Categories: Ship, Het, Drama, Romance
Characters: Faith Lehane (primary), Robin Wood, Kennedy, Andrew, Buffy
Spoilers: Lies My Parents Told Me, Touched, End of Days, and Chosen, with callbacks to Faith, Hope, & Trick, The Zeppo, Bad Girls, Graduation Day, and Who Are You?
A/N: Faith thought she had a pretty good handle on what life had to offer. This is the last thing she expected. Post Chosen.
Credits: Beta efforts from Squirrelly, Anne Rose, Lizzy and Lorcan all appreciated. Thanks!
Disclaimer: Since Mutant Enemy respects its own property, I will do the same. This universe belongs to the great and powerful Joss.
Been there. Kicked that. The world didn't have anything new to show Faith.
She'd slayed vampires, fought demons, saved lives. Killed a couple of people. Almost killed a mess more. Got gutted, nearly died. Served time, broke out. Almost died some more. Helped save the world.
Didn't seem likely anything would surprise her now.
Yet something had.
A few nights ago he'd been the nearest body. Well, the nearest warm body. She'd thought about taking the infamous William the Bloody for a tumble, but it seemed Buffy had first claim, and she was through trying to take what was Buffy's. It never went smooth.
Xander? Done that. Giles? He had his appeal, but barking up that tree wouldn't get her far. Andrew definitely wasn't an option.
Then there was Robin. Attractive guy, great body, nice enough to talk to. A girl could do worse. She had done worse. Drummers, even. So when opportunity knocked, she shared her bed with him. Well, Buffy's bed. She'd felt kinda bad about that part, for a minute, but it was just a bed. Gone now anyway, buried in the rubble. No big deal.
A good time was had by all. Or so she thought until he tried to claim he was prettier than her. He was a damn fine looking man, but she was a hot chick with super powers. The edge was hers.
He'd challenged her "get some, get gone" policy. He'd said he would surprise her. And to her amazement, it seemed he had at least some clue what he was talking about, because here she was watching him sleep.
Faith and hospitals didn't get along. So why was she sitting in one, of her own free will, watching this guy sleep? Not like he'd know if she left. Not like he'd even care if he did. So they'd spent a night together; didn't mean they owed each other anything. Yet she didn't want to leave.
When he'd stopped breathing on that school bus, she hadn't felt that way since . . . she'd never felt that way. People died. She could deal. Especially some guy she barely knew, right? Then he sputtered back to life and whispered, "Surprise." A good moment.
Maybe that was it. Their moment. A better run than most of her relationships. One sweaty night of rock 'em sock 'em and a moment of almost laughter on a school bus that smelled like blood. Silly of her to sit here watching him sleep, hoping for what, a few more moments? Another go when his sword wound healed?
She could go catch some sleep. There was a key to a motel room in her pocket. Xander had brought it by earlier, along with a cup of coffee. This chair wasn't so bad, though, and tired as she was, she could probably sleep for a week just leaning against the wall.
She must have dozed off at least some, because when the nurse came in her coffee had gone cold. She watched the nurse check the monitors. "How is he?"
"He's doing well, but he won't wake up for a while yet. You should go take a break. Get some rest."
"Nah. I'm okay here." That someone would suggest she take a break from basically doing nothing, after all she'd done recently, almost made her smile.
Two cups of coffee later, Robin groaned a little. Faith's heart gave a little jump and she scooted closer, her hand landing on his arm. She watched his face intently for a minute, and then laughed at herself. What did she expect? Some movie-of-the-week scene where he woke up calling her name?
He groaned again, and this time his head moved. He squinted in her direction. "Faith?"
"Hey." She studied him. "You need anything? Should I get a doctor?"
"I feel like I'm going to live," he said. "Am I right? Am I going to live?"
"Yeah." She grinned. "I'm kind of glad about that."
"Is it me, or do you sound surprised?"
"A little bit, yeah. Don't take it personal, but most guys? Once we're done, I don't really miss them much."
"Are we done? Because I seem to remember that we had a deal."
"We did. Seeing as you lived, you owe me the chance to teach you some respect."
"We'll get to that, Faith, but first I get the chance to surprise you."
"You've already done that. A couple of times now."
"Yeah. Not exactly what I had in mind. I was hoping for dinner."
"I think it's closer to breakfast, but I can get the nurse." She started to stand.
He caught her hand. "I was actually trying to ask you out," he said. "You wouldn't turn down a guy with a stab wound, would you?"
"Yeah, we can do that."
"There's a little French place -- "
"Hate to break it to you, dude, but it's gone. Sunnydale is no more."
"Ah, right. Well I'm sure that . . . where are we?"
"Pasadena, I think."
"I'm sure that Pasadena has a little French place."
"Probably," she agreed. "For now, I think you're going to have to settle for Jell-O."
He made a face. "I was afraid of that."
Six days later they went to the little French place. Faith had been a little nervous about it. Fine dining wasn't really her element. But Kennedy had assured her that there weren't really all that many forks, and that no one really gave a damn if you used them in the wrong order. Plus, Andrew -- that boy had seen way too many movies -- had warned her about steering clear of the escargot. So she felt prepared enough.
What she wasn't prepared for was how good Robin Wood looked in a tuxedo. And as for the look in his eyes when he checked out the dress Kennedy had picked out, well, another chalk mark in the surprise column. Then again, the boarding school brat had a unique angle on knowing what made a girl look hot.
"The French sure use enough butter," Faith said. "Wonder why they aren't all the size of houses."
"One of the great mysteries of the universe," Robin said. "Maybe we should go to Paris and investigate further."
"I might have a little trouble getting a passport, what with being a wanted fugitive and all."
"Guess we'll have to settle for Cleveland, then."
"That's the plan." She wondered how long Robin would travel with them. Then she wondered why she seemed to care about the answer, and why if she did care about the answer, she didn't want to ask the question.
"Tell me about yourself," Robin said.
"Not much to say about me. You've already heard the highlights. I'm more interested in finding out more about you. Why demon hunting? There are safer sports."
"Okay, we can play it this way. My mother was a slayer. The mission was the one thing that mattered to her more than I did. I guess I grew up feeling that if I kept her mission alive, then maybe I'd matter too."
"You really think that?" Faith asked. "That slaying mattered more to your mother than her son did?"
"She didn't give up slaying, even though she knew it would get her killed and take her away from me."
"Dude, she was the Slayer, the Chosen One. As in One. She gives it up, the game pretty much goes to the demons. We're talking apocalypse. A mother wants her kid to have a world to grow up in, or what's the point?"
"So if you had a kid -- "
"I'd work twice as hard slaying. It would give me a reason to fight. Like Buffy has. When she goes out there, she's not just saving the world for all those people out there. She's doing it for her sister and her friends. It gives her strength."
"You're jealous of that."
"I have been, yeah. Don't tell Buffy."
"Wouldn't dream of it."
Faith shrugged. "She probably knows it anyhow. Probably caught on when I slept with her boyfriend."
Robin sat bolt upright. "Spike?"
"Not Spike. Riley. Before prison. And there were circumstances." She studied Robin, feeling a little panicked, but he seemed to relax again. "Not that it was right. Not that I don't regret it. It was a rough time and there's plenty from it to regret."
"We all make mistakes."
"I was a little better at it than most."
"Tell me about this old boss you had. The one who makes your hands shake at the very thought of him."
"I don't . . . " She sighed. "Mayor Wilkins. He built Sunnydale for demons to feed on. He had big plans to ascend to a higher plane. I was going through a tough time, so I went to him for a job. Offered to sell out Buffy. It seemed easier than facing the fact that I'd killed a guy. Thing is, I can forgive myself for staking the deputy mayor. It was an accident. But killing that professor? That's something I have to live with every day, and I can't do anything to take it back, no matter how many people I save."
"Living with that can't be easy."
"Ain't that the truth." Faith stared at him. "Hey, how'd you do that? Get me to talk about that stuff?"
"Beats all that isolationist slayer crap, doesn't it?"
After dinner they walked back to the hotel. Robin reached out and took her hand, threading his fingers through hers. His thumb stroked hers softly.
"This is nice," he said.
"Can't really stroll in Sunnydale," she agreed. "It's more of a full contact sport."
"That's not what I meant." He squeezed her hand, forcing her to look up at him. "Being here with you is nice."
"When we get back to the hotel I'll see what I can do about making it even nicer."
He shook his head. "Not possible."
"What, you got other plans?"
"No, I just don't think it can get any nicer than this."
"You're tripping. I've got muscles that'll make you see stars."
"Intimacy isn't about muscles or special skills, Faith. It's about caring for another person, being close, sharing something special."
"Maybe in greeting cards."
"Always playing the cynic." He stopped and turned her to face him. "Now, see, I know that's not who you are. Not really. I've seen the real you, Faith, and I don't mean last week when we had our little encounter."
She stared up at him, at a loss for words. She shivered as his thumb traced her lips and she couldn't seem to turn away from his gaze.
"The real Faith is an extraordinary person, and I hope to get to know her a lot better." He bent his head and kissed her.
It was the softest, slowest kiss, and it made her head spin. She reached to slide her arms around his shoulders, feeling almost as if she needed to hold on to keep from floating away.
He didn't pull her closer, or touch her anywhere but her face, and the soft kiss just went on and on, as if they had all night.
She swayed against him as he pulled back and rested his forehead against hers. "Wow," she said.
His hand slid into her hair, his thumb brushing against her earlobe. "Now that, that rocked my world."
"Yeah," Faith said softly, surprised. "Mine too."
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