Debts IV: One More Time by Te June, 1999 Disclaimers: Maybe if I'm very, very good they'll belong to me someday. But I doubt it, so I won't be good at all. Spoilers: Graduation 1, some speculation about what the trailers for Graduation 2 meant. Summary: Too little sleep, too much guilt, much too late. Ratings Note: Heavy R for language, violence, disturbing imagery, and implied f/f. Author's Note: Takes place a few days after Epilogue, after the speculated Grad 2. Acknowledgments: To Rae for audiencing above and beyond the call of duty and to Katie for wonderful beta. * It was after three when Buffy woke up from the latest version of Bad Dream A -- this time, of course, it was the Mayor who she really hadn't killed causing all the pain and suffering that was, subsequently, her own fault. It was typical that she couldn't even get an original plotline from her subconscious. Buffy gave up on bed and raided the freezer for coffee ice cream, automatically stopping before the first bite to listen for her mother. However, the house had that vaguely blind and heavy feel all places get when everyone is asleep but you, so she just took the carton and spoon and started toward the living room, trusting the mixture of sugar, caffeine, and infomercial to send her into that state of mindless rest that Buffy considerered her best alternative to sleep. About four and a half seconds after she was settled in, the doorbell rang. She gave herself a moment to mourn the days when a late visitor automatically meant bad-but-non-life-threatening news, retrieved one of the extra stakes she kept in her mother's desk, and opened the door to air. She had a moment to wish whoever pulled the prank had worn nice, target-worthy glow in the dark clothing, but it was really pretty reassuring to think that Sunnydale had kids enough to spare for late night hijinks. Giles had been doing his best to teach her *that* was entirely her 'fault,' too. Buffy smiled to herself and had already started closing the door when something warm, wet, and sticky nudged at her toes. And when she looked down there was someone who could only be Faith, lying in a heap in a spreading pool of blood. She dropped to her knees immediately, thoughtlessly. Prodded for a pulse through the thick fall of dark hair that hid Faith's face. Thought cold, dead, long dead, killed her days ago, whose blood, oh God whose blood but still couldn't react fast enough to stop the thing that wasn't even wearing Faith's face from knocking the stake out of her numbing fingers and slamming her face-first into the wet, staining concrete. Whose blood? And her body started fighting for her but she could feel Faith straddling her just right. And her fist was iron on the back of Buffy's neck. "You just don't get the whole 'no means no' concept do you, Faith?" And that was her same low, husky laugh and God that had always been the worst part. Years of training and she still couldn't stop herself from noticing all those little things the demons chose to keep -- "Damn, and here I just thought it meant 'maybe' with a hint of 'try to convince me.'" Teasing rock against her ass and this wasn't the first time they'd been this close together and her body tried to fill in the heat that was supposed to go right along with the muscle and curves and the wants-me-so-bad-it-hurts way she moved. "I didn't think it was possible for you to be *more* of a loser --" And her body also remembered that it was time for Faith to start getting angry so she braced herself for the sucker punch. Which didn't come. "I stopped missing you when I died, Buffy." And then there were teeth and Angel hadn't been this rough, God she didn't think she even had all her blood back anyway and was this hunger or just revenge and fuck she was blind -- can't see -- can't move and Buffy heard something small and important sounding crack and felt herself being bent up backwards and Faith just sunk in deeper. But when she felt a hand move up to cup her breast every part of her that could still think knew Faith was a liar. And every part that could still think smiled just a little bit meanly. end.