Disclaimer: Joss and FOX and DarkHorse. All is yours.
Note: This is the first part of what will become a longer fic (he hopes). As more of Satsu's backstory and personality get revealed, I may go back and tweak things. Hope you enjoy. :-)
Note 2: People who've left me feedback will get thank-yous. Sorry, been MIA awhile.
“How many people’ve signed your gauze?”
From her infirmary bed, Satsu broke out into a slow smile upon hearing her leader’s voice. Buffy had been here an hour earlier, holding her hand. For fifty-six seconds. She counted. Did she read anything into it? Why would she do that? Oh, right--the “in love with her” thing. In love and hopeful. Ridiculously so? Jury was still out.
“Think the ink would probably bleed through. Then I’d never get out of here. ‘Cause of a pen,” Satsu answered, gingerly touching the gauze on her cheek, as Buffy sat on her bed. Again. “I’d never live it down. The others wouldn’t let me.”
“But we’d make sure there’s color choice. Your blood could be neon. Fun *and* pretty,” grinned Buffy. “And they’d hafta answer to me.”
The alpha slayer pulled off her shoes, and looked thoughtful. “Mm. Name-signage kinda is the ‘Have a great summer’ of medically, heal-y things.”
Satsu naturally felt that she had to ask at this point, “How come you’re...don’t you have other stuff to do?”
“Unless we’re sieged, or ‘Twilight’ has like, a website with his weaknesses bullet-pointed from biggest to ‘Japanese Game Show’ funny...nah. I’ve just been outside. It was cold,” Buffy said as she took off her jacket, which would seem to be counter-productive if she was combating temperature. “’Sides, we Mummy-faced women need to stick together. I didn’t want you stuck here all by yourself. Without your iPod.”
Satsu accepted it from Buffy, who’d taken it from her pocket. “Thanks.”
Then the blonde shut her eyes tight, almost like she was trying to disappear. Satsu had no idea why, but she found it cute.
“Ma’am? Are you okay?”
Buffy opened her eyes, and they stared apologetically. “Sorry, I didn’t...I mean, the game shows? They’re funny, to me, ‘cause I’m American and anything not American is funny ‘cause it’s not American. We’re cultural ass-hats, Satsu. *I’m* a cultural ass-hat. I’m gonna take a class, though.”
Aww, she actually thought...? “Nah, they suck,” the girl concurred.
“Oh. ‘Kay. Scratch the class, then.” Buffy then turned herself over so she was lying stomach down on the bed facing the Japanese slayer. “Hey, when it’s you and me and off duty, call me ‘Buffy’? I figure after crying in front of someone in love with you, drop the formal. That can be rule three.”
She gave a small smile. “And don’t tell anybody else? But I kinda hate the title. M’ only twenty-four, y’know.”
Satsu gave a small smile in return that didn’t at all express how much that simple request meant to her. If nothing else, Buffy considered her a friend. “And hot.”
It apparently also meant she could give herself permission to be bolder.
“Even Mummy-faced?” Buffy’s smile was one of gratitude almost, if that were possible.
Now that hand was on Satsu’s. Again. “Can I...ask you something?” The girl wondered.
“As long as it’s not math or math-related any at all, yes,” the blonde said.
There was a long pause before Satsu got her newly-released boldness bold enough. “I, um, smell good?”
Buffy bit her lip. “Said that, didn’t I?” She received a nod. “Crossed a boundary, didn’t it?” And another. She planted her face into the blanket. “Stupid, run-on-able mouth.”
“Do you like me, Buffy?”
Maybe that was too bold. The kind that led to imminent and swift rejection. A slower, more gradual process would’ve been best, but her feelings for Buffy Summers had been developing for more than a year now. With them “outted,” if there was a chance Buffy could develop whatever her own feelings were at this point, she needed to know.
She was seventeen when Buffy came to her high school in Hokkaido. In the beginning, the Sunnydale survivors were separate, lone recruiters, going around the world. She was the first girl Buffy personally enlisted. She helped her talk to others. Rowena...Leah...but she was first at Buffy’s side. She’d been falling in love a long time.
“Why do I feel like I’m back in high school?” Buffy picked her head up. “No, wait, you’re not two hundred years old, iffy-Irish and undead. This isn’t anything like high school.”
She took a breath, then prefaced, “Keeping our ‘graveyard talk’ one hundred percent in mind, uh huh, I do. I just dunno if it’s for the right reason.”
Satsu was lost. “The right reason?”
“I haven’t had sex in two years, three months, and days that’re still counting. And like I said before--‘graveyard talk’--m’ lonely.” Buffy squeezed the girl’s hand. “You feel something real, with actual emotions attached. If all I feel is ‘cause of being desperate, so my ‘Hulk-angry’ libido isn’t the pickiest anymore, then, wrong reason. It’d hurt you. And if I can avoid, guess what won’t happen?”
Satsu’s quick-fire response? “What did I wear when we did the food run in town last week?”
“Your blue s...” Buffy trailed off before she even really got started. “Damn. Okay, score one your side. Looked great in it, by the way.”
“I remembered from before. That you noticed.”
The almost nineteen-year-old smiled widely now. She had confirmation, and wasn’t going to push this. Inside she was thrilled, and anything but the calm, reserved exterior she presented most of the time. Her outlet was usually either slaying or music. Listening and dancing to. And on that note, she began to unravel the ear buds of her iPod.
Buffy noticed as well. “You like...Kemuri, right? I remember that, I think.”
“Yeah, they’re cool. I love Ska.” Satsu tried to scoot herself over as much as possible to free up space on her right.
Blond eyebrows scrunched. “Didn’t we kill those?”
The girl laughed. “Wanna listen?”
Buffy accepted the invitation, smiled, and moved up beside her.