Pairing/Characters: Faith Lehane/Buffy Summers, Rupert Giles, Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, mentions of Faith/Kendra

Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon and company.

Prompts: Written for the doppleganger round at femslash_minis for brutti_ma_buoni who wanted juinor!Slayer Buffy/senior!Slayer Faith in a setting outside of Sunnydale, some kind of conflict about who's in charge and laughing a little too much.

Notes: Set during an AU Season three where Faith was called first.

Faith had never known what she was until one day she had been making a short cut home through the cemetery and literally stumbled across a vampire. The thing with it's twisted face and hissed one word at her and then she was running as fast as she possibly could with the word Slayer ringing in her head. Two days later, Rupert Giles had located her and informed that she was the one girl in all the world destined to protect the world from the darkness.

She had never been overly fond of Rupert Giles but they worked well together. He was the brains and she was the brawn of their partnership. Typical for a Watcher and Slayer, yet at the same time things were different between them. Somewhere along the line she had grown to respect him and he wasn't always consumed by just Watching while she handled the Slaying. He wasn't like Kendra's Watcher, who had literally sent her out to die with nothing more than a battered copy of the Slayer's Handbook and a sword.

Kendra had been called when Faith had died at the hands of Kakistos. It was more a technicality than anything since she had only been dead for about thirty seconds. However whatever power that had created the Slayers line didn't really care about technicalities or anything. She had died and Kendra had been called in the space of thirty seconds. It didn't matter that Giles had revived her and she had taken down Kakistos. And now that Kendra was dead, a new Slayer was called.

Faith and Giles stand calmly in the old and esoteric library in Boston that employs him. Although it isn't officially connected to the Watcher's Council, the library is somehow connected to the Council. Faith doesn't dwell on it since she doesn't really care, all that matters is that the library gives her and Giles a place to work and train. What bothers her most is the fact that the Council thought that they could send a new Watcher and a new Slayer to her home and expect her and Giles to bow down before their might.

She looks at Giles and rolls her eyes as Wesley Wyndham-Pryce draws another breath before continuing his long-winded and one-sided discussion as to why Buffy Summers was the senior Slayer and why he is therefore in charge. Giles shrugs his shoulders at her and Faith finally decides she had had enough. The Council has no business doing this to her or Giles, not after four years of faithful service. The only misstep on her part had been her brief death.

"Look here, I don't care what the Council told you or promised you, but this city is mine and Giles. We've got the experience here," Faith angrily says.

"Really, Mr. Giles, you should learn how to control your Slayer."

Giles chuckles and Faith can't help but smirk. They'd heard that before but had never really cared about it. Their relationship didn't fall into the expected conventions, then again she'd probably be dead if it had. The thought of Kendra makes Faith's stomach twist. She looks over at the pretty blonde Slayer and Faith knows that in her past life she had been the popular girl, head cheerleader dating the star quarterback. In other words, completely unprepared for this life.

"So Blondie, how do you feel about dying?" Faith asks. "Cuz I can guarantee you know if you just stand there and follow his orders all of the time, you won't make it past a month."

"How dare you?" Wyndham-Pryce snarls as he went a lovely shade of red.

"How dare I what? Prepare her for her inevitable future? I know what your kind are like. You send out little girls to save the world while you remain comfortable inside your libraries drinking scotch."

"Enough Faith," Giles quietly commands. "Why don't you take Buffy out and show her the local haunts as it were?"

"Fine, but he'd better not be here when I get back."

Giles merely nods in her direction before turning his gaze on the younger Watcher. Faith knows better than to stick around so she grabs her backpack and the hand of the younger Slayer and left the library.

"Do you always talk to Watchers like that?" Buffy asks.

It startles Faith out of her own thoughts. The question had been quiet enough but still she casts her gaze about the bus to make sure no one had heard them.

"No, but ones like yours don't deserve an ounce of respect."

"How do you figure that? Without them we'd be nothing more than giant walking targets. They spend their time training us, guiding us and ensuring that we are ready to fulfill our destinies."

Faith sighs and she can't help but think that Buffy sounds exactly like a cult member, spewing ideology that's been shoved down her throat until she doesn't know any better. Kendra was exactly the same way. She's grateful that Giles had refused to let her read the Slayer's Handbook. She wondered if it was cursed or something to turn Slayers into pliable little victims.

"You wanna know why the Council doesn't like me or Giles much?" Faith hisses.

"Mr. Wyndham-Pryce said it was because the two of you are reckless."

"Hardly. They don't like us because we refuse to follow their rules. Do you know that most of us are dead within six months of being called?"

Before Buffy can answer, Faith yanks on the buzzer and then drags the younger Slayer off of the bus. Buffy shivers in the cold night air while Faith inhales deeply, enjoying the way that the cold air feels.

"What you do mean that Slayers are usually dead within six months of being called?"

"A Slayer who survives after a couple of years is a rarity. There's never been a Slayer who's retired but there's been a few who've made it well into their twenties. Something that the Council doesn't like."

"Why's that?"

"Think about it Buffy, do you think if you had been doing this for several years that you'd be malleable? Willing to always face death? Willing to have no life but Slaying?"

With that Faith tosses a stake at the younger Slayer and then walks into the cemetery. It takes Faith five minutes to find a nest of vampires and she puts the younger Slayer through the ropes as she tries to find out how good the younger Slayer is.

They're lying side by side on the damp grass, panting after cleaning out another nest. Faith likes the fact that despite having an idiot of a Watcher, Buffy can fight. She can definitely hold her own against vampires.

"He's not my first Watcher," Buffy offers in explanation.

"What?" Faith asks, surprised that the other Slayer knew her thoughts.

"Don't tell me that this wasn't some sort of test designed by you and Mr. Giles to see how good I am."

"Alright I won't."

"My first watcher died to protect me after I was called. He wasn't very conventional at all. But he taught me everything he could in the month that we had together. Mr. Wyndham-Pryce isn't too fond of my skills."

"Of course he wouldn't be, it might mean that you can handle yourself and actually live longer than six months."

"Why are you so obsessed with six months?" Buffy asks.

"Let's just say that Giles has family connections in the Council, he found out quite a bit about the lifespan of girls once they've been called and he's been very vocal against the way the Council tends to view us as expendable."

"That still doesn't answer my question about why you're obsessed with it."

Faith's lips compress into a tight line and she refuses to talk about Kendra. About how the other Slayer had been, how she had tasted when Faith had kissed her, how she felt when she had touched her, how Faith had lost her heart to her. How empty she had felt when Giles had told her that Kendra was dead. Not even five months after being called.

"I don't have to answer to you," Faith harshly bites out. She sighs before continuing. "Look I don't know about you but slaying always makes me hungry and horny, so let's get out of here."

"Uhm I am not really into girls," Buffy tells her.

"Who said I wanted you? I know this bar that we can get into and hang out. Maybe pick up a few guys to have some fun with. After all what's the point of slaying if we don't get to have some fun?"

Buffy reluctantly agrees and twenty minutes later they're in what could only be described as a dive of a bar. The only promising aspect was the fact that most of the people that were there were close in age to them.

"Have you met my friend Willie?" Faith asks as she gestures at the bartender.

"No."

"Willie this is Buffy, Buffy this is Willie. Treat her nice, okay?"

With that Faith slides off of the bar stool with a smirk and melts into the crowd. Buffy finds herself alone with the bartender who looks a little sleazy, then again what can she expect when someone makes their living selling alcohol to the underage.

"That Faith's a firecracker, ain't she?" Willie asks.

"Yeah, she certainly is," Buffy replies.

"So are you new in town?" Willie asks as he pours her a shot of something.

"Yes and I don't want anything."

"If I don't take care of you, Faith will kill me."

Buffy smiles and downs the alcohol. She's not sure what it is but it tastes bitter and it burns on the way down. Before she can say no, Willie's already filled the shot glass for a second time. They make small talk and she keeps drinking the shots that he pours for her. With each one, she seems to feel better for the first time since leaving Los Angeles and her parents. Before she can start thinking about their failing marriage and being locked up in a nuthouse before Wesley found her, Buffy's attention is drawn to Faith who's currently on the dance floor. The brunette is dancing like there's no tomorrow and she doesn't seem to care about the audience she's acquired.

"God she's hot," Buffy murmurs.

"She certainly is," Willie replies, leaning on the bar and watching Faith with the same intensity.

The crowd on the dance floor closes in and obscures their view of the brunette so Buffy turns around and downs another shot.

When Faith finally leaves the dance floor, she's sweaty and feeling good. She wouldn't mind going home with one of the guys that had been eyeballing her all night long but she has Buffy to worry about. When she reaches the bar, she finds Buffy slumped over on the bar, giggling at something Willie's just said to her. What's worse is that Willie isn't too sober either.

"What the fuck?" Faith snarls. "I told you to take care of her, not to get her drunk."

"It's okay," Willie says.

"No it's not okay," Faith says.

Buffy starts giggling at the two of them. For some reason the forlorn expression on Willie's face is the funniest thing that she's ever seen.

"Don't hurt him Faith, he likes you," Buffy says.

However it seems that there's a problem with what she's said and what Faith hears. Still she can't stop laughing.

"I've got to get her home, but I swear tomorrow you're going to pay for this."

Willie swallows and Buffy just laughs as Faith drags the younger Slayer off of the bar stool.

"But Faith, I don't wanna go," Buffy says.

"I don't care about what you want," Faith tells her.

"You sound just like Wesley. He's got a stick up his bum."

Faith sighs as she manages to get them to the door. Thankfully there's a cab that she half drags Buffy to. The other Slayer keeps stopping and laughing. Faith manages to push her into the cab and she tells the driver her address as she gets the seatbelt around the blonde. She doesn't dare take Buffy back to either Watcher. Giles might understand her habits but he has rules about alcohol consumption and the like. After all a Slayer can't protect herself if she's drunk.

By the time the cab pulls up in front of the apartment building that she calls home, Buffy's quieted down and it's easier for Faith to get her out of the cab and into the building. They make it up the four flights of stairs and into her apartment. They both fall down on the couch.

"I liked watching you dance," Buffy says.

"Uhm okay," Faith replies. "I think you should get some sleep."

"I'm not tired."

"I am."

"Really? I thought you could go for hours and hours. At least that's what Willie said."

"Don't believe everything he says," Faith tells her.

"But he told me such interesting things about you."

Before Faith can stop her, Buffy's crawling into her lap and kissing her. It feels good but Faith's not the type of girl who'll take advantage of someone like Buffy. The blonde's earlier words haunt her and she knows that this is most likely just the alcohol that she'd been drinking. Somehow she manages to pull herself away from Buffy and she manages to ignore the blonde's adorable pout.

"You're not into girls, remember?" Faith asks as she gently pushes Buffy off of her lap.

"Maybe you're my exception?"

"Maybe this is a conversation better had when you've had a little less to drink."

"You don't like me?"

"I barely know you," Faith quietly says.

Buffy pouts again. "But I wanna kiss you."

There's a part of her that wants nothing more than to give into Buffy and to kiss the blonde but she refuses to let herself get emotionally attached to the Slayer. She'd tried that before and it only ended up in heartbreak. And even if Kendra's ghost wasn't still haunting her (and Kendra's death the only reason why Buffy was here in Boston), well there's still her Watcher.

"Look, let's just get some sleep and if you still want to kiss me in the morning, well we can talk about it then?" Faith suggests as she runs a hand through her tangled curls.

"But I wanna kiss you now," Buffy says.

"I am going to kill Willie," Faith mutters. "Kill him and then bring him back and kill him again."

"But he really likes you," Buffy supplies. "He knows you'd never look at someone like him but he thinks that you're a good person."

"That's nice, but it doesn't matter."

Faith pulls Buffy up off the couch and guides her down the hallway and into the guest bedroom. She pauses at the door and she thinks about how Kendra was the last Slayer to stay here and she suddenly doesn't want Buffy in that room. It's illogical and irrational but she can't bare the thought of the blonde Slayer sleeping in that bed. She pulls Buffy out of the doorway and takes her to her room.

"You can sleep here."

"In your bed?" Buffy asks as she turns around and plasters herself against Faith's body.

"Yeah without me though," Faith tells her as she gently pries Buffy off of her.

"But what if I get scared?"

"You're a Slayer," Faith says. "And I told you that you need to sober up before I'll cross that line."

Buffy pouts and makes her way to the bed and Faith watches as the younger Slayer falls onto the bed. She doubts that this attraction on Buffy's part is anything more than just loneliness and alcohol. Even if it was, she's not sure if she can do anything about it.

"I'm not as drunk as you think I am," Buffy tells her.

"Doesn't matter, anyhow we've got a long day tomorrow."

Faith turns away and walks back down the hallway and lays down on the living room couch. There was a time when she would have taken everything that Buffy had to offer and not worried about the consequences but she can't afford to not be responsible. Giles and Kendra had taught her that. Tomorrow she'll wake up, help Buffy over her hangover and she'll let the blonde make the first move.

((END))