DISCLAIMER: Buffy and characters are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy etc. Jade is the property of me!
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Special thanks to Jonel Nightingale for fixing my terrible English.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Chapter Twenty Five
Minutes seemed like hours and all Buffy wanted to do was get to Jade. She didn't care about who or what was standing in her way. As she watched her friends pace the floor she wished she could just sleep, not because she was tired but to make time move faster. Her thoughts were so loud that she barely heard the phone ringing.
"Hello? Yes this is Mr Giles; they're here already? Are you sure? They weren't due to land for another three hours," Giles said confusion in his voice. The voice on the other end of the phone explained that there was a mix up, apparently flying from Britain to LA in a jet takes half the time as a commercial flight. "Ah of course, my apologies, I will be there right away," he added before hanging up. "The slayers have arrived early, Xander, would you come with me to the airport, I'll need someone to bring the car back, I imagine I shall have to hire a bus of some sort, I doubt fifty slayers would fit in the back of a car."
"Sure G-man," Xander nodded as he got to his feet and followed Giles out of the house.
As Buffy waited for Angel's contacts and the slayers to arrive she and Faith got the weapons ready. Faith could tell from the look on Buffy's face that she really loved Jade.
"We'll get her back Buffy, I know some of the slayers coming over and they are all wicked strong," Faith said, trying to calm the other slayer.
"I can't kill her Faith, I won't, even if we are too late, I need to know you'll do what I can't," Buffy pleaded, tears in her eyes.
Faith put her hands in the air, "no way B, I could never do that, I care about Jade. Giles said we'll find another way and we will. Besides, I'm sure Willow can come up with some kind of mojo to deal with this."
Buffy nodded, she understood why Faith couldn't kill Jade, Faith loved her, not like she loved her but as a friend. Willow walked into the room followed by Kennedy; "Ok we've got a location, Jade's at the old cinema, the one we got ambushed in."
Just then there was a loud knock at the door. As Angel opened it, he found his son and all the demon contacts he had called on, closely followed by Giles, Xander and about fifty slayers. "Come on in guys, we just have a few details to work out and we're making our move," the vampire said as he turned from the door.
They all followed Angel to the living room and stood around while Buffy made her way to the centre of the group. "Ok this is how it's going to go down, the cinema has two exits. Angel, Giles, you take the front exit, Connor, Kennedy, you take the fire exit at the back, if anyone tries to escape, kill them," she said, allowing her slayer instincts to temporarily override her emotions. Pointing to Angels crew she added, "you lot have Bringer duty. Just kill. We are not here to have fun, this is not a party, any of you go near Jade and I will kill you, are we clear?"
Angel's crew nodded in agreement and Buffy continued; "Faith, Illeryia you're with me. Our main priority is getting Jade out. Willow, you hang back with Angel and Giles, be ready to make with the magic. Turn them into ice, turn them into harmless little kittens, I don't care just keep them away from Jade. Dawn, Xander, no fighting, you see anyone injured get in and get them out fast, no heroics. Slayers, pair up, two slayers to each super vamp. Any without a partner is on Bringer duty. Collect your weapons guys, this is it."
"Um," a little voice piped up from the back of the room, "what exactly is going on? Nobody's told us anything other than, big fight, strong vamps and kill the buggers."
Buffy looked up to see a small girl, about fifteen looking increasingly worried, "Giles will fill you in on the way."
Thankfully there was enough room in the bus Giles hired to take them all to the old cinema. Angel opted to take his car, having never been much for the group thing. As the gang drove the bus was quiet, so quiet that Buffy was sure that everyone could hear her heart thumping in her chest.
After what seemed like forever they pulled up outside and Willow announced, "we're here."
They got out of the bus, each carrying their chosen weapon; Angel pulled up just behind them and got out of the car carrying a very impressive sword.
Before entering the cinema Buffy turned to them all, "Faith, Illeryia, Kennedy, Connor and half the slayers, we go in the back way, the rest of you, go through the front, give us till the count of thirty and go, clear?"
Everyone nodded and prepared to do as they had been told. Buffy and her crew made their way around the back of the building, Kennedy counting quietly to herself. Once in position Kennedy nodded to Buffy, "five, four, three, two, one!"
They charged through the fire exit at the same time as Angel and his crew charged through the front. Facing them were at least thirty super vamps and too many bringers to count. Angel, Giles, Kennedy and Connor took up their positions on the exits while Angel's crew and the slayers ran into the mass of super vamps and bringer's.
Willow hung back behind Angel and Giles, chanted something quietly in Latin. Sending the super vamps to sleep wouldn't do it this time but turning the bringer's to ice would "Ego imperium tu pravus inimicus, per potestus Angrboda, exsisto glagialis!"
As the bringers turned to ice Illeryia and Angels crew took the opportunity to smash them into little pieces. Buffy and Faith fought one super vamp and Buffy managed to dust her with the scythe but more were coming towards them. Buffy shouted to Illeryia who immediately joined her. As the others guarded the exits the super vamps didn't seem concerned with escaping and paid them no attention. Every now and again Angel or Connor would break away for an instant to help defeat a super vamp or two before returning to their positions. Xander and Dawn had already ran in and out at least seven times to grab injured slayers but they couldn't get to all of them, it was a tangle of slayers, super vamps, bringers and demons in there and it was getting hard to tell who was who. Illeryia was making quick work of the super vamp, she was almost as strong as Jade.
Buffy decided that the rest of the crew could handle things while she looked for Jade. "Faith, I need to find her," she yelled over the chaos.
"Go Buffy, go now!" Faith responded, fighting yet another super vamp.
As Buffy ran around franticly trying to find Jade she was thankful the cinema only had one floor. She was just about to check the side door that the super vamps and bringer's had come from on their previous visit when something knocked her from her feet. She looked up to see Jade standing over her, laughing, she knew as soon as she heard the sound of that laugh that she was too late. She jumped to her feet as the first flew at her again.
This time she dove out of the way. Buffy had to try and reach Jade, she was still in there, there had to be a chance. "Jade, listen to me, I know your in there and you can fight this, you are stronger that it, please fight it, fight it for me," she begged her lover turned vessel for the first.
The rest of the crew had destroyed the thirty or so super vamps but it hadn't been easy and most of Angel's crew had been obliterated. Unfortunately, several slayers were either dead or injured, but they had done it. Faith heard Buffy's shouts and motioned for the remaining group to follow her. She stopped in her tracks when she saw Jade, her eye's were completely black, not like Willows eye's when she channeled her powers, but total blackness, total evil.
Faith realized it was the first and they had failed. She looked at Angel and knew instantly what he was thinking. "No, Angel don't! Willow, do something," she pleaded, not ready to watch another friend die.
"I'm trying Faith but my magic's being blocked, there's nothing I can do," Willow responded, unshed tears thick in her voice. Just then Willow remembered the advanced protection potion she had made for Buffy. Jade had made Buffy drink it in the sewers, and even though it didn't work against the super vamps it might still work against the first. It was in Jade's body after all. The potion only lasts for one day when ingested, Willow thought, but the substance stays in your system for at least a week. I can activate it from here. "I have an idea," Willow told Faith before she began reciting a spell in Romanian.
Buffy continued dodging the first's attacks, begging Jade to fight back. Just then the first grabbed Buffy around the neck, and the slayer could feel the life being choked out of her. Suddenly it released its grip and Buffy fell to the floor coughing. She looked up and for just an instant she saw Jade's green eyes.
"Buffy," then she was gone again, the eyes reverted back to black and the first let out a hollow laugh. "It won't work you know, the longer I'm inside her, the weaker she grows. Eventually her soul will die and all that will be left is me."
Chapter Twenty Six
Willow felt her spell take effect and looked over to see Buffy glowing bright white.
"Willow, what's going on, what did you do?" Giles asked unable to disguise the fear in his voice.
"I reactivated the protection potion I made for Buffy," Willow answered quietly.
Faith turned to Angel, "we have to do something, knock her out, anything," she pleaded with the other vampire.
"Buffy said she'd deal with it, we have to let her," he replied, not totally content to simply watch, but not willing to go against Buffy's wishes.
The first took another swing at Buffy and connected firmly with her jaw, but Buffy didn't move, she didn't even flinch. Whatever Willow was doing was working.
"What is this?!" Yelled the first.
"Aw come on, I've beaten you before, did you really think this time would be any different?" Buffy deadpanned while punching the first in the stomach.
Her punches did very little damage and the first soon realized that the little witch had done some sort of protection spell on Buffy. It made its way over to the group ignoring Buffy completely.
"Run!" Buffy shouted as the first made its way over to Buffy's friends. Giles grabbed Willow and did his best to bundle everyone out of the way.
Angel grabbed Illeryia and shouted, "the exits, we can let it get out!"
Illeryia understood and ran to the fire exit while Angel guarded the front. Faith ran at the first raining blow after blow down on it, but it was no use, no matter how hard she punched it wasn't making a blind bit of difference. The first grabbed Faith and held her above its head before throwing her into the nearest wall. Faith hit the wall hard and landed with a thud. She struggled to get up but she couldn't feel her legs. The first was making its way over to Faith when Buffy charged at it with the scythe.
"No!" Faith screamed, just loud enough to stop Buffy in her tracks. The first turned to Buffy and picked her up as it had done with Faith. It knew it couldn't hurt Buffy for now, but it could throw her far enough away so it could get to Faith and the others. Faith watched on in horror as the first threw Buffy to the other end of the building and made its way to her. Faith couldn't escape as the first pulled her up by the hair and placed its free hand round Faith's neck.
"Jade, please," Faith begged as everything turned black.
Jade saw what the first was doing but she couldn't stop it, the last thing she wanted was to hurt anyone and now she feared that she had killed the first friend she had made since becoming a vampire. She had to stop this. If I can get control just for an instant I can end this, the first can't control me if I'm dust, Jade thought. Jade looked out of her own eyes as the first made its way over to Buffy. She wasn't glowing white anymore. Jade knew that Willow must have gotten tapped out and couldn't uphold the spell anymore, and if she knew that the first did too.
She had to do something and it had to be now. Jade concentrated as hard as she could, ignoring her body moving against her wishes. She saw pieces of broken wood lying next to Buffy; this is it, Jade thought, my only chance. Just as the first leaned down to grab Buffy, Jade used every once of strength she had in her and pulled her arm away, grabbing a piece of broken wood as she did. Buffy looked up as the first grabbed the wood and for a second she thought she was going to be staked. Then she saw Jade's eyes looking back at her, she knew what was about to happen.
"No, Jade please, not like this," Buffy cried, tears streaming freely down her face.
It was no use. Jade understood now why she was here, what her purpose was, why she had been turned and why the first hadn't wanted her dead, but she would rather be dead than be the first's bitch. With that thought she smiled at Buffy and told her she loved her before she plunged the piece of wood deep into her own chest. The first let out a piercing scream as Buffy looked on in horror as the woman she had fallen in love with turned to dust before her eyes. Upon hearing the scream Angel and Illeryia rushed in, closely followed by the rest of the gang.
All but Angel immediately started tending to Faith, who was still barely alive. Angel instead made his way over to Buffy. He looked down at Buffy and saw the remains of Jade. He knelt beside his former love, "I'm sorry Buffy, I know this isn't what you wanted, but there was no other way, you did the right thing."
Buffy looked up at Angel through tear filled eyes, "I didn't do this, Jade did."
Chapter Twenty Seven
Faith was taken away in an ambulance with Kennedy by her side. The injured slayers were taken back to David's for help. Those that we injured and not dead hadn't been too severely damaged and Giles felt that thirty or so young girls turning up at a hospital would raise many questions that they did not want to answer. So one by one they boarded the bus leaving Buffy and Angel still inside the old cinema.
"Buffy we have to go," Angel told her softly while putting his arm around her waist and lifting her to her feet.
"I can't, I don't want to leave her," Buffy said, still crying.
"She's gone Buffy, there's nothing more you can do here. Let's get you back to David's, you need to rest."
Buffy nodded as she felt her legs give way under her. Angel caught her and carried her out to his car.
At the hospital doctors and nurses surrounded Faith; she was unconscious but still alive. Kennedy wanted to stay with her but the nurses refused to let her in the room. "Please miss, if you want your friend to live you have to let us do our job," yet another nurse attempted to make Kennedy understand.
Kennedy just nodded, too worried to argue, and sat down on the nearest seat she could find. Every now and again the door to the emergency room would fly open due to doctors or nurses rushing in and out and Kennedy would catch a few words.
"Severe concussion.......swollen spinal cord......"
She had no idea what any of this meant. She knew Faith was a fast healer but worried that she wasn't fast enough. She decided to call David's to make sure everyone got back and give them an update on Faith.
At David's Willow, Illeryia and Giles and the un-injured slayers attended to the injured. Connor and the remaining members of Angel's crew had gone back to their own homes. Or at least Connor had, Willow wasn't sure if those demons of Angel's lived in houses or caves. The silence was broken by the sound of the phone ringing. Giles rushed over to answer it hoping it was Kennedy with news about Faith.
"Hello?!" he said quickly.
"Giles, it's Kennedy, everyone get back ok?"
"Yes, yes, Buffy and Angel should be here soon, how is Faith doing?"
"I'm not sure. They're working on her now but they won't tell me anything," Kennedy said, sounding defeated and very, very small.
"Once everyone's here I'll drive over to the hospital, perhaps if I tell them I'm her father they may be more inclined to furnish us with some information," Giles said calmly.
"Sure, I'll see you soon."
Giles returned to the living room where he was pleased to see Xander and Dawn had arrived back safely. "Xander, I'll need your car, I'm going to join Kennedy at the hospital."
Xander nodded and handed Giles his keys telling him to call with any news as Giles made his way out the front door.
"I don't understand, how can Jade be gone Willow?" Dawn asked quietly.
"I'm not sure Dawn, I wasn't there when it happened, but we'll know more when Buffy and Angel get back." Just then Angel appeared in the door way carrying Buffy in his arms.
Dawn leapt to her feet, "Oh my god, Angel what happened, is she ok?"
"She's fine Dawn, she just needs to rest, I'll take her upstairs." Angel said, already moving towards the stairs. Angel laid Buffy down on the bed and covered her with a blanket; she was out for the count. He figured all the sobbing she had done in the car had finally worn her out.
As he made his way back down stairs to join the others Xander looked up at him for the chair he was sitting in, "want to tell us what the hell happened in there?"
Angel sat down wearily, "Jade killed herself, after the first had almost killed Faith, it was about to kill Buffy when Jade managed to gain control for just long enough to take herself out." The gang looked on dumbfounded.
"She killed herself to save Buffy?" Illeryia asked confused.
"Not just Buffy, she killed her self to save the world," Willow murmured, tears falling down her face.
Meanwhile at the old cinema Jade's ashes still lay undisturbed on the ground where she had last stood. The walls started to shake and a bright light came from nowhere, hovering above Jade's remains, while a light breeze began to blow. Jade's ashes were lifted into the air, going round and round forming a twister of dust. As the air began to crackle the dust started to take form, a hand, a leg, a torso, a face.
Chapter Twenty Eight
Jade doubled over coughing, "what the hell?!" Her mind was racing, had she failed, she was pretty sure she staked herself in the right place. As she looked around her vision was blurred but she knew she was in the old cinema. But it was empty. Was she a ghost, was she in hell? Jade was shaken from her thoughts by a strange sensation in her chest, dumdum, dumdum, dumdum. As she clutched her hand to her chest she whispered to the empty building, "I'm alive."
Giles arrived at the hospital and after getting lost several times eventually managed to find Kennedy. Kennedy looked up to see Giles walking towards her and ran up to him, throwing her arms around him.
"I'm so glad you're here," she mumbled, her face pressed to his shoulder.
"How is she, any change?" he asked, gently hugging the younger slayer.
"I don't know, they won't tell me anything, I told them her dad was on his way so go act fatherly," Kennedy replied as she backed away from Giles and wiped tears from her eyes.
Giles made his way over to the nearest doctor, "Excuse me doctor, my daughter was brought in here, Faith Giles? I believe she is still in the ER, could you tell me what's happening or possibly find me someone who can?"
The Doctor looked up at Giles from his clipboard, "sure sir; I'm not actually working on your daughter but if you give me a minute I'll find someone to talk to you."
Giles smiled at the doctor who he decided looked about twelve years old, "thank you doctor."
Kennedy, impatient as ever made her way over to Giles; "well what did they say?"
"That chap I spoke to is going to find someone to come and talk to us, he isn't actually working on Faith so I doubt he knows much himself," Giles responded, focusing on some point down the hall. Just then a Doctor walked out of the ER and made his way over to Giles and Kennedy.
"Mr. Giles I presume," the Doctor stated more than asked.
"Yes, how is she?" Giles responded.
"Your daughter's spinal cord is swollen but I don't think there will be any permanent damage, we'll know more once the swelling goes down, we did an MRI and apart from a really bad concussion there doesn't seem to be any lasting damage, she's lucky to be alive," the doctor said, wonder tingeing his voice.
"Is she conscious?"
"Not as of yet Mr. Giles. Why don't you go get yourself a coffee and when you come back we can let you see her."
Giles and Kennedy nodded at the doctor and thanked him for his help. Kennedy looked up at Giles, "Coffee?"
"Doesn't he realize you're English?"
Giles laughed at the young slayer while they ventured out to find a coffee machine.
Buffy woke to find herself alone in the bed. Upon the realization that Jade's death wasn't a nightmare she began to sob, pulling Jade's pillow to her chest she could smell her lover on the pillow, the scent of citrus and honey filled her senses. She wanted to die, wanted to join Jade wherever she was, she felt as though she had failed Jade, she should never have left her alone to get taken.
Downstairs the gang had fallen asleep in the living area, and Angel decided that he and Illeryia should leave and allow them their rest. After leaving a note for them, telling them to call as soon as they woke, he and Illeryia left to make their way back to Angel's place.
Jade was still in the old cinema, staring into space. Still unsure of what had happened her first thoughts were to run to Buffy, but what if this was a trick? What if the first could still control her? She needed answers before she could ever consider going near Buffy again. Reluctantly she made her way out of the cinema, going towards the only person that could help her, Angel.
Jade figured it was around 6am, the air was crisp and the city of LA still buzzed despite the late or early hour. She wasn't sure how long it would take her to find Angel's place, she had only stopped outside his building once in a car and even then they came at it from a completely different direction. Still on account of her being alive and all she figured she didn't have to worry about turning to dust when the sun came up.
The gang seemed to wake from their nap simultaneously; Willow was first to speak when she asked the time. Xander looked at his watch; it was a little after 6am.
Dawn sat up; "I'm going to go check on Buffy."
"Um, Dawny, don't take this the wrong way but I think it would be better if I go, I've got a better idea of what's she going through now and I think she'll need that," Willow said haltingly, remembering her own pain after Tara's death.
Dawn looked at Willow feeling a little annoyed, and then she understood. "Sure, your right, just let her know I'm here for her ok?" she added, leaning back in the chiar she had been sleeping in.
Willow nodded as she made her way upstairs towards Buffy's room. Willow knocked and entered and found Buffy sobbing into a pillow, "Buffy? It's Willow, can I do something, get you something?"
Buffy looked up from Jade's tear stained pillow with puffy red eyes. "Can you make me forget?" she pleaded with her friend.
"Is that what you really want Buffy?"
"No, but if I forgot her it wouldn't hurt anymore," Buffy answered, choking slightly on her sobs.
"Buffy it won't be like this forever, it'll always hurt, but you'll be able to look back and smile, she loved you Buffy, she gave her life for you," Willow said softly.
Buffy smiled at her friend, she believed every word she said. After all, who knew more about this than Willow?
Jade eventually found Angel's office after asking a few people for directions. Jade made her way through the front door and climbed the stairs that led to Angel's office. She walked in to find Illeryia sitting behind a desk, an image she certainly didn't expect.
"You're not dead?" Illeryia asked her quizzically.
"Apparently not, is Angel around? I kinda need his help with the whole being alive thing," Jade said awkwardly.
"Angel is resting, are you still evil?" Illeryia asked her, looking like some sort of demented secretary.
"I don't think so, I hope not, not that I ever was thank you. Can you go get him for me? This is kind of important," Jade said, her patience running thin.
"I will oblige, but only because I too am curious about your return."
Jade watched as Illeryia left to get Angel. Suddenly she felt pain in her stomach and it started to make strange noises. Hah, hunger, I'd almost forgotten, I could really do with some Haggis and Tatties right now, Jade thought to herself. She turned to see Angel emerge from the lift followed by Illeryia, she didn't like the look in his eyes and backed away from him.
"You're alive?" he asked, not trusting her.
"Yup, got a heartbeat and everything and by everything I mean major hunger pangs," she answered, attempting to joke.
"So what do you need me for?"
"I need to know if this is for real Angel. I don't want to go rushing over to Buffy without knowing for sure that I won't try and kill her again," Jade answered honestly.
"Or Faith for that matter," Angel snapped.
"Oh my god, Faith, I forgot, is she, did I?" Jade stammered, tears stinging her eyes.
"She's in the hospital, Giles called before, she's still unconscious but the overall prognosis is good," Angel replied coldly.
Jade let out a sigh, "thank god, so are you going to help me or not Angel?"
"Sure, as long as you promise to stay away from Buffy until we are sure that your safe," Angel said forcefully.
Chapter Twenty Nine
Angel had made Jade an omelet, it wasn't haggis and tatties but it would do. "Better?" Angel asked.
"Yeah, much, thank you, I'll pay you back, seems whoever brought me back neglected to materialize any money in my pockets," Jade said with a smile.
"Don't worry about it, I'm going to head out, I have someone that's connected with the powers that be, if this alive thing is the real deal, they'll know about it," Angel said.
Jade nodded her mouth too full of food to speak. As Angel left he turned to Illeryia who was standing in the doorway, "do not let her leave. Understood?"
Illeryia nodded and continued watching Jade's every move. Angel got in his car and made his way over to the bookstore where Marc worked. He was an empath demon, sort of like Lorne but less green and thankfully he didn't need you to sing for him. Marc looked up from the book he was reading, surprised to see Angel walking through his doors.
"Angel, you're still dead," he said by way of greeting.
"Yeah Marc, no cure for that I'm afraid," Angel said with a smile.
"No I mean, I heard that the Shanshu prophecy had been fulfilled. Spike's not around anymore, so I figured it to be you," Marc explained.
"Not me Marc, Jade."
"Jade? Who the hell is Jade?"
Angel sat down and explained everything to Marc. "So it's for real then?" he asked as he finished the story.
"Looks like Angel; you want further clarification I can send you to the other realm, have you speak with the seer."
"I think so, I need to know for definite and no offence, you've been wrong before," Angel said.
"Come on Angel, how was I to know Cordelia had gone evil?" Marc motioned for Angel to follow him into the back of the shop where he would open the portal to the other realm. "Don't forget Angel, go in ask your questions, get your answers and leave, the seer doesn't care much for company."
"I'll do my best, but if she invites me to stay for tea...."
Marc took down a bottle of blue sand from the shelf and started to chant in Latin while pouring the sand around in a circle "concedo ostium ut Taliesins domus." With the last word spoken a bright blue pool of water appeared in the circle, "There you go Angel, hope you can swim." Angel jumped into the pool of water and landed in a lake.
"Why do you come here vampire?" the seer asked.
"I have questions."
"I have no time for your questions."
"I need to know about the Shanshu prophecy, has it been fulfilled?"
"The prophecy has indeed been fulfilled, what was meant for you has now given life to another," the seer replied.
"Why her? Why not me? I've saved the world, time and time again. She does it once and she gets to live, how is that fair?"
"You merely helped to save the world vampire, you could not have done so without the help of others, she did it alone, she gave her immortal life, her soul, to save the world, only she could do what had to be done, that is why she has been given life."
"So it's real?"
"It is real, bother me no longer vampire!"
Angel felt himself shooting upwards at great speed, he landed on Marc's floor with a thud.
"So, you get the answers you were looking for?" Marc asked.
"Yes, and no, thanks Marc, I have to go," Angel said as he quickly left.
Angel arrived back in his apartment to find his kitchen table had been reduced to kindling and Jade and Illeryia were sitting around it looking guilty.
"What the hell happened here?" Angel asked anger clear in his voice.
"Jade taught me to play snap," Illeryia told him waving playing cards in his direction.
"Sorry Angel," Jade said with a shrug.
"Forget about it Jade, it's not important."
"So did you find anything out, am I real?" Angel nodded while Jade leapt to her feet doing a very uncoordinated happy dance while singing at the same time, "I'm alive, I'm alive, I'm alive."
It took Angel all his strength to control his rage. That prophesy was mine, ok, so I signed it away when I joined the black thorn but that didn't mean anything, she has my girl and now my life, he thought angrily.
"Sorry Angel, it's just, wow, I never did this for a reward, I didn't even do it to save the world. I did it to save Buffy," Jade told him honestly.
Angel felt his anger subside, he might not like Jade but she loved Buffy that much they had in common, "So I guess you'll need a ride over to Buffy's then?"
"Not yet, I want to go to the hospital first, I need to see Faith!"
Angel and Jade pulled up outside the emergency entrance to the hospital, as Jade was about to get out of he car she turned to Angel, "You're not coming in?"
"No, it's a bit too bright out there for me."
"Oh, right, I forgot, listen Angel, I know you don't exactly like me all that much, but I am grateful for your help and please believe me, Buffy will be safe with me, I'd never hurt her."
"I know Jade; I'd kill you just for thinking about it," he said seriously.
Jade smiled at Angel as she got out of the car, she knew he would kill her if she hurt Buffy, human or not. She made her way to the front desk where she saw Kennedy sitting alone in a chair. Kennedy looked up and saw someone that looked eerily similar to Jade coming towards her.
"What you don't even have a hug for the person that killed herself to save the world?" Jade joked.
"Jade, what, how," Kennedy stammered as she hugged Jade.
Jade sat down and told Kennedy everything. "So you see, killing yourself happens to not be such a bad idea when you can save the world. Where's everyone else?"
"Giles has gone to pick up something to eat, have you to been back to David's yet?" Kennedy asked, still not believing her eyes.
"No, I wanted to check on Faith first, I nearly killed her after all."
"Come on Jade, that wasn't you, Faith knows that too."
"Is she going to be ok?"
"Yeah, she going to be unconscious for a bit but they say she should wake up soon."
Giles appeared from around the corner and upon seeing Jade looking very much alive dropped the sandwiches he had gotten for himself and Kennedy, "how?"
"Shanshu something or other, a reward for saving the world, so much better than a cookie!" Jade said, her excitement bubbling over.
"Of course, the vampire with a soul shall be rewarded for their good deeds by being made human once again," Giles stated quietly. "Have you seen Buffy yet?"
"Nope, wanted to check in on Faith first."
Just then a doctor came from Faith's room, "Mr. Giles, your daughter is awake if you'd like to see her now."
"Of course, thank you doctor."
Jade looked at Giles wonderingly, "your daughter, did I miss something?"
"What, oh, I had to tell a little white lie to get some information from those tight-lipped buggers," Giles answered.
Faith looked up from her bed to see Giles and Kennedy walking into her room smiling, "guess we won then huh?" Faith asked.
"Oh we did better than that, check it out," Kennedy said while stepping aside to allow Jade into the room.
"Jade, is it really you, how?" asked Faith leaping from her bed like nothing was wrong with her.
"Yep, it's me, in the flesh, the very alive flesh. I'll explain later," Jade said, smiling widely. Faith captured Jade in a hug that was a little over zealous. "Faith, Faith; you're kinda crushing me."
Faith released Jade and backed away. "Sorry J, just glad to be hugging you is all," Faith replied somewhat sheepishly.
Jade smiled. "Glad to be hugged."
Giles placed his hand on Jade's shoulder, "perhaps now would be a good time to go and see Buffy, you can let the others know that Faith is well and that we should be returning soon."
Jade nodded and hugged Faith once more before leaving the hospital. Jade could feel the sun warming her face as she waited on a cab, thanking God that Angel had given her some more money. She wanted to get to Buffy as soon as she could but she had no idea how she was going to replay him for helping her. I'll find a way, she thought as a cab pulled up along side her. She remembered the address of David's place and relayed it to the cab driver telling him to make it snappy.
Willow still sat in the room with Buffy, not talking, just holding her friend while she sobbed for the woman she loved. She felt totally powerless, which considering the amount of power she possessed was ridiculous. She could take Buffy's pain away if she wanted to but she knew from experience that Buffy had to work through this in her own time. She remembered the time she tried to take her pain away after Oz left. That didn't go so well.
Dawn, Xander and the un-injured slayers tended to the wounded in silence, still shocked at everything that had happened in the last few hours. The silence was broken by a loud knock at the door. Xander and Dawn looked at each other, confusion plain on their features as they made their way to the door. They stood there speechless as they opened the door to meet eye to eye with Jade, alive and in broad daylight. They instantly backed away.
"It's ok guys, I'm not evil, the powers that be gave me a second chance, you know cause of the killing myself and all, Buffy here?" Jade asked as if it were just another normal day.
Both Xander and Dawn were still unable to speak but Xander managed to point in the direction of the stairs. Jade bounded up the stairs and stopped half way turning to the still shocked faces of Xander and Dawn, "Giles said to tell you guys that Faith's ok and should be home soon."
She then turned and hurriedly made her way to Buffy's room. She stopped outside the door when she heard voices, broken only by sobs. Buffy was crying and she was crying for her. Jade knocked on the door and waited for an answer. Willow looked up in annoyance at the sound before making her way over to open it. She froze when she saw Jade standing there with her trademark goofy smile.
"Is she here?" Jade asked quietly, unnecessarily.
Willow stepped to one side to reveal Buffy lying on the bed, still hugging Jade's pillow. Willow left the room to give Buffy and Jade some time alone. Buffy had her head buried in Jade's pillow and hadn't noticed Willow's departure or Jade's arrival.
"How about you give me a hug instead, I think you'll find I'm much more responsive than that pillow," Jade said quietly, smiling.
Buffy looked up to see Jade standing before her and thought at first she was seeing a ghost. Emotions washed over her, happiness, fear, down right excitement. How was this possible? She had watched Jade turn to dust with her own eyes. Buffy decided she didn't care about the whys and the hows as she leapt from the bed and threw herself into Jade's arms. As Buffy wrapped her arms around Jade and pressed her body to hers she could feel the thumping of Jade's heart against her own. She looked up at Jade with tears of joy falling from her eyes.
"How?" the slayer managed through ragged breaths.
"Shanshu prophesy or something, or so Angel said. He checked with some guy he knew, you know to check that it was for real before I came here."
"You're really here. God I love you so much," Buffy told her lover as she pressed her lips to Jade's.
"I love you too Buffy," was Jades muffed reply.
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