Notes and Disclaimers: Mutant Enemy, et al, not mine. No profit garnered ever. For Secret Slasha 2005. Title from the Joe Henry song "like she was a hammer." Thanks to Dine, Mosca, Distraction77, Mare and Tigs.



THERE IS NO REVOLUTION WITHOUT BOOTS AND SONG




They're holding hands when the plane takes off. Buffy wonders if she'll let go when they get off.

*

Buffy doesn't look back but she knows Andrew is rubbing his nose as he says, "And they said, um, that most of the bodies were dead before the fire."

Faith mutters something like maybe "most of them." But Faith's not supposed to be the one picking out those words.

Buffy looks down and her boots are gray with ash.

*

She never would have thought Faith liked to be held down. Faith is always push push push, and now it occurs to Buffy that maybe she just wants someone to push back. Buffy's right on top of that, literally. It's kind of an amazing ride. Pushing Faith's hand where she wants it, covering her mouth when she moans, being the one to do all that. Amazing.

And when they're lying shoulder to shoulder, sheets pulled up and sticking to them, Faith says, "You should do that more often." Buffy rolls away, laughing. She did the mandatory for Buffy worrying part last time.

*

Faith rubs her thumb around Buffy's jaw. "That was pointless, huh?" Her hand falls away and she's still standing too close. Typical.

Buffy has a whole list of pointless things. Trying to get ash off her face is right up there, but still below hoping everything will start being a little bit easier. "If you can't take the heat," Buffy says, "stay out of the debris range of the burning hotel."

"Yeah," Faith says. "No one else is coming out of there." She leans closer.

No one is. Buffy can't remember which came first, fucking Faith or setting the hotel on fire. She thinks it's the same thing and then she thinks she's completely lost. It's not at all the same thing.

*

Angel's gone, Spike's gone, and Buffy and Faith are the only ones really mourning. That's what Buffy tells herself. At least for Angel, anyway. Buffy and Andrew are the only ones really mourning Spike. That would totally bum Spike out. Maybe. She's losing touch with how either of them would react.

That's too depressing to contemplate. So instead she's going to dwell on what Andrew insists on calling "the Hotel from Hell." Faith rolls her eyes and accidentally trips him. Buffy giggles and remembers the two of them dissing Wesley when he first showed up, all English and prissypants. And then Faith killed the lieutenant mayor and then Wesley died working for Angel.

"Hotel from Hell, let's check it out," she says.

*

"We get our own room, Junior," Faith says, pushing Andrew into the hallway. He doesn't really protest. "He can watch his own ass porn." She closes the door and throws her bag on the only bed in the room.

"Not like we were going to sleep three to a bed like we live in Arkansas or something," Buffy says. She should get her own room. Buffy can't quite bring herself to say it or really care. She and Faith shared a bed a few times after Sunnydale. She probably won't try anything.

"Yeah," Faith says. "Now we've got money and people, and I am not interested in spending every night we're here watching Geeky dressed in his favorite Star Trek pajamas jerking off in the bathroom."

"He'd totally close the bathroom door when he did that, Faith."

"He wouldn't want us to see his teeny weenie," she says, laughing.

*

Buffy says, "We could torch the place," and feels blank.

Faith says, "There are people in there, B. Non-bloodsucking ones."

Andrew looks at his whiteboard which, of course, he brought with them. He's drawn the hotel in red.

"We can't take out this many vampires. So we can either call in every Slayer in the whole world and lose some of them since most of them have been doing this for, oh, two weeks or maybe a year, or we deal with it," Buffy says.

"We had to destroy the village to save it?" Andrew sounds hesitant when he says it. He always sounds like that. He starts drawing flames on his whiteboard anyway.

"Collateral damage," Faith says. She takes a deep breath. "People are gonna die either way. Better losers working at the hotel than Slayers, huh?"

"That's not what I'm saying," Buffy says. "Maybe we can get some of them out. Probably a few."

"We'll definitely try," Faith says and Buffy can't read anything in her voice.

"Think of something else," Buffy says. She omits the please.

*

Buffy kisses Faith right before she thinks she's about to fall asleep.

"What was that?"

"I'm pretty sure that was obvious. There was tongue and everything. And you kissing back."

"I mean, what are you doing?" Faith not only sits up, she turns on the light.

"Kissing you. You always wanted it. And now I do, too."

Faith stares intently at the ceiling. "So this is like your gift or something?"

"My gift is something else, believe you me. But no, I want it. You. This."

Faith says, "Yeah, right." She turns off the light and gets on top of Buffy anyway. It's a lot longer than Buffy thought it would be before they fall asleep.

*

The sun is just starting to rise when they start throwing in the Molotov cocktails. Faith gets three in through the windows of the fourth floor. Buffy gets five in the windows of the third floor. Sunlight and fire. Take that, vamps. Andrew draws on his evil Trio past and puts actual bombs made with specs from the internet on the bottom floor at the important pressure points or something.

Then Faith triggers the fire alarm. The hotel doesn't have sprinklers. Hopefully, everyone in the hotel who doesn't die in sunlight will come running out.

There are only three people coming out the door. Andrew counts to five and sets off all the bombs. "Bye, bye, vamps," he says quietly.

"Yeah," Faith says.

*

Faith has these amazing breasts. The way she shudders under Buffy's hands with just a lick or a touch, it's like a little miracle. All that feeling. And Faith always pushes her lower like it's too much and Buffy always goes.

*

"Dawn," Buffy says. She's already tired of Rome.

"Buffy," Dawn says, annoyed. "I'll be fine. You need to get out. You need to be doing things. You've taken your break and been Buffy who does nothing. It's not you. And you know, spell broken, latest lame-o over, time to be who you are and stuff."

"Time for me to leave the apartment all to you so you can bring home your dates and not worry that I'll beat them up."

Dawn grins as she walks back in to the room. "You'd never hit a girl, right?"

"I've hit lots of girls." Which is weird. Maybe it was growing up with Willow and Tara, Buffy thinks. Maybe it's in her blood. Summers blood. But it's not a choice, she thinks, picturing Willow, it's who you are.

Dawn hugs Buffy. "Seriously, I'll be fine without you. And you'll be with Faith, which I actually think is a good thing, which is totally weird."

"I was just thinking that," Buffy says.

*

They found fifteen bodies. Andrew stutters when he says the number. "There were way more than fifteen vamps there," Faith says.

"Right, but they're just ash."

"I know, Andrew, I meant, if you're counting wins vs. losses." She rubs her hands together. "Right, B?"

"Right. And maybe some of those bodies were dead beforehand."

Andrew says, "I'll check that out. We'll know after the autopsies." He looks at the ruins of the building. "Do we have to be here? It's creepy."

Faith rolls her eyes and ducks under the police tape. "We need to make sure. Besides, always return to the scene of the crime, right?"

Andrew says, "Right."

*

"I can't think of anything else," Faith says. "I think burning the motherfucker down is the best way to go." She gets up and pulls open the mini-bar.

"There's nothing in there. I already looked," Buffy says.

"What a fucking rip-off. Big fucking tease. Completely empty." Faith grips the edges of the refrigerator door. "So we're adding more bodies to the count, huh?"

"Which count?"

"How many people I've killed. It's not like they chose to work there. I mean, I know they did. But they didn't answer an ad for Hotel from Hell."

"It's not like they chose to quit, which they probably should have when they realized what was going on. You know they had. And it's your count and my count and Andrew's count and if we get them all out in advance, it'll alert the vampires. Right?" Buffy leans forward and hugs her knees. She wishes they'd go back to making out. She's so tired of thinking.

"Me and Andrew beat yours."

Buffy shrugs. "I've never counted. It's not a competition." And Angel and Spike both win, anyway. What a great big prize. Come back to bed, she thinks.

Faith stands up and says, "I'm going out. Get some hooch. We need to make bombs."

*

"We ever gonna do this outside this room?" Faith gets out of bed and doesn't bother to grab a sheet or put on any clothes. She really is a hot chick.

"We have done it outside this room. In the bathroom at the diner, in Andrew's room."

"I meant, when we're done. With this hotel thing. Next mission, next week. Like, when you next talk to Little Sis?"

Buffy hasn't called Dawn yet. She really really should. She doesn't like to go a day without talking to her but now it's been three days. Everything is so weird. Buffy sighs. "I don't know. Probably."

"Probably what?" Faith is at least smiling. Like she doesn´t expect much.

Buffy laughs. "I don't know. Probably."

*

Thirty-five vampires dusted who probably killed close to a hundred people over the course of a year. Three people escaped, three other people definitely died from the fire. It's all right there in Andrew's final report. It's funny, Buffy thinks while she's reading it, that he makes the whole destroy the hotel to save the hotel plan sound like they thought it up together. Like it wasn't Buffy who brought it up. Like Andrew thinks it's a kindness. Or like Andrew's taking responsibility and spreading it around. Which is true, she thinks.

But it's still blood on all their hands. Faith and Andrew are probably more used to that feeling. In the direct way Buffy isn't.

She's tired of reading already. Airports are always so sterile and loud and vaguely gross. She looks at her nails and still sees ash under her fingernails. She looks for the bathroom and then she looks for Faith.

*

"We need to blow this vamp bake, Buffy."

She knows. They really don't want to get arrested since Faith and Andrew's current lack of existence in the judicial system is a pretty frail thing. And everything's done and over with. "I like this room, though," Buffy says. She wishes she could make it sound like a joke.

"The end of us, huh? Leave the room and it's over."

"Nope," Buffy says. "No."

"That sounded super convincing. Maybe once more with less scaredy cat."

"I'm not scared." Scared would make sense. She's mostly tired.

"Right." Faith gets out of bed and starts packing. Buffy gets out of bed and goes to take a shower. She has next to nothing to pack anymore.

*

Andrew hasn't noticed or has gotten really good at pretending that he has no idea. They scout the hotel, figure out exactly how many vampires they have to deal with and do the Slayer thing. Every vampire in town is probably in that hotel because there's none out on the streets. "Why not have the meat come to you, right?" Faith points out a 24 hour diner across the street. "Speaking of meat."

"Greasy burgers at 3 am, what more could a girl want?"

Faith smirks as she holds the door open for Buffy. "I'm a real gentleman."

"You know what really scares me? If they got listed with Orbitz or something. There's a vacation from hell. You think it's a great deal and then you end up with you being the room service."

"Not like they're gonna get a lot of repeat customers or good ratings or anything," Faith says. "We'll shut 'em down before they get to that."

Buffy nods. "This is weird, isn´t it? You and me and Andrew. And we're all sort of getting along."

"Hope you're not getting along with Andrew the way you are with me. Not that you're Andrew's type."

"I lack that essential penis thing."

"Doesn't bother me," Faith says. She rubs Buffy's lip. "You had some ketchup. Somewhere."

THE END.

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