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.