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AN: Sorry for the delay. My computer died and I kind of forgot I was in the middle of posting when I finally got a replacement. Hopefully you figured out that it was posted in whole to my livejournal.
Chapter Five: Explicit
Faith didn't need any further prompting. She tore loose from Buffy's bruising hold and jerked the bathroom door open, nearly barreling over the two adults waiting outside for her. Faith turned and grabbed the doorknob in her wet hands, planting her feet as she slammed the door shut.
“Faith, why are you soaking wet? What--”
“Were you able to--”
The door rattled violently as a Slayer-sized body slammed into it, cutting off any further questioning as they jumped, startled. Faith's fingers were slippery around the brass doorknob and she almost lost her grip before Giles shoved a handkerchief into Faith's palms. Faith worked the handkerchief between her hands, gaining a better purchase on the doorknob. Buffy let out a wordless snarl, and Faith smiled sickly as she glanced over her shoulder at Giles and Joyce.
“One, Mrs. S.; I'm soaked ‘cause your daughter thought she needed a cold shower,” Faith shook out her wet hair, incidentally spraying both with water, “And two; yeah, G, I was. I got a great look at both Buffy, and her bite, in their full-frontal glory, up close and personal, live and in the buff. Am I makin' myself clear here, or do I need to get real explicit?”
“N--no,” Giles stammered, wiping water from his glasses, “That's quite alright. Could you--”
“Fuck off, B!” Faith snapped as the doorknob twisted against her grip.
“Faith, please focus!” Giles drew her attention again, “I need you to tell me anything you can.”
Faith described her observations in detail. As she spoke, Buffy's assault on the door gradually tapered off. A subvocal growling rumbled in Faith's ears and Faith shuddered in pure response. Her hands clenched, and she felt the metal giving way, but she didn't want to risk letting go.
“You say it appears infected?” Giles requested clarification.
“Yeah,” Faith said breathlessly, “It was sort of like a fresh burn from a candle, all red and hot to the touch, and the layer of skin healin' over it looks like wax.”
“Kinky, Faith . Y'know, I have some candles in my room if you like that kind of thing.”
The low, easy chuckle from Buffy settled deep in Faith's gut. The tension on the doorknob from Buffy's grip released abruptly and Faith eyed the door warily. She heard the light scrape of Buffy's hands against the wood. Faith very carefully didn't look at either of her companions.
“Nice, B,” She spat, “You want to scar Mrs. S. for life?”
“Mmm...tempting,” Buffy admitted cheerfully, and then Faith could hear it in her voice as she pouted, “But, no. This is why I'm still in here, and not out there...with you .”
“Yeah, well, from where I'm standin', you're doin' a pretty bang up job anyway.”
“Oh, I'm sorry, mom ,” Buffy offered sweetly, “I'm a little... hard up right now. I'll behave if you just send Faith back in here. See, I was seconds away from throwing Faith down and--”
“Shut the fuck up,” Faith snarled.
“Oh, poor Faith. What's wrong?” Buffy asked mockingly, “Can't get it up? Maybe I should've asked mom to call Angel instead? At least I know he's capable of... rising to the occasion.”
“I said shut the fuck up, B,” Faith repeated acidly, “ Now. ”
Faith could feel the waves of dismayed mortification coming off of Joyce. Now she really couldn't look at either of them, feeling the flush working up her chest to her face. Buffy was toying with Faith, getting under her skin, and what's worse? Judging from Buffy's husky laughter, she knew exactly what she was doing, and Faith was helpless to make her stop.
“Any ideas?” Faith looked at Giles desperately, “If she decides to stop playin' nice, I ain't goin' to be able to hold this thing for long. I'm pretty sure we already owe Mrs. S. a doorknob.”
“I have some ideas for you, Faith,” Buffy chimed in helpfully, “The one I like best is the one that involves you coming back in here, and making me forget what a doorknob is.”
“Not happenin', Twinkie. I mean, you realize you sound like a total Chester right now, right?”
“Hey, I'm being good,” Buffy protested flippantly, “See, I'm in here and not out there, and I'm not even trying to get the door open anymore. She's out there, he is, you're out there, and I haven't molested anyone. Honestly, the thought of touching either of them makes me want to puke.”
Faith ignored the choking noise from Joyce, and replied sarcastically, “Yeah, ‘cause that's real reassurin'. Seriously? She's your mother . And you ain't gettin' your hands on me again.”
“Is this about the wrist, Faith ?” Buffy's voice dipped suggestively, “I promise you I wasn't going to do anything you'd object to--at least, you wouldn't have for long anyway.”
“Can't you do somethin', G?” Faith growled in frustration, “If she says one more word--”
“What? You'll come back in here?” Buffy interrupted, amused, “Please do.”
It was obvious that the reality of Buffy's situation had finally sunk in for Giles and Joyce. Faith would have laughed if it weren't for the anxiety creeping into her veins. Buffy was so horny she was out of her mind, and now everyone here knew it. Unfortunately, the reality of Buffy wanting to get her hands on Faith wasn't as tantalizing as Faith had imagined it would be. Not like this.
“What's wrong with my daughter, Mr. Giles?” Joyce repeated her question again, her voice growing cold, “She isn't like this. Buffy isn't some... sexual predator . I want answers, now! ”
“Yeah, what's wrong with me, Watcher Mine ?” Buffy's mocking words were tinged with genuine curiosity, “I've always been pure as the driven snow. I never think about sex!”
“Of--of course she isn't,” Giles stammered in response to Joyce's demand, his features turning a faint shade of pink, “I--I believe Buffy has been marked by a--an Incubus.”
Buffy fell silent and Faith blinked slowly in recognition, “Isn't that some kind of sex--”
“Yes,” Giles interrupted in acknowledgement to her question, regaining his composure as he replaced his glasses, “An Incubus is a--a... sexual vampire of a sorts. They feed from the life energy of females through sexual encounters, which typically drains their victims to the point of death, however, a rare few with more pacifistic leanings have been known to feed through a bonding mark instead, requiring multiple conduits of energy to satiate their hunger and prevent the feedings from killing their victims. The bonding mark influences the conduits , inducing a--an insatiable craving for physical contact.”
“The bite,” Faith realized, “When the mark heals up, this should stop, then, right?”
“Yes,” Giles confirmed, “But unless the Incubus breaks the bond, the wound will only heal by feeding, and without the intake of energies , the stress on her mind and body will kill her.”
“And the Incubus is dead,” Faith said flatly.
She'd killed the Incubus. Faith ignored the hysterical laughter from the bathroom. Unless Buffy... fed , she was going to die. Faith gazed at Giles with a horrified understanding.
“B--but Faith said it was already healing,” Joyce looked at Faith, pleading, “That's what you said, right? The--the skin was already closing up, and it wasn't swollen, or--or bleeding.”
“The tissue Faith saw wasn't skin,” Giles sighed regretfully, “The Incubus has an overactive salivary gland, as Faith so helpfully pointed out, for biological reasons. Their saliva is a clear, viscous substance which adheres to the external and internal tissues, sealing the wound off from other agents, including the victim's own white cells, appearing as a shining, waxed epidermis. As the conduit feeds on energies for the Incubus, her body absorbs and breaks down the saliva that has entered her bloodstream, and then finally the epidermis, thus allowing the wound to heal.”
“Thanks, Bill Nye, the Science Guy,” Buffy drawled sarcastically, “That was very educational.”
“You said something about an intake of energies, Mr. Giles, is it necessary that the energies be... sexual ?” Joyce asked awkwardly after a few seconds passed, “Isn't there some sort of--I don't know, magic spell, or healing energies, or some other new age crap that could help Buffy instead? This is my teenaged daughter we're talking about here, for God's sake!”
“I'm afraid I truly don't know, Mrs. Summers,” Giles admitted reluctantly, “And...I really don't believe that we have the time to spare for proper research or theorizing.”
“Why?” Faith cut in.
“Buffy's condition appears to be...rapidly deteriorating, far faster than I believe is the norm for a new Incubus Conduit,” Giles informed them, “If I had to speculate, I'd say it's due to the Slayer's aggressive nature, and the... overactive drive she already possessed before this.”
“So, what you're saying is that Slayers are nymphos?” Buffy hummed deeply, “I think you might be onto something, Watcher Mine --I mean, not me, of course , but Faith does seem to be built for fucking. I can smell her through the door, and even as scared as she is, she wants me bad .”
Ignoring Buffy's sarcasm, Faith let go of the door and turned to lean back against it. Her jaw muscles worked as she thought, and thought, and thought some more. She decided she really wanted to hear someone else say it out loud. She met Giles' pained gaze, pleading.
“What are our options here?” Faith held up a hand when Giles started to speak, “And don't talk about her like this is B, alright? She's just an Incubus Conduit. Facts only, what are the possible outcomes, and what are the solutions, and which one is our safest bet?”
Giles took a deep breath, squaring his shoulders, “Her own touch, while pleasurable, cannot satisfy the need to feed, and probably isn't even a consideration for someone with her level of self-control. The craving will become unbearable to the point that she will either assault someone, or if she continues to resist it as she still is, she will go insane. Gradually, she will begin to deteriorate in body as well; unable to eat, unable to drink, unable to sleep, and then...she will die.”
“ Fuck ,” Faith and Buffy breathed in unison.
“Precisely,” Giles grimaced in distaste, “As the progenitor of the bonding is dead and as such we cannot... persuade him to break the bond, we are left with only one course of action.”
Faith couldn't miss the way Giles suddenly refused to meet her gaze. Her mouth dropped open, speechless. There was no way he was suggesting what she thought. Faith's stomach clenched.
“Fuck that,” Faith laughed humorlessly, shoving off from the door, “If you think for one second that I'm goin' downtown on your golden chick, you're fuckin' off your Goddamned meds, G.”
“Seriously?” Buffy snarled, “That's just great. My own watcher is trying to pimp me out.”
“Fuck off, Twinkie,” Faith retorted, “You'd be chin deep if I gave you a second.”
“I'm chemically imbalanced, Faith . What's your excuse?”
To Be Continued in Chapter Six
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