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'That's just like you'

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Summary: Eight years after she first met Faith, Buffy is now in a long-term relationship with her. This Faith hasn't exactly changed her stripes, though, even if she's (mostly) playing nice these days.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > Romance > Buffy/Faith(Past Donor)DreamSmithFR1515,629152,5451 Mar 081 Mar 08Yes
Disclaimer: Buffy and Joss were created by other people, not I. I just wanna tell some stories, folks.


Author's Note: This is the first in a series of odd, unconnected tales (a series entitled 'Parallels'), featuring the Faith/Buffy stories of other, parallel worlds, some right next door to the one we know, and others from far, far afield.
This one is set in a place nearly identical to my main Faithverse, some eight years after Buffy's senior year.
It's short, it's sort of fluffy, just something I wrote because I wanted to write it.
[Nyah!]
[^_^]



3:51 pm
Sunday
May 30, 2006

[Alternate Timeline: 9 Shadow Veils removed from Mainline Faithverse]



"--That just really pisses me off, is all!" Faith was saying as Buffy exited the bathroom stall. The taller woman was standing at the sinks, leaning close to the wall mirror as she reapplied her lipstick. The blonde Slayer joined her there, grateful that this time there hadn't been any jokes about her tiny bladder.

It isn't my fault that they push the gigantic drinks on you here, she groused mentally as she checked her face in the mirror. 'A medium diet Pepsi, ma'am? You know you can get a Tremendo-size™ for only twenty-five cents more; wouldn't you rather have that?'

Out loud she said "What does? Piss you off, I mean. That by the end of the movie the good guys have inevitably once again saved the day?"

Faith shook her head as she put away the lipstick.

"No, that the 'evil' chick had to get trashed by those two losers!" She put her hands in her hair, combing through it over and over with her fingers, smoothing the long chestnut tresses into some approximation of order. Studying the results, she frowned, used both hands to tousle it vigorously instead, and looked approvingly at the wild mane of loose curls that resulted. "And how, exactly, did we know for sure that she was so evil and deserving of bein' trashed?" she continued, propping one leather-clad hip on the sink edge as she waited for Buffy to finish her own primping. "'Cause she was wicked-hot, that's how."

Buffy, who'd been brushing just a little powder across her nose and cheeks to deal with the dreaded shine that was beginning to appear there, watched her reflection's eyes widen; Faith could get upset over the oddest things….

"Hm," she mused out loud. "An evil, darkly-gorgeous babe… that sounds strangely familiar to me for some reason…." Faith flashed her a sharp look that dissolved into a brilliant smile, and then leaned over to brush her lips across the smaller girl's bare shoulder.

"Yeah, you've gotta watch out for us villain types," Faith murmured in reply, as Buffy slipped her compact back into her clutch purse. "Once we get an innocent girl in our clutches, we never let 'em go." She trailed her fingertips along the little Slayer's collarbone, then up the side of her slim neck, to exert just the tiniest bit of upward pressure under her jaw.

Buffy obeyed the subtle prompting and lifted her chin slightly, fluttering her lashes up at the taller girl as she did so.

"Innocent? Girl? Are you speaking of me, or is there someone else around here that I should know about?"

Faith's casual shrug belied the heat in that dark, intense gaze.

"Oh, it's you, babe; it's all about you. And I'm sure you've got some innocence left in there somewhere that we haven't got around to dealin' with… yet."

Buffy felt herself flush, and not from embarrassment. True, there were times when being around Faith could be profoundly embarrassing, but this wasn't one of them. Even though they'd just spent a good portion of the movie making out--hence the need to repair their makeup on the way out--she couldn't help thinking about how nice it would be to do a little more of the same. From the way Faith was eyeing the available counter space beside the sinks she was having similar thoughts; it wouldn't be the first time they'd chanced some poor elderly woman walking in on them in such a place and having a heart-attack right on the spot.

"Dinner," Buffy murmured with regret. "Fancy restaurant, at which we have reservations. In twenty minutes." Faith growled under her breath a bit, but nodded in reluctant agreement.

"They probably wouldn't like it if we showed up with you looking all dreamy and well-fucked, with that pretty dress hangin' off you in shreds."

The poetry in the younger woman's words elicited the usual response; a raised eyebrow and a slight shake of Buffy's head, but the truth of her statement couldn't be denied.

"Too bad," she sighed, giving her reflection one last glance, and her hair one last fluff. "Although I hear rumors that some of the better restaurants have bathrooms too…."

Faith looked intrigued.

"Really? Well then, you're gonna have to show me one of these legendary 'restaurant bathrooms' of which you speak."

The Slayer stuck out her tongue in reply, which Faith ignored, taking her by the hand and leading the way back outside.

The wide, carpeted hallway was seeing a lot of traffic; theirs wasn't the only movie that had let out in the last few minutes. Buffy would have had to stand there and puzzle out which way they were supposed to go in order the reach the theatre's main exit; Faith's sense of direction was better than that, and she unerringly started them off towards the front lobby of the theatre.

"So anyway," the blonde began as they walked, hand in hand, down the corridor. "About the movie, you were saying… what? That the witchy-queen was only evil because she was beautiful?" She couldn't see the logic in that, and Faith was already shaking her head in reply.

"No, I'm sayin' that the reason everyone wanted to kill her, or the main reason at least, was because she was beautiful. Those villagers, they just hated the queen for being so damned hot, and they weren't going to let her do any magic that would keep her lookin' that sexy."

Buffy nodded, basically to show that she was at least following along even if she didn't agree.

Which she didn't.

"Umm, I think everyone hating her had more to do with her killing people as part of the non-agey thing."

Faith wasn't having any of that.

"Sure, that's what they were saying, but if it hadn't been that then they would have come up with another excuse."

Buffy shot a look up at the taller woman's face, unsure if she were serious or not.

"You don't think she was evil? That she deserved everything she got?"

Shrugging carelessly, Faith guided them to the left-hand corridor in an unmarked intersection of hallways, and ahead they could see the main lobby at last.

"I think she was hot," the brunette replied eventually. "And someone with intense hotness going for her gets away with a lot… or at least it should work that way." She looked down at Buffy, and smiled fondly at her while dropping her hand in favor of sliding an arm possessively around the little Slayer's waist. "Why else would I bother keeping you around?"

Buffy grinned up at her as she laid both of her tiny hands atop Faith's.

"What are you talking about? I thought I was the one keeping you around!" She gave a contented sigh as she melted into the woman's one-armed embrace. "And yes, sometimes I do wonder just how I manage…." Faith's reply was to ripple her fingers in a teasing pattern where they lay on the blonde's hip; tiny caresses that sent tingles through Buffy's entire body.

Okay, this is where the clothing choices make things completely unfair, she lamented to herself as she concentrated on making it down the endless hallway without her knees buckling. Those leather pants she wears make it impossible for me to give as good as I get, and the girly-girl silk dresses I wear let her do anything she wants.

Faith, meanwhile, had picked up the thread of her argument once more.

"Anyway, if her royal hotness the witch-queen wants to off a few grubby villagers, what's the big deal? I can't help but notice that our current real-life El Presidente is throwin' away his people's lives by the truckload, an' everybody seems to think he's got the right to do it."

Buffy frowned.

"Those are two completely different thing. Killing people just to keep her looks--and I'll admit that the actress, Monica Belushi or whatever, is gorgeous--that's incredibly selfish. And that's one way to define 'evil', isn't it? Selfishness to the Nth degree."

The woman looked down her with narrowed eyes.

"What's an Nth?" she asked suspiciously.

Buffy could only shrug.

"Not sure. I think it involves mathiness of some kind."

Faith grunted, then pulled her to one side so that a group of laughing teenagers could run past. Not that Buffy hadn't seen and heard them herself; after all, once a Slayer, always a Slayer, but she was perfectly content to let Faith assume the role of her protector, even against such terrible threats as being trampled by unruly adolescents.

She let the larger woman open doors, squish spiders, and deal with stubborn jars of peanut-butter for her, too, and loved every minute of it.

"Huh," Faith said, once the stampede was safely past. "Well, I don't think it's selfish to trade a herd of peasants for a queen. I'd damn sure trade every one of these," she gestured at the scattered people moving along with them in the dim corridor, "for you."

As quiet as her words were, they still drew looks from the passersby. Ignoring them, Buffy shook her head.

"That would be so wrong, Faith." The younger woman's arm was still around her waist, and Buffy again put her hands there; this time as a half-conscious means of reassuring herself that it was real, that the flesh there was warm, and alive, and… human. "It would be wrong," she repeated softly.

"I'd still do it," came the reply, with chilling, total conviction.

"I'm not worth more than they are," Buffy said quietly. "I'm not worth more than any one of them."

She saw Faith glance down at her for just a moment as they moved past another clump of random humanity waiting patiently to enter another theatre. Those dark eyes passed briefly over them before returning to the Slayer.

"You're worth more than all of 'em, B… and so am I. You know it, too, you're just ashamed to admit it."

The blonde woman resisted the urge to grind her teeth in frustration.

"This is that same crazy, elitist line you had back in the bad old days, in Sunnydale."

Faith nodded agreeably, not in the least bit angry.

"Yeah, and it was true back then, too."

Buffy sighed, and let it drop. She didn't want an argument today, certainly not an argument that would accomplish nothing. There were certain things about Faith that nothing would ever change, and this was one of them. They finally reached the huge main lobby, which was brightly lit and filled with cheerful, chattering people, television monitors positioned at strategic points playing endless loops of movie previews, and a wide array of mouthwatering smells.

The rumbling of Faith's stomach was clearly audible, and Buffy tried her best not to groan out loud when she veered towards the concession stand in the center of the big room.

Okay, as far as Faith quirks go, this is one of the more harmless ones: popcorn addiction. She gave a heartfelt sigh as she briefly debated her chances of physically restraining the woman from getting in line for yet more of the stuff. Can I just drag her outside? Buffy wondered. Not likely; she's gotten way too strong for me, these last few years. There was also the matter of being hindered by a snug skirt and some very high heels, though she didn't kid herself into thinking that those would actually be the determining factor should it end up being a brawl. No, the physical approach was definitely out; better to try something else.

"Faith, you can't eat that in Willow's car; she'll kill me if you get popcorn down in the seats." They'd borrowed the witch's car in deference to Buffy's dress, and her freshly-coiffed hair; the slipstream generated by Faith's insanely overpowered Japanese hyperbike would have been less than kind to either one.

The woman stopped short of joining the line in front of the counter, turning to give her an incredulous look.

"You want me to pass up another MegaBucket of salty, buttery, delicious popcorn… because it'll get Red's car messy?" Her tone made it clear that she found the idea ludicrous, and the Slayer held back another sigh with difficulty.

Yes, Faith, I know it's extremely yummy. I know this because it's what you tasted like when we were kissing in there; when we were finally kissing, after you'd finished the two buckets you bought on the way inside!

Since reason obviously wasn't going to work any better than brute force, Buffy decided she had no choice but to resort to fighting dirty, and unleash something completely unexpected. Something like--

"--Hypnosis."

Caught in the middle of turning back to the line, Faith paused, and gave the Slayer her own version of the raised eyebrow.

"Say what?" she asked. Buffy's response was to lean into her, staring upwards with intense concentration.

"Look at me, Faith," she said, her voice low and mysterious. "Look at me, see only me." It wasn't easy to keep the smile from her lips, though she somehow managed it, even as she held her eyes wide and unblinking. "There is no popcorn, Faith. There is only the sound of my voice, and the endless depths of my eyes…." The tall girl grinned suddenly as she got it, and Buffy wondered what else a hypnotist would actually go on to say at this point. "There's a trance… of some kind," she continued, somewhat uncertainly. "A trance where nothing exists but me… and the aforementioned eyes and voice thing, obviously."

Faith faced her fully, her own eyes wide now, sparkling with humor even as she tried her best to do a flat, tranced-out voice.

"There is only Buffy," she agreed. "A very pretty Buffy, with hair all gold like warm, buttery popcorn--"

"No, no," the little Slayer corrected her quickly. "No popcorn, here, only Buffy, with the voice and the eyes."

The other woman sighed, but nodded reluctantly.

"No popcorn; only Buffy." She took a step closer, reclaiming the distance that had opened between them, and reached out to touch the young woman on the chin, so she could turn her face to better catch the light. "Pretty eyes," she said in her trance voice. "I'm lost in the Buffy eyes…. They're like sparkly sapphires…."

That, of course, earned her a half-hearted shove, and Buffy initiated pout number five, the 'I'm-so-put-upon-but-I-love-you-anyway' one.

"That's 'emeralds', you idiot," she grumbled, though she didn't move her face away from Faith's hand. "Sapphires are blue; my eyes are green."

Faith dropped the trance act, and smiled softly as she trailed her fingertips down the side of Buffy's neck, to gently brush the side of her breast before taking her hand once more.

"What, you ambush me with your infinitely powerful hypno-mojo, I'm all helpless an' under your control, and now you're going to bust me on messing up my eye metaphors?" Before the blonde could answer, the tall woman used the grip on her hand to gracefully twirl her around, in a move half-judo, half dance floor, and before she realized it she was back in her accustomed place at Faith's hip, with an arm wrapped securely around her waist serving to both keep her there and warn off any would-be players.

Buffy, in no way displeased by this (and, in fact, feeling quite smug at having gotten her way on the popcorn thing with nothing more than the power of her sapph--er, her emerald eyes), limited her reply to a firm squeeze of her hand on Faith's perfect backside. The single most dangerous warrior on the planet gave a yelp of surprise and a little half-hop, thus proving that Slayer strength, when properly applied, could have the desired effect--leather pants notwithstanding.

"Mommy! Look at them!"

She glanced over, automatically looking for whoever had spoken so excitedly, and saw a little boy of maybe five or six years old standing there, looking confused and curious both, with his pointing finger aimed directly at Buffy and Faith. He'd probably seen the whole exchange at the counter, and in the typical manner of the very young, he wasn't about to let it pass unremarked.

"Look, mommy; they're both girls!" He looked up as a slightly frumpy-looking woman reached him and roughly took his hand. "See?" he demanded again. "What are they doing?"

The two young women had stopped just short of the exit, and now Faith too was craning her head around to see what was going on.

"Shush, Billy!", the woman said in a strident whisper that would have carried clearly even if Slayer senses hadn't been involved. "They're not doing anything!" She made a point of not looking in Buffy and Faith's direction, and she used both hands to physically turn the little boy's face away as well. "Don't stare!"

Buffy didn't comment, though something twisted inside her at the little scene.

My god, lady; don't have a cow or anything, she thought wearily. And don't go out of your way to explain to poor little Billy that two women in love is just as beautiful as the more usual situation; no, no, that would never do…. Bitch.

The mother, child, and a tall, silent, father-type moved past them to the doors. Faith, being Faith, didn't content herself with a mental comeback like Buffy's. Instead, she grinned at the family, leaned down, and pulled the smaller woman into a deep, lingering kiss. Seconds later, when Buffy managed to open her eyes, she saw the man pushing the woman and child outside while still looking over his shoulder with an expression of sick rage clouding his features.

The aftereffects of the kiss helped ease the knot in Buffy's middle, though she couldn't help feeling a bit frustrated at the whole thing.

You would think that southern California would have less of this kind of thing. And it probably does, really; at least he only glared at us, instead of throwing rocks at our heads.

Faith opened the tinted glass door and held it for her, then followed Buffy outside into the bright afternoon heat.

"Ow."

"Shit."

They both stopped short for a moment, wincing in unison as their night-seeing eyes were slammed with the full force of the sun slanting directly into their faces. Buffy put her hand over her eyes, waiting for them to adjust, while Faith turned away and used the opportunity to locate and light a cigarette. The smaller woman gave her a longsuffering look, and the brunette visibly braced for the inevitable complaint or pointed sigh, but this time Buffy let it pass.

Definitely much more annoying than the popcorn obsession, but if the first thousand tries at getting her to quit didn't work, then one more won't either. She blinked, her eyes finally getting used to the brightness, and watched the tall girl inhale deeply before turning her head to blow a stream of smoke up and away from where Buffy stood. Just remember that we're both superbeings; there is no possibility of cancer, here. Not for her, and not anything secondhand for me, either. She frowned, struck by a sudden thought, and eyed Faith more carefully. Hold on, just how is it that she can carry around non-crushed cigarettes, when those leather pants are practically sprayed onto her body? Seriously, there isn't room in those pockets for a dime, much less--

"What. A. Bitch," Faith said, suddenly, effectively derailing Buffy's train of thought.

"Huh?" she said, mind blank for a second, a testament to the effects of tight-fitting leather on innocent bystanders.

Faith gestured to where the family of three was walking off down the long rows of parked cars.

"Her. Miss tolerance over there." The girl's expression wasn't kind; her narrowed eyes and clenched jaw made it clear that the encounter had bothered her more than she had let on. Caught without a handy response, Buffy lead the way across the pavement and out towards the distant spot where Willow's car awaited them.

"Yeah, she's a prize all right," the blonde Slayer said eventually. "I guess it's just as well you don't actually know any of that stuff from the movie; those dark-magick rituals the queen used, that called for human sacrifices." She'd been trying for something to lighten the other girl's mood; the exact wording had been completely random. And yet, when she glanced over at Faith walking alongside her, she experienced a sudden chill. The younger woman didn't say anything, didn't do anything but walk along and look completely innocent, but if there was one thing Faith had never mastered it was looking innocent.

Caught utterly by surprise, Buffy exploded.

"Fucking hell, Faith!"

That got her a look of wide-eyed surprise.

"Hey, B; you kiss your girlfriend with that mouth?"

Buffy glared up at her.

"All of my bad habits are your fault, bad girl, so spare me." She looked away, pushing both hands back through her long, blonde locks as she tried to process the new information, not caring at that moment if she wrecked her intricate, expensive hairstyle. "Human sacrifices?" She turned back and shot the woman a fierce look. "You really know spells like that?"

Completely unintimidated, Faith had taken another drag on her cigarette, and her words came out tinged with smoke.

"Hey, how do you think Mayor Wilkins was still bouncing around happy and grinning after a hundred-plus years?" She flicked ashes away idly, then shrugged. "I asked him about it once, and he went through it all for me. It's not that hard, really, when you get to the guts of it."

Buffy gave a little growl.

"I'll get to your guts," she said, and shoved the other woman away, only half-playing now. She paused, and not for the first time she noted that Faith could still easily pass for someone seventeen or eighteen years of age. She was, in fact, more or less unchanged from the girl Buffy had once fought on a dark rooftop, despite the eight years that had passed since that night. "This sacrifice magick," she demanded softly. "Have you ever used it?"

Her eyes widened slightly in surprise, but Faith's reply came quick and unforced.

"No way, B. Absolutely not." She smiled faintly at Buffy's sigh of relief, and turned to check out her reflection in a Mustang's mirror-tinted window. "Never had to; my hotness is timeless all on it's own."

The Slayer wasn't quite sure what to make of that, and the relief she felt was the more important part anyway. It wasn't that she didn't trust Faith, exactly, it was more a thing where….

Okay, so I don't trust her; at least not where anything not directly connected to me is concerned. She would never hurt me, or anyone I care about; I believe that part. The rest of the world, though….

They started walking again, and Faith automatically moved to the downwind side so as to keep her smoke from bothering her companion.

See? Buffy asked herself when she noticed this. This is just like her; she'll go out of her way to keep from annoying me in any way, and then not think twice about maiming or killing anyone else. Thank god she's in love with me; I hate to think what she'd be up to if she wasn't worried about my opinion of her.

"Since we're kinda on the subject," Faith suddenly began, speaking slowly and thoughtfully. Buffy looked over to find those dark eyes evaluating her critically. "Hey, B--just how old are you, again?"

The blonde woman flushed slightly. The truthful answer was 'just old enough to be embarrassed by that question'. Unlike Faith, Buffy could see differences in the mirror these days. Little things, tiny things, really, but it was enough to make it quite clear that she wasn't eighteen any more.

"If you absolutely have to know, I'm twenty none-of-your-business, nosy lady!"

Faith shrugged in a vaguely apologetic way, took another draw off her disgusting nicotine stick, and let the matter drop. Buffy, however, knew all too well how the girl's mind worked, and it didn't take her long to figure out where that particular line of reasoning was headed.

"Faith." She sighed, and shook her head, and suppressed the urge to squeeze the bridge of her nose like Giles had always done when a migraine was imminent. "Faith, no." Again, she was treated to that oh-so-not-innocent look. "Okay, tell me you're not thinking of…." Really, being in love with a barely-reformed villain was a great way to cultivate ulcers. "Tell me you're not going to sacrifice a dozen random people to make me a teenager again."

Faith had the decency to look shocked, at least.

"What?!" She shook her head firmly, making her dark mane fly. "Of course not, babe. That would be fucking retarded."

Buffy nodded, sort of relieved, but also oddly miffed.

What, I'm not worth a little dark magick? My girlfriend will break someone's legs for touching her motorcycle without permission, and I'm not worth a little blood ritual--No, no. Bad Buffy, these are horrible, evil thoughts….

Faith, meanwhile, was staring thoughtfully down at her boots as she walked.

"Besides," she muttered softly. "It wouldn't take a dozen…."

"Faith!"

The girl's sidelong look was just barely visible through the spill of brown hair the wind had blown forward over her shoulder.

"I'm just sayin', for the sake of argument. All it takes is one person per year you're winding back, provided they're all younger than you're tryin' to be…."

Buffy shook her head.

"I am so not listening to this."

"The potion's a little harder," Faith continued. "I mean, there's easy stuff, like a little of your blood, tears from each of the victims, morning dew off of flowers gathered under a waxing moon…."

The smaller woman shook her head again.

"I said I'm not listening."

Faith just kept rolling on.

"…Some snow that fell on midsummer's day, a cat's claw and a knife made of glass. The real secret is this glittery stuff that you can only get from inside a--"

Stepping across, Buffy reached up and grabbed her by the shoulders. Not hard, just tight enough to get her attention.

"Cut it out, okay?" She stared into Faith's eyes, looking for something there, some visible mark to prove this wasn't a woman she loved deeply, that she was instead something unredeemably dark. She couldn't find anything of the sort; some trick of the afternoon sun had even turned those brown-black eyes the color of golden honey, as if to illustrate beyond any doubt that there was nothing wicked lurking there. Even so….

"God," Buffy said, finally. "Sometimes you are so fucking evil it terrifies me."

Tossing her cigarette aside, Faith reached up to take Buffy's hands.

"Why 'evil'? Because I'm selfish to the Nth degree, whatever that is?"

Buffy nodded helplessly.

"I think that might be it, yeah."

Faith appeared to consider that, pulling the smaller woman's hands down and cradling them in her own.

"I don't get it," she said, her throaty voice rougher than usual. "I'd kill for you. I'd die for you. How's that selfish?"

"I don't need you to kill for me or die for me." Buffy knew it would sound trite, and sappy, and she didn't especially care. "I just… need you to love me."

The need in the girl's eyes was absolutely real, and the unknowing strength in her hands would have crushed the fingers of most anyone else in the world.

"I do love you, Buffy. Every second of every day; don't you know that?"

Buffy nodded, and smiled faintly as the shadow on her heart slowly eased.

"I know. Sometimes I need you to remind me, is all." She pulled her lover down for a kiss, long practice allowing her to ignore the faint tobacco taste lurking behind the candy-sweetness that was Faith herself. When their lips parted, she leaned into the other girl's body with a happy sigh, taking comfort from that curvy solidity. "And that's why I keep you around."

Since neither of them wanted to pull away from the other the rest of the trip to the car went much more slowly. Fortunately for them, they were nearly there, and it was only a short walk to finally reach the Willowmobile.

The forest-green Précis stood out from the other vehicles in more ways than one. Most obvious was its small size; compared to the massive gas-guzzling leviathans surrounding it, the little enviro-friendly hybrid-electric hardly looked bigger than a golf cart. The bumper stickers were somewhat atypical too, featuring slogans like 'Wiccan and Proud', and 'Your god, your rules: You go to hell!'. The rainbow pentagram was also a sharp contrast to all the little silver fishies on the surrounding bumpers, not that Buffy felt any cause to be apologetic. Especially when--

"The two of you should be ashamed of yourselves!" a man shouted, and they turned to see the father-figure from earlier, now behind the wheel of a black Taurus sedan. The family had reached their car well ahead of Buffy and Faith, but instead of simply leaving, the man had apparently felt compelled to drive over and set the two of them straight on their choice of lifestyle.

"How dare you flaunt your perversion here?" he continued, "In public! Where children can see?!"

Buffy, having had more than enough of this for one day, took a step towards the car.

"And just what horrible thing did little Billy see, exactly?" she asked, working hard to keep from snarling the words. "We weren't naked, we weren't doing anything that any other couple doesn't do in a public place, so just what is your problem with what you saw?"

Faith took a casual step forward and sideways, which just happened to put her in front of Buffy should the man lose it completely and start shooting or something equally insane. Again, not something the blonde Slayer couldn't have handled herself, had it actually happened, but it made her feel warm and loved all the same.

"Why don't you admit it, Chuck," Faith said mockingly, hitting the man with a full dose of her legendary smartass 'tude. "You're really upset because your wife isn't as fine as my girlfriend here." She cocked her head slightly to the side, and upped the intensity of her smirk another notch. "Or maybe you're just kicking yourself for not catching the two of us with your cameraphone, so you could spend some private time tonight whacking off to the pics of us while the wifey is asleep--"

"Faith!" Buffy said, her voice urgent. Insulting the annoying bigot-man was one thing, but there was a little boy in the backseat, watching and listening to all of this with wide eyes.

"God has a place for vile sluts like you," the man began in a strangled-sounding voice.

"Yeah, well, tell god thanks," Faith overrode him smoothly. "We've actually already got a place, though. It overlooks the ocean, it has truly kickass gym…." She lowered her voice a bit, and hugged Buffy gently with one arm. "And we've got a sweet bedroom where me and her spend every night having amazing sex." Now it was the wife who had the widest eyes; the man was mainly just staring daggers of hate at them while turning a remarkable shade of purple. "And Chuck?" Faith looked fondly down at Buffy, then back his way. "The things the two of us do to each other in that bedroom would kill you dead in five minutes flat. No lie."

Surprise momentarily overcoming his outrage, the man's eyes darted to Buffy, who averted her face while blushing furiously, unable to deny any part of what Faith had said. At a loss for any way to effectively respond to that, the man settled for driving off in a squeal of protesting tires. The dark-haired girl released Buffy long enough to raise her arms in a long languid stretch, well-contented with the way things had ended.

"You see?" she asked, while the little Slayer unlocked the driver's side door of Willow's car. "That mom and dad? Absolutely nobody would miss 'em, not even their little rugrat." She reached past Buffy and opened the door for her. The blonde slipped inside, shaking her head as she settled in behind the wheel.

"I'm still not listening."

Faith grinned as she leaned down to nuzzle her ear.

"You are a crabby, mean old lady, B," she whispered, and pulled Buffy's hand away from the wheel and to her lips, kissing it and effectively defusing any angry reply. "Wicked hot, though, and that lets you get away with a lot."

Buffy inserted the keys and watched as Faith walked around to the passenger side.

It's a good thing nobody's ever going to make a movie about Faith, she mused as the young woman folded her lean body into the seat beside her. It would really and truly mess with people's heads if for once the wicked-hot, evil killer babe were to actually win in the end.

* * * * *

The End

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