Title: Five by Five
Fandom: BtVS
Characters: Buffy, Faith
Rating: PG
Notes: Written for the Sunnydale High School 10th Anniversary Comment!Ficathon.

Summary: Another apocalypse down, Buffy and Faith decide to duck out of the clean up and share a well earned bottle of tequila.




So here they were: another apocalypse stopped, another Big Bad vanquished, another night where they stood on the edge of a very dramatic Certain Doom and managed to regain their balance and walk away.

Buffy picked herself up off the ground with a groan. When Willow had said that destroying the ceremonial dagger would cause a backlash, she had somehow left out just how big the backlash would be.

Beside her Faith was also pulling herself up, brushing off the dust and debris of what used to be the town square fountain. "Well, thanks for coming, B. Wouldn't have been the same without you."

Buffy coughed, bracing herself on her knees to help expel the dust from her lungs. "By which you mean it would have been a complete disaster," she rasped.

Faith shrugged. "You were always apocalypse girl. I'm more of the plain old vampire ass kicking type. No need to be fancy."

"Right," Buffy rolled her eyes, straightening her back and then grimacing at the pain as she did so.

Around them the other were also starting stir. Across the square Kennedy was helping a weakened Willow gather up the supplies she'd used for the spell, and the other Slayers were all getting up, checking themselves for injuries, checking each other, and brushing of the danger of the last night as they were brushing off the dirt.

Same old, same old, Buffy thought sardonically.

"Guess we should head back, make sure everyone is alright," she said distractedly, eyes scanning over the empty streets of the small town Faith had called them to.

"We could..." Faith hedged. "Or, we could sneak away and let them handle it."

Buffy turned to look at her, one eyebrow raised.

"Come on," Faith wheedled, "They're big Slayers, they can take care of it on their own. Besides, we just saved the world. Again. We deserve to celebrate a little." She walked a little closer to Buffy, expression the same one she had when she used to talk Buffy into skipping school or "forgetting" Giles' training sessions. "I've got a full bottle of tequila and a bag of limes back at my hotel," she added.

Buffy hesitated. That did sound tempting. For all it's drama and danger, this particular Apocalypse was lacking in the combat area. She had to leave all the actual fighting to the other Slayers so that she and Faith could work their way to the center of the square and steal the dagger before plunging it into the stone statue so Willow's spell could take effect. Buffy still felt twitchy from adrenalin, wanting nothing more than a good fight with a vampire or demon to help work it off. But failing that, alcohol would do.

She glanced around one more time at the others. No one seemed seriously hurt and Willow seemed to be coming out of her post-spell haze. "All right," she said decisively. "Let's go."

They made their way to the hotel on the outside of the town, stopping only so Faith could run inside a 24 hour fast food restaurant and snatch a handful of salt packets. "Snakebites," she grinned at Buffy as she shoved them in her jacket pocket.

The hotel was your typical 40 dollar a night dump, with drab tan walls, floral furniture and one dust covered antique of a TV on the dresser.

"I see you're really moving up in the world," Buffy observed as she slid off her jacket and let it drop to the arm of the faded armchair.

The bed gave a loud squeak as Faith threw herself on it. "What can I say? I did the whole house thing. Too restricting. I like the freedom to be able to leave whenever I want."

Buffy sat down on the other side of the bed. "I'm sure the fact that you were living above another Hellmouth didn't help."

Faith shrugged. "Well, it at least made things a little interesting. But that torch has passed. Cleveland is now left in the capable hands of General Vi." She held in her hand up in a mocking salute.

Buffy laughed softly. "So where's this tequila?"

Faith leaned over the side of the bed and reached underneath it. when she came back up she had a bottle in one hand and the promised bag of limes in the other. "No shot glasses, so we'll have to do without."

Buffy shrugged. "Doesn't matter." She took the bottle from Faith and deftly twisted off the cap, not bothering with the salt before she took a swig. When she lowered the bottle she saw that Faith's eyes were wide with surprise.

Faith whistled. "Damn, B. Someone taught you to drink."

She smirked and passed her the bottle. Reaching over to grab the dagger sitting on the bedside table, she pulled a lime from the bag and started slicing. "Spike's favorite drink is bourbon, but failing that--tequila."

Faith watched Buffy as she took a drink herself, eyes thoughtful. "Yeah, I noticed Blondie wasn't among the little party you brought with you. You guys off again or what?"

Buffy shot her a warning look. "Are we here to have a heart to heart or to drink?"

Faith sat up, shrugging one shoulder. "I'm guessing we're here to drink," she said as she grabbed a lime wedge from Buffy's hand.

An hour later, they were sprawled across the bedspread--which was covered in salt packets and lime juice--and they had two thirds a bottle less of tequila.

"Ten years," Buffy muttered as she grabbed the bottle for another drink. At this point, they were passed the point of needing salt or limes.

"What?" Faith lifted her head from the pillow of Buffy's calf.

"Ten years," she said again. "Since the whole potentials-into-Slayers spell."

Faith laid her head down again. "Oh. Huh."

"I thought it would be easier, having a whole..." Buffy waved her hand in the air "..army of Slayers. Less responsibility, you know?"

Faith snorted and reached for the bottle. "Yeah, right. A whole slew of hormonal teenagers with Slayer powers to look after. Easier."

Buffy nodded solemnly. "s'not. We still have to be there for the training and the organizing--"

"And the apocalypse," Faith finished for her, raising the bottle to her lips.

"Exactly." Buffy rolled over onto her back, nearly knocking the bottle from Faith's hands. "Don't you ever just get tired of it?"

Faith folded her legs into a cross legged position as she sat up. "Of course I do," she tucked one thick dark lock behind her ear. "Why do think I finally got the hell out of Cleveland?" She shrugged, a grin suddenly lighting her face. "But face it. They can't replace us, baby. We're the Chosen Two."

This time it was Buffy who snorted.

"No, really," Faith insisted. "These Slayers, they'll never know what it was like to be the only one, to have the world resting on their shoulders. They'll always look to us for help."

"Faith," Buffy drawled, "you never knew what it was like to be the only one."

She shot Buffy a grin. "Why do you think I called you for help?"

When Buffy didn't say anything she sat up on her knees, careful to use her thumb to cover the top of the bottle before she threw herself down on her stomach beside the other Slayer. "You got to admit," she continued, "It gives you a sort of importance. You know, that while these new young Slayers are being called just one after another, that there are still all these stories of us being told. About how we saved the world over and over again with just a few high school students, or how we wrestled crocodiles naked in the swamps."

Buffy choked on a laugh. "You helped cultivate those stories!"

Faith waved a dismissive hand. "Doesn't matter. The point is, there will always be a place for us. We're legends. It's all good." She caught Buffy's eyes and shared a slow smile. "It's five by five."

Buffy just shook her head, laughing, and reached for the bottle.


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