rating: 15 (swears)
disclaimer: Not mine. These characters belong to Whedon and Rowling.
AN: Happy birthday, Vesica (AKA empressvesica).
There were slightly flaring nostrils, grinding teeth, and glaring, narrowed eyes. Someone had been PMSing since she got here many moons ago. You'd think she'd lighten up a little, but this week had been especially bad.
"You ok, Faith?"
She looked at Dawn. "Fine."
Then she abruptly left the room leaving Dawn wondering what she had done to set her off this time. Faith continued down the hall, bumping Vi rather harshly in the shoulder because the other slayer didn't get out of Faith's path quickly enough.
"Hey!" Vi was rubbing her shoulder. "What's your damage, Faith? Geez!"
Faith spun about. "You wanna piece?"
"You wanna go? Let's go." Faith started stalking back towards Vi, looking for all the world like she was ready to rumble.
The redhead's eyes went wide. She so did not want a piece. Ever. The only person who stood any sort of a chance of beating Faith in a 'go' setting was Buffy.
Who just so happened to come from seemingly nowhere, grab Faith, and haul her off. Vi sagged in relief.
"Let go!" Faith snapped, jerking her arm away as Buffy managed to shove her into a deserted room.
"Not that I care, but you've been snappy bitch of the planet lately, and I was wondering why."
"Nervous? Think I'll surpass you as the princess of the pissy pants?"
"Please. I'm the biggest bitch here aside from Dawn who's actually the biggest WHINING bitch, so yeah. But I was just wondering what the what was? I leave for one week and all of the sudden you're all fire breathing dragon? I mean you were acting all bitchy before, but it's like the volume got turned up about ten notches here. What's up?" Buffy folded her arms across her chest.
"You missed some stuff, B."
"Andrew didn't get under the delusion that you had a crush on him again, did he?"
Faith snorted. "The dork's deluded, but he ain't that deluded. Besides, I think me bustin' him a big old fat lip for it last time has completely cured him of thinkin' that again... ever."
"Giles got himself a girlfriend."
Buffy choked. "What?"
"Remember that little punky kid whose moms brought him by to talk to Willow about the downside to the dark side?"
"Er... yeah. Way blonde guy, right? Sorta Spike-like. Brake-o?"
"Draco." Faith corrected.
"Eww. Giles is dating that kid? He didn't look like a girl, and add in that he and Spike could be related... more eww."
Faith's hand shot out and slapped Buffy up the side of her head.
"Ouch!" Buffy then lightly punched Faith in the jaw. "Don't hit me."
Faith kicked Buffy's shin.
"Ouch!" The blonde howled again.
"Well, don't be so damn dumb, B. Giles isn't seeing Drake. He's seeing Drake's mama."
"What? No. The woman who looked like she was smelling rotten things?"
"Well, when she looks at Giles, she seems to be smelling chocolate cake or something. She gets this all ravenous-hungry look, yo."
"Ok... gross. Thanks for the bad mental place, but that's why you're all... weird?"
"Her ex-hubby was one of those dark wizard dudes. Her kid's a little prickhead. I don't trust her not to mess G about, you know?"
"When did you get all paranoid, and down on love... or smoochies or whatever?"
"I just don't want Giles hurt."
"You're kinda cute when you're all protective."
"Shut the fuck up. He gets this dumb look on his face when she's around. I don't like it."
"Does he really like her?"
Then they were interrupted by the very people they were discussing.
"Ah, Buffy, there you are. You remember Narcissa Malfoy, I'm sure."
Buffy hung back with Faith and studied the blonde woman. Faith could sense what her sister slayer was thinking because Faith had had the same thoughts about her father figure. Was Narcissa Malfoy right for him? She was lovely and sleek, no doubt. But was she warm? Did she laugh? Did she make him feel special tingles? She didn't look it at all. She reminded Faith of an ice sculpture. Beautiful yes, but frozen to the core. Faith loved Giles. Like in a serious twisted way, like she loved Buffy. If this woman hurt him, she would track her, hunt her down, and rip her into the smallest pieces she could be ripped in to.
Narcissa whispered something to Giles just then. His eyes bugged a bit. "Buffy."
"Huh? Wha?" She'd been studying Narcissa Malfoy so hard that she'd tuned the rest of the room out.
"Perhaps you'd like to take a walk with Narcissa. Ask her a few things?"
"I don't feel like walkin', and I can ask things here."
Narcissa seemed like she was grinding her teeth so not to laugh. She definitely looked amused. It softened her considerably.
"All right. You force me to be blunt. Buffy... leave with Narcissa because I wish to have a word with Faith."
"And what was wrong with just saying that? Geez. I don't like that submerge stuff. You'd think you would have learned that about me by now, Giles."
"Submerge?" Narcissa questioned.
Giles sighed. "Subterfuge."
"Whatever." Buffy looked at Faith. "You know he's gonna have more than just one word, right?"
"I'm getting that."
"Buffy..." Giles gritted.
Buffy looked at Narcissa. "So... have you met my sister?"
"Wanna meet her again, so they can make with the talky?"
"Delighted to." Narcissa jokingly held out her arm for Buffy.
The blonde slayer took it. They exited the room.
Giles turned to Faith. "As Buffy or Dawn would say... spill."
"Don't know what you're talkin' about."
"I beg to differ. Narcissa is more than she appears at first glance... just as you are. She senses your distrust, you realize."
She turned her back to him. "So what? She knows I don't trust her with you? Like that's news. Everybody knows that."
"Why don't you?"
"Why don't I what?"
"Faith, don't be coy. It doesn't suit you at all."
"You're really gonna make me say it, aren't you?" She turned. "What is it with you Scoobs and the needing to hear out loud the things you already know inside?"
"Fine. I happen to... care about you, dammit, and if she hurts you, like I know she can because I know her type, I go back to the dark places because no power here or in heaven or hell will keep me from tearin' her apart. She hurts you. I kill her. It's that simple. You get me, Giles? That out loud enough for your Scooby watcher man ears? You humored enough with those facts?"
He looked utterly stunned.
"You make me weak kinda, and that pisses my shit off."
"Caring for someone isn't a weakness, Faith. Though I would not like you to revert to the state that got you in prison. Not for me."
"Only for you." Faith paused. "And B. And Dawnie. And Angel. Man, there's a lot of shit I'd trudge through for that vamp. I ain't got no one else. Gotta go to bat for someone, you know?"
"We never... talked about Robin."
"Ain't nothin' to say. It didn't work out. It happens."
"But should you need..."
She held up a hand to keep him from saying more. "This ain't got anything to do with what happened in my love life, but maybe I'm a little jealous."
"Her. I wasn't kidding when I said you were young and cute."
Giles coughed nervously and removed his glasses for a thorough cleaning. "Yes. Well... thank you, I suppose. Though no need to bring up my youth and beauty yet again."
Faith chuckled. "Don't worry. I like how you and I interact too much as is to try anything shifty... no matter how wicked sexy it would be."
He actually blushed.
"So you really like Drake's mom?"
"Then I'll make an effort to be less bitchy and suspicious... for you."
Giles suddenly looked at her like he had never laid eyes on her before. "My, but you have become a grown-up, haven't you?"
"Not if I can help it." She said with a smirk.
Giles laughed a bit. "Thank you."
"Not a problem."
He started to leave.
"Hey... uh..." She shifted awkwardly... which was awkward for her. "Can I... um... get a hug to seal the deal?"
"Well, you know, it's just... I see you hug Buffy like all the time, and I always wondered-"
He crossed to her quickly and engulfed her in a tight embrace. Faith noted that he smelled of old books, some sort of spice, and man. It was a nice combination. She also took the opportunity to test her theory that his tweed pants hid a firm butt.
"Faith." He squeaked, stepping back and looking shocked.
"Sorry. Temptation was too good to resist. Curiosity more than sated now. Thanks." She started to leave.
"Young, cute, and nicely assed." She winked at him.
He was just sort of gaping at her.
"I ain't gonna do anything else to your person. Swear." She paused to grin seductively. "Unless you want me to."
"Thank you. Very flattered, but.... no."
"I thought so." Faith sighed with a smile. "You win some, you lose some. I'm gonna go make nice with the new moms."
"Yeah. I was always holding out that you'd marry or hook up with Joyce permanent-like, and you guys'd adopt me, so I'd have B and D for sisters, but this is better. We get a brother in the mix. I wonder if Drake likes to be picked on."
"Well, I do know he doesn't like being called Drake."
"And when exactly did I adopt you?"
"Don't you know? I adopted you."
"Is that how it works?"
"Sometimes that's how it has to work." Faith grinned again. "Now I gotta go. Can't let big sis have all the fun."
"Oh bloody hell."
"Yeah. Exactly, daddy-o, bring on the swears, cos if she acts up, it's so on like Donkey Kong."
"Whatever that means. I swear, you girls-"
"So keep you on your toes."