Faith has no idea what to expect of B’s band of toy soldiers, but she figures she’s in for a treat just from the changes she’s seen wrought of Miss Prim and Proper these last few years.
Tattoos, swearing. A frankly disturbing obsession with knives that made even her pause and stare for a moment. The only time Faith was that into knives was when she was darkside, but B seems to have picked up a thing for nicking herself on blades and, occasionally, licking them.
“Blame Roque,” she said, every time someone commented. Roque was the one that came up most often, in the early days. Roque, Faith thinks, is a little bit like she was, way back when, fucked in the head and completely lethal.
Then, for a bit, B thought all her boys were dead and moped a lot and then they were back and every mention of Roque made her clench her teeth and set her jaw.
“I think,” she confessed, drunk – also a new development – and crying on Faith’s shoulder one night, “that that stupid fucking asshole committed suicide by Clay.”
Faith held her, let her curse, put her to bed and decided to reserve judgement on Clay, and maybe punch him in the face if she ever meets him.
Which she is about to. Funny how these things go.
B and Band are holed up in a slayer safehouse in Argentina, still hunting this Max fucker. They’re making progress and Buffy figures another month should do the trick, but for now, they’re stuck. Faith is in the neighborhood.
Visiting pseudo-siblings without prior phone calls is something people do, right? She even washed off the demon guts first.
She leaves her bike out of earshot of the house just to be a bitch, parks it and walks the rest of the way. And then, just for shits and giggles, she rings the doorbell. Because nothing makes you as jumpy as someone calmly ringing the doorbell on a super secret safehouse.
The guy who opens the door has to be Pooch, because he’s the only bald dude in the unit, according to B, who has spent way too many a drunk evening talking about her boys. His expression if perfectly pleasant and the Glock at his hip is perfectly steady and aimed straight at her head. These guys don’t fuck around.
Faith smiles at him, full of teeth, and offers, “Hi. I’m Faith. Is B around?”
“Buffy. About ye short, temper problem, bottle blond?”
“I heard that!” comes from further inside the house, followed by heavy thumping and then B, in shorts and a man’s shirt, is hanging over Pooch’s shoulder, frowning at Faith. “You’re mean.”
“You love it.”
“Do, too, you prissy bitch.”
“Erm,” Pooch pipes up, weapon still aimed, with a face that says he does not enjoy being the middle of this sandwich, “Mom?”
“Pooch, my man,” B crows, letting go of him long enough to haul him back by the collar, “this is Faith, fellow slayer and awful human being.”
“So we’re shooting her?”
“No, we’re not shooting her.”
“Not shooting her. Okay.” He lowers his gun. “I’m going back to bed. Fucking nocturnal people. The Pooch needs his sleep!”
Faith frowns. “It’s, like, ten am.”
Pooch waves his Glock around wildly. “Someone was keeping the Pooch up until six with their noises!”
That sounds a lot like B is banging one of her boy toys. Huh.
Buffy waves the grumpy soldier off, before hauling Faith in for a hug. Another thing the Losers did for Faith: they turned big sis into a downright grabby monster. They start catching up before they’re finished hugging and within a minute, someone shouts, “Shut up!” from somewhere.
B rolls her eyes. “I’m making breakfast, so shut the hell up, Clay!”
Then she tows Faith through the house toward the kitchen in the back. She sits her down and puts a mug of coffee in front of her, which Faith inhales. Say what you will about South America, but they do coffee like no-one else. They keep chatting about Faith’s hunt, her new watcher – who puts Andrew to shame in the geek department, little D’s rugrat and B’s hunt for the Great and Terrible Douche, while the blond woman whips up an industrial sized batch of French Toast and slices a plate of fruit before adding bacon to the mix. The sweet-tangy scent of cinnamon and grease makes Faith’s stomach rumble and she willingly sets the table when B starts having trouble juggling three pans without letting anything burn.
The menfolk start to appear just as the first few slices of bacon are done. Pooch is the first, because he was already up and awake, probably. He grunts, hip-checks B sort of angrily and then glowers into his coffee while eating bacon straight from the paper towels B’s stacking it on before plating it.
“Seriously,” he finally grumbles after the third slice. “Get Jensen to bite a fucking pillow next time.”
“Doesn’t work,” the next soldier boy offers, slinking into the room with the grace of a large cat. He’s wearing beat-up jeans and a dirty wifebeater, along with a truly hideous cowboy hat and somehow, Faith still wants to climb him like a tree and swing from his dick. It’s the long hair. And the beard. And the ink.
Pooch glares. “Well, try. Or the Pooch is gonna start shooting one of these days. The Pooch isn’t getting any and you’re being awfully rude, rubbing it in.”
B rolls her eyes. “Want me to call Jolene and tell her you’re whining about the lack of sex in your life?”
The black man scowls fiercely. “No,” he snaps.
Hat Guy bops him on one shoulder with a fist on his way past and wraps an arm around B’s waist long enough to press a kiss into her neck and steal her mug from her hands. Then he hops onto a bit of empty counter space and curls up, bare feet pulled up to wrap his arm around his knees.
No-one looks like this is a strange development.
Faith cocks her head to one side, takes a bite of sweet, cinnamonny goodness and wonders if that means B is screwing both that Jensen guy and this one. Also, with this one commenting on Jensen’s inability to bite a pillow…
“Yeah, F?” One day, the older slayer will figure out that calling her that doesn’t actually annoy Faith and will not make her stop with the letters.
“Are you having kinky threesome sex on a regular basis?”
B flashes a grin over her shoulder and flips toast. “Yes.”
She doesn’t even have the decency to blush. Where did the girl with the glitter hairclips go? The one who blushed when someone said ‘dick’ in front of her?
“And you didn’t tell me about it?!”
“I don’t have your burning need to share dirty details.”
“A single night around them is going to cure you of any sort of curiosity, believe me,” a newcomer announces and, hot damn. Forget Hat Guy, this is who Faith is going to climb and you won’t stop her. Older, scruffy, stubble all over, bedroom eyes and just enough grey in his hair to freak people out if he’s out with someone her age. Perfect.
She licks her lips, grins and offers him her hand. “Faith Lehane, slayer extraordinaire. And who might you be, Sexy?”
“Colonel Frank Clay, leader of the Losers. I’ve heard a lot about you,” he drawls, shaking her hand and then not letting it go.
“All bad things, I hope,” she grins, tongue between her teeth.
At the table Pooch coughs. “Aisha is going to kill you, Clay.”
“She’s gonna do that anyway,” B counters, then turns off the stove and puts an impressive stack of toast slices in the middle of the table. “But please, please, don’t go there. I don’t want to have to shoot either of you.”
Okay. Faith has had a lot of weird affairs, but shooting people hasn’t usually come up right off the bat.
“No-one’s shooting anyone,” Clay grumps, sitting down. “We’re just talking.”
“No offense, boss man, but that was your fuck-me voice. And we all know what that leads to,” Pooch scolds, looking unimpressed by the glare that gets him.
“Death,” the last soldier boy declares grandly as he stumbles in in sweats and a bright pink shirt, rubbing his hair and righting his glasses, “dismemberment. Bombs. Shootings. Badass chicks with rocket launchers. And threats to shoot off my dick!”
He sounds most put out about the last one as he crosses the kitchen in a few long strides and smacks bodily into the Hat Guy, who, by default, has to be Cougar. He rolls his eyes under his hat and lowers his legs to bracket Jensen before offering his stolen mug up to the guy, who inhales the lukewarm coffee. Then he buries his face in Cougar’s neck and promptly tries to go back to sleep.
Pooch cackles. Cougar smacks Jensen and Buffy offers, “I made French Toast, don’t go back to sleep.”
That rouses the guy enough to turn around and actually notice Faith sitting at the table. He blushes scarlet. “Oh! Hi! Where did you come from? Do I know you? Are you friends with Aisha and here to kill Clay? Because that’s not cool. Or… did Clay hook up with you? Clay, did you hook up with the hot chick just because Aisha is out of town? Because I know you’re not dating-dating, but I’m pretty sure you can cheat on a regular fuck buddy and Aisha wants to kill you anyway and it’d be a shame if you and this lovely lady got it on, because I don’t want Cougs to shoot her?”
He looks between them all forlornly.
Okay. Seriously, “Why is everyone threatening to shoot me? Are they afraid for your virtue?” She asks Clay, who gives her a smoldering look and no answer.
“It’s because Clay’s dick is dipped in cray-cray glitter and if he fucks you, he infects you and then you try to kill him and he’s an asshole, but we all kind of like him and we still haven’t gotten rid of the last crazy chick he dragged home? Also, really, who are you?” Jensen babbles.
It’s adorable. Sort of like Andrew, but hotter and dirtier and Faith can totally see why B enjoys doing the nasty with him. And also why he keeps up the entire house at night.
“I’m Faith,” she offers, taking pity.
Faith turns to her sister slayer. “Does he call you that in bed? Because I didn’t figure you for that kinky.”
B rolls her eyes, again, grabs Jensen by the arm and bodily steers him into an empty seat. Faith can see why they call her Mom. Cougar follows on his own, taking the last available chair. “Shut up, Faith.”
Well, then. “So, anyone want to tell me the story behind the car bomb?”
Clay beams at her. “Girlfriend put a bomb in my car.” He sounds kind of excited about it.
“Were you in it when it blew?”
He spreads his arms in lieu of an answer. Look, Ma, no burns. Pun intended.
“Why weren’t you in it when it blew?”
Jensen, who has zeroed in on the French Toast by now and is strategically decimating his third one already, mumbles, “’Cause they we’ havin’ sex.”
“She put a bomb in your car and then banged you?”
“Tha’s n’thn. ‘isha tried t’kill ‘m ‘n’n they f’k’d.”
“Swallow, Jake,” Cougar instructs, calmly
Jensen obeys. “She tried to kill him a little and then they hooked up and then she found out he killed her dad and rocket launcher and promises of painful death and dismemberment and then, bam, more sex.” He trails off, looking thoughtful, and then turns to Cougar. “Cougs, what if the death threat thing is somehow hot? Should we try this? We might be missing out.”
Pooch covers his ears. Buffy cover’s Jensen’s mouth. Cougar, unperturbed, grabs her around the waist and pulls her into his lap, nudging his plate at her before answering, “No.”
Both B and Jensen do.
Faith spears two slices of Toast with her fork before Jensen can get them all and then covers them in ketchup, much to B’s distaste. After a minute of quiet chewing, she turns back to Clay, who is slouched in his seat, mug in hand, looking unfairly hot for a guy wearing last night’s suit.
“So. Would it help if I told you I have no idea how to build a car bomb?”
Clay grins, everyone else groans, and Faith decides she sees what B sees in these guys. They’re fun.