DISCLAIMER: Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel the syndicated series and all other characters who have appeared in both shows are the sole property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy & UPN. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices. All song lyrics are used without permission and for my own amusement. There is no intention to profit from them in this work or to defraud the composers and publishers.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: All works remain the © copyright of the original author. These may not be republished without the author's consent.
Thanks for all their help must go to three wonderfully talented women who I am honoured to consider friends: Michele, whose magical work "Complement" turns all who read it into abject Fuffy 'shippers and inspired me to write. Carola, who writes so many things so well, gave me great advice and then was kind enough to tell me this wasn't all bad and insisted I write some more. And finally Amanda who was the first to read this and say she liked it, and whose wonderful "Back to the Beginning" made me so mad I had to write to her and tell her so. It's funny how friendships start.
SPOILERS: Series 3 and 4, (What do you mean you haven't seen them yet?)
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Would She Make of Me
Part 2 She's the One.
With her killer graces and her secret places that no boy can fill/
With her hand on her hip, oh and that smile on her lips because she knows that it kills me/
With her soft French cream standing in that doorway like a dream, I wish she'd just leave me alone/
'Cause French cream won't soften them boots, and French kisses will not break that heart of stone/
With her long hair falling and her eyes that shine like the midnight sun, oh, oh she's the one.
A surprising side affect of Buffy's extra reading time at the hospital was an unexpectedly high GPA across all her subjects after the first months assignments and tests. Strangely, Psychology was her best result where Prof Walsh still intimidated her, Willow continued to nag her about leaving Faith to the Council while helping her cram and Riley Finn the TA still seemed to be hitting on her. Her marks were so good that Prof. Walsh had called her up after class and complimented her on doing as well as she had.
Willow also commented on it after class. "This is good. I mean, this is excellent! You did better than me. This is so unfair! You made me jealous of you academically, Buffy!"
Buffy was still bubbling, "And she wants me to lead a discussion group next class. That means more work, right? Shouldn't she have a better reward system? You know, like a cookie, or a toy surprise like at the dentist?"
"She wants you to lead a discussion group? Okay, jealous again. Jealous, jealous... okay, I'm back."
Buffy's euphoria lasted until she got to Faith's room later that afternoon and found 4 more Council operatives trying to drag Faith out of bed, tubes, leads and all.
Sebastian Gray's team was the best the Council had. All were ex-military, had been trained by the best and hardened by frequent combat against both Human and demonic enemies of the Council. They had never failed to meet an objective, but sadly for them they had also never met a very angry Buffy Summers. As they all turned to look at the other rogue in the doorway, and saw the rage in her eyes, Sebastian began to have doubts. Before his team had cleared their weapons, the rogue was amongst them, moving impossibly fast. Before Sebastian had blinked the rest of his team were lying unconscious and bleeding on the ground. The rogue they had come for was still lying limply across her bed and the livid face of Buffy Summers was in front of him talking very quietly, the wooden stake in her fist pressed against his chest.
Each word was punctuated with a dig of that stake into his sternum. "Don't you people learn? I'm not going to let you hurt Faith. Didn't what happened to C, C, Christopher convince you I was serious? I won't kill you, 'cos I refuse to sink to your level, but I think I need to set another example and you are going to be it. You don't really need two arms do you," she asked pleasantly as she put her stake away, grabbed his left arm and inexorably, despite his now terrified struggles, began to pull it away from his shoulder.
As Sebastian felt his arm start separate from it's socket and his bowels for the first and only time in his life let go in fear, to his great good fortune the door opened and a security guard entered. "Routine check, what the fuck "
Buffy smoothly pulled Sebastian's left arm into a hammerlock before the guard got a good look at what she had been doing, and pushed the off-balance Sebastian towards him. "These men came in through the window, Officer. Luckily they seem to have fallen over each other getting in."
The Guard took in the small, unruffled blonde woman in front of him, the three broken, unconscious men and their guns on the floor and the stinking, trembling man in his arms and decided to let it lie. Meanwhile the man he was holding continued to look silently at the blonde with equal parts terror and loathing.
While the security guard called for backup to help carry the damaged Council agents away, Buffy quickly moved to Faith and ensured that all her tubes and cables were still in place. As she carefully pulled Faith's gown down from where it had been ruched up she paled as she saw the ugly pink scar just above and to the right of Faith's navel, the scar she had put there. Checking the catheter was also very disturbing, she had never been so intimately close to another woman before, let alone touched one, but she put the feelings to one side and got her charge back properly under her covers.
Seeing Buffy dealing so gently with Faith and then sitting and taking her hand, the rent-a-cop just knew she couldn't have had anything to do with the mayhem. Someone had done something and left, probably out the open window, and he was convinced the little blonde was protecting them for some reason.
"Will you be OK Miss Summers? I can stay up here if you want?"
Buffy gave him a limpid gaze, Thank you officer, but I think we'll be OK now. Won't we asshole?" she snapped at a still cowering Sebastian."
The guard still didn't know why this character was so scared he'd shit himself, but he didn't care. He was starting to stink up the room. As the back up and a nurse arrived, he said, "Thank you Miss Summers, I'll take this away now and leave you to it" and hustled Sebastian roughly out through the door.
As soon as the guards and nurse had done their work and left, Buffy stood and started pacing the room. "What are you doing to me Faith?" she asked the comatose girl with a rueful grin, "I turned into you back there. Or maybe," she whispered as her grin faded, and she returned to her seat and Faith's hand, "It's just the real me."
Feeling suddenly weary, she leaned back in the chair and starting stroking the limp fingers she held. "Where are you Fai'? I wish I could talk to you and tell you how sorry I am, how I've changed, what I've learned. You learned it faster though didn't you? You always did say you were smarter than me. You'd understand what happened to me that night, when I gave you that, that scar, when I did what I did to you." Tears fell on Faith's hand. "When did it happen for you Faith? Did you make the same mistake I did?"
Still holding Faith's unresisting hand, Buffy leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes and let her mind float. Fatigue caught up with her then and she fell asleep and dreamed. As she slept the EEG suddenly beeped and a small spike showed on the output screen.
As she lay alongside the sleeping Slayer, the darkness in Faith's head cleared and she found herself in Buffy's bedroom helping Buffy make the bed. As she looked down she saw fresh blood on the clean white sheets and a knife buried in her gut. Strangely she felt no pain and the blood didn't seem to be coming from her. It was welling from Buffy's stomach and dripping onto the bed. She saw Buffy straighten up and walk around to her, as Faith flinched back, Buffy grabbed the knife and pulled it from her body. Faith looked on astonished as her nemesis plunged the knife into her own stomach, right on the point where the blood stained her shirt.
Buffy looked at her then, and spoke around the obvious pain "My Blood to yours, My Blood for yours, remember it's always about blood." Then the darkness reclaimed her.
Buffy woke, panting and disoriented. She turned quickly to Faith, but there seemed to be no change on the monitors and she hadn't moved at all. Buffy knew that she had been in the Slayer Dream with Faith, just like last time, but had Faith really been there? The dream was fairly easy to interpret, but it raised questions Buffy really didn't have any answers to. She wasn't going to ask Giles for any either. This was between her and Faith only and just thinking that both scared and excited her.
She looked at her watch and realised that visiting hours were almost over. Releasing the hand she had held all this while, she noticed her fingers had left red marks on the pale skin due to the too-tight grip she had used during the dream. She looked again at Faith. "'Bye girlfriend, gotta fly. Demons to kill, towns to save, yanno? See ya tomorrow, so don't go anywhere and you be nice to the doctors." Then for the first time and not knowing why, Buffy felt compelled to bend her head down to Faith's and gently kiss her forehead in farewell.
As she lifted herself up from Faith to pick up her shoulder bag, still feeling the touch of Faith's skin on her lips, Buffy missed the smallest upward twitch of Faith's mouth and the accompanying beep from the EEG monitor.
Buffy dreamed the same dream again later that night after studying into the small hours for Prof. Walsh's discussion group. This time though, the dream morphed from her bedroom to a picnic where Richard Wilkins lay helplessly on the ground while Faith and Buffy together buried the knife in his chest, his blood drenching both women. Clasping their blood covered hands over the Mayors body, this time the two Slayers spoke together, "Blood binds us and makes us one."
Again only one of them woke, but the other caused the EEG attached to her to react enough that a nurse was sent to investigate. She found the young woman physically unchanged. She too had missed the slight upturn of Faith's mouth at the end of the dream.
Buffy awoke relatively late the next morning knowing she had to get to the hospital as early as she could. She didn't know how she knew, but suspected the dreams might have had something to do with it.
Too anxious about Faith to be nervous about the mid-morning class, Buffy drove the discussion group like a drill sergeant, or, as Willow complained later, like a particularly nasty Slayer. Even Maggie Walsh was impressed, wondering aloud at the end if she had created a monster. Buffy surprised her even further by replying quietly, "No Professor, you just let it get a bit further out of its cage."
As Buffy left the hall Professor Walsh called Riley Finn over. "What do you know about Buffy Summers? And I'm not talking about your adolescent attempts to pick her up."
"Not a lot," replied Riley, not at all offended by his boss's normal bluntness. "Apart from the fact that she seems to have no interest in guys in general and me in particular. She blew off Parker Abrams too. She could even be gay." He added a tad bitterly.
Even Maggie looked surprised at that. She was well aware of that gentleman's success with women. "Well find out. Discreetly, Riley. I like her and she intrigues me. There's something about her, an energy that's different. She may be of interest to us."
"You don't think she's ?"
"Oh no. The passive detection systems would have picked her up the moment she walked into the hall. But there's something about her. We may want to think about trying to recruit her if she maintains this current level of performance."
Riley looked dubious. "Well she's obviously smart enough and she's got command presence in spades when she lets herself go, but she's too small and fragile to fight. I'd be worried about stepping on her. Never mind that she's just so ."
"Pretty? Never mind that for now," replied Maggie impatiently, "just find out something about her. What she does between classes, outside interests, friends. I'll check her school transcripts, there might be something in there. Whatever, I want a full profile on her in 24 hours, and a sit/rep meeting in my office at 1800. Well, what are you waiting for? A signed order? Get moving Agent Finn. Use some of your team if you need legwork done."
Riley snapped off a parade ground salute, "Yes ma'am," and quickly left the lecture theatre, a plan to kill two birds with one stone already forming in his mind.
Meanwhile the target of that plan was busy trying to convince her best friend to cover for her for the rest of the days classes.
"Wills I have to get to the hospital now!" Buffy begged desperately. "Something's happening there with Faith, I'm not sure what. Please, you gotta cover for me."
"She's not waking ?"
"I don't know Will. I only know I need to be there now!"
"Well" muttered Willow grudgingly. "I suppose that if she is waking up you should be there to put her back to sleep again."
Seeing the look on her friend's face, the redhead relented a bit. "Ok, Ok I said I'd do it. Get going then. You don't want to miss the fun."
But Buffy was already gone, her books left at Willow's feet. "'Bye to you too, sweetie," grumbled Willow. "I do hope you know what you're doing, but I totally don't think so."
"Talking to yourself is the first sign of madness you know. Did Buffy take off because of my deodorant?"
Willow screamed and jumped in surprise at the unexpected comment, dropping her books all around her. She whirled to see Riley Finn standing a bit shamefaced behind her. Gathering herself again, she scolded him, "Sneaking up on people like that, you nearly gave me a heart attack. Assuming for a minute that I would want to talk to a sneaky scary strange person, what do you want?"
"Sorry. Look I really am sorry because I need your help. It's about Buffy. You're her best friend, right?"
"Well you know, I guess I like her. And see, I don't know that much about Buffy. But I'm interested in what she likes and does, getting closer to her. And so far, well, the only thing that I know she likes is you. Um your not um together, like together ...?"
Willow looked blankly at him and then her face turned the same colour as her hair. "No! No! We are not. I have a boyfriend and everything. No, No nothing with Buffy. Nothing, zero, nada. Uh, uh. I don't even like K D Laing." Realising she was babbling she shut up. Then she asked quickly, "Why? What made you think that?"
"Well its just she's blown every guy off who's shown any interest, including one who has
never ah failed before. She just spends all the time she's here in class or with you and there was that time I ran into you by the Lesbian Support group stand and she did say stuff."
"She was joking, trust me. Now Mr TA," Willow tried to look sceptical, "Why should I trust you?".
Riley tried to look as innocent as he could. "Just sort of hoping you'd think I have an honest face."
Willow suddenly had a thought and co-operation here began to look more attractive. "I've seen honest faces before. They usually come attached to liars. But yours is pretty enough. Alright honest Riley, what do you need to know?"
Riley smiled. "Gotcha" he said silently. He then proceeded to pump Willow for any and all information about her pretty little friend.
Willow, while careful to keep Scoobie business and any mention of Faith out of the conversation, gave up most of everything else. From Buffy hailing from LA, her problems at school, her favourite music, her liking for working out, dancing and skating, to revealing she had just come off a bad break-up with an older man.
The word workout perplexed Riley, because Buffy looked like the least "working out" person he'd ever seen. But he kept quiet. It might be something to check on campus though to see whom she worked with and where.
Riley just took the rest in without comment, even the bit about the boyfriend, until Willow's final words caught his ear.
"She likes cheese."
"Well, I'm not saying it's the key to her heart, but Buffy, she likes cheese."
"OK" replied Riley a bit dubiously. " She likes to eat it? Roll around in it? Throw it at people?"
Willow blushed again. "Now you're teasing me. Eat it of course. Also a good place to get to see her is at the Bronze. You're in with a shot if you can dance with her there."
So what do I do to get that far?"
Willow looked puzzled, "Ask her to dance of course."
"Right, dance. Wait, no."
"What's the matter?"
Riley looked a bit ashamed, "I can't dance."
"Then, talk. Keep eye contact. Funny is good, but don't be glib. And remember, if you hurt her, I will beat you to death with a shovel." She looked thoughtful," dancing would be better than the talking thing though"
Riley smiled at her, "suddenly, I feel like I have a fighting chance now you're my new accomplice."
Willow looked shocked. "I'm not your accomplice!"
"No, no, of course not," smiled the large TA.
"You're not." Riley said with a straight face this time
"We're clear?" demanded Willow
"Crystal ma'am," replied Riley with a small salute.
Later that day on the other side of the campus, Riley Finn's frat brother Forrest had similar success. Having been tasked with finding out what the Summers girl did between classes, he had, based on Riley's hunch, checked the gym bookings. He was surprised to see that she had a standing booking on a fencing salle. He was even more surprised following a conversation with the 2 fencers who had booked the salle after her and seen her train. If their claims were even half true there seemed to be a lot more to Buffy Summers than met the eye. Walking away he couldn't help thinking that Maggie Walsh was going to love this.
Across town and totally unaware of the interest in her, Buffy ran up the driveway of the hospital. Her Slayer senses were giving off such a strong alarm she couldn't think past getting to Faith and making sure she was safe. As she reached the steps her mind flashed onto the dream she had shared with Faith the night before where they were both covered in blood. She stumbled and suddenly tasted that blood and felt an exultant primitive joy. Shaking her head clear of these almost inhuman feelings she pushed through the door and started running again to get to Faith's room.
The cause of all this anxiety lay dreaming in her bed. It was the same dream she had shared with Buffy earlier, but it didn't end the same way. Instead, in an act of gory, feral intimacy she and B licked Wilkens' blood off of each other's hands after killing him. One part of her felt totally revolted by this, but another, deeper part opened its eyes, tasted the blood and smiled in satisfaction. This part recognised the answering predatory smile on B's face as they turned and reached out to each other. Before their hands could touch again, the dream faded, but this time the darkness did not roll back over her. She could still taste the blood, still feel the savage joy and the recognition of the same joy within the other Slayer. She felt alive again as bright colours filled her inner vision and for the first time in over 4 months she opened her eyes.
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