DISCLAIMER: See Part 1
Two roads, one path
By Christopher Andrews
Talking to a brick wall
I throw him into the chair. Cordelia goes behind the chair and starts wrapping chains around his wrists.
"Well maybe I should do this for a living. I did a great job on Faith earlier and I can just see how good this is going."
Geez, you'd think after facing death a few 100 times she'd get a little less self-absorbed.
"Just make sure he's secure. I'd hate to have to kill him before we get what we need from him."
She pulls tightly on the chains and locks them.
So he has a voice, that'll make it easier to communicate. I bend down to look him in the eyes.
He looks at me.
"You gotta name?"
Cordelia gets up and leaves the room. He looks away.
Okay fine, be difficult.
I punch him in the face. He pulls at his chains but they are locked tight.
It's a good to know Cordelia's learning something; lord knows it didn't look like she learned useful in school. Maybe I need to be a little more direct.
"What's your name?"
"What do you mean 'why'?"
"I mean what does it matter what my name is? It's not gonna matter in a couple of hours anyway."
"Why's that? Are your buddies coming back for round 2? They didn't fair too well in round one and I don't think fewer of them is gonna make their chances better."
"You think that's the last of them? I hate to burst your little Scooby bubble but there are more of us than you think?"
"I saw your reserves on the way in, I wouldn't call 40 vampires a cult just yet."
Scooby bubble, how does he know we call ourselves that?
"What's not even the worst of us, you two have no chance. The prophecy will be "
Prophecy, what prophecy?
"What prophecy? What do you mean you two?"
He clams up and just stops talking.
You two, could he mean me and Angel? There's a prophecy about me and Angel?
"Two into one "
"What is two into one?"
"Are you sure you wanna know?"
"Why wouldn't I want to know?"
"What if you knowing screws up the prophecy and it don't come true?"
"So it's a good prophecy?"
"I didn't say that."
"Yes you did, you said 'what if knowing about it screws it up for me and' "
"I didn't say anything about screwing it up being good for YOU."
"But it is about me ?"
"I didn't say that."
This guy is really starting to bug me. Maybe I should hit him again? No, if I hit him any harder I may take his head off and then we'd never get any answers out of him. Okay, brainstorm time, of course it'd go better with more brains.
"Don't plan on going anywhere."
I walk out of the room into the next one. Cordy and Wesley are in the main room sitting and waiting.
"He's in with Faith."
My thoughts drift to that vision thing I had earlier with Faith beating up Angel. It's a good thing she's tied up in there.
"Look, guys. Something is going down."
"Gee, ya think? Did the hordes of swarming vampires all gunning for our throats give it away?"
God damn it.
"Cordelia shut the hell up."
"I have to agree with Buffy. These were clearly not a bunch of guys out for a good time. These vampires were obviously organized. The two in the front seemed to be the ones in charge."
They didn't look like friends.
"They didn't seem to like each other."
"That's probably why one of them is sitting in the other room chained to a chair."
"What did he say?"
"Nothing specific, I managed to weasel a little out of him. He kept mentioning something about a prophecy."
"A prophecy what kind of prophecy ?"
"He wouldn't tell me. He kept talking in circles like he was trying to push me. There's only one thing he really said."
"Two into one"
I pull on my chains around my wrists. I deserve this. After everything that I must've done, I-I killed that guy. He probably wasn't the first one either. So many faces all of those people I must've destroyed all of their lives. I pull on me chains so hard it pinches my skin.
"You probably shouldn't pull too hard. If you pull too hard we may have to tighten your chains."
"Thank you "
"For what ?"
"Thank you for stopping me."
"I couldn't let you kill her. She-she's "
"She's important to you."
"How do you know that?"
"I may not have my memory but I remember that much."
At least I think I do.
"So your memories are returning then?"
"Well I think they're memories. I keep having these weird dreams."
"What kind of dreams?"
Just ask him, it's better for everyone if you ask him.
"I dunno. They seem real enough but "
"I keep getting this feeling like, like they haven't happened yet. It doesn't make any sense."
"It makes more sense than you might think?"
"A slayer has a sort of sixth sense when it comes to evil. Some times she will even get visions in her dreams about what's to come."
Visions, there are gonna be more of these things?
"You think I'm gonna get more of these things? More of these visions?"
"I don't know we don't know when or why it happens, it just happens."
You should just ask him.
"Why didn't you just kill me? With everything I've done, why haven't you just killed me?"
"Kill you? Why would we want to kill you?"
"I hurt you didn't I?"
"Then just kill me "
"No, I "
"Just kill me PLEASE!"
"Kill me, please kill me?"
He gets up and comes over to me.
"Look Faith we're not going to kill you."
"Then you better not let me out of here then."
"Because if you do the first thing I'm gonna do is kill myself."
He grabs my head and I stare him in the eyes.
"Faith, don't ever say that. Killing yourself would be the coward's way out."
"If remembering all the pain I've caused is the only thing I have to look forward to, I don't want to remember. Please just kill me."
"Faith, like I said before we're not going to kill you."
"With everything I must have done before coming here, why am I still alive?"
"Well, we didn't know how you were gonna react when you got out of your coma so "
"I was in a coma?"
"Well, yes didn't you wonder why you were in a hospital?"
"I-I don't, remember a hospital I-I don't "
"What's the first thing you remember?"
First thing I-I remember was, running
"I remember I was I was running."
"Running? Running how?"
"I'm I'm not sure "
"Concentrate Were you running to something or from something?"
"I-I-I wasn't I don't think I was running to something. I remember wanting to get on a train "
"A train, do you know why?"
"I I wanted to get away."
"Away? Away from what ?"
"I-I can't remember. The next thing I remember after running is is getting off the train."
" and then you ran away? Where you found me?"
N-N-No that's not what happened.
"No I remember, I remember getting off the train and then I looked around."
"Then what ?"
Then what ? I heard
"I heard something people coming toward me and then "
"And then ?"
"I don't know I- Ow I "
My head it's, it hurts.
"Faith ? What's wrong?"
Someone's calling Angel.
"Two into one ? What's that?"
"Well gee Wes; I was kinda hoping you'd tell me."
"As much as I'd like to help you I really don't have the resources I did as a watch. In this situation I'd usually consult my books but as you can see my books are no where in sight "
Okay I get it you're useless without your books. God, when Giles got fired he got cooler, Wesley just seems to be a bigger loser than he already was.
"You can't remember anything? Most times prophecies aren't something to forget about."
Course the reason I don't forget is because most of the prophecies I hear are about me.
"I I'd have to check "
"Are you sure you can't remember any prophecies about a slayer and a vampire with a soul?"
"You think the prophecy is about you and Angel?"
I'm not sure.
"He was talking in circles so it was hard to figure out what was true and what was bullshit, but he did say 'you two' have no chance. So I think it's safe to say it is at least about me."
"We can't be sure of anything at this point."
Could it be about Angel and Faith? No, Angel would never go for someone like Faith; she's too much of a psychopath. Then again he did have a thing for Drusilla.
"Well one thing is for sure I can't hang around here much longer."
"There was one other thing he said. His friends will be back, and there'll be more of them. If this prophecy is about me I no longer have the element of surprise. They'll be prepared for me this time and that means we all could die."
"Isn't this something we should get Angel's opinion on?"
I don't hear anything, something must be wrong.
"Wesley, get in here. She needs help."
Something is wrong.
Wesley, Cordy and I get up and go in there. Faith's passed out in the chair.
"What's going on?"
"I don't know We were talking about what she could remember "
Wesley rushes to Faith's side and starts to check her pulse.
I hope she's okay.
"What were you talking about?"
"I asked her what the first thing she remembered was she got on a train, and then she was talking about people coming when she got off the train and then something happened and she passed out."
"Wes will she be okay?"
"I think so. The only thing I can figure is that whatever happened was so traumatic that something inside her didn't want to think about it. She'll be okay she just needs some rest."
"Good, I was afraid she was gonna die."
Why is it so important to Angel that she be okay? Could the prophecy really be about them? Maybe we should get out of L.A. before those vamps come back.
"Look, I think we should probably get Faith out of L.A. I kinda doubt it's all just coincidence that Faith wakes up and all of the sudden these guys want us dead."
"You're probably right. You should take Faith back to Sunnydale with you."
"Good idea Angel, perhaps if these vamps have to spend the time to look for Faith it will give us time to regroup, perhaps even research this two into one thing."
"Two into one ?"
"Yes, uh Buffy was just filling us in on what she got out of our little friend in the next room "
"Well I think Wesley is right. As soon as Faith is coherent enough you take her to the train and get her out of my town. I'll handle evil boy in there."
Okay time to get back to my territory.
The Price of a Tortured Soul
God she's heavy.
We walk down the street, her arm over my shoulders.
She sort of half grunts in response, just to let me know she was still conscious.
I wish we could've waited till she was a little more alive but she didn't seem to wanna wake up. We tried smelling salts, and all sorts of bad smelling recipes. Cordelia even tried slapping her a couple times before we stopped her. It must be something to do with whatever they've done to her. Faith might be a lot of things but a drug addict? Never.
I look up at a sign and it says 'Commercial train station this way.' It's pointing the way we're going.
Okay, Wesley said it was only a few minutes from here. Whoever those guys were they must have done this to her. Angel will get whatever he can out of that vamp we captured, it's time for me to do my job and keep Faith safe.
We step on to the station grounds and I can feel the gravel shift under my feet. Faith's steps are wide and uneven; it makes it hard to get her to go where I need her to, one wrong step and Faith trips sending her tumbling to the ground.
She seems to be coming to.
I grab her arms and pull her to her feet.
"Come on Faith, let's go."
She stumbles as we start walking again. We get out to the tracks and suddenly she stops.
Well okay I guess we can wait here till the next train comes along.
"W-where, where are we ?"
She's becoming more alert but she also doesn't seem too calm.
"It's okay Faith. We're going home."
God I never thought I'd ever say that to Faith. Ever since I put her in a coma all I've been thinking about is trying to kill her when she gets out. Now I'm helping save her.
"I-I'm back I-I'm here."
Back? Angel did say she was talking about taking a train before she passed out. Could this be where she got off the train?
"N-no we-we have to, to leave uh I have to leave."
Faith pushes me away, trying to stand on her own. She takes a few steps back though and trips over her own feet, falling back on the ground.
"No I help me? Help me get away from, from "
She reaches out a hand to me. I can see tears forming in her eyes.
"Look, Faith I don't know what happened but you can't run from it. If you run from it like you did before, sooner or later it will catch up to you again."
She starts backing away.
"I I "
I think she needs a little push.
I kneel in front of her.
"What happened? What happened to you here?"
"N-no I "
Maybe she needs a little bigger push.
"You said you got on the train and came to L.A."
"When you got off the train was someone there?"
"Was it Angel?"
"N-no it was someone else."
"Did you know them? Were they old friends?"
"I didn't know them I-I got off the train and, and then they were there."
"What happened next?"
"They came over and and wanted to talk to me they were talking about t-turning me over to, to the cops "
Well that would have been ideal.
"One of them one of them wanted to, make a a deal "
God, why do men have to be such pigs?
"What kind of deal?"
"I I didn't want to find out. I I "
"What happened, Faith? What did you do?"
"I I killed him."
I grab her by the shoulders, pulling her to me.
I can feel her heart beating fast. I can feel the tears coming as I wrap my arms around her.
"I-I-I-I killed someone."
This is definitely not the same Faith I put into that coma.
It's, its okay. It'll be okay, it'll be okay."
I can tell this isn't gonna be easy.
"I-I'm so sorry. He didn't do anything and I killed him."
What can I do?
I walk into the room and stand in front of this guy tied to a chair.
Something about him just makes me wanna punch him. So I do
I punch him in the face; he waits a moment to absorb the pain and then looks up at me and smiles.
"Hey Angel how's Cordelia?"
What? This guy researched his target before he attacked. I better be careful so I don't give away too much, so
"Hey I bet her and Wesley or should I call him Wes? Anyway, I bet they weren't too happy you brought a psycho killer home from the pound now were they?"
He's trying to play mind games with me.
"Hey don't even try to play mind games with me. You're talking to the king of mind games."
"Actually, wasn't that Angelus? You're nothing like Angelus."
He knows about Angelus, it could be that I'm part of the prophecy. Let's see what I can get out of him.
"You're right, I'm nothing like Angelus, and don't expect to see him any time soon."
"Well let's hope not he'd have the balls to kill me."
"What about the prophecy?"
"What about it?"
"There's a prophecy about me and Buffy "
"Who said anything about Buffy? Or you for that matter?"
"When you were talking to Buffy, you mentioned something about 'you two'. That means Buffy and someone "
"And you automatically assume that means you?"
"Well I "
"Wow ego much? You have a long time yet before you're even a blip on the boss' radar screen "
The boss ?
"What do you mean?"
"Your boss, who is he?"
"He's my boss; I can't put it to you that many ways you know."
This guy is really starting to piss me off.
I nearly take his head off with a right cross, his chair falls back on the floor and his hands are crushed under his own weight. I put my foot on the side of his head and slowly press my weight against it.
It's time to take it up a notch.
"I'm tired of playing games with you. Just tell me if Buffy is going to be okay."
"Buffy you think she'll be safe against the first of us? Never"
The first of us ?
"The first of who?"
"He who was here at the beginning at shall endure until the end, Omega, the first vampire."
Omega ? Oh fuck.
I pick him up off the floor, making sure he can't escape before I set him on the floor. I turn around and walk into the next room. Wesley and Cordy are flipping through books, reading.
"What have you got?"
"Cordelia has been looking for references to this cult or group with varying success "
"Success ? That's not what I'd call it. I'd say it's a complete and total failure."
"Right, well anyway, I've had a little better time researching this two into one thing that our attackers mentioned."
I walk over to him and he hands me a book.
"There are small references to it in many different texts "
"Just tell me, is Buffy gonna be okay?"
"The the details are are still sketchy "
He's all dodgy and nervous, he knows something and he's not telling me.
"Wesley just tell me the truth, will she be okay?"
"T-to be honest I can't be sure "
He takes the book from me.
"They seem to make reference to, a joining of some kind."
A joining ?
"What kind of joining?"
"That's where things get a little sketchy it refers to the warriors that fight the darkness becoming as one "
"As I said the details are sketchy we still don't know who these guys are and why they want us dead, but we will figure it out."
"I know I know "
The warriors of who fight the darkness? I hate cryptic prophecies.
Someone's in the other room, I better be really, really quiet.
"Psst hey hey Dave "
Dave tries to turn around but his chains stop him.
"Hey Dave don't worry it's me. I'll get you out "
I gotta stick to John's plan.
Good, she's finally sleeping. The constant rhythm of the train must've calmed her down. The stress of what she's gone through really hit her hard.
I'm sitting against a bale of hay, Faith's head in my lap.
She looks so peaceful and content, like sleeping beauty.
I stroke her chestnut locks and watch her sleep.
Wow her hair is so soft and milky. No wonder so many guys want a piece of her ass, though I bet her ass has more to do with it than her hair.
I run my middle finger down her side.
Not to mention she keeps her body in perfect shape. Wait, what? Well hey I don't do so bad myself. I can kick her ass any day of the week. Matter of fact I kicked her ass into a coma. Speaking of which seeing as how I'm the one that pretty much put her in this situation, maybe I should try and not mention it to her. Having no memory might make her a little edgy when I try to help her. Edgy is not what we need right now, especially from Faith. I'll have to find a way to corner Anya; she tends to blurt out shit at exactly the wrong time.
I look out the window I can see the lights starting to come on over the town. I look down at Faith, something about how peaceful she looks makes me lean down and kiss her on the cheek. She stirs in her sleep. I look back out at the sunset.
"And then there was Sunnydale "
A vampire jumps out in front of me. I grab him and throw him against the wall. I grab him and throw him against the wall. Before I can react she stakes the vamp. She takes the lead and as we round the corner a figure jumps out at her. She grabs it and thrusts it against a dumpster and its own weak legs give out from under it. She cries out as I lunge towards it.
"FAITH NO !"
I plunge the stake into its heart and step back, waiting for it to burst into a pile of dust but it doesn't. Blood starts to flow from the hole in his heart I just made.
She looks like she's panicking as she kneels down and tries to stop the bleeding. She's saying something but I don't hear what.
I start to hear something in the distance. I look around but see nothing. They sound like sirens. The police are coming if they see this they'll, they'll blame me. I look left and right. They'll be here any minute.
"We-we have to go. Come on, we have to go."
I try and get her to come with me, and at the last second she does. We run down the alley. I dump the bloody stake in a nearby dumpster and climb over a fence.
W-What am I doing? What have I done? What am I gonna do? I should go back I can't, I can't let them find the body.
I start back towards where we left the body.
Out, out of sight out of mind. Yeah, the-that'll work... I'll take the body, I'll weight it and dump it in the water and that'll be the end of it. I'll never h-have to worry about it again Never have to worry, can't worry.
I look down at the body.
I-I killed him.
I kneel down and look him in the eyes.
They're so empty. It-it's like the life was just drained from his eyes.
I reach out and touch the blood on his chest. The sirens get louder.
I gotta get the body out of here.
I grab the body by the arms and pull it over my shoulder. It feels light for a body that's gotta be at least 160 pounds.
I-I gotta get get rid of the evidence.
I feel someone kiss my cheek and my eyes flick open.
"And then there was Sunnydale "
And Then There Was Sunnydale
"Where are we?"
I turn to Buffy as I ask.
Wow, Buffy... it's nice to finally have a name to go with the face burned inside my head.
"We're in Sunnydale."
Right, I guess I should've read the 'now entering' sign when we passed by it earlier.
We're walking through a nice residential block.
I can see why people like to live here.
I look up ahead to see if I can tell where we're going and I notice a graveyard up ahead.
How many graveyards can a town have? I mean we've only gone a few blocks and this is like the third cemetery we've passed.
"And you live here?"
"Yeah well well actually I live about 20 minutes from where we're going, on campus at Sunnydale U."
She looks uncomfortable talking about it.
"Is it nice?"
"Is what nice?"
God I suck at small talk.
I look down at my feet to make sure one of them doesn't suddenly find itself in my mouth.
"Do you like living on campus by yourself?"
"Well yeah b-but I don't live alone. Willow and I are roommates "
"Oh Willow's the witch right?"
"Yeah sh-sh-she and Tara "
I look up at Buffy.
Wait I'm confused.
"So you, Willow and Tara all live together?"
She looks up at me and she has this weird look on her face.
"No no Willow and Tara are witches. They're sorta learning together."
"Learning together? Learning magic right?"
"Yeah sure "
I squirm a little at the thought.
It still bugs me.
We stop and face each other. She looks me in the eyes.
"It still bugs you doesn't it?"
"Well yeah I mean on the one hand it's kinda cool you know, magic, vampires, evil things that go bump in the night and all."
Wow what the hell am I saying?
I step back a second and think about what I'm saying.
"And then I think about the whole slayer destiny thing. I'm destined to fight and kill, death destruction, mayhem, and that other apocalypse averting stuff "
" I'm scared Buffy."
I feel a chill run down my spine and all I can think is Oh god.
"Faith it's all right."
"No it's not I mean, the world is gonna end if I don't' do something when the big evil shows itself. I'm I'm "
My voice cracks as I feel tears fill my eyes.
"Yes I feel I feel alone."
Buffy takes my hands in hers and holds them.
"Faith, you're not alone. I'll be here for you. I know what you're going through because I went through it too "
I raise my head to look her in her eyes.
But that would mean
"I know how hard it is to be a slayer, and yea it scares me too sometimes. But you don't have to be alone. We'll work through this together, and when the big evil comes looking for us we'll fight it together."
She grips my hands a little for just a second and then smiles at me.
Suddenly it's like all that fear just disappears and I know what she says is true.
I smile back at her. She lets go of one of my hands, reaches up and wipes a tear away from my cheek with her thumb. A tear which only moments before was a tear of pain, thanks to her, is now a tear of joy.
"It will be okay."
We start walking again.
"Now let's go, we're almost there. It's like a block and a half from here."
I don't say anything. I just follow her wherever she's leading me.
Maybe it's what she said, or maybe it's the way she looks at me, but I'm not worried about where we're going. It doesn't matter that I'm about to meet a bunch of people I should already know and probably hurt in some way. It doesn't matter that there's some one out there who wants me dead and is willing to use a whole army to do it. None of that matters because if they come, I know we'll face it together. She stops us in front of a house.
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