DISCLAIMER: See Part 1
Two roads, one path
By Christopher Andrews
I hate chains.
I pull on Dave's chains one more time and they break.
Thank god, I was gonna stake him if the chains didn't break soon.
Dave gets up off the chair and starts stretching out his arms. He turns to look at me.
Yeah it's me.
Feel free not to thank me any time soon.
"I got in through the sewer exit; you'd think someone this powerful would have thought about that escape route."
"We don't have time to debate how stupid Angel is. Let's get out of here."
All right, fine.
I start to the sewer and open the hatch, it creaks open.
"Stop, we can't have them knowing we're escaping."
Dave walks up and jumps into the sewer.
Well hey, if you're gonna jump into something, it might as well be with both feet.
I jump in after him.
"Wesley, there's something you should cross reference "
"O-Omega ? W-he-why Omega ? Are you insane? Why?"
I knew this would happen.
"I-he involved how?"
"Who or what is Omega?"
"Omega is the original vampire, the first of the first of us. Legend has it, Omega was The First's original creation. Before any other demon, HE was created."
"He's the first thing we're taught about as watchers."
"So if he's so old why hasn't anyone taken him out yet?"
"Many have tried, none have survived."
"Omega has killed six confirmable slayer killings "
"Six confirmable ?"
"There are rumours that he's killed more but it's not for sure."
"Why not? I thought you watchers were supposed to WATCH of your slayers?"
Good old Cordy, queen of questions.
"The reason it can't be confirmed is because with the other cases, the watchers died with the slayers. Also, in the 6 confirmed cases the slayers were completely drained of their blood. I don't mean regular drained, I mean the bodies were literally white."
"What happened in the other cases?"
"In the other cases Omega was rumoured to be in the area but the slayers were simply dead."
"So Angel h-how is Omega involved?"
He won't like this.
"Our little friend in there calls him boss."
"So what you're saying is we have an evil vampire that's been around since before evil was evil with a taste for slayers who really wants Faith dead for some reason, and he's decided to form an army to do it?"
I turn to Cordy.
"Pretty much ?"
"Oh great why can't we have people suing us for invasion of privacy like normal investigators?"
I turn to Wesley.
"So do you think you'll find something else on it now?"
"It's more than possible, as important as he is there's bound to be a prophecy or two about him. Even so, I think you should find out as much as you can from our little lackey in there."
You read my mind.
I turn around and head back into the room.
Wesley and Cordy come up behind me.
Friends you can't remember, or enemies you shouldn't forget
We walk up the stairs to Giles' front door. I stop in front of it. I take a deep breath.
"Nothing, it's just nothing."
The gang isn't gonna be too happy to see Faith.
I knock on the door and wait.
I'll just have to convince them that what's happening with Faith is real.
The door opens and Giles is behind it. He sees me and smiles, but as he looks to Faith he gets that British frown on his face.
Wow, I didn't think I'd have to relieve the tension so soon. Giles seems reluctant to speak. Okay I guess I will.
I take Faith's hand and put it to my heart.
"Look Dad "
I sniffle and wipe away a fake tear.
"I'm getting married."
Giles gives me a weird look for a second and then steps out of the doorway allowing us in. I let go of Faith's hand as we go into Giles' house.
"Well I suppose that answers my first question. My next question would have to be have you lost your mind?"
Whoa wait a second.
I turn around to face Giles.
"Giles what do you mean?"
"What is Faith doing here?"
"I brought her here."
"Well, obviously. How long has she been out of her coma?"
"A few days "
"And you knew about this?"
"No I "
" didn't. Wesley called me two days ago and told me that she was in L.A."
"Los Angeles? Did you stop and think about how she managed to get there while she was supposed to be in a coma?"
"I didn't have to, she told Angel she got there on a train. Look that stuff isn't important. We've got more important problems."
"Yes, I believe we do. Like the fact that you've brought a killer back to Sunnydale."
We both turn to see Faith.
We've been ignoring her.
"I know I have no idea who you guys are, and I barely recognize my own name. But would you please stop talking about me like I'm not here?"
"I'm sorry Faith."
I really am.
"Look I'm obviously not welcome here. I'll leave."
She turns to the door and starts walking.
I can't let her leave.
I catch up to her and take her arm.
"No wait Faith Don't go."
She stops and turns around.
"He doesn't like me. Anyone can see that."
Well he has reason to.
"It's just that well, there's a lot of history to work through. Just let me talk with him for a few minutes, and then we'll figure out what to do."
I look in her eyes.
She-she trusts me. If with everything she doesn't know, she can find it in herself to trust me then then we can help her. I feel better knowing that. Okay, now I gotta deal with Giles.
I turn to Giles.
"Giles, we need to talk about this. Okay?"
He looks at Faith and then back at me.
We start to walk into another room.
"We'll just be a second. Stay here, and don't worry."
She'll stay. I know she will.
We go into another room. I close the door and face Giles.
"Giles what the hell are you doing?"
"What am I DOING? What are YOU doing? You brought her back here. What makes you think you can trust her?"
I pace a couple steps.
Okay time for the big guns.
"Why didn't you ever tell me about Forgotten Conscience?"
Suddenly Giles gets very uncomfortable.
"Faith, she has no memory."
"Are you sure?"
"Wesley is convinced that this Forgotten Conscience thing is the cause. Faith doesn't seem to have any memory of anyone."
"And you think you can trust her?"
"Wes examined her. Besides you saw her in there, she has no idea who you are."
Giles starts to calm down.
"So what are you planning to do now?"
"Well there's something more going on here."
"Something more, what happened?"
"When I got there, we had some unwelcome visitors pay Angel Investigations a visit."
"What kind of visitors?"
How did I know he was gonna say that?
"There was an army of vampires who seemed to have a taste for Faith."
"You think they were there because of Faith?"
They certainly weren't there for Cordelia's company.
"I think so."
"Do you have any idea what they want with Faith?"
"I'm not sure except that they want her dead."
"So what's your next step, assuming you have one?"
"Well I'm hoping you can tell me why they want her dead before they get here."
"How do I do that without any information?"
"We managed to capture one of the vamps who attacked us. He said something about something called 'Two into one'."
"Two into one ?"
"Yeah, Wesley didn't know what it meant either. The vamp said it has something to do with a prophecy."
"A prophecy ?"
There's a loud noise outside.
We walk out into Giles' living room.
I don't want them to fight over me.
Buffy stops and turns around for a second.
"We'll just be a second. Stay here, and don't worry."
She looks at me like she's trying to decide something.
She's trying to decide if I will stay or not.
She turns and goes into the next room. I hear the door close and they are shouting at each other.
I run my fingers through my hair as I walk over and sit down on the couch. I lay my forehead against my palm and lean against it.
They hate me. I have this haunting fear everyone I'm about to meet is gonna hate me. What if she looses her friends, trying to convince them to be my friend? Why do they hate me so much? What did I do to them to make them hate me? Did I hurt one of them? Did I hurt all of them? Could I have killed one of their friends? They're all friends of Buffy. Did I hurt Buffy? Did I try and kill her? Is that why they hate me?
I stand up.
Ah! I punch the table and the corner breaks off. Why can't I remember?
I turn around and there's some guy standing in the doorway.
"Who are you?"
"Oh come on, don't tell me you're coma made you forget about me already. Where's Giles?"
I look behind me at the room they went into and then back at this guy.
"He's in there I think, with Buffy."
He starts walking towards me.
He seems kinda upset, this can't be good.
"What did you do? Catch them by surprise?"
"What? No "
"Knowing you, you probably attacked them from behind while they weren't looking."
I start backing away from him.
He's obviously not gonna be friendly.
"You know me?"
"The least you could do is acknowledge what happened between us. I mean I know it probably didn't mean as much to you but it's something I'll never forget."
What happened between us? Something happened between us? I-I never even thought about hurting them in other ways. Oh god! What am I gonna do?
"I-I'm sorry I "
"You think an apology is gonna make up for ?"
We hear something get knocked over in the other room. He looks at me. His face quickly goes from upset to angry.
"Hey, look, that's that's not my fault."
"And pigs fly "
He runs at me and jumps, knocking me down. I struggle but he's got me pinned down. I start to feel like someone's choking me, but he doesn't have his hands on my throat. Someone comes in, it's Buffy.
I look back up as the pressure on my neck starts me coughing.
Oh my god it's me. I'm chocking myself I when did I have time to go to a cheesy motel? Ah, I'm choking myself. But my hands aren't on my neck. What the hell is going on? I blink and suddenly that guy is on top of me again.
"You wanna feel a connection? It's just skin. I see I want I take. I forget."
Oh god what's he saying. I gotta stop him.
"No, wait. It was more than that."
"Faith, what are you talking about?"
"I could do anything to you right now, and you want me to. I can make you scream."
I feel myself trying to breath but I can't.
"I could make you die."
God no please stop. Something's chocking me and I can't feel anything on my neck.
All of the sudden, someone grabs him off me and throws him across the room.
I sit up and I'm breathing normally.
What the hell? It must have been all part of that, whatever it was that just happened.
I look up at him as he gets up.
"B-Buffy, you're okay!"
"Well YEAH! Why the hell wouldn't I be?"
"Well, well Faith was here. I didn't see Giles or you and and then she said you were locked in the other room and "
I didn't say they were locked in there.
"I didn't say anything like that."
"So what happened Xander? You just assumed Faith was trying to kill us all again?"
I start pacing in a small circle.
"Buffy it's Faith! Psycho bitch of death."
Again usually means it's happened a first time. I tried to kill them all? No wonder they all hate me.
I keep pacing.
"Xander things are different now."
I'm, I'm surprised this Giles guy didn't shoot me the second he saw me.
"She can't remember a thing."
"Oh so that's it? You just forgive and forget and all the things she did to us? All the things she did to you?"
Things I did? Oh shit could whatever have just happened be a memory of something I did? Something I did to him?
"No Xander. The Powers That Be are doing that for us."
"What are you talking about?"
I stop pacing and look at Buffy arguing.
"The Powers That Be have given her something called Forgotten Conscience. Basically, they made her wake up from her coma with amnesia so that she can see the mistakes she's made."
I can't let her do this.
"And what happens if she gets her memory back and decides she likes killing more than feeling sorry for herself?"
I WON'T let her do it.
"If she does then I'll have to k-deal with her."
Deal with me?
"What do you mean DEAL with me?"
She was gonna say she would kill me.
She takes a few steps towards me and I start backing up.
"Faith please, just calm down."
"DEAL with me?"
Calm down? She's gonna kill me and she wants me to calm down?
I start breathing heavy.
"I-they, she Something's happening to me, I I feel like my insides are burning all over. I-help me "
Something j-just snaps.
I run at her.
What the hell?
She starts running; she steps up on the couch and uses it as a springboard to jump at Buffy. Buffy flips her backwards and she lands next to me. Buffy gets up and squares off.
"Not this again."
Again, this happened before?
Faith gets up and I back off a few steps. She charges at Buffy again and Buffy hits her with a right cross.
What do I do? Should I get involved?
Faith responds with a left jab to Buffy's stomach.
Buffy said she's dealt with this before; I'll let her deal with this unless Faith gets the upper hand.
Buffy throws a left hook and follows with a roundhouse kick which sends Faith to the ground.
I guess Buffy has everything under control.
Faith turns over and kicks Buffy's legs out from under her.
Okay maybe not.
Faith climbs on top of her and puts her hands around Buffy's neck. Buffy starts to choke.
Giles and I both rush to stop her but I get there first. I grab her and pull her off Buffy. She falls to the ground and starts shaking. Buffy sits up.
"Buffy what the hell was that?"
"Is Faith okay?"
"Is Faith okay? Buffy she just tried to kill you and you wanna know how Faith is doing? What the hell is going on?"
Buffy gets up and rubs her neck.
"There's something wrong with Faith."
"No shit, what was your first clue?"
I'm pretty sure killing someone isn't a good omen.
"Buffy he's right. We may have to consider killing her. This can't be normal behaviour for Forgotten Conscience."
"I know. Wesley examined her and he's convinced she's been pumped full of drugs."
"She's been taking drugs?"
"No Faith may have been many things but a druggie? Never "
I have to agree there.
"Whether or not she's been taking drugs, she's clearly a threat. Whatever these drugs are they are obviously making her more violent."
"More violent than she used to be?"
"Xander, look, it's not as simple as all that. She may not have been taking the drugs, but obviously someone was forcing her to take them."
"You think whoever wants her dead is the one who's been making her act this way?"
"I don't think it's a coincidence that this army pops up just after she comes out of her coma. We at least have to keep her around until we figure out what they've done to her."
I look over at Faith who's still shaking. She's rolled herself into the fetal position.
"What if whatever she's been pumped full of is supposed to kill her?"
"Then we'll just have to get it out of her system."
"I dunno maybe this outburst she has is how she gets it out of her system."
"Yeah and while she gets it out of her system one of us may wind up dead."
"Where is she gonna stay? None of us are safe if she goes off again."
"She'll stay with me. I'll take her back to the dorm with me."
Whoa, wait a second.
"Buffy you can't do that. Whatever's wrong with her obviously happens when she gets stressed out. With your history "
"Buffy she just got the best of you. What if she remembers something you did to her? Next time she could kill you."
"Look, this isn't open for discussion. I'm the only one with the power to stop her if she does go berserk. I'm taking her home with me."
"And when she tries to kill you?"
"Like I said I'll deal with her."
"Will you be willing to kill her?"
"I will if I have to."
"Good. She may be better off dead anyway."
"Xander you can't be serious."
"He's right Buffy."
"Buffy, no slayer has ever survived long enough to regain their memory."
None of them survived?
"Well this time is different."
"Why? What's different about this time?"
"She has us."
Triggers you'd rather not pull
I'm standing in front of Buffy squaring off again. Why do I keep having this dream? I still can't make out where the hell we are. She throws three punches and again I dodge them easily. I duck for a leg sweep and kick her legs out from under her.
I crawl on top of her and pin her down. She tries grabbing at me but I pin her arms above her head with one hand and look down at her. I think I stop breathing as her beauty just hits me like a punch in the face. I brush her blonde bangs out of her face and stare down into her beautiful eyes as I lean into her.
I can feel her hot breath heavy on my face. I have this weird urge to bite her bottom lip. So I do, but instead of stopping I bite down harder. She squirms under me as I bring my hands to her throat.
I let go of her lip as it starts bleeding and I put all my weight on her neck. She starts gasping for air.
She's trying to get out from under me but I'm too strong.
I can feel her windpipe being crushed under my weight. She coughs a few times before she collapses limply on the floor. OH GOD NO!
I open my eyes and she's staring down at me.
"Faith, are you okay?"
I sit up and rub my head.
What the hell is up with these dreams? Angel said that slayers sometimes have visions of the future.
I look over at Buffy.
She looks scared for me. Could these dreams be visions of what will happen? Is whatever's wrong with me making me destined to kill Buffy?
"Faith what's wrong?"
"Nothing, I-I'm okay."
"You don't look okay."
"It's nothing. It was just a dream."
"What was the dream about?"
"It's okay it was just a crazy dream."
"Was it about me?"
"Look it was just a STUPID DREAM."
"Okay, don't bite my head off."
She gets up and backs off.
Oh good, all she wanted was to help you and you yell at her.
"I'm sorry I, you just caught me by surprise."
"It's okay; you're under a lot of stress. Hell if I was in your shoes I'd probably be just as jumpy."
I look around and the place is empty.
"Where'd everybody go?"
"They decided to go out for a while "
"You mean they saw what happened and decided they wanna stay the hell away from me."
"Faith it's like I said there's a lot of history they have to work through before they can start trusting you again."
"Well I'm sure me trying to kill you isn't helping anything."
"What happened back there, Faith?"
I get up off the couch and sorta half pace around the room.
"I'm not so sure. Something just snapped in me. When you were talking about wanting to kill me I it was like I lost control of myself, and all I could think about was hurting you before you could hurt me."
She takes a few steps towards me.
"Faith I need you to know. Especially if I'm gonna help you, that I'm not gonna hurt you. I'm gonna do whatever it takes to help you get your memory back."
Whatever it takes? What if what it takes is killing her?
I stop pacing and face her.
"I know you don't want to hurt me and I believe you but that didn't stop me. It was like I had no control over what I was doing."
I've never felt so out of control. But then I'd have to remember something before feeling out of control.
What about those people, those vampires who attacked us who attacked me? Do we know what they wanted?"
"No, we're not sure what they wanted but if these guys are like most big bads they'll show their crooked faces again."
"Big bad ?"
"Oh, it's what we call evil things that roll into town bent on destroying the world."
"So you think whatever's out there is trying to destroy the world?"
"Well we don't know what their plan is, we never do, but it usually ends in some big life and death struggle."
Oh good. I like it already.
I take a deep breath and my eyes drop to the floor.
"So what do we do now?"
"There's nothing we can do for now. I'm tired and I'm sure you are too."
I scratch my pretend itch on my shoulder.
I do kinda feel like I'm gonna drop dead.
"Yeah, I guess I am kinda tired."
"All right, let's go back to my place and get some sleep. Giles will research this prophecy thing and we'll figure out what we gotta do to stop it."
She puts her arm around my shoulders and leads me towards the door.
"Okay let's go."
We leave Giles' place and lock the door behind us.
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