| Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7 | Ch. 8 | Ch. 9 | Ch. 10 | End Season 1 - Epilogue |
| Begin Season 2 - Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15 | Ch. 16. | Ch. 17 | Ch. 18 | Ch. 19 | Ch. 20 | Season 2 - Epilogue |
| Ch. 21 | Ch. 22 | Ch. 23 | Ch. 24 | Ch. 25 | Ch. 26 | Ch. 27 | Ch. 28 | Ch. 29 | Ch. 30 | Season 3 - Epilogue |
| Toilet Demons Project |
| Ch. 31 | Ch. 32 | Ch. 33 | Ch. 34 |

TITLE: It Starts With Faith 
CHAPTER: Seven 
AUTHOR: Dreiser 
EMAIL: dreiser0@earthlink.net
ICQ #: 37674780 
WEBSITE: http://www.lvdi.net/~reddeath/dreiser.htm 
CONTENT: F/F romance. Don't like it, don't read it. 
SUMMARY: An alternate reality series that places Faith as the one true slayer aka the chosen one for her generation.
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing but myself and I'm being leased out by my parents for an indefinite amount of time. 
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The Sailor Moon: Luna Rock cd is probably the funniest damn thing out there music wise. If you want a good giggle, listen to it. I like it even though I prefer the original Japanese music. I dunno why I'm mentioning this other than the fact that it was what I listened to while finishing this chapter up. That and Sailor Moon is a really cool anime series with tons of good f/f subtext and romance in it. 

 -Eight-

Faith was in a bad mood.

Faith was in a very bad mood.

And why was Faith in a very bad mood?

Almost an entire day had passed and she had spent barely ten minutes with her girlfriend. And just as she headed out the door to go to Cordelia's house and spend some time with the other girl after she got some other stuff done, a gang of vampires decided that this would be a wonderful time to attack her.

All of this caused Faith to be in a bad mood.

But what ended up pushing Faith over the edge from a bad mood into a very bad mood was when the vampire gang's leader, a skanky looking guy with greasy slicked back hair, called her babe.

The last thing that anyone did was call Faith Spencer babe. Especially if they wanted to remain healthy.

And the vampire leader was discovering this for himself as Faith delivered a powerful punch to his jaw that sent him flying back several feet into a nearby wall. He'd barely lifted his eyes when he felt Faith yank him up by the collar of his shirt and he couldn't help but shiver on seeing the hungry look in her eyes. It was a look that said she was the hunter and he was the prey.

End story.

"Don't call me babe," Faith growled. With a jerk of her hand she slid a stake down out of the sleeve to the blue jacket that she'd borrowed, okay... she sort of stole it from Cordelia, and promptly buried it in his heart. Watching him disappear into a pile of dust, Faith muttered, "I really hate it when people call me babe. It reminds me of that damn movie with Pam Lee and I look way better in leather than she does."

Turning her head sharply, Faith's gaze burned into the few remaining vampires and formed a dangerous smile. "So," she said in low and husky tones. "Who's next?"

The vampires only response was to promptly turn on their heels and run away at top speeds.

Sniffing at this, Faith said, "What a bunch of wussies. Doesn't anyone have any sort of pride anymore?"

With a shrug and a whistle, Faith shoved her hands into the pockets of Cordelia's 'borrowed' jacket and quietly relished the delicate scent of vanilla that surrounded her.

"Oh yeah," said Faith in satisfied tones as she smiled wide. Tilting her head back, she gazed up at the starry night sky and murmured, "Suddenly I'm feeling a whole lot better."

And somehow, Faith knew that it had more to do with the fact that she was smelling Cordelia's sweet vanilla perfume than that she'd just staked some annoying vamps.

Of course, this realization led Faith to one inevitable conclusion that her girlfriend might not like.

It was the realization that Faith was most definitely not ever giving Cordelia her stylish blue jacket back.

At least, not as long as it smelled like Cordelia.

Which would probably be for quite awhile.

---

Faith stood nervously on Cordelia's doorstep, shifting from booted foot to foot. Logically, she knew that she shouldn't be so nervous. She'd talked to the woman enough to know that she liked her. And that she would probably help her out with ideas for what Giles fondly called Faith's 'romantic plan of attack'.

Finally, after what felt like hours but was really less than a minute, the front door opened and revealed Maria's motherly figure. On seeing Faith, her chocolate brown eyes twinkled and she said, "Here early, aren't you? Cor hasn't come home from her dinner with her parents yet."

"Yeah, I know," said Faith a bit sheepishly. Avoiding Maria's humorous gaze, she said, "That's sorta why I'm here. I need to ask for your help, if that's okay."

"My help?" asked Maria curiously. Her face immediately changed to one of concern and she reached out to clasp a surprised Faith's hands in a gentle hold. "You aren't in any sort of trouble are you, Faith?"

Blinking at this, Faith shook her head and formed an easy smile as she said, "Nah. Not anymore than usual."

"Then what...?" Maria said, feeling perplexed.

"I need your help with my..." Faith mumbled the rest in low tones as she flushed dark red.

"With what, dear?" asked Maria in prodding tones.

Definitely avoiding Maria's gaze now, Faith turned an even darker red as she coughed then said, "I need your help with my date with Cordelia. I sorta promised to plan a real romantic date and... well... I dunno how to do that."

Staring at Faith for a moment, Maria formed a slow smile then once again took Faith's hands in her own as she led the girl into the house. "Get in here," Maria said in wry tones. "I think that this might take awhile."

"Yeah," said Faith sheepishly as she rubbed the back of her head and closed the front door for Maria. "I think that I gotta agree with you about that one."

---

Vampires don't tend to dream.

At least, not most vampires. But then again, Zac wasn't most vampires. He was the Anointed. The Chosen One of the Master Vampire. Perhaps the strongest of their kind when it came to the general Sunnydale vicinity.

Zac's dream was a strange one. It wasn't a dream really. It was him slipping into memories of the past, the present, and the future. And all of them involved Willow.

They were linked. He knew that. She was his soul, she was his heart, she was his very survival. She was what he could have been just as he was for her. They were the alternative result for the other one's future.

The same person with different bodies but the same soul and the same mission in life. The same power. The same strength. And the same goals.

Zac knew this because in his dream he could see her soul. He could see her desires and he could see himself in them. It was a romantic picture to be certain.

Moonlight pouring over the table in an elaborate dining room. Him dressed in an handsome tuxedo with her in an elegant dark green dress that offset her eyes. Him bowing to her in a graceful gesture and asking her to dance. A warm light in her eyes as she accepted. Their winding path around the room as they waltzed the night away. Only to retire in an unconscious move towards the bedroom.

The smell of incense in the air and the flickering light of dimming candles. The shy and hesitant look in her eyes that was eased with humor as he turned to offer her a box of opened chocolates. Her delicate hands picking one out and biting into it with sensuous lips while he wondered just how those same lips would taste to him.

The kiss... their first kiss... all encompassing as the strength of their emotions devoured them. The heat, the sheer passion, that just couldn't be controlled or held back.

Falling back onto the bed in a move that seemed to be the most natural thing in the world. Her hands raking on his back while his own lightly traced her sides as he worshipped her entire body with gentle attention.

Their moans filling the night air. Their bodies filling each other. Their love filling their hearts.

But it was all a dream. But all the same, it wasn't a dream to Zac. It was a revelation, both a memory and a promise all at the same time. A promise of things to come.

A promise that he and Willow belonged together. And that the only way to do that was to set her free. Just like he had done in that dream.

Shivering despite his inability to feel cold, Zac's blue eyes darkened as he remembered the taste of it.

The sweet taste of Willow's essence.

Of her life's blood.

---

"Okay... say that again, huh?"

Turning red, Willow ducked her head and quickly looked around her and Faith's advanced English class. On seeing that no one was paying them any attention, she then turned back to the Slayer and semi-hissed, "You heard what I said, Faith! I'm not going to repeat myself!"

Snickering now, Faith lightly poked Willow in the side and drawled in teasing tones, "But Will... you gotta know you're turning the most interesting colors right now. You're really gonna deny me seeing that happen again?"

"Yes!" Willow hissed with a scowl. She paused and her green eyes turned pleading as she said, "I really do want your opinion on it. I mean... this has never happened to me before. I've had daydreams but those are harmless and not nearly as detailed as this was and the whole thing was just so weird and I wasn't acting like myself in it. I was acting very cool. Like you cool. And I'm so not like you cool, you know? I'm like Willow and--"

"Will," interrupted Faith in gentle tones as she lightly gripped her friend's knee and gave it a slow and tender shake that made Willow smile hesitantly. "Calm down. This sorta thing is completely normal. Everyone gets dreams like that. It's just your brain telling you just how much you really like Zac, that's all."

Faith then paused to lean forward and when she did, Willow found herself captured by burning brown eyes and felt her breath still in her chest. Staring into the depths of the Slayer's gaze, Willow found her heart racing. Is this how she makes Cordelia feel? Willow wondered.

There was an intensity about Faith. She'd always known that but it was usually reserved for Cordelia alone. No one else really getting a full view of just how insightful the Slayer could be when she wanted to.

And just how magnetic she could be as well.

And just how seductive... and sexy... and... well, you get the point. But right now, Willow was very much experiencing it for herself. And it was amazing to her.

"Will," said Faith in her usual husky tones. She smoothly moved to cup the redhead's chin in her hand so their eyes would stay locked. "You don't want to be cool like me. You want to be cool like you. And you are," she formed a crooked but still sensual smile. "Very cool."

"I'm cool?" Willow squeaked in shaky tones.

"Very," Faith purred. Slowly, she pulled away from the other girl and then went back to working on their latest English assignment. Keeping her eyes on her work, Faith said quietly, "You're probably my best pal next to Cordelia, y'know that? And you should know by now that I'd never be best pals with someone who's not cool."

Studying Faith for a long moment, Willow smiled the sweetest of smiles before she went also went back to working on her homework assignment.

Of course, unlike Faith, she would find her thoughts drifting back to her dream about Zac.

Her dream about her and Zac.

Her very graphic and sexy dream about her and Zac that involved incense, candles, and chocolate.

It was safe to say that Willow was occupied for quite some time with thoughts of her dream.

Very safe indeed.

---

"So when exactly are you going to tell me what you have planned?" Cordelia asked, her hazel eyes now sparkling with definite curiosity.

The two girls were seated at their usual table waiting for the rest of their group to get through what the school liked to call the lunchline but what most students referred to as the line of death or poisoning plaza.

At least the food was cheap.

Returning Cordelia's smile, Faith stole one of the baby carrots from the huge pile that her girlfriend had and wore her best innocent expression. "I'm sure that I don't know what you're talking about," Faith drawled. "It's just going to be like every other date we've had. What on earth would make you think that this one is going to be special?"

"Oh, I don't know, maybe just because you promised me that it would be and you've never broke a promise to me as of yet," replied Cordelia smugly.

"Ah... yeah, that," said Faith rather sheepishly as Cordelia's smile grew triumphant. She finished off the baby carrot in one bite then said sourly, "You're one sneaky girl. You do know that don't you, sweets?"

"I revel in my sneakiness," Cordelia murmured teasingly. "So," she drew the word out slowly while she moved closer to the Slayer. "Aren't you going to tell me what you have planned for our extra special date?"

"Not gonna work, Cordelia," said Faith in droll tones. She was rummaging through her lunch bag as she muttered, "Where are those damn twinkies I packed?"

"What's not going to work?" asked Cordelia.

"Seduction techniques," Faith said distractedly while she continued on her great twinkie search. So far she had come up empty. Well, not empty. She found the box of junior mints that she'd packed. "I practically invented them so therefore, I'm invulnerable to them. Witness me, Faith Spencer, the girl who is unable to be seduced. And anyway, G-man's been training me not to give up secrets."

Scowling at this, Cordelia studied Faith's sharp profile as the girl wore a concentrated expression while she continued in her twinkie search. Giving an insistent pull on her blue jacket that Faith had borrowed and now refused to give back, Cordelia said in very pathetic and also very cute tones, "But I really want to know."

"Found them!" Faith declared happily as she proceeded to rip open the twinkies and Cordelia couldn't help but be a bit scared at just how fast the snack food disappeared into the Slayer's mouth. "Ah," said Faith with satisfaction. "Those were good twinkies."

"Faiiiiiith," Cordelia said her name even more cutely. "Why can't you tell me? I know that you asked Maria for help with whatever you're planning."

"So ask her," said Faith easily.

Scowling again, Cordelia muttered, "I already tried that but she won't tell me either."

"Maybe that's because you're not supposed to know," said Faith in humorous tones. Sighing on seeing the pout and slight irritation on Cordelia's face, Faith then scooted closer and put her hands on the other girl's thighs as she ducked her head so she could peer up into hazel eyes. "Hey," Faith said softly. "This is my big surprise for you, sweets. It's gonna show you how much I care about you and us. I wanna make it perfect but the only way I figure I can do that is if I get to see how happy you are when you finally do see what it's all about. And the only way I can get to see that is if it stays a surprise for you."

Heaving a sigh, Cordelia tenderly touched the planes of Faith's face before she murmured, "Why does everything you say always make so much sense?"

"Because I'm the Slayer," replied Faith with a jaunty smirk while she moved her face closer to the other girl's. "And Slayers always know just what to say."

"Mmm, right," Cordelia murmured against the softness of Faith's lips. "Whatever you say, oh, omnipotent Slayer."

"Faith can't be impotent. She's not a guy."

Sighing together now, Faith and Cordelia looked up at Xander's puzzled face along with Amy and Willow's combined expression of fond exasperation.

Looking at all of the girls who were wearing some pretty funny faces in his opinion, Xander said in perplexed tones, "What? Was it something that I said?"

---

"What are you going to do?"

"Hmm? What do you mean, Brendan?" asked Zac as his blue eyes burned into the dark haired vampire.

"What are you going to do about the Slayer?" Brendan said, holding back the sigh he felt coming on. "Are you going to kill her as the Master commands?"

"Kill the Slayer," Zac murmured. He paused to run his fingers casually over the piano keys, causing a chilling series of sounds as he smiled slowly. "Tell me," he said after a moment. "Do you think that I should kill her?"

"The Slayer wishes to kill all of our kind, Anointed," replied Brendan, who was studying Zac with careful brown eyes. "She's our most dangerous enemy."

"I take it that means you think that I should kill her," said Zac quietly. "I must admit, logically killing her does make a great deal of sense. But I have a plan that seems to make far more sense. Well, to me at least."

"Plan?" Brendan blinked. "What plan, Anointed?"

"The Slayer is powerful," said Zac as he turned to regard Brendan with a solemn gaze. "She's more powerful than me and she'll be more powerful than Willow once she is awakened. Why waste that power? Why not use it?"

"Use it?" repeated Brendan, his eyes going wide in sudden realization. "You don't mean...?"

Playing one of his favorite original melodies, Zac merely smiled in acknowledgement as he murmured, "It's a fine plan, don't you think? She'll make a very useful ally."

"Yes, of course," said Brendan quickly. "But how--"

"She loves Willow," interrupted Zac softly while he continued to play with his blonde head ducked low. "That will draw her to us as surely as my love for Willow draws her to me now. Love is endless, Brendan. Because of it everyone is connected. Connected for all time. It makes people do the strangest and most unexpected things." He paused for a moment then asked quietly, "Understand?"

"Yes," Brendan whispered in tones that sounded of tender adoration as he stared at Zac. "I understand."

"I thought that you would," said Zac wryly. Turning to regard Brendan with a burning gaze, in a slow movement of his index finger he signaled for Brendan to come closer. When the other vampire stopped inches away from him, Zac looked up into Brendan's confused features and asked in the gentlest of tones, "Play with me?"

"Always," replied Brendan.

---

"Pleeaaaaaaaase? I'm begging here!"

Meeting each other eyes, Xander, Amy, and Willow all shared a look of silent and wary exasperation.

"We can't, we promised Faith," they said together.

"But I want to know!" Cordelia declared in a sort of huffy fit that reminded Willow of an irate kindergartner.

"Sorry, but we promised her," said Willow sympathetically. "And we can't break our promise."

"Yeah, because if we did," Xander paused to make a sickening noise and mock slit his throat with his index finger.

"Ew," Amy scrunched up her nose. "That was an okay explanation but not good enough in my opinion."

"What? Too extreme?" asked Xander playfully.

"No, too unextreme," replied Amy with a smirk. "I think it'd be like this." She then made a series of 'ree ree' noises as she made a stabbing gesture. "Then it would be like this," Amy said while she put her hands gently around Xander's throat and mock strangled him as he busied himself with mock choking from her efforts. "And then it would be like this--"

"I get it, I get it," Cordelia interrupted dryly.

"Our deaths would be imminent if we gave away the secrets of yon romantic date," Xander said in a rough sort of squeak as Amy loosened her grip and let her hands fall down to his waist as he pulled her close in a hug.

"Very imminent," Willow agreed with a nod.

"Jeez," Cordelia sighed and blew up a section of her bangs that had rested in her hazel eyes. "Whatever she has planning it must be major. Faith is sure keeping this way romantic date of ours under heavy wraps."

"What's the big deal, really?" asked Xander in genuine confusion as he moved his hand in a natural and smooth movement around Amy's waist. "You guys are going on said major date tomorrow, right? Just wait to find out what she has planned. Surprises are fun."

After he said this Xander was greeted with what he would later call the Cordelia look of death or the Cordelia death ray. Either way, to him it seemed to call upon a sort of evil power that definitely signified certain death.

Once she had given Xander her patented death ray look, Cordelia whirled around on her heel muttering to herself about hating secrets and wishing annoyances upon herself.

But seconds later, she paused in the hallway and the three friends watched in shock as Cordelia cried out in happy tones, "I have it! And he's dumb enough to spill it!"

With that, Cordelia went dashing down the hallway while Amy, Xander, and Willow stared after her curiously.

"What do you think that's about?" asked Amy.

"Dunno," said Xander with a shrug. He was feeling very non-verbal after his Cordelia death ray assault.

"Uh-oh," Willow said in stark tones after a minute.

"Uh-oh?" echoed Amy.

"Uh-oh," repeated Willow with a nod. "You heard what she said. 'He's dumb enough to spill it.' That makes it pretty clear what she has in mind and just who she's going to talk to. And she's right, he is dumb enough to spill it."

"Oh!" Amy exclaimed as she realized just what and who Willow was talking about. "Oh, uh-oh!"

"Yeah," Willow nodded again. "Big uh-oh."

"Uh...?" Xander slowly raised his hand into the air as he looked between the two girls. "Can I ask what's with all the uh's and oh's that are going on here?"

"Cordelia went to go wheedle Giles into telling her what Faith has planned for their date," Amy supplied.

"Oooh," said Xander in understanding. He paused to consider the implications of this and grimaced. "Uh-oh."

Nodding wisely, Amy and Willow said, "Uh-oh."

---

Faith didn't know what was harder. Staking vamps and decimating evil or trying to keep a secret secret from her way too curious and impatient girlfriend.

She decided that it had to be the latter. Because at least she had a degree of success when it came to staking vamps and decimating evil. But when it came to trying to keep the secret of their upcoming romantic date from Cordelia? Well, Faith was starting to think just giving up would be a better option that keeping the fight up.

And the date was planned for tomorrow.

So when Faith opened the door to the library and found Cordelia interrogating Giles who gave her a look of desperation and a little bit of guilt, Faith knew immediately what her girlfriend was up to.

"Sweets," said Faith in her slow drawl as she heaved a quiet sigh. "Stop scaring my Watcher and take a walk with me."

"Walk?" Cordelia's eyes narrowed while she rose to her impressive height. "I don't want to take a walk."

"I know," said Faith humorously. "You want to stay and keep torturing G-man until he gives up the secret of our date tomorrow but I'm not gonna let that happen. So," Faith smiled as she walked over to Cordelia and took her by the hand then pulled the other girl after her. "Lets get out of here and have some time alone, hmm?"

"Fine," said Cordelia as she pouted adorably. "But I'll have you know I was this close to breaking him."

Smirking as she looked at the small space between Cordelia's index finger and her thumb, Faith gave a slight shake of her head then said, "You're a monster, sweets."

"Monster? I take offense."

"You shouldn't. I love monsters. Especially the sexy ones like you," Faith drawled.

For a response, Cordelia blushed quietly.

A rare reaction for her, but one that always seemed to happen whenever she was around Faith. And because of that, she didn't mind it happening so much.

Now if only Faith would tell her about their date.

Then her day would be going perfectly.

Well, more perfectly than it was already. Because do remember, she was currently holding Faith's hand. And the only thing better than holding Faith's hand was kissing Faith's lips and the only thing better than that... well.

Cordelia was really curious about their date.

That much was for certain.

---

Something was going on with Zac and Brendan.

But he wasn't sure what. But what the Master was sure of was the fact that something was going on.

That much was obvious to him. He just couldn't figure out what exactly was going on. Part of him thought it was just Brendan fixating on Zac because he was the Anointed or maybe Brendan taking his job as guardian of the blonde vampire a bit too seriously.

But the looks they shared... they signaled it was something more than that. The looks, they were almost, well... romantic. The Master pondered that thought.

Were they in love?

"Love," the Master chuckled quietly. "That emotion is all but lost to our kind. But if anyone could retain it, I would think it would be the Anointed."

Somehow, he knew that it was more than that. That something else was going on with them. He just wasn't sure what. But was going to make it his business to find out just what was going on there.

Oh yes, make it his business indeed.

Because, after all, he WAS the Master.

And it is a Master's job to know what's going on with all of his loyal and not so loyal servants.

---

"Cor, you're driving her crazy, you do know that, don't you?" asked Maria in teasing but fond tones.

"I know and it's her punishment for keeping this a secret from me," said Cordelia grumpily as she rested her chin on the top of her hands. She was sitting in the kitchen watching Maria ready her small supper that she'd be eating alone since her parents were out with friends tonight. "She knows that I hate secrets and still, she goes and plans a big secret date for us! Faith won't even give me a tiny little clue about it."

"Cor," said Maria as she shook her head. "That girl has spent this whole week planning that date of yours. She wants it to be absolutely perfect for you and now you're going to sit there and tell me that you don't want it?"

Her eyes going wide, Cordelia said in shaken tones, "I... I didn't mean it that way, Maria... I swear I..."

"I know," Maria said with a sigh. She turned to regard Cordelia with solemn eyes and wiped her hands on her apron then said softly, "Faith loves you, Cor. This is her way of showing it. Appreciate it for what it is not for what you want it to be. She's... she's trying to share some of herself with you. She wants you two to be closer."

"Closer?" echoed Cordelia softly, turning red.

"Not like that," said Maria as she gave a wry grin. "You have a one track mind girl," she teased.

"Maria!" exclaimed Cordelia, who blushed more.

Sitting across from Cordelia at the kitchen table, Maria gently grasped her hands and said, "Faith isn't used to talking to people about herself, Cor. She's like you that way. She's used to burying things away than sharing them with other people. But she wants to share herself with you. Her happy memories and her sad ones, along with her new life here." Pausing to form a mischievous grin, Maria gave Cordelia a hard tap on the nose and said, "I think all of that is worth a little bit of your patience, don't you?"

"Yeah," murmured Cordelia. "It is." Giving Maria a wide smile, she said, "Thanks... for putting everything in perspective for me. You're good at that, you know?"

"It's my talent," Maria replied with a smile as she rose to her feet and returned to preparing Cordelia's food. "That and the art of cooking first class cuisine."

---

Finally, after what seemed like years but in reality was barely under a week, the day of their date arrived.

Faith had managed to pull everything off perfectly and Cordelia still had no idea what she had planned.

It was going to be perfect.

Now if only Cordelia would stop trying to pull off the blindfold that Faith had placed over her eyes.

"Quit it, sweets," said Faith in slightly admonishing tones as she lightly swatted at Cordelia's lithe hands. Since the other girl was blindfolded, Faith was driving her Range Rover to their chosen date spot. "We're almost there. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride, huh?"

"All right," said Cordelia with a sigh.

Quirking an eyebrow in surprise, Faith glanced at her unusually cooperative girlfriend and said, "That was a little too easy if you ask me. What're you up to this time?"

"I'm not up to anything," Cordelia replied, turning to face in Faith's direction. Despite the blindfold covering her eyes, Faith could tell she was dead serious. "Faith," she said after a moment of pause. "I'm sorry about how I've been bugging you and... well, snooping around this whole week. I know that you wanted to make this date special for us and I appreciate that. I'm just not..."

"Good at surprises," Faith finished for her. Staring carefully at the road in front of her she said, "I have to say that I'm the same way, sweets. If it were you doing this for me I'd probably go a bit twitchy too. The unknown can be a pretty scary thing, y'know? But you and me, I think that we can handle it together if we just work at it."

"Yeah," said Cordelia softly, a fond smile spreading across her lovely features. She paused to take in all of Faith's words then frowned and said, "Twitchy? I haven't been acting twitchy!"

"Please," drawled Faith teasingly. "You've been acting so twitchy this week you should be in a clinic for an addiction to coffee and other caffeine heavy products."

"Whatever," Cordelia sniffed. "And what about you, Miss Jennifer Bond, Slayer 007? You've been acting pretty weird yourself this week."

"But I was doing it all for you," reminded Faith smugly.

"You were acting weird for me?" Cordelia asked.

Shaking her head, Faith chuckled lightly as she pulled into the parking lot and observed their date spot which was fairly packed even though it was barely past eleven am. "I give up," she murmured fondly. "You win. And," Faith said in husky tones as she reached over to Cordelia and slowly removed the blindfold. "Here's your prize."

Slowly focusing her hazel eyes on her surroundings, Cordelia took in the grounds of a local carnival that she knew came around every time this year. She'd heard about it, but she had never gone to it. Not when she was a little girl or in recent years. First because of her parents lack of interest in such things and second because of her friends further lack in it. That and the fact that Cordelia felt going to such things alone would just serve to depress her about the state of her own life.

"I know it seems sorta dorky," Faith admitted in quiet tones that were rough from emotion. "For a real long time I couldn't think of date ideas for us. And then I went to see Maria for some ideas and she told me to just share something that was special to me with you. Then it would be special for us both. Something that we could share."

"Faith," whispered Cordelia, her gaze turning to the Slayer's who had her eyes fixed out on the carnival grounds and seemed to be in a trance of sorts.

"My Dad..." began Faith slowly. "He used to take me to this carnival around our house every year. It... was the last thing we did together before he left Mom and me. For the longest time, those times with him at the carnival were my only really happy memories in my life. Riding on the ferris wheel with him, eating cotton candy, watching him win toys for me from the crooked carnival booth guys." Turning to look at Cordelia, she gently cupped the other girl's cheek and said quietly, "Until I met you. Now I got tons more happy memories and now... we can go to this carnival every year and make even more memories."

"You..." Cordelia pronounced in soft, barely decipherable tones, as she tenderly removed Faith's hand from her cheek and rested it on her waist while she herself cupped the Slayer's face in her hands. "Always say the most beautiful things to me. No one has ever talked to me like the way that you do. No one."

"I'm glad," Faith said a bit shakily, feeling the after effect from confessing so much to Cordelia. Her heart still pounding from the experience. She really wasn't used to being so open and honest with her emotions with someone else and the experience certainly effected her. "'Cause if someone was talkin' to you like this I'd have to pop them."

"We wouldn't want that," said Cordelia wryly.

"No," said Faith softly. "We wouldn't."

Their lips met in an instinctive and easy movement that seemed so very natural to them both. It was a feeling that increased every time that they kissed and because of it they knew their feelings were right, their relationship was right, they were right. They were right for one another.

Pulling away as she breathed a bit raggedly, Cordelia rested her forehead against Faith's and said, "So why don't you start showing me around this carnival if you're such a big expert on them, Miss Spencer?"

"Of course, Miss Chase," replied Faith, forming a leisurely smile as she lightly kissed Cordelia's lips. "I'd love to show you around. After all, that's what we're here for."

"Really?" asked Cordelia curiously as Faith got out of the Range Rover and crossed to open her own door. "I thought that we were here to make out in public."

"That can be arranged," Faith said with a smirk. Taking Cordelia's hand, she held it as the other girl stepped down and out of the vehicle. Kissing the top of her girlfriend's hand, Faith looked up into hazel eyes and said, "This is supposed to be a romantic date, after all."

"So it is," Cordelia said, her eyes twinkling.

---

Cordelia had never seen Faith so happy.

And she herself had never felt so happy as she did when watching the Slayer look around the carnival ground with an expression of childlike wonder on her features.

It was something truly amazing to witness and she was treasuring every single moment of it.

"Thank you, Maria," murmured Cordelia quietly as she recalled her friend's advice about the situation.

"What's that, sweets?" asked Faith, turning to regard the other girl. "Did you say something?"

"Yeah, I asked you which one of these rides do you want to go on first," Cordelia replied with a smile.

"Which ride? Huh," Faith turned to seriously regard their options with dark brown eyes. Taking the other girl's hand in her own, she said, "We gotta start this thing out right. Lets go on the Viper."

"The Viper?" asked Cordelia. "What's--"

Cordelia's question ended when her eyes locked onto the sight of a rollercoaster that had way too many loops and was definitely way too high in the air for her own rather timid carnival ride state of mind.

"No way," Cordelia squeaked.

"Yes way," Faith nodded, pulling the other girl along after her as she headed towards the Viper.

And several minutes later, when both girls were on the aforementioned Viper, almost everyone on the carnival grounds could hear Cordelia's loud shout of, "NO WAY!"

It was safe to say she didn't much like the loops. Or like the height. Or like the rollercoaster itself.

Lets just say she didn't much like the ride itself.

---

"I'm sorry, sweets, really I am," Faith said apologetically as she rubbed Cordelia's back. The two of them were sitting on a bench, Faith trying her best to help her girlfriend recover from a case of rollercoaster jitters. "I honestly figured you'd like it once you gave it a try."

"So did I," said Cordelia warily. "But apparently loops and I just don't mix too well."

"I'm sorry," Faith said again, leaning forward to gently kiss the soft skin behind Cordelia's ear, nuzzling her neck as she did so. "Really I am. How can I make it up to you? Want me to buy you some ice cream?"

"No... food wouldn't be a good idea right about now," Cordelia said with a sickly expression.

"Okay," said Faith as she scooted back to rest on the back of her legs and absently played with some strands of Cordelia's long hair. "Then what would you like?"

"You," said Cordelia quietly, turning her head to meet their eyes. "I just want to be with you."

Blinking in surprise, Faith smiled slowly at the other girl. "You are with me," she said in a husky reply.

"Then that's all I want and all I need," Cordelia said in tones of strong affirmation as she reached out to entwine her fingers with Faith's and rest them on her leg.

"Y'know," Faith began with a chuckle. "You aren't so bad with the beautiful words yourself, sweets."

"I learned from the best," replied Cordelia. She paused to lift up their hands and kissed Faith's knuckles. Rising to her feet and pulling Faith up with her, Cordelia then said, "Come on... why don't we try out a few rides that might actually not make me sick for a change."

"Hey," said Faith in wounded tones as she happily allowed herself to be pulled along by Cordelia. "I already apologized for making you get on that rollercoaster."

"So you did," said Cordelia. Giving Faith an mischievous smile, she said, "But you didn't listen to my warnings, did you now? If you make me go another ride like that I might just end up barfing on you next time."

"Didn't need that image, sweets," Faith replied as she made a humorous face at Cordelia. Pausing to look at just where they were headed, she asked, "What ride are we going on anyway?"

Turning to regard the Slayer, Cordelia formed what could only be called a smug smile and said, "The teacups."

This time throughout the carnival grounds almost all of the visitors could hear the cry of, "Aw jeez!"

It definitely wasn't as strong as the 'no way' they had heard earlier but it held just about the same sentiment.

The sentiment of a happy but also somehow unhappy person. Which to the people at the carnival could only mean one thing and one thing only.

They were the voices of a happy couple being exposed to the other's favorite carnival rides. Which was, as any couple can tell you, a happy but trying experience.

Which would definitely explain their shouts.

Explain them all too well.

---

Cordelia watched the expression of horror that was on the face of the booth owner. He was finding out just how much of a mistake it was to make a 'double or nothing' bet with Faith when it came to duck shooting.

Raising up the mock rifle, Faith narrowed her eyes then made a series of six successful shots in the row as the booth owner let loose a low groan.

"We win," Faith drawled with a smile. Turning to regard Cordelia, she asked, "Which do you want, sweets? You got your pick of whatever twelve you'd like."

"Hmm," Cordelia took a close look at the inventory while the booth owner whimpered quietly about his profits going down the drain. "I want that, that, that, that, that, that, that, that, that, that, that, and that one."

Grumbling to himself, the man nevertheless gave Cordelia a genuine smile as he dumped the pile of stuffed animals into a surprised Faith's arms. "Lady," the man said in bemused tones. "Enjoy your prizes but do me a favor and keep her away from my booth from now on, huh?"

"No problem," said Cordelia with a coy smile as she gave the man a wink as she hooked her finger in a loop to Faith's blue jeans. "She's with me and I always keep a close eye on anything that I consider of great value."

"Yeah, and I'm real valuable," Faith growled from under the pile of stuffed animals she held. Letting herself be tugged along her pants by Cordelia, she could almost see the booth owner pale in her mind and she smirked.

"Faith," chided Cordelia. "You practically wiped the guy out. No need to be even meaner to him."

"He was being flirty," Faith scowled. "Flirty annoys me. Especially when we don't get free stuff from it."

A long pause of silence was the only reply and tilting her head to one side, Faith saw that Cordelia was staring at yet another game booth that had something in it that had apparently caught her attention.

Forming a slow and almost evil smile, Faith shifted the pile of stuffed animals in her arms and headed towards her next victim. And this time she'd win three times more prizes for Cordelia.

Whether Cordelia wanted them or not.

Because, after all, it's the thought that counts.

Right?

---

The ferris wheel operator stared at the two gorgeous girls in front of them then stared at the huge pile of stuffed animals one of them had laid at his feet.

"Watch them, huh?" asked the shorter girl, who had a dangerous and very sexy look about her. Pressing two tickets and a ten dollar bill into his hand she offered him a sensuous smile as she said, "I'd appreciate it."

"Sure! No problem!" exclaimed the ferris wheel operator as he watched the two girls walk past.

The second girl offered him a small smile but he could swear he saw a flash of warning in her hazel eyes as she trailed after the other girl. Despite the fact that she was holding cotton candy in her hands, he knew that she definitely wasn't as sweet as she appeared.

Watching as the girls went into the air along with the rest of his customers, he couldn't help but wonder just what they were doing up there.

Just enjoying the view or enjoying something else?

Like each other?

Shaking his head at this dirty thought, he muttered, "I really need a break. The heat is getting to me." Focusing his gaze on the stuffed animals that he had been paid to protect, he said, "Oh well. It's ten minutes until sunset."

Of course, his dirty thoughts were only multiplied when only a minute later an empty cotton candy tunnel fell from the sky and onto his head.

And for some reason he just knew that it belonged to those two girls.

---

"That's supposed to be mine, you know," said Cordelia in teasing tones as she watched Faith pick apart the cotton candy that she held in her hands.

"I thought we were gonna share," Faith mumbled in between bites. She pulled another strand of it away and held it up to Cordelia's lips and watched entranced as the other girl took the food and her fingers into her mouth.

"We're sharing," Cordelia murmured, kissing Faith's fingers as she licked the cotton candy off them. "I would call this sharing, wouldn't you?"

"Yeah," said Faith hoarsely. "It's sharing."

"Good," Cordelia said, tearing off a piece of the cotton candy and offering it to Faith who took it into her mouth as Cordelia's fingers pressed up against her lips. "Because I know that I like this kind of sharing."

Swallowing the cotton candy, Faith looked down and saw that was the last piece. "Looks like we ran out," she said wryly as she lifted her gaze to meet Cordelia's.

"Doesn't matter," said Cordelia, placing the cardboard tunnel behind her on the ferris wheel seat. "I know something that tastes a lot sweeter than it does."

"Oh yeah?" Faith drawled. "What?"

"You," Cordelia replied, moving forward to meet Faith's lips with her own. Not noticing that the force of her movement caused the cotton candy tunnel to fall off of the seat and towards the ground below.

And Cordelia was right. Faith's lips did taste a lot sweeter than the cotton candy they had eaten. Of course, it would be prudent to mention that Faith's lips and her own tasted like the aforementioned eaten cotton candy.

Which just made their kissing even sweeter.

So sweet, in fact, that when the ride came to a stop and it was their turn to get off, they didn't even notice the jolt that signaled their stop at the bottom of the ride.

Needless to say, the line of people waiting to get on the ferris wheel were met with a very interesting sight and the poor operator of said ferris wheel would end up having even more interesting dreams that night.

But at least he'd managed to protect the large amount of stuffed animals that Faith won for Cordelia.

That was something at least.

---

Cordelia watched Faith try for the fifth time to successfully fit all of the stuffed animals that she'd won for her into the back of her Range Rover.

This time she actually succeeded.

"Ha!" Faith said, slamming the trunk shut. "I told you that I could do it. There weren't that many of them."

"There were thirty three of them, Faith," said Cordelia in wry and fond tones as she looked at the Slayer. "I'd say that's a lot of stuffed animals to end up winning."

"Nah," Faith shook her head as she sauntered up to Cordelia and lightly rested her hands on her waist. "That's a small number if you ask me. You deserved fifty at least."

"You don't say?" Cordelia chuckled. "Then why did you stop at thirty three if I really deserved fifty?"

"Because," drawled Faith, her hands leaving Cordelia's waist to trail the softest of touches up the other girl's arm until her hand stopped on her cheek, causing the tall brunette to shiver from the effect. "You told me to stop harassing those poor carnival booth guys."

"Oh, I did say that didn't I?" Cordelia smiled.

Nodding slowly, Faith murmured, "You did."

"Faith," whispered Cordelia as she leaned down to breathe into the Slayer's ear. "I've had more fun today than I've had in awhile. Thank you for sharing this with me."

"You're the only one that I'd wanna share it with," Faith replied in soft and honest tones.

And as they kissed while the sun began to set low into the sky, they both knew this had been a perfect date.

Because even after night had arrived, no vampires attacked, and no nasty monsters with attitude appeared.

In fact, if you ask Faith the date was a little TOO perfect.

But that's a discussion for another day. 

 Continue to Chapter 9

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