Title: Dream Lover
Author: Melanie M./Shai/Misty
Archive: please ASK if you want to archive it.
Pairing: eventually W/T & Bianca/Rain
Rating: NC 17 (probably)
Disclaimers: I don’t own any of the shows used or anything attached to any show and I’m making absolutely nothing off of this fic. Well, accept for maybe feedback. Also, this isn’t my best writing (since I wrote it months ago) but it gets better (all who know me know I have low self esteem but oh well).
Comments: I need feedback. Remember, FEED ME!
Dream Lover 1
“Shhh, I won’t hurt you precious,” a voice whispered, with strong arms gripping her waist and pulling her back.
“W-Who are you?” Tara gasped as the strangers hand traveled down between her legs in the dark.
“You’ll find out soon enough but til then I’m gonna make you squeal like nobody else has,” a feminine voice, that seemed to be getting more familiar, answered as she placed her lips on the blonde’s pale neck.
Tara was breathing hard now with her eyes shut tight as this familiar stranger played her body like a finely tuned instrument. So soft, sensual and earth shattering was the melody being played on her. Every moan finding a more intense note, every pant and growl finding its own place in this song of passion and desire.
Tara couldn’t help but play back for she was far to gone to think of anything but pleasure. She roughly scratched her nails up the woman’s outer thighs, receiving a playful growl and even more blinding pleasure to her senses. It was like she was getting pleased physically and mentally, inside and out.
So close. So close yet so far away. Her eyes shot open, her chest rising and falling rapidly as her heartbeat tried to calm. She blinked, now realizing she was in her room, awakened by her heated dream. She squinted her eyes shut as she tried to calm her raging breathes. She couldn’t recall the dream itself at this point but she could stll feel it. She could still feel her all over her body.
She opened her eyes for a moment. She let a sigh escape her lips as her own hand brushed against her stomach. She hadn’t done this since she’d met Willow but now was not a time for thoughts of her ex. It was simply because she was curious as to how turned on this dream had actually made her. With her hand between her thighs she gasped. She’d never been so hot and wet before. She pulled her hand away as that voice came to her mind. Her eyes widened as she jumped out of bed. She had to get answers, now.
Faith tossed and turned as a familiar dream came to her mind. She calmed now, her tense body easing under her relaxing sleep.
“You look beautiful tonight.”
Faith knew this part oh so well. She took the form by the hand and led this woman into the restaurant. The dream now flashed to them sitting under the stars, watching the moon shimmer as they snuggled.
“Make love to me,” she could hear the woman beg. And she would every time. The only thing she ever remembered was stroking that soft blonde hair and the hot, wet mess the dream itself left behind.
Faith stirred now, staring at the ceiling of her cell. Angel was bailing her this week due to good behavior but she wasn’t the same Faith. She’d learned some pretty hard lessons in jail. Those lesson would help her and she’d never forget them.
Faith raised her head. “Yeah Tish?”
“Letisha to you honey. You got a handsome friend out there who just paid your ticket outta here. I better not see you in here again.”
“You won’t.” Faith sighed. She only really had two friends in there. Tish, one of the guards, and her cellmate Raven. She looked to see Raven sleeping and smiled. “Raven,” she whispered.
The girl stirred and turned to face the brunette, her charcoal pupils hypnotizing the slayer for a moment.
“Raven, I gotta go.”
Raven simply smiled, her pale skin looking like a porcelain mask. She slid her hand behind Faith’s neck and pulled her close. “I love you Faith. See you when I get out. I’m glad your free sweet angel because you deserve to fly,” she whispered in a sad voice. She closed her eyes majestically as she kissed the warrior with a passion only described as pure, raw and true.
Faith felt tears well up in her eyes as she kissed back softly. “Oh god, I love you too Raven,” Faith sobbed as she cried on the girls neck.
Raven draped her arm over the slayer and smiled sardonically. “Baby, you have to go.”
Faith looked into her eyes. She gave her one last kiss before she stood.
“Hey, can you wait for me out there? I mean, can you resist the temptation on the outside? I think we should press the pause button. Ya know, take a breather.”
Faith knew she was right. She didn’t want to betray the woman she loved more than life itself and this was the only way to stop the inevitable from hurting them both. “I love you and I always will but I know you’re right. On hold til you get out, got it. I’ll come visit before I leave. I’m going outta town to see some old friends. I-I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” Raven nodded and Faith headed out of the cell. She looked back and blew her lover a kiss. She mouthed “I love you” then went to gather the things she’d gone in with.
“What does this mean?” Tara sighed.
“Do you want me to dissect the dream itself or just dive in and fish out the reason behind the dream?”
“I don’t care what you do but I have to know.”
“Tara, calm down sweetheart. I know this is stressful but you have to remain calm if you want me to figure this out.”
“Sorry Rain. Ok, I’m ready,” Tara sighed. She’d re-met Rain shortly after she’d met Willow but they hadn’t really started hanging out until recently. They’d known each other from their younger days in Port Charles, NY. Tara went off to college and Rain was kicked out by her mother for being gay.
It was by chance that they ran into each other. Rain was on her way to a job interview a few blocks from the Magic Box when Tara exited the shop and they collided. They exchanged smiles, hugs and phone numbers. From there they had kept in contact. Letters and short phone calls.
Now that Rain had a steady schedule and Tara didn’t have much of a schedule, they found time to spell, go to the Bronze and other stuff. Rain was a powerful witch like Willow accept she knew how to control her magik. She was actually a Wiccan Priestess which, to Tara’s knowledge, was the highest rank a witch could achieve. “I still have much to learn, as we all do,” Rain would say when asked about being a priestess.
Tara closed her eyes as the other girl took her hand. She trusted Rain with her life and that would never change.
“Stay calm,” Rain whispered as she traveled into the witch’s mind. Information flooded her mind and she let go with a gasp.
Tara’s eyes shot open. “What’s wrong?”
“Huh? Oh, nothing. It was just very intense. There’s a tale about the chosen one and her chosen witch. Something like “for every slayer born there is a witch. One destined to accompany the slayer through her journeys”. That’s all I. . .” Rain paused as all of her repressed memories bombarded her. She fell unconscious to the ground.
“Rain?” Tara looked around and found a familiar face. Thank the goddess! “Xander! Xander!”
Hearing his name Xander spun around to find Tara waving her arms in the air to get his attention. He smiled and walked over to her. “Hey Tara. Long time no see. What’s up?”
“My friend, she collapsed. I think it has to do with Scooby business.”
“Oh. . .OH! Gottcha! I’ll carry her, you make sure I don’t run into anything.”
Bianca sat silently on Opal’s couch with her knees to her chest. How could Frankie be dead? Why? Why was her beloved taken from her? Her cell rang, shattering her thoughts. “Hello,” she whispered shakily.
“Miss Montgomery. It’s time. Pack your things, we must be going as soon as possible.”
Bianca straitened her back and put her feet on the floor. “She’s ready?”
“No. She almost killed an innocent.”
“I’ll be packed in an hour. Pick me up at home.”
“Miss Smythe will assist you.”
“But. . .” then she heard the dial tone. She sighed and walked outside to find Greenlee parked out front.
“Hop in. They want you at the airport like yesterday.”
Bianca nodded and got in the car.
“Tara? Hello. I came to check on everyone and the shop of course. Anya went to inform Buffy and Willow of my return and I offered to watch the shop. They should be here shortly.”
Tara bowed her head. “Then we’d better figure this out before they get here.”
Giles spotted Xander and the unconscious girl.
“Hey G-man. Where do you want her?”
Giles glanced at Tara then pulled a chair out. “Who is she?”
“Her name’s Rain. She’s a Wiccan Priestess. She was reading into a dream I had and collapsed.”
“What was the dream about?”
“She said something like “for every slayer born there is a witch” and then she passed out.”
“Welcome back Giles.”
They all looked at the door to see Buffy, Willow and Anya standing there.
Tara fidgeted nervously, glancing at Rain then looking desperately at Giles.
“Thank you Buffy. I have some books in my hotel room that may help us. Xander will fill you in. Tara, could you help me?”
Tara sprang to her feet. “Sure.”
“Are you staying with me?”
“Unfortunately. Only for a week, until you get settled in. Well, unless they want me to stay longer.”
“Why do you hate me? Tell me that Greenlee.”
“I don’t hate you Lesbianca, I just like picking on you.”
Bianca rolled her eyes. Here she was in a strange town stuck in a car with Greenlee Smythe.
“You’re lucky y’know. You’re pretty special. At least they think so,” suddenly Greenlee looked uncomfortable. Things with Leo and Jake were really starting to piss her off. She was sticking to her bet with Laura. She didn’t need a man. Lately it seemed she’d often found herself staring in those intense, sullen eyes of her current living companion. Yup, since the trial had been postponed Bianca had been staying at Greenlee’s place.
Greenlee actually enjoyed living with Bianca. When they weren’t swapping insults they were in a deep conversation or just hanging out. They’d bonded but that’s what worried her. She was getting a little too close to Binks and her biggest fear was that something would happen between them.
“I think I found something!” Anya squealed.
Giles put his glasses back on, his face strained with worry. He and Tara had spoken about her edginess around Willow and now he was conspiring against them to get them back together. “What is it Anya?”
“It says here that further into the legend of the slayer it goes into detail about another council. The Witches Council,” the baffled ex-demon mumbled.
“Witches Council?” Willow asked nervously.
“Yes. I’ve heard of them. It is said for each slayer born, a witch is born to assist that slayer in her journey through life, both personal and business related,” Giles replied.
“So this witch is like a sidekick? What does this mean?” Tara whispered as she caressed Rain’s hair.
Willow was jealous of Rain to say the least. Her eyes were burning right through Tara, her face redder than a ripe tomato. It hadn’t taken Tara long to find a new girlfriend and that thought tore Willow up inside. How could she have let such a love slip from her grasp?
Giles studied Tara, then Willow and sighed. “You’re the chosen Tara. Therefore your Mystic is probably on her way here, if not already within the city limits searching for you.”
“Mystic? What do we know about these people Giles? I mean we have to know something. Are they British too?” Buffy finally questioned.
“Mystics in the Witches Council are the equivalent of Watchers. They’re always American, female and are usually around the age of the witch they must train. No more than a ten year age difference I believe. Mystics train the chosen for the last task as well as their duty to the slayer. These Mystics are very special. They are of the few Priestess’ out there who posses the highest ranking of light magik,” Giles began.
“Last task?” Tara whispered, her eyes still focusing on Rain’s pale face.
“Yes. Once a witch has learned all she possibly can she is put to a test to prove her rank. The last task. If she passes she is granted true Priestesshood,” he explained.
“What if she refuses to listen to them like Buff did with the council?” Xander wondered aloud.
Giles smiled. “She isn’t forced to do anything like the Watchers council attempted with Buffy. It’s all up to the witch. She does have to fight alongside the slayer and without training her powers may backfire, like Willow’s did at first.”
“What does this have to do with Rain?” Tara murmured.
“I’m not quite sure,” he replied, taking his glasses from his face to rub the bridge of his nose.
“Who is she?” Willow tried to say calmly, her voice dripping with jealousy.
“A girl I grew up with. We lost contact for a while but bumped into each other shortly after I met you. We didn’t start hanging out until. . .after Dawn was in the crash,” Tara whispered.
“Guys, can I say something for once? I have an idea. . .”
“Dawn, don’t get involved,” Buffy scolded.
Giles looked up. “Buffy, let her speak. Perhaps she has a reasonable idea.”
Dawn smiled triumphantly. “Ok, we have two witches here. Don’t either of you feel it, or is it a key thing? She’s radiant, glowing with energy even. What if Rain is a Mystic? Tara’s Mystic?”
Willow calmed her emotions. She could feel it. So strong and powerful, yet colorful and warm. “I feel it too.”
Giles pulled the girls sleeve up and nodded. “Dawn, she is part of the Witches Council but we can’t know how high her ranking is until she comes to.”
“Something isn’t right. She would have told me,” Tara argued.
“Maybe they made her forget until the time was right or something? Can they do that?” Xander babbled.
“It’s possible. However, the situation must have been quite complex for them to do so.”
“Tara. . .” Rain gasped.
“Shhh, it’s ok. I gottcha sweetie.”
“So cold. It hurt. Broken memories whole. . .”
“Take it easy. You need some rest. I’ll take care of you.” Tara stood, trying to lift the girl.
Xander hurried to her side, gently slipping the girl into his arms. “I’ll take her Tara.”
“Need a lift?” They all looked t the doorway where Spike stood in all of his bad boy glory.
“Since when do you have a car?” Buffy snorted.
“Since I knocked off this Volox demon. Mate of mine gave me a van as payment. So you need a lift Blondie?” the cocky vampire replied.
“She doesn’t need your. . .”
“Yes, thank you Spike,” Tara whispered, cutting Willow off. Xander sighed and let the vampire take the girl from his arms.
“Lets be off then. Where you and your lady friend wanna be dropped?”
“M-my dorm.” Tara felt uneasy. She knew what he was implying and it made her squirm. She’d never. . .not with Rain. They were like sisters.
Faith sighed as she sat on the couch at Angel Investigations. She’d just said goodbye to the only love she’d ever really had and now going back to Sunnydale seemed so pathetic and pointless. Nobody would be glad to see her. She’d just be more trouble but Angel was practically pushing her out the door.
She’d met the rest of the crew, including Angel’s son. The kid seemed to be the only human that liked her. Gunn nearly killed her, Wesley was just a stuck up asshole to her, Fred gave her the silent treatment and Cordi treated her like she was a deadly virus.
Lorne loved her to death. She hung out at his club a lot and after she’d stopped two demons from annihilating his club yet again he couldn’t thank her enough. She’d actually become security and got paid to keep order. She loved her job but she’d had to take a small vacation to go to Sunnydale.
Angel didn’t give her a choice. He’d already spoken with Lorne and gotten her time off so she figured it couldn’t hurt going back. She knew Buffy and Willow would treat her the same way Cordi had and Xander would probably hate her with a fury. ‘I hope they can forgive me,’ she thought.
Faith looked up in slight shock. Cordelia was actually speaking to her. Maybe it was the joy of getting rid of her. “Yeah. You drivin?”
“Yup. The others are on a case. Listen Faith, I just wanted to tell you that I’m proud of you. You’ve changed a lot and I hope Buffy can see that. I also wanted to tell you I’m sorry for treating you the way I have been. You’re not who you use to be and I want you to know that if you ever need someone to talk to, I’ll be here,” Cordi confessed. She’d actually been the only one who spent enough time with Faith to notice the changes and it amazed her that a person so corrupt could do a complete 180 in a matter of months.
“Thanks,” Faith whispered, more shocked than anything else. They exchanged friendly glances as they headed to Angel’s car.
Tara sighed as she dialed a number that seemed so foreign to her. “Alison? Hey, it’s Tara.”
“Tara? OMG! How are you? Has Rain contacted you yet? Is she alright?”
“I’m ok. Rain’s surviving. She’s a little sick but she’s doing better. How about you and Livvie?”
“We’re great. Both of us have found the most amazing boyfriends. Do you remember Jack and Jamal?”
“Yeah. Those guys I had to chase away when I was babysitting?”
“Yup, those two. I’m dating Jamal and Jack’s dating Livvie. We’ve been through a lot. Do you have boy. . .oops, sorry, girlfriend?”
“I did. She’s my heart.”
“What happened? What’s her name?”
“Willow. It’s complicated. Anyway, I called to do a little catching up. What happened after I left?”
“Rain told her mom she’s gay and got kicked out of their house. She stayed with Livvie for a little while then boarded a train and took off. She told us not to worry and that she’d get back to us if she didn’t bump into you first. Nothin else of much interest has happened since then, accept for your phone call. Tara, I’m glad you called. I really miss you.”
“I miss you too Aly. I might come visit for a week or so during summer if I can find the time and money. It would be great to see you all again. I gotta go though. I have to take care of Rain.”
“I understand. I hope things with you and Willow work out. Tell Rain hi for us. We miss you both.”
Tara hung up the phone. How horrible. Rain had been kicked out? Had she been a drifter? What had happened before she’d come to Sunnydale? These could only be answered by Rain, when she was well enough. She began to stir and Tara rushed to her side. “Easy there.”
“Yeah, I’m here.”
“Take me to that magik shop. I need to be there. . .”
“Why? You’re not well enough”
“I don’t know why but I can manage. Just. . .please, help me get there.”
“Ok, I’ll call Xander or Giles. They can drive us there so you won’t have to walk.”
“Who are you?” Willow demanded.
Rain closed her eyes. “My name’s Rain Wilkins. I’m Tara’s friend. We sorta grew up together. She use to babysit Alison, Livvie and me. After she left for college way the hell on the other side of the states I ended up getting kicked out. My ma isn’t very open minded. I stayed with Livvie for a little while, in her basement so her dad wouldn’t find out. I knew I couldn’t stay there forever so I hopped a train and headed wherever it would take me. Ended up in this little place called Pine Valley. A lot of shit went down and I was paid to get lost and never find my way back.” Rain smiled briefly then continued. “I remember Tara sayin she was gonna be as far away from her family as possible so I tried LA. That’s where I met Cordelia and Fred. Stayed with them for a little while until they told me where I could find Tara. They said they could call and set up a place for us to meet but I told um I’d find her in time. Came here and started settling down. Got me a job, a place, a phone and even cable.”
“That’s all great but what do you know about Mystics?” Willow snapped. They’d put those two in a room so the witch could interrogate the girl but they didn’t know how vicious Willow could be.
Rain smiled. “I know my purpose now. After I left Pine Valley they took me. They introduced me to magik and offered me peace of mind. They said I didn’t have to stay but I wanted to. I learned a great deal back then. I remember them clearing my mind. They made me repress the memories of my purpose and placed a trigger on it so I would remember when the time was right. When I read Tara’s dream those memories came back and drained me of power. Is that what you wanted to know?” Rain asked.
“So you’re her Mystic and Buffy’s her slayer?”
“Buffy? Who’s she? A slayer? Yes, I’m their Mystic. Tara and Faith.”
“Buffy’s THE Slayer. Wait, did you just say Faith? She’s locked up, isn’t she?” Willow was worried. What if Faith was out of jail? What if this was true? Would Tara be in danger?
“She was. She’ll be here soon. I can sense it. She wants you all to. . .” before Rain could finish Willow was out of the training room and in the main part of the Magic Box.
“Will are you. . .”
Willow cut Buffy off. “Faith. She’s coming back. Rain’s their Mystic. Tara and Faith are suppose to be a team. Tara was right about Rain not telling her about the council and stuff. They made her repress certain memories until the time was right.”
“What?” Buffy growled. This wasn’t happening, not now. “She can’t come back. She won’t.”
“Yes, she will. Don’t try to stop her from being here Buffy. I won’t let you hurt her. She’s changed and you should trust me on that because I can tell what she’s feeling. I can do the same with Tara if she lets me. They can hide their emotions but Faith can’t right now because she doesn’t know I can feel what she is feeling. Don’t stand in my way slayer,” Rain hissed from the doorway of the training room.
“She can’t change. . .”
“Then neither can you!”
“I have before.”
“Then so can she.”
Buffy tried to grasp this concept. Anyone could change but had Faith changed? It was a question that could only be answered in time. The door to the Magic Box opened and they all looked in that direction, expecting Faith. Instead they stared blankly at the brunette with dark chocolate eyes, straight shoulder length brown hair and white velvet skin.
“Bianca?” Rain gasped.
The woman eyed the Mystic and raised a brow. “Rain? What are you doing here?”
“I could ask you the same thing.”
“I came here on a . . . to talk to Buffy and Willow about some stuff. Why are you here?”
“Uh, I’m just hanging out with my friend Tara.”
“Excuse me. Bianca, right? What do you need to talk to me and Buffy about?” Willow interrupted.
“Business,” she hinted darkly.
Buffy nodded. “We’ll talk in the training room.” She motioned for Willow and Bianca to follow as she headed for the training room. They followed and the door was shut tight.
“So what’s this business, Bianca?” Buffy asked softly, being very polite to the girl.
“Have you read the tale of the Mystic?” Bianca countered with a friendly smile.
“We know about it. Why?” Buffy was curious though she could already tell where this was going.
“Willow, I am your Mystic and you probably already know that Buffy is your slayer. I hope I can help you with your powers. Not only for your well being but for everyone else’s too.”
“I’ve quit magik,” Willow whispered.
Bianca smiled. “I can return you to your path Willow. We’ll start slow, without casting spells and we’ll work our way up at your pace.”
“Ok,” Willow sighed.
“Wait, two Mystics? Two witches? This is complicated,” Buffy mumbled.
“Two?” Bianca questioned.
“It make perfect sense Buffy. Two slayers, two witches. Two witches, two Mystics. I think that’s right,” Willow replied.
“Who are the others?” Bianca beamed eagerly.
Both Willow and Buffy frowned. “Tara’s the witch,” Willow whispered.
“Rain’s the other Mystic,” Buffy informed.
“And the slayer?” the brunette wondered aloud.
Buffy gritted her teeth. “Faith Spencer,” she spat bitterly.
Bianca could feel the tension and shifted backward. “I take it you don’t like her.”
Giles walked in and sighed. “I can tell by the stillness in the air that the topic must be Faith. Buffy, would you and Willow wait in the shop. I’d like to speak with Bianca alone. I’ll be sure to tell her about Faith.”
Buffy nodded and led Willow back to the group.
Faith swallowed hard. This would be the hardest thing she’d ever done but she had to. She saw Cordi nod and open the door. In they went, head first into the lions den. Instead of the expected hail of insults she found them sitting there quietly.
“Sorry to break the silence but I brought you a guest,” Cordelia whispered.
The others looked up. Again Buffy and Willow looked like they were about to blow a fuse. Rain stood. “Welcome Faith. Sit. We have a lot to talk about.”
“Who are you?”
“My name’s Rain.”
Dream Lover 2
A few days had passed and things were settling down. Faith formally met Tara and Bianca began to teach Willow how to control her magik. Willow was very cooperative and was learning quickly.
We lay our scene in the park. The day was in its warmest hour. Rain had convinced Faith to take a walk with Tara so they could bond.
“Where’re you from?”
“Port Charles, NY. You?”
“Boston. How long you been helpin B?”
“A while. After I found out about her night job I decided to stick with them.”
“Because of Red?”
“Yeah. Only at first though. I thought it would be a way I could see her more but I realized I was also helping people and that’s what drives me now that I’ve lost her.”
“Don’t get teary eyed on me Wicca. Red’ll come round. Give her time. Hey, you wanna go train?”
“I don’t fight.”
“Well, if you ever wanna learn how to be a good fighter, drop by anytime and I’ll show ya the ropes.”
“No prob. You busy tonight? I was thinkin we could patrol. Test our teamwork skills, ya know?”
“Yeah. I’d love to. Maybe Rain could come along.”
“5 by 5. I gotta train before tonight. I’ll be at the Magic Box. Meet ya at Spike’s at six?”
Faith grinned and ran off. Tara smiled to herself. Things were going well with Faith and Rain. The past few days they had been hanging out a lot. Faith really had changed. She was much more tame and laid back. They were growing so close and it felt good. Having friends felt good.
Willow had apologized to her and they were trying to regain their friendship and eventually their relationship. The smile on her face dropped when she turned the corner. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Buffy kissing Willow.
At first she couldn’t feel anything. Not even shock. Then came the bitter stinging feeling of betrayal and disgust. She saw them talking then and took that opportunity to run after Faith.
Arriving at the Magic Box she headed for the training room, paying no attention to Dawn, Anya or Xander who stared at her frightened. They’d never seen her look that way. She casually opened the door to the room and watched Faith gracefully hit the punching bag for a moment.
Faith was sweating already. She automatically felt Tara’s presence when she’d crept in. She paused. “Changed your mind Wicca?”
“Teach me,” Tara demanded forcefully.
Faith glanced at her. She could see the pain in her eyes. Something wasn’t right but she wouldn’t ask. She knew better. “C’mere.” Tara approached wearily. “Stand like this,” Faith instructed, taking the strongest battle stance she knew of and waited for the blonde to do the same. Tara tried, taking a weak stance that mimicked the stronger one. Faith smiled to herself. She knelt beside the standing witch. “loosen your knees a bit. Don’t be so tense,” she whispered as she bent the blonde’s knees a little.
Tara loosened up as best she could, noticing the slayers oddly gentle touch. Faith slid her hand between Tara’s thighs, “legs a lil further apart.” ‘She’s got gorgeous thighs,’ Faith noted, chiding herself for the thoughts that followed.
Tara wanted to gasp. Was Faith purposely teasing her or was it purely professional? Faith stood, placing her hand on the witch’s lower back, “straighten up a bit.” Tara remained limber yet in the same stance Faith had molded her in. “Good. You ready?”
Tara cleared her throat. “5 by 5,” she joked nervously.
Faith chuckled and took a stance beside her companion. “You right handed?”
“K. Watch and try this. One, two, three,” she instructed, punching the air twice with her left then once with her right.
“Will, thanks. I’m just so confused.”
“Buffy, I understand. You’re curious and I hope I helped. It would also help if you told me why this sudden curiosity has come up.”
“What about her?”
“Everything Will. I think I love her.”
Willow stared blankly for a moment. “That’s a step. The next one’s the hardest. You have to find out how she feels about you.”
“She thinks I hate her,” Buffy sighed, opening the gym door. Faith had claimed their training room so they decided to go to the gym instead of picking a fight.
“Hey you two. Ready to tr. . .” Bianca rolled her eyes as she answered her cell phone. “Hello. . . Mom? Prodeus? Vanessa Courtlant? Thanks mom.” She hung up, looking like she was about to cry.
“Bianca? You wanna talk about it?” Willow whispered as her and Buffy sat beside the girl.
“Remember I told you about Frankie? Well, my uncle Jack, Chris, Mateo and Edmund found out that this drug lord Prodeus had Frankie killed because . . .” Bianca began to cry. “Because she fell in love with me and refused to kill me like she was told. Her own aunt killed her!” Bianca sobbed.
“You lost me. This Prodeus person, who is he?” Buffy whispered.
“She. Vanessa Courtlant, Frankie’s aunt,” Bianca mumbled through her tears.
“That’s horrible,” Willow gasped, hugging Bianca comfortingly. She recalled the brunette telling them about the brutal murder of her rebellious lover Mary Francis Stone and the accusation that Bianca’s mother Erica Kane had killed the girl in a crime of passion. The truth had come out however. Erica had simply been covering for Bianca because she suspected her daughter had committed the crime out of rage and many people in Pine Valley investigated the matter. Bianca had told them all about all of the people back home and why they were important to her.
“Are you gonna be ok Binks? We can train another time if you want,” Buffy offered.
“I’ll be fine Buff. Thanks. We can train now. It’ll help me get my mind off the situation.”
Faith slid her hands up Tara’s sides, whispering softly, “stay limber at first. Try again.”
“Right,” Tara whispered back. Taking a breathe she struggled a bit as Faith began to get a hold on her. Then she threw the brunette over her shoulders and pinned her to the mat.
Faith smirked. “Perfect.” Their eyes met as they both tried to control themselves. Faith noticed the hurt in Tara’s eyes had subsided but it was still there. “You wanna give me the 411 Wicca?”
Tara sighed, getting off of the slayer. “I saw Buffy and Willow kissing,” she admitted, the hurt consuming her eyes as it had when she’d first walked in.
“Faith, telephone,” Giles informed.
Faith nodded. She caressed Tara’s shoulder then walked into the main part of the shop to get the phone.
When she returned Tara knew something was wrong. She could sense it. “Faith, are you ok?”
“Nah but dun worry bout me,” the slayer whispered, sitting alone in a corner with her knees pulled up to her chest.
That told Tara she should worry. She knelt beside the brunette and gently hugged her. “What’s wrong Faith?”
Faith sniffled, not letting a single tear escape her eyes. “My girl Raven. Pissed off demon offed her. Said the slayer deserved the pain for killin his bro. I never touched him.”
Tara could recall a million demons that Buffy had killed and this made her uneasy. She gently took Faith into her arms, knowing that this Raven gal was more than just a friend. “You don’t deserve the pain. Let it out Faith.”
Faith felt safe in this position. Tara was new to her but she was still so caring and gentle with her. She treated her in a way no other had ever suspected she needed. She’d never had somebody hold her and tell her it was ok to cry. Sometimes she didn’t know if she could cry. “I can’t.”
“Yes you can. Just let go. I’m not your judge or jury. I’m here to help you Faith,” Tara whispered, caressing Faith’s silky hair.
Faith let the tears ease down her cheeks as the blonde held her. Her body was quivering as she sobbed harder. And still Tara held her. It felt so wonderful to have someone to hold onto, a person who wouldn’t let go and she believed Tara wouldn’t let go.
“Giles, what can I do? I know they belong together but I don’t know what to do about their separation.”
“Rain, you can only let time show them their paths.”
“Don’t give me that crap. You want them back together just as much as I do. So what’s the plan?”
Giles paused for a moment. “I have a feeling things will become more complicated in the near future. We should wait for the appropriate time.”
“What else is on your mind Watcher man? Somethin else is makin ya think or you wouldn’t look so damn serious.”
“Why haven’t you and Bianca spoken since your first confrontation? I can tell there’s a connection between you but you both seem so distant.”
“She’s gay, like me, and her ma couldn’t accept that. She had to blame someone for making her precious daughter gay so she blamed me. All cause I took Binks to a gay bar. Anyway, La Kane paid me to leave and never come back. She didn’t let me say goodbye or anything. I needed the money cause I was homeless at the time. I still love her but I never got the chance to tell her. She’s moved on, now it’s my turn.”
“La Kane? How can you be sure that she doesn’t feel the same for you?”
“Erica Kane, her mother. Its been too long. Back then she loved Sarah and now she’s crying over this Frankie chick. I can’t take advantage of her like that.”
“How do you know this?”
“Willow. She let it slip so I called a friend back in PV to get the 411.”
“I see. Maybe you should be what you were before. A friend. That’s what she needs at the moment and eventually you’ll find the right moment to tell her of how you feel. Perhaps it will help both of you.”
“Perhaps,” Rain teased with a smile.
“Ok, one more time. This time try to concentrate. Keep your mind open.”
Willow nodded, focusing her energy. ‘Left punch, left punch, right punch, left hook, right uppercut,’ she thought.
Buffy followed the sequence perfectly, throwing in a backflip at the end.
Bianca smiled. “So?”
Buffy grinned. “Heard her loud and clear.”
“Perfect. Now you know how to reach telepathically. Anyone can hear you if they have an open mind and you want them to but Buffy and me will always hear you more clearly,” the brunette explained.
Willow smiled proudly. “Yay for me! What’s next? I’m pretty good at floating stuff but I could definitely use some practice.”
“Good. We’ll start simple and work our way up. Buffy, you can watch if you like. You might give her a little extra drive. You are her other half in battle ya know.”
“Sure, if you don’t mind Will.”
“Don’t mind at all.”
“Yeah. Keep your arms limber til you strike. It’ll hurt them more,” Faith explained.
Tara nodded then spun around, slamming the back of her hand in the direction of Faith’s cheek.
The slayer quickly blocked. “Very good,” Faith whispered, a little shocked at the raw power the blonde had unleashed. She let Tara’s hand go, meeting her eyes. For the first time she saw how beautiful her sparring companion was and it made her mind numb. Raven had just died and her emotional status wasn’t to par. She wanted this woman more than anything right now. Maybe it was comfort or maybe it was the bond they’d gained. It didn’t matter right now. Nothing really mattered right now.
Tara brushed a few stray strands of hair from Faith’s face, tracing her jaw gently. Those gorgeous chocolate eyes captured her, heat rushing through her body. She timidly drew her lips closer to the slayer’s, her eyes slowly closing. Pressing her lush lips to Faith’s, she kissed her passionately.
Faith was taken back by the Wiccan’s forwardness but she kissed back just the same. Her hands slipped up Tara’s sweater to caress her sides as the slayer deepened the kiss.
In that instance they suddenly pulled apart. This wasn’t right. It felt so good but they both knew it wasn’t meant to happen. “I. . .c-can’t,” Tara stuttered.
“I know,” Faith whispered, kissing the blonde’s forehead.
Dream Lover 3
Faith’s hotel room. . .
“Wicca. . .”
“I know Faith. It was just a kiss. You know I love Willow.”
“Yeah. You and Red are meant to be. We were both hurtin but I don’t regret it.”
“Neither do I. Faith, we’re still friends right?”
“Yeah! Why would it change?”
They hugged each other gently, smiling.
At the Magic Box. . .
“It’s beautiful isn’t it?”
“Hmmm?” Dawn mumbled, her attention shifting to the brunette who was speaking to her.
“The storm. Isn’t it beautiful?”
Dawn peeked out the window and smiled. “I’ve never really thought about that before but yeah. It is beautiful.”
Rain smiled at the younger girl. “Look,” she whispered, pointing out the window. “The rain cascades down the window like tears from a mourners eyes.”
Dawn studied the scene from the window. It captivated her. “The sky’s gray and gloomy like the eyes of a sorrowful lover,” she replied.
Rain grinned. The kid was catching on. “The rain drips from the rooftop like sweat drips from ones body on a hot summer day.”
Dawn smiled. “Hey Rain?”
“How’d you get so good at that?”
“Practice. Hey, you started writing that Popular fic yet?”
“The one about the Gods?”
“I have a very rough draft but nothing solid,” she replied, blushing. Having Rain around was great. She liked to go window shopping, read poetry and stories and play video game. She didn’t ignore her like the others and it made her feel like she was actually part of something, like she was bonding with the older girl.
Rain smiled. “I could help you edit it when it’s ready. You know I love a good story.”
“That would be great!” Dawn beamed excitedly. “I think I’m gonna work on it now!” she said hyperly as she walked toward a quiet corner.
Rain looked out the window again, watching the droplets fall. Sighing, she tried to stop tears from forming in her eyes.
At the Summer’s home in Buffy’s room. . .
“That must have been hard.”
“What about before that? I mean, you did date people before Frankie, right?”
Bianca smiled. “Yeah but those relationships didn’t turn out so well either.”
“What happened? You don’t have to tell us. I’m just curious.”
“It’s ok. You both told me about your rough relationships so I’ll tell you about mine. First there was Sarah. She was the first person I really loved. I met her at rehab when I was anorexic. We fell in love but her parents couldn’t accept that so they arranged a wedding for her to a guy she didn’t even care for. The last time I saw her was the day before her wedding and she asked me to help her. She told me she loved me but we both knew I couldn’t help her. She left and I haven’t seen her since.”
Willow frowned. “That’s sad. To know parents out there actually do these sorts of things.”
“Yeah, I know,” Bianca agreed. “After Sarah I fell for Rain. We hung out a lot but when my mother found out Rain was gay and that she liked me she paid her to leave.”
“Whoa, and I thought Riley running off on me was bad. That really sucks.”
“It did suck but I know why she took the money. She was homeless at the time. She needed the money more than my mother did. After that I tried to close myself off from love but it didn’t work.”
Willow smiled. “Yeah, I did that after Oz left. It was hard.”
Bianca nodded. “Then I fell for Laura. That was a mess. She’s straight and was in love with my best friend Leo. He was in love with Greenlee. It didn’t turn out pretty. Then there was Frankie.”
Buffy frowned. “Love seems to really suck for all of us,” she concluded.
The other two nodded and sighed.
“Rain, can I talk to you?”
Rain raised her head. “Yeah, sure.” She was watching over the Magic Box for Giles. He had to run a few errands and she was helping Anya manage the store. She didn’t have to do much since Anya was there. She took care of everything and she was good at it.
Tara sat next to Rain and sighed. “What’s wrong?” Rain asked softly, knowing that look.
“I miss Willow.”
“And I did something she might never forgive me for.”
“What did you do?”
“I. . .I kissed somebody.”
Rain tried not to laugh. “Is that all? What’s the big deal?”
“I kissed Faith.”
Rain raised a brow. “Ah, Will’s favorite person. Look, you and Willow aren’t together anymore. I know you still love her but that doesn’t mean you can’t kiss somebody. When you get back together you have to let her know about this but right now there really isn’t anything you can do.”
Later at the Giles’ flat. . .
“Hey Old English! What’s up?”
“Hello Faith,” the ex-Watcher replied, making some tea. “Have a seat. Would you like some tea?”
Faith raised a brow. “Uh, no thanks. What’d you wanna talk about?” she asked, taking a seat.
Giles sat opposite Faith, sipping his tea. “It’s about Buffy.”
Faith’s face became serious. “What about B?”
Giles sighed. “Faith, she’s in love with you.”
Faith blinked, silent and lost for words.
“I don’t by any mean expect you to love her but I do expect you to be amiable about the situation at hand. She’s very fragile when it comes to love.”
“Hey, don’t sweat it. I’ll break it to her easy,” Faith replied, now unsure of her own feelings toward the blonde slayer. She’d been in love with Buffy for a long time but Raven had made her forget. Being back in Sunnydale brought back memories and now knowing what she did she wondered if she still loved Buffy. With all that had been going on she’d blocked out most of her emotions but now it was time to explore them again.
“Thank you,” Giles whispered before the slayer left. He sighed. He hoped he’d done the right thing. He didn’t want to see either of them hurting and this was the only way to ease their pain.
The next day at the Magic Box. . .
“Will, you’re being stupid!”
“Xander, this has nothing to do with you!”
“I think you’re both being really stupid,” Anya added.
“What? What did I do?” Bianca asked, eyeing the ex-demon.
“You’re both blind as hell.”
“Shut up ANYA!” both Xander and Willow chorused.
The blonde shrugged, returning to the cash register. “Fine.”
“Will, listen to me. You love Tara, Tara loves you. So why the flying solo? You got the mojo under control so why not?”
“I don’t know. I’m not ready right now Xander. She’s got her own things to worry about. She doesn’t need me making things worse.”
“Xander, don’t fight her on this. She knows what she’s talking about,” Bianca inserted.
Xander sighed, defeated.
“You know, you’re not one to talk about relationships Bianca,” Anya huffed.
“What’s that suppose to mean?” Bianca growled.
“Well, Rain’s apparently in love with you and you just dismiss her like it’s nothing. She’s been spending a lot of time with Dawn and that’s starting to scare me,” Anya explained.
“Look, Rain and I have a past and what happens between us is none of your business!”
Dream Lover 4
Giles sat quietly in the Magic Box. The others would be there soon and he still hadn’t figured out how to tell them. Cleaning his glasses, he read over the scroll once more, hoping that it had miraculously changed since he last viewed it.
The bell on the door sounded. “Giles, what’s up? You sounded worried over the phone,” Tara asked as her and Faith inched closer.
He set the scroll down, staring into his cup of tea. “Tara, you’ve been summoned. The Witch’s Council wants you there by dawn if you choose to go,” he replied.
“You mean the “Last Task”?” Faith asked softly.
“It appears so. They sent a list of supplies you’ll need as well as a list of rules you must abide by. I’ve collected all of the supplies in that duffel bag,” he answered, then pointed to the bulky black bag on the counter.
Tara smiled. “Thank you Giles.”
The ex-watcher smiled a “you’re welcome” as the slayer and the witch stared at each other. He knew Faith would go with Tara. It was something he expected but he also knew this wouldn’t go over well with Willow.
“Wicca. . .” Faith began, “I’m going with ya. I don’t mean to sound soft or anything but I don’t wanna lose you to those fuckin pricks. I know they’re gonna try to fuck you over and it ain’t happening. Not while I’m around anyway,” she finished with a broad smile. Tara was family to her and she wouldn’t let anything bad happen to her.
Meanwhile. . .
“Bianca. . .”
“Rain, you don’t have to say anything.”
“Yes I do. Not for you but for me. Bianca, I love you. I’ve been in love with you since you and Sarah were an item. I thought running away would save me but I only fell deeper into you. I just want to be with you. You steal my breath away every time I see you Binks. I want to give you all of me even if it ends up another tragedy. I know you’re hurting but I’ll wait forever if I have to. I’m here if you want me. I’ll be your crying shoulder if that’s what you need. I want you to understand that I’ll do anything you need me to. Even if that means we can never be together,” Rain sobbed.
Bianca was speechless. She stood there in shock as the other girl stood. It didn’t register that Rain was leaving. She watched this agile creature glide across the room and leave without another word. Now was a time to think, a time to reflect and a time to make an important decision.
Faith sighed. She sat in the living room of the Summers’ home waiting for Buffy and Willow to arrive. She’d taken the liberty of volunteering to tell them Tara was leaving. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but she knew Willow would flip out if she knew who was going with the blonde Wiccan. Faith really didn’t think Buffy would care. However, knowing what Giles had told her gave her a slight sense of comfort and a sliver of hope. Maybe Buffy did love her but now wasn’t the time to think about that.
“You wanted to talk,” Willow hissed as she entered the room.
“She’s with Dawn. She’ll be home later. What did you have to tell us?” Willow growled.
“Tara’s been summoned for the Last Task,” Faith informed.
Willow paled, her eyes draining of all color. What if her lover never came back? What if she wasn’t the same when and if she did come back? Would she still love Willow? The witch was about to faint when she realized the slayer hadn’t told her everything. “And?” she barked.
“And I’m going with her,” Faith confessed, glad she was sitting down for this.
“Because I have to. She’s my sister in arms and I don’t want her to get fucked over before she even gets a chance to prove herself,” Faith answered honestly.
“Yeah right. You just want time to get in good with her so you can screw us all over. She’s your ticket to destroying all of the people you think fucked up your life. I’ve got news for you Faith, you fucked up your own life, not us.”
“I know I did and I’m over blaming other people for my mistakes. I know I really fucked up but you don’t have to hold it over my head all the time. You really wanna know why I wanna get close to Wicca? You really wanna know? Because she doesn’t hold my past against me. She knows I’ve changed and she knows I wouldn’t hurt her. I would die for her. Her and Rain are my only priorities right now cause you and all of your little so called friends won’t give me the time of day.”
“We have reasons to not trust you. Tara just doesn’t see what a conniving little bitch you are. You’re poison to her but she doesn’t see that because she believes in you. She wants to believe you’re a good, caring, changed person. If she could only see, right Faith? So you would die for her? Is that what you tell her to make her trust you? Or have you wormed your way into her heart to replace me?” Willow accused lividly.
“If she could only see what? Huh? What a sick twisted bitch you are Red? Yeah I’d die for her but I’ve never had to tell her that. She just knows. She knows because she trusts me of her own free will. So maybe I am replacing you Red! You couldn’t keep one promise so she left you. Get a fuckin grip. She loves you with all of her heart and you think she’s fuckin me? What kind of trust did you have with her?”
Willow glowered demonically. “I make mistakes too but at least I didn’t try to take over the world with a big snake or try to kill my sister in arms or try to turn Angel into Angelus or. . .need I go on? I know Tara loves me and I trust her with my life. It’s you I don’t trust you backstabbing whore.”
“You think I did something to her?”
“I wouldn’t be surprised. Want, take, have, remember? Or have you stopped doing that too? You’re also great at sleeping with other people’s lovers, aren’t you?”
“So what if I kissed her? What are you gonna do Red? Poke me with a floating pencil?”
Willow’s eyes turned black, lightning crackling at her fingertips. Suddenly her eyes returned to normal as the lightning disappeared. “Nothing. You’re not worth my time. And if she wants you, then she should follow her heart,” Willow admitted as she walked up the stairs to her room.
Faith steadied her pulse. Willow had really gotten her worked up. The adrenaline was pounding through her veins. She had to do something, now. She either had to find something to kill or somebody to fuck. She had a pretty good idea on who she should seduce but she had to think this one through. Willow wouldn’t be too happy if she did but Tara and Rain would be overjoyed. The only problem now was figuring out how she felt about the situation and the outcome that would be inevitable.
Meanwhile. . .
“Giles, I think you’ve lost it. Why would Faith be in love with me? She hates me.”
“Have you ever heard the expression ‘There’s a thin line between love and hate’? Every relationship is like that. All humans quarrel, some more violently than others. I’ve seen the way she looks at you. Buffy, be gentle with her. You know she doesn’t handle rejection very well.”
Buffy sighed. She was in love with Faith and if Giles was telling the truth she actually had a chance at happiness. This seemed too good to be real but she would go along with it just in case. “I know. I’ll let her down easy,” she agreed, standing to leave. Smiling, she headed home to meet Faith before Willow got there.
Rain walked into the Magic Box with her head bowed. She needed to talk to Tara and Faith. Looking up she saw Giles pointing toward the training room. She smiled a “thank you” then entered the other room.
Both the slayer and the witch looked up in surprise. “Hey Rain. Have you heard?” Tara asked softly.
“What?” Rain asked with concern.
“I’ve been summoned.”
“Oh. I sensed it earlier but I didn’t know what it was. As your friend and Mystic I have to go with you. Are you going Faith?”
“Yeah. Wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Faith replied with a grin.
“We’ll have to wait at a checkpoint for her then. We can only take her so far and then we have to let her do the rest. Those are the basic rules. I read over the scroll before Giles got the chance to,” Rain informed.
Tara smiled. Looking at Faith she spoke, “what were you saying before Rain came in?”
“Um,” Faith choked, “I went to tell B and Red about your summoning earlier.”
“How’d it go?” Rain whispered.
Faith ran her fingers through her hair. “B didn’t show up on time so me and Red got into it.” She looked Tara in the eye. “I’m sorry, it slipped.”
Tara swallowed hard. She’d have to do a little damage control the next time she spoke with Willow but other than that everything seemed ok. “Hey, don’t worry about it. She would have found out eventually anyway,” she cooed softly.
They all smiled at each other. “Well, we better start packing. We have a long journey ahead,” Rain reasoned.
As they are about to leave. . .
Tara looked at all of her friends silently. She was leaving and she didn’t know if she was coming back the same person. Scanning the faces she saw Willow come in from the training room. She wanted to reach out and kiss her but she knew better. Turning away, she opened the door.
Just then she felt a soft hand grip her arm. Turning her head she found herself face to face with Willow. “I have to go,” she whispered.
“I know but hear me out. I love you Tara and I want you back. If you wanna be with Faith then that’s ok. I’ll never be alright with it but I want you to be happy,” the redhead replied.
“What? Willow, all I did was kiss her. We both knew it wouldn’t work. I. . .I saw you and Buffy kissing. I ran to Faith and she started teaching me how to fight. Later on she found out that her girlfriend had died. We were just fuming and crying and that’s how it happened,” Tara explained.
“That’s all? I’m so sorry you had to see me and Buffy. She. . .” Willow stopped and stared at the blonde as Faith tried to sneak out the door.
“I kissed her as a practice kiss. I. . .” Buffy paused as Rain yanked Faith back into the room.
Tara smiled and nodded. “I understand. Guys, could you help me with some of this stuff?” she asked, trying to get Anya, Xander, Giles and Dawn away from the others. She knew Willow would follow her out but she wasn’t sure if the others would.
Everyone, aside from Buffy, Bianca, and Rain, grabbed a bag and headed outside. Faith tried again to flee the scene but Rain wouldn’t let her. She grabbed her by the arm and pushed her toward Buffy. “You two need to talk,” Rain announced as the door closed.
Buffy stepped up to the plate. She knew if she didn’t say something now she’d never be able to. “Faith, I don’t know when this happened but it did. I fell for you, hard and fast. I feel like I can’t live without you, like I’d die without you. I know we’ve both made mistakes in the past but I’ve put that behind me. I love you and I want you to make heaven a place on Earth for me. You’re the only one who makes me feel this way. Like I’m walking on air, like. . .”
“Like you’re holding a little piece of heaven you don’t wanna let go of? Like you can do anything if we’re near? I know B cause that’s how you make me feel. I ain’t gonna get all mushy or anything cause that really ain’t me. I will tell you one thing though. I love you Buffy Summers,” Faith interrupted as she drew closer to the other slayer.
They shared a kiss before Faith decided it was time to go. “I gotta go B.”
“Be careful,” Buffy instructed before whispering into Faith’s ear.
Faith blushed as she held the door open for Rain. Rain smiled and headed outside. Standing there she looked back.
Bianca caught the door before it had a chance to close. Stepping outside she saw Tara and Faith in the car as the others walked inside. They were technically alone. “Rain. . .”
A few droplets fell from the sky as the brunette stared at her true love. “Don’t. I already know what you’re gonna say Binks.”
“I love you Rain. I always have. It’s just. . .I need time to heal,” Bianca whispered, nearly in tears.
“Bianca, I’ve been waiting a long time and if that’s all you need then I know I can wait just a little bit longer. I love you more than life itself Binks and nothings gonna change that. At least I can be here for you now instead of running away and losing more precious time. I’ll be back as soon as I can,” Rain replied.
Bianca smiled. This is where she was meant to be. Going back to Pine Valley seemed pointless. This was where she would start her life over. Throwing her arms around Rain, she squeezed gently then opened the door for her girlfriend. “Be safe.”
Rain smiled. “We will be. I love you.”
“I love you too,” Bianca whispered as she closed the door.
The car sped off, beginning the trios journey into the unknown; their loved ones left behind to hope for their return.
The Last Task
With a long sigh Faith parked the rental car then joined the others as they walked into the small shop. The shop smelled musty like the Magic Box but it didn’t have the same feel to it. They looked around cautiously but found their attention drawn to the man approaching them.
“Hello ladies. You must be the guests the council called about. Welcome to No Mans Land. I’m Gibson,” the man chirped as he ushered the three females passed the entrance in the bookcase and into his hidden club.
Faith studied the place a little closer. This place was a little creepy but it didn’t scare her. He led them through the crowd and they could feel everyone’s eyes on them. As they entered a room near the back they saw a stunning brunette tap the man on the shoulder and pull him aside.
“Gibson, who are those girls?” they heard her whisper before he closed the door.
Tara raised a brow. “Did anyone else notice we were being stared at?”
“I noticed. They were also giving off odd vibes and auras. This place isn’t like any place I’ve ever been before. It feels different,” Rain added.
“Maybe they’re a different kind of being, ya know? Not demons cause I would sense that. But maybe they’re somethin we don’t know about yet,” Faith mused, mapping the exits just in case.
“That would explain allot,” Tara yawned, pretty worn down from the flight.
Gibson returned with a smile. “Sorry for the delay. You’re from Sunnydale, right?”
“Look, we ain’t got time for chatting. We need directions to the checkpoint so we can get gone,” Faith sneered, slightly agitated with her lack of sleep.
Rain swatted Faith’s arm playfully then met his saddened eyes. “Please forgive her, it’s the jet lag.”
He nodded as the joy returned to his eyes. He handed them an envelope as he spoke, “Long flight from Sunnydale to New Gotham. You should be at the checkpoint by dark. Be careful, it’s a bit foggy. It’s down a narrow, winding road but you’ll know it when you see it.”
Sunset. . .
“So how much further?” the Mystic sighed, staring listlessly into the fog before them.
“About a mile. He said we’ll know it when we see it,” Tara replied.
“How the fuck are we suppose to see it in this shit? I can barely see the car in front of me,” Faith grumbled.
“THERE!” Rain yelled, pointing at the small passage they had just passed.
Faith muttered under her breath as she flipped a bitch. Turning onto the narrow road, she paused. Something caused unease to rise within her but she wouldn’t let that slow her down now. They were almost there. Driving about four more miles they found a huge castle like mansion. “Well, looks like these people got some taste. You guys ready?”
Rain looked back at Tara then nodded at Faith. “Lets do this.”
They all got out of the car and walked toward the entrance. Before they reached the door it opened, revealing an elderly man in a suite. He smiled wholesomely as they entered. “Welcome Miss Wilkins, Miss Spencer and Miss Maclay. We’ve been expecting you. Your Guardian awaits in the dining room. Dinner will be served at 5 o’clock sharp. Feel free to explore the mansion and relax. After all, the journey has not yet begun.”
“Thank you,” Tara whispered before leading her friends into one of the rooms.
Rain narrowed her eyes. “What did he mean by Guardian? Giles didn’t tell us about any Guardian.”
“Probably the guys above mystics. I don’t trust this place. What do ya say we check it out?” Faith asked, looking around briefly before meeting their eyes again.
“Good idea. We should probably find the dining room first since dinner’s in about an hour,” Tara replied, also getting strange vibes from this house and its occupants.
Half an hour later. . .
“Somethin smells good,” Faith purred as they finally entered the dining room.
“Welcome,” a the redhead greeted with a wave.
Tara met the woman’s gorgeous emerald gaze and suddenly felt lost. Those eyes reminded her of Willow but she couldn’t be with her right now. This was something she’d have to do herself. Her thoughts were shattered when the woman spoke again.
“Have a seat. We have allot to talk about,” she instructed, already seated at the head of the table.
The three women each took a seat and focused their attention on the redhead. Faith met the older woman’s eyes and asked as politely as she could, “lots to talk about, huh? Why don’t you start by tellin us who you are and why you’re here.”
“You must be Faith,” the redhead replied with a soft chuckle. “My name’s Barbra and I’m here to help all of you. I have a few things to give Tara to help her on her journey. You and Rain will be staying here until she returns.”
Rain raised a suspicious brow. This woman seemed to be hiding something but she had a feeling it had nothing to do with them. She met the woman’s eyes and asked cautiously, “and what’s in it for you?”
Barbra kept an unreadable face on as she replied tentatively, “I want to be proud of my charge and I’m bound to this position by a promise. I hope some day what I’m doing will matter.”
Rain smiled. This woman meant far more by that than she would openly admit and Rain knew it. She had learned how to read people and their tones even before she’d met Bianca. Not content with the answer she got, she pried a little more, “I hope so too. So what do you do for a living? I mean, this place is quite an accomplishment.”
“I’m a teacher at the high school and this isn’t my house. It belongs to a friend who also made a promise to the Witches Council. They use his grounds and home for the Last Task. Are you finished grilling me?” the redhead asked with a slightly teasing tone.
Faith narrowed her eyes. Either this chick was lying through her teeth or she was hiding something really big. Not trusting the woman she spoke just above a growl, “what are you hiding?”
Barbra tilted her head in mock confusion. “What do you mean?” she questioned, playing naive.
“You were too sincere. You’re not telling us something. What is it?” the slayer whispered sternly.
Tara sensed the tension in the air and smacked Fait playfully on the arm. “Faith! Be nice. We’re her guests.”
The redhead shook her head. “It’s alright Tara. She’s right. There are things I’m not telling you but I do have my reasons. The most prominent one being that they have nothing to do with any of you or the Last Task.”
Meanwhile in Sunnydale. . .
“C’mon Buff! You have to!”
“I should patrol.”
“There will be just as many vampires tomorrow as there are today!”
“You know what, you’re right. I need a break anyway. So who do you wanna call?”
Willow sighed. “Just sit back Buffy. I already invited all of the girls.”
Buffy froze. “Tell me you didn’t mention this to Dawn!” she squeaked.
The redhead bit her bottom lip. “It was kinda her idea.”
“Crap! Well, I just hope it doesn’t get out of hand. You know how it gets.”
Three hours later. . .
Rain met the blonde’s eyes, whispering gently, “be careful Tara.”
Tara nodded with a slight smile. “I will.”
Rain took off one of her necklaces and put it on the other woman. “You better come back in one piece.”
Faith sighed, pulling one of her bags to her. “Hey Wicca, c’mere.”
Tara nodded to Rain before laughing at Faith’s nickname for her. She walked over to where the Slayer was and sat beside her. “Are you getting soft on me Slayer girl?” she teased.
Faith smiled broadly then pulled out the knife the Mayor had given her. Handing it to the blonde, she replied, “Not a chance. Take this with ya, might be handy in a tight spot.”
Tara met the brunettes eyes. “Thank you.”
Barbra wheeled in with a frown. “You should leave soon. If you’re not back in a week I call the search party.”
In Sunnydale. . .
Buffy sighed as Willow and Dawn brought everyone cups of hot chocolate. The Slayer wanted to have fun tonight but for some reason she was very uneasy. She missed Faith. She felt empty inside, like she’d just had her heart ripped out. Her confession of love for the other Slayer had come at the worst time. They hadn’t even been alone since then which only meant she wouldn’t be able to contribute to conversation tonight. Realizing the others were staring she blinked, exhaling a soft, “Hmmm?”
Willow smiled. She knew what Buffy was feeling and this was her way of helping. She was determined to make her best friend have some fun, whether she liked it or not. Handing the Slayer a mug of cocoa, she repeated her last sentence, “ I asked if you had any ideas on what to do tonight.”
“Oh,” the Slayer replied, searching her mind for an answer. “It might sound a little childish but how about truth or dare? It’s never dull with you and Anya,” she snickered.
“It doesn’t sound childish Buffy. We always play that game. It’s a tradition,” Anya piped up with a perky smile.
“Yeah, it is but we should go easy on the newbies. We wouldn’t want to scare them off,” Willow suggested.
“Oh please! We’re not kids you guys. Treat us the same way you treat each other,” Dawn protested.
Willow, Buffy and Anya all looked at each other then grinned. “Ok, but since you’re playing the big leagues now be prepared for anything,” the Slayer warned.
Two days later. . .
Her breathes were worn as she clawed her way closer to the comfort she sought. Seeing dim flickers of orange and red, her face lit up. Focusing her strength, she steadied herself on the wall and pulled herself up. Collecting her composure, she tapped weakly on the door.
The door eased open and her eyes met relieved faces. “Tara!” the other two chorused, hugging the her gently.
“Hey guys,” her voice rasped, her muscles giving in the moment they touched her.
“Wicca, you ok? What happened?” Faith asked, holding the witch up since she couldn’t do so herself.
Rain shook her head. “I think she meant physically. You can’t even stand on your own.”
“I’m just a little sore and tired. With a good nights rest I’ll be fine,” the blonde replied hoarsely.
Barbra smiled. “You did very well Tara, I’m proud of you. Get some rest. You’ll be flying out tomorrow afternoon.”
On the plane the next day. . .
“So Wicca, what’d you have to do?” the Slayer probed. Her senses were telling her something about her friend had changed but she couldn’t point out what.
Her eyes became lifeless pools of dying blues as darkness dripped from her words, “what I have done, nobody will know because others must complete the task.”
Faith met Rain’s gaze. Rain’s steady, comforting eye put the Slayer at ease. She was worried but she wouldn’t let them know that. “That’s cool. I was just wonderin.”
Later in Sunnydale. . .
Rain sighed as the cab stopped. “Looks like we’re home.”
“Looks that way. Why don’t you take Wicca inside, I’ll get the bags,” Faith instructed as she got out.
Rain obeyed, helping Tara out of the car. They wondered in through the front door with Faith close behind them. What they found, however, was far from what they expected. It was pitch black and the only thing that could be heard were the words of Jimmy Hendrix to a jammin beat. Faith dropped the bags and her eyes narrowed. “Kinda dark in here,” she stated, not being able to see anything but still forms strewn all over the living room.
Fearing the worst, Tara opened the blinds to reveal her friends all passed out. They had evidently been drinking seeing as there were bottles of various liquors on the coffee table. As soon as the light shone in on them Anya hissed rabidly, covering her eyes.
Rain chuckled as Tara closed the blinds and clicked a lamp on. The others began to stir, grumbling about headaches, aspirin and more sleep. “What the hell did you guys do? Start another Woodstock without us?” Rain teased.
Buffy snickered as she walked in from the kitchen. “Coffee’s on ladies. Get it while it’s hot!”
All of them raced to the kitchen and returned shortly after with mugs full of coffee. They each sat beside their counterparts, aside from Anya and Dawn of course. Faith smiled elegantly, placing a soft kiss on her lover’s lips. “It’s good to see ya B.”
The blonde Slayer blushed. “I’m glad you all came back safe.”
Willow bowed her head. “Faith, I. . .uh. . .I’m sorry about before. I was just. . .”
Faith held up one hand to silence the witch. “It’s ok Red, I understand. The past is behind us, now lets get on with our superhero lives.”
The redhead smiled. “Best idea I’ve heard in a long time.”
“Um, guys. I hate to crash the party and stuff but. . .well. . .I was just wondering how long Bianca’s staying. I mean, I think she’s cool but you know, school and all that stuff,” Dawn mumbled.
Bianca smiled as she touched the teens shoulder. “I’ll probably have to leave for a little while but I know this is where I belong. This whole things been amazing in more than one way. I’ve learned allot and no matter what my mom says, I’m coming back here for collage,” the brunette announced proudly.
“When you do, there’s always a place in my home for you Bianca,” Buffy offered with a gentle smile.
And they gathered round in the dusky light, sipping their coffee and denying all plight. The world could crumble beneath their feet yet they would not admit defeat. Their wills and souls were bound and strong, their spirits forcing the world to go on. Another battle, another day, another sunset would keep them at bay. They would fight until their very last breath, struggling to save the world though is was fated as death. This ends my tale and I hope you enjoyed. For if you didn’t, my effort was void.
~<>~ The END ~<>~
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