DISCLAIMER: See Part 1
Two roads, one path
By Christopher Andrews
Uncomfortable Lack of Silence
I'm standing in front of Buffy again. No, I don't want to do this again.
She throws those same three punches again and I dodge them easily. I duck and take her legs out from under her. I climb on top of her and manage to pin her arms down above her head with one hand. I run a finger from my other hand down her body and she squirms under me as I do. I lean into her. She starts breathing faster and I feel kinda wet between my thighs as I do.
I can't do this; I don't want to hurt her.
I lean into her just a little bit more.
What's that? There's something on her neck. I take a closer look.
"Is that where it happened?"
It's some kind of bite.
"Where what happened ?"
I have this weird desire in me. I'm not sure what kinda urge but it's definitely a weird one.
I lick the healed wound on her neck. I feel my hands wrap around her neck, she squirms under my tongue. I sit up slightly and I feel my weight on her neck.
"Is that where I bit you? Let's see if I can make it more permanent."
I put more weight on her neck but she seems unaffected. She just looks up at me and smiles.
What the hell is up?
She squirms under me but in a good way, which doesn't seem like a good thing considering. I put my hand on her forehead and start moving her head around in a circle. She just smiles at me. I snap her neck.
I wake up in a hospital bed.
What the hell is happening with me?
I look around.
I grab her wrist and she stops. She turns around and looks down at me.
What's wrong? She looks freaked out.
She's just staring at me; it's starting to get freaky. There's been this tension between us ever since we met okay, since I met her, she already knew me from the first time we met except I don't remember it. But this is different it's like the tension just got 20 times worse.
"Buffy, is everything okay?"
"Okay? Yeah, uh, no, uh "
I let go of her hand and she sits back down in the chair.
"It depends on what you mean by okay."
I sit up in the bed.
"Isn't there just the one definition? But then I may just have forgotten the other one, what with my memory and all."
She forces herself to laugh.
Something is definitely wrong.
"What? N-nothing nothing's wrong. Why would anything be wrong?"
Hmm, let me think.
"You just seem kinda nervous is all?"
I reach for her and she sits back in her chair, just out of arm's reach.
Whoa! What did I do?
"Nervous? Why would I be nervous? What would I have to be nervous about?"
I move to sit at the edge of the bed and she jumps out of her seat and takes a few steps back.
No, of course you're not nervous. Why would you be nervous?
"Something's obviously wrong. Why won't you tell me?"
"Well I it's "
Look at what's happened to her because of me. This probably never happened before I came back into her life.
"Buffy from what you tell me I can kinda guess I didn't really give you much of a reason to trust me. But I'm not that person, not anymore. And I know when you look at me you probably still see that person you can't trust looking back at you, but they aren't. When I look at you I see the person who asked her best friend to leave her own home so I had a place to sleep. The person who stuck with me even after all the people I've hurt and killed "
She looks at me.
Why is she looking at me like that?
"I see someone who, who defended me against the people she obviously cares about because she felt I deserved another chance. And I see someone who when she asked me to let a bunch of government demon hunters strap me down and do tests on me, I let them. Someone I trust. You don't do those kinds of things for someone unless you trust them or if you wanna get them in the sack."
It's almost as if she panics when I said that.
"I don't want to get you in the sack Faith."
"Okay, then I guess it's safe to say that we trust each other."
"It's not a matter of trust Faith. I-I do trust you it's just "
"What? What is it then?"
I take a step towards her and she takes a step back.
"Faith I I have to tell you something and you may not like it."
I may not like it? What am I dying or something?
I look back at the hospital bed and then at Buffy.
"Does it have something to do with these tests they did on me?"
Oh I'm gonna kill those bastards.
"What did they do to me? Did they brainwash me or something? Did they put some sort of chip in my head like that Spike guy you mentioned?"
She takes a few steps toward me and then stops.
"No it "
It's like she's second guessing herself or something.
"It's nothing they did to you. They didn't brainwash you or anything. It's about what they found out."
Um, okay I'm not sure what to think. She obviously doesn't have good news but all I want is for her to stop feeling so so I don't know. She's way past nervous but she's nowhere near panic.
"What did they find out? Why is it so hard for you to tell me?"
"Faith I-I'm trying to tell you but its hard b-because it's it's my fault."
Her fault because of the coma thing ?
"Buffy I thought we talked about how I don't blame you for what you did to me when you put me in that coma?"
"We did and I know but Faith you could die!"
Die? I'm dying?
"You could, yes "
When did this happen?
"What do you mean I'm dying? How the hell am I dying?"
"Faith you're not dying but you could die."
Why the hell is there a difference?
"If there's even the slightest chance that I'm gonna die, that makes me dying doesn't it?"
"Well yeah but, but Faith there's a chance we can "
It was probably those army brats.
"Those government bastards did this to me, I'm gonna kill him "
I start walking towards the door. Buffy tries to stop me.
"Wait Faith, don't "
I deck her on my way out with a right cross.
"Where is he?"
I get outside and look both ways down this stupid hallway.
"Where the hell is soldier boy? I knew that Riley guy wasn't on the level."
Buffy comes running out of the hospital room, trying to stop me.
Her fault, she said it was her fault.
A couple of army boys, decked out in army gear are coming down the hall.
"Faith, calm down it's not their fault."
Something snaps inside me. She's right.
"You're right, it's yours "
I run at her at full speed.
I'm gonna kill her.
We fly back into the room and I land on top of her on the floor.
I'm gonna kill her. She said this was her fault.
She holds my hands back as I try to strangle her. I'm putting all my weight on her and she's still holding me up.
"Faith, please stop I don't want to hurt you "
"Why? You said this was your fault, how do I know you didn't take my memory yourself?"
The army guys come in.
"No, stay back Faith, yes it is my fault that this is happening but, but not for the reasons you're thinking."
I feel her try to flip me off her but I'm ready for her.
"Yeah and how do you know?"
She struggles to get my hands away from her neck but I'm too strong for her.
"Faith I didn't do this to you but it is my fault because, because whoever did this to you they did it because they wanted to get to me."
I feel myself start to weaken and my body starts to shake. Every time she says my name I start to shake a little bit more.
"Faith, those guys, the ones who attacked us at Angel's, do you remember them?"
"I think that they did this to you Faith they did this to you "
I feel my whole body shake.
"Faith you can't let them do this to you Faith I can help you if you let me "
I collapse on top her, exhausted.
Oh god, what have I done?
I feel her arms around me.
"Will you let me help you Faith?"
Everything goes black.
The kind of plans you never follow through on
"Faith I can help you if you let me "
She falls on top of me.
Is she okay? What do I do? Something tells me to put my arms around her, to keep her close.
"Will you let me help you Faith?"
I know I said I'd get Giles to, to do it but
But she trusts me and with how Faith's last meeting with Giles went I bet it would take them too much time to trust each other. We may not have that much time left before whoever did this to her, comes after us both.
I'll train her myself. It's the only way, if she's okay.
I check her pulse.
"Ma'am, are you okay?"
I'll just have to be sure I don't cause any little 'accidents' between us.
"Ma'am is everything okay?"
"Yeah everything's okay."
I roll Faith off me and she falls limply next to me.
What happened may have worn me out but I think I'm okay.
"Everything's fine "
I hear footsteps coming this way. I look up and the two soldiers are picking up Faith and taking her away.
I get up and get in their way.
"Where are you going? Aren't you gonna put her back in the bed until she recovers?"
"I'm sorry ma'am but we have to follow orders."
"Orders What orders?"
"The general orders we've been given concerning this H.S.T "
"She is to remain under your supervision only so long as she does not pose a threat to you or any of the agents."
You gotta stop them, if you don't you may never see her again. That's what these government types do; they make people they think are dangerous disappear. You have to do something.
"She She isn't a threat to you or to me."
Oh great, that's a pile of crap and you know it.
"And I hear you asking the question exactly how does that work but if you don't put Faith back in that bed and leave her there until I get back you won't stay conscious long enough to ask the question."
They look at each other, trying to figure out what to do.
Yeah, and you know I'll do it.
"I may not kill humans but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy kicking their asses from time to time."
"We have our orders ma'am."
They try to avoid me but I put up both my hands and stop them.
"I don't give a damn about your orders. Your orders don't apply to me and they don't apply to her. She's under Riley Finn's jurisdiction and you can't take her anywhere with his authorization."
They look at each other again.
God it's like these two were surgically joined at the brain or something.
"Ma'am, Agent Finn is the one who issued these orders."
What? God damn it Riley, I thought we trusted each other.
"Look, put her back in that bed while I go talk to Riley. I'm gonna go see if I can change those orders of her, now put her back in that bed."
They take a second to think about it and then hoist her up, an arm on each of their shoulders as they turn and put her back in her bed.
"Okay I'll be back soon, and she better be here."
I turn around and leave.
She better be here when I get back.
I love this feeling. This feeling of incredible warmth and, I guess it's called bliss, I haven't felt this way too often but it's definitely better than joy so I guess bliss is the right word. Lying here with Tara in my arm, everything feels right.
I kiss her naked shoulder and this tingly feeling I've been feeling gets, well, more tingly.
I wonder if I have any replies from the magic message board.
She tosses in her sleep and more of her skin touches mine.
God what am I thinking? I should just lie here with this beautiful naked woman I love with my heart and soul and just enjoy this moment. But I promised Buffy I'd have that list figured out by tomorrow.
I lean over to look at the clock and squeeze her tighter as I do.
God I love the way she smells. I catch the smell of her hair as I lean into her. Her hair always seems to smell like cheese.
I plant a kiss on her cheek and her smile widens. I whisper softly to her.
She stirs but she isn't awake.
Thank god, to awaken such a sleeping beauty would be a crime, especially since she's MY sleeping beauty. Its 4am I better hop to it.
I slowly pull my arm out from under Tara, trying real hard not to disturb her slumber. I get my arm out and she shifts to adjust.
Good, I didn't wake her up.
I slowly roll out of bed and walk around to Tara's side. I kiss her forehead and her smile gets even wider.
She's still asleep.
I take a step back and look at her.
Right, I forgot about her power. She can read auras. She can sense things about people, things that they may or may not know about themselves. She may not know what it is but she can sense it, but it gives her a sorta sixth sense, she feels people when they're around. It's a good thing I give her happy feelings, course I gave her more than happy feelings a few hours ago while I should have been helping Buffy figure out what this new big bad has done to Faith.
I walk over to the computer and sit down.
No need to get dressed, she's pretty much seen everything there is to well seen was a while back, we're strictly in the happy kissy touching place now.
The computer comes out of sleep mode and I look at the screen.
I even left the message board up and running.
I refresh it to see if there are any replies.
There are a number of them; I hope its good news.
I open the first message.
It depends on the definition of good.
Putting your Faith in the wrong person
"This is the only way we can get help right now to make sure 'Two into one' doesn't come to pass. The boss said he's reserving the troops in case the rest of the prophecy comes to pass."
I hate these caves. Why can't evil villains find a less gloomy place to set up shop?
"I know but doesn't it sound like he trusts that we can stop 'Two into one'?"
I stop and turn to Dave and grab him by the collar.
"Whether he thinks we will succeed or not changes nothing. You know as well as I do that if the prophecy is to be fulfilled it's not only the boss who'll be destroyed, he'll simply be the first on the chopping block. All demons everywhere will be at risk "
I let go of Dave and start walking through these damn caves again, he follows close behind.
"Even The First and its non-corporeal ass are at risk "
"I know but we can't trust this guy any more than we can trust the slayers NOT to slay vampires. He's got his own agenda. You know that."
"Yeah well if all else fails we'll get rid of him so he doesn't get in the way when we finally decide to go ahead and destroy the world."
"Okay quit we can't let him know we're coming, it ruins the whole 'coming out of nowhere' thing."
We start walking into the cavern pocket and he's sitting at the computers, monitoring the initiative from his little hidey hole.
"I heard you coming a mile away."
I punch Dave in the face and it floors him.
"I told you we should've been quieter."
"Why have you come?"
"We've come to talk about the slayer. We understand she is a problem for you."
"The slayer is not a problem. It is true she has eluded my killing her on several occasions however she is not a problem."
Oh trust me, she IS a problem.
"The slayer is going to find a way to destroy you, it's what she does."
"It is true that the slayer is resourceful but it is only a matter of time before she can't run anymore and I kill her."
They are gonna kill this loser so bad, stupid egomaniac.
"So I suppose you have all the information available on slayers then?"
"I have enough."
"Oh really, so then I guess that information has told you that there are two slayers in this town?"
"Oh really, so then I guess that information has told you that there are two slayers in this town?"
"Two of them ?"
He gets up and turns to face me.
"Yes there are two slayers here."
I start walking in a circle around him.
"That does not compute with my information about slayers. There can only be another slayer when the old slayer dies. There can not be two."
"Then your information is inaccurate because there are two."
"How is this possible?"
"The slayer you know Buffy Summers, she was in a fight with a very powerful vampire in which she was killed."
"And this caused the creation of a new slayer?"
"Yes but the slayer who was killed did not die. She was revived by some friends of hers."
"Ah, I see, by her civilian counterparts."
"So this brings up an important question. If you already have all this pertinent information, why are you giving it to me? What do you wish in return?"
"We want the slayers dead. Isn't that enough?"
"No, it is not. Why would you risk your miserable existence to come here and give me this information?"
I stop circling him and look him in the eyes.
"All right what do you know about prophecies?"
"I tend not to pay attention to such things; they are nothing but literary nonsense."
"So are vampires and demons to most humans but you and I are proof of their existence. Are we literary nonsense?"
He cocks his head to the side slightly.
"You have my attention."
"There is one that was written of particular interest to me and my associates. It tells of two great forces of good whose power is rooted in darkness, two slayers, becoming as one. It is written that once joined, no force in the universe can stand against them. Not even the forces that created them."
"And you believe that these slayers are the ones in the prophecy?"
"Yes we do. My boss has charged me and my partner here with stopping this prophecy."
Dave stands up and cleans himself off.
"So you have come to me for help in your little quest?"
"Yes, we have."
He takes a few minutes to think about it but I can tell what his answer is gonna be.
"Very well, at the current time our goals intersect. The death of the slayers is important. We shall work together. What do you wish me to do?"
"Nothing at the moment, simply monitor the initiative in case of any unusual activity. We'll be back when we need you to take a more active role."
I turn around and Dave and I start to walk out of the caves.
"I shall be waiting."
This'll make everything much easier, I know it.
I think I've been all over this place. I'm surprised no one's tried to stop me, there have been some dirty looks but that's cause most of them still blame me for Maggie's I mean Professor Walsh's death which had nothing to do with me. It was all Adam's fault. Of course that doesn't stop most of them from blaming me anyway.
I see Forrest escorting, what I'm sure they are still calling H.S.T.s, to a holding cell. The demon's being dragged by two lackeys. I run up to Forrest and get in his way.
If anyone knows where Riley would be it'd be him.
"What do you want, Summers?"
"Have you seen Riley?"
"I'm surprised you don't know what with you guys being attached at the hip and all in more ways than one."
Damn it Forrest.
"Look, do you know where he is or not? It's kinda important."
"Take the hostile to its cell
It's important is it? Well then I better just drop everything I'm doing and help you because the problems of the slayer are more important than ours. Or should I say slayers, I'm still not sure how that works?"
"It doesn't matter, what matters is where Riley is."
"Geez, calm down, Riley should be back in a few minutes, he's out tracking an H.S.T. He he just came in."
Forrest points up the stairs and I look up. Riley's coming down the stairs and starts toward me.
"Buffy, are you okay?"
Am I okay?
"How could you do that to us?"
He stops in front of me as Forrest leaves.
"What do you mean? Did what to whom?"
"Me and Faith, you were actually gonna have her thrown in a holding cell?"
"She's dangerous Buffy. To you most of all and you know that."
"She's not just some demon you can lock up and do experiments on. She's a human being."
"Yeah, she's a human with about as much power as you and a desire to kill you."
"She doesn't actually want to kill me. She's only doing this because of whatever those bastards did to her."
"That doesn't change the fact that she's trying to kill you, and besides, you don't even know how you're gonna get what's in her system without one of you ending up dead, maybe both of you."
Riley, don't do this.
"I do. I've been thinking about it and I'm gonna train her."
"Yes whoever did this to her is gonna come after us. Especially when they find out their plan to kill me failed and without her memory Faith isn't prepared."
"So you're gonna teach the woman who's trying to kill you all your moves so it doesn't take her as long to kill you?"
"No that's not what I'm doing. I'm trying to help her."
"What do you mean why?"
It's not like I'm doing this because I wanna jump her bones. I'm trying to help her.
"I just don't understand why you're helping her. She's trying to kill you."
This has nothing to do with how I feel about Faith.
"Riley you just don't understand what Faith has been through. She's been through a lot in her life and she's learned not to trust people. But the higher powers have given her a second chance, a chance to learn how to trust people. She has a chance to learn to be a better person and I have to be there to help her."
"Why you, Buffy ? I mean why does it have to be you? What about Mr. Giles? I mean isn't that what he does for a living, train slayers?"
"Not officially, he was fired. Besides, I already thought about that and the truth is Giles doesn't completely trust Faith and I'm not sure Faith totally trusts him either "
"Can't say I blame them."
Oh my god, I don't believe he just said that.
"How can you say that?"
I resist the urge to kick his ass in front of the entire initiative.
"How can I not?"
"Look, Riley right now I'm the only one who Faith can really trust and we may not have time to rebuild any trust Giles and Faith might have had for each other. We have no idea how much time we have before they come after us and Faith has to be ready. Now look, I need you Riley. I need your help. I need to take back this general order of yours while Faith recovers."
"I can't do that."
He takes a step toward me and I take one backward.
"Buffy, you aren't listening to me Faith is dangerous, it's part of my job to keep dangerous things from hurting anyone."
She isn't safe here.
"There are more dangerous things out there than her and in case you didn't know she's supposed to be one of the good guys."
"Except she isn't really all that good is she ?"
That that isn't the point
"If you won't take back that order then she isn't safe here and I'll have to get her out of here while I still can."
I turn around and start walking back to where Faith should be.
"Buffy, wait "
I ignore him.
He's just like everyone else. They don't understand. They can't see that we have a chance to help her, a chance to save her soul.
Going nowhere in a real big hurry
God, I love this feeling, to feel completely comfortable in my own skin. I never had this feeling until I met Willow. I was so lonely before I met her. I felt empty and unsure of myself ALL the time, but she changed all that. She makes me feel like I have a reason to live.
I roll over on my back and stretch out on the bed.
I'm suddenly struck with the lack of warmth on the other side of the bed.
I sit up slightly and look around.
Did she leave without telling me? Well I guess that fact that she isn't here sorta answers that question.
I sit up a little more and the pillow crackles.
Wait a minute pillows down crackle.
I look down at my hand and there's a piece of paper under it. I pick it up and look at it.
It's a note from Willow.
I'm sorry I didn't wake you but you just looked so incredibly peaceful lying there I figured it would be a crime to wake you "
She's so sweet...
"I think I found something important about what's going on and I needed to talk to Giles right away. I'll be back later but if you want to join us, feel free.
All my love,
I fold the note and put it on the nightstand.
Should I go over there? Willow told me where Mr. Giles lives but I've never actually been there and I haven't really met any of Willow's friends besides Buffy. It might be kinda awkward. I might be able to help. I should go.
I get out of bed.
And the scroll says ' there will be no birth, only death '
I close the book.
This is getting us nowhere.
"Giles we're not getting any closer. We've checked just about every vampire cult on record and come up with nothing."
"You're right We have to regroup. What do we know?"
"Big vampire cult types who have a fetish for slayers blood and a need to stop something called 'Two into one' which we're only assuming is some sort of prophecy thing, and a vampire slayer with no memory and a need to kill."
"Of course "
Of course what does he mean of course?
"We've been so busy trying to find a connection between the cult and this prophecy thing that we forgot to consider the other connection."
I'm obviously missing something.
"The slayer connection We forgot to research any slayer prophecies. Xander, help me look for The Codex. Hopefully the Watcher's Council didn't take it with them when they left."
"Or we could just go looking for the Book of Karameth."
I turn around and Willow's standing in the door.
What's the Book of Karameth?
Save me, help me, kill me
What have I done? I tried to kill Buffy again. And now I find out I have no control over myself when I do try and kill her because whoever or whatever decided to put some drug in me and it makes me crazy.
I sit up in the hospital bed.
I can't let her do this. I'm a danger to her and everyone around her. What if the next time something sets me off, one of her friends gets caught in the crossfire? I'd never forgive myself if I hurt someone she cared about, never mid the fact that SHE would never forgive me if I hurt her friends or worse. I have to stop her from helping me before it kills her.
I look over at the two guards standing about 10 feet away from me, like statues.
But how do I do it?
I look down at the bed and close my eyes.
No it won't work. She would never let it happen. She's been so nice to me, trying to keep me safe from those things that go bump in the night why? Why is she helping me? She's still helping me even though I'm a pawn in some evil plot to kill her. Why? Why do I know that if I told these commando boys to lock me in a cage where I'll never hurt anyone ever again she'd spend every waking moment finding a way to get me out?
There's something more going on. This can't just be about the guilt over trying to kill me. She's risking her life to help me; you don't just do that out of guilt. W-Was there Was there something between us that I don't remember?
I open my eyes and move to the edge of the bed, head in my hands.
Oh god, there probably was something between us. I mean that would explain a lot, the dreams, the weird tension I can't figure out, her whole constant desire to help me even though it could get her killed. It's start to make sense I mean, if we were involved then there were feelings, and if there were feelings she probably still has them and is hoping I still do.
Do I have feelings for Buffy? I don't know, I'm grateful for everything she's done to help me. I think she's a good person who's trying to do the right thing, but feelings? I can't have feelings for anyone; I don't even know what my feelings used to be so how do I know what my feelings are now?
I run my fingers through my hair.
I mean what if I get my memory back and it turns out I don't have feelings for Buffy? What if I don't even have a thing for girls? What if I don't like how she feels about me and think she's too clingy or something? There's not way for me to know for sure. The only thing I know for sure is that if I don't stop her she's gonna die, and I think there's only one way to do it. I've got only one chance; I have to stop her at any cost.
I look up as someone walks through the door.
"Buffy we, we have to "
She walks in and knocks out both guards as she passes. She grabs my hand and tries to lead me away but I don't budge.
"Faith we have to go before "
I can't let her do this, it's the only way.
"Buffy we have to talk "
"We can talk later, after we run."
Again she tries to leave but I stop her.
"Buffy we have to talk now because I need your help."
She turns to me and looks me in the eyes.
"Whatever it is I will help you but now is not the time. We have to get out of here before these guards wake up."
Just do it before she gives you a reason not to.
"Buffy you have to kill me."
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