Notes and disclaimers: Buffyverse owned by large corporate entities, not me. No profit garnered ever. Title from Josh Ritter.


Faith said, "What do we actually fucking know?" She was a little proud of her self-control.

Dawn liked to sleep almost curled in a ball. It was useless information right then. But Faith kept feeling herself on the verge of blurting it out, along with a lot of other useless bullshit.

"Dawn went to this pawn shop on Fifth Street and Lewis to see if they had the glove and then disappeared," Watcher Junior said. He was new and Faith hadn't bothered to remember his name. When Dawn said they needed more help, Dawn got what she wanted. Faith would have been asking for months, even the new super friendly B-runs-it-and-Xander-steps-to-it Council.

Dawn would have said that Faith wouldn't have asked for help. And she would have been right. Faith said, "Why aren't we at that pawn shop right now?"

"I went," Junior Slayer said. Another one Faith didn't remember the name of. Slayerette had come with Watcher Junior three days ago. She'd walked in thirty minutes ago looking like she'd lost a fight with an 18-wheeler. She was already looking a little less battered around the edges but Faith didn't give a shit. "I told you, the jerk behind the counter said she'd never been there, I could tell he was lying and when I tried to go around the back, there were three of those mucus-spewing demons. Whatever they're called. I only killed two and then two more showed up."

"So we go back, you and me and Junior here. Why are we waiting?" Faith felt like tearing her hair out but she forced herself to walk over to the weapons cabinet and start stocking up. Heavy damage, that's what she wanted.

She had more stupid facts about Dawn rattling around her head. After the first smooch fest with a guy, Dawn had pretty much gotten over wanting dick. "Maybe because Tara and Willow were the first really truly in love people I ever lived with, maybe because my sister was a really negative example," she'd said, grinning. "Maybe those monks had a really twisted sense of humor. Also, girls are incredibly hot. Like you."

Dawn's Starbucks order was heavy on the whipped cream and caramel always, light on actual coffee. She called her sister every day. She played it super cool with Faith, always saying she didn't want to hold her down, not that way. She didn't mind if Faith wouldn't call her her girlfriend, even after they were basically living together. "Primo manipulation," Faith had said.

"Either you'll come around or you won't," Dawn had said.

It was great sex. Faith's hand slipped as she strapped a dagger to her calf. "Fuck," she said and sucked on the cut on her finger. It didn't even hurt.

"The problem is that we could be walking into a massive trap," Slayerette said. "Once we get through the minions, then what? How many more creeps do they have inside the store? What if they´ve moved her?"

"So let's sit around and think of bullshit reasons we shouldn't do anything, while Dawn, what? We can't leave her there."

"No," Watcher Junior said. "We can't. I don't think Shanelle is up for another fight right now, but I'll go with you."

Faith nearly smiled. She'd have to remember his name after they got through this. She'd ask Dawn. "Good, let's go."

Shanelle stood up and grabbed a shotgun. "I'm up for it. I still think this is pretty stupid. Just saying that before we go off to die."

"Nobody dies today," Faith said. "Just demons. And they're gonna die a lot if they've done anything to Dawn."

Faith said, "I'm gonna knock politely," when they got to the pawn shop back door. She kicked the door in and screamed for Dawn. She didn't hear any answer besides the hard smack in the face from one of the demons Shanelle described. "Hit harder next time, dumbshit," she said as she smacked back with her shiny new mace. He went down and she jumped over him. "Dawn," she shouted again. Behind her, she heard fighting, but the Watcher and Shanelle could take care of themselves. They'd had a whole plan and everything: Faith went in; the other two killed everything else.

The demon had come up from the basement. It was always the fucking basement, she thought, as she edged down the stairs. She could hear more fighting. Coming from below this time, she realized. She ran with her axe out.

Dawn was fighting two skinny blue baddies, different demons from the mucusy ones Faith had seen upstairs. She was swinging a large sword already stained with blue blood.

"Need any help?" Faith paused at the periphery.

"Yes," Dawn said, grunting. "This thing is really heavy."

Faith axed the nearest member of the Blue Demon Group and leapt back from the spurting blood. "It's like killing Smurfs," she said. She kicked the last one standing right into Dawn's sword.

"You totally didn't need me," Faith said.

Dawn shrugged. "You could help me with this chain thing." She pointed to her ankle where she was, in fact, chained to the wall.

"Or I could leave it on for some fun," Faith said.

"Let's keep that at home," Dawn said. She looked up. "Hey, Shanelle, Bradley. I thought I heard you guys earlier. Sorry to make you come all the way out here."

During the car ride back to home base, Dawn described how she'd been hit over the head and chained to the wall. So she'd tried a new spell she'd read about in one of her books which had made the blue guys sleepy, grabbed one of their swords and gone to work. "It was really helpful that you guys came, you drew away the mucusy ones. Go, you guys!" She giggled. "My head hurts," she said.

"You want me to kiss it and make it better?" Faith said from the front seat. Bradley-boy was applying more traditional first aid in the back seat.

"After you shower. You're stinky," Dawn said.

"So're you," Faith said, turning back to face forward. She felt let down. She had been so worried and Dawn was basically fine. It'd been a long time since she'd been the kid sister B was always rushing home to protect and Faith liked that, she didn't want to be with some fainting flower or whiny brat. But she'd been all wound up, ready to save her.

When she got into the shower, she was still feeling crappy. Or she was trying to, before Dawn stepped in front of her, making sure all the water hit her. "You're thinking," Dawn said, spitting out a little water. "Stop that, I'm fine." She turned and rubbed her hair clean, slapping Faith in the face with her hair.

"I can tell," Faith said. She pressed against Dawn's back, rubbing Dawn's stomach. Then she went up and down, stroking the underside of Dawn's breast and working her fingers between Dawn's legs. "Completely fine," she said.

"You were worried," Dawn said. She arched her back, pressing into Faith's hands.

Faith kissed Dawn's shoulder and licked the water off her back. She pinched Dawn's nipple to hear her squeak and then scratched just a little with her other hand to get a louder noise out of her. "Yeah," Faith said.

"I thought it would be a lot harder," Dawn said, gasping a little. "To get you to admit that." Dawn reached backwards and clawed at Faith's hips. It didn't even leave a mark, but it made Faith even hotter.

"I can man up," Faith said. "I can admit stuff." But that was more than enough talking for their big reunion. She turned Dawn around and pushed her against the tile walls. She pushed Dawn's legs apart and turned off the water.


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