Sorry State Of Affairs
by Angelina

"Can we talk? Just for a sec?"

Angel looked up from his book and smiled at the hesitant face in the doorway. He closed the book, placed it on his desk and folded his hands on top of it.

"Sure Faith, come on in."

Faith pushed the door open fully and entered the room. Angel noted that her usual swagger lacked something as she walked towards him. She dropped into a chair and swung her feet up onto his desk. She folded her arms loosely across her stomach, not her normal body language at all. Angel offered her another gentle smile, encouraging her to speak. She didn't speak. Angel pressed his lips together and raised his eyebrows. Faith continued to regard him, silently. Finally, Angel decided that he would need to forgo his usual taciturn routine and prompt Faith.

"Sooooo, you wanted to talk about someth..."


He wasn't allowed to complete the question before she answered, like she'd been waiting for him to make the first move.

"What was it you wanted to talk about?"

Faith shrugged, as if whatever she was going to say was no big deal.

"Oh ya know, just...stuff."

Angel waited for elaboration. When none came he spoke again.

"Work stuff? Money stuff? Redemption stu..."

"No, no...I got the whole 'redemption' deal, thanks." Faith broke in hurriedly, not keen to hear the whole 'go into the light' spiel again.

"So what did you want to speak to me about?"

Faith sighed and took her feet off the desk. She leaned forward in her seat, her face serious and her voice low as she started speaking.

"OK, here's the deal, the way I see it is, you've been around for two hundred and fifty years, give or take, and in that time you gotta have seen a lot of I was wonderin' if you'd...maybe, give me some...ya an' shit."

Faith glanced over her shoulder, as if worried that someone had been listening. Then she turned back to Angel with expectant eyes. Angel, despite his two hundred and fifty years, was none the wiser as to Faith's reason for coming to see him. Or perhaps it was because of his advanced age; he didn't speak 'Bostonian Teenager' very well. He was becoming proficient in 'Cordelia-Speak'...but even with that he was nowhere near fluent. He resisted the urge to sigh needlessly, and decided to seek clarification.

"Action tips? As in...combat skills or something? You want to spar with me?"

Faith was shaking her head, and becoming slightly flushed as she realised she was going to have to say it again.

"I'm talkin' about...with women...romance, dating...whatever...that kinda action."

Comprehension dawned on Angel. Faith was looking at her hands and squirming in her seat. Angel smiled, Faith had the hots for someone and had come to him for advice. The smile slipped slightly as he thought of his track-record in the romance category.

"Uh...Faith, are you sure that I'm the best person to be asking? I mean...I was a soulless creature of the night for over a hundred years, my idea of romance was to torture and kill someone's family members and nail their puppy to a..."

"OK, OK...I wasn't lookin' for that kinda stuff. But since then you musta...I mean, you got the whole tall, dark and handsome thing going never...?"

"Buffy was the only one."

"The only one?"


"In a hundred years?"


"Fuck me."

Faith sat back to contemplate this revelation. No sex for over a hundred years? The man had restraint. Then something occurred to her.

"So, Buffy musta really been special huh?"

Angel smiled sadly. He didn't need to confirm it. She knew. She decided to change the subject before he got his brood on big time.

"How about before you got turned? Good lookin' guy like you woulda been a real heart-breaker I bet."

Angel's mouth quirked in a half-smile as he thought back.

"I guess I was, in my own way. The girls seemed to like me anyway. But I was never one to be involved with anyone seriously...I'd go to a tavern of an evening, get drunk, pick a fight, choose a girl and then..."

He trailed off, not wanting to be uncouth in front of a young girl. Even if it was Faith. Faith looked thoughtful.

"Want, take have..."

The parallel couldn't be ignored. But neither vocalised it. They had both changed, for the better, and that was that. Faith hadn't shown all that much interest in anyone, romantically or sexually since she'd joined Angel Investigations. Which was why Angel was slightly surprised by her current line of questioning. His interest was piqued and he couldn't help but ask the obvious question.

"So...who's the lucky guy?"

Faith blinked in surprise, as if his question made no sense to her whatsoever.


"You're asking for dating advice...I was just wondering who you had in mind."

"Oh...oh! Right...lucky guy. Well...ummm, for starters it's not a guy...and I don't know if 'lucky' would be the way she'd describe it."

Angel stared at her blankly for a second. This hadn't occurred to him as a possibility. Mostly because he'd been pretty sure that Faith had had a thing for him back in Sunnydale. But you never can tell and he quickly plastered a smile across his face.

"Right...a girl...well...good for you!"

He nodded firmly. Faith raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah, good for me."

"Well...right...great...uh, is it anyone we know?"

"You could say that..."

Faith was interrupted by the door opening.

"Angel, I need you to sign these cheques for some bills."

Cordelia swept across the room and presented Angel with a pile of paper and a pen.

"Cordy, we were kind of having a private conversation here." Angel pointed out gently.

"What? Oh sorry, did I barge in on another 'Killers Anonymous' meeting? Too bad, those cheques need to be mailed today if we want to keep the place heated and lit. And anyway, I didn't hear any sordid little secrets or anything."

Angel sighed and started putting his signature to the pile of cheques. Cordelia leaned against the side of the chair Faith was sitting in and examined her nails.

"Uh, Cordy...why is this made out to Bloomingdales?" Angel asked, looking up at the Seer.

"Oh yeah, like I can afford to keep replacing all the clothes that get soaked in demon excretions and ripped to shreds by crazed thingies with big talons." Cordelia rolled her eyes. "It's just a few evil-fighting necessities."

He nodded and signed the cheque.

"And one tiny little black dress I couldn't resist." Cordelia added, under her breath.

Angel looked back up to scowl at her, but Cordelia had her best winning smile at the ready and he couldn't help but smile back, shaking his head at the same time. He was about to go back to his signing duties when he noticed that Faith was acting strangely. Ever since Cordelia had entered the room she hadn't said a word. And she was currently looking at the seer out of the corner of her eye, trying to be inconspicuous. Suddenly, Angel was aware of something in the air. The unmistakable scent of arousal.

Angel would have paled, had his skin had any discernable colour in it in the first place. He looked from the love-struck slayer to the oblivious seer, a feeling of dread settling itself in the pit of his stomach. Hurriedly he finished signing the cheques, not even looking to see what they were for, and handed them to Cordelia. She took them and turned to leave. She paused, looking at Faith closely. Faith resembled a deer in the headlamps, her eyes huge as she looked up at the tall woman in front of her. Cordelia stooped down so she was on a level with Faith. Ever so slowly she reached her hand out towards Faith's face. Angel could hear Faith's breathing speed up, could feel her heart quicken as Cordelia's fingertips grazed the skin of her cheek.

Cordelia stood back up and held out her finger.

"You had an eyelash on your cheek," she said by way of explanation.

Faith looked at the extended finger mutely.

"Take it and make a wish."

Faith took her own finger and gently touched it to Cordelia's, taking the eyelash with her. She looked up and smiled.

"Thanks C."

"No problem." Cordelia said as she made her way out of the room. Before closing the door she added a parting shot. "Though how it escaped from all that mascara I'll never know."

Faith looked at Angel, still holding the eyelash on her fingertip. Angel raised his eyebrows.

"I'd use that wish might need it."

Faith dropped her head down onto the desk and sighed.


Wesley watched as the liquid in his tea-cup turned dark red as he swirled the bag round and round. Normally he liked to make tea in a pot but Cordelia had used his teapot to heat up blood for Angel and he couldn't quite bring himself to look at it in quite the same light anymore. Satisfied with the colour, he picked up the cup and turned around, narrowly avoiding a collision with Faith who was hovering behind him. He recovered nicely, managing only to spill the tiniest amount of tea on his new shirt.

", what are you doing?" he asked, pushing his glasses back up his nose.

"Nothin'...just hangin' out."

She smiled at him before sitting down on the edge of the table. He smiled back uncertainly. Despite his best efforts, he could not shake the nagging twinge of fear being close to Faith always unearthed in him. He told himself it was self-preservation: it was only right to be afraid of someone who had once tied one to a chair and tortured one for hours on end. But he felt guilty nonetheless as Faith had proven herself time and again. He forced himself to sit down in a chair across from Faith and make conversation.

"So, how are things?"


Wesley nodded.

"Good, glad to hear it."

"Wes, can I ask you somethin'?"

Wesley put his cup down and looked at Faith earnestly.

"Of course Faith, I know I'm no longer your Watcher, but I want you to feel that you can come to me any time you need to talk."

"Uh...thanks Wes, that's...nice."

Wesley smiled encouragingly.

"OK, the thing is...say there's these two people, and say they get along really good and they kinda like each other...although you might not know it from lookin' at them...what if one of 'em wanted to ask the other one out...but is kinda scared because they work together and they don't want it to be really weird and they're sorta scared of what the answer would b..."

Wesley held up his hand for silence.

"Faith, I appreciate your concern and your interest, I really do. But things between Fred and I are just fine at the moment and I wouldn't want to rush things, I'll get around to asking her out in my own ti..."

His voice trailed off due to the very confused expression gracing Faith's features.

"...and that isn't what you were referring to, is it?"

Faith shook her head in wonder. Fred and Wes? How come she'd never noticed anything there? Too caught up in her own love-haze obviously. Now that she thought about it the signs were there. Wes always got all shy around Fred and smiled at her a whole lot more than he did at anyone else. Wesley was not currently smiling, he was currently blushing furiously and polishing his glasses compulsively.

"Well...yes...well...we could probably just forget all about that little slip of the tongue. What was it you wanted to speak about?"

Wesley replaced his glasses and attempted to look nonchalant. Faith sighed.

"I was talkin' about me. Say I wanted to ask someone out...Cordelia for would I go about it?"

She looked up at him with hopeful eyes. The spectacles came off again for another thorough polishing. He spoke as he rubbed.

"Cordelia...yourself and Cordelia...yes, well, I can't see how that would be a problem...yes, I'm sure that'd be lovely for the two of she... what I mean to say is...are you sure she's...that way inclined, so to speak?"

Faith shrugged.

"She been out with many guys since you started working with her?"

"Well...there was that one chap who impregnated her with his demon spawn, and there was the Groosalug, but that was in another dimension so we can probably discount that...and, that's about it, no. But, she's never umm, dated any women either." Wesley pointed out gently.

"Yeah, I's just...I think I caught her checkin' me out a coupla times...and somethin' about her just kinda...I dunno, I just think she wouldn't be objectin' to a little girl on girl stuff, call it intuition."

"Well, qu- quite." Wesley stammered. "And what exactly did you want to ask me?"

"Just, I've never really been into the whole 'dating scene' before and I'm not all that sure how to...get started." Faith looked down at her hands. "How do you ask girls out, I mean ain't you Europeans supposed to be big on romance an' shit?"

"That's the continentals, French, Italians...English people are a bit more...reserved. As for myself, I...well I suppose I just...I'm not terribly sure actually...a lot of stuttering and blushing is usually involved. I'm really not the best person to ask about this sort of thing Faith. My own...encounter with Cordelia wasn't exactly a huge success."

Faith looked up at him quickly and he couldn't help but flinch away from the predatory glint in her eye. She noticed the movement and took a deep calming breath to chase away the irrational jealousy gnawing at her gut.

", had a thing with Cordy?" Faith asked, trying hard to keep her voice light and non-threatening.

"I wouldn't call it a 'thing', exactly. More of a...well disaster might be too strong a word for it. We kissed."

"You kissed?" Faith clarified. "And that's all you did? Just the once?"

"Well, we tried it in Sunnydale and it just didn't work, terribly fumbly and not in the least enjoyable. Then she kissed me when I first arrived in Los Angeles. Again, it didn't exactly make the earth tremble. We are just not compatible in that way I fear."

Faith let out a relieved breath. They'd only shared a couple of crappy kisses. Now she wouldn't have to fight the urge to punch Wesley every time she looked at him.

"Might I suggest that a woman's point of view may be of use?" Wesley asked. "Perhaps Fred could point you in the right direction as to what a girl wants to hear...that sort of thing?"

Faith pondered this.

"Yeah...yeah, that might be cool. Thanks Wes. Oh, and about the Fred thing. You should go for it."

She flashed him a smile before turning him and leaving him alone with his tea. He sipped the now tepid liquid. Go for it. Perhaps he should. Faith was willing to take the plunge, and the prospect of asking Cordelia out had to be far scarier than asking Fred. Go for it. Yes, maybe he'd do just that.



Fred looked up from what seemed to be a bundle of metal and wires. She was seated on the floor of the lobby. There was a smudge of oil on her cheek and her glasses were squint -- the quintessential Fred.

"Faith! Hi!"

Fred stood up, dusting herself down and straightening her glasses.

"Whatcha doin'?"

Faith gestured towards the contraption. Fred looked down at it and shook her head.

"Well, I was tryin' to fix the toaster but I think I'm gunna hafta admit defeat."

The little physicist's shoulders slumped. Faith hid a smile, Fred was adorable when she was in 'Mad-Inventor' mode.

"Don't sweat it, Angel'll buy a new one and you can turn that stuff into some sorta...weapon or somethin'." Faith said soothingly.

Fred nodded and smiled at Faith.

"Yeah, I've got a couple of ideas I'd like ta try." Fred said with a smile.

"Cool." Faith said, trying desperately to think of a segue and failing. "So, uh, Fred... any thoughts on romance?"

Fred's brow creased up in confusion.

"Romance?'s...everyone likes romance don't they? Chocolates, flowers, poetry, hearts...romance is good. Why are you asking exactly?"

"Poetry?" Faith recoiled in horror. "There's no way I'm writin' her a poem, she'll have to make do with the flowers."

"She? Who is she?" Fred enquired.

Fred wasn't surprised that Faith was opting for the fairer sex, she'd watched enough Britney Spears videos with her to be pretty sure of her sexual orientation. What she was more surprised at was the fact that Faith was planning to ask someone out. She had been convinced that Faith had resigned herself to a life of service, like Angel. But apparently not.

"She's...uh, she would be Cordelia." Faith said, watching Fred's reaction closely.

"Oh! Cordelia! That would be so sweet! The two of you would be great together. You're already friends...and Cordy doesn't have that many friends so you got a foot in the door. And..." Fred babbled on excitedly, until Faith broke in.

"Friends is a whole different ballgame to...being involved with someone. I dunno, I think I got myself convinced that she's gonna go for this and I now have no idea why."

Faith collapsed onto the sofa and slumped down, suddenly overcome with doubt. Fred came and sat next to her tentatively as she continued.

"I mean, we joke around a lot, we flirt...but I flirt with everybody. And she did have boyfriends back in high school. Maybe I'm just kiddin' myself. Why would she ever want t..."

Faith was cut off by Fred suddenly grabbing her arm and squealing.

"What is it Freddie? You're kinda diggin' your nails into my arm."

"Oh, oh I'm sorry, but I just remembered something, something that could be really important!" Fred said, her eyes wide with excitement. "Last week I was sittin' here with Cordy an' she was flickin' through Marie Claire an' making comments about all the girls in it, you know how she does, sayin' they were too fat or too thin, or too ugly or their boobs were fake or..."

"Yeah, yeah, Fred, OK, I get the point. Well, no, actually I don't... did you have a point?"

"I was just getting' to it when you interrupted me," Fred scolded. "Anyways, I asked Cordy if there was any girl in the world that she wouldn't have something bad to say about her looks and guess what she said!"


"She said 'Faith'!" Fred practically shouted.


"She said that you were probably the best looking person she'd ever seen and there was nothing she could think of that she'd change about you...except your clothes and make-up, but that doesn't really count does it?" Fred continued animatedly.

Faith was dumbstruck. The most attractive woman on the planet thought she was perfect. And she'd actually voiced this opinion to someone. Well, maybe there was hope after all. Fred was bouncing up and down next to her, still talking.

" we just need to get the two of you together now. You should just go out and get her some flowers...or oh, could get her a single red rose, that's really romantic...and maybe a gift or something. But then again you don't want to bombard her with a lotta stuff all at once, maybe just the rose and you would be best to start off with. And then we need to think of something great for you to say to her...uh...ummm..."

Fred's brow was scrunched up in deep thought.

"So, you ever ask someone out before?" Faith asked.

Fred quickly looked down at the floor and giggled nervously. Faith noted a deep flush colouring her neck and cheeks.

"Well...not really. There was this one time...but I was in fifth grade and I just passed him a note." Fred looked up. "Maybe that'd be OK. Maybe if you wrote her a letter. That way you wouldn't hafta remember all your words and get all stuttery and embarrassed."

Faith considered this.

"A note? Not really my style Freddie. Kind of a coward's way out dontcha think?"

"I guess..."

"And anyway, what would I write? 'Hey Cordy I think you're a hottie, wanna go out some time?' I'm not really big on fancy words...and if I got you to write it she'd know it wasn't from me. Nah, I think I'll just suck it up and ask her...if I could just think of what to say."

"Well...why don't you go with what you just said?"

"Fred! I can't say that to her. It's not...well, it's just not..."


"Yeah." Faith put her head in her hands. "God, things'd be a whole lot simpler if I'd just met her in a club or somethin', but now there's this whole friendship thing we got goin'...aaaargh."

Faith slammed her fist down onto the sofa, forcing a cloud of dust to rise out of the ancient seat. Fred put a tentative hand on Faith's shoulder in comfort. They sat in silence, looking up when someone barged through the main doors.

"Ladies, never fear, Gunn is here to tend to all of your caffeine related needs!"

Gunn's bright smile lit up the increasingly gloomy lobby as he held up a tray of purchases from Starbucksú.

"Hey Charles!" Fred stood up to greet the young man, smiling widely.

Gunn sauntered over to the sofa and handed over the drinks.

"Thanks, G." Faith said, taking her cup.

"No problem...I was just passing by the coffee house and I was thinkin' I'd save our throats from Cordy's bitumen for one morning."

"I heard that." Cordelia's voice snapped as she emerged from one of the back rooms.

Gunn held out a cup towards Cordelia.

"Mocha, extra whipped cream." He grinned widely at Cordelia's expression.

"Well, that's gonna do wonders for my figure."

She huffed, before taking the offered drink with a small smile. She sipped the beverage and closed her eyes at how good it tasted. Then she turned to Faith wearing a pout.

"You don't think my coffee's that bad do you?"

"Uh, no, it's great," Faith said, flashing Cordy a grin.

"Thank you, Faith." Cordelia said, with a pointed look at Gunn.

"Yeah, but she's a slayer...she's built to endure hardship." Gunn quipped, earning a very dirty look for himself.

Cordelia turned on her heel and headed back to wherever she'd come from. When she'd disappeared from view Fred nudged Faith.

"I think she was flirting with you."

"We do that all the time though...doesn't mean anything." Faith sighed.

Gunn looked from one bubbly brunette to a more subdued one and back again.

"OK, spill. What am I missing here?" He directed his question at Fred, who looked like she was going to burst from whatever she was hiding.

"Faith's gonna ask Cordy to go out with her!"

"Fred!!" Faith exclaimed.

"Well, it's not like he wouldn't have found out anyway. And now maybe he can help us come up with how to do it. I bet you've asked out lots of girls, right Charles?"

Gunn tried to look modest.

"Well, I don't like to brag..."

"Yes you do." Faith interjected.

"Well, maybe a little...but I have had my fair share of experience with the ladies." Gunn said, getting a faraway look in his dark eyes.

"So maybe you could give Faith some help with what to say to Cordy... I'm not much use to her for that."

Gunn sat down next to Faith and slung an arm around her shoulders. Faith regarded him with apprehension. She didn't know quite what to expect from him.

"Well Slayer, you're a braver woman than me...I mean, uh..."

"Yeah, I know what you meant. Just get on with it." Faith ground out from between her teeth.

"OK, so, the main thing is to be confident. You gotta go into this thing thinkin' you're the hottest chick on the planet and that she should be grateful that you're askin' her out. That way, if she says no, it's like it's her loss."

Faith and Fred looked at him in amazement.

"Is that really how men think?" Fred asked, hoping the answer was no.

"Normally that wouldn't be a problem for me...but it's different with Cordy..." Faith trailed off when she saw the amusement glinting in Gunn's eyes. She fixed him with her best 'Slayer-Stare', it didn't have the desired effect.

"OK, so it's serious huh? OK then, you gotta just be smooth. Just go in there, slip your arm around her waist and say 'Hey baby, how'd you like my boots under your bed tonight?'"

"And then wait for ten minutes till she recovers from her laughing fit and slugs me for usin' a cheesy pick up line like that?"

Faith shook her head and shrugged out from under Gunn's arm. Gunn was now laughing openly. Fred noticed the dangerous expression Faith was wearing and nudged Gunn in the ribs. He quickly sobered. Faith ran a hand through her hair and sighed.

"OK, this is what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna go find Cordy and say to her 'Look, I really like you and I'd like us to go out together some time, for dinner maybe, or dancing...what do you say?'...does that sound OK?" she asked nervously.

Fred and Gunn nodded in unison.

"That was fine, Faith. It said exactly what you want to say." Fred smiled encouragingly.

"Go slay her, girl!" Gunn agreed.

Faith took a deep breath and nodded. Then she turned and headed out to face her most terrifying challenge ever: asking Cordelia Chase out on a date.


Faith wandered around the ground floor of the hotel. She was looking for Cordelia, all the while secretly hoping that she didn't find her. Why did this have her so scared? She had faced unspeakable evil in the past. Hell, at one point, she'd thought she *was* unspeakable evil. So why was she so afraid of talking to a normal, young woman? A friend, no less. Could it possibly be her own feelings that were scaring her?

Faith pushed that thought to the back of her mind. If she started over-analysing her feelings she'd lose her nerve before you could say 'emotionally stunted'. In an attempt to improve her mood she started whistling a jaunty tune.

"Well it's about time puddin'!"

Faith spun around at the sound of a voice behind her?


"I'm just saying, I didn't think you were ever going to get your finger out and ask her, good for you sweetcheeks."

Faith felt her face starting to heat up as a blush crept over her. She glared at The Host's smiling, green visage.

"What do you mean 'it's about time'? You been listenin' to me singin' in the shower or something?" she accused.

The Host held up his hands.

"Woah there, my little anger-ball, like I'd risk startling a naked Slayer, I'm rather fond of the current arrangement of my face thank you very much."

He winked at Faith.

"So...if you didn't...then how did you..."

"Like you'd have to be psychic to see that! Honey, it's rolling off you in waves. Every time you look at her I can almost hear 'Love is a many splendoured thing' swelling in the background. Really, you'd have to be an idiot not to see it."

"Well, everybody else seemed kinda...surprised."

"Your point being?"

He looked at her pointedly for a second before getting back to the subject in hand.

"So, today's the big day huh? Well the best of luck, kitten, she's through there."

The Host indicated the next room along. He thought about embracing Faith, but then remembered that it was Faith and decided against it. He punched her in the shoulder instead.

"Go get her, tiger."

"Yeah...O...K." Faith said, haltingly.

The Host paused.

"Something wrong?" he enquired.

"No, everything's five by five." Faith said with an overly bright smile. "But...I was just wondering...did you maybe...kinda...notice anything on her side...feelings...or something?"

The Host looked at Faith closely.

"What if I said no? What if I said I hadn't noticed anything from her at all? Would you still ask her or not?"

Faith considered this. Then she looked up, shoulders back, jaw set.

"I'd still ask her."

"Then that's all you need to know, Brown-eyes." he said with a chuckle.

The touching moment was interrupted by an ear-splitting shriek from the next room. The Host and Faith looked at each other for a second before realising what was happening.


Faith was spurred into action, sprinting through the door and finding Cordelia on the floor, clutching her head in agony. Faith immediately rushed to her side as the room began to fill with other people. Faith lifted Cordelia easily into her arms and sat down in an arm-chair as the Seer ground out disjointed words from the vision currently assaulting her.

"Two boys...young...vamps...a whole gang of a park...near a big green statue...gonna kill them..."

The vision faded and Cordelia was left sobbing in Faith's arms as the team went into action. Faith held her close, cradling her head against her chest and rocking her gently.

"OK Wes, Gunn -- get the weapons, I know the place she's talking about." Angel said, coming to kneel by Cordelia. "You OK?" he asked softly.

Cordelia brought her head out of Faith's chest long enough to give a quick nod. Fred came to join them, bringing aspirin and water which Cordelia accepted gratefully. Wesley peered round the door.

"Ready to go Angel." he said.

"Right," Angel stood. "Faith, you stay with Cordy and take her home when she feels better. Take Gunn's truck."

"But...don't you need me for the stake-o-rama?" Faith asked, reluctant to leave Cordelia but unsure about abandoning her sacred duty.

"Nah, we've got it covered. You just take good care of Cordy." Angel said, kissing the top of Cordelia's head before turning and walking out, his duster flapping behind him. "You coming Fred?"

"Yeah, coming!" Fred squeezed Faith's shoulder and gave her a look that quite clearly said 'Here's your chance.' Then she followed the boys out of the hotel and to the convertible.

Faith let out a breath she didn't know she was holding. The breeze ruffled Cordelia's hair. They sat like that for a while, the silence only punctuated by the occasional hiccup from Cordelia. When Cordelia eventually spoke Faith jumped slightly in fright.

"So, should I be flattered that the Vampire Slayer has forgone slaying vampires to stay with me, wipe up my drool and see me home safely?"

Relief flooded Faith's body at the teasing tone in Cordy's voice. The visions terrified Faith, she was always worried that they would leave some permanent damage. So hearing Cordelia being normal was always welcome.

"Well, you know how much I love inflicting pain on the undead members of our society, I wouldn't give that up for just anyone."

"So I should feel pretty special then?" Cordelia's voice was slightly muffled by Faith's shoulder.

Woah. The perfect opening. Faith's mind started working overtime, thinking of ways to work her reply into an invitation to dinner.

"Hello? Fishing for compliments here? Earth to Faith?"

Faith blinked. She must have been spaced out for longer than she realised. Cordelia was looking up at her, confused. And she still hadn't thought of an appropriate way to ask.


"Well, you sure know how to flatter a girl."

Cordelia returned her head to Faith's shoulder and sighed, tickling Faith's neck with her breath. Faith was all confused, she couldn't even pay the girl a compliment. How was she supposed to ask her out on a date. And was now really the best time? Cordelia'd just had a vision. It'd be like taking advantage of her in a weakened state and she might feel obliged to say yes because of the whole 'hurt/comfort' factor. Maybe she'd leave it till tomorrow. Though how she'd explain that decision to Fred without it sounding like she'd chickened out was another matter. But really, you can't just come out with something like that.

"Faith, I've been thinking, would you like to go out with me sometime?"

Or maybe you can.

Cordelia lifted her head and looked at Faith tentatively. Faith stared back, in shock. Had Cordelia Chase just asked her out?

"Look, are you going to say no? Cuz if you are just say it so I can start repressing."

The phrase was pure Cordelia. The tone of voice was not. There was a hint of uncertainty in there. Faith realised she'd better reply soon.

"No. I mean yes. I mean no, I'm not going to say no, I'm going to say yes. Hell yes, in fact. I mean, did mean 'go out' as in 'go out'...ya know, like...have a relationship kinda thing? Not 'go out' as in have a girlie night out at the movies or somethin', right? I..."

Cordelia's eyebrows were raised.

"Well, things are looking promising already. I don't think I've ever heard you use the word 'relationship' in a sentence before." She smiled. "Yes, I meant 'go out' as in the relationship kind. So, you wanna?"

Faith nodded, not really trusting her vocal chords which seemed to have shrunk or something. Cordelia's smile widened. Her eyes flicked to Faith's lips and back again, gauging her reaction. Then she slowly leaned in and pressed her lips to Faith's. The kiss was soft, almost shy. When Cordelia drew back she exhaled slowly, her eyes remaining closed.

"Thank God."

Faith quirked an eyebrow.


Cordelia opened her eyes and looked at Faith.

"You have no idea how nervous I was about asking you that." Cordelia laughed, embarrassed at the admission.

"Oh, I think I might have an inkling..." Faith began, but Cordelia wasn't listening.

"I mean, I don't get nervous. Ever. Except when it looks like Angel might be about to get it on with someone. But I was soooo scared about asking you that...I'm surprised you didn't notice how goofy I was acting around you. But then, I had that stupid vision and you held me in your arms and I thought 'I have to know'. So I asked. And you said yes. Wait till I tell Lorne!" she finished excitedly.


"Yeah, he kind of guessed I was attracted to you and was encouraging me to tell you. And now I have!"

Cordelia leaned in for another kiss, this one longer and deeper. When it ended Faith placed her forehead against Cordelia's. Truth time.

"I was gonna ask you."


"I was gonna ask you out, today...well, maybe tomorrow."

"No way!"

"Yep. I've been wanting to for ages...I just...I was scared..."

"Wow, I scare the big bad slayer? Go me!"

Both girls laughed. Faith tightened her hold on Cordelia for a moment.

"We should probably get you home, huh?"

"Yeah, I'll need to get my beauty sleep for our date tomorrow."

"Tomorrow? You don't hang around do ya?"

"Life's too short for that."

Faith smiled and kissed Cordelia lightly on the nose. Then something occurred to her.

"Oh, by the way...if anyone you think we could say that I asked you out?"