Down Time
by Francis

We spent a month in L.A. and crashed at the Hyperion, which was much better looking than when I last saw it. Must be all that demonic law firm money Angel has around.

Like on cue, Buffy and Giles went all moralistic and shit and gave Angel the business for taking on Wolfram and Hart. I thought it was cool though, running the same ass-wipe law firm that's been hounding you for years. It's like fucking poetic justice or something like that.

I didn't say anything though. It was Buffy's role. No, it's her job to point out things like that. She's the pep-talker, the leader. I'm just a follower. And anyway, we did stick around for a month, so maybe B got the hang of it.

The girls go out almost every night to dance. Dawn and Kennedy and Willow and sometimes even Xander, Andrew and B goes with them.

Used to be my thing, still is, but being a fugitive, it's a good idea to stay out of the cop radar. I just dance in my room, at least it's mine, when Robin's not hanging around looking at me all puppy eyed waiting for me to grab him. Damn men, can't take the initiative to just pull you sometimes and say "Let's have us some fun."

So I dance in my room, I turn up the music. Sometimes when the girls who stay in the room next to mine are there, they pound on the wall. But that's just about what they do. They probably find some other room or go down to the lobby and finish painting their toe nails there. My radio's turned on to a station that plays club music all the time and none of that pop crap, and I dance. I imagine I'm on the dance floor of some swinging L.A. place. It's not hard to imagine with the right music.

The beat throbs and you feel it inside of you. Strobe lights, glitter and sweat on skin, cigarette smoke that fogs up your sight. That's how it is on the dance floor. When you dance, you get to be with people, you get to know them. You see who they really are when they're not doing their job or studying.

Dawn's got slut vibes going through her. Willow's all frigid and Kennedy looks like she's about ready to pop. Xander like any white boy can't dance to save his damn life. But B, B's an animal on the dance floor. I remember downtime when we were just the two slayers who prowled and partied in Sunnydale C-A. She'd slink up next to me and grind her hips, and I'd grind mine too. I remember the looks we got. A few guys probably blew a load in their pants just by watching us.

God, those were the good days. Or the bad, depending on how you look at it. Maybe that's why I dance, to relive those days when everything was simple. At least, more simple than they are now.


What they say about black guys and their dicks is not true. I've known a few white guys who pack in impressive pieces, and some brothers who just don't match up. But Robin is a like a big clichÈ. He's black, he's bald, he's from the projects, he like music and he's big, which is a plus, but not a requirement.

What I really like about him is that he can go at it for a few times before he finally rolls over and sleep on his side of the bed. He also doesn't mind when I get rough and claw or pound at this chest or just ride him hard. But he got rough himself once. The night before he left, he went at it like a fucking sledgehammer on turbo.

It started out all nice and sweet with candles and wine. He kissed me all over and I kissed him all over. It was like in a romance novel or something. He was on me, in me, and he was gentle, which I like about him and then all of a sudden he just loses it. He's like an animal and I try to say something but he's out of it. I taste his tears falling on my face. Anyway, I was sore afterwards and curled like a ball on my side of the bed and he's there on his side crying. He says sorry, but I'm too worn out to answer.

Around dawn I woke up and found him looking out of the window to the street. He just stands there for a long time before he looks at me.

"Hey, you alright?" he asked trying to make a smile to soften the guilt that's just smack there in his eyes.

"Nothing I didn't feel like before." Somewhere there is a lie, I've been screwed rough before, but not like this.

"Listen, I'm sorry about what happened last night Faith," he said still standing there. He's got his jacket on and I notice for the first time that his bags are packed and by the door.

"You going somewhere?" Pretty fucking obvious but I had to say it. He looks at the bags and back at me. "You wanna tell me why?"

"This is isn't me, Faith. I came to Sunnydale to do some damage to evil and maybe find the son-of-a-bitch who killed my mother."

I sat up, the pain in my middle now just a memory. "Well, you got your wish Robin, Hellmouth's closed for good and Spike's dead. Mission accomplished. You can relax now."

He smiled bitterly, "You don't understand Faith, it wasn't supposed to be like that. I was supposed to die to save everyone, not him."

"You're more screwed up than I am," I smiled back. "Close the door when you leave." I slipped back to sleep a few minutes after that. When I woke up he was gone and like most of the guys I go to bed with, he didn't leave a note.


A few days after Robin left, Buffy asked me questions about what happened to me and Robin and why he left. I was out on the small garden, burning time with a pack of cigarettes I got from Wesley. I told her that all I knew was that he was still upset about Spike and his mom. She nodded, and said something about boys and their mothers.

"What about you B? You okay with this whole thing?"

"What thing? The Wolfram and Hart thing?" she asked back. B was never that good at fibbing. I frowned and she looked away. "It feels weird, being here. Being not Buffy the Slayer, just Buffy."

"Tell me about that," I smiled at her and she laughed. For once I know how she feels.

"You okay, Faith? About Robin?"

"Yeah, I guess," I told her as I lit up. "I didn't expect it to be happy ever after. Can't think like that, B. You'll just hurt yourself."

"Boy, I should've come to you for advice a long time ago. Would've saved a few days worth of mopping around." B said making a gesture with her hands about the cigarette. I took out the pack and lighter from my jacket pocket and handed it to her. I watched her light one. "Shouldn't smoke B, it'll ruin your teeth."

"Fuck that, F," she said the last word in a mocking tone. She never did like being called B.

"That's good, you're changing. And you didn't even have to go to jail."

"But I died," she corrected. "And then I came back to life."

"Lady Lazarus," I smiled. B looked at me like I hit her or something. "What? I read a few books while I was in the slammer."

"Nothing, it's just that, I haven't realized how much I missed you."

I blew smoke, looked at her and smiled. Maybe it's just me, but it felt like we were making a connection there, like we did in the Bronze when we danced. Can't think like that though, you don't want to hurt yourself. "Thanks B. Means a lot coming from you."

She looked away. "Some of the girls are going out tonight, clubbing. If you want we can go. You and me, like old times. We can show these young ones, how Slayers really party."

Sometimes I just want to run away. "Can't, B. You know how it is with fugitives." In prison I had dreams like this, me and B sitting around and not worrying about apocalypses or fucking prophecies and destinies; just two girls sitting around talking.

"Well, if you change your mind, you know where to find me." She took one last drag and flicked her cigarette into the bushes.


The girls are getting ready to go out. I hear excited talking in the lobby and when Lorne arrives with the limos, almost everybody just about hushes up for about a second and jumps in. Less than a month ago we were riding in a school bus and now it's stretch limos.

I'm on stomach and reading one of those romance novels I found lying around what used to be Cordy's office. Damn things full of sex. Heaving bosoms, tented breaches and rushing torrents; things like that. Does nothing for me though, really. But it's a good way to waste away the time.

Wesley dropped by with more cigarettes. We smoked a few and he talks about Fred. He changed a damn lot, but deep down he's still that scared bumbling Watcher. For a second I have the urge to push him on the bed and screw him, like the stable boy in the book I've been reading, but it passes. I thank him for the cigarette and then I hide the rest of the carton along with my stuff.

Damn place is starting to feel like jail, especially with the cigarette and Kennedy around eyeing me. The girl's seriously crushing on me, which is fine, but under the circumstances it's a bit weird. The thing with her and Willow seems like it's on the verge of falling apart. Red seems to be moving farther and farther away from her. It's a girl thing, don't ask me how I know.

I go back to my book. There's a story at least; girl's in a loveless and sexless marriage. Stable boys got the bod of Fabio. They hump and live happily ever after. I smoke a few more cigarettes and then turn on the music. I start to dance. Now I can do this every damn night with Robin gone. Haven't really thought of him that much, except when I'm in bed and there's a cold draft. It was nice having a warm body around.

I dance, as sluttish as I want. I'm burning jeans, baby. I close my eyes and there's the strobe lights, and the glitter and the sweat. Then someone's knocking on the damn door. I turned down the volume and opened it. Buffy's standing there all smiles and all in black. "Whatcha doin' here B? I thought you were out with the kids clubbing?"

"I didn't go, thought I might walk around look for trouble. Just like old times. Wanna tag along?" Her smile is all loopy, like she's been drinking or shooting shit through her system. "I can't promise anything in particular, but there might be vamps?"

"There's always vamps," I said. "Besides B, Angel's got the city covered."

"I know," she went inside my room and sat on my bed. I have flashbacks, like they do in the movies, of my good old motel room back in the Hellmouth. "Oh, you've been a naughty girl," B said, holding out the book I've been reading. I take it from her and throw it on the floor.

"Just killing time," I reasoned. Buffy takes out a cigarette and lights up.

"That's bad B, now you got your own shit."

She smiled again. "Hey, I've died twice. Not once, but twice. I think a little fag's not going to kill me anymore."

"Fag? Oh you got that from Spike, right?" I sit next to her. She moves a little closer and I don't flinch. I'm used to drunks making a past at me.

"Yeah, Brits and their weird ways." We laughed and managed to mention torch, lift and bugger. "Don't forget 'bloke'," she added.

"So what's the problem?" I ask the pretty obvious. B's not the kind who chugs down unless there's major trouble of the non-apocalyptic kind. Saw it once, when the Scoobs tried to kill Angel. This was back when I was doing a Sydney Bristow for Mayor Wilkins. She got so smashed she passed out in my bathroom. That was the first and only night we slept in the same bed, that's why I remember it. I'm fucking romantic that way.

"I'm that obvious, huh?" she giggled. "Oh Faith, how did I ever get by without you around?" She leans into me and starts touching me and kissing my neck. I pretend to push her away, pretend being the important word. Oh fuck you're melting like a chocolate bar left in a pant's pocket, I say to myself. Hey, I'm not that good with words to begin with. But that's how I felt like, like I was melting from the inside out.

"B, you're drunk."

You can tell when someone's going at the whole same sex thing for the first time, even when they're drunk. Buffy's got the eager hands, she's moving it all over like she doesn't know what feels good to a girl. She slips her hand under my shirt and starts squeezing like a high school kid. I take her hand away, and push her down on her back. I might as well do her first and show her the right way to do it.

"Hey, I was liking that." She mocked complained. I put my mouth over hers, thank God she hadn't been vomiting. She sticks her tongue out like crazy. It's a sloppy messy kiss, but the good kind. Her cherry lipstick, I can still taste when I'm kissing her all over. She giggles when I help her out of her top and pushes me when I run my tongue over her breasts. I suck on her nipples a bit, that's like prerequisite, and then I pull off her pants and panties like a baseball fan trying to get at a home-run ball.

So she's a natural blonde, I knew that from before. Saw her naked once, when she took a shower in my motel room back in Boca del Inferno. Nothing happened back then though. She groans when I start kissing her inner thighs. I wanted to tell her to keep it down, but I liked it. Reminds me of her on the dance floor, animal-like. I turn up the volume of the music to max and I go back down.

I lick her a few times to get used to the taste. Now there's sweat and cherry and other things I can't name. I go at it, and the music is throbbing and so is she. I run my hands up and down her body. She arches up her back and holds me by my hair. Then she's grinding like she used to in the Bronze. The music is loud but I can still hear her, moaning and groaning. Sometimes she says words like yeah, or fuck, or good. But never my name.

I'm down there for like a long time, I didn't want to stop. It felt so good to be able to do it finally. It wasn't a total let down like most of your fantasies when they come to life. This one was spot on. She thrashed when she came, and she came in short burst, like machine-gun fire. She's all sweat and smile. My jaw's numb, but I crawl back up and give her a peck on the cheeks.

B mumbles something and just slips off to sleep. I go to the bathroom wash up, brush my teeth and then take a shower. I get off by myself in there, I'm used to it by now, then I towel dry and cuddle to B. I'm not disappointed that she just slept after I went down on her. I never expected that much, even in my dreams.


I was ready to wake up alone, and it helped, because she wasn't there when I woke up. It looked like it was late in the morning. I washed up and went downstairs and found the girls doing their exercises. Kennedy's leading them and she makes eyes at me, when I pass by. I bump into Wes and Fred in the hallway. Then there's Chuck and Giles, talking rapidly about demon laws, or something.

In the kitchen Andrew's still at it with the pancakes while Dawn and Xander and chatting while doing the dishes.

"Hey, you guys seen B?" I asked them.

Xander looked up, I still expect him to say aarrgh, or something with the eye-patch and all. "She left early, said she was going out for a run. She looked a little distraught and hung over."

"Probably, all that rum," Andrew mumbled. "How am I supposed to make rum cake without rum?" I could see Dawn roll her eyes, annoyed. She probably has a thing for Andrew, by the looks of it.

I took a clean plate and piled the flapjacks. I leave them and go to the lobby and eat at the reception desk. I'm halfway through when Buffy arrives, she's flushed and sweating. She manages a smile before she disappears upstairs to her room. When she comes back down I'm one my second plate.

"Wow, what is that a magic plate that never runs out of food," she said coming up to me.

"If this was a magic plate, there'd be bacon and eggs, B," I told her, trying hard to smile. "Look about last night..."

"That's why I came down, I mean that's why I went downstairs...You know what I mean," she smiled sheepishly. I don't know how to describe it, but I might have blushed when she was saying all that. I nod and swallow. I try to look serious and business-like. One-night stands are good when you're fucking a complete stranger; it's hell when you actually like the other person.

"I think that we should, you know," she paused and looked around. "I think we should keep that to ourselves, what happened."

"Yeah, I understand B," I looked away.

"Good, because I don't want there to be any weirdness between us. At least, not anymore than there already is."

"Look, don't worry about it," I reassured her. "I've been through this a hell of a lot more than you can imagine."

She stood there for a few more seconds, looking at me eating my pants off. Then she quietly slipped off to the direction of the kitchen. I finished my breakfast and went to the garden to smoke away the time before lunch.


B comes by again that night. I open the door to go down for some snack and she's there standing. She babbles trying to explain what she's doing there. It's cute and all, but what's the point of wasting valuable minutes standing there like morons. I pulled her into my room and turn on the music full volume. She's not drunk this time, so she's a little awkward. I undo my pants and slink off them. B sits on the end of my bed looking a little distraught. "You want me to do you first?" I asked. "No, you first. I can kind of owe you, remember? From last night?" she smiles nervously and looks away when I stand directly in front of her.

"Then move over sport. Unless you want me standing up?"

"No," she stood up and I got on the bed. "Um, I haven't done this before."

"Don't worry, I'll talk you through it." I hold out and take her hand and pull her closer. She kneels down in front of me and kisses me on the lips. I push her away.

"What?" If she looked a little out of it when she came in, now she looks like she's been slapped hard.

"Don't get me wrong B, I like making out. Hell I can make out with you for hours. But I don't need to feel like this is anything romantic."

"What are you talking about?"

"Look, we both know we're just blowing off steam, okay?" I stand up and turn the music down. "Robin's gone. You can't do it with Angel. And jillin's not that good when you do it almost every night. I mean, I'm game B. But I don't need the candlelight dinners."

"Fuck you Faith," she stood up and pushed past me to get to the door. I grabbed her and she slapped me. In another life, this would have been a major fight. But I've changed, we've all changed, in a way.

"I'm sorry," she says softly. She touches my face. God, I don't need this.

She kisses me and I kiss her back. It's soft and all mushy like marshmallow. Smore kisses. So much for not getting carried away by illusions of happily ever after. "Don't do this to me, B?" I managed to say when she pulls away.

"You sure?" she pulls me by my shirt. I feel all squishy inside. Yeah, that's right, squishy. God, there's that dance floor grin. That animal-like grin she has when she's grinding her hips.

"Damn it B. What am I supposed to say to that?"

"Say yes."

I said yes and we were off, at least she was. I talked her through it, tell her how I like it. Being a Slayer, B's good with her hands. It's another thing with her mouth, but hey, can't have everything. Besides she's just starting out, there's a lot of time to improve. There I go again with my delusions.

She scratches my tummy while she's down there. I grabbed some of her hair and pulled her in deeper. God, it's like rubbing against velvet, except it's all warm and wet and inside of me. B thumbed my clit. I wanted to tell her good girl, but it comes out like a long moan.

B doesn't sleep over. After we do it a few more times, she gets cleaned, dressed and says goodbye. Damn expected her to shake my hand, but she gives a kiss instead. A shallow, tight lip kissed.

I showered with cold water. I'm like there for an hour, just standing there. I'm smiling like hell in the shower. It's goofy, but it felt good. When I stepped out and went to get dressed, Angel's there sitting on the bed holding a manila folder.

"Hey, what are you doing here?"

"Just wanted to tell you that Gunn's got you cleared," he hands me the folder. I opened it and it's a file about me. There's my mug shot, not my best angle. But I still looked smokin' hot.

"Cleared? You mean, I'm scot-free."

Angel stood up and looked at me. "Yeah. Everybody gets a clean slate."

"God, I don't know what I say."

He smiled and walked to the door. "You should thank Buffy too. She's the one who had me do it." Angel opened the door and he was halfway out when he turned.



"I...I know it's a little strange coming from me, but...Take of her." He seemed a little sad, but happy. It's weird. I looked at him hard and long trying to think of some dumb thing to say, maybe asks who he's talking about. But he probably smelled her all over the bed.

"I don't even know what we are." I shrugged and crossed my arms.

He laughed a little, "Welcome to the club." Then he was gone.


I smoke in the garden because everyone's such a prude about it. B shows up and bums a fag, damn I'm starting to talk Brit too. We sit there and don't talk. She's got plans, I know.

She and Giles have been talking about leaving for England and rebuilding the Watcher's Council. Willow and Xander are probably coming along, so is Dawn and Andrew. Some of the Slayers might tag along too, Kennedy's there for sure, unless she and Willow have broken it off. Everybody's got their place, except me.

I stood up and crushed my cigarette with the heel of my boot. B holds me by the arm when I start to walk away. "Hey, don't leave just yet."

I sat back down beside her and she puts her head on my shoulder. I tense up, but relaxed. B knows what the hell she's doing.

"Ever been to England?" she asked me and I could feel her grinning.

"You know Willow's going to go all ballistic," I joked.

"So is Kennedy." We look at each other and decided that kissing outdoors was going to be a little weird. For the time being.

"Xander and Andrew might jack off on it," I said grinning myself.

"Xander, yeah. But not Andrew. He's probably gay."

"And Angel. You know he knows, right?"

B laughed hard. "Probably with that creepy smelling-me-all-over-you thing, right?

"Yeah. With that."


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