A flash of light deposited three exhausted teens on the living room floor.
“That … did not go as planned,” Xander said after he'd caught his breath and removed the wimple from his head.
“You can say that again,” Lisa said tiredly, pulling the black robe she had on over her clothes off.
“It was a decent plan,” Faith replied, “we just forgot to plan for things to go wrong.”
“Ah, back up plans....” Xander said with a grin. “My backup plan has always been 'run screaming'.”
The girls laughed.
“Yeah, I noticed,” Faith said with a smirk. “You managed to draw most of the fire doing that.”
Xander grinned unrepentantly. “The idea is to free up you guys so you can rescue me.”
“Which was easier said than done,” Lisa replied.
“Worked though,” Faith admitted. “Well, now we know better and next time we'll succeed.”
“What?!” Xander exclaimed. “No way! It’s too dangerous, I'm voting that world off limits.”
“And I second it!” Lisa chimed in.
Faith laughed and climbed to her feet. “Thank whatever for Slayer stamina. You two rest up, I'm going to hit the bronze and stake some players. We'll figure out what to do next when you guys have recovered.”
The door closed leaving the two lying there on the floor.
“It’s so nice just to lay here and not worry about getting jumped,” Lisa said.
“I never pictured them as the type that would ambush us,” Xander replied. “I mean, they're supposed to be the good guys!”
“I know!” Lisa agreed.
“Seriously,” the buxom blonde said, “mud packs are supposed to be great for the skin, but it’s not supposed to be a fashion statement!”
The dark skinned woman, wearing a loincloth and a layer of clay, simply stared; nothing in her long lonely existence had prepared her for this.
“The tribal look is hot, but really a good layer of sunscreen and some conditioner can work wonders. You know what? We should totally give you a makeover!”
The dark skinned woman slowly backed away. She wasn't sure what a makeover was, but the words sent shivers down her spine and she wasn't making the mistake of getting within groping… err grappling range again.
Faith's eyes scanned the crowd as she sipped her coke, a smile lighting up her face as she saw her prey slipping out a side door and into the alley.
Buffy and Willow spotted Harmony slipping out with a vamp and moved to follow, just spotting Faith as she ghosted after Harmony. Knowing Faith could handle things they followed along to make sure, but with no real sense of urgency.
“I thought they were having a movie marathon?” Buffy asked.
“I thought they were,” Willow replied. “But I guess they had a different reason for the trench coats and fedoras.”
“I guess so,” Buffy said as she pushed open the door and they slipped out into the alley.
The sight that greeted them however wasn't one they were prepared for. Buffy and Willow froze as they spotted Harmony and Faith in a heated clench.
Harmony released the dazed Faith. “Thank you so much for saving me! He was going to eat me, and not in the good way!”
Faith just nodded dumbly as Harmony skipped back inside.
“You okay?” Buffy asked after a moment.
“I think she sucked out one of my fillings!” Faith said incredulously.
“I've never had anyone react like that to me saving them,” Buffy mused aloud.
“I haven't had anyone react like that before either,” Faith admitted, “remind me to save her again!”
“You're gay?!” Willow blurted out.
“Bi,” Faith replied.
“But Bi isn't a real sexual identity!” Willow protested, falling back into popular psychology to cover her discomfort. “Mom even published a paper proving people are either attracted to one sex or are repressing their true leanings to fit in by claiming to be Bi so they can have a fulfilling sex life and avoid being shunned.”
Faith shook her head. “Yeah and they still claimed being left handed was a sickness and had to be fixed about a dozen years back. All I know is that I like a big slab of sausage most days, but occasionally I get bored with that and feel like having a taco.”
“But she's got two PhD's!” Willow protested.
“Doesn't mean she's right all the time,” Faith waved it off. “Seems the more brains you've got the harder it is to understand people. Maybe she based her paper on a group of repressed lesbos who were pretending to be bi. All I know is what I like and that's both.”
“I'm going back inside,” Buffy said, really not wanting to get drawn into this conversation but found herself staying to listen.
The dark skinned woman sighed in relief when she saw she was alone again and quickly set about finding a stream to wash off the makeup she was wearing. Never had her lonely eternal vigil seemed more of a blessing.
“Where's Xander staying?” Willow asked anxiously as they reentered the Bronze.
“If he wants you to know he'll tell you,” Faith replied flatly.
“I just want to make sure he's safe!” Willow pleaded.
“You already went down that road and look where it got you,” Faith responded, “you ain't getting me to betray his trust.”
Willow fell silent.
“Sorry to put it so bluntly but lying to you wouldn't be doing you any favors,” Faith said, acutely aware of how much Willow missed him. “You made your choice; you chose Oz over Xander and then chose Buffy over him. You've lost all claim to him.”
“It wasn't like that at all!” Buffy said, backing Willow up.
“You know it was,” Faith said, “she got caught swapping spit with Xander and had to choose which boy to keep and which to cut loose and she chose to cut loose Xander. You chose to cut him out of the Slaying, for god knows what reason-”
“To keep him safe!” Willow interrupted. “He's only human, it’s too dangerous for him!”
“He takes too many risks and it puts us all in danger,” Buffy said firmly.
“Riiight,” Faith drawled, “like being alone on the Hellmouth is going to make monsters ignore him and his risk taking hasn't saved you all before. If there was any truth to what you were saying, Cordelia would have been kicked out as well.”
“She does what I tell her and doesn't take risks,” Buffy quickly said.
Faith cocked her head and regarded them for a minute. “That's closer to the truth, but this is all beside the point, I ain't betraying Xander period.”
An awkward silence fell over the three.
“Can you tell him to call us?” Buffy asked.
“Passing messages is no problem but whether he calls you or not is up to him,” Faith said.
“Give me a second,” Willow said, searching her purse for something to write on and pulling out a pen.
Xander stood there dripping water on the floor and searching for a towel.
“Sorry,” Lisa said popping into the bathroom with one towel wrapped around her and one wrapped around her head. “I think I used up all the towels when I took my shower.”
“The linen closet in the hall should have some,” Xander said. “I'd get them myself but I don't want to drip on the carpet.”
“No problem,” Lisa said before opening the bathroom door and letting a wall of steam out as she went in search of towels which took about three seconds as the linen closet was right there.
Xander quickly dried off with the towel Lisa tossed him before wrapping it around his waist and collapsing on the couch in the living room next to Lisa. Azrial made an appearance a few seconds later and climbed onto the couch to rest with her head in Xander's lap.
Faith entered an hour or so later to find the three snoozing. “Damn if it don't look downright homey.”
Azrial woke up and gave her a lazy blink that was cat for 'hello my faithful servant' before a noise outside caught her attention and she glided off to deal with it.
Faith chuckled and went to take a shower, but finding on the towels gone had her returning to the living room and carefully stripping her roommates.
Pausing in thought she grinned and positioned them so Lisa was lying atop Xander before taking her own shower.
After a nice long shower with no cries of surprise coming from her roommates, Faith dried off and found them still asleep. Shrugging she lay down beside them, throwing an arm over the two so she wouldn't fall off the couch in the middle of the night.
On the coffee table sat a VHS tape labeled ‘The Sexoricist’ and someone had written on the corner in black ink, “Do not Enter!”
Harmony smirked as she looked in the mirror and posed showing off the too tight sweater and illegally short miniskirt. Her eyes glowed red as she thought of all the innocent young men and women she was going to meet the next day. “We'll knock em dead!” she purred. AN: Typing by Godogma.