This is my first foray into the Magnificent Seven world. You don’t really need to be familiar with the characters to understand what’s going on. What little you need to know is explained within. There will be a sequel, it’s just gonna take some time. I had an idea that could continue this and Meri said the ending here begged for more, so it will come.
Thanks to all of the ladies who helped me with this. I can’t remember who all I sent this to, but thanks to everyone who had input, you know who you are…. Title:
What Happens At The Point… By:
I own none of the recognizable characters. They belong to their respective creators and distributors. Distribution:
My site – Worlds of Possibilities, ff.net, and TtH. Spoilers:
All of Buffy is fair game. None really for Magnificent Seven. Setting:
Takes place two years after Chosen for Buffy. Set in the ATF AU of Mag7. Summary:
Dawn and Faith kidnap Buffy and force her to take a vacation. A/N:
I’m pretty sure that one of the rides mentioned in this fic was not open when this technically took place. But, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for the scene. What Happens At The Point…
“I can’t believe you took me to the hospital,” Buffy grumbled as she climbed into the backseat of Dawn’s silver Neon.
“Don’t blame her, B,” Faith said, getting into the passenger seat. “We’re all worried about you.”
“I’m fine,” Buffy protested.
“Buffy, you collapsed in the middle of class scaring all of the mini-slayers,” Dawn said. “I don’t see where that classifies as fine. Maybe in wacky Buffy World it does, but not in ours.”
“I’m fine,” Buffy stubbornly repeated as she buckled her seat belt. She leaned her head back and promptly fell asleep.
“Fine my ass,” Dawn muttered as she started the car. She easily maneuvered out of the University Hospital’s parking lot and onto the main road. They remained silent until they reached I-90.
“Are you sure we’re doing the right thing?” Dawn asked, after checking to make sure Buffy was still asleep.
“You heard the doc,” Faith said, reaching out to fiddle with the radio. “B is exhausted and she’s stressed out. She needs to be away from the school for a while.”
“Yeah, but are you sure this is the right way to do it? She’s gonna be pissed when she wakes up.”
“She’ll get over it,” Faith said with a shrug. “I’ll take the heat for this.”
“But still, are you sure we should take her…”
“Little D, I told you. It’ll be fine.”
“Yeah, but I’ve heard that sometimes when you come back from vacation you’re even more exhausted than when you left.”
“That’s how you know you did it right,” Faith said with a smirk. “Just trust me on this.”
“Okay,” Dawn said with a lot more confidence than she felt. “Did you call the others?”
“Yup. They don’t expect to hear from us for a few days,” Faith said, settling on a radio station.
“Sweet,” Dawn said with a grin. “I haven’t been on a vacation in years.”
Faith snorted. “At least you had an opportunity to go on one, kid.”
“It’ll be great for all of us then,” Dawn said, reaching out to change the station back.
An hour and a half later, Buffy woke up as Dawn pulled into a parking lot. “Dawn, this doesn’t look like the school,” Buffy said sleepily.
“Because it’s not,” Dawn chirped. “I’ll be back after I check us in.”
“Check us in? Wha?” Buffy mumbled as Dawn got out of the car.
“Now, B, I don’t want you to get overexcited about this, but Dawn and I have kidnapped you and are going to force you to have a vacation,” Faith said in a rush.
“What?” Buffy cried, becoming fully awake.
“Giles already okayed it, your classes are being covered. You have no choice but to submit,” Faith said the last in an ominous tone.
“You’ve been hanging around Andrew too much,” Buffy said, narrowing her eyes.
“He grows on ya,” Faith said easily. “But seriously, B, we’re worried about you. This was just the final straw. You need a break from work; you’ve been pushing yourself too hard. And Giles won’t let you back anyways. If you go back now, they’re gonna lock you in your room for a few days.”
“Fine,” Buffy snarled, crossing her arms across her chest. “Just don’t expect me to be happy about this or have fun.”
“That’s my girl,” Faith said, satisfaction ringing through every word.
“Where are we?”
“Ah ah ah, not going to tell you that, yet. You’ll find out tomorrow.”
Buffy bit back a retort as Dawn made it back to the car. “All checked in, let’s go,” Dawn said as she popped the trunk. “They even have an indoor pool,” Dawn informed them as the two slayers got out of the car.
“Thanks, but no thanks,” Faith said. “Think I’ll try to find some sort of club or bar. Wanna come?”
“Sure,” Dawn said. “What about you, Buffy?”
“I think I’ll stay in the room and relax,” she replied as they entered the two-story Days Inn.
“See, it’s already working,” Faith said. “You used the ‘R’ word.”
Buffy glared at her while Dawn used the electronic key to unlock their door.
An hour after Faith and Dawn had left; Buffy gave up trying to find something decent on TV. Remembering that Dawn had mentioned a pool, she dug around in her suitcase to see what they had packed for her.
Unsurprisingly, she found stuff she knew Faith had snuck into the bag when Dawn wasn’t looking. She was sure that Faith was hoping that Buffy would find some man-friend action during the trip. At least, that was her guess judging by some of the clothing and lingerie that had been packed. It wasn’t at the top of her priorities and she pushed the items aside as she continued her search.
She found and pulled out her modest, two-piece suit and quickly changed. She slipped her cover-up on before sliding her feet into a pair of Old Navy white flip-flops. After grabbing a towel and checking to make sure she had the key, she left.
After getting directions from the front desk, she made her way down the hall and was pleased to find that she was the only one in the pool area. As she glanced at the clock on the wall, she realized she shouldn’t be surprised since it was after eleven o’clock at night.
She shimmied out of her cover-up and placed it on the edge of one of the lounge chairs. Taking a deep breath, a smile crossed her face as she took in the chlorine smell that permeated the humid air. It had been a long time since she had been able to enjoy swimming for the sake of swimming. She thought that maybe the trip wouldn’t be so bad after all as she slipped into the lukewarm water and made her way down the length of the pool.
Once she reached the deeper end, she ducked under and touched the bottom of the six-foot deep pool with her finger tips before coming back up for air. She closed her eyes and let her body float in the water. “Definitely going to enjoy this more than I thought,” she muttered softly.
The sound of the door opening caused her to open her eyes. She looked up to see a man enter the room. He smiled shyly at her and gave her a small nod before moving to one of the chairs to take off his own shirt and shoes.
Through half-closed lids, she observed the lean muscular body as it was slowly exposed to her. He was definitely on the good-looking side, even if his shoulder length brown hair was a bit longer than she preferred. She frowned slightly at some of the scars she could see on his body and wondered where he had gotten them.
She quickly closed her eyes all the way as he turned back towards the pool. A few moments later she could hear him enter the water.
Buffy returned to her soak and enjoyed the buoyancy the water gave her. Suddenly, the water rippled and went over her face, causing her to sputter.
“Ah, gees, I’m sorry,” the guy said in a softly accented voice. He vaguely sounded like he was from the South. “I didn’t mean to. I’ll just swim further away.”
“It’s okay,” Buffy said. “I don’t mind.”
“I’m still sorry.”
“It’s okay,” Buffy repeated. “It’s nice to know that people still use pools for what they were created for.”
“What do you mean? I always thought you were supposed to swim in a pool.”
Buffy snorted. “My sister and friends don’t seem to think so. They think you’re supposed to splash around, not really swim.”
He laughed and Buffy found herself liking the sound. “I have a coupla’ friends of my own that tend to think the same way. Not that I’m not above doing that myself on occasion,” he added slyly.
“Ah, so you’re one of those,” she said teasingly.
“I reckon’ I am. I’ll just take it easy with the swimming,” he said with a grin.
“Don’t hold back on my account. I can float closer to the wall.”
“Now you were here first, I don’t have any right to disturb ya.”
“I’m giving you my full permission to disturb me,” she said with a laugh.
“All right, then,” he said. “Name’s Vin. Vin Tanner.”
“I’m Buffy,” she said, cringing slightly as she waited for the inevitable reaction.
“I like it,” was all he said.
“Thanks,” she replied, her brain abandoning her for a decent response.
With a few easy strokes, she made it back to the steps leading into the water and relaxed back against them. From there she could easily watch Vin move through the water with a supple grace. She could see the muscles in his back shift under his skin as he cut his way through the water.
A blush crept up on her face as she realized she had been staring. She forced herself to look away and concentrate on anything except the handsome man swimming near her.
“I don’t mean to pry,” he said suddenly, coming up beside her. “But what are you doin’ here?”
She frowned and looked at him. “What do you mean?”
“Well, a pretty lady like you shouldn’t be alone at night in a hotel.”
“How do you know I’m alone?” She asked, raising an elegantly shaped eyebrow.
He grinned and looked around the room.
“Okay, so I’m alone here, but I’m not necessarily alone,” she said with a roll of her eyes.
His smile got bigger.
“Oh for heaven’s sakes. I’m here with my sister and a friend. They drug me here. Apparently I’m worn out and need a vacation. They think I work too hard,” she said sourly.
Vin started laughing.
“It’s not funny!”
“I’m sorry,” he said through his laughter. “But my friends drug me here saying the same thing.”
“Oh,” she said a little sheepishly.
“They were supposed to make it a whole team effort, but some of the other boys got held back because of work.”
“Team effort?” She asked.
“I’m part of an ATF team in Denver.”
“Colorado? Aren’t you far away from home?”
“A little,” he agreed.
“So why aren’t your friends down here with you?” She asked.
“They went out to meet women,” he said with a shrug.
“Does that mean you have a lady friend back home?”
“Nah, it’s just that most of the women you meet in a bar aren’t the long-haul type.”
“I can see that,” she said.
“Where are your friends?”
“At a bar somewhere looking for guys,” she said with a giggle. “I thought I’d catch up on some sleep, but couldn’t.”
“Hey, this is much more relaxing than some bar,” he said, stretching his long legs out beside her as he floated next to her.
“Much,” she agreed, her eyes shining with mirth at him.
The next morning, Buffy woke with an oomph as something heavy landed on her. She opened her eyes to see Dawn grinning maniacally down at her. “What?” She mumbled.
“Up and at ‘em, Buffy; time to get going.”
“What time is it?” Buffy sleepily asked as Dawn climbed off of her.
“In the morning? What happened to me getting some rest?”
“Don’t worry, you will,” Dawn assured her. “Hurry up and take your shower. We need to leave the hotel by nine.”
“You’re only giving me an hour to get ready?” Buffy asked in horror, sitting up in her bed.
“It’s not our fault you slept in. Now hurry up. There’s stuff we’ve got to do before we can leave.”
“Fine, fine,” Buffy grumbled as she gathered up the things for her shower.
Ten minutes later she emerged squeaky clean, only to have Dawn hand her clothes. “This is what you’re wearing today.”
“I don’t get to chose my own clothes?”
“Nope,” Dawn said with a grin. “And once you get dressed, we’re gonna eat breakfast, slather on some sunscreen, and head out.”
“To where exactly?” Buffy asked.
“Not telling,” Dawn sing-songed.
“She’s already eating breakfast. There’s free food to be had. Does that surprise you?”
“Not really,” Buffy said with a shake of her head as she went back into the bathroom to change.
“Make sure your hair is securely tied back. You wouldn’t want it to get in the way,” Dawn called out through the closed door.
“That would be telling.”
Deciding it would be useless to argue further, Buffy donned the khaki shorts and blue camisole that Dawn had handed her. With a sigh, she brushed her hair and quickly twisted the blond tresses into pigtail braids. She walked out of the bathroom only to have a pair of sneakers and socks thrust into her face.
“Why not flip-flops?” Buffy asked.
“These are better.”
“But I like my flip-flops.”
“But these are better.”
“Fine,” Buffy huffed, snatching the offending articles out of her sister’s hands. “I don’t know why I’m letting you get away with this.”
“Because you love me,” Dawn said with a smirk. “Are you ready yet?”
“Some of us are not morning people,” Buffy reminded her with a dark look.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. So… you ready?”
In shock, Buffy looked at Dawn and Faith’s smiling faces. “An amusement park? You drug me away from work for an amusement park?”
“Come on, B, it’ll be fun. It’s Cedar Point. Roller coasters!”
“But an amusement park? I thought we were going swimming, what with the bathing suits you had packed, the sunscreen,” Buffy nearly whined.
“Oh, there will be swimming,” Faith assured her. “There’s a water park. But first, we’ll ride the roller coasters.”
“I don’t know,” Buffy said as they got closer to the entrance. “I’ve never ridden one before.”
“Me either,” Faith said. “But just think of the adrenaline rush.”
Buffy kept sending her dubious looks as they paid for their tickets and entered the park.
“How about that one?” Faith asked after they had stored their bags in a locker.
“Which one?” Buffy asked, looking around at the closest rides.
“That one, the Raptor. It sounds wicked,” Faith said, as she drug Buffy over to the line. Dawn followed close behind with an excited grin on her face.
“Forty-five minutes!” Buffy cried, reading the estimated wait time. “I have to stand in line for forty-five minutes?”
“See, this is where the relaxing part comes in,” Faith said with a grin. “Yo, Little D, why don’t you buy us a couple of bottles of water to drink while we wait.”
“On it,” Dawn said. Her eyes widened as she noticed the price - $2.50 a bottle. It seemed like highway robbery to her, but at ten in the morning, the temperature was already pretty high. Knowing they had to keep their fluids up, she bought them each a bottle anyway.
“This is ridiculous,” Buffy said twenty minutes later. “It’s hot out here. Can’t we go swimming now?”
“No, we’ll wait until it gets really hot,” Faith said, before taking a long drink of her water.
Buffy groaned. She heard the screams above them and looked up to see the ride flipping another set of passengers upside down. “I’m still not sure about this. The whole upside down thing and my feet dangling. I don’t know.”
“Just go with the flow, it’ll be fine,” Dawn said.
The blonde slayer glared at her sister, but didn’t say anything.
After what seemed like forever, they were finally next in line for the ride. The train came to a stop in front of them and people with smiling faces exited the other side. The three of them hopped onto a seat and buckled themselves in.
Buffy paid little attention to the announcer until she heard, “We’re the raddest ride in the park ‘cause we’re green.”
She frowned and looked over at Dawn. “Did he just say…?”
“Yeah, he did.”
“Rad?” Buffy said in amazement.
“I wouldn’t ask,” Dawn advised, shaking her head. “Just think, in a few moments you’ll be upside down with your feet in the air.”
“Yeah, thanks, that’s real helpful,” Buffy said dryly, gripping the handles on the shoulder harness a little tighter. Looking down at her feet she was glad Dawn hadn’t let her wear her flip-flops. She’d hate to lose one while she was in the air.
Buffy swallowed thickly as the train jolted and they dipped down before moving up the first hill. “Oh, I don’t know about this,” she said as Faith giggled next to her. The dark haired slayer was swinging her feet like a little kid.
A moment later they dropped down the first hill and Buffy let out a shriek of surprise, which quickly turned into a delighted squeal. She grinned as she felt the air rush past her face as the Raptor smoothly turned them from one direction to the next, never knowing where they were going. All too quickly it was over.
Faith grinned. “Fun, wasn’t it?”
Buffy smiled back. “We have got to ride this one again!”
“We’ve got time. There are fifteen other coasters to ride. How about we check them out first?”
“Let’s do it,” Buffy said as they hopped off the ride and headed down the exit ramp.
Buffy let her arm drape over the side of the inner tube so her fingertips dipped in the soothing water. She kept her eyes closed as she peacefully floated down the manmade waterway. The Lazy River was definitely living up to its name as she found the tension she didn’t even realize she had, ease from her body. She didn’t want to leave as she approached the end/starting point of the ‘ride’.
She tilted her head up and opened her eyes. Seeing that others were not getting out, she decided to go for another round and laid her head back.
As she entered the section where people were getting in and out of the river, the water became choppier, but she could still feel the current pulling her along. Confident she’d make her way back onto the main waterway, she let the inner tube ride the waves out.
“We have got to stop meeting like this,” came a slightly familiar male voice.
Buffy opened her eyes to see Vin standing beside her. She laughed. “We might be starting a trend here.”
“Maybe,” he said, looking around. “Alone again?” He hopefully asked, as he slid onto his inner tube.
“Yeah, they went to the water slides. What about yours?” She asked, noticing they had made it out of the crowded section.
“The slides,” he said with a grin.
“I guess they’re missing the whole point of the relaxation part,” she said with a giggle.
“Reckon’ so. Would you mind some company?” He asked with a shy smile.
“Only if it’s not yours,” she said boldly, surprised at herself for even saying it.
A faint blush appeared on Vin’s cheeks and he reached out to grab the handle on her inner tube. Because of the way he had done it, they were arranged facing each other. Vin’s back was towards the upcoming elements of the ‘ride’. Buffy remembered this part from her first trip through and she grinned mischievously at him. “Brace yourself.”
“Brace yourself,” she repeated. She reached up to hold the straps on her top and tensed.
As they passed under a thin curtain of cold water, Vin let out a yell of surprise. “I don’t see how that’s supposed to be relaxing!”
She laughed. “I warned you.”
“Yeah, you did,” he said sheepishly, as he pushed his hair out of his eyes.
She noticed how his eyes drifted appraisingly down to where her now wet mint green bikini clung to her. Buffy blushed herself at the look of approval in his eyes, but she made no move to deter his gaze.
Two laps later as they neared the start/end junction , Vin casually said, “There’s an adult pool where we can get some drinks.”
“I am a little thirsty.”
The shy smile appeared on his lips again and she quickly found herself being enamored by it and the man who wore it. It wasn’t often that she was approached by a man who seemed slightly unsure of themself. Most were cocky, arrogant men who saw her as an object. While Vin seemed to be attracted to her physically, he also seemed to be genuinely interested in getting to know her.
He easily slid off of his inner tube and moved to help her. She felt a pull low in her groin as he gripped her waist and she had to bite her lip to prevent a soft moan from escaping. He let go of her once she was back on her feet and moved to hand in their two inner tubes as if he felt nothing from the touch.
She took a deep breath to try and regain control of her traitorous body, then walked up the steps and out of the water. She quickly located her towel and flip-flops. With her towel firmly wrapped around her waist and her feet protected from the hot concrete, she turned in time to see Vin emerge from the water. The tiny blonde couldn’t help but stare at the way the sunlight reflected off the water running in rivulets down his lean body. She suddenly wished they were someplace more private where they could do the things her body kept yearning for.
Her face burning red, she quickly turned away and focused on the moving crowd around them. A few moments later, he stood next to her with his towel draped across his shoulders. “Ready?”
“Sure… Wait, I need to get my license from the locker,” she said.
After a quick trip to the storage area, they made their way over to the adult pool. They set their stuff down at a table and then entered the water. There was a bar situated at one end, but the bar stools were in the water. As relaxing as the Lazy River had been, it had been filled with kids. This place was blissfully kid free and she was thankful for the slightly quieter area.
“What would you like?” He asked. “My treat.”
“Umm, a strawberry daiquiri.” She was pleasantly surprised that he didn’t chastise her for the girly fruit drink. Instead, he just turned and placed the order along with a Bud Light for himself.
They chose a quiet corner of the pool to sit and talk and sip their drinks. They talked of nothing important, and they steered away from their jobs. However, they both had close relationships with their coworkers so small things got mentioned here and there.
Vin had just finished telling a funny story involving a practical joke gone wrong, when Buffy heard Faith’s voice from across the pool. “Yo, B! Little D can’t get in!”
Buffy sighed and looked over at Vin. “I think we just lost our peace and quiet. My friends are here.”
A small chuckle escaped Vin’s lips and indicated the two men standing behind the women who had got Buffy’s attention. “In more ways than one. I think my friends and your friends hooked up. Might as well go see what they want.”
They reluctantly gathered up their things and left the pool area to meet up with them.
“Vin, you gonna introduce me to your little lady friend there?” A tall man with dark hair and a thick mustache asked, a merry twinkle shining in his dark blue eyes.
Vin rolled his eyes. “This is Buffy, Dawn’s older sister. These are my friends Buck Wilmington and JD Dunne.”
Buffy smiled and shook both men’s hands. While Vin and Buck seemed to tower over her and Faith, JD was much shorter than the two men. He was almost the same height as Dawn.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” JD said with a grin. Vin had told her about the team and from the way he had described JD, she had expected someone who looked sixteen. While JD did look young, it was nowhere near as young as Vin had intimated.
“Well, this is nearly damn near scary, our friend meeting up with yours,” Buck said, nudging Faith’s arm with his elbow.
“Just a little,” she agreed with a grin. She gave Buffy a silent look of her approval of Vin.
Buffy fought the urge to roll her own eyes. She had a feeling that Faith would be absent from their room that night if she was correctly reading the signs.
“We were thinking about heading back to the park and riding the Dragster,” Dawn said.
Buffy paled slightly. “You mean that great big tall one?”
“Hell, yeah,” Faith said.
“Come on, Buffy,” Dawn said pleadingly. “It’s supposed to be a great adrenaline rush. I’m sure the guys would go with us so no one would have to ride alone.”
She wavered until Dawn pulled out the pout. “That’s not fair and you know it!”
“Fine! I’ll go. But if I get sick it’s your fault.”
Once they were back in the changing rooms, Faith said, “I can’t believe you skipped out on the water slides. They were great! Especially the Erie Falls. The tubes were black so you couldn’t see where you were going.”
“Yeah, and how long did you stand in line for that one?” Buffy dryly asked.
“About twenty minutes.”
“I don’t see how standing in line in this heat is supposed to be relaxing,” Buffy said. “The river was much nicer.”
“I’m sure it was,” Faith said with a smirk.
“All we did was talk.”
“Is that what they’re calling it these days?” Dawn asked, poking her sister in the side before entering a changing stall.
“That’s not… Dawn! You’re not supposed to know what anything is called,” Buffy said in a scandalized tone.
“Oh please,” Dawn said from behind the curtain. “As if you and Angel hadn’t already done it by the time you were my age.”
“Highly beside the point,” Buffy said sullenly over Faith’s laughter as she entered a stall.
Buffy took a deep breath as she tried to calm her stomach. The closer they got to their turn, the more nervous she felt. All of the wonderfully ‘helpful’ signs the park had put up to be read while you waited in line really weren’t. Especially the one that stated that the train didn’t always make it to the top of the hill on its first try. It made the ride sound terribly unreliable and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to trust her life to it.
Imagine being shot out of the gate at 120mph to go four hundred feet straight up, only to come right back down. It wasn’t something she wanted to take lightly.
She looked over at her companions. They didn’t seem to be sharing her worries as they bounced excitedly. She was fairly certain that the heat wasn’t the only reason why she was sweating.
They finally made it to where they split up to decide where they sat in the train. It had already been decided that JD and Dawn would sit together. Vin moved to ride with Buffy, which left Buck with Faith.
“If you guys don’t mind, I’d like to ride this one with B,” Faith spoke up.
Both Vin and Buck looked disappointed, but they could easily see Buffy’s distress. Buffy’s heart fluttered slightly at the look of concern in Vin’s eyes. However, she knew at that point, that Faith was a safer choice for a riding partner. The danger of her grabbing Vin’s hand and squeezing hard enough to break it was very real.
Before she knew it, she was being strapped into her seat with Faith grinning maniacally beside her. “Damn, B. It’s not like we’re facing down a master va…” Faith started before catching herself. “Just breathe,” she said as the train jerked out of the station and onto the launch pad.
Buffy wanted to squeeze her eyes tightly shut so she couldn’t see, but thought better of it. She’d rather see what was coming and face her death head on than going out like a coward, for she was certain that this ride was going to be the death of her.
Faith held out her hand and Buffy clung to it like a lifeline.
As the stoplight ticked down from red to green, she wondered how in the hell she got talked into this. The light hit green and they were thrust back against the seat as the train shot forward. A scream of terror ripped out of Buffy’s throat as they shot up in the air. A moment later they crested the top and her scream turned to one of pure joy.
She let go of Faith’s hand and threw her arms in the air. The ground seemed to rush up to meet them and at the last second they evened out. Mere seconds later, the train came to a jerky stop. She turned to see Faith smugly grinning at her.
“Told you you’d have fun.”
Vin and Buck turned in their seats to look back at them. “You gals all right?” Buck asked.
“Never better,” Buffy said exuberantly.
They looked back to check on Dawn and JD. Buffy couldn’t help but feel sorry for the younger man as he had turned slightly green around the edges. “You okay, JD?” She asked.
“I’m fine,” he said, swallowing thickly.
Buffy didn’t want to injure his pride so she looked over at Dawn who was beaming with excitement. “Can we do this one again, too?” Dawn asked.
“Oh, definitely,” Buffy agreed, her earlier fears completely forgotten.
“Let’s go look at the pictures,” Faith said as they exited the ride.
They stood around the people who were pushing around to find themselves on the panel of monitors. “Oh, B, we have got
to get this one.”
Buffy looked at the picture Faith was pointing at and saw that this ride didn’t take one, but two pictures – one at the beginning and one at the end. Her eyes were wide with terror in the first one and then in joy in the second one. She flushed in embarrassment. “Aww, Faith.”
“We’ll get it as a reminder for you to trust me on this kind of stuff,” Faith said as she left to make her purchase.
“I wouldn’t worry so much about it,” Vin said in her ear, his breath causing her to shiver slightly. “I’m getting’ a copy of Buck’s, too.”
She looked up to see Vin and Buck’s picture was nearly identical to hers. The look of terror seemed out of place on Buck’s handsome face. She couldn’t help but giggle.
Buffy couldn’t get rid of the smile that seemed permanently plastered to her face. The rest of the day had been wonderful and now the men were walking them back to their car.
She could see Dawn and JD ahead of them, their youth giving them that extra boost of energy at the end of a long day. Just behind them and off to the side of the youthful couple, Faith and Buck walked with their heads close together. She certainly hoped, for everyone’s sake, that the men had thought far enough ahead, unlike Dawn and Faith, and had gotten separate rooms. Otherwise, she was sure that Faith and Buck were going to have to make some hurried plans so their ‘rendezvous’ could still happen.
She looked to where her hand was nestled in the crook of Vin’s arm. After spending the day with him, she wasn’t too surprised that he had offered his arm as he escorted her around the park. The chivalrous gesture seemed to just fit his personality.
“Plannin’ on another late night swim tonight?” He asked.
“I’m afraid not,” she said a bit sadly. She was slightly surprised to discover that she had meant it. It would have been nice to spend some time alone with him again. “All this standing around in line has worn me out. I think I’m just gonna head to bed.”
“I was hopin’ you’d say that. I’m a little beat myself. But we’re still on for tomorrow, right?” He asked hopefully. Both groups had agreed to spend the entire day at the park together.
“Wouldn’t miss it,” she said as they reached the car.
“Good,” he said. He hesitated slightly before placing a small kiss on her cheek. He blushed slightly as he released her hand and helped her in the car. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
She smiled and nodded, and then he shut the door.
“I’m disappointed in you, B,” Faith said from the driver’s seat as she started the car. “You’re on vacation; you should be living a little.”
“Believe it or not, Faith, but I’m actually tired,” Buffy said with a roll of her eyes. “I take it you’ll be sleeping in Buck’s room?”
“Oh yeah,” Faith said, pulling out of the parking spot and merging with the rest of the traffic that was leaving.
Buffy turned in her seat to look back at Dawn. “What about you?”
“Same as you; bed and sleep.”
“Good,” she said, turning back around. She closed her eyes so she wouldn’t have to watch Faith navigate. Her driving was scary enough on good days; she’d hate to watch it now.
The next afternoon, Buffy squealed out in laughter as Vin twisted them until she and her inner tube went under the waterfall. She knew it had been a bad idea to let them talk her into leaving the Lazy River for the Renegade River. While it had a lot of similarities to the lazy one, this one seemed to have an awful lot of waterfalls and agitated water.
Buck and JD seemed to delight in torturing Faith and Dawn, pushing the two women under every waterfall they saw. She supposed she should have been more thankful that Vin had held off his more mischievous nature until their third time through. And she didn’t mind getting drenched as much as she’d though she would as she saw Vin’s smiling face laughing with her. As easy as it would have been for her to maneuver it the other way with her slayer strength, she let Vin have his fun.
That didn’t mean she wasn’t still thankful when they left the waterfall section for the wave section. Vin kept a firm hand on her inner tube as the waves jostled them about until a rather large one caused him to lose his grip. With barely a thought, operating on slayer speed and instinct, her hand reached out and snagged Vin’s.
His grin grew bigger as he intertwined his fingers with her own. They spent the rest of the ride holding hands.
Their second day at the park was turning out to be more fun than the first. Buffy hated to admit that as resistant as she had been in the beginning, she was enjoying herself. She tried to keep the fact that they were heading back to Cleveland first thing in the morning and that she’d never see the shy Texan again out of her thoughts, since she knew that they were leaving to go back to Denver in the morning.
She had managed to keep the thoughts at bay until they were standing in line for the last ride of the trip, but even then she kept getting distracted by the man occupying the space next to her.
“I think I’ll just wait for you guys down here,” Faith said.
“What?” Buck asked, as they all turned to look at her.
“You guys ride without me. I’m kinda tired.”
Buffy’s eyes narrowed. “You have been dragging us on nearly every coaster in the park claiming the faster and higher the better. And just ten minutes ago you were saying how full of energy you were.” Buffy studied her friend for a moment and suddenly her eyes widened. “Don’t tell me you’re afraid of the Ferris wheel!”
“What? Nah,” Faith scoffed. “I’m just tired.”
“You are. You’re afraid,” Buffy said in amazement.
“I wouldn’t call it scared… more like it creeps me out,” Faith said with a shudder.
“It doesn’t really do anything. Just goes around,” Dawn said with a disbelieving look. “What’s creepy about that?”
“Come on, Faith. You’ve gotta go. It’ll be fun, trust me,” Buffy said with a smirk, throwing the other woman’s words back at her. “I’m sure Buck can protect you.”
“Sure I can, darlin’,” Buck said, hugging Faith close.
“Fine,” Faith said between clenched teeth. Her eyes were shooting daggers at Buffy.
Buffy grinned and waved at Faith after she and Vin were secured in their gondola. The ride started to move and they were lifted into the air.
After a minute, Vin placed his arm around Buffy’s shoulder and she sighed in contentment as she snuggled next to him. They were quiet as they looked out over the bright lights of the park.
“I’m glad they drug me here,” Buffy said softly. “I didn’t realize how much I needed this.”
“Me either,” he agreed.
She turned slightly to look up at him. His blue eyes twinkled down at her and she found herself falling into their depths. “Lucky for us we’ve got great such great friends.”
“Uh huh,” he agreed, his head inching closer to hers.
Buffy tilted her head up just a little more to close the distance between them. His lips brushed against hers in the lightest of touches as if he was unsure of the welcome. When she didn’t pull away, he closed the distance this time, lingering a little longer.
She parted her lips inviting him deeper. His free hand came around to cup her neck and his thumb caressed her jawline as he carefully explored her mouth. Her heart beat faster as his warmth seeped through her. The cooling night air brushed lightly over her heated skin.
When he broke the kiss, he rested his forehead against hers. He lazily opened his eyes and smiled at her. “Think ya could get away tonight?” he huskily asked.
“I think I could escape for a while,” she said, kissing him softly.
“Why do I have to ride in the back?” Faith sulked after they loaded the car the next morning.
“Because your driving is scary enough on a good day and I know you didn’t get a lot of sleep last night,” Buffy said, getting into the passenger seat.
“Guess that’s why you’re not driving either,” Faith said with a smirk causing Buffy to blush.
“I probably got more sleep than you,” Buffy retorted.
“Pfft. Couldn’t have been that good of a night then. Does the boy have no stamina?”
“How do you know he didn’t wear me out?” Buffy asked, her eyes sparkling. “Quality over quantity.”
“Okay! TMI!” Dawn screeched as she guided her Neon out of the hotel parking lot. “I really don’t need to hear the details,” she claimed over Faith’s chuckle.
Once they were back on the highway, Dawn looked over at her sister who was barely awake. “You’re not mad at us about this are you?”
“Of course not. You guys meant well and I really did need this. I had fun,” Buffy assured her.
“Good. So, are you ever gonna call Vin?”
“I don’t know,” Buffy said, pulling at the hem of her shorts.
“But you do like him,” Dawn pressed.
“Yeah, but it’s a weird summer fling thing. He’s busy, I’m busy, and we live a couple thousand miles apart… It’s complicated.”
“You say that a lot.”
“’Cause it’s usually true.”
Dawn’s response was cut off by a yawn.
“Whoa! Where did that come from? I thought you said you fell asleep watching TV last night,” Buffy accused.
“We did, I just didn’t say when,” Dawn shot back with a cheeky grin.
“We? What?” Buffy sputtered. ~finis~