Kisses like MDMA
Disclaimer in part one.
A/N: I love Faith, and I love all of you... except for those of you who don't leave feedback; those people I hate.
Which, come to think of it, means I basically hate all of you guys. Come on, really? 70 people tracking the story, and maybe ten have bothered to say anything? You've read all the way to chapter 5 without leaving a review? Sigh. I want to love you guys, I really do, but you don't make it easy.
Low-hanging clouds had been scudding by overhead ever since Faith had arrived in this world, pushed past the tops of the looming skyscrapers by the bitterly cold wind. Now, just as Annabelle finally slowed the car and made a last turn, a mixture of rain and sleet began to fall.
"Here we go," the blonde girl said, slowing even more as she turned on the wipers. "Home sweet home. Or it will be, once the guys get it cleaned up."
A stone wall surrounded the place, though it was purely decorative, being only six or seven feet tall. Likewise the open gate through which they drove was made of ironwork far too lacy and lightweight to withstand any kind of serious assault. The courtyard beyond was smallish, though there was still plenty of room to park the car. Annabelle looked over at Faith and smiled.
"Welcome to Sister Kathryn's School for Girls. Closed down three years ago, bought by me two weeks ago for a very
reasonable price, and an absolutely perfect place for my new Evil Lair."
Faith grinned back at her even as she was opening the door and getting out of the car.
"Nice." The icy rain/sleet mix blowing into her face forced her to squint, but the place looked impressive even in the rain and darkness. A large main building was flanked by several smaller ones, all of it in a mix of brick and stone architecture that looked more like a church than a school. "Stealing shit from colleges pays pretty good, looks like."
The other girl hadn't wasted time standing and looking; she covered the short distance to the entrance in a sort of mincing dash; the stiletto heels of her stylish, ankle-high boots going click-clock on the stone paving.
"Stealing?" she called back, even as she fumbled with the huge brass handle of the double doors there. "Get real, will you? That sort of thing is for low-lifes and losers." Her teeth were visibly chattering from the cold, but she still managed to look smugly superior as she watched Faith walk up the short flight of steps join her. "I just happened to need some things from the chemistry lab, so I took them. But don't think that's what I'm about." Pushing the door open, she slipped her arm around Faith's in a possessive way, and gently pulled her along as she went inside.
"First floor is all offices and some classrooms," Annabelle said, pointing down the wide hallway ahead of them. Turning to her left she pointed down the second corridor. "Cafeteria is down there; I'm turning that into my main lab, since the kitchen behind it is handy for the plumbing I'll need. Chemistry labs need lots and lots of running water."
Faith nodded agreement, just as if she'd actually known that. She herself wasn't cold, despite being wet from the sleet, and despite it being nearly as cold inside the building as it was outside in the weather. Annabelle, on the other hand, was still shivering, and had her arms wrapped around herself in an effort to hold in some warmth.
"Do chemistry labs need to be freezing, or is that just how you roll?"
The blonde laughed, her green eyes bright.
"Ha! No, that's what we call a 'technical issue'. I got the lights turned back on easy enough once I bought the place, but the furnace is gas, and about a thousand years old. So far Bobby, my mechanical guy, hasn't been able to get it going. So until he does, we just have to bundle up." She started to say something else, stopped short, and gave Faith another look. "You know, you're wearing less than I am," she gestured briefly at her outfit, which included a light jacket in green and black that fit closely to her slim form. "And you still don't look cold at all. What are you, from Tibet or something?"
"Close," Faith told her, smirking. "Boston. We get some pretty wicked winters there; this is no big deal." Plus there's the Slayer mojo
, she thought to herself. The ol' magical upgrades don't stop with me being strong and fast; there's lots of other little perks in there too. Not that ignoring cold weather was one I ever needed in Sunnydale... unless you count the way B was so cold to me that ice was always freezing on her ass.
Annabelle, unaware of Faith's thoughts, was still frowning slightly.
"Well, Eskimo or not, you should dry off. Come on." She led the way to a wide set of stairs that led up to the second floor. "The senior dorms are up on the third floor, and we've got lots of empty rooms to pick from." As they climbed the stairs, the blonde suddenly turned her head and regarded her. "You know what? In all the confusion I never did ask you your name." Faith nodded in agreement, but didn't say anything. The two of them came to the second floor landing; the lights here were mostly off, and what was visible were mostly just doorways leading to classrooms. Lots of dust and cobwebs, plus some overturned chairs and desks showed that the cleanup efforts had not yet made it this far. Rounding the turn, they kept going up; Faith's kick-ass leather boots making almost no sound, especially compared to Annabelle's heels.
"Well?" The girl demanded, after several long seconds had passed.
"Well, what?" Faith asked, imitating her tone and getting it pretty close. "You still haven't asked me anything." Annabelle gave her a look, and stuck out her tongue for good measure.
"Okay then," she said, as the two of them reached the third floor. "What. Is. Your. Naaaaaammmmmeeee?"
Faith could have kept going with the smartass routine, but her arm and side were hurting from where she'd been shot, her head was still pounding from the teleport or whatever it had been that had brought her here, and Annabelle was just too damn hot to chance pissing her off. So--
The girl stared at her for a good five seconds, then burst into laughter.
"Seriously? Oh, my, god." She went off again, laughing so hard she squeezed out a few tears, and only managed to get it under control when she saw the look on Faith's face.
"That hilarious, huh?" the Slayer asked. Because, yeah; I didn't get enough of that back with those idiots Willow and Xander. Making fun of me behind my back, talking shit to B, to make her hate me. 'Faith's batshit crazy, Buffy!' or 'Oooh, Faith's totally violent and nympho and stupid, Buffy; better not hang out with her too much, or it'll rub off on you!'
She gritted her teeth, and made a conscious effort to relax her hands from the tightly knotted fists they'd clenched into without her noticing. Annabelle stopped laughing; she stopped between one breath and the next, and stepped in close to Faith.
"Oh. Oh, Faith, I'm sorry, I wasn't laughing at you, I swear." She reached out slowly, and tentatively touched the taller girl's hand, just with her fingertips. The gentle touch was an apology all on it's own, and a question, too. Faith looked down, her damp hair sliding forward to partially veil her face, and considered those hands. Annabelle's fingers stayed where they were, just barely touching her, until she finally relented and opened her hand, allowing the other girl to slip her smaller hand into Faith's grasp.
"Not at you," The blonde repeated softly. "It's just that this place, this school; it was a really serious, stuffy, catholic place. You know, with nuns running it and everything. So... 'Faith' being your name, and you being so wild, and hardcore, and utterly sexy... I just thought it was kind of hilarious, is all."
Faith considered that, and couldn't help but consider also the way she could literally feel the heat radiating from the girl; not just from the hand she held, but seemingly from her entire body as well.
"Oh." Her whiskey voice betrayed her, there, with the soft word coming out so hoarse that it wasn't even understandable to herself. She cleared her throat and tried again. "Oh. I guess when you think about it like that, it kind of is
The girl nodded in reply, still so close that her body and Faith's were brushing each other from thigh to breast. She was several inches shorter than the Slayer, and looking up like that made her green eyes look enormous. For a moment it really started to seem like a kiss was going to happen there, but then the girl pulled slowly away.
"Um. About that room. For you, I mean, to sleep in." She took a step back, and then another one, and with a light tug on the hand she still held, she drew Faith along after her. "For sleeping in, and for other things, too, actually...." She turned away to lead the way down the hall, though not before Faith saw the mischievous, bratty little smile on her lips. Feeling the pulse pounding audibly in her ears, and feeling an ever-growing, tickling heat deep down within her, the dark-haired girl did not hesitate to follow.
"Here; what do you think of this one?"
Faith stepped in through the just opened door, and glanced around. As rooms went it didn't exactly suck. Certainly it was bigger, and much nicer than the shithole motel room the Watchers Council had kept her in during her stay in Sunnydale. It wasn't nearly as nice as the apartment the Mayor had given her, but that place had pretty much been a palace.
Annabelle moved across the room and turned on a second lamp, then joined Faith in examining the space.
"Two beds, since they had two girls in each room; we can toss the second one. Next week we're going to be bringing in some new furniture anyway, so don't worry if this one is too hard or something, because you'll be getting an upgrade." There was a noticeable layer of dust still lurking in the corners and on the shelves, but there had obviously been at least a cursory attempt made at cleaning. "There's a bathroom through here," she opened the door beside her and turned on the light in there. "These are pretty great; they built this place in the twenties, and it's all brass and cast iron."
Faith stood without moving, glancing into the bathroom only for a moment before returning her gaze to the gorgeous girl. She didn't say anything; she didn't trust
herself to say anything. The desire she felt, the urge to pick Annabelle up and throw her down on the bed was quickly becoming a physical need as fundamental and irresistible as breathing. It must have shown in her eyes, because the slender blonde came to her slowly, moving as carefully as if she'd been approaching a dangerous, only half-tame animal.
"You're a mess," she whispered to the Slayer once she'd gotten within arm's reach. "I mean, seriously, you're covered in blood and dirt and one of those Batclones shot you."
"I'm fine," Faith told her. "This isn't anything; it's not bothering me." Annabelle arched a perfect eyebrow, and reached out to place one of those delicate butterfly touches on the ragged, blood-soaked cloth over Faith's side. Despite her best attempt at being a stone-cold badass, she couldn't help the way her jaw clenched slightly, or the tightening around her eyes. The blonde nodded.
"Uh huh, that's what I thought. And besides, I don't do gore and guts; I had enough of those in Anatomy class." She gestured behind her, at the bathroom. "Go and clean up; I can tell you're insanely hot underneath the dirt and blood, so I'll wait for the post-shower version of Faith, if you don't mind."
Faith nodded, reluctantly, and sat down on the edge of the bed to remove her boots. Before she could do more than sit, however, Annabelle was there, sitting down and straddling both of the girl's knees.
"Here," she said, ignoring the theoretical ick-factor of the half-dried blood all over the Slayer and taking a few moments to kiss her way lightly from one side of Faith's mouth to the other. It only took an instant for the dark-haired girl to get over her surprise and respond, but Annabelle pulled back slightly and smiled, holding up a tiny glass vial she'd materialized from somewhere on her person. "Here," she repeated, popping off the cap and bringing the vial to Faith's lips.
"Uhhh," the girl said, managing to keep her head back far enough to avoid having the contents of the vial poured into her mouth. "What is this?"
"Something to help with the pain," Annabelle told her, half-serious and half playful. "Don't worry, I make it myself, so there's no risk of ending up with something that's mostly baby powder or worse." Well, gee, isn't that a relief. It's still some kind of drug, being given to me by someone I met a whole twenty minutes ago.
The girl sitting astride her legs sighed loudly, visibly displeased by Faith's hesitation. "It's completely harmless," she insisted. "Mostly ecstasy, but with a few tweaks to up the norepinephrine release, plus some buffers to block the neurotoxicity." She held the vial up and regarded the slightly sparkling contents critically, then looked back at Faith. "It's my most popular product. It's what paid for this place."
Faith looked from the girl, to the vial, then back to the girl.
"You came up it yourself? Norepeenasomething, and neurotoxicity?" She wasn't sure if it was the argument that seemed so convincing, or the way the blonde felt sitting in her lap like that; either way, she could feel her resistance weakening.
Annabelle grinned at her, obviously sensing her imminent victory.
"It was all me, doodling chemical formula in my notebook during organic chem." She gave a deliberate toss of her head, making her rain-damp hair fly. "What can I say? I'm brilliant and
beautiful. Now, open up." She held the vial up to Faith's lips, waited, and finally gave a devastating little pout. "Unless you don't trust
Faith stared into those eyes, deliberately forced herself to not
think about all the times someone else with eyes like that had hurt her... and let the girl feed her the drug. My head really is hurting,
she thought, trying to convince herself, and only half-succeeding. And everything still aches from the trip here, plus the whole gunshot thing. So... it's a good thing, taking something for it. Yeah, seriously, I'm being smart and taking medicine....
The crystals dissolved instantly when they touched her tongue, tasting of sugar and something else, something unidentifiable. There was a crackling sensation across her taste buds as she swallowed, a little like pop rocks, only sharper somehow; an almost metallic taste that vanished as quickly as it appeared.
Annabelle leaned in and kissed her again, and this time it wasn't a teasing, brush-of-the-lips sort of thing, this time she kissed Faith like she was starving for her. Faith came right back with equal intensity, and the heat that surged inside her would have made it very unlikely that the blonde would have made it out of the room anytime soon--
--Except for the fact that Annabelle's questing hand accidentally dug into the shotgun wound in Faith's side, making her gasp, and sort of fold up sideways in unthinking reflex. The girl slipped off of her lap and took a quick step back, the tip of her tongue touching her lips as if to taste them.
"Oooh, sorry!" She moved to Faith's side, putting one hand to her cheek and running the other through the Slayer's mane of dark hair in a caressing, almost possessive fashion. "Ouch, I didn't mean to do that," she said, contrition in her eyes.
"Not a problem," Faith said, straightening up slowly. "Everything's cool, I'm five by five."
Annabelle cocked her head at that, but let it pass.
"Go on and take your shower," she said instead, tugging at the girl's arm until she stood. "By the time you're finished, I'll have some clean clothes for you to wear. And by then, you'll feel better." She smiled her evil, little-girl-being-naughty smile, and all but danced with glee. "You'll feel much, much
better, believe me."
Looking at her, Faith wondered if it were possible for someone to look any sexier than Annabelle looked in that moment.
"I know what I need to feel better," she grumbled, even as she allowed herself to be pushed towards the bathroom. "It's just that so far, I'm not getting
Annabelle laughed again, soft and delighted.
"Clean first, then
other things. I want to get dry too, you know! After that...." Her beautiful face went serious; a smoky, sensual look that made Faith's throat go dry. "After that, we'll make sure you get absolutely everything you could ever want."
There wasn't anything to be said to that
, and she watched mutely as the girl all but danced out of the room.
"Wow," she told the empty room, and then she headed for the shower. Somehow she was certain; never before in her life had she been so psyched about getting clean.