Note: This scene is from Whirlwind: Chapter Four, and was cut because it took the story in a comedic direction. Fortunately, Bobbi saved it and shared it with us!
Faith had been sitting still for the last fifteen minutes, her back resting comfortably against the large tree trunk, and the second she saw him approaching she felt relieved. He gave her a big grin and a wave as he headed over, and she couldn't help but smile back. She hadn't been this bored since the time she'd had to listen to Giles go on for a hundred hours on the "antecedents of tea cozies" or some other stupid English crap.
He sat down next to her, wriggling around until he was comfy.
"Hi, Crazy Girl."
"Toss all the insults ya want. What's in the bag?"
He lifted it to shoulder height and shook it back and forth slowly in front of her:
"Wouldn't you like to know?"
Her expression darkened:
"Xander, don't make me pound the piss outta ya and take it."
"Go ahead, Faith, I dare you."
She didn't move a muscle as she glared at him:
"Real funny. Wanna knock off the games?"
"Only if you promise you won't turn into Snatchy McGrabby. Some of this is mine and I'm starving too."
"Slayer's honor. I'll let you dish out the chow."
He nodded and then muttered a short phrase in Latin. Nothing happened.
"I'm trying! I don't get it, I'm pretty sure I said it right and…Oh wait…"
Xander dug into the pocket of his jeans and then repeated the phrase, tossing some powder in the air as he did. Faith instantly stretched, swearing under her breath.
"Fucking Red and her witch shit."
"Well, what do you expect when you keep running all day?"
"Wasn't running, I was just…Okay, maybe I was running, but I got rights."
He was rifling through the large paper bag:
"That you do, but since this was a time-sensitive delivery, we couldn't have you traipsing around in the vast wilderness, now could we?"
"Whatever. Just glad you're here. You can't believe how much you wanna when you can't move."
"Not to mention the nose itching."
She didn't answer him as she bent forward, her face brushing against the grass as she stretched until a moan of pleasure blew out of her.
"But at least you had an amazing view."
She looked at him between contortions:
"What the fuck ever. No clue why so many people love this outdoors crap. Ten minutes in, it's way too hot, the bird shit starts splashing down and I'm wishin' I had a slingshot."
He barely spared her a glance:
"Only you could turn something this beautiful into a 'rain on everybody's parade, let me kill something' kind of thing."
She stretched one last time, then straightened up.
"Just callin' it like I see it. Got any smokes?"
He dug into the bag and emerged with a pack.
"Thanks. Smoked my last one when the freaking sun started coming up and I…What the fuck's this shit?"
She thrust the pack at him.
"What the hell are these things?"
"I'm not exactly sure since my eyes are crossing, but I believe the package said something about being herbal."
"Then why they anywhere near me?"
"Buffy sent them."
He watched as her face close off in an instant when she heard the "B" word.
"Yeah? Well, take'em back and let her smoke'em, she likes'em so fucking much."
She crossed her arms over her chest and stared defiantly at the idyllic countryside. He was careful not to laugh at her, which considering her resemblance to a pouting five year old, was pretty hard to do.
"So, wanna see what else I brought?"
"Oh yeah, can't wait for my granola bar and dried peach chips."
"Oh ye of little faith, and with a name like yours, that's tough to pull off."
She rolled her eyes:
"Just gimme somethin'."
He pulled out a six pack of beer.
"Yeah! Now we're talkin', Cyclops!"
"And it's not nearly over."
He hauled out three gigantic roast beef subs, two of which he handed to her, and a family sized bag of potato chips. She was all smiles as she unwrapped a sandwich.
"You are my hero. Any dessert?"
"Faith, Faith, who do you think you're dealing with? Of course there's dessert."
Her mouth was already full of roast beef, but Xander was totally in fluent in "Faith", no matter the circumstance.
"Andrew's chocolate cake, fresh from the counter. It's kind of messy because I had to smash it into a container when he started coming back, but it's all ours."
Faith nodded as she grabbed a handful of chips:
"Tastes the same no matter what it looks like."
"My thoughts exactly."
They ate without talking and when they were finished, Faith gestured at the last beer:
"Yours if ya want it."
Xander patted his stomach:
"I'd better not. Me exploding all over the countryside is probably not a good thing."
"Yep, all yours."
She unscrewed the lid and took a long swig before leaning her head back against the tree with her eyes closed.
"Damn, Cyclops, that was bitchin'. Only thing that coulda made it better…"
The sound of a lighter and the soft smell of smoke wafting through the breeze had her eyes opening.
He handed her the lit cigarette with his most boyish grin.
"Smuggled out right under the Buffster's nose."
"Long as they weren't up your ass...They weren't, were they?"
"Nope, just securely taped to the bottom of the beer carrier."
She took a huge drag and blew it out leisurely.
"You really are the best, ya know?"
He smiled happily at the sincere compliment.
"I take pride in my wingman work."
"And ya oughta. You kick everybody's ass right to the curb."
They gave each other a high five all complete with their secret handshake, then sat in a comfortable silence. After a while, Xander spoke up:
"Man, sure is nice out here."
"Yeah, it is."
She lit another cigarette, then pointed to a tree off to the right:
"Got a nest of birds up in that tree over there, Mom and Dad both looking out for'em. Had to stick my jacket under 'cause this one little guy keeps getting too close to the edge."
He smirked at her:
"Slingshot, cushy jacket landing pad…Yep, you sure are a hard ass, Faith."
"What? I supposed to just let some little kid bird break his neck?"
He bumped shoulders with her, then wrapped her up tight in a one-armed hug.
"I'm so glad you're home."
"That's great. Now wanna get off me 'fore you start bawlin'?"
But he didn't miss the way she leaned into the hug or the light as air kiss she snuck on his cheek as they separated. They sat quietly, listening to the soothing sounds of nature all around them, until Faith finished her cigarette and carefully extinguished the butt. She dragged her hand through her hair and sighed.
"Guess you wanna know what the deal is."
"I'd like to. I think I've figured most of it out, but I'd rather hear it from the horse's mouth."
"Did ya ask B?"
"I tried, but Buffy currently can't stop smiling long enough to form sentences that make sense."
Faith turned to look at him:
"No, she's deliriously, wildly off the charts happy. On a scale of 1-10, the Buffster's a solid five thousand."
"So Satsu's okay then?"
Xander's confusion was plain to see as their eyes met:
"Thomas the Tank Engine chugs around town."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"I don't know, Faith, but it makes as much sense as you bringing up Satsu."
The tone of her voice made it sound like she was talking to a slowwitted three year old.
"You said B's happy, so must be because her girl's okay."
He nodded understandingly:
"Ah yes, of course. Except that's completely stupid and completely wrong."
"Buffy's happier than I've ever seen her before, Faith, and that's got nothing to do with Satsu, who is most definitely not her girl."
Faith stood up, trying her best to look casual.
"Well, whatever. Nothin' to do with me."
"That's not how I heard it."
She avoided eye contact as she began pacing back and forth in front of him.
"No clue where you got your info, but…"
"I got it from the other horse's bedroom."
"That supposed to make some kinda sense?"
Xander nodded, more than confident in his sense making abilities.
"I went to see Buffy last night, like I usually do. She doesn't always sleep well, so I pretend I'm reporting something and we just talk for awhile. Sometimes I even make us hot chocolate."
"Nice of you."
"She wasn't there last night."
Faith stopped pacing, a study in innocent stillness.
"…Musta been with Satsu."
"Now a person not in the know might think that, but there are two problems with such a scenario. One – Buffy always stays in her room and Two – Satsu was in the infirmary due to the fact that she was all beaten up and infirm."
Faith was silent, her face revealing nothing, but Xander wasn't fooled.
"So factoring in your big, loud freak out with Giles before the sun was even up, the Buffster's bright and shiny morning after mood, and your all day scaredy cat behav…"
"I am not a scaredy cat!"
"So what would you call it?"
"It's…it's complicated, Xander."
He laughed and patted the ground next to him. She tried to ignore him, but as usual it did her no good.
"Faith, don't make me come over there and get you."
"Right, like you could."
"Not in the conventional sense, no, but I know where your ticklish spots are and I'm not afraid to use them.
He patted the ground again.
"Come on, make it easy on both of us."
She gave up and sat down next to him.
"Thank you. Okay, so you were saying?"
"All I said was it's complicated."
"Well of course it is, it's you and Buffy. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, and you guys are from…"
"Uranus, I know."
"Not exactly how I was going there, but yes."
She was quiet, but he knew to wait her out and it didn't take long.
"Xand, can I tell you something?"
"You know you can."
"Last night? I fucked up big time with B, so bad I don't think there's any way to fix it."
She could feel her emotions starting to overwhelm her, but Xander reached out and held her hand.
"No such place, Faith."
"Yeah, there is and I found it."
"Okay, so let's say that's true. What's your plan?"
"Well, I wanted to motor, but Giles says I gotta stick. Much as it pissed me off this morning, he's right. I got a job to do and I'm gonna do it."
Xander's hand squeezed hers:
"Of course you are, Slay Gal."
"So best strategy I came up with is to stay outta B's way 'til it's over, then haul ass. So far, so good."
"Have you considered talking things over with her?"
Faith laughed and it wasn't the happiest of sounds:
"Right. I already know how that goes, so think I'll just skip it."
Xander squinted at her, his head cocked.
"Faith, I just told you how happy she is and if you'd give her a chance to…"
"One of a billion things. Nah, I'd rather play it safe than get my ass handed to me in pieces. End of."
"Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but staying out of Buffy's way isn't going to be that simple. We're having a meeting in…"
He glanced at his watch.
"…two hours and thirty-eight minutes."
"We goin' after'em tonight?"
"Nope, high noon tomorrow."
"B's idea, right?"
"Yep. We were all so focused on getting the Scythe back, we overlooked our biggest tactical advantage."
"Yeah, easy mistake. B do her cute, modest thing?"
He stood and offered his hand, pulling her to her feet.
"She even blushed when Giles told her she was a 'bloody genius'."
Faith smiled as she pictured the scene, scooping up a stray piece of paper and stuffing it into the bag as Xander held it open.
"Yeah, she never seems to get how wicked perfect she is."
"Yep, the Buffster's about as close as anyone's ever going to get."
He folded the bag up tight, then linked his free arm with hers as they began strolling along. They kept walking, Faith so lost in thought it took her a few of minutes before she realized the castle was suddenly in sight dead ahead. Her pace slowed to a crawl.
"Listen, Xand, way I figure it, why do I even gotta be there? You can always just give me the report and…"
"I don't know, I just know that Buffy said to tell you that your presence is mandatory and you'd better be there."
Faith came to an abrupt standstill:
"What happens if I don't show up?"
Xander could see the steam beginning to emerge, he could even hear it in her voice.
"She didn't say, but she was definitely all business, so…."
"Who the fuck does she think she's talking to? I don't take orders from her."
"Okay now, let's not fly off the handle here. I think Buffy just wanted to make it clear it was important that you be there and…"
"And that she thinks I'm some Flunkysu just waiting for her to boss me the fuck around."
"Okay, so she's the big shit in this little toilet bowl of a country. Doesn't give her the right to..."
"I think maybe you're overreacting just a little and Scotland's actually a really nice…"
"…make with the threats either. She can shove her 'mandatory' right up her ass!"
He was jerked off balance as Faith suddenly started moving forward again.
"Stop fucking draggin' your feet! I wanna hear Her Highness tellin' me my presence is 'mandatory'. I don't give a shit how fucking pissed she is, I'm not gonna be a lapdog or start beggin' for forgiveness either. I gave her her shot to leave and she didn't take it. She knew what the deal was and she decided stay, so no way does she get to flip it all around on me now."
"Right, of course. But I still think you might still be overreacting. Why don't we just…"
"I'm not sorry about last night, Xander. It fucking meant somethin' to me and I'm not gonna pretend it didn't! I'm also not taking orders from God's gift to pastels just 'cause she…"
Their linked arms, which had become him desperately trying to hold onto her, parted ways as he stood there watching her go at a pace best described as "Slayer Brisk". He had no hope of keeping up and her voice quickly faded into the distance. And here he'd always been positive that once the sexual tension got resolved between the Slayers, things would calm down. Evidently, just like with everything else, Buffy and Faith were going to be following their own rules.
He began jogging towards the castle because he didn't want to miss the impending fireworks There was rarely a dull moment at Slayer Central and now with Buffy and Faith in a relationship, he felt certain there never would be again. He patted himself down and realized that he'd left his wallet in his room. Not that it mattered; he wasn't going to pay Buffy right in front of Faith anyway. Some secrets had to be kept.
"But Buff, you want to talk to her. If I say that, won't it just make her mad?"
Buffy never even glanced up, intent on safely re-taping the cigarettes to the six pack of Sam Adams.
"And your point is?"
He looked at her in confusion:
"You want me to go have lunch with Faith, then tell her you said she has to be at the meeting?"
"Yep, tell her it's mandatory or else. There, perfect! The way you had them, they were going to get crushed."
She admired her handiwork for a few seconds, then carefully put the beer back into the paper bag.
"But Buffy, if I say that, she's just going to leave."
"No she's not."
"Yes, she is. You know as well as I do that she hates being ordered around and…"
"Twenty dollars, Xander."
Buffy smiled happily as she took the container of stolen cake from his hand:
"Twenty dollars says that no more than five minutes after you tell her I ordered her to be at the meeting, she'll be right in my face."
"I don't think so. I mean, she's already mad and she's been avoiding you all day. She's just going to refuse to show up at all or ever if you..."
Buffy stuck out her hand:
"Put your money where your mouth is."
He saw the confident look in her eye and shook his head sadly:
"Okay. If you're so determined to give your hard earned money away, I might as well be the one to catch it."
They shook, her grip firm and her smile still in place.
"But don't rush her. She's upset, so take all the time you guys need to do the best friend thing. She always feels a lot better after you talk stuff out."
"Yeah, well she's helped me out a lot too. She's a great listener."
"She definitely can be, and you guys have a beautiful friendship. It makes me really happy for you both…just not as happy as I am for myself. And for her. For me and her."
The second he'd seen the dreamy, contented look on Buffy's face, he was rooting for her to win their bet, and now in the actual moment of her victory, Xander found twenty dollars a small price to pay. At the speed Faith was moving, she was going to be in Buffy's face in less than three minutes, and he couldn't help but smile. Buffy knew her girl and Faith was in good hands, the best. They were two Slayers in love and finally after all of these years, they knew it. Let the fireworks begin, Hamilton…no, Jackson included.
Talk about it here!