Three nights gone and both slayers were absent scars. Buffy found her apprentice and friend in the common room. There was a couch, some bean bag chairs, a pool table, and the obligatory big screen TV. Satsu sat on the couch with laptop resting in her lap. Laptop in lap...made sense. She looked focused.
“Porn or MySpace?” Buffy said lightly, coming up behind the couch and looking over the girl’s shoulder. “Because I don’t get either.”
She could see a smirking reflection in the screen.
“Email. Vi says her trainees are ready for assignments,” came the answer.
Buffy picked something off Satsu’s shoulder, and used her thumb and forefinger to discard it. “Had a frizz.”
She walked around so she could sit next to her and read. After a few minutes, “She’d be a good fit for Andrew’s group. With ‘Mohawk Girl’ crazed and living the cliché off our reservation, their ranks are a little thin. Your take?”
“Same,” Satsu nodded, and scrolled. “I also thought...this girl? Vi calls her ‘Robyn Hood,’ which is great, because we need more long-range fighters. Who *want* to be back behind the line. We don’t hate crossbows, most of us just...like getting up close.”
There was breath on Buffy’s cheek; she knew she felt breath. “Evil’s fun to hit,” she spoke, though she wasn’t really concentrating on her words.
“Big Red” gum. That’s what it smelled like.
She blinked. “If-if you’re gonna suddenly be all flirty, some warning would be nice.” She turned her head just enough to look Satsu in the eye, smiling despite herself. “*God* you have the best hair.”
Satsu smiled but shrugged. “I don’t really do anything...”
Jealousy entered Buffy’s hazel eyes. “D’you want me to hate you for the rest of ever? I didn’t hear that. And in case *you’re* occasionally sometimes deaf, I’ll repeat...people who love me have their lives pretty much ended. Violent.”
“I’m a slayer...isn’t my life going to do that anyway?” Satsu countered.
“There oughta be a ban on all logic that clashes mine. Especially when it’s hanging around ‘the future dying of you’ topic.” Buffy was more serious there than she’d planned on being. “But flirting is dangerous. See? See how we’re back to danger?”
Satsu was smart--the Japanese school system was quite good. And those “samurai”-esque sword skills existed *before* slayerfication. When she met her, Buffy became immediately determined to know her. There were lessons she still hadn’t learned yet, but she did learn that knowing names, and knowing about the girls behind them, was important.
She’d created this super-extended family. Brought them together from all over the world. Unique cultures, life experiences...unique people. She wanted to be a part of that. To connect. That’s why it hurt that she couldn’t, not completely. No matter how much they liked her, no matter how quippy, there was some invisible hurdle.
Well, not with everybody. She was close to Satsu. How’d that happen?
“It won’t be your fault when I die,” declared the girl. “You’d do all you could to keep me alive. Even die instead.”
“Sorta perfected it,” the elder slayer deadpanned.
“And you would for any girl in any squad. They know it, too. That’s why we’re fighting, why we’d all volunteer for a week of monitor duty if it meant getting picked to go on a mission,” Satsu continued. “Seeing what slaying means to you, makes us wanna be part of it. You’re the best--we wanna make you proud. But...”
Buffy, who’d been blushing under the kindness, now sighed. “Here we go.”
Over she went to the pool table, and rolled a random ball from one end to the other. It hit and found its way back to her hand.
Satsu pursued, obviously not finished. “First thing I thought was amazing about you? You’re the most unselfish person. You’ll give up everything to help everyone else, and won’t save anything for yourself. ‘Cause you think what you want doesn’t matter. It has to be hard...feeling that way. Can tell.”
The eighteen-year-old was so earnest, so sincere.
“Somebody has to show you’re wrong.“
Buffy hopped up on the felt surface, having no power against sincerity. “By flirting with me?”
“Danger. Right,” Satsu grinned coyly. “You’ve seen how sharp I keep my blades--I’ll risk it.”
She didn’t understand what she was saying, she couldn’t. Buffy truly believed she was love-cursed. Nor was she any great catch. There was near a decade of evidence to back that up. Though she had a feeling Satsu would ignore all of it.
Truth be told, Buffy wanted to plead ignorance herself. In two years, three months, and way too many days, she hadn’t wanted to kiss someone as much as she did at this moment. And what she was being offered sounded really, *really* nice.
“Why?” Buffy asked so quietly, she wasn’t even sure she had.
“Why’re you in love with me?” She honestly had no idea, and she could tell her question broke Satsu’s heart.
She felt a warm hand on her cheek, and her head tilted of its own accord, to try to get more contact.
“Give me a chance to help you see,” Satsu requested.
Buffy’s eyes were closed because she feared her willpower would give out if they weren’t. “I so want to.”
“You mean it?” Satsu had been running the show until that surprised question, like she couldn’t believe her amazing boss actually did.
“Thought that was in my head,” said the blonde, turning a little red. “But...I wouldn’t’ve said if I didn’t.”
“Better...kiss me then,” encouraged her protégé with bravery that came from she knew not where. “Or I guess you could always just chicken out.“
Buffy’s eyes snapped open. “I’m a chicken ‘cause I want you breathing?”
“No,” Satsu answered, looking a little less confident now that she’d insulted the woman she was trying to court, “because you’re afraid of being happy.”
In that second, Buffy both loved and hated Satsu for understanding her so well. Understanding her multileveled fear, and that she couldn’t back down from a challenge. It was the “Marty McFly” influence. She used her sweaty palms to push off the pool table. ‘What am I doing, what am I doing, what am I doing, what am I doing? It’s doomed. She’s doomed. And, hey, she’s a she. I’m a she! Two, doomed shes here. What are we doing? Leaning in...stay in moment, Buffy. Wait, I’m completely out of practice. I could have ‘Mom Lips’...why’s this feel like I haven’t done this before? Uh, ‘cause you haven’t? You only get one, first kiss. It’s not like we can take....’
‘Wow, I think I’m buying stock in that gum. Shit, this feels so good. Shouldn’t feel...feel...her tongue or my tongue? Ya-huh, girl kissage is...holding its own with that other, and-and what the...? Know it’s been a while, but *Jesus*. Don’t wanna be doomed, don’t wanna be doomed, don’t wanna...oh my god. I knew she felt, you know, because of Amy’s spell, but...I didn’t know. I had no idea. Oh god, I can’t, I need....’
She was in tears, while Satsu’s arms hugged her neck. “Thank you.”
Their foreheads rested against one another, and Satsu’s hot, cinnamon-flavored breath blew steadily and heavily against her lips. “W...why? Are we done?”