers or something."

"Huh. So you feel all tired too…"

Peaceful. Then she startled herself by saying that, "I feel peaceful. Calm and quiet, you know."

Buffy looked at her enigmatically. Faith felt herself blush; she stammered an explanation.

"Other times I can't wait to get in the shower, grab some chow, ditch the person I just—"

"I should feel flattered then you aren't hustling me out the door."

This is why "Thanks that was great, you need to go now," works so well, no awkward conversations after.

"Yes?" Faith made it a question.

The surprising sound of Buffy's laughter floats through the room. After a beat Faith joined in.

She can't believe how easy and natural all this is.

Time for a reality check.

"B maybe we should check in again with Giles? Just give him a call or something."

"Why?" An edge of hostility and doubt threads through Buffy's voice.

Yes, why exactly? Faith is momentarily flustered by the lack of an available excuse. She flails about.

"Maybe there's some kind of magical aftereffects or conditions that need to be followed—like being woken up every half hour…"

"Faith it was a spell not a concussion."

Faith doesn't need to hear, and the award for the lamest excuse ever goes to…to know that's what Buffy's thinking.

"Sure whatever. I just thought…"

The angry helpless expression on her face touches Buffy but it doesn't stop the lie issuing from her mouth.

"Later—we'll go round later if you want. But for now c'mere…I haven't finished with you yet."

She straddles Faith and kisses her lingeringly. Her lips making a sweet promise Faith tries hard to resist.

Damn if she isn't raring to go again. Here I thought I was the only Energizer bunny in town. Can't get distracted—Faith shudders as Buffy's mouth floats over her skin, inching lower and lower from her belly to her thighs. Gotta make sure Giles is okay, gotta break this spell—Despite herself, Faith's hands twine into Buffy's hair as she offers herself to that darting tongue. Christ that feels so incredible…Where'd she learn to—oh Jesus!—Later we'll go later. Plenty of time…

Faith lets herself drift away.

*****

Xander bends his head against the rain and sloshes through the puddles in the hospital parking lot as he hurries towards Giles' car. He needs to find Faith.

She's our best hope for finding Buffy. Maybe she has some whacked out kind of Slayer sense and can find her, track her down— Xander rolls his eyes.

"No more Star Wars marathons for you my friend." He has a crazy mental image of a very Zen Faith pulling a Yoda while croaking, "Here the one you seek is…"

Great brain, just keep up the mental yammering while I try not to panic here. How in the name of Holy Hell am I supposed to drive this wreck again? I can't believe we got here in the first place.

Giles' Citroen crouches on its wheels and seems to glare balefully at Xander.

"Yeah. Yeah. I don't like you either. Really hope Giles was planning to buy a new clutch anyway."

He climbs in and starts the car. Here we go; the world waits with baited breath as Alexander Lavelle Harris attempts to drive standard for the second time in his life. At least I won't have Giles yelling in my ear "Shift! No Second! Second Gear!" this time. I just hope Wesley's okay, well check that—I hope he doesn't die. Nothing but a personality transplant would make that man okay. At least Giles was conscious enough to grumble about my driving. I can't believe Buffy did that—gotta be the spell, Giles said there was a dangerous spell. Faith. She'll know what to do. After some initial lurching and near stalls the rickety gray car turns out of the lot and heads towards the hotel.

*****

Willow sat miserably on one of the hard plastic hospital chairs and patted Giles' hand.

"I'm sure he'll be fine, Wesley'll probably shake off that concussion and give Buffy all kinds of heck. Maybe even assign a detention—Can Watchers assign detentions?"

Giles groaned.

"Head's still all hurty huh? You want some more ice water or really bad coffee? There's a vending machine in the hall—"

"I'm fine Willow. Well apart from the nasty goose-egg Buffy gave me. Just please don't prattle on so, I'm trying to think."

"Sorry. I'll be a prattle free zone from now on. I'm nervous. I always prattle when I'm nervous. Plus I jabber and even sometimes engage in some rantyness—"

"Willow please!" Giles took his hand away from his eyes and saw the misery on Willow's face. He softened his tone.

"Buffy was under a spell, she didn't mean it. Xander is going to find Faith and they'll…restrain her and we'll sort this out. Just as soon as I can get out of here—When is that dammed doctor going to release me?" He sighed and looked around. "Did you bring the book I asked for from the library?"

Willow brightened and adopted a gruff tone, "The damn and blast Willow, that book! You know, the one with the bloody Egyptian sounding title?" She switched back into her normal voice, "It's right here."

"Well I had sustained a severe blow to the head, pardon me for not recalling the name of the book right away." She dragged the huge book out of her book bag and propped it open on Giles lap. They bent their heads together over the book as they read.

*****

Xander ignored the little amber oil light that had blipped on as soon as he had gone a block from the hospital and grimly hoped the car would make it out to the highway; Giles' car was shuddering ominously at the prospect of having to go faster than 35 miles per hour. Xander threatened the car,

"If you conk out I'm ditching you and I don't care what kind of neighborhood we're in, I'll leave you to be stripped so suck it up."

The shuddering continued but he pressed down on the accelerator anyway and battled with the clutch until the car heaved into third gear. The shuddering lessened somewhat. No way I'm gearing down again, I'm just going to slow down a little and drive right through any stop signs, the streets are quiet enough… Please God don't let any cop stop me.

Xander imagined the monster fight that particular exploit would cause at home and winced. He tried to put the thought out of his mind. As if waiting in the wings, the nasty scene that he and Willow had found in the library popped up to say hello.

They had swung by partly at Xander's insistence. He had lied— pretty baldly and badly in retrospect—about wanting to find a book he needed for a history report. Mostly he had been trying to see if Cordelia was there on one of her obvious fishing expeditions to lure Wesley on a date. Then perhaps he could score a few insults off her before they had called it a night. Willow had seen the lie for what it was but had been kind enough to ignore it and agreed to go along with him. Kind Willow who was willing to put up with his semi- neurotic need to check on Cordy was a slight improvement over Distant "Let's forget we ever kissed" Willow but still some part of Xander longed for everything to be the way it was before. He remembered he had made her laugh at some stupid joke and was watching the way the laughter had lit up her eyes when they pushed through the library doors. Then all the merriment had drained out of Willow's face and she clutched at his arm.

"Oh No! Xander—"

He turned around to see what had caused the look of dismay on her face.

Wesley lay crumpled on the floor, the remains of a smashed library chair scattered nearby. Xander's eye locked onto the fine trickle of blood leaking from the gash on his head; Wesley was very still. Before he quite knew what he was doing Xander found himself crouched by the body, his fingers searching for a pulse. He had a moment's wild thought, that's what life on a Hellmouth does to you. Here I am Mr. Trauma, 'the check if they're still breathing guy' without even thinking about it. Willow had grabbed an extra stake from her book bag and was anxiously looking for any sign of the attacker. Xander was relieved to find a pulse, it was thready but it was there. Then he realized what Willow was doing. Damn hadn't even thought to check if any vamps may still be hanging around, some action-hero I make.

Then they heard the groan.

It came from somewhere behind the overturned library table. Willow went to investigate cautiously holding her stake up high. She dropped the stake when she saw who was lying there; Xander heard the wooden clatter it had made as it fell to the floor. Funny how little details like that stick in your mind, like my hands they were all sweaty and I was worried for a sec that Wesley would make a snotty comment later then some of his blood dripped onto my hand and I can't believe I was just thinking that when this guy might be dying right in front of me—Unaware he was doing so, Xander wiped his hand on his pant leg, trying to rid his fingers of the memory of the warm slippery feel of the Watcher's blood. He signaled the turn onto the road that Faith's hotel was on and gripped the wheel again as the little car squealed a protest as it swung out onto the street.

Xander was so struck by a sudden thought he spoke aloud.

"Why the fuck did we all pile into Giles' shitbox like a bunch of circus clowns and drive to the hospital? Why didn't we call an ambulance?"

That's panic for you. Willow was so relieved Giles was okay, sorta woozy but okay then when he said Buffy had attacked them…

Xander could hear in his mind the slightly put out tone in Giles voice when he had told them that, lurking there underneath the pain and shock. Giles was pissed Buffy knocked him out. Then what with the garbled explanations and snapping orders at Willow and carrying Wes to the car we never stopped to think rationally and do the smart thing and call for help. Giles had a head injury, what's your excuse stupid?

"Oh Thank-you JesusAllahBudda! I love you all!" Xander makes another squalling turn into the parking lot of Faith's hotel, bottoming out as he bumps over the curb and brings the car to a screeching halt. He leaps out leaving the clunking and palsied car still running. He heads for Faith's room.

...to be continued...

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