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 Sixteen

The next morning, Faith woke up alone in her bed for the first time since she returned to Sunnydale. Deciding it would be better to get up and moving, she got up and did her morning rituals. After she finished eating, she made up a tray for her sister and Willow and took it up to their room. Once up there, she noticed the red-headed wicca was the only person up in the room.

"I brought you guys something to eat. How did it go last night?" Faith said quietly, so she didn't wake Kennedy.

"She slept the whole night. Her fever broke sometime early this morning and she hasn't moved since."

"That's good then, right?"

"Yes, that is very good. That means her body can now concentrate on healing her shoulder. So, what did Giles have to say about what is going on?"

"To be honest, I'd really rather tell Hope first."

"Why do I have a feeling it wasn't good?"

"I do have a favor to ask of you. Can you look into my hospital file from when I was in the coma and see if my heart stopped at anytime during that time. Especially near the beginning?"

"If you're asking me to check this, does that mean what I think it means?"

"I'm not sure. Giles is convinced that Hope is a slayer now, just because when previous slayers were in comas, none of the powers were passed along. The thing though is when that happened, it was also about the time Hope started changing. I'm wondering if that has anything to do with what we thought would be her slayer powers emerging. If it is just the wolf, then we may have a problem."

"What do you mean, we may have a problem?"

"Well, he found a prophesy, and with everything that is going on, he thinks it already started."

"And this has to do with you dying, how?"

"I should really wait till Hope wakes up and tell her first."

From the bed they hear, "Just tell her already, so I can go back to sleep."

'Shit. I forgot how lightly she sleeps. Ok guess I shouldn't put this off any longer.' Faith thought. "Hope, if you are going to listen in, you better sit up for this."

"Just spill already. I'm sure it isn't as bad as you think."

"Well, last night Giles told B and me he found a prophesy." Faith said, hesitating at a little at the end.

"And this has to do with you dying, how?" Kennedy asked her sister, looking a little worried.

"It tells of two sisters, who are both slayers and wolves."

"Well we have half of that."

"That we are sure of anyway. You heard the favor I asked Willow, right?"

"To find out if you flat-lined. So what if you did?"

"All it takes is a minute or two for the next in line to be called. Look what happened with Buffy when she fought the Master."

"Stupid question here, but is it possible I received the calling when Buffy died the second time?"

"No, the line runs through me now, or you, not sure which yet."

"If it's a prophesy, couldn't you both have been called at the same time?" Willow asked.

"I don't think so. Hope didn't start to feel the bond till the time I was in the coma."

"That's not all that has you worried though, is it? That I may be a slayer, not just a potential. There's something more to the prophesy, isn't there?"

Faith looked down at her feet. 'How am I going to tell her the rest of it. It may just what it takes to push her over the edge for good. Yet I have no choice but to tell her. Oh God, what has she ever done to deserve this. If anyone deserves it, it's me.'

"Faith, you still with us? Is it that bad? Oh God, one of us is going to die. That's it, isn't it?"

Faith's head snapped up when Kennedy started panicking. "No, at least not if I get my way. Hope, there is really no easy way to tell you the next part. So if I do this wrong, I'm sorry."

"Faith, you are really starting to worry me. Just tell me already."

Faith looked at Hope, with tears starting to form in her eyes. "You know how you have been losing control for the last few days. Well according to the prophesy, you will continue to lose control, till the next full moon. At that time, the wolf will take over."

When she finished, Kennedy looked shell-shocked. It felt like she couldn't get enough oxygen into her lungs and she was getting light-headed.

"So you mean, when my life is somehow falling into place, I will lose my fight with my wolf? I just found my mate, and got my sister back, only to find out, in less than a month, I will lose everything? This, this can't be happening. Will, is there anything you can do?"

Willow was shocked as well. That was the last thing she expected Faith to say. All she could think was, 'At least I get some sort of warning this time before I lose her.' When Kennedy spoke to her, she was shocked out of her thoughts.

"I... I don't know. I was never able to help Oz with his problem. That's why he left. Plus this is a prophesy. One thing we have learned over the last six years or so is you can't stop one once it starts."

Buffy had been out in the hall, listening to the three talk. When Willow said that, she decided to let them know she was there.

"First, Faith didn't tell you everything. The wolf will only be in charge for one cycle. That's the good news, the bad news is, you and Faith are our last hope in the fight against the First. We think because of the fact that you were born with lycanthropy, and not cursed, that you will be able to fight it."

"So this is only for a month? Well two if you count this time before the next full moon."

"Yes. That is how Giles explained it last night to Faith and me."

"And there is no chance he read it wrong? He's sure it's only for one cycle?"

"Hope, what are you thinking? I won't let you get hurt. You are not going to go up against the First alone."

"You're right. I'll have you, Buffy, Willow, and all the others by my side. That is, if I don't kill everyone first. These last few days, when I've changed, I've had no control. No way to protect the people around me. So, when this big change occurs, are you just going to keep me on a leash until it's time to fight, then hope I go after the right thing?"

"Remember, Faith has the bond with you, even in your wolf form. You two need to work on that this month. Strengthen it somehow so you will be able to communicate."

Faith went over and sat on the bed next to her sister. She picked up Kennedy's hand and said "I won't let anything happen to you. Say the word, and I will get you out of here. You and Willow both. I'll send you back to dad to keep you safe."

"No, I can't run. I'm a slayer. I need to be here. I need to do this. Somehow, this feels right." Kennedy looked her sister in the eye, then said, "We are going to fight, and we are going to win, together. Can't you feel it?"

"Right now, all I feel is the fear of losing you. I left Boston to keep you safe. I let everyone there think I was dead, so nothing would come after you. If there was a way I could stop this now, I would." She stood up and wrapped her arms around herself. To herself she said, "You are supposed to be safe. I'm the fuck up. Why is this happening to you and not me. Dammit I'm the bad seed, not you. You don't deserve this. I do."

Kennedy heard every word her sister said. Each one tore a little more at her soul. She knew nothing she could say would make Faith believe that she wasn't one of the bad guys. That Kennedy never thought she was. Finally, the feelings she was receiving through the link got to be too much. She got out of bed and stormed over to her sister. When she got to her, she balled up the hand of her good arm and threw a punch to Faith's head. While Faith stood looking at her shocked, she said, "Dammit, how many times do I have to tell you, you are one of the good guys. So you made a few mistakes, who doesn't. You are making up for them now. What is happening to me is NOT your fault. Hell, you are just much a victim of fate as I am. You need to be strong. We need to be. All of us need to be together in this. We will win this, but not alone. Fai, I need you to not blame yourself. Can you do that, for me?"

Faith stood watching her sister, knowing the only thing keeping her on her feet right then was pure adrenaline. Seeing the determination in Kennedy's face, she knew her younger sister was going to be fine. But she did blame herself. If she hadn't thrown herself off the balcony that night, Kennedy wouldn't have received her calling. Then the prophesy wouldn't be able to play itself out. But she also knew blaming herself would get them no where. She needed to think, and needed to be alone to do it. So when Kennedy stopped talking, Faith's reaction was to turn on her heel and run.


Chapter Seventeen

"I can't believe you guys just let her run out like that, anything could happen to her." Willow said to Buffy and Kennedy.

"She's a big girl, Willow. If I want her to start looking at me like one, then I have to treat her the same way." Kennedy said to Willow. "Besides, do you really think we can make her do anything she didn't want to do? She did what she does best, she ran. She'll be back when she is ready."

"How can you be so sure? Last time she ran off, she ended up in LA asking Angel to kill her."

"Last time, she wasn't part of a prophesy. She may not like it, but she will do what she has to do. She feels her redemption is based on it."

"Willow may be right, Kennedy. I'm going to go look for her. Maybe I can talk to her." Buffy told the younger woman.

"Whatever. I'm going to try to get some more sleep." Kennedy said as she was lying back down.

"Do you need anything? A pain pill, more pillows?" Willow asked, being concerned about Kennedy's sudden attitude towards her sister.

"All I need is to get some sleep. So if you two are going to talk, could please do it somewhere else?"

"What has gotten into you? Shit Kennedy, your sister is hurting and all you care about is going back to sleep." Buffy said.

"Apparently you guys either didn't hear or didn't realize what she said. She let everyone think she was dead. She told me it was my dad who did that."

"She did what she did to keep you safe. Do you know why she had to run from Boston?" Willow asked.

"Something about some old vamp was after her. Big deal. She ended up killing it, didn't she?"

"Only with Buffy's help."

"Kakistos scared her, Hope. I have only seen her that scared one other time since I met her and that was yesterday when you were in the hospital. You have to believe me when I say she cares about you. I think if you weren't here, she would still trying to be the hard-ass she thinks she needs to be around us." Buffy interjected.

"Look, that's all fine and well, but there is nothing I can do for her right now. She has to work this out on her own." Looking at her girlfriend she asked, "Can you please go look up what she asked you to? Maybe if we prove to her that she didn't die back then, she will calm down. Maybe then we can get her to feel like we have a chance against the first. At the moment, I am just worn out. I need some good, not drug-induced sleep. That may help me to try to keep control over my wolf, at least for the time being. So I'm sorry if it seems like I don't care about what is happening with Faith right now, but I am thinking about the bigger picture here. If what the prophesy says is to believed, then we have time. I think we all need time to let everything sink in."

"Ok, that makes sense, somewhat. Listen, I'm still worried about Faith, so I am going to go looking for her. Besides, I think I know where I might find her. I'll take my cell-phone if you guys need me for anything." Buffy said.

"I'll be just downstairs if you need anything Kennedy, just yell if you need me, for any reason. OK?" Willow said.

"Yeah hun. I am sorry if I sound cold, but right now I am just really tired. Everything is really catching up to me. Love ya." Kennedy told the red-head.

"Love ya too. You just rest." She replied, then leaned down and gave the younger girl a soft kiss.

Once Buffy and Willow left the room, Kennedy lay still for a bit, making sure they really left to do what they said they were going to. When she was sure they were truly gone, she slowly got up and started to get changed. The fact she could barely use her left arm slowed her a bit, but soon she was ready to go out and try to find her sister. She then grabbed one of the tranquilizer pistols that was left in the room from the past two nights, and set off. It took some doing to get past Willow in the living room, without the older girl noticing she was sneaking out of the house. Once outside, she opened up the link she had with her sister, to see if that would aid in finding her, but didn't feel anything from the other side, so she tried slightly changing to her wolf form to see if Faith changed over to get away quicker. When she started the change, however, she couldn't stop.

Willow had been working hacking into the hospital records when she heard the front door open, then close. When she looked towards it, she didn't notice any movement near it. Decided she was just jumpy about everything going on, she was putting it out of her mind. About a minute later, she heard what sounded like a wounded animal on the front porch. Running out there, thinking Faith was there hurt, she was shocked to see Kennedy out there in the process of changing into her wolf form. Not knowing what to do, she suddenly saw the pistol the other girl had thought to grab and picked it up. She then took aim and was about to shoot Kennedy with it when the wolf noticed she was there. The look of pain on the wolf's face tore at Willow's heart. Thinking the wound to Kennedy's shoulder making the change more painful than normal for the young woman, she used the gun to try to help reverse the change. What she didn't realize was, Kennedy was is such pain because she was fighting it with everything she had in her. When hit with the dart, it ended all control she had and the change progressed even faster than normal. Within a minute, any trace of Kennedy was gone and the wolf had shaken off the tranq's effects and had taken off.


Chapter Eighteen

It's been about a week since that morning. Faith returned two days later, ready to apologize to everyone for running away. When she found out her sister was missing, she was ready to take off again, the only thing stopping her was Buffy letting her know everything they were doing to find the wayward wolf.

Willow had called Buffy as soon as Kennedy had taken off and as soon as Buffy returned to the house, the two had gone to the woods to look for her. They searched until it became too dark, and therefore too dangerous, to look anymore. They returned to the house and tried to get some sleep, but both women were too worried about their respective mates to get much rest.

The next day, Willow attempted to do a locater spell to find Kennedy and Faith, but was unsuccessful. It seemed that something was hiding the two wolves so they couldn't be found. Buffy went searching everywhere she thought Faith would be, her old apartment, the hotel, even the Mayor's old office at City Hall. It seemed the dark slayer had just disappeared into thin air.

When Faith returned the next day, Buffy was torn between being elated that nothing had happened to her, and being furious Faith was gone for so long without a word. She was also worried how Faith would take the news that her sister was missing. After the initial blow-up, she took it basically well. Faith decided to give it one more day, then she would go out to the woods and look for her sister herself, using the connection they shared.

The night of Faith's return, after all the potentials had gone to bed, Buffy and Faith stayed up with Willow. The wicca told Faith what she had learned when she had looked up her medical files.

"Well, it seems you were right Faith. You didn't die that day, or at any time during your coma. Maybe the passage about being slayers and wolves could mean that Kennedy is a potential."

"And her extra abilities?" Faith asked.

"Could be because of the wolf in her. They do heal faster and are a bit stronger." Willow answered.

"Why was she outside anyway? She knew I was going to look for Faith. Plus she told us she wanted to get some sleep." Buffy inquired.

"I think she wanted to find Faith on her own. She probably told us she was just going to sleep to get us to leave her alone so she could get away on her own. She knew we wouldn't let her out in the shape she was in. I mean, you saw her, she could barely stand that day." Willow said.

"So this is my fault she is missing. B, I told you I should just leave. I am doing nothing but causing harm to her by being here." Faith said, distraught.

"She is missing because you ran. If you would have just stayed, she would still be here. Don't blame yourself. She is just as stubborn as you are." Buffy told her.

As the week went on, there was still no trace of Kennedy to be had. Faith couldn't even get any response though the link. That morning, one week after the disappearance, Faith was getting ready to go out looking for her sister again. When she had everything ready, she went to go out the front door. What she saw there made her jump and run back into the house.

"Buffy, Willow, come quick. She's back and it looks like she needs some help." Faith yelled back into the house.

Kennedy was laying, naked and out cold on the porch. She had cuts and bruises all over her body. She was in human form, but she still had claws on her hands and feet, and her ears were a little more pointed than usual. It looked like she was stuck in between forms.

Once they got her upstairs and dressed, Buffy and Faith decided to leave Willow to look after her and the two slayers went to the living room to talk to Giles about what they thought happened.

"It looks like everything has been sped up. The wolf is still in control, at least partially." Giles said.

"So is it safe to leave her upstairs like that? Should we have her chained in the basement in case she wakes up in a rage?" Buffy asked, being concerned for the rest of the household.

"I believe we should wait and see how she is when she wakes up. She won't harm Willow so there is no worry there."

"But I thought we had a month before the wolf took over. What happened that it took control now?" Faith asked.

"I'm not sure. We will have to wait till Kennedy wakes up before we get any answers."


Chapter Nineteen

It was two days until Kennedy woke up. While she was out, Willow and Faith took turns sitting with her so she wouldn't be alone when she woke up. Giles, Buffy, and the rest of the scoobies and potentials used that time to research why it seemed Kennedy was stuck between forms. Also, they were looking into why the prophesy seemed to be sped up. There was still a few passages they couldn't decipher. They were written in a language Giles had never seen before.

When Kennedy did finally wake up, it was the middle of the night and Willow was sleeping next to her. The first thing she noticed was, even though it was dark in the room, she was able to see clearly. Then she noticed the claws on her hands and feet. Finally, feeling around her mouth with her tongue, she realized she also had fangs. Scared that the wolf in her was trying to take control again, she got up, careful not to wake the witch sleeping next to her. She then made her way to the door of the room. As she opened the door, she found her sister standing there, getting ready to come in to check on the sleeping couple in the room.

Quietly Faith said, "Hope, your awake. I was just coming to check on you."

Kennedy just grunted and tried to make her way past Faith.

"Where do you think you are going?" Faith asked, grabbing the other girl's arm.

"I don't think I should be around people. I mean, look at me. I'm changing again." Kennedy said, showing Faith her wolf-like features.

"No you aren't. You've been like that since we found you. The gang has been researching, trying to figure out what this means. Why don't we go downstairs so we can talk to Giles about this?"

"Better idea, why don't we go to the basement and lock me up?"

"No. You aren't dangerous. I do think we should take this somewhere else. This is the first time in over a week I have seen Willow sleep."

"Because of me, right? All I've done is hurt her since she found out about me. Maybe I shouldn't have come back."

By this time, the sisters were half-way down the stairs, Faith in the lead. When Kennedy said what she did, Faith's head snapped around so fast, she almost lost her balance.

"Do you realize you being gone hurt her more than I have seen her hurt in a long time? You are helping her so much."

"No I'm not helping. She still isn't over Tara and now she has to deal with my messed up life."

"She's opening up to you in a way she couldn't before. She knew what you were, and what the repercussions were before you guys slept together. You mated with her, and now you are talking about leaving her?"

"Like you're one to talk. You mated with Buffy and then turned on her."

"That's different."


"I didn't know about being a wolf then."

"So she didn't mean anything to you then? Just another roll in the hay?"

"No, she was, is, more than that. I.... I l... I care about her deeply."

"You can't say it can you? At least I can admit it. I love Willow with all my heart. That is why I need to either leave or be locked up. I don't want to hurt her."

Everyone in the house could hear the argument between the sisters. Some were shocked to learn that not only Kennedy but Faith as well was a wolf. They were only told about Kennedy so they could be prepared for the upcoming month. Only Giles, Buffy, Willow, Vi, and Rona knew about Faith. Everyone was shocked about the possible relationship between the two slayers. The only shock to Willow was the thought of Kennedy leaving to protect her.

"Who said I needed protecting from you, Hope?" everyone heard from the top of the stairs. Willow slowly made it down to where the two were still standing in the middle of the staircase. "I love you, Hope, all of you. Because of that, I am here for you. I believe in you, trust in you. I know you won't hurt me. I have enough faith in that for both of us."

"But look at me. I can't even touch you right now without risking hurting you. And we can forget kissing." Kennedy said, showing off the fangs.

"Oh honey, that doesn't matter to me. I can wait for that till this is all over," Willow said, carresing Kennedy's cheek.

"Will, what if this is it? What if this is the most human I will ever be again?"

"Then we learn to work around it."

"Well, maybe I don't want to work around it. Maybe I just want to be normal again."

Faith piped in at that, "Hope, you'll never be normal. You never were. Same with me and B. Even if you weren't a wolf, being a slayer means never being like everyone else."

"At least you look normal. I look like a monster. I can't go out in public like this. People will run away screaming."

"Who will run away scared? We are living in a ghost town right now. And even if there were people out there, we could cover up the claws with shoes and gloves, you could wear sunglasses to cover your eyes, and try not to smile that much."

"Oh is that all. I still think everyone would be better off if I am locked up."

"Why? You've been arguing with Faith for awhile now, and you didn't get all wolfy on her. It seems like your human brain is in control. Let's not worry till there is something to worry about, ok?"

"I'm still going to worry. I want Buffy, Faith and you to carry a tranq gun at all times. I'm not sure what is happening, but I want to be prepared, just in case."

"That sounds like a plan. Let's go down and see what the gang has found." Faith conceded.

"Faith, can we meet you down there? I want to talk to your sister alone for a bit." Willow asked.

"Sure, Red. See you two down there when you get done." Faith said, then left to go join the rest in the living room.

"Come on you, let's go back to the room for a minute."

"You sure you will be safe alone in a room with me?"

"Didn't seem to bother me for the last two days, why would it now?"

"Because I was sleeping then. Now I am awake."

"Quit arguing. I am more safe now with you than then. We didn't know how you would be when you woke up. Now we know. You are you again, which I am eternally grateful for."

"But for how long? It was supposed to take a month for this to happen. Yet it only took a week. What the hell is happening to me?" Kennedy said, collapsing on the stair she was standing on.

Willow sat behind Kennedy and pulled her back so the younger girl was resting between her legs. She then started to stroke Kennedy's hair back, in an effort to calm her. She had never seen her girlfriend this upset before, and it was starting to scare her.

"I don't know hun. We are looking into it, but there are parts of the prophesy we don't know. Parts we can't read. Until we can, we are as much in the dark as you are. But I promise you this, you are not alone. You have the potentials, Buffy, Dawn, Faith and me by your side all the way in this. We are not giving up on you. Even Rona has decided you are one of the good guys again. She feels really bad about what happened that night."

"Will, I can feel it inside me, trying to get out. I'm not sure how long I can hold it in. It seems to be calm right now, but who knows how it will be five minutes from now. I'm scared."

"I know baby, I know. Just know I am here for you, no matter what. You're my Hope. Just like your sister is Buffy's Faith. Never doubt what I feel for you, ok?"

"Yeah." Turning so she could look Willow in the eye she asked, "Would you really stand by me if this is how I'll be for the rest of my life?"

"Yes. I meant it when I said I love you. We can get past this. I'm sure of it."

"Well, if you're sure, that's all the encouragement I need." Wiping her eyes and standing up, she says, "Now, let's go look at this mystery passage. Maybe a fresh set of eyes is what is needed."


Chapter Twenty

After spending all day researching and not finding anything new, everyone was getting a little antsy. When dusk approached, Buffy decided it was a good idea to take some of the more advanced potentials out on patrol. After a short discussion, it was decided Faith would stay home with Kennedy, and Willow would go out to help Buffy. Once the group was gone, Faith decided to go see how her sister was doing. She found the younger girl out on the porch, looking up at the moon.

"It really is beautiful, isn't it. I never really take the time to just stand and look at it." Kennedy said, still looking up.

"Is that the only thing you are doing out here? Not planning on following the others?"

"No, but I was thinking about taking a walk. Beginning to feel a little caged in being in the house."

"I don't think that is such a good idea. You just woke up this morning after being unconscious for two days."

"I wasn't planning on going alone. I just thought it would be a good way for us to be alone for a bit, so we could talk. Plus I need to get rid of this extra energy."

"Ok, I'll go with you. Just let me let Giles know what we're doing, and grab a couple of stakes. I don't plan on using them, but this is Sunnydale, so you never know."

While they were out walking, the two sisters talked about what had happened in the time they had been separated. Before they knew it, they were at the edge of the woods, close to where the vineyard was located.

"Hey, aren't we near that place you and Buffy were supposed to check out a while ago?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Did you ever get around to doing that?"

"No, we've been a little busy trying to figure out where you were, then when you returned, what was going on. Where were you anyways?"

"Out running with a wolf pack, trying to fight my wolf at the same time. I thought I had won, now I'm not so sure."

"Hope, you will beat this. Right now we just have to trust in Gile's translation of the prophesy and hope he can get the rest of it translated soon."

"Oh, he doesn't need to do that. I already know what it says. Besides, I've known about the prophesy for a while now."

Turning to look at Kennedy, Faith almost shouted, "What?!? You knew and didn't think it was important to tell me, or anyone about? God Hope, a little warning would have been nice."

"Well geez Faith, I thought you were dead for close to four years now. I kinda forgot about it." With that, Kennedy started to storm away.

"Where do you think you are going?"

"Away, I need to be by myself for a bit"

"Oh I don't think so. We are so going back to the house so you can tell Giles what the rest of the translation."

"I can't. There are no way to say the rest in a way anyone would understand. Only the two of us will know what it says."

"And why is that, oh wise one?"

"Because it is written in a language, it's written in a way, dammit, only wolves can understand what it says. That's why. And to tell you the truth, I'm sorry I told you that, 'cause now you are going to go back and read it, and I really didn't want you to know the rest. So can we just drop it?"

"No I can't drop it. We are talking about your life here."

"Right, MY life. Not yours, not Buffy's nor anyone else's, MINE, and if I just want one night where I don't have to think about it, then I will take it."

While the two were arguing, Caleb and a group of bringers had started to circle the two sisters. Since Faith and Kennedy were so wrapped up in what the other was saying, neither noticed the group till it was too late. Four bringers surrounded Kennedy, knocking her out. Caleb took care of Faith himself, knowing she was another slayer. When both sisters were taken care of, he instructed the bringers to pick them up and take them to the basement of the vineyard where he could secure them.

About an hour later

Buffy, Willow, and the group of potentials that went out patrolling arrived back at the house. As soon as Buffy finished her post-patrol speech, she went in search of Faith. When she couldn't find her, she decided to ask Giles what had happened.

"Giles, do you know where Faith is?"

"Oh you mean they haven't gotten back yet?"

"Back? What do you mean back? And who is they?"

"Faith and Kennedy went for a walk not long after you left. I thought they should be back by now."

"And you just let them go? Hope is in no condition to be out there. What was Faith thinking?"

"Maybe she was thinking that cooping up a frustrated wolf wasn't the smartest thing in the world." Giles replied, getting a little upset at Buffy.

"Ok, maybe you are right. Do you know where they planned on walking?"

"I believe they were going to go in the direction of the woods."

"Alright, why don't I just head down that way and make sure nothing happened."

"Sounds like a plan. Are you going to take Willow with you?"

"Yeah, and maybe Rona and Vi, just in case we run into any nasties."

"Just be careful and don't be too hard on them. I'm sure you must realize how frustrating this must be to the two of them."

"I just don't want anything to happen to them."

"Understandable. Now go and bring them home."

At the vineyard

Faith was starting to wake up. She could sense how upset and frustrated her sister felt. She opened her eyes and tried to look around, but it was totally pitch black.

"Hope, where are you? I know you are near, but it's too dark, I can't see anything."

Hope ran over to the corner where the bringers had thrown her sister when they were brought down. Carefully, she checked to Faith's head to see how the wound she had received from Caleb was doing.

"What do you mean it's too dark to see? There must be about a hundred torches going in this place."

"Huh? It might seem that way to you, but all I see is black. I mean, my eyes are open right?"

That's when Kennedy noticed her sister's eyes. There was a lost look to them. She had a sinking suspicion that Faith had taken one too many hits to the head that night, that some damage had been done that she could see from her inspection of the wounds.

"Faith, what happened out there. We were arguing, then next thing I knew, I woke up down here."

"I guess we were closer to that vineyard than I thought. They must have heard us and decided it would be a good idea to capture instead of killing us. Where are we anyways?"

"It looks to be some kind of dungeon or basement. Not too sure since there is only so far I can go before I hit some kind of force field." She looked over and noticed Faith trying to stand. "Are you sure you should be up right now. You took some nasty blows to the head. Maybe you should rest."

"We need to get out of here. There is no telling what they plan for us. Plus I'm willing to bet the others are done with their patrol and are worried cause we aren't at home."

"That's good then. That means they are probably out looking for us. Just sit tight. I bet any minute now, Buffy and the gang will be down here to rescue us."

"But they have no idea where to look. I told Giles we were going by the woods, but that won't be much of a help."

"Between that, and your bond with Buffy, it should be more than enough. Hey, maybe we can find out what that preacher dude has of Buffy's while were here. Worth a shot anyway."

"OK, I'll try to relax a little, but if they don't show up soon, I'm going to try to bust us out of here."

"Oh I don't think you will be doing that, Slayer." the two girls heard from the shadows. Kennedy's head shot up, then she ran to where the barrier was, trying to get at the thing that had hurt her sister.

"What have you done to her?" Kennedy growled to the figure.

"Me? All I did was give her a tap to the head to knock her out. Is it my fault her fragile little slayer head couldn't take it?"

"No, it takes more than a 'little tap' to do that to a slayer and you know it. What in the hell did you do?"

While Kennedy was arguing with the figure in the shadows, Faith was attempting to stand. When she finally got to her feet, she followed the sound of her sister's voice to get to the barrier. Once she got there, she took a moment to use her other senses to feel out what was going on. That's when she noticed the fear coming off her sister. It wasn't because they were trapped, but because of something that happened. That's when she noticed the smell of what had to be a dozen oil lamps. Her sister was right, it was well lit where ever they were. That only meant one thing. Somehow, the blows she took that night were too much. She was now blind.

Kennedy felt her sister coming to stand beside her. She tried to block the fear she was feeling at what she had figured out once her sister woke up. When she heard Faith hit the ground a moment later, she realized she was unsuccessful.

"Faith, are you ok? What's wrong?"

As she got to her sister, she heard a loud crash come from above. When she looked up, she saw Caleb running up the stairs, trying to stop whoever just broke in from making it down to where they were.

Part 20

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