Missing Persons

BY : ProphecyGirl
Category: -Buffy the Vampire Slayer > Threesomes/Moresomes > Buffy/Faith/Xander
Dragon prints: 8728
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BtVS), nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

She bought her first pack of cigarettes just outside Sunnydale. I'm not sure where, exactly. Some little town that probably wasn't even on the crumpled map in the glove compartment.

I pump the gas and she wanders out holding a red lighter, tapping a pack of Newports against her other hand.

"Since when do you smoke?" I hook the pump back up and frowned at her, wiping sweat off my forehead.

"Longer than I'll ever admit to," she says, lifting an eyebrow and opening the pack. She puts a cigarette between her lips and lights it. She's telling the truth because she doesn't choke when she inhales. I shake my head and go inside to pay for the gas, two sodas, and a bag of chips.

I return to find her sitting on the hood with her face turned towards the sun. "Hungry?" I toss the chips at her.

"The nutritional value of these is like, negative fourteen," she points out. I shrug. She shrugs back and opens the bag.

I head over to the payphone. "Hello? WIllow? Ye--please don't freak out. Yes, we're fine. Uh-huh. She's with me. We're fine. I can't tell you. No. She doesn't want to talk to anyone. No, she hasn't told me what happened. I don't know when we're coming back. We're fine. No. No. Yes. I love you too. Bye."

_-_

We stayed in a motel that first night--it was a rough one. Halfway through it, I found myself no longer alone in my little twin bed, but with a warm Slayer snuggled up against me. There was really nothing sexual about it. It's hard to think of your sobbing, shaking best friend as anything but your sobbing, shaking best friend.

Around three a.m. we were interrupted in the middle of a bonding session by a commotion outside. Vampires. Three of them. And a slayer. One of them. What the hell were the odds?

"The name's Faith. Was actually on my way to see you."

"What a coincidence." Buffy was less than impressed.

Faith shrugged casually. "Where y'all headed?"

"Nowhere. Everywhere. Anywhere but here."

She paused for a second. She looked like an abandoned puppy. "Well. Can I come?"

How could we say no?

_-_

That was how we became a threesome--me, Buffy, and Faith, crammed three across in a pickup truck. It was time to get a trade-in, and Faith knew a guy in Nevada, so at least we had a destination for the time being.

The driving wasn't as tedious as one might think. We blasted oldies and sang along, we passed cigarettes, and, as Faith got more comfortable with us, joints, back and forth, and it was basically one big party. We all had our pain, we all had our reasons. But I kept hearing Willow's voice in my head. She sounded so accusing. So hurt. Like she'd never speak to me again, even if I did come back. It was the ultimate betrayal.

I knew Buffy had killed Angel, of course, but I suspected there was something more to it that she wasn't ready to share yet. Faith, I knew almost nothing about. And me--well, I wasn't even sure I knew anything about where my own pain came from, but I sure as hell knew it was there and worth running away from.

When we hit Nevada, Faith took the wheel and within a few hours we'd hit her guy's place. The truck and fifty bucks got us a black van, which was good all around. More room, shelter from the rain for our stuff, and a place to smoke up or sleep if necessary. Plus, it would make it a hell of a lot harder for us to be found.

We hit the road and the question of where to go was once again raised. East was a definite answer, but.. how far east? Faith sat on a crate between the bucket seats and played with the radio while Buffy studied the map and chain-smoked. The question of money was also raised. Faith made a little here and there every time we stopped. She seemed to know a pothead or a dealer when she saw one, and made a business deal each gas stop, but that wasn't enough for all of us to live on indefinitely.

As good as the wind felt sixty miles an house ruffling our hair, we had to stop somewhere. Tucson seemed as good a place as any, and the deserts and canyons called to us. Faith ached for Mexico, the bars and casinos. Buffy just wanted to be away. I dreamed of the lonely deserts, cactus and wildflowers.

We drove through Catalina State Park on the way, stopping every so often throughout it to take in some of the sights. Faith read aloud from the guidebook, naming off the different cacti as we saw them; the saguaro, small chollas, barrel cactus, and the ocotillo with its brilliant red flowers. Approaching Tuscon, we saw the Seven Falls Canyon with it's small seasonal waterfall. We all took a minute then, marvelling at the running water smack in the middle of the desert.

This, we knew, had to be the place for us. A place of contradictions and beautiful things in the midst of nothingness. That was us.

I checked us into a motel for eighteen bucks. It had one double bed and one mildewy shower, and Buffy and Faith had to sneak in because roomies were extra and none of us were willing to put up the extra five bucks a night. Eventually, we were gonna have to find an apartment of some sort because this was gonna get expensive.

"I'll take the floor," Faith volunteers.

I shake my head. "You two should take the bed, I'll hit the floor. Gender rules and all that. Two of you, one of me."

Buffy looked mildly uncomfortable at being asked to share a bed with Faith, I think because of her feeling that Faith was a big flaming dyke. I set up a pillow and blanket on the floor and hopped in for a shower, pondering what we were going to do. The girls were going looking for waitressing jobs tomorrow. I supposed I could find something similar, off the books and all.

I throw on boxer shorts and come out to find both of them already asleep and curled around each other. For not the first time since I've met her, my suspicions about Buffy's dyke factor are raised again, but I ignore it and crash onto the floor, enjoying the first good night's rest I've had in a week.

_-_

I wake up with Buffy in my arms and a morning hard-on. It's almost nice. For a minute, I can pretend we're a couple and I can wake her up by rubbing her stomach lightly and pretending Faith's not sprawled across the entire bed above us. Yeah, Buffy's damaged goods now, but vulnerability's always been a turn-on and I'm still a teenage boy with hormones.

Reluctantly I disentangle myself and head for the bathroom for my morning ritual of jerking off, showering, and brushing my teeth. By the time I come out, they're awake and they have coffee from the Dunkin Donuts across the street. I sip it fast, letting it scald my throat and burn all the way down to my stomach.

The game plan for the day is finding jobs, so they take turns showering and dressing and we head out. There's a few diners along the dusty highway, and we stop in all of them. We hit paydirt about a half a mile down the road in a greasy spoon called Mamacita's. All of us. A lot of transients apparently find their way in and out of it, and they were looking for servers and busboys.

The sun looked brighter when we left with instructions to be there at 7:30am sharp the next morning in uniform. Buffy and Faith would waitress, I would bus, and hopefully they'd be making some good tips from the truck drivers.

We had the rest of the day ahead of us to do nothing, to do anything, and none of us felt like going back to our dingy motel room. There wasn't much sightseeing to do without a large amount of cash, so we voted on heading back to the van for a jaunt down to Mexico for the evening. It might take us about an hour and a half to get there and it was only ten.

We loaded up with sodas, chips, coffee, and fresh baked bagels, and hit the road. The wind was sixty miles an hour in our hair again, and it felt comfortable. It felt right. I drove, Buffy smoked, and Faith deejayed, flipping between oldies and rock stations. We sang with the Beatles, Three Dog Night, and The Mamas and The Papas as we headed for the border.

We crossed with no problem after a search of the van, producing our I.D.s. and birth certificates, and answering a few questions as to what we were doing so far from home. Visiting Buffy's aunt for the summer. Simple as that, and we were in Nogales.

It was crowded with tourists and locals, shopping and eating and running up and down the roads. We parked in a lot and strolled arm-in-arm, stopping to look at woven baskets and handmade afghans. Faith flirted with a bartender at Los Locos and we did shots of 151 before going out back to smoke a blunt with him. Buffy got flirty and sat on my lap casually, telling us how they used to sneak behind the gym at school to smoke and she got caught once. She told her mother that's how the fire at Hemery got started.

We laughed and Faith touched her leg a lot. I felt jealous. I felt turned on. I felt high as a kite.

We left with a promise to come back "cuanto antes" and strolled the street again, in good spirits. We were drunk on rum and freedom and maybe each other. We ended up in a restaraunt and bar called Punzadas del Hambre, where we ordered fritadas calientes, alas del b˙falo, and margaritas. We ate and danced and laughed. We spun like disco balls on the dance floor, the three of us in our own world. Buffy and Faith turned down the truck drivers and hombres in cowboy boots and vacationing foreign boys that hit on them. Tonight, they were mine. And it felt better than being high.

Night came on and we reluctantly left the hombres and fritadas and barras behind for the city lights of Tucson again. Something changed, we all knew it as we smoked before bed. All three of us were laying across the bed with me in the middle, passing the blunt back and forth. Buffy played with my hair, curling it gently around her index finger and brushing against my ear every once in awhile. Faith laid flat on her back and studied the waterspots on the ceiling.

The smoke clouded our minds and out judgement slowly, filling our heads and soaking into everything. It was good weed. Really good. Still drunk on the margaritas from earlier and now high to boot, we laid together with our heads resting against each other.

"Tell me a secret," Buffy says suddenly, breaking the foggy silence. Her voice is drowsy and far away.

"Any secret?" I answer.

"One of yours." She giggles and it echoes.

"You go first."

"Okay." She is quiet, a solemn look masking her face. "Angel was Angel again. When I killed him."

Faith and I are silent. This information is almost too much to absorb, and I wonder that Buffy has been carrying this since we left Sunnydale. I want to cry for her, but boys don't cry so I just bite my tongue and look at her. She looks broken.

Faith rolls to her side and faces us. "My Watcher is dead. I watched her die." She has the same shattered look. Fire rages inside of me and I want to glue them both back together, fix them both and bring back the happy dancing drunken girls of earlier.

They look at me and I release my tongue, swallowing a few spots of blood. "I think I'm in love with you both."

The fog settles on us again and we look at the ceiling, the walls, the carpet. Anywhere but at each other as we absorb these secrets, as we carefully lift each others' weights onto our shoulders without a word being exchanged. We will all bear each others' crosses now, that is the unspoken decision.

We all sleep spooned together, my arms around Buffy and Faith warm on my back. It's better that way. The three of us, together.

_-_

We fell quickly into the routine of Mamacita's. Slumps where we could go outside came every two hours and we took them together, sitting on milk crates out back near the dumpster watching big rigs pulling in and out. The sun beat down and scorched our skin and we avoided the topics raised the previous night, but we were anything but uncomfortable with each other. Buffy frequently reached over to clutch my dishpan hands for comfort and Faith chased me around the dumpster snapping a towel at my legs. We took our lunch break right there, sharing an overflowing basket of mozerella sticks.

One long day later, we retired back to the room and collapsed onto the bed laying across it the wrong way, our heads and feet dangling off the edges. Faith excused herself to go get some weed, leaving Buffy and I laying next to each other with an upside-down view of the room.

"Did you mean it when you said you were in love with us?" she says after a few minutes.

"Yes."

She is quiet then, staring at the wall and studying designs in the cracks. "I think it works. The three of us. We're like.. family." I don't answer. I don't know where she's heading with it. She turns her head towards me, and the next thing I know, her lips are touching mine and fireworks are going off inside my head. It's sweet but not gentle as she rolls to her side and deepens the kiss, pressing her mouth hard against me like she wants to devour me whole.

She sits up after a minute and lights a cigarette, eyes trained on the door, plotting what to do next. I lay where I am still reeling by this now seemingly inevitable turn of events.

Faith comes in. She shuts the door with her hip and holds up a nick bag and a blunt. Buffy stands and kisses her too. The nick and blunt hit the floor and Faith's arms are around Buffy, holding her and tangling in her hair. She's been waiting for this.

They break apart eventually and Buffy sits in the arm chair. Faith retrieves the weed and calmly starts to roll the blunt on the night table, as though nothing has changed. Nothing has. But everything has.

She finishes rolling and sparks it up, taking the first big hit.

Leaning in to me, she presses her lips to mine and exhales thoke oke into my mouth. I inhale. Buffy watches. There's no jealousy. I take a hit and do the same to Buffy, and she passes a hit to Faith and we smoke the entire thing down that way until there's nothing but a roach left which Faith tucks away into her bowl.

We lay on the bed in the afterglow, that smoggy feeling settling down on us again. It's different this time because there are no more secrets to tell. We move together and my hand explores Buffy's torso casually, taking my time to feel and memorize every curve. Faith does the same to me. We go slowly, exploring each other outside of our clothes through the haze.

It's late when we finally fall asleep.

_-_

The next day is hotter than hot. The air is still and stale and things are slow at Mamacita's. The day drags on, burning us to the core as we steal kisses out back, our calloused hands fumbling against each other. The day is young and scorching and we are too by the time we get off work.

We drive.

Forty five minutes pass slowly and the air conditioner is broken. We find a lake and the same thing crosses all of our minds. We fall out, tumbling over each other and rush to the edge. Faith goes first, ripping herself free of all clothing and jumping in before Buffy or I have time to blink.

Buffy follows more slowly, pulling her clothing off and folding it. She lays each article carefully beside Faith's rumbled pile until she is standing in only her underwear. Carefully, watching me, she unhooks her bra and slides it off her breasts. I stare unabashedly, entranced.

She turns her back to remove her panties, providing me with a breathtaking view of her curved ass before she takes off and hits the water. I strip quickly and follow my girls.

The water is cool, but not ice cold. Enough to be refreshing. We splash and swim, diving under the surface and dunking each other beneath it, copping feels every chance we get. It's an oasis heaven and we are at the center of it.

Faith goes under and swims towards me, reaching her hand forward and wrapping her long thin fingers around me. I inhale sharply and stay still. Her grip tightens a little as her hand begins to slide slowly back and forth. Her head comes above and she takes a fresh breath before ducking underneath again, and this time her lips go around me and my knees quake.

Buffy watches from two yards away, knowing, as though they had planned this out all along. Maybe they had. She steps forward and kisses me hard, moving to wrap her legs around my waist so she is sitting over Faith. Faith comes to breathe again and disappears quickly, her tongue doing things that I couldn't even begin to imagine before this.

Buffy jerks in my arms suddenly, and I realize that Faith's other hand is busy as well. I come quickly, and Faith hits the surface for good, pressing her stomach against Buffy's back as she continues fingering her. Buffy's head tilts back and Faith kisses her and I am the eye of their storm, knees weak but desperate to support my weight and Buffy's.

When she comes, she is ethereal. Faith and I watch her and exhange looks, knowing that we share the same emotion at that moment. Buffy and I are sated and Faith is proud, revelling in her power over us. knowing that for the moment, she is the center of our universe.

The drive home is quiet, each of us lost in thoughts of each other. We are damp and we smell distinctly of lake water, even with the windows open. We take turns showering when we get home until we are all clean and dressed and sprawled across our bed. For once, there is no desire on any of our parts to smoke.

We have other desires to be fulfilled.

It starts with light caresses and kisses, hands lightly drawing their way down bodies. Buttons being unbuttoned, clasps being unclasped, zippers being unzipped. We study each other, memorizing and soaking in each other until we are saturated with the sights and scents.

I finally speak. "I hate to be the mood-killer, but.. are we safe?"

Glances are exchanged. Faith speaks. "I just finished my period."

Natural birth control has never had me as one of it's biggest fans, but she seems confident enough so I turn my gaze to Buffy, whose gaze is firmly on the bedspread.

"I.. can't."

"You can't.. what? Have sex?" Faith asks bluntly.

Buffy looks at us uncomfortably. "Get pregnant. I don't get my period anymore."

She's too young to go through menopause, and I have a confused look on my face. "Why not?"

Faith knows. I can see it in her eyes, and she answers. "Too skinny. Not eating enough."

Buffy nods and stares into space for a few minutes. I study her naked body. The basket of her rib cage, counting each individual rib. The way her hips jut out sharply. Arms and legs so delicate they look like I could break them by touching them too hard. I remember the news stories about the girls dying from anorexia, starving themselves into skeletons. Throwing up what they did eat and not eating at all the rest of the time. Easy bruising, fragile bones, anemia. Sterility. It scares me.

Almost as much as the scars across Faith's body. Long, jagged cuts. Small round burns. Deep purple bruises on her wrists that I never thought twice about before. It occurs to me for the first time that they are self-inflicted.

I wince and turn away from them. It hurts me. I bite my tongue again, feeling the blood fill my mouth. Is it different? I hurt myself too.

I turn back to them.

We are awkward then, glancing at each other then anywhere but. Until Faith leans over and kisses Buffy. Then we all spiral together, kissing and touching and falling into each other. The sun goes and we move together for hours.

The three of us.

_-_

It all changed a month later with two little words.

"I'm late."

Buffy and I sank to the bed side by side, the unlit blunt hitting the floor and rolling between our feet. I flush. I'm embarassed. It's my fault, it's all my fault. I should have bought condoms. I should have insisted. I shouldn't have taken her at her word.Should have shouldn't have oh god what have I done?

Buffy looks at her with dull eyes, staring blankly.

I excuse myself into the bathroom and vomit, holding my stomach and retching violently.

What have I done?

I come back out after brushing my teeth four times and they are kissing.Something isn't right. What's happened?

"What's.. going on?"

"We're keeping it," Buffy says.

I stare at them both. "What?"

Buffy speaks slowly, as though to a dumb child. "We're. Keeping. The. Baby. It's kind of.. us. The three of us. Together."

Faith's smile is forced. It haunts me and I want to go back to the bathroom, back to the van, back to Sunnydale. Get away from this place before it eats us alive. I feel it coming. I know this can't be right, but Buffy looks so happy while Faith looks so sick. How can this be?

I sit on the bed, and my girls straddle me. They are kissing me all over, and everywhere I look the walls are bleeding like the scars on Faith's thighs. Something will happen. Something is wrong. I don't understand why Buffy doesn't see it. A dark cloud has taken its place over our heads and set up a wall between us.

How can she think this is us? This isn't us. This isn't what we wanted.

What have we done?

_-_

I hate to keep skipping ahead, but the months of drives to Mexico and cigarettes out by the dumpster just don't measure up to other events that took place. Things like the time Faith started bleeding and bleeding and we thought she was losing the baby and Buffy cried until there were no tears left but I've never seen Faith look so relieved until the doctor told her the baby was fine and then she cried too.

Like the time Faith was showering and I lay pretending to be asleep and saw Buffy pressing her hands to her stomach, rubbing them up and down lightly, no doubt thinking of the empty womb and how it would always be cavernous and unfilled. How she would never be a mother. How she had killed that possibility in herself. I saw her cry.

And then, that day.

It was cool, had been for a few weeks then. We all wore long sleeves. Faith hadn't been in the mood to fool around for about as long, and none of us had smoked in months because of the baby. We were all on edge.

She woke up dizzy.

It was decided that she would stay home and I would come back on lunch break to check on her. We couldn't afford any days off, and she said she was fine.

I came home at twelve on the dot. She was laying on the bed with the comforter over her, sleeping with a pained expression on her face. I thought of the way Willow would sleep when she was having nightmares, and resolved to call her that evening.

I leaned over Faith and gently shook her. No response. I touched her face, and pulled back. So cold. God, no. I ripped the covers back. Blood everywhere. Wrists split open. So much red, bleeding like the walls when I first found out. God no.

Buffy bursts in the door behind me. I don't ask how she knew. She just did.

I turn to her, shaking. "What have we done?"

She is pale. She vomits on the floor and turns away, sinking forward and catching herself against the carpet. "She.. she.."

"No. We." I correct her, staring at Faith. She is gone, and we have done it to her. Both of us.

_-_

The drive back to Sunnydale is a long, silent one. We trade the van in for a pickup and the radio stays off. We leave most of our stuff. In a sense, we leave all of our stuff and some of us, too. Everything has changed. When I shut my eyes, I can't see the margaritas and dancing hombres anymore. I can't see Faith's carefree spinning twirling face on the dance floor.

All I see is blood. Everywhere.

Missing: One person. Three souls.

One summer.


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