Series: Tara the Vampire Slayer
Author: Melanie M./Shai/Misty
Archive: please ASK if you want to archive it.
Pairing: W/T, X/A
Rating: Probably R
Disclaimers: I don’t own Buffy or anything attached to the show/characters and I’m making absolutely nothing off of this fic. Well, accept for maybe feedback.
Comments: I need feedback. Remember, FEED ME!
2 months after “Normal Again”
Buffy sighed. Another long night of patrolling and it wasn’t over yet. Will and Tara were behind her and Xander and Anya were behind them. Dawn was at home with Giles watching over her every second. Sure she’d hate Buffy for it now but she’d thank her later.
“Um, t-trouble,” Tara stuttered, looking straight ahead.
The slayer’s head shot up in the direction she heard a growl come from. Great! Big ugly horned demon. This was suppose to be a routine patrol!
“C’mere slayer! I want a fight!”
Buffy stepped up to the plate and they began to exchange blows. Buffy started to beat the demon when out of nowhere she heard him laugh. “What’s so funny horn boy?”
“Moto mnyama (fire beast), Ghali mchawi (love enchanter), Maji mwizi (water thief),Umeme nyoka (lightning serpent). Astro spectra (I made this up but it’s meant to read “Cosmic (Astro) twist” or something to that effect)!”
Buffy flew back into a tree, landing hard on her backside. With a groan she tried to get up but the world was spinning and for the life of her she couldn’t push herself up. It was as is the life was being sucked right out of her. Not to mention she couldn’t feel her body beneath her.
“Buffy!” Willow and Xander chorused.
“Willow. I’ll take care of her. Hold him back,” Tara ordered as she knelt beside the slayer. Somebody had to take control of the situation.
Willow, Xander and Anya rushed the demon but found him fleeing while he had the chance.
“Buffy, you’re gonna be ok,” Tara whispered soothingly as she gently touched Buffy’s cheek. A surge bolted through her. It shook her insides, her eyes rolling back in her head. Her aura was flickering with energy as every nerve in her body burst with excess power. With a shutter, she shook her head clear of the shock waves that pulsated through her brain. Regaining from her momentary blackout she lifted the nearly unconscious blonde. Strangely enough lifting Buffy was like lifting a paperweight but she paid no mind to that now. She had to get Buffy home.
“Buff?” Xander whispered, his mouth gaping at the way Buffy lay limber as a paper doll in Tara’s arms.
“She’ll be fine. She needs some rest,” Tara answered as if she’d been asked a question. For some reason she felt as though she was leading an army, taking care of the wounded and protecting the weak.
“I can carry her,” Xander offered, suddenly wanting to be helpful. He sensed somehow that Tara had changed and his hormones were playing on that thought. He just wanted to brush his hands again hers. To take his best friend from her arms, stare into her eyes hungrily and smile charmingly with the hopes that she would suddenly wanna sleep with him. He shook his head, chiding himself for thinking that way about his best friend’s girl.
Anya elbowed him and glared at him fiercely. She too sensed trouble in the air and by the look on Xander’s face it was even worse than Anya could have imagined.
“Thanks but I think I’ve got her,” Tara whispered shyly, leading them back to Buffy’s house.
Night had passed quick and something strange had passed over the Scoobs. Buffy woke and held her head in pain. She felt like she had a hangover. She threw her legs over the side of the bed but when she attempted to rise her body refused to comply. Pain shot throughout her body like she’d been hit by lightning more than a million times. She sat there a moment and then it hit her. She felt drained, like a helpless child cowering in a dark corner. Something wasn’t right. She pushed herself up and stumbled to the doorway, trying to ignore the aching she felt from her head to her feet. How was she gonna patrol tonight if this kept up? How the hell was she gonna make it down the stairs for that matter? She managed to crawl to the steps and, after many failed attempts, steadied herself on the banister. She took small steps and successfully made it down the stairs. Looking around she noticed everyone was there. Glancing at the clock she realized she’d slept in and that it must be a Saturday. It was one in the afternoon and everyone had something to do at one on a weekday, especially her. She was overjoyed that she’d managed to get weekends off at her new job as a phone researcher. Sometimes it was nerve wracking but it was definitely better than the Double Meat Palace and it paid more. As a matter of fact she had applied for a promotion in the Data Entry department and couldn’t wait for Monday to roll around to find out if she’d been selected. There were only three positions available and over fifty employees wanted it.
“You’re up!” Dawn chirped, shattering her sister train of thought.
Buffy held her head in pain. Too cheery. “Yeah,” she mumbled, disgruntled at this situation.
Tara looked up at Buffy and whispered softly, “Buffy, I need to talk to you. Alone.”
Buffy nodded and motioned toward the kitchen. Attempting to move in another direction turned out to be a bad choice for the blonde seeing as she nearly killed herself on her way to kissing the floor. Thankfully Tara was there to catch her and help her to the previously mentioned room.
Willow pouted and gave the cutest jealous look she could but Tara didn’t seem to notice. What did they have to talk about? Really? It wasn’t like they were that close. Were they? She sighed sadly, figuring Tara would tell her soon enough.
Buffy stumbled toward the counter and sat with a cringe of pain. She stared at the blonde, wondering if this was about Dawn or Spike. She’d made peace with Spike but they weren’t exactly buddy-buddy yet. He was still very hurt and he’d told her that he’d wait forever if that’s what it took. She remembered telling him that she needed time to adjust. “What did you wanna talk about?” she asked, finally coming back to reality.
“Do you feel any different? I mean, since last night?” Oddly enough her stutter had vanished. It didn’t matter who she talked to, she just didn’t stutter anymore. This amused her but at the moment there were more important things at hand.
Buffy nodded, squinting her eyes as the feeling of a thousand nails being driven into the back of her neck soared down her spine. This was really starting to worry her. “Drained for starters. Then there’s the hangover-like migraine, the relentless, agonizing throbbing throughout my entire body and I can’t keep my balance for over two minutes. You wouldn’t believe the pain Tara. I’ve never. . .” she whimpered as she tried to face her friend, “felt this way before. Why?”
“Cause I’ve been feeling a little strange. Not in an evil bad way but I feel. . .strong. Physically. It’s weird. This morning I went to pick something up and accidentally threw it across the room.” That had scared the hell outta her. One minute the table was there and the next it was across the room in pieces. Not a good thing.
“Have you talked to the others? I mean, now that Giles is back he can help out some. Especially now that I’m vulnerable. I didn’t just say that. I’ll never admit to it anyway,” Buffy joked, trying to lighten the tense mood.
“I wanted to talk to you first. I think it might have been that spell the demon cast last night. Maybe. . .I dunno. I won’t tell anyone your secret. Wiccan’s honor,” Tara replied, holding one hand over her heart and the other in the air.
“Thanks. So what do you think it did?”
“I don't know.”
“Maybe Willow and Giles can figure it out. We should have a meeting. We really need to figure this thing out before I really hurt myself.”
“I’ll call Giles.”
The geek looked calmly in the direction on the voice. “Yeah?”
“It is done. The slayer is helpless as an infant but there are complications.”
“What kind of complications?” Warren growled, his eyes narrowing.
“Her powers have been transferred. . .”
“To who?” he shouted angrily. This was the plan but if there were complications that meant things didn’t go as smoothly as he had wanted them to.
“The witch called her Tara.”
Warren’s face faltered. This could not be good. “Shit,” he muttered, glancing at his comrades. “Got any ideas?”
Jonathan and Andrew looked at each other silently, blankly. They shook their heads in unison, baffled as to how their demon had managed to screw up so badly.
Warren ran his fingers through his hair. “We have to get rid of her before this gets out of hand.”
“So what do we do?” Buffy sighed, still feeling like an Earth sized bolder had crushed her and even the jaws of life couldn’t pry the stubborn SOB off of her.
“Well, we've already established what the spell did but we need more time to research this matter. I don't think you'll be ready to patrol by nightfall Buffy. After all, you are no longer the slayer. I must prepare and train Tara for patrol tonight. Xander, you and Willow will assist her. Anya, Buffy, you'll stay here with me."
“Um, pardon the stupidity over here but what exactly did the spell do?” Xander asked, his mouth half full of a jelly doughnut he’d been retrieving when Giles had explained it the first time.
“That horned monster thingy cast a transference spell, giving Buffy’s inherent powers to the first person who touched her which was Tara. But his spell was much more complex than that, which means Tara’s inherent Wicca powers were transferred to Buffy. So basically they did an inherent power switch, giving Tara slayer abilities and Buffy Wicca powers,” Willow explained in babble mode.
Xander smiled. Somehow he understood what she meant. Maybe it was all of those years of listening to her in babble mode.
"Giles, you can't just throw her out there. She might get killed!" Buffy argued firmly, rigid from pain and anger.
"So would you. Buffy, if. . .if we can't reverse the spell then you'll all have to get use to this. Tara will be the slayer and you will be a regular girl."
Buffy hadn't thought of that. She'd always wanted to be a normal girl but not like this. She'd grown to love being the slayer and she was pretty good at it. The thought of Tara being out there in the night instead of her deeply disturbed the blonde. She had the feeling Tara could take care of herself but she was still worried. How the hell was she gonna handle being normal?
"Can't reverse the spell?" Tara bellowed, worriedly running her fingers through her hair.
“There is a chance that we may not be able to reverse the demon’s doing. We’ll need to find him in the books which is why I’m keeping you here Buffy. Once we locate him we’ll know his abilities and perhaps we’ll find the spell he used. However, in the meantime I should prepare Tara for tonight.” Giles refused to meet Buffy’s eyes as he turned and headed for the training room.
Tara stood, knowing she should follow him. He was right. She needed to train. Knowing Willow couldn’t be taking this too well she turned to look down at her girlfriend. She met Willow’s eyes with a soft smile. Caressing her lover’s cheek with her thumb, she leaned in and placed a comforting kiss on Willow’s lips. They both smiled as Tara reluctantly pulled her hand away and followed Giles into the training room.
Tara came out of the training room, sweat streaming from every pore. Her shirt was soaked through, her pants in the same condition. She’d changed before training so she could move more freely but now it felt as through she’d put on a fur coat in midsummer. Grabbing a bottle of cold water, she popped the cap and took a big, long gulp, unaware of her admirers.
Xander ate another jelly doughnut, licking his fingers as he studied the new slayer. All of the sweat and heavy breathing was making him hot. He didn’t know why but he, despite the fact that Willow is his best friend, wanted to take the blonde on right there. Maybe it was some weird side effect of the spell. He’d been attracted to Buffy this way but that feeling had eased years ago, when he’d fallen in love with Anya. But now even his love for Anya couldn’t keep him from wanting to touch Tara. He didn’t understand this. It was like a primal attraction he couldn’t avoid. Like Oz with Varuca. He felt a sharp pain in his side and automatically returned his eyes to the text before him. Anya was getting jealous, he could tell.
Willow idly made shapes on her paper with the eraser as she stared at her girlfriend. Maybe this whole slayer thing was a good omen. She couldn’t resist the urge to hungrily devour the blondes hot, sweating body with her eyes. She could feel her heart racing, anticipating every move the woman made, every breathe she took. Just the site of her sweat bathed blonde hair, concentrated stare and rigid breathes was enough to make Willow seriously consider dragging her to a nice quiet place to make love to her for the remainder of the day, throughout the night and possibly until the sun rose to reprimand them. Something felt strange. Not wrong but very strange. Sure these thoughts were normal for her but the way Xander looked at Tara, and the way the others just couldn’t take their eyes off of her was unnerving. Even Buffy and Anya had been caught staring. They needed to find out what this demon was capable of and reverse it soon.
Tara sighed. The adrenaline was still speeding through her veins and all she could think about was fighting something or, the option she preferred, taking Willow back to her place to do unspeakable things. Dawn was approaching her. She raised a brow.
“So you’re the new Slayer chick? How cool is that? I mean, it must be kinda weird but I think you’ll kick some butt.”
Tara smiled. “Weird’s an understatement.” That’s when she noticed Dawn was staring at her. She wasn’t just staring, she was undressing her with those innocent, untainted eyes of hers. This was starting to get VERY disturbing. Feeling quite uneasy, she padded over to Willow and whispered to her. “Wanna go for a walk?”
Willow nodded, hopping out of her chair. Tara lead her lover out of the shop and directly to Buffy’s house.
Tara sighed. Giles had sent her out alone to test her. The cemetery was way too quiet. That was when she heard him. Spinning around she dusted the vamp instantly. Wow, got him on the first try.
“Very good pet.”
Tara looked into the darkness and raised a brow. “Spike?”
“Yeah. Heard you and Buffy switched powers. Kinda funny, don’t ya think?”
“What do you want?”
“You, which is bloody awkward. I’ve got info. Take it or leave it.”
“What do you know?” Tara growled, pushing him against a crypt wall.
“Well, your demon boy didn’t just work some bloody power switch mojo. It’s all twisted in a bloody attraction spell,” Spike chuckled, enjoying this a little too much.
Tara let him go. Realizing he actually enjoyed this little confrontation, she turned to leave. Spike grabbed her arm, looking deeply, longingly into her eyes. He leaned in cautiously, their lips almost meeting. Spike quickly jolted back a few steps. “Bloody hell. Get this fixed, for Red’s sake. This mojo’s workin on everything,” he grumbled before vanishing into the darkness.
Tara sighed, heading back to the Magic Box. She hated to admit it but Spike was right. This was getting way too weird.
Giles sighed. “I’m sorry but there is no way to reverse the spell,” he confessed.
“You mean. . .” Tara whispered, getting her answer when he nodded. She didn’t quite know if this was a bad thing nor could she say it was good. Sighing deeply she looked at the others. “Well, it looks like I’ll be patrolling again tonight. Who’s coming with?”
I feel like a panther on the prowl in the blackest of nights, so lethal and silent. So agile and quick that even I can’t comprehend the meaning of true slayerhood. My duty is to protect and defend those who are helpless yet I feel foreign in my own skin. This destiny was not meant to be mine but still I bare it just the same.
I’ve been the slayer for months now but I’m still not use to the tasks I must perform. I wonder how Buffy handled this for so long. I’ve changed both physically and mentally yet I remain the person I’ve always been. I wake every morning seeking a way out of this maze yet my hope is fleeting. I want to be powerless again. I remember worrying about little things when I have to make the big decisions. The responsibility I bare is like Atlas with the world upon his shoulders.
I live my life day by day but knowing I might have to do this for the rest of my life is alarming. I fear for the safety of my friends and my lover. They are my priority second to keeping this world alive and safer.
Sometimes I think I’m not good enough but Willow gives me all I need. She’s been very supportive but she knows I’m restless. I don’t know how much longer I can take this but I’ll hold on as long as I can.
I am but a raven spreading my wings, flying through hell to reach heavenly things. Everything is so convoluted. In a matter of hours I lost all I ever was, all I ever can be. I was the slayer, born to this generation to protect the world against evil but now I’m nothing. The very essence of my existence was ripped from my beating chest and given to another.
I’m not jealous but I am worried. I keep telling myself she’ll be alright out there but believing that is hard. She’s not like me. I was born with that and grew with it but she just acquired it. The powers themselves are enough to make a person crazy but I think she can handle that much. What worries me the most is knowing she’ll never have a chance at a normal life again and I’m the reason why. If she hadn’t gone with me and tended to my wounds she wouldn’t have to go through all this confusion. I let this happen and I have to fix it. If only I knew how.
Giles is worried about me. He didn’t let me patrol with the gang for about a month after it happened but now I go when I’m not working. I’m working mornings as a receptionist and graveyard shift as a security guard. It keeps me pretty busy but I still have time with Dawn. I think she likes me being normal but she also knows what I think about it. We spend a lot of time together now. On my nights off we watch movies, eat popcorn and drink soda. On my days off we go places like the zoo. Dawn’s becoming quite the little artist. She’s amazing with her artwork but she’s even better at writing. She’s gonna be a well-known writer one of these days.
Three weeks ago I bought us a puppy. She’s a gorgeous black lab with chocolate brown eyes. She’s very playful and Dawn’s already potty trained her. She’s teaching her tricks now. I know I can’t be around to protect Dawn all the time but Faith will be. The dog I mean. That’s her name.
Why on Earth would I name a pet after that woman? Because I love her and even though I can’t show it I miss her. I know what she did to all of us was wrong but she’s paying for that right now. She’s in a place I could never live through and she’s still alive. She left me a note the last time she was here but I didn’t find it until recently.
It said what I could never see. She loves me and I never wanted to see that before. I never wanted that to be true because I know deep down that I love her too. She said she was sorry she had to leave the way she did but that she would be back when I needed her the most. Now’s that time but I don’t think she’s ever coming back. Why would she? I’ve caused her nothing but pain and still she says she’ll be back. If only I could have seen how we felt, how we still feel, things could have been different.
She made me a proposition in that letter. She said that when she comes back I have to choose. I have to tell her if I want to be with her or if I want to let her go forever. I can’t do that. I love her more than I loved Angel and that kind of love only comes around once in a lifetime. I won’t let her go next time, I love her too much. I need her too much.
Well, enough with my sob story. I have to head to work now.
Quote the raven, nevermore,
I am the cautious wolf who watches helplessly, wishing only to set those in pain free. So much has happened since I last wrote. Tara’s the new slayer, Buffy’s struggling with being completely human, Xander’s acting weird, Anya’s starting to scare me, Giles is a wreck and Dawn is worrying too much.
Tara being the new slayer is both a blessing and a burden. She’s dealing with it as best as she can but I know she wants to go back to being a regular human. I wish I could help her deal but there’s nothing I can do. I want the old Tara back. This slayer thing is making her too cold and distant like she feels alone. I can’t handle it. I love her and she knows I do but for some reason she can’t talk to me about how she feels anymore. We use to talk all the time but now I feel I’m losing her. She’s pushing me away like Buffy use to. Maybe I’m being selfish but I see the similarities in the way they act and it scares me. The essence of the slayer is what made Buffy who she was, who she still wants to be and now that it’s inside Tara it’s taking over. It’s changing her into somebody I don’t know.
Buffy’s going out of her mind. I know she feels like her life’s been stolen from her and I can’t blame her for feeling that way. It has. She’s not who she use to be. She works too much and she tries to avoid the Scoobies as much as possible. She needs to cope but she doesn’t know where to begin. I know that feeling. I don’t think she’ll ever really cope with this but in time the pain will fade.
My only worry is that we won’t be able to fix this. If we can’t fix this things will get worse. I’ll lose everyone, including Xander. He’s been acting strange lately and I know it’s not completely his fault but he knows better. He’s after Tara the same way he went after Buffy, the same way he went after Faith. I hate to admit it but I don’t know who to trust anymore. I still trust Tara but I don’t know if I should trust Xander.
Anya’s noticed Xander’s antics too and she’s not too happy about it. She’s been brooding for the past two months and trust me, the last thing you wanna see every day is a brooding, scorned ex-demon. I’m actually very surprised she hasn’t summoned one of her friends to wreak havoc on Xander. She’s dealing with this better than I would if I were her. She knows how faithful Xander was to Cordi and she’s waiting for him to screw up. That’s what worries us all. Pissing off a human is one thing but pissing off an ex-demon is another.
Giles tries to keep her busy if he can. I know he’s not taking all of this very well. He’s use to being the “Answer Man” but right now he’s as powerless as the rest of us. He can’t help anyone and he feels weak, like I do. We’re both trying to help them but nothing seems to help.
Dawn tries to help when she can. She’s worried about Buffy and Giles. She knows something’s not right but she also knows she can’t fix it. She helps Giles out around the Magic Box so he doesn’t have to worry about the shop and she keeps Buffy company when she can. She likes spending time with big sis but I have a feeling Dawn knows something the rest of us don’t.
Sleep is calling so I should go. Write again soon.
The lonely wolf,
Journal Entry 8/23
I am like the mantis, waiting with caution. Things appear to be returning to normal. We’re all still adjusting, however. Buffy’s doing better than she was a month ago but I know this is a ploy. She still feels robbed and I highly doubt she’ll ever feel any different. We both know this situation can go in two separate directions and neither is preferable. If she remains a witch she’ll go mad but if she regains her slayer abilities she’ll be in the same position I wish I could save her from. Perhaps she likes being the slayer. I know it must take its toll but she’s done it this long. Maybe her time as a witch will show her what an honor it is to be the slayer, what a blessing it is.
Tara isn’t taking this very well. The essence of the slayer is taking her over and she’s changing. This never happened with Buffy because she was born with it and learned to control it before she became to strong but Tara received this in the blink of an eye. Its power is far different from the Wiccan powers she use to posses. She’s trying to control it but I fear she’s fighting a losing battle. I’ve been researching this and there have only been two cases such as this.
The first case occurred near the beginning of mankind. A warlock faced a slayer and switched powers with her. He killed her and his powers were returned to him. This account was only briefly mention in one of my volumes and no further elaboration has ever been found. The second incident took place in England about four hundred years ago. A demon of the same caliber attacked a witch. The slayer intervened and was knocked unconscious. The witch, who became the slayer, tended to the girl’s wounds. They became very close and the ex-slayer explained to the other woman what a slayer’s duty is. They never discovered a way to reverse the demons doing. It would be easy to say they devoted their lives to defeating evil but reality denies such a tale. The new slayer, Elizabeth, went insane after her companion Ivy committed suicide. Ivy couldn’t handle being a witch. Every day killed her more and more as I fear it’s doing to Buffy. Elizabeth couldn’t control the raw power the slayer essence gave her and after a long struggle she lost as I fear Tara will. Perhaps I worry too much.
Willow’s dealing with this rather well. She knows we can’t do anything to help them yet she still tries her hardest. I know she feels just as worried and weak as I do but she also has Xander to worry about. His barbarian antics and stupidity are appalling. He’s chasing after something he’ll never be able to have while ruining the only real relationship he’s ever had. Pitiful boy.
I feel sorry for Anya. She doesn’t deserve to go through this again. She was scorned once before and look what happened that time. Things shall get better but I know they’ll get worse before that time comes.
::the bell rings::
I’ve got a customer so I must go,
Ye Hath Little Faith
The night was still and silent. It looked like every other night in Sunnydale, California but to the slayer it felt different. Her blonde tresses were drawn into a ponytail as her hazel eyes scanned the quiet wooded area. She could smell a demon close by. The others stalked behind her, unaware a predator was lurking. She stopped abruptly, her arms instinctively thrusting outward to protect her companions from any danger.
“What is it?” Willow whispered worriedly.
“He’s here,” the blonde replied. And he was. The same demon that had ripped the powers from Buffy’s soul and handed them to Tara on a platter. The blonde narrowed her eyes. They made eye contact instantly as the demon began to circle the new slayer. As they began to fight the others warded off the demon’s vampire allies.
Moments later. . .
Both fighters were running low on energy but neither would give. The demon got lucky, grabbing Tara by the throat. Throwing her into a tree, he temporarily incapacitated the slayer. Then he turned his attention toward Buffy. He wanted her to be completely powerless.
Buffy and the others had just finished their battle with the vamps but the stats didn’t look good. Xander was badly wounded, Willow and Anya had somehow gotten themselves tied to a tree and Buffy was in pretty bad shape. She looked up to see him staring at her and she knew he wanted her dead. Her body was far too weak to move, still she was frozen by fear. Now she knew how it felt to fear death. She had come to terms with dying but it still scared the hell out of her.
“Moto mnyama, ghali mchawi, maji mwizi, umeme nyoka. Astro spectra,” he growled, tossing what seemed to be his only attack at her once more.
It sped toward the witch with increasing speed. Buffy went blind with fear. She shook slightly; knowing her time would come soon enough. Then she felt something crash into her side, throwing her out of the attack's path. She still couldn’t see very well but she knew he was coming for her. She felt somebody standing over her. She wished she could move but the fear paralyzed every cell in her body. She felt a cold, surprisingly human hand touch her side moments later. A whirl of colors and sounds shot her back into reality. She saw clearly and somehow she’d managed to stand. Every part of her body and soul were flaring with power. It felt familiar yet strange, rampant and maybe a little dark.
Buffy stared the demon in the eyes. Whoever had saved her would be thanked generously but right now it was time to kill this menacing creature. “I’m back,” she announced cockily.
He groaned. How could that have happened? She was human now, wasn’t she? He didn’t know who had saved the blonde but he was determined to kill her none the less. He ran at her and their fight began.
Tara slowly opened her eyes. Her vision was slightly fuzzy but it cleared with a few blinks. She saw Willow and Anya still tied to a tree away from the action and Xander clutching his wound on the ground near another tree. She saw Buffy bravely fighting the demon, which made her wonder what had happened. She saw a lump on the ground in the distance. It looked human. She tried to get up but at this moment she was trapped by debris from her fight with horn boy.
Buffy panted, grabbing a stake. Just as she was about to kill the bastard he disappeared. Blinking, she realized he’d escaped again. She threw her stake down and turned around. Then it hit her. Who on Earth had risked their life for her? Was it some good samaritan? No, they had power. She met Tara’s gaze and they both nodded, heading over to the form.
The dark form quivered with fear and pain. It glistened in the dark, rich berry red life shinning where the light shone. Tara knelt on one side of the form, Buffy kneeling on the other side. They looked at each other again before deciding to turn the body over. They gently turned the body toward Buffy. It was a woman. They laid her flat on her back so the light would hit her face. Buffy gasped in shock and horror as Tara turned away. Tara stood. “I’ll go untie Willow and Anya,” she whispered as she walked toward her lover.
Buffy touched the woman’s face. She saw deep cuts all over her stomach, back and legs. She had a few on her face but the blonde could still tell who it was. Looking around she found no eyes on her so she leaned in closer to the woman’s lips. She kissed her softly as tears poured from her eyes. “I’m sorry Faith,” she whispered, blaming herself for the woman’s current physical status.
Willow ran to Buffy’s side. “Are you ok?” the witch panted.
“I’ll be fine but we need to get her to a hospital soon or she’ll die,” Buffy informed.
“I can take her,” Tara volunteered.
“No,” Buffy refused. “Take the others back to the Magic Box. Find a way to reverse this spell or at least some info on the demon. Tell Giles I’m ok and make sure to feed Faith. Wills, you know where the food is,” Buffy ordered.
“Buff? You ok?” Xander mumbled, clutching his side.
“I’m fine,” the slayer claimed, holding back tears.
Tara gestured for the others to follow her to the Magic Box. She could feel the other slayer’s agony. She now knew how Buffy and Faith had connected in the first place but apparently it was deeper than she’d known. Willow followed her lover uneasily with Anya and Xander close behind.
Buffy touched Faith’s face again, apologizing with her eyes. She gently picked up the ex-slayer and carried her to the nearest hospital.
He appeared in a huff. Thundering through the dark hallways he approached his masters. “Again!” he growled.
“We saw everything Aktar. You’re starting to become a disappointment,” Warren hissed lividly.
The demon grabbed him by the throat, easily snapping his neck. “Enough of your childish games you stupid boys,” he spat, reaching for the other two.
Andrew and Jonathan ran like scared little bitches. Finding themselves I the only safe place they began a spell to control the demon.
Buffy sighed. The nurse walked in with a smile as she handed the blonde a cup of coffee. “How ya doing hun?” the nurse asked softly, looking sadly at the raven-haired woman.
“Better than she is. Is she gonna be ok?” the slayer probed.
“I’m not sure. Doctor Fowler says she’s slowly slipping into a coma. We’re doing all we can for her but she might have to stay for a while,” she explained.
Buffy swallowed hard. She remembered the last time Faith was in a coma and the outcome was far from pretty. Looking at the nurse she could tell they would take care of Faith if it came to that. Staring at Faith she tried to remember all of the good times they had. She was on the verge of a melt down but thinking of the past eased her pain and fear a bit.
“Bloody hell,” Spike groaned, dashing into the Magic Box. Plopping into a chair, he waited for the smoke to clear.
“What are you doing here?” Giles demanded.
“Brought you a book,” he huffed, trying to catch his breath.
“A book? What does it contain?”
“It talks about some powerful demons who were cursed and so on but it might help you find your boy,” the vampire replied.
Giles examined the book. “Thank you. This will help us a great deal. It’s the only volume we don’t have. Where’d you get it Spike?”
Spike put on the bad boy exterior, trying to keep his cool. “I have my ways.”
“So you stole it?” Willow asked, certainly not surprised.
Giles shook his head. “This is a very particular volume Willow. It chooses who it wants to posses it. So how did you obtain it Spike?”
Spike frowned. “A bloke I know told me where to go. I went, got the book and came here.”
Giles eyed Spike. He knew the only way Spike could obtain this volume was for a pure act and in order to do that he’d have to confess his emotions toward the situation. This made the ex-watcher smirk. The thought of that happening was almost unbelievable. He decided to leave the matter alone as he thumbed through the text. This had to be the book in which this demon’s story was told and that meant the end of this mess would come soon.
Buffy frowned. “What happened?” she demanded lividly.
“Miss Summers, please calm down. Miss Spencer’s in a coma,” a blonde woman about Buffy’s height informed.
“Who are you?” the slayer demanded.
“I’m Faith’s doctor, Tabitha Fowler. Have a seat,” the woman offered with a soft smile.
“Is she gonna be ok?” Buffy whispered softly as she bowed her head.
The doctor’s heart sunk. She could tell these two women were very close. The only problem now was Faith’s health. She didn’t honestly know if Faith would make it. “I don’t know right now but I promise we’ll take good care of her.”
Buffy nodded and stood. “Thank you,” she whispered as she walked out of the hospital. Lifting her head to see which way she should go she decided to stop by the Magic Box. If they’d found anything on the demon she wanted to know it. She’d get him back for what he did to Faith, what he would have done to her.
“So what’s the big bad report?” Buffy inquired.
“His name is Aktar. He possesses super-human strength, energy absorbence capabilities and transference magiks. He tends to use his weaker powers if he feels threatened,” Giles explained.
“So he tests his opponents before he decides to try to kill them? Peachy!” the blonde groaned. The last thing she needed right now was some know it all demon mocking her.
“One thing I’ve found that may be useful is the mention of an ancient sword,” he added.
“Really? Maybe that’ll help us kill him,” Buffy confirmed, very pleased. Looking around she noticed the place was kinda dead. “Hey, where’s Tara and Will?”
Giles smiled smugly. “It appears Tara’s caught the infamous flu bug that’s been going around,” he answered.
“It only goes to show slayers really are human. We even get the flu!” Buffy giggled to lighten the mood. “What about Will?”
“She’s taking care of Tara,” he replied with a broad grin.
“You’re burning up!”
“Wil. . .” Tara’s words were brought to a complete stop as the thermometer was shoved into her mouth. “Mmmmh,” Tara whined, thermometer still firmly in place.
“No. You’re sick and I’m gonna take care of you,” Willow whispered sternly, taking the thermometer out of her girlfriends mouth.
“I’m not sick!” Tara protested, glad that blasted tube was out of her mouth. “It’s nothing, really!” she insisted before going into a coughing fit.
“Lay down and get some rest, ok? I’m gonna make you some soup and get something to help your cold,” Willow informed. Kissing Tara on the forehead she whispered, “sleep tight baby.”
A week later. . .
Buffy sighed as she calmly watched over the seemingly lifeless body. Touching the cold pale hand that rested on the bed, she hoped Faith would be alright. It had only been a week but it felt like a decade to the sorrowful slayer. She’d made some very important decisions, a few involving Faith. Rubbing the brunettes palm with her fingertips she whispered softly, “is today the day? Will you open your eyes for me?”
The still form didn’t flinch as Buffy closed her eyes. “If you want me to B,” a dry voice suddenly replied.
Buffy quickly backed away. Standing rigidly she examined the woman. “Faith?”
Faith slowly opened her eyes, her pale hand waving at the water pitcher. Buffy fumbled with the glass, pouring quickly. She hurried to the brunette’s side and let her drink. “Faith, I have to tell you something.”
Faith nodded. “I got somthin to say too B. I’m sorry. What I did was fucked up but I paid for it. Heard you were in trouble so I did what I could,” Faith whispered softly.
“Faith, you saved my life. Since you’ve been gone I’ve had a lot of time to think and I have to come clean. I love you Faith and what you did for me is something I can never repay. But I will show my appreciation,” Buffy admitted, kissing Faith softly.
Faith smiled as she broke the kiss. “You know I’ve always loved you B and I’ll never stop. You complete me. You know why I came back and you know why I did what I did,” she replied.
Buffy nodded. “I found your note months after you left but I’m glad it happened that way. I never thought you’d come back.”
“B, I told you that I’d come back when you needed me the most and Lorne told me now was that time,” Faith whispered as she caressed Buffy’s hair.
“You also said when you did come back that it was a now or never situation so I’m choosing the now. Will, Giles and Xander might not like that but I can’t lose you again. I won’t. I think Dawn’ll like you though,” Buffy replied softly, closing her eyes.
“The kid sis? Cool. Hey B, where am I gonna crash?”
Buffy’s eyes slid open slowly. “With me, where you belong.”
“You found out how to kill him?”
“Yes. It appears a sword by the name of Anathros was conceived of the mythological battle Aktar lost against Zeus. The sword fell into the hands of the Egyptians up until King Tut’s demise. It then made its way around the world, only the most powerful of magicians and demons possessing it. Anathros is the only possible way to destroy Aktar and return everyone back to normal,” he explained.
“Where can we find it?” Willow chirped, eager to go on this crusade with her ladylove.
“I have a map you could follow but be very careful.”
Buffy smiled. “Don’t look so tense, you’re making me nervous,” she whispered as she opened the door. Faith followed cautiously as Buffy led her into the living room.
Dawn looked up with a smile. “Hi Buffy. Who’s your friend?”
“Dawn, this is Faith. I know what you’re thinking but she’s changed. Are Will and Tara home?”
“Nope. They went to the Magic Box. Hi Faith, it’s nice to meet you,” Dawn replied, being oddly friendly.
Buffy raised a brow. “Faith’s gonna be staying with us for a while so try not to drive her crazy, ok?”
Dawn rolled her eyes. “Whatever. Hey, since Faith’s gonna be around for a while what do we call the dog?”
Buffy blushed as Faith stared at her. “Same thing we always call her. We just have to make sure they don’t get confused. Anyway, we’re gonna go put Faith’s stuff away,” she replied, heading up the stairs.
“You named your dog after me?” Faith whispered.
“I missed you,” Buffy confessed.
“Where’s Giles?” Xander questioned.
“He went to some convention. I’m watching the store,” Anya clarified.
Buffy smiled. “Ok, first I have an announcement, then we’ll go over the plan. I’m sure you all know Faith came out of her coma this morning. She’s fighting on our side,” Buffy announced.
“How do we know she won’t try to kill one of us again?” Xander growled.
“Xander, she’s changed. if you can’t accept that then think of it this way. Faith’s human. She has Wiccan powers but other than that she’s 100% human now,” the slayer stated calmly.
“What happens when she gets the slayer power back Buff? I’m sorry but I don’t trust her,” Xander protested.
“I didn’t say you had to but you will have to deal with her being around because she’s living with me.”
“Did you run this by Will? I don’t really think she’ll be too happy.”
“Xander. . .”
Faith stepped out of the training room, cutting Buffy off with her words, “look, I’m not here on a mission to destroy you guys. I’m here cause B could use some help. And maybe eventually I could call you family.”
Xander blinked in shock as Anya approached the woman. “Hi Faith. I’m Anya, Xander’s fiancé,” she greeted with an outstretched arm. She’d been around when Faith slept with Xander but she felt like Faith posed no threat so she’d be nice.
“Nice meetin ya. Fiancé? Wow, not too shabby. Congrats!” Faith replied, shaking the blonde’s hand.
Buffy cleared her throat and they all stared at her. “This is the plan.”
Moments later. . .
“Stay close. He’s very tricky,” Buffy whispered.
They stayed in a close circle as the demon approached. Faith and Anya cast a barrier as Buffy fought. Xander helped when he could.
They soon found themselves in trouble. He was winning. The spell was fading and Buffy was wearing down. Just when they thought there was no hope Willow and Tara came running. Tara helped Buffy as Will tended to the others. Tara bore Anathros, swinging boldly. She struck at Aktar but it went through him. She backed away. Tossing it to Buffy she gave her a hopeful smile.
Buffy caught it and tried to thrash him but she wasn’t successful. It only took a moment for her to realize the solution to this problem. “Faith,” she yelled.
The raven-haired woman looked at her blonde counterpart. She knew what was going on. She caught the sword when Buffy threw it. She faced Aktar as the others held his minions off. Faith got a lucky break, lopping his head off. “That’s for B.”
Pastel smoke rose from the demon. Green, blue and purple swirls surrounded Buffy, Tara and Faith, returning to them what had been taken. Tara dizzily watched with numbness. She couldn’t feel anything. Seeing black she fell into Willow’s arms. “I think we need to get her home,” Willow suggested.
“Good thinkin Red. She’s probably drained from the power outage, ya know?” Faith agreed.
Buffy smiled. They were all back to normal. She knew things from this point on would be far from easy but they would manage. The two slayers were united once more. Hell and all of its legions now bore no luck nor chance at success for the true slayer reigned once more, the slayer of one soul and two bodies.
~<>~ The End ~<>~
|Mel M/Misty||Buffy||Main Index|