Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, 20th Century Fox, UPN and WB Television Networks own the television shows, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel". Dark Horse and IDW own the Comics. No copyright infringement is intended, no money is being earned by the owners of BuffynFaith.Net. Chapter 1: OneAuthor's Notes:
This one has been on FF for a while and as i haven't written anything in months I thought I'd stick it on here.
((AU - no slayers, demon's or mumbo jumbo here ))
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Oh my goddess, is that the time? She'll be here soon and I'm nowhere near ready. This was a mistake, it's all been a mistake. But how can I back out now, she's already on her way.
"Tara honey, are you ready yet?", my grandmother yelled up the stairs.
"Almost", I shouted back. My stutter never reared it's ugly head when I was at home with her. It was the only place I ever felt safe.
My hands were shaking as I tried to put on my mascara. I'd never worn it before. Well, that was that one time I did and I put it on so thick I looked like a panda. I remember Cordelia and her friends all laughing at me for even daring to look cool. So after that I slipped back into my comfort zone of chunky knitwear and unflattering skirts.
Ow! I poked myself in the eye. Ok, deep breaths Tara, deep breaths. I took a minute to calm myself as I reflected on how I ended up here. Was it really only yesterday morning that everything had changed?
It was just another day at Sunnydale High. Though I had been going here for two years my intensively shy nature made sure I had made no friends, even my teachers had trouble remembering my name. I really was part of the background and no-one cared if I was there or not.
Except for Cordelia.
The Queen of Sunnydale High and her troupe of easily lead sheep seemed to relish in making my life as miserable as they could. I always saw her with Harmony and her other mindless followers pointing and smirking at me before tripping me over in the cafeteria so the whole school could laugh at my humiliation. It happened more than once. As well as spreading rumors and making sure I was the butt of every joke, my torment seemed to be their pastime.
I was just too scared, too unpopular to fight back. I mean who am I kidding, I'm nothing. If the Cordettes want to taunt and ridicule me then I wouldn't stop them. I hoped if I ignored them they would get bored and find a new target. But no, they would ceaselessly run me down anyway they could.
As I put my books in my locker I turned to see them standing behind me like vultures around prone prey.
"Oh, look. If it isn't T-T-T-Tara", Cordelia mocked, "I like y-y-y-your skirt, good to see that G..G..Goodwill have your size"
"I-I-I didn't d-d-do..", I tried to answer but only fuelled their mirth.
"Do w-w-w-what? No-one cares about you, you're worthless.You're a fat, ugly, boring l-l-l-loser.", she continued as her friends cackled behind her.
She knocked my books from my hands as their laughter increased but, as I bent down to retrieve them, Cordelia shoved me into the lockers with a loud bang as my head cracked against the metal doors. It wasn't the first time this had happened and I'm sure it wouldn't be the last. This was my life. My single point of being at Sunnydale High was to be made fun of. I would cry about it later in my grandmother's arms but to do it now would be too easy for them to know they had won.... again.
I fought back my tears and tried to ignore the glares that came my way, but it was so hard.
But then I heard raised voices and the outbreak of a scuffle.
It was Faith.
She had started here about three months ago and had a reputation as a troublemaker. It was unjustified as I never saw her start a fight or cause trouble, just end it. I had overheard her say how much she hated the Cordettes and their bullying ways and how one day she would love to give them a taste of their own medicine.
The popular crowd didn't like Faith because she dressed the way she liked and wasn't shy about voicing her opinion. She wasn't ashamed of her sexuality, she freely admitted that she was a lesbian and didn't care if anyone liked her or not.
I think I fell in love with her the moment I saw those deep brown eyes of hers. I mean, how could you not? But I was just a wallflower, a nobody in the social circus, I could never tell her how I felt.
A gauntlet of laughter and gasps of surprise rang out as Faith dragged Cordelia along the hallway by her ear like a naughty child.
"Get off me you bitch!", the arrogant girl snapped back as she flailed her arms around helplessly.
They stopped right in front of me. The entire attention of the school was now on me. Oh my goddess! I couldn't help the blush that swallowed me whole as Faith stared at me and then back to Cordelia.
"Apologise to her right now", she demanded.
"No way I..", the Queen of Sunnydale High shouted but it turned into a squeal as Faith twisted her surgically altered ear even harder.
"Owww! I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry", came the high pitched apology.
"Now if I EVER hear you talk this way about her or any other girl...... I will rip out your lungs and shit in them, got that bitch?", she said with menace to the Queen who just nodded dumbly as her crown was now in serious danger of slipping.
I could see that Cordelia was shocked that someone would dare stand up to her, to have the bravery to risk social suicide by fighting back. But this vixen encased in leather just screamed 'I-don't-give-a-shit' with her very appearance. She might as well have 'Anti-Hero' tattooed on her knuckles.
Faith let her go and Cordelia stared at her in shock before her superiority streak kicked in as she walked away.
"Stupid dyke bitch", the embarassed Miss Chase snapped back over her shoulder.
"Oh that's it", Faith yelled and dragged Cordy back by the hair as she protested.
Faith dropped to one knee and dragged Cordelia over it and gave her a hard spanking...in front of the entire school! Her friends were too shocked to stop this humiliation and everyone else just laughed hysterically as someone finally had the gall to put the Queen firmly in her place. Cordelia's legs kicked in the air as she squealed in pain and shame as the blows rained down on her ass before Faith dumped her on the floor.
The fun was short lived however.
"Faith, my office. Now!", shouted Principal Woods as the laughing crowd parted.
"In a minute", she yelled back defiantly before turning to me, "You ok?"
"I'm Faith", she said bluntly as I tried to find my voice which was currently wrapped up in joy at Cordelia's shame and my very noticeable attraction to this girl.
"Faith!", Mr Woods once more yelled cutting me off in my moment. She just rolled her eyes and wandered off to his office smiling brightly and accepting the high five's of Kennedy and Xander whom she had quickly become best friends with.
"Damn girl, you know how long I've been waiting to see Cordy get her shits?", Kennedy crowed in admiration.
"Well Circle-K, next time we'll both do it!", she yelled back loud enough for the now standing, but silently weeping, Cordelia to hear it. Once those words had latched on to her ears her friends desperately tried to hide their giggles as Cordelia just wore an expression like she had just been slapped in the face with a half filled catheter bag. She stomped her foot in frustration and stormed off as the Cordettes sidled off after her.
I wished I would die right there and then just to preserve this moment as life didn't get any better than this. The rest of the day was a blur and as much as I tried I couldn't keep the smile off of my face. The girl I had dreamed of many times stood up for me....for ME!!
When I got home I couldn't wait to tell Grandma. Usually I would just spend each evening time crying in her arms at the latest round of bullying but today I was so happy my stammer dissolved as I told her the whole story. She smiled warmly at my enthusiastic retelling of the events that had made the school, for once, seem a little less like an exercise in masochism.
"Why don't you ask her over for dinner...to say thankyou", Grandma asked.
"WHAT? I..I...I can't she's l..l..like the c..c..coolest..". My stutter had returned with a vengeance.
Grandma just stroked my arms lovingly as she fully understood the situation.
My Mom died when I was ten and since then I'd lived with my Dad and my brother. When I was fifteen I realised I was gay but it wasn't something I could confide in them about. When my Dad found the girl-on-girl magazine I hid under my bed he slapped me across the face and said "I'd rather you were a fucking whore than a filthy fucking dyke!". He sent me to live with my Grandma, but once I had 'overcome my sickness' I could come home again. Huh, not likely.
"You like her don't you?", Grandma asked in her sweetest tone. She knew about my sexuality and was entirely supportive of me, she was my Mom's Mom and said she could see so much of her in me.
I just nodded and dropped my head embarassed at how much she knew me.
"Tara, sweetie. There's nothing to be ashamed of, just ask her. What do you have to lose?"
Faith was the coolest girl in school. She did what she wanted but always managed to stop from going a step too far. She worked in that skater shop downtown, she has a motorbike and a tattoo. Everyone wanted to be her or be friends with her. Except for the rich popular kids, but she had no time for them anyway. What did I have to lose? Where do I even start?
After all, who am I? I live with my grandma, I work in her knitting shop on Saturdays, I like old poetry and farmers markets. I've never been on a date, I've never even been kissed. When I was a child there were those games in the schoolyard but since I hit puberty and realised my true sexual orientation I had never had a real kiss. From anyone. If there is someone un-cooler than me in Sunnydale I'd like to meet them.
Grandma's words rang in my brain all night until I decided that for once in my life I would be brave, I would be courageous, I would be....not me.
The next day I waited and waited for Faith to be alone before I could summon the courage to even approach her. She was the talk of the school and her popularity had skyrocketed overnight, what chance did I have even to talk to her? After lunch I saw my opportunity as she stood by the drinking fountain. I closed my eyes and gave myself a mental pep-talk. Or at least tried to.
"Are you followin' me?"
"Huh?", I blurted out not even noticing that Faith was now standing in front of me.
"I said are you followin' me? I've seen you hovering around the lockers every time I turn around. What your problem?"
I've messed up, I got this all wrong. What was I even thinking? I turned around to leave but a soft yet firm hand on my arm stopped me.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to snap at you. It's just Woodsie givin' me shit y'know", she sighed.
"D-did you g-g-get in t-trouble...", I attempted to ask but it came out as a mass of jumbled sounds barely above a whisper.
"For yesterday? It was nothing, just a month of detention, no biggie".
"I j-j-just w-wanted to s-say th-thankyou"
"It's cool, small price to pay for putting that bitch in her place. Besides, seeing that smile on your face.... is all the reward I need", then she flashed me that dimpled smile that had made me fall for her in the first place.
Was she flirting with me? WITH ME?! Oh, be serious Tara, she flirts with everyone, she doesn't mean anything by it, grow up.
"I-I-I thought y-you..."
"Come on Tara, spit it out", she encouraged sweetly.
"Y-y-you know m-my name?"
"I made it my business to find out, now what were you tryin' to ask me?", she said as she took me by the hand. She didn't seem to mind it's clamminess.
"I..I...", ok Tara, deep breath, "My-Grandma-wanted-to-know-if-you-wanted-to-come-over-for-dinner-to-say-thankyou-for-yesterday".
Wow, I didn't stammer. But then again I did just say that whole sentence in about two seconds.
"S-sorrry, I didn't m-m-mean....wait, did you j-just s-s-say.."
"Ok? Yep, sure did. What time?", Faith replied with an honest smile.
"Seven it is, er, where d'ya live T?"
T? Oh, sweet Minerva, I've heard she only gives nicknames to people she likes. DON'T mess this up Tara!
I scribbled my address and phone number down on a piece of paper which, due to my shaking hands, may not even be legible.
"Coolio, seeya tonight", she said as she slipped the paper into her pocket and gave me a quick peck on the cheek.
She...Faith...kissed me....Tara? I think I may just die right now.
So that's why I'm desperately trying to apply my make up. To make myself seem slightly less like the geek that I am.
I felt so...exposed. Naked almost. I wanted to wear my baggy sweater and long skirt but Grandma convinced me to wear that white sun dress with red roses printed all over. She bought it for me when I first moved in with her but I never had the courage, nor the reason, to wear it. I just wore sandals and a thin cardigan with it. I could feel my shoulders hunch as I tried to shrink into myself as I started to second guess everything.
"Are you re...", Grandma asked as she came into my room, obviously not wanting to shout up the stairs again.She stopped in her tracks and I saw her tear up a little.
"Oh Tara, you're so beautiful"
"I'm not Grandma", I whispered back as I wrapped my arms around my body attempting to hide within my own body.
"Yes you are, sweetie. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It's just...the make up.."
"I know, I can't do it", I moaned in frustration
"Sit down, let me do it", she said.
Within minutes she had my make up done perfectly and I couldn't believe how pretty I looked. Before I could thank her the doorbell rang.
Oh goddess, she's here! Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap!
"Tara, calm down. Answer the door and greet your friend", Grandma said coolly to try and take the edge off my panic. Didn't really work but I appreciated the effort.
I put my wobbling hand on the handle of the front door and tried to steady my breathing. Once I opened it I wanted to run as there she was.
To see me of all people.
Dammit, couldn't my stutter leave me alone for five minutes?
"Hi Tara, you look beautiful", she said as she eyed me up and down seemingly impressed as the effort I had made. But then again so had she, no leather, no t-shirts with esoteric band names on them, just a smart looking black pant suit with a mauve silk shirt. She looked hot!
"Tara?", Grandma asked from behind me.
"Oh, er, t-t-this is..", I tried to introduce them but to save my blushes, and time, Grandma took over.
"You must be Faith, I'm Tara's grandmother"
"Pleasure to meet you, Ma'am", she said with an uncustomary politeness as they shook hands, "Oh, these are for you".
Faith handed Grandma a large bunch of orchids as they both shared a smile. I felt a little sad that they weren't for me but, damn this girl was smooth.
"Thankyou Faith, that's very sweet of you. I'll just go put them in some water, Tara why don't you get your friend a drink".
I think Grandma relished in that even more than I did. My FRIEND. She knew how lonely and sad I was but here, in our hallway, was the one light in the darkened tunnel that was my life. Before I could offer her a drink Faith reached around to the back of her belt and pulled out a red long stemmed rose that had been tucked into her waistband. In an overly dramatic gesture she handed it to me.
"This...is for you", she said with a wink.
I blushed as I smelt it's delicate scent. It was the most beautiful thing anyone had ever given me.
Wait. Did she think this was a date? Me...on a date? But I was in my own house. I'm so confused.
As I held the rose in my trembling hands she took off her jacket and hung it up. When she turned back to me my mind went blank, after all, what do you say to the girl you have pined for and masturbated over for the last few months?
"Girls, dinner", Grandma shouted as she opened the oven. A coupling of words that was like a life preserver for me as I was certainly drowning here.
Faith followed me into the kitchen and pulled out my chair for me. But, like a complete fool, I just stood there staring at her drinking in every facet of her. The way she exuded confidence in every little thing she did, the way her eyes sparkled when she looked at my breasts, goddess, this was all I ever wanted in life and I was acting too much like...well, like me actually.
Making a grand sweeping gesture with her hand she let me sit down and took the seat next to me.
As we ate I couldn't help but see the looks that Faith kept throwing me. What was I going to do?
"Hey, Mrs..er, sorry I don't know your name", my new friend said. My friend! How sweet was that sound.
"Please, call me Helen", Grandma said back with that warm smile that all loving grandparents have.
"Ok, Helen it is. Well, Helen this is really great, I love lasagne", Faith gushed as she heaped another helping into her mouth. The sauce glistened on her lips and I felt my heart shift into a higher gear. I had noticed how she always had lasagne when it was on the menu at school so I specifically asked Grandma to make it, goddess, do I sound like a stalker or what?
I watched as Faith shifted in her seat and smiled at me strangely, which turned into a frown of confusion.
"Er, Faith", Grandma started.
"That's my leg"
"Huh?", Faith replied as she quickly pulled her leg back and cracked her knee on the bottom of the table.
I tried to stifle my giggles and Grandma smiled widely as, much to my surprise, Faith blushed. I didn't think it was physically possible for her to, but now? Wow.
Once dinner was over Grandma tidied up the kitchen and she insisted that we go outside to enjoy the evening air. I was so scared to be left alone with this girl I wasn't simply crushing over as, after her efforts tonight, I was now head over heels in love with her. Help!
Faith grabbed her jacket and followed me outside into the small, but well tended, garden. We sat on the porch swing in silence before I shuddered at the cool temperature that had descended on us. Without a word Faith put her jacket around my shoulders, how could I not fall even further for her now?
"So T, I'm guessing you haven't dated much?"
"I-I-I, no I.."
"S'cool. 'Cos I was thinking, if no-one else had asked ya, I think I'd kinda like to", she said with a hopeful echo.
"I w-w-well". Oh voice, please don't let me down now. Please!
"Nothing fancy. Dinner, movie, goodnight kiss. Y'know, just the usuals", she smirked.
I couldn't help the blush that fluorished on my skin.
"Surely you've been kissed, T?"
Oh, goddess. Kill me. She's going to think I'm a complete loser now.
"You've never been kissed? Now that I cannot believe", she said with a small chuckle as my blush rose to a shade of scarlet and I let my hair fall across my face the way I always did when I was embarassed.
Sensing my discomfort her tone changed abruptly.
"Tara", came the gentle voice, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to laugh at you. I just can't believe that a girl as pretty as you has never been kissed. You know you're a really pretty girl don't you?"
My mouth opened and closed without sound as I waited to wake up. This girl that I had thought about every second for every day was here...at my house....telling me that I was pretty. This couldn't be real.
Her tender hands reached for my face and swept my hair back behind each ear so she could see me properly. I tried to pull away but she just put her fingers under my chin and gently raised it until our gazes met. Once they did I saw nothing but warmth and kindess swimming in those beautiful orbs
"Tara, I really want to kiss you now. Is that ok?"
My heart pounded as I nodded my consent. Cupping my face in her hands she moved forward and teasingly brushed her lips against mine. She leant in a little closer and our lips connected fully and I swear that the stars wept in jealousy as this was the most perfect, tender, beautiful moment they were ever likely to witness. I felt my breath lodge in my chest as I submitted completely to her loving kiss and, even though I thought these emotions were confined to just trashy romance novels, I swooned at her moist touch.
As she pulled away I could still feel her on me. I wanted that feeling to last forever.
My eyelids fluttered open to see a clearly amused Faith staring back with unguarded eyes.
"Now I own your first kiss. You can tell everyone you'll ever meet in your entire life that your first kiss came from Faith Lehane"
"What....what if I said I wanted all my kisses to come from Faith Lehane?", I asked not sure where my stutter had been vanquished to.
"What are you saying T? You want to be my girl?"
I tried to nod my head but honestly, what was I thinking? A woman like this and a girl like me?
"Tara, you are the sweetest, gentlest person I have ever met. You're probably the only genuine person in this town..."
"Including you?", I interrupted.
"Oh, especially me. I'm full of shit".
I let out a giggle at her self deprecation and in return she flashed her fully dimpled smile back at me before continuing.
"I've seen you around school and I always wanted to come say hi but you always ran off before I could get the chance. So when I saw that bitch hasslin' you, well, I wanted to..."
"You wanted to be my knight in shining leather?"
"Something like that yeah. So Tara, do you want to be my girl?", she said she took my hand and run her thumb over my knuckles.
Faith's lips pressed against mine one more time as I knew I didn't want to be her girl, I knew I WAS already hers. I was so absorbed in the moment that I wrapped my arms around her neck and pulled her in further as our tongues slithered into each others mouths as my senses imploded at the notion of being with her.
And as we kissed I knew that this was forever.
So, sometimes the geek does get the girl.
THE END.....for now.