Chips
by Buffonia

Willow bit her lip as her friends' faces absorbed the news. She could barely feel Cordy squeezing her sweaty hand, but she managed to toss a nervous smile towards her girlfriend. Cordelia smiled back encouragingly.

"You're what?" Buffy squeaked.

"We're a couple..." Willow repeated herself, her voice weakening.

"A couple of what?" Xander asked, his shocked gaze jumping from his ex-girlfriend to his best friend.

"I think she means a couple of lesbians," Faith smirked. Her smile grew as she watched Giles begin to polish his glasses and furrow his brow. "Good for them," she added with a nod.

"But-but you're not-" Xander gestured to Cordelia, who just raised a brow in reply. "And you!" He began pointing frantically to Willow. "You can't---" He took a deep breath. "There are rules!"

"Rules?" Willow scrunched up her nose in confusion.

"Possibly laws," Xander continued still flabbergasted. "Or there should be. This is too much for one guy! You can't just take a fantasy and taint it like this! It's very, very mean!"

Buffy tilted her head to the side, she had a distant, unfocused look in her eyes. "I have to go..." she began with a faraway tone, and headed to the doors. "I have to think, or possibly kill something."

"Buffy, wait!" Willow caught her friend's arm and the blonde slayer stopped. "You already went on patrol. Remember head wound?" Willow tapped her own head.

Instinctively, Buffy reached up and fingered the bandage above her eyebrow. "Oh, right." She turned and went to sit back in her seat at the table.

Giles cleared his throat, "I think it's time we-"

"Had cake?" Cordelia finished for him, she was still holding a frosting covered knife in the hand that Willow wasn't clinging to for dear life.

"Yes, a welcome distraction indeed," Giles forced a weak smile.

Cordelia passed a cake plate to Giles and Faith. No one else seemed especially hungry. Willow eyed Xander and Buffy, both were silent and seemingly deep in thought. She didn't like to leave things so open but she knew that she had to wait for them to come to terms with it all.

Faith, after declining the offer of plasticware, broke off cake bits and popped them into her mouth. She hopped onto the table in front of the other slayer.

"You cool, B?" she asked while chewing a mouthful of cake. Buffy, pulled out of her reverie, looked up with an almost startled expression.

"Uh, yeah, I'm fine." Buffy stood and glanced at Giles. "I'm gonna go look for some info on the demon things that attacked us."

Her watcher nodded, "there could be some helpful resources on my desk."

"Thanks." Buffy disappeared into his office.

"I think I'll give her hand," Willow said with an apologetic glance to Cordy. The brunette nodded understandingly before taking a bite of her own piece of cake.

Willow entered Giles' office and closed the door behind her. "Hey..."

"Hey." Buffy didnít look up from the book she was leafing through.

"Need any help?" Willow asked innocently.

"Other than the professional kind? No, I'm good." There was an awkward pause before Buffy sighed and shut the book. Finally she raised her eyes to Willow, there was a hurt in them where the previous blankness had been. "Why didn't you tell me?"

Willow looked confused for a moment. "Um, but I just did. Hence the wig."

"Before," Buffy stated. "Why didn't you tell me about this before?"

"You mean before the party?" Willow asked, she still wasn't clear on which and how many issues Buffy was wounded about.

"Before you told everyone else. Way before," Buffy continued. "I'm supposed to be your best friend Will. Friends don't not tell friends about things like this. Why didn't you come to me when you first realized that you were getting... lusty about... girls."

"Girl. Non-plural," Willow corrected her friend, moving from the doorway to sit next to Buffy. "It's not like I set up a camera in the locker room Buffy. Cordelia's different, I can't explain it."

"Well, try," Buffy pleaded. "Because, honestly, the thought of you wanting Cordelia Chase hurts my brain more than the hidden camera scenario."

"I guess some things just choose you," said Willow. "You of all people should understand that."

Buffy thought about this for a moment. "I can't sympathize with you on this. I'm sorry." Her voice bore a lack of confidence that would have startled Willow if she weren't so put off by the words themselves.

"I guess it's a good thing I don't need sympathy then, Buffy, I'm happy."

"I'd like to state, for the record, that I'm totally dodging an easy pun on account that I'm still too deep in shock," Xander's voice caused the girls to look over to the doorway in which he stood .

"How long have you been there?" Willow frowned.

"I came in around you not putting a camera in the girls' locker room." Xander shrugged. "For some selfish reason I fail to understand."

"Well I'm glad you're both here because I think we should really talk about this," the redhead resolved.

"Check and check," Buffy said. "When did this whole thing start?"

"Yeah," Xander said slowly. "Was it before or after she broke up with me for kissing you?"

"Do you actually think this could have possibly been going on while you two were going out?"

"Oh right. We should definitely be going by logical, realistic standards as we stand on the mouth of Hell and discuss your newfound gayness," Xander retorted sardonically.

"It sort of began that night at the Bronze when Buffy tried to talk to Cordy about everything. Remember how I left early?" Her friends nodded in unison and she continued. "Well, I ran into her in the parking lot and we were attacked by vamps--"

"Hey wait a sec," Xander interrupted. "Did you guys get trapped in a basement. Because if so, then I no longer blame you. But someone should have a talk with Cordelia about her coping mechanisms."

Willow furrowed her brow. "Basement? No...she just drove me home and then slept over."

"You guys slept together after the first date?" Xander's voice rose accusingly.

"Date?" Willow gave an exasperated sigh. "Xander are you even having the same conversation as I am? No date...fleeing from vampires!"

Buffy raised her hand slowly. "Not to take sides but post fleeing-from-vamps sleepovers always leads to smooches."

"We didn't kiss that night, nothing sexual happened!"

"I didn't say it led to immediate smooches," Buffy said quietly, lowering her arm.

Both Xander and Willow looked at each other and then back to the blonde, they realized where the nostalgia came from.

Buffy sighed, "Me and Angel are done. We talked about it and agreed it would be better to not see each other. Ever." She gracefully breezed over the whole 'couldn't be friends' part, for the best, she reasoned.

Willow half-smiled to her friend, sympathetically. "I'm sorry Buffy."

She nodded. "So I'm happy for you Will. Not in a jump for joy kind of way. But after werewolves, vampires--"

"Praying mantises, mummy girls--" Xander interrupted.

"Robots, demon robots," Buffy continued. "that by Sunnydale relationship standards, lesbianism just isn't a big wig."

"Well maybe not an old school French wig, but at least a Tina Turner wig," Xander reasoned. "Still, can we focus on how my beef isn't with lesbianism here, it's the lesbianism with my ex-girlfriend?"

Willow winced. "I can see how that could be weird but..."

"Oh you so don't get to be in the 'but' club," Xander held up his index finger to her. "My beef here is way too big for a 'but'." Xander laughed nervously. "What I mean is..."

"I'm sorry Xander," Willow's bottom lip pouted out a little bit. "Not for being with Cordy, but because it puts you in the place you're in."

Xander breathed in slowly. "Thanks Will." He smiled. "You know I wouldn't complain about the place I'm in if such a place involved chocolate syrup and--"

"Unless this sentence ends with milk and a spoon," Buffy quirked a brow. "Silence is your friend."

"So are we good?" Willow asked, watching the two of them hopefully.

Buffy smiled back. "We're good."

Willow threw her arms around the slayer, and Xander enveloped both girls, completing the group hug.

"Hands Xander," Buffy warned.

"Sorry, thought that was my breast."

Cordelia poked her head into the room. "Hey guys?" They pulled apart and looked to the brunette. "You left me, Faith and Giles alone in there. After complimenting the cake a few times in various different ways, we ran out of conversation ideas from our Things-In-Common list. Which pretty much consisted only of liking the cake."

"We party now?" Xander asked.

"Well we've just reached a trying milestone in our lives." Buffy nodded resolutely. "We so party."

Willow smiled to Cordelia, who took it as a sign that all was well in Scooby world.

"Are we out of the line of fire?" Cordy asked Willow as they headed back into the library part of the library. Willow nodded.

"We choose to make love, not war," Xander grinned at the two girls, who he did care about and was glad that they were, well, happy. He mentally noted that Cordelia dodged an easy comeback.

"Yes, we can be quite peaceable folk," Buffy added.

 

Buffy slugged the vamp in the jaw and grabbed him by the shoulders, tossing him to the side as his also pointy-toothed buddy rushed her from behind. She kicked backwards, hitting him in the stomach. While it doubled over, she pivoted on her right foot, bringing her left across its cheek.

The first vampire was back on its feet and he grabbed her arms, pinning them securely against her spine.

"Hey no fair!" Buffy tried to tug her limbs out of its grasp. "He didn't tag you yet!" The one in front of her backhanded her across her face.

"Tagged you," he laughed.

"Gee, I guess that means I'm 'it'," Buffy replied with mock innocence. She extended her leg out to greet his groin. She then bent her leg and jerked it back, into the knee of the vamp that was holding her. He dropped her to the ground.

"Two boys against one girl?" Buffy pouted. "I'm a little worried that this is bordering on gender inequality." She flipped back, giving her more of a buffer zone. "Can we make this more PC?" She asked them.

They stopped and exchanged a look. "You mean like getting a girly pal to make it two girls against two boys?" one snorted.

"Actually I was thinking more like two slayers against two vampires," Buffy smiled. "Faith!"

On the other side of the bushes, Faith head butted the vamp she was fighting. Hearing Buffy's distress call, she ducked and staked it.

"Sorry," she shrugged unapologetically to it as it turned to dust. "Something suddenly came up." Faith dodged branches as she pushed through the bushes to where Buffy was fending off the two vamps.

"You rang?" Faith tackled one and rolled over repeatedly. When they stopped it was perched atop the brunette. Buffy's adversary knocked her off balance and then climbed upon her in a similar fashion.

"Hey B?" Faith asked as she struggled beneath the vampire.

"Yeah?" Buffy replied, also attempting to wriggle free.

"I'm more of a 'top' girl myself." She rolled over, situating herself above the demon.

"Well I can't speak from experience." She moved her head from side to side as the vamp continually punched the ground, missing her face. "But I'm open to new things." She copied Faith's movement and rolled the vamp beneath her.

In unison, the slayers were thrown from the vamps and, also in unison, they jumped to their feet. Their foes growled as Buffy went one way and Faith the other, until the girls were across from each other, and the vampires caught in between.

"Undead monkey in the middle!" Faith yelled and advanced on the vamp that was facing her. She pierced its chest and tossed the stake to Buffy. Faith's victim was barely dust before Buffy caught the stick and lunged at the last one. She jabbed the wood through its heart but used a bit too much forward momentum, causing her to fly through the ashes and on to Faith. Knocking both girls to the ground.

Faith grinned and peered up at the blonde. "Guess you kind of liked that whole on top thing after all, huh?"

Buffy knew she could, not to mention should, have gotten to her feet right then. And she was a little startled at her own procrastination. She looked from Faith's eyes to her lips. Both seemed equally still in anticipation.

Finally Buffy placed both her hands on the ground on each side of Faith's head and pushed herself up. She volunteered a hand, that Faith tentatively took, and helped her to her feet. Buffy brushed herself off and Faith did the same.

Faith broke the silence. "I'm starving," she clutched at her stomach dramatically. "Wanna go grab a bite to eat? Or we could call in a pizza to my room..." she glanced to Buffy.

"I promised Will and Xander that I'd meet them at the Bronze," Buffy said. "But you're more than welcome to come."

"Nah," Faith shrugged the invitation. "As entertaining as it would be to see Red all over the big 'C', I'll pass."

Buffy chuckled at Faith's nickname for Cordelia. "Okay. Practice tomorrow after school?"

Faith nodded "You're on." She waved and headed off down the street.

Buffy sighed and watched the other slayer disappear down the darkened road before heading in the direction of the Bronze. She wasn't quite sure what had happened earlier. Why had she waited to get up? What was she waiting for?

The thing that was most on her mind was the look in Faith's eyes. How it had not seemed to say "Get off!"

Or maybe it did.

 

Willow rested her hands on Cordy's hips as a slow song began. They just seemed content to watch each other watch the other one's face.

"Penny for your thoughts?" Willow's eyes glittered

Cordelia raised a brow. "A penny? You're going to have to do a lot better than that Ms. Rosenberg."

"Okay...a hot, sultry kiss for your thoughts?"

Cordelia leaned in to her girlfriend's mouth and giggled. "Now you're speaking my language." She lightly pressed her lips into Willows, before parting them and letting a hint of her tongue coax the other one. After a few moments of this, she pulled back and smiled. Cordelia lay her cheek on Willow's shoulder as the girls continued to dance.

"Don't I get to hear your thoughts now?" Willow pouted, stroking the brunette's hair.

"You just did," Cordelia said softly. Willow closed her eyes and relaxed more into Cordy's embrace.

Buffy walked past the pool table and stood beneath the stairs, searching the club for her friends. She spotted Xander sitting at a table by himself and she made her way to him.

"Hey where's Will and..." she followed his intense gaze. She found the answer to her question on the dance floor. Buffy couldn't help but smile at how great they looked together.

"That's sweet." Buffy took a seat next to Xander.

"The kiss was sweeter," Xander said quietly before turning his focus to the slayer. "How was patrol?"

"Very active," Buffy replied. "Kept me and Faith on our toes. Well, actually it kept us on our backs for a while. There was definitely some falling on our ass moments." Buffy sighed.

"So I take it you may not be in the dancing spirit?"

"I'm more for warming the bench right now." She took a sip from his drink.

The band started a new song, and Cordelia and Willow walked back over to the table.

"Hey Buffy." Willow smiled to her friend. "How was everything?"

Buffy returned the greeting and patted the chair next to her. "I stopped some legions of the underworld but I'm a little sore."

"Get your ass kicked?" Cordelia asked.

"No, my ass was on the ground too much to be in kicking range," Buffy explained. "My face got punched a few times though. This one vamp seemed pretty gung ho about flattening my nose."

Cordelia pressed her mouth shut firmly. No one said anything for a minute.

Buffy frowned. "What?" Then her attention was turned to the stairs. She noticed a familiar black shadow standing there. It was Angel. Everyone else turned to see what she was staring at.

"Oh look, it's almost like old times," Xander said sarcastically. "What with Angel stalking you and everything."

"We got it Xander," Cordelia said dryly.

Angel shifted uncomfortably as if making a decision. He was clearly uneasy about all eyes being on him. He moved to the exit and disappeared out the door. Buffy frowned. She realized that she hadn't thought about Angel at all since patrol, which was surprising because he usually clouded up her mind.

"Hey Cordelia!" A group of well-dressed girls was walking past the table. They all had huge smiles on their faces. The Scoobies exchanged a few looks, even Cordelia raised a brow at the Cordettes enthusiasm.

"Hey," Cordy smiled with less interest. She noticed Harmony hung towards the rear of the group. Since the social mutiny, Harmony's popularity was a kind of on the decline.

"Hi Willow!" They each gave dainty little waves to the redhead. Hesitantly, she waved back. They passed by and headed towards the dance floor.

"Wow." A bemused expression crossed Xander's face. "That was...friendly."

"Yeah," Willow sighed. "They're being super-friendly lately. In the halls they act like we're almost friends. One girl tried to strike up a conversation about Ellen."

Cordelia snickered. "Well unless they start hitting on you, I don't think you should worry."

"One of them? Gay?" Willow laughed. "I don't think holding our breath is in order."

"Hey you never know," Xander cut in. Sometime people surprise you." He sent a knowing look in the redhead's direction, she smiled sheepishly. He turned back to the ever-quiet slayer. "Hey Buff, where's Faith tonight?"

"Wha-what's that supposed to mean?" Buffy spluttered and her eyes widened.

Xander paused. "Uh I think I meant- where's Faith? What's wrong?"

"Well, I'm not exactly reveling in your lack of a segue way!" Her voice rose nervously.

Everyone gave Buffy a quizzical glance. Xander held up his hands. "Whoa there Super-Defensive Girl! Before you stun and amaze us with your powers of paranoia, let's clarify. Where's Faith tonight?"

"Oh," Buffy calmed down a little. "I don't know. It's not like we're telepathic."

"Okay..." Xander said slowly. "Cordelia! What's new?" Ironically enough, he turned to the brunette for a pleasant change in conversation.

Buffy cringed at her own behavior towards her friends, Xander was right, she was paranoid. But it wasn't like she didn't have a good reason to be, thoughts of Faith were ringing throughout her brain. She found herself both fearing and eagerly anticipating tomorrow's sparring session.

 

Buffy ducked and Faith's leg grazed the top of her head. Buffy leaned forward, placing her palms on the mat and extended her leg backwards. Her heel met Faith squarely in the jaw. The brunette stumbled back, giving Buffy some time to get back on her feet. Buffy shot out a left hook that Faith caught at the wrist and twisted, causing Buffy to spin, until Faith had the arm pinned securely behind Buffy's back. The blonde slayer was spooned up against the front of the brunette.

"Say Uncle," Faith instructed giddily, her lips very close to Buffy's ear.

"No," Buffy struggled to get out of Faith's grasp.

"Okay then say 'ow'," Faith jerked the arm upward.

"Ow!" Buffy cried out from the sudden pressure on her shoulderblade. Faith smirked and released the arm.

"And they say positive reinforcement doesn't work," Faith grinned.

"Positive reinforcement?"

"You know," Faith continued. "That training thing where you reward the animal if they do something right instead of punishing them if they do wrong."

"How was that positive reinforcement?" Buffy spat out. "You hurt my arm!"

"Yeah," Faith grinned wider. "But I stopped hurting your arm when you obeyed me."

"I'll show you positive reinforcement," Buffy threatened and did a low roundhouse that knocked Faith onto her back. Faith kicked Buffy's ankles, pulling out the blonde's foothold, and Buffy fell on top of her. Both girl's were face to face, and they paused awkwardly in the familiar situation. Buffy could feel Faith's heartbeat quicken and her own followed suit.

"Don't forget the reward," Faith breathed. Slowly, the blonde lowered her mouth to Faith's. Their lips met and the moment that Buffy had feared and anticipated finally came to be. It was a cautious kiss at first, as Buffy tested the waters of this new Faith-inspired sensation. Then came a flicker of tongue and the gentle nibbling on a bottom lip.

"Holy grated cheese Batman!" Xander's voice rang out and he dropped his books to the ground.

The slayers' heads snapped in the direction of the library doors that were still swinging behind Xander and Giles.

"What the hell are you doing?" Xander's face was dumbstruck. Giles pursed his lips and remained silent.

Buffy hopped to her feet quickly and Faith sat up but diverted her gaze from the two men.

"We-we were just training!" Buffy said defensively.

"Training for what?" Xander looked to Giles. "Is this what goes on at the sessions I'm not invited to?"

"Don't look at me," Giles glanced at Xander. "That certainly isn't any technique I'm familiar with." Giles winced as he realized how that came out.

Xander turned back to the two girls. "Okay this has to be a spell!" His tone was growing angry.

"What has to be a spell?" Willow asked as she and Cordelia strolled in, holding hands.

"We found Buffy and Faith in a most compromising position," Giles explained lightly before glancing at the slayers. "To say the least."

"Huh?" Cordelia glanced at everyone for a more or less English answer.

"They were kissing! Buffy and Faith were kissing," Xander translated angrily. "And I never thought I would say that with such negativity." He looked to Willow and Cordy's neutral expressions. "Aren't you surprised?"

"Whatever." Cordelia shrugged. "I'm used to starting trends."

Buffy waved a hand in the air. "Hey look at that, Buffy is still in the room and standing right here," the blonde slayer broke in.

"So that's it then," Xander continued bitterly. "Everyone's going to be gay now! Am I next? Now let's see, who should I ask out.... Giles? No that's a bit too Harold and Claude." Giles rolled his eyes at Xander's drawn out sarcasm. Just then, Angel entered from the stacks.

"Angel?" A defeated look overcame Buffy as she noticed her ex's presence.

"Perfect!" Xander exclaimed. "I can date Angel!"

Angel raised a brow to the boy. "You're gay?"

"Now what can we possibly talk about to get past that awkward first date silence?" Xander ranted on in mock contemplation. "Oh I know! How about our macho ability to turn our girlfriends into lesbians!"

Angel realized Willow and Cordelia's hand holding and gestured to them. "Wait. You're gay?"

"Then, while Buffy and Faith are off kissing each other--"

"YOU'RE gay?!" Angel interrupted Xander and turned his attention to Buffy. She winced, helplessly lost for words, at his horrified expression.

"And you're actually surprised?" A familiar British accent came from the doorway. Everyone turned to find Spike sauntering into the library. "I'm sure as hell not, considering that Peaches, the librarian and the whelp over there are the only 'men' around." He chuckled.

Buffy groaned. "This is so worst timing ever Spike. How about you come back tomorrow, I kick your ass then, okay?"

"Or I could save you the trouble and kill you now, pet." He smirked.

Buffy snorted. "Do you really think you can take us all on?"

"Well maybe not me alone but probably the 40 minions of mine that I have gathered outside."

All eyes widened and turned to the door expectantly. Buffy paled and her muscles tensed instinctively for a fight. There was a silence throughout the room. Everyone anticipated it to be broken the crashing of doors and windows. But no; instead, Spike's laughter rang out.

"Oh that was bloody priceless!" He wiped a few tears from his eyes before regaining composure. "Actually, I came alone."

There was a sigh of relief from everyone. Buffy narrowed her eyes and advanced on the blonde vampire. "Gee Spike, at least you can say you died with a smile on your face as it turned to dust." She stopped. "Or I'll say it, I guess, because you'll be a pile of ashes."

"Hey Buffy..." Xander began slowly.

She looked to her friend's frightened expression. "What?"

"What did those demons that attacked you and Faith two nights ago look like again?"

Buffy shrugged at his random inquiry. "Demon-y. Big with the ugly and the violence. Face not even a blind mother could love."

"Orange?" Xander's voice was low.

Buffy's stomach churned violently. "Yeah. Why?"

"I think I know why we couldn't find them in the books..."

"Huh?" She turned around and saw why too.

"Because they're here."