DISCLAIMER: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all the slayerettes belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my first story in Buffy-verse. Please let me know what you think of it.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Faith's Hope
By Buckster


Chapter Eleven

When Faith and Buffy got to the living room, they noticed it was empty.

"Well at least they had the presence of mind to get to the bedroom first. Would have been way too embarrassing to walk in on them." Faith commented.

"Yeah. So not something I want to see right now."

Suddenly they heard Willow shouting from upstairs "Oh Goddess. Kennedy Yeah."

Faith and Buffy looked at each other for a minute, then started laughing. "Seems like your sister may be as skilled as you are." Buffy told Faith.

"Guess so."

Then they heard what sounded like loud growls coming from the room Kennedy and Willow shared.

"Ok I don't think that is supposed to happen. We need to get up there now Faith."

Both slayers took off running up the stairs to the bedroom. Once there, they found the door locked. It took Faith only a second to bust it open to find her sister on top of Willow. The older sibling did see or smell any blood, but she had a feeling her sister wasn't in total control of her wolf.

Kennedy had just finished marking her mate when she heard the door bust open. When she looked up at the intruder, all she could think about was protecting her mate. She didn't even stop to think before she was on the ground in front of the two slayers, growling in warning.

It took Buffy and Willow a few seconds to realize what Faith knew the minute she walked in the room. Kennedy wasn't in control, the wolf was. As soon as they realized this, both girls went to their respective mates, trying to calm them down. Neither of the sisters had started to transform yet, but thier eyes were starting to glow yellow.

*Same time, elsewhere in the house*

Rona and Vi had decided, when Giles had announced that he was taking everyone out to the desert for another quest, (which was his cover story for getting everyone but Kennedy, Faith, Buffy and Willow out of the house for the night) that they didn't want to go. They went on the last one, and thought the whole idea was stupid. They also couldn't understand why Kennedy had gotten out of going again this time. Giles had said it was because she was injured, but neither of the potentials believed that. From the sounds they heard coming from the other bedroom, they knew the older potential was feeling perfectly fine now. They had been listening to the sounds of Willow and Kennedy for a while now, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a growl coming from the room. Then they heard Buffy and Faith running up the stairs, and the door getting broken in. That is when they decided to go see what was going on.

None of the other four in the house noticed the two standing in the hall. When they saw Kennedy jump at her sister, looking like she was going to attack her, they felt they had to do something. That is when Rona noticed Kennedy's eyes. When she saw that, she knew why the four had stayed behind. She quietly motioned to Vi to follow her downstairs.

Once down there, the two went to the weapons chest. Rona knew most of what was in there would be of no use to them that night. She motioned towards the two silver daggers that were strapped on the door. Vi didn't understand why Rona wanted those two weapons specifically.

"Why those two? Wouldn't a sword, or even a cross-bow be better? You know there is no way we can better Kennedy at close range."

"Didn't you notice anything different about Kennedy? She isn't normal. She's a werewolf, and the only protection against those is silver. The only silver weapons I see in here are those two daggers. Now, if you want to be ripped apart by an out of control wolf, be my guest. I plan on being able to defend myself should she try to attack."

"Why don't we just hide and let Buffy and Faith take care of it?"

"And what if she gets past them? I didn't see any weapons on them. Let's just get to the dining room and stand watch. Make sure she can't get out of the house."

Back upstairs, the stand off was still going on. Neither of the sisters backing off. Suddenly, they both dropped to the ground. When that happened, Buffy looked out the window and noticed that the sun had set while everything was going on. She looked over and Willow, who had noticed the same thing she did.

Suddenly, they heard what sounded like a howl coming from Faith. What they saw when they looked down shocked them both, even though Buffy had seen it the night before. Hair had started sprouting all over the two girls. The sounds of bones rearranging themselves filled the air. Then the sounds of jaws dislocating, while elongating and filling with fangs. As suddenly as it started, the change was complete. Now instead of two humans laying of the floor, it was two wolves.

Once the change was complete, the two wolves looked at each other as if communicating. Realizing there was no threat, Kennedy went over to her sister and licked the side of her face, as if to say sorry. Then she backed up. That was when Buffy noticed what looked like a bite mark on Willow, near where the neck meets the shoulder.

"Willow, did Kennedy bite you?"

"Yeah, but she didn't draw blood."

Suddenly Buffy remembered something like that happening the night her and Faith had in the alley. Her hand went to her neck, at about the same spot as Willow's mark, and found the scar she had there. She then drew the collar of her shirt down to show Willow.

"And here I thought it was just Faith being Faith. Even if she didn't know about the wolf then, some part of her did."

When the two wolves saw the marks on their mates, there was something like pride showing on thier faces. Buffy swore she could almost see a smirk on Kennedy's. Then before Buffy and Willow knew what was happening, Kennedy and Faith took off out the bedroom door and down the stairs.

By the time they realized the wolves had run off, they heard a loud yelp from the bottom of the stairs. They looked at each other, then took off after the other two. When they got down there, what they saw scared them. Kennedy was lying on the ground, with what looked like one of Buffy's daggers sticking out of where her front leg met the shoulder. Faith was standing over the other wolf, growling at the two potentials, who shouldn't have been there in the first place. Rona had blood on her, and Vi was standing against the door, holding out her dagger in case the other wolf decided to attack.

"What the hell are you two doing here? I thought Giles took everyone with him when he left today."

"Been there, done that. It was so boring the first time, we didn't want to go again."

"Did you ever think there was a reason we tried to get you all out of the house tonight?"

"How were we supposed to know the two of them were wolves? It's not like you kept us in the loop about it. We just planned on staying in Dawn's room, out of your way. When we heard the growls, we thought you might need help."

"Does it look like we needed any help? And why did you have to stab her? Did she attack you?"

"Didn't give it a chance to. I knew if I had waited, I wouldn't stand a chance, so I ambushed it."

When Rona said that, Willow snapped. "Kennedy is not an it. She can't help what she is. Her or Faith. You had no excuse. We had everything under control."

"Didn't look like it to me. Looked like they were about to go roaming the city, looking for victims."

Willow looked at Rona, her eyes starting to grow dark. "Kennedy has been in this house for months. None of us knew what she was going through month after month when the full moon came. She has control over her wolf. She was also the only one to help Faith control hers. If she dies because of your stupidity, you will wish you were never born. Now, get out of my sight, before I do something I will regret."

Both potentials started slowly backing away from the group. Once they were out of the room, they turned around and ran down into the basement. Buffy went over to try to calm Faith and Willow down. When she finally did, she turned to see how bad Rona had injured Kennedy.

"Oh Goddess Buffy, she isn't moving. Why isn't she moving?"

"She's hurt Will. We need to get that dagger out of her." Then she thought 'Damn, those two found the only silver weapons in the whole house. I knew I should have hid those today. Ok, need to focus. Need to help Kennedy first. Then I can deal with those two. First get that dagger out.'

Buffy reached over and grabbed the handle of the weapon. She then carefully pulled it out. Once done with that, she checked the wound to see how bad it was.

"Well we got a little lucky. Doesn't look like it hit anything vital. We just need to get her upstairs on to one of the beds."

She then bent down to try to pick Kennedy up. When she got close to her, Kennedy's eyes opened and she started to growl.

"Great, seems she won't let me by her and you can't lift her. How in the hell are we going to get her to a bed?"

The whole time Buffy and Willow was working on Kennedy, Faith was sitting back watching. She knew her mate and the red head wouldn't hurt her sister. When she heard what Buffy said last, something clicked in her head. She knew she had no choice but to try to change back so she could carry her sister upstairs. She laid down and concentrated, trying to find the way back.

When Buffy noticed Faith laid down, she got concerned. She thought maybe she had been hurt also. That is when she noticed Faith starting to change. She then motioned to Willow so she could see.

When the change was complete, Faith looked like she was still in some pain. Concerned, Buffy went over to her to help her up.

"Why did you do that?"

"You need me like this, not wolf. Not much time. Can't hold it off for long. Get her upstairs."

Faith then went and picked up her sister. She slowly carried Kennedy upstairs. Once Faith got her into the room and on the bed, she turned to Willow.

"You help Kenn now. Heal her."

"What happened to you calling her Hope?" Buffy asked Faith.

"Can't think of her like that when wolf. She's alpha. Need to lie down now. Help her please."

With that, Faith went and laid down next to her sister on the bed. She quit fighting her wolf and quickly changed back. Once she was a wolf again, she looked up to Willow, then down to her sister, as if telling her to fix her. She then laid down and fell asleep.


Chapter Twelve

When she was sure Faith and Kennedy were settled for a bit, Buffy went to the bathroom to get something to clean out Kennedy's wound. Willow stayed with the two wolves, to make sure nothing happened. When Buffy came back, she had some bottles of alcohol, and one of the tranq guns with her.

"Why do you have the gun? They are both out cold." Willow asked.

"Because the minute this alcohol hits Kennedy's wound, she's going to wake up and try to attack. It's better to be safe than sorry." Buffy explained.

"Makes sense."

With that, Buffy shot one of the darts into Kennedy. She then waited a few minutes to make sure she wouldn't wake up. Once she was sure the tranq was working, she went over to the injured wolf and started to attempt to clean out the wound. After she poured the second bottle in, she was pretty sure that if anything was left in, she had gotten it out. She then went over to the wall that Willow had sat against when Buffy started this all.

"Ok, I think I got it all cleaned out."

"Wasn't that a bit of over-kill? Using two full bottles?"

"Will, you know as well as I do that silver is like a poison to werewolves. I wanted to be sure it was all out. I've done all I can for the night. They both should sleep till morning, so let's try to get some rest."

*The next morning-- right before dawn*

Buffy had decided to stay awake to make sure Faith or Kennedy didn't wake up during the night. Willow tried to, but she ended up falling asleep about an hour ago. Buffy didn't really want to wake up the witch, but she knew Willow would want to be awake to make sure Kennedy was still ok after the change. After making sure the witch was awake, the two went to the bed to stand watch over the two wolves.

Within a few moments, Faith woke up. She first checked out her sister, to make sure she was ok, then looked up at Willow and Buffy. When she realized they didn't look worried, she relaxed and let the change happen. After both wolves changed back to their human form, the two slayers and Willow noticed Kennedy didn't wake up.

"Ok, what did you two do to Hope? Why hasn't she woken up yet?" Faith asked, getting a little upset.

"Faith, calm down. The dagger went down to the bone. She lost a lot of blood last night, but she should be fine. The reason she hasn't woken up yet is because her body needs the rest." Buffy said to console her.

"It's just that I worry, ya know? This shouldn't have happened. If I was just a little faster last night...."

"It would be you lying there instead. Rona wasn't thinking last night. She just saw a threat and tried to eliminate it. That is what all of us are trained, or are training, to do. We can't blame her for that. What we can blame her for is her and Vi being here, and her actions after it happened. I'll deal with that later, after I have had a chance to cool down some. Now, are you tired? Do you need to get some more rest?"

"No, I feel just fine. I slept through the night, didn't I?"

"Yeah, well, most of it anyway. What do you remember about what happened last night?"

"Surprisingly, I remember all of it."

"So you remember changing back to help us get Kennedy upstairs? Do you also remember what you said about Kennedy being alpha wolf?" Willow asked.

"Yeah. I may be the stronger slayer, and older sister, but she has way more experience with the whole wolf thing. What I can't figure out is why she lost control last night. That really worries me."

"Me too. She hasn't had a problem since she got here. I mean, until the other night, we didn't even know she was a werewolf. So the question is, is something happening to make her lose control, or is it the result of the multiple injuries she has had lately?" Buffy piped in.

"I guess this means I get to start researching that. First though, I need some sleep. That one hour I got last night just didn't do a thing for me. Plus, I don't have the slayer stamina you two do," Willow said.

"Yeah, why don't you lie down with Hope. I'm going to go get something to eat, then I might go lay down in B's room. What are your plans, B?"

"I guess I should go down and talk to Rona and Vi. Let them know it is safe to come out of the basement. Willow, let us know if anything changes with Kennedy, ok?"

"Will do. Right now she looks like she is sleeping peacefully. Buffy, please let Rona know to steer clear of me for a few days. I am still really upset about last night. I mean, she could have killed her, and she didn't care. I just need some time to come to terms with that."

"I was planning on telling her to stay away from all three of you for a while. There was no call for how she acted last night. I just need to make her see the error of her ways."

Willow then went and laid down next to the sleeping woman on the bed. Faith and Buffy went downstairs. When they got to the bottom, Buffy stopped Faith and gave her a soft kiss on the lips, then rested her head on her shoulder.

"Not that I am complaining, but what was that for?" Faith asked.

"That really could be you lying up there. You scared me last night when you suddenly laid down so you could change back. I thought you were hurt too."

"B, I'm fine. I'm just worried about Hope. I can't sense her. You sure you got everything out of the wound, right?"

"As sure as I can be. I used two full bottles of alcohol on her. I guess we just need to keep an eye on her. If she doesn't wake up by noon, or if she gets worse, then we will take her to the hospital. Does that sound good to you?"

"I guess. I think I am going to go sit with her after I get something to eat. Just hope I don't scare Willow. She's got the major mojo going for her right now and the last thing I want is it directed at me."

"Yeah, she went through a lot this last year. That is why I'm so worried about your sister. She's the first person since Tara that Willow has been with. I'm not sure how Willow would react if something should happen to her."

"And it doesn't help that it seems my dear ol' sis seems to be accident prone lately. Don't worry, I'll keep an eye on her. I don't want to see anything happen either."

"Well, guess I put this off long enough. Better go down and talk to our two wayward potentials."

*About two hours later*

After Faith had eaten, showered and rested a little, she went in to check on her sister. When she got to the room, she noticed Kennedy was paler and was sweating. Worried, she ran over to the side of the bed and tried to wake her up.

"Hope, come on. You need to wake up now. You've slept long enough."

After a few minutes of Faith shaking her, Kennedy finally opened her eyes slightly.

"Faith, what.. what happened? I hurt all over."

"What do you remember, sweety?" Faith said, pushing some of Kennedy's hair off her face.

"Last thing I remember is coming up here with Willow. We made love, then everything went black. Faith, why does it hurt? What happened last night?"

"You don't remember me busting in here and you practically challenging me?"

"No, did I attack you? Did you have to fight me off?"

"No hun, you held yourself back, if only just. You lost control Hope. You had me scared."

"If we didn't fight, then why do I hurt?"

"We changed before they could restrain us, so we decided to take a little run. What we didn't know is that two of the potentials played hooky and stayed home. They saw you jump at me, so by the time we got downstairs, they thought we were going to attack someone else. One of them got the jump on you, and before I could stop her, she stabbed you."

"If she stabbed me, then why do I hurt all over? Shouldn't it just hurt where it happened?"

"It was with a silver dagger. The way you look right now, I'm thinking a part may still be in you. We need to get you to a doctor."

While the exchange was going on between the sisters, Willow woke up and slowly walked out of the room. She had noticed how hot Kennedy was and how pale she had become in the couple of hours since dawn. She had decided to go get Buffy and the dagger they had pulled out of her girlfriend the night before. She found the dagger first, where they had left it at the bottom of the stairs. When she examined it, she noticed a very small piece of the tip had broken off. Scared of what that meant, she ran downstairs to get Buffy. Then the two ran up to the bedroom to get Faith and Kennedy so they could run the younger woman to the hospital.

By the time they had arrived, Kennedy was out cold again. It had taken all her energy just to get dressed and to the car. Faith carried her in, with Buffy and Willow yelling for someone to help them. Once they found a doctor, he told Faith to place her on a gurney, then with a couple of nurses, the doctor took Kennedy back to be examined.

Once the group was out of eyesight, Faith collapsed.

"B, tell me she is going to be alright. I can't loose her."

Buffy went over and wrapped her arms around Faith. "They are going to take great care of her. Don't worry, she's tough."

"She doesn't remember changing last night. Why do I remember, and she doesn't? What's going on with my sister?"

"Hun, I don't know. We'll have to talk to Giles about this. Maybe he'll know what's going on. Now come on. Let's go sit down and wait to see what's going on."

Willow watched the exchange between Faith and Buffy in confusion. She knew something had happened the night before between them. Kennedy's revelation had opened a door for the two of them to start again. She had some of the same questions as Faith did though. Plus she wanted to know why it suddenly seemed like someone was out to get rid of the younger girl. It seems like whenever she starts to fall for someone, someone or something happens to split them up. She was determined not to let it happen with Kennedy. This time, she did have some control over the situation. All they needed to do was to make it through this.


Chapter Thirteen

A little while later, a doctor came up to them in the waiting room. "Are you the family of Hope Kennedy?"

"Yeah, I'm her sister. Is everything ok, doc?" Faith asked.

"Well, the stab wound in her shoulder was deep. We also found something lodged in the joint on the X-ray. We need to do surgery to remove it, and to repair some of the damage done. Can you please sign this release form?"

"Yeah. Doc, what about the fever? Does that mean it's infected?"

"That is what is really puzzling us. There is no sign of infection, but her body is acting like there is. She isn't responding to the antibiotics either. If we could, we would wait to do the surgery, but the wound is still bleeding somewhat. We will do everything we can to make sure she is alright. Now that you have signed this form, I need to get back and get her upstairs to the OR."

Once the doctor was gone, Willow turned to Buffy. "I thought you got everything out."

"I thought I did too. It must be lodged in there good."

Suddenly, Faith jumped up and ran out of the hospital. Both of the other two girls watched her, worried about how she was reacting.

"Aren't you going to go after her?"

"She's just outside the doors. I think she needs some air and time to take all this in."

"I was meaning to ask you this, what is going on with the two of you? You finally start to work everything out?"

"Yeah. We talked last night. We decided to take it slow, for now. I just hope everything that is happening with her sister doesn't set her back. I know how I would feel if it was Dawn laying in there, and we didn't go through half of what Faith and Hope have. We need to be there for her this time, or at least I do. I think she will understand if you are more worried about Hope."

"You called her Hope."

"Yeah, I guess I did. She just seems more like Hope than Kennedy to me now."

"Why don't you go out and sit with Faith. I'll be fine here. I think she needs you right now."

"You sure you don't mind? I know this has got to be hard for you."

"I'm sure. There is nothing we can do right at the moment. I'm going to try and send positive thoughts to Kennedy. Other than that, it is in the doctor's hands."

"If you're sure. I'll be right outside if you need me."

Buffy then went out and found Faith sitting on the front steps of the hospital, smoking.

"I thought you quit that."

"Yeah well, some habits die hard." Faith said, stubbing out her cigarette. She then turned to Buffy, "I let her down again, B. It's like she's four all over again. Except this time, it isn't a few broken bones. I'm worried. I, I can't feel her, B. Why can't I feel her?"

"She's unconscious right now hun. Everything will be ok. The doctors are doing everything they can to help her."

"But what if it isn't enough. You heard them, they don't know what is causing the fever."

"You know as well as I do what is causing that. It's the little piece of the dagger that is in lodged in her shoulder. And you did not let her down, now or then. Shit Faith, you were only six back then. How were you supposed to protect her all the time?"

"Who else was gonna? Our father wasn't there enough to know what was going on. At least he got her out of there. I thought that meant she would be safe. Maybe I'm the reason she keeps getting hurt. It seems to only happen when I'm around."

"That is so untrue. She got injured before you got back."

"This bad?" Faith waited for a reaction from Buffy, when she didn't get one she added, "Didn't think so. I think I need to get out of her life again, to keep her safe."

"Don't you dare even start to think that way. I.... She just got you back. You can't leave again." Buffy yelled at Faith.

Faith noticed Buffy's slip, but chose to ignore it for the time being. "B, I can't be the reason she keeps getting hurt. If she makes it through this, I'm going to take off. I need you to watch out for her, make sure she is safe."

"I'm not letting you go. There is a reason everything is happening right now. Just give us some time to figure it out. Besides, Hope wouldn't want you to go. You know that."


"No buts. All I'm asking for is a little time. I don't think that is too much to ask."

"Ok, but if it seems things are getting worse, I'm outta here. I will not be the cause for her getting hurt."

"Ok. Now, let's get back in there and see if there is any word."


Chapter Fourteen

When the two slayers got back to the waiting room, they noticed Willow talking to a doctor.

"Faith, Buffy, this is Dr. Stevens. He's the surgeon that worked on Kennedy's shoulder." Willow told the two as they approached.

"Doc, how is my sister doing?" Faith asked, looking worried.

"We got the object out and repaired the damage done to the muscles and tendons in the area with no problem. Her temperature is still a little high for my liking though. We are doing some tests to see what is causing it."

"Is she awake? Can we go see her?" Buffy asked.

"She's in recovery right now. Once we get her into her room, you can go visit. I'll have a nurse come get you. I would recommend that you keep the visit short. She lost a lot of blood and is really weak."

"But she will wake up soon, right?" Faith asked, thinking about her time in the hospital.

"We'll know more about that once the anesthesia wears off. We've done all we can for the time being."

"Thank you doctor." Buffy said.

At that the doctor turned and walked out of the waiting room. Buffy turned to Faith and Willow to see how they took the news.

"Guys, she will be fine. They got the tip out. She should wake up soon. For now, lets go get something to eat then go see if she is in her room."

"I just have this bad feeling. Like something isn't right."

"Well, there is nothing we can do till we can go see her. Besides, we all know how you feel about hospitals, Faith." Willow said.

"It's not just that. I've had this feeling since last night. Something is going on, I just don't know what. I really wish Giles was here."

"He should be back soon. If you want, I can go call the house and see if they've arrived." Buffy said.

"Would you please? While you do that, I can go get us some coffee or something. Faith, can you wait here for the nurse?" Willow asked.

"Sure. If I'm not here when you guys get back, I'll be in with Hope."

When Willow left to get the coffee, Buffy turned to Faith and asked, "Can you sense her yet, Faith?"

"No and it is really worrying me. Even when she was attacked by the bringers, there was still something of an echo there. This time, there is nothing. It's like something is blocking the connection. B, when I was in the coma, did you still feel our connection?"

Buffy had been waiting for Faith to ask about that. She dreaded telling her the answer, knowing how she would take it.

"No, I couldn't feel it, but I know it was still there. If it wasn't, how were you able to come to me in that dream so you could help us with the mayor?"

"But that only happened after Angel almost drained you dry. You know what this probably means, she's not going to be waking anytime soon."

"We don't know that, Faith. She's strong. You saw how quickly she healed from that stab wound she got the other day. She'll pull through this too."

"But that wasn't with a silver dagger. She's been through so much in such a short amount of time. Maybe this was just too much for her. All that on top of changing the last two nights. It's just too much. If I lose her, B, I don't know what I will do."

Buffy wrapped her arms around Faith's waist. "No talk like that. You are not going to lose her. You heard what the doctor said, the surgery went fine, even with her having a fever. Let's wait and see how she's doing before you start thinking like you are going to lose her."

Faith put her arms around Buffy's shoulders and sighed. "How do you know exactly what to say to calm me down?"

Placing her hand on her heart, Buffy replied, "Because I feel you, here. I don't like seeing you that upset, especially if we don't know if there is anything to worry about. It could just be the drugs they used during the surgery that is blocking her from you." Noticing a nurse coming towards them, she then said, "Here comes the nurse now. Why don't you go with her and see Hope. I'll go call the house to let them know what is going on and see if Giles is back yet, then I'll get Willow and join you up there. Ok?"

"I guess. Just don't take too long."

"I shouldn't. You just go. She'll be fine."

Buffy leaned up and gave Faith a peck on the cheek, then went to make her call. Faith went with the nurse to her sisters room. What she saw when she got there just made her worry even more. Kennedy was lying on the bed, looking even paler than when they brought her in. Her left shoulder was nothing but bandages, and she had machines and tubes running from almost everywhere Faith could see. It took a large amount of will power for Faith to not turn and run out of the room. Instead she slowly made her way to her sister's bedside and gently grasped her hand, making sure she didn't disrupt anything important.

"God Hope. This should be me lying here. You've been through so much in lately, and it's all my fault. If I had never come back to Sunnydale, you'd be fine right now."

Kennedy knew her sister was there, but it was too much of an effort to open her eyes. So instead, she squeezed her hand, trying to let Faith know she would be ok. When Faith felt that, she looked up to see if the younger girl was awake. Noticing her eyes were still closed, she tried the connection again. When she felt the weak echoes coming through, she almost yelled with joy. The only thing keeping her from doing so was remembering where they were. So instead, she gave her sister's hand a light squeeze back, and placed a soft kiss on her cheek.

"You had me so worried. You rest now. I'll be right here when you wake up."

When Faith was sure Hope was asleep, she quietly made her way to the hall, to wait for Buffy and Willow so she could tell them the good news. By the time the other two made it up to the room, Faith was about to go look for them. The three then decided to let Willow go in and sit with her girlfriend for a bit so Faith could go get some air. When the two slayers got outside, everything finally hit Faith and she practically collapsed on the stairs in front of the hospital.

"She's going to be ok. You were right."

"She woke up?"

"Yes and no. She didn't open her eyes, but I felt her through the connection."

"Can you still feel her?"

"Yeah, she's sleeping now, but she knows Willow is in there with her. They really love each other. I wish you could feel this."

"I can, through you. Plus, I know what we have, and if what they feel for each other is close to how we feel, then wow."

"I know." Suddenly Faith's head shot up and she looked up towards Kennedy's room. "Something's wrong. We need to get back up there."

"What happened? I thought everything was fine."

"She's scared. Come on, let's go."

When they got back to the room, they noticed Kennedy sitting in a corner, rocking back and forth. She had ripped the tubes out, and took off the bandage from her shoulders. There were a couple of nurses in the room, trying to get her back into the bed, all without success. Willow was trying to make her way over, but was being held back by a security guard.

"What happened in here? What did you people do to scare her? Let go of Willow, she'll have a better chance of calming Hope down than any of you."

One of the nurses turned from trying to get to Kennedy, to address Faith. "All we were trying to do was check her shoulder. The minute I got the bandage off and she saw it, she panicked."

The minute the security guard let go of Willow, she ran to the corner where Kennedy had holed up in. "Kenn, hun, what's wrong? They are just checking to make sure everything is ok. These are good people. They aren't going to hurt you."

Kennedy looked up at her girlfriend. "You sure? They won't hurt me?"

"I'm sure hun. They are only here to help you. Come on, let's get you back into bed."

"Ok." Then she looked up at her sister, "Fai, when did you get here? I thought you were in Boston."

"Huh? What are you talking about? Hope..."

"No, no Hope. Hope's gone. No Hope here. Kennedy now."

"Hope, what are you talking about?" Faith asked, scared by what she thought her sister meant. What happened next scared everyone. Kennedy jumped up and ran at her sister.

"I told you Hope is gone." Kennedy yelled at Faith, eyes briefly flashing yellow.

When Faith saw that, she backed off a little. She then turned to the nurses in the room, then to Buffy. Under her breath she asked, "B, think you can get these people out of the room. We have a really big problem here. Then, if Giles is back, get his ass up here. Willow and I should be able to handle this till then."

"You sure? You don't look like her favorite person right now."

"I'm sure. She's right. Hope isn't here right now. I just hope I don't have to hurt her too badly to get her calmed down."

"That doesn't sound good Faith."

"I know, but it's my only choice at the moment. I can't risk anyone else. Willow is her mate, she won't hurt her. Right now, she thinks I am challenging her. I may have to fight her. I don't need an audience for that, if you know what I mean." Faith told Buffy, letting her see her eyes flash to yellow briefly.

"Oh God, not that. But the full moon is over. She should have control back."

"That is why we need Giles here. I have no idea what is going on. All I know is what you are seeing is the wolf, not my sister. Just get these people out of here, before she hurts someone."

Willow watched the exchange between Faith and Buffy, noticing how scared the two looked. She then looked at Kennedy. The first thing she noticed was her eyes. 'Oh Goddess. She isn't in control.' She slowly walked over to the younger girl, trying to seem calm. When Kennedy saw Willow, she relaxed slightly, till she noticed the bruises on Willows arms from where the security guards were holding her. The thought that someone had hurt her mate enraged her and she attempted to attack the guards.

Faith had been watching her from the corner of her eye. When she saw her going to attack the guards, she intercepted, only to have Kennedy hit her with a hand that started to change into a claw. When Kennedy saw the blood start to flow from where she hit Faith, something snapped and she gained some control.

"Oh God, Faith. I am so sorry. I don't know what happened."

"Hope, is it you?"

"Yeah, I'm back. I think we need to get me out of here and back home."

"I think that is an excellent idea." Turning to the nurses that Buffy hadn't had time to get out of the room, she asked, "What do we have to do to get Hope released?"

"I can't recommend that. She just got out of surgery. She needs to stay here so we can keep an eye on her."

"You're doing such a fine job of that. You can't even get close enough to her to change her bandages. Now, I am taking her home with me. If any of you try to stop me, you will regret it."

"If you refuse to listen to reason, then you will have to sign a form so the hospital cannot be held liable if anything should happen."

"Fine, get me the form. Willow, can you help her get dressed while I fill out the paperwork? Buffy, bring the car around to the front. I want to get her out and home as soon as possible."


Chapter Fifteen

Once they got home, Faith attempted to carry Hope up to her room.

"I'm not crippled, ya know. It was my arm that was hurt, not my legs."

"I know that, but you are still weak. The last thing we need is you falling down the stairs and hurting yourself even more. Come on, just indulge me this once."

"Just seems like all you do anymore is carry me up and down the stairs. Ok, but this is the last time I let you do it."

"Man Faith, she is just like you. Wonder why I never saw it before." Willow said.

Faith turned to Willow with something just short of fear in her eyes, "Hope is nothing like me. She's too smart to do some of the things I have done."

"Relax, I meant that in a good way. She has your stubbornness."

Embarrassed by thinking the worst of what Willow said, Faith replied, "Sorry. I'm still a little jumpy about what is going on." Turning to Hope she said, "Ok, let's get you upstairs and settled in."

They got Kennedy upstairs and in bed with little trouble, only trouble they had was getting her changed into some night wear without hurting her further. Once she was settled, Willow told the two slayers she would sit with her and watch over her so they could go talk to Giles. So Faith told her sister good night, and kissed her gently on the forehead, then the two slayers went downstairs to find the ex-watcher.

Once the three were settled in the living room, Giles sitting in the arm chair and Faith and Buffy together on the couch, Faith let some of the worry she was holding back come out.

"Giles, what is going on? I know I am kinda new to this wolf thing, but I don't think she should be losing control like that. Especially it being after the full moon, and daytime. What's going on? Should we be worried about it happening again? When I got back to the room, it was almost like she forgot the past few days, but if that was true, she would have been shocked to see me, not thinking I should be in Boston. It's almost like her memories are all scrambled."

"I believe it might have been the shock that caused her reaction. Slayers seem to have bad responses to hospitals."

"But she isn't a slayer yet, and if I have my way, she never will be."

"That is where you are wrong, Faith. True she may not be as strong as you or Buffy, or heal as quickly, but she may have other strengths the two of you don't. She is a slayer though."

"No, I won't accept that. I didn't die Giles. I was just in a coma. She is not a slayer, just a potential. And I wish she wasn't even that."

"There is nothing you can do to change the situation, Faith. The only explanation I can come up with is your heart must have stopped when you hit the truck long enough for her to be called. We all know by now it only takes a short amount of time for that to happen. Then it started back before you were found and taken to the hospital. There have been other cases where a slayer has been in a coma and the next in line did not receive any of the calling."

When he finished, Buffy turned to Faith, shame filling her eyes, "That means I did kill you that day. All of this is my fault. I'm the reason Hope is sitting in that bed right now."

Faith grabbed Buffy's hands, trying to calm her down, "No, B. You didn't throw me off that balcony, I jumped. Besides, you did what you had to do. I had to be stopped. I see that now, I just wish you would let go of this guilt. Plus you are not the reason Hope got hurt. Besides, even if that didn't happen, Hope would still be here, because The First is after her. It's after all of us. And she got hurt because Rona thought we might hurt someone when we changed last night. You did nothing wrong. It's no one's fault. I can't even bring myself to blame Rona anymore. She was just doing what all of us were trained to do. Try to protect the innocent. Something I lost sight of for a while. Do you understand? This is not your fault."

"I guess, but if I had only tried harder back then,"

"Then Hope would still be suffering from a concussion, and a stab wound to her stomach on top of her shoulder. Everything happens for a reason, B. Now we just have to find out what that reason is."

Giles watched all this with growing admiration for the younger slayer. "When did she get to be so insightful?' he wondered. Then snapping out of his thoughts, he said, "I may have an explanation for all of this. While I was out last night, I took some books with me so I could do a little research. I found something that may be of importance to what is happening. There was a prophesy."

"Great, another prophesy. Just what we need." Buffy interrupted.

"And this has to do with Hope, how?" Faith asked.

"Actually, it has to do with the two of you. It tells of two sisters, who are both slayers and wolves. One will be the stronger slayer, the other the stronger wolf. When the final fight draws near, the stronger wolf will lose start to lose control, till the next full moon when she will become change completely for one cycle."

Jumping up, Faith cried out, "Wait, you are telling me I am going to lose Hope to the wolf? No I can't let that happen G. I won't lose her."

"Faith, calm down. It will only be for a month." Buffy said, then turned to Giles, "Is that all? And are you sure you translated it right?"

"Quite sure, and no that isn't all. It seems the two of them are the ones to fight the First. They are our last hope."

"You have to be wrong. There is no way we can fight him ourselves. Plus, do you really think I will let Hope do something that will most likely get her killed. Nope, try again."

"Faith..." Buffy tried again.

"No B. I am not going to endanger Hope like that. I will do everything in my power to prevent her from getting hurt again."

"While this is admirable, you don't have a choice. From what Buffy has told me of the past few days, the prophesy has already started. We all need to be there for Kennedy during this month. Plus the two of you will need to work on strengthening your bond so you will be better able to communicate while she is in wolf form. Faith, for what it's worth, I am very sorry about all this. I know you two just found each other again, but I have every confidence in you two."

"I do have a question. How are we supposed to fight something we can't even touch?"

"That maybe where Kennedy comes into play here. The two of you are wolves naturally, meaning you were born with it, not cursed. That could mean that while changed, she will be able to inflict harm on The First. I still need to do more research into all of this."

Sitting down, Faith put her head in her hands and sighed. "How am I going to tell Hope?"

"Why not let me worry about that Faith. I'm more than willing to tell her."

"No, she's my sister. I should be the one to break the bad news to her. Besides, we can't risk her hurting one of you. Even though we were born like this, doesn't mean we can't infect others. I'll tell her when she wakes up. Right now she needs her rest."

"Giles, should we be worried about her losing control? Should we lock her up?"

"No, I think we will be safe for the time being. Her body needs rest to heal and rid itself of the poison. We shouldn't need to really worry till closer to the next full moon. As it nears, she will begin to lose control more and more. Till then, we need to be there for her. Make sure she knows we are on her side."

"When do we tell the others? I mean, I think they have a right to know so they can be prepared."

"Later. Right now we all need some rest. Why don't the two of you go lie down. I am going to do a little more research into this. Tomorrow should be soon enough to inform the others."

"Ok, Giles. Don't stay up too late. With what you told us tonight, I'm guessing we have a little time to figure all this out."

"Yes, I imagine we do. Now off to bed you two. You look like death warmed over."

"Good night G. Sorry about flipping on ya before. I just, I worry about her, ya know."

"That is all well and good, but you have to remember, she was chosen for a reason. Don't let your worry cloud your judgment. She can take care of herself."

Chuckling, Faith replied, "So she keeps telling me. Come on B, let's get going."

Part 16

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