DISCLAIMER: See Part 1
Two roads, one path
By Christopher Andrews
Just because you failed, doesn't mean things won't work out
I duck as a chair comes flying at me.
Adam's been throwing things around for a few minutes now. You'd think Dr. Frankenstein would've installed a rage suppressor in a guy with this much power.
"Hey bits and bytes, what's with the adrenaline rush? I though you were mister calm and collected with your master plan mate?"
"What did Captain Cardboard do now?"
"Well good for him, can't say I'm gonna miss the drugged up bloke. Tell ya what, I'll go out and get a pint of scotch or something and we'll celebrate."
He comes at me, grabbing me by my throat and lifting me off my feet.
What the hell is with people grabbing me by the throat? Doesn't anyone realize that crushing my windpipe wouldn't do anything except stop me from talking? Course this guy could take my head off with one hand if he wanted to.
"Riley was part of my plan, he was supposed to be my brother in arms. Mother wanted us to rule together. Now he's gone and my plans are ruined."
He lets me go and moves to the middle of the cave among his surveillance equipment.
He's just gonna give up? Geez what kind of a ponce is he?
"Look mate, you're not going to just give up are you? For evil's sake man you're supposed to be all big and bad, so be all big and bad find yourself a new little brother to hang off you and continue with your master plan."
"No there can be no one else, I'll have to do this without Riley."
"There ya go mate, I say good riddance to bad rubbish. Let bygones by bygones. You've got your fresh demon parts locked up in the initiative ready to tear into your fresher than fresh human parts. I say let the flood gates open and watch your little puppets ripped to shreds."
"Perhaps it would be for the best. I no longer have a timeline to keep up, however "
He turns to look at me.
"Well come on then Tony Robins, spit it out."
"I need the slayer."
God damn it, why does everything always come back to the slayer with me?
"Yeah well, we all need the slayer one way or another. Personally I prefer the slayer dead myself but I can't do nothing about it with this soddin chip in my head."
"I do not wish the slayer dead, not until she's served her purpose."
"I'd rather her purpose be pushing up daisies but that's not something I can help her with."
"Your chip will be removed as soon as you bring me the slayers."
"Right then and how was I gonna do that again?"
The audio equipment in the cave kicks in.
I think he's got it wired to respond to certain voice patterns, nifty skill.
"The bitch deserves to die."
Adam looks at one of his monitors and I inch a little closer.
"But Forrest "
"She killed Riley man. We can't let her get away with that."
"Course not Riley was like family to us. But we don't know that Buffy did this."
"She's a killer, that's what she does. She kills things. Riley went to see her and he ends up dead. That doesn't give me a lot of reason to believe she didn't do it."
Ooh, another one going after the slayer. Might mess up jigsaw boy's plans though.
"I'm going after Buffy man and you can either help me or get out of my way."
"You know I'm with you buddy it's just "
"Good, get some of the guys together and suit up. We'll start at the scene of the crime and move outward in a circular pattern."
Looks like things are about to get better.
"Your human parts seem to be looking to mess up your plans."
He starts to the cave exit.
"They won't get a chance."
"Yeah? How's that then? What are you gonna do?"
He looks at me before leaving.
"Send the slayer a message."
Ooh, sounds like fun.
Buffy's in love with Faith? Buffy and Faith? Faith and Buffy? When did this happen? How did this happen? Since when is Buffy gay?
I'm still sitting her at Giles'. I'm supposed to be reading this book but all I can think about is Buffy and Faith.
Buffy's in love with Faith? Does that mean Faith feels the same way? Since when does Faith give a damn about anyone but herself? Was it the amnesia? Could having no memory have changed Faith? She did seem a lot nicer when she had no memory even with everything she had to deal with she was still a lot nicer and an all around better person than usual.
Most of all we actually managed to get along with Faith, which gets harder to do with the more you get to know her. There is something different about Faith though, she talked Buffy out of killing that Watcher guy which, I gotta say I didn't see that coming. Maybe having no memory helped Faith to see Buffy from a different perspective. Maybe it helped her to care about someone other than herself.
What if it grew into something more? But what about Buffy? When did Buffy start falling for Faith? Was it the amnesia? Did Faith having no memory make Buffy see a different side of Faith? Did it make certain feelings emerge? The must be pretty strong feelings for Buffy to be willing to kill to stop her from leaving. I've seen Buffy do some pretty weird things for love, Angel in particular made her do some crazy things but she never would've killed an innocent for him. This must be some powerful feelings she has. A little too powerful if you ask me.
What if it's the spell? She is kinda insano-girl as of late. Maybe the spell worked we just didn't realize it. The original spell used on Faith was designed to amplify her anger and hatred for Buffy making Faith obsessed with it in a way, the counter spell was supposed to help Faith deal and release the anger, using Buffy as the anchor. Buffy is very much in control of her feelings, most of the time, and creating a bond between them was supposed to give Faith some of that control to help her deal.
It makes sense that they would get closer I mean, who wouldn't with that kind of connection being made? Especially with the existing connecting being what it was. But what if? Oh my god, that's it.
"Guys, I think I've figured it out."
True love is a bumpy road so try not to pick up hitch hikers
I hope things get worked out. I can't believe that Faith kill an innocent person, much less Riley. Not with the way she feels about Buffy. Faith has too much invested in what they have to jeopardise it now. It was SO obvious, at least to me it was, how happy they were just to be together once they worked out whatever was bugging them. The pure joy was coming off them in waves, it was intense. I was so happy for them. When two people are that right for each other like Buffy and Faith they deserve all the happiness in the world. The way Willow and I are happy.
There's a knock at the door.
Who could that be? Willow would never knock I gave her a key, besides she said she would be helping her friends most of the night. I wonder who it could be.
I walk over to the door and open it.
She pretty much lunges at me, throwing her arms around my neck as she does.
Help her? Help her how?
I close the door behind us and manage to peel her off me.
Thank god she's not using her full strength.
"Buffy what what's w-wrong?"
"It was horrible the, the things what have I done?"
She's distraught I should try and calm her down.
"Buffy calm, calm d-down. Come let's, come sit on the bed and t-tell me what h-happened."
I lead her over to the left side of the bed and we sit against the edge.
"What, what happened?"
She hugs my ribs tightly, a little too tightly, and I'm not sure what to do.
I want to help her but she's so vulnerable right now, there's no telling what she could do.
I decide she really needs to be comforted right now and put my arm around her, holding her closer.
"The the things I said. I was so horrible to her I don't blame her for hating me. I wouldn't blame her if she hated me for the rest of her life. I yelled at her, I accused her of murders she didn't commit and worst of all I put a knife to her throat. She may never forgive me."
"It's okay Buffy. It'll be okay."
She lets go of my ribs and looks in my eyes from her own tear soaked eyes.
"But it won't not without her. I'll never be okay without her. That's why I need your help. I need you to help me get Faith to forgive me. I need you to make Faith love me again."
I wipe away the tears on her cheeks.
"Buffy you, you don't have to w-worry. If she loves you the way I-I know she does then she can't hate you, not really. She, she's just angry with you, but she'll get over it. And I I can't m-make her love you again she never stopped loving you."
"Really? Are are you s-sure?"
"Yes I'm sure."
She wraps her arms around me, hugging me.
"Oh thank you Tara you you don't know how much this means to me."
Actually with the way her aura's changed in the past few minutes I'd say I kinda do.
"Just give her some time and a little space and she'll come back to you."
She takes my head in her hands with a longing look in her eyes.
"Thank you so much "
She presses her lips against mine lightly.
What do I do? She's so vulnerable right now if I reject her I could really hurt her. She could really break down, emotionally. But this isn't right we shouldn't
She kisses me again, deeper this time, more passionately.
I don't know what to do so like on instinct I kiss her back, gently. I don't want her to get too into this it could lead to
She leans into me, straddling me, grinding her hips against mine. I feel her hands start to grab at me, running her hands along my sides, groping my breasts as her tongue slips into my mouth.
This is wrong, we, we should stop this but but it's not like I can stop her. She sorta has me at a disadvantage.
She breaks our kiss and I look up at her, eyes closed, tears streaming down her face, she lets out a deep breath, whispering to me.
After a moment her eyes fly open in shock. She moves off the bed and takes a few steps back.
"Oh oh god Tara I , I didn't mean to "
I take a second to get over the shock of what just happened and then sit up.
"Its, its okay Buffy I under-understand."
"No not it's not I mean, you're with Willow and I'm, even though she doesn't think so, I'm with Faith and and I love her."
"I know d-do Buffy and I love Willow and that's why it's okay."
"But it's not, I shouldn't have "
"B-Buffy it's okay because despite what just happened I don't I don't think of you that w-way."
"I don't think about you that way either. I love Faith."
I stand up and close the gap between us.
"Then everything's o-okay, we'll just pretend it didn't happen."
She smiles weakly at me.
"Thank you Tara."
She hugs me again out of happiness, instead of desperation like before and I hug her back.
"Just give Faith some time, she'll come back to you I promise."
She pulls back and looks at me.
"I will thank you."
I smile at her and she turns and leaves.
Wow, things are really bad between them right now. I meant what I said though. Faith just needs time to deal before she comes back to Buffy. And she will go back to Buffy eventually. I wouldn't have said it if I didn't mean it. I have a hard enough time saying what I mean it wouldn't make sense for me to say what I didn't.
Chopping down Forrest
She has to die.
I motion to Graham and my back up to come through Stevenson's front door, blaster guns raised like I did moments earlier. I get them to fan out on the main floor, creating a perimeter before heading upstairs to the second floor.
Buffy Summers deserves to die for what she did to us, for what she did to Riley. Riley never would've been brutally stabbed to death if it hadn't been for her.
I reach the bottom of the stairs and I motion for them to head upstairs and after a second I join them. I look down the hall, it's empty.
Good, its better that no other civilians get hurt. Buffy isn't a civilian though, she's a monster.
We reach her doorway and it's barely hanging off its hinges. I can see the blood stains on the floor.
That's where it happened, where Riley took his last breath. It's all her fault and I'm gonna kill her for it, slow and painfully.
I move away from the door and two of my unit kick it in. The five other guys in my unit charge in, guns drawn and ready to fire, making sure the room was secure.
I rush in looking around the room.
"Damn it, she's not here."
"Well maybe she's just out. We can wait. We'll take her down."
She could be in the area.
"Fan out, form a perimeter. I wanna know the second she enters the building. I'll stay here and coordinate."
"I do not believe they will have time."
I turn to see someone standing in the door.
"And why's that Adam?"
"Because they will all be dead in a few minutes."
"Don't count on it, take him down."
We all fire our blaster guns at him. The charges hit him and it barely fazes him. It's as if he absorbs it and it makes him stronger.
He starts to come at us and we spread out in the room.
Damn it, we've got to do something.
"Hit him again."
"But sir "
He doesn't finish as Adam grabs him by the throat and tears one of his arms off incapacitating him as he's dropped on the floor.
Graham charges Adam in a rage.
Adam punches him hard in the face making him fly across the room in a skull cracking, bloody mess. I come at him with a flying drop kick. He barely stumbles before I come at him with a right cross and I nearly break my hand on his face. He grabs me by the neck and lifts me above his head as the last two of my team impale themselves on Adam's skewer.
I can't breathe. Oh god I can't breathe.
I look down at Adam and he looks back.
"Your blood will make the perfect message for the slayer."
I knew the slayer was in on this.
My neck snaps.
I close the door to my motel room as I walk in.
How could she think threatening to kill a man would win me back?
I start pacing around the room.
I mean, generally speaking killing someone is not considered a declaration of love unless you're evil which I'm not anymore. What would make her think killing someone could make me forgive her for what she did to me? Did she go insane?
I throw myself on to my bed and stare at the ceiling, spread out like I'm being crucified.
Did falling in love with me drive her insane? Well it wouldn't be the first time. I've had plenty of guys go all schizoid on me when I left them for being too clingy. Most of them ended up in jail, some of them even ended up in the hospital after trying too hard to get me back. Is that what's gonna happen to B?
Am I gonna have to put her out of commission when she goes too far, or worse? I don't know if I can do that. I mean I will if I have to but I I don't want to have to. Maybe its better that we're broken up, Buffy is obviously hurt but she'll get over it. I may not be able to forget what she did but that doesn't mean I don't still care about her. I don't want her to go all psychopathic killer on me, like I used to be. I might not be able to live with myself if that happened. So I'll stick to the plan we're broken up and it's gonna stay that way whether we like it or not. It's better for everyone this way.
I run my fingers threw my hair and go back to crucifying myself.
Besides it's not like we can be together anyway. She doesn't trust me and if it were anyone else that wouldn't be a problem but well it's Buffy. I can't be with someone like Buffy unless I know that she trusts me especially with my past, and she doesn't. No matter how many times she might say she does, deep down inside she doesn't, not really. I can't be with her without trust, not completely. Odd as it might seem, even after what she's done I'd still trust her with my life even if she can't do the same.
There's a knock at the door and I sit up.
Who could that be?
I get up to start toward the door and I'm all conflicted about whether I want it to be Buffy or not.
Part of me wants it to be her so I can tear her apart, part of me wants it to be her so I can kiss her and make up, and some part of me doesn't want it to be her at all.
I reach the door and open it and
"What the hell do you want Spike?"
I turn around and head back into the motel room.
"Well isn't that a nice way to greet the man who saved your life?"
I look at him.
"You're not a man Spike."
"Well no I suppose not but that doesn't change the fact that I saved your life. Don't I get a thank you?"
God did I NOT need this.
I put my arms across my chest as I see him checking me out.
"What can I say? I'm not much for giving gratitude."
"Yeah so I hear. You're more of the gratification giving type of girl ain't ya?"
He raises an eyebrow at me from outside the door.
"Fancy a go?"
Why did B ask me not to stake this bastard?
I scoff at him. He smiles at me and starts to check out the door frame.
"You're so totally not invited in by the way."
He steps through the doorway and his smile gets a little bigger.
"Public living quarters pet, don't need an invite."
I roll my eyes at him.
Damn it, I should've remembered that.
"Did you need something Spike or did you want me to just stake you?"
"I heard about some doings from the underground, thought the Chosen Two might wanna hear about it."
"What is it?"
"Tell ya what, we'll go see blondie and I'll tell you two together."
I am NOT going to see B right now.
"Look if you wanna go find B and tell her you go ahead but we ain't going together. She and I aren't exactly talking right now."
"Really, something happen between you two birds?"
"Yeah, something "
I'm not gonna spill my guts to this loser.
"You know I've been meaning to ask you, is there something going on between you two ladies? Cause I sorta picked up on a vibe "
"Are you gonna tell me what's going on or not cause I'm picking up a vibe that's telling me to throw you out that door."
"Right then, straight to the point, something's going down."
"Something's going down, is that it? Oh you are so going out that door."
I walk up to him and grab him by his leather jacket collar.
"No wait that's not it."
I resist the urge to throw him through the door.
"The big bad beasties in this town ? They've got their panties in a bunch about something big. I'm betting it has something to do with Adam and the Initiative. Whatever's going down, it's going down soon, maybe even in the next couple of days, possibly even as early as tomorrow night."
"Fine, now go tell Buffy and the gang."
I throw him out my door landing a few feet from the door.
"They may actually do something about it."
He gets up slowly.
I turn my back to him.
"GO, before I decide to do more than throw you out of my place."
I hear him run off.
I ain't saving the world on info from Spike.
I close the door and go back to my bed.
No I'm not gonna do it.
I walk through the front door of Stevenson and head toward the stairs.
I'm not gonna go see Faith, much as I might want to. She needs time like Tara said and going to see her would not fall into the category of giving her time. I'll just I'll just go back to my room ad go to bed. Sleeping will keep me from wanting her so much, at least until I wake up.
I head up the stairs to the second floor of the dorm.
I'll let her deal with the whole me not being able to trust her thin. I need to find a way to convince her that I trust her. Course it would help if I actually did. She was right. I don't trust her, not really. I want to trust her I really do I just something inside me wouldn't let me. I wanted to SO much but I couldn't. Maybe after everything with Angel and Scott and Parker and even Riley I just expect her to do what they did. I just expect her to betray me like all the others. It's almost like I want her to do something wrong so I can hate her for it. I feel so horrible about it.
I have to do something. I have to do something or say something to make things okay again. I have to do something that'll prove to Faith that I trust her and that I mean it deep down inside. But I can't. I can't do it if she won't talk to me.
I get to my door and go to open it.
That's there the giving her time thing comes in. I'll just
I open the door and walk inside.
Enjoy my blood red walls.
I look over the walls, stained with blood.
What the hell?
I nearly trip over something on the floor and I look down at it.
"Oh my god Forrest "
I kneel down next to check his blood soaked body for life.
He's cold. He's been dead for a while, but what is he doing here?
I hear someone gasping for air.
There's someone still alive?
I look up from Forrest's body and scan the room. I see three other dead bodies, none of them moving. I stand up and take a second look around. Graham appears from behind the bed obstructing my view, lying on the floor bleeding and barely breathing. He's propped up against the wall trying to keep from dying.
"Graham, what happened? Who did this?"
"Adam he, he did this to us."
"Adam? Why? What were you doing here?"
He speaks between painful breaths.
"Getting murdered apparently..."
He tries to laugh but it makes him grabs his side in pain and coughs up a lung.
"We we came here looking for you. Forrest he blamed you for, for what happened to R-Riley."
"I didn't kill him."
"Didn't matter to him... he was c-convinced if Riley hadn't met you he'd still be alive "
I can't argue with that, unfortunately.
"He came to take you o-out but Adam showed up and tore us a-apart said he had plans for the slayers."
"Plans, what plans?"
"Dunno but whatever whatever it is I bet it's going down to-tonight at the Initiative. S-stop him please."
"I will, now try and hold on until I can get a doctor."
I start to get up but he grabs my arm weakly.
"Don't bother I'm I'm too far gone."
"You you have to know, he we found out his power core, it's in his chest. You'll h-have to rip it out to stop him."
"Okay I'll, stop him just stay still until I can get a doctor."
"Just promise promise me you'll you'll stop Adam."
"I will, I promise."
He smiles at me as he coughs up blood for the last time and collapses.
He's gone all of Riley's friends are gone.
I stand up and look down at Graham's body.
I'll do it Graham I'll stop Adam for you, for you and for Forrest and especially for Riley.
I look around the room at the bodies on my floor.
I'll do it for all of you, but I'll need some help.
I kick the garbage can in my office next to my desk.
I had her.
I start pacing around the room looking for something else to destroy.
I had her right there. She was busy trying to save that loser Riley, she didn't even see me coming up to her. I could've killed Faith and been done with it. Screw the plan, screw the trigger killing Buffy and taking Faith out in the process. If I get another chance to take either of them out I'm taking it. If Omega has a problem with it he can stake me after the prophecy DOESN'T come true and he doesn't get his ass kicked.
I decide to sit down on my desk.
Then again, I might not have to worry about my next chance to kill the slayers. If I'm right Adam could be taking care of that very soon. Without Riley to plan around he can go any time. If they haven't gotten too close Adam will tear them apart and our problems will be solved. He does want the slayers there for the kill count after all.
I walk through Giles' door. Giles, Xander and Willow are still here and Anya has joined them.
"Guys we have a problem."
"Yes I should say we do. Buffy we must talk about the situation you've put yourself in."
Situation what situation?
I walk into the living room so I can look everyone in the eyes.
"What do you mean? What situation?"
"Buff, we just we want to talk to you about this Faith thing."
"Faith thing? This Faith thing? Wanna clarify what exactly you mean by this Faith thing Xander?"
He gets really nervous.
Good, he should be. I'm not gonna let them tear apart my feelings for Faith.
"What I meant was your your feelings for Faith they're well we're concerned."
"How? What EXACTLY is it about my love for Faith that 'concerns' you?"
"Well we "
Xander pauses in mid sentence, unsure of how to finish that sentence so Anya jumps in.
"We think you might be insane."
"What? I said might be."
They think I'm insane?
"Is that right? You think I'm insane do you?"
"No we, we don't think you're insane we just, we're concerned that maybe Buff you gotta admit you've been acting kinda weird lately, ever since Faith came back."
"So I'm insane am I? I guess I'd have to be to hang out with such hypocrites."
Willow steps in at the hypocrite remark.
"Buffy we aren't hypocrites."
"This coming from the biggest hypocrite of all. Willow fell for Tara and we all just accept it, but I fall for Faith and I've gone insane? Talk about hypocritical."
"Buffy we're not "
"You know Willow out of everyone I figured you'd understand. I figured you'd understand what I'm feeling, what I'm going through."
"I do Buffy I mean I think I do but Buffy we've seen you do a lot of things, most of them with Angel, but we've never seen you willing to kill for someone."
"Okay but I mean doesn't that prove just how much I really do love Faith?"
"Buffy who you love is your business we are simply concerned that perhaps you are not thinking clearly."
So they think I'm insane. Fine then, if that's the way they want it.
"I'm not insane, I don't care what you guys say. My love for Faith has never been clearer. The whole accusing Faith of murder thing is making things rocky between us but I'm gonna get her back, no matter what you guys think."
I start to leave and then turn back.
"You know I came here because whatever's going on with Adam is going down soon, maybe tonight. I came here for help. But you guys are obviously not interested in helping. All you want is to attack my love for Faith."
I start to leave again.
"If you don't wanna help with the spell or anything, then don't. I'll find a way to help her myself."
"Buffy the spell is already off."
I stop at the door in shock and turn to look at Willow, standing now a few feet away.
"What are you talking about? W-What do you mean the spell is off?"
"Buffy how did Faith get her memory back?"
"W what do you mean? I told you h-how it hap happened."
"Buffy you need to tell us the truth. I think I know what happened but I need you to be honest with me. I can't believe that Faith just got her memory back for no reason."
"Well it that's really what h-happened."
"Will's right Buffy, it just doesn't make sense that she just happened to get her memory back for no particular reason. What really happened?"
They're not gonna stop are they? They're just gonna keep
"I, she we kissed okay? Is that what you wanted to hear? We kissed and our first kiss brought her back."
The silence in the room is deafening as the whole picture comes into focus for them.
"Buffy you even you have to admit, that such events can not be just coincidence."
"No I I get it, I realize that this could all be part of some plan some big evil cooked up to make me insane but it doesn't feel that way. It feels real and beautiful and completely right and something this incredible can't be evil, it just can't be. Because, see the kiss it it didn't just bring her memory back it also made me realize we were meant to be."
"But Buffy, that's what broke the spell."
"What? How? What?"
I start to walk back in and stop.
"The kiss, the one that gave Faith her memory back it broke the spell too."
"What? What do you mean? How did our kiss break the spell?"
"Buffy the spell that these cult guys cast on Faith, it was supposed to amplify her feelings of anger and hatred for you. To make her unable to think of anything else and the drugs were designed to make her lose control when those feelings got too strong and then lash out at the person causing that anger, namely you."
So that's why she had those freak outs and attacked me.
"The point of the counter spell was to get her to release those negative feelings for you but the only way for that to happen was if she had other, feelings for you."
"Other feelings like a love spell? You did a love spell on me? On both of us?"
"It didn't work."
"That's not the point Will and you know it. You tried to do a love spell on us and you didn't tell us. How could you?"
"Buffy the goddess I was praying to for the spell, Diana, she's the goddess of love and FRIEND-ship. There was every chance all it was gonna do was make you guys friends."
"But there's a chance it might have been more than that. God Willow how could you? Did you guys did you guys know about this?"
I look around at the people I thought were my friends.
"Did you guys know about what Willow was doing before the spell?"
No one says anything.
"You're NOT ANSWERING ME."
Xander breaks the silence.
"Yes Buffy we did."
God who are these people? I thought we trusted each other. I can't be here. I can't look at these people.
"Well Willow I guess we didn't need your little love spell cause Faith and I fell in love all on our own. Without your help. I-I have to go. I have to go stop a bad science experiment from committing a massacre."
I go back to leave.
"I have to go find someone I can trust."
I leave Giles'.
There's only one person I can really trust.
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