Test That Theory

SETTINGS: Season Six: Villians/Grave.  Things go a little differently.  Dark-fic (or an attempt at a dark-fic…)

RATING: R just in case…who knows.  I suck at rating stuff.



NOTES: An attempt at a dark-fic.  Non-shippy.  Buffy-centric (coming from me are we all that surprised?  No…).  I'm messing with the timelines a bit so that Giles comes into the store before Xander, Dawn and the Duo leaves.  Cool?  Cool.

PAIRING: Hints of B/G, but no 'ship really.

WARNING: Cop-out ending!  *grins*



Buffy couldn't believe it had come to this.  She'd seen her best friend flay someone alive only an hour and a half ago.  Willow, shy, stuttery, witchy-Willow who's first words to Buffy had been a question as to why the blonde Slayer would even want to be friends with someone as ordinary and geeky as Willow.  This was the same girl who was standing in front of Buffy.  Black hair, veins showing on her face, her eyes black as well and oozing with darkness.  This was the Willow who's mom had picked out her clothing only six years earlier.  Who had been too afraid to make the first move with Oz, afraid that she'd be classified as a slut if she kissed him first.  This was the girl that had been too afraid to speak to anyone for fear of rejection.

And this was the girl that Buffy was now fighting.

"I don't want to hurt you."

That was the truth.  Buffy really didn't want to fight Willow.  She also really hadn't wanted to kill Angel, but in the end, she had done it.  And Buffy knew that in the end, she would fight Willow if she was forced into it.  The sudden right-hook from Willow that sent Buffy flying backwards into the magazine rack three feet behind her solidified the fact that she was about to be forced into a fight with the first true friend Buffy had ever had.

"Not a problem," Willow replied calmly, taking in the slumped figure of the Slayer.

Buffy got to her feet quickly and strode towards the black-haired girl.

"Said I didn't want to," Buffy said coolly.  She breathed in sharply and backhanded her best friend, sending her crashing into a shelf, glass and magical trinkets flying and shattering everywhere.  "Didn't say I wouldn't."

Xander, Dawn, Andrew and Jonathan edged away from the battle that was about to take place.  Xander was astounded by what was happening.  He couldn't believe that Tara was dead, that his best friend was now juiced up on black magic and trying to kill his other best friend.  It seemed so surreal, and coming from someone who knew what went on around Sunnydale, that was saying a lot. 

"Oh god," Dawn whispered, shuffling backwards to hide behind Xander as she saw Buffy and Willow stand acing each other in the centre of the Magic Box.

Anya stood hidden by a pillar beside the counter, chanting in Babylonian to ensure that Willow's magic couldn't harm anyone within the store.  It was an effective barrier that Willow couldn't break through, and it was helping Buffy to keep Willow at bay.  The vengeance demon could only hope that the Slayer would be able to keep Willow at bay for long enough.  Willow's magics were dark, Anya knew that much, but she also knew that the magics that Willow was channelling weren't going to hold for much longer.  Anya would bet money on Willow not being able to last much more than another few minutes, judging by the amount of magic she'd used only moments ago.

Andrew and Jonathan stood behind Xander, edging towards the door behind them, each of them holding swords that had been on display in the Magic Box.  They knew they wouldn't be able to fight with any amount of finesse, but they felt slightly safer with them in their hands.

"Are we really gonna do this?" Buffy asked quietly, emotion showing clearly in her voice.  Xander couldn't take his eyes off the two girls and prayed that Buffy would be able to talk some sense into Willow.  He just hoped that there was still an ounce of humanity left in his now black-eyed black-haired friend.

"Come on, this is a big deal for me," Willow said gleefully.  "Six years as a side man, and now I get to be the Slayer."

"A killer isn't a Slayer.  Being a Slayer means something you couldn't even conceive," Buffy replied.

"Oh Buffy…you really need to have every square inch of your ass kicked."

"Then show me what you got," Buffy challenged.  "And I'll show you what a Slayer really is."

The fight began, the two girls using every ounce of their strength to try and bring the other to their knees.  Xander and Dawn watched in disbelief as the two girls battled against each other instead of side-by-side.  Dawn had tears in her eyes and was flinching with every punch that was thrown.  Xander didn't want to watch, but he couldn't take his eyes away from the fight.

It was at that moment that the fight broke out that Andrew and Jonathan used the distraction to their advantage.  They raced through the door and into the downstairs storage room, thankful that Warren had made them familiarise themselves with the layout of the store.  There was an exit to the Sunnydale tunnels that Spike frequented and they ran as fast as they could to get away from the Magic Box.

Back in the store, no holds were being barred.  It was strength against strength and Xander and Dawn could only watch in terror as the Slayer began losing ground.  Buffy was flung through the glass of the counter, and Dawn went to rush to her aid.  Xander held her arm knowing that if Dawn was caught in the violence of the fray, she wouldn't survive.  As much as it pained him, he knew that he wouldn't be able to help in this fight.

Buffy was quick to get back on her feet, more kicks and punches being exchanged between the two girls.  Buffy had to admit that fighting Glory had been easier than this, though Buffy wasn't sure if it was because f the emotional attachments that Buffy had for Willow that was making it more difficult.  On the strength side of the fight, Buffy was fairly certain that Glory had been stronger. 

Buffy caught Willow's arm before it could fling the Slayer across the room.

"I can help you stop," Buffy said, trying desperately to get her friend to listen to reason.

Willow broke the hold easily and punched the Slayer with ease, sending Buffy tumbling backwards.  Buffy regrouped and caught her breath and stared at her best friend, her mind still not able to process what was happening. 

"I thought you were going to show me what a Slayer was," Willow taunted.

Buffy glared and was back in the fight, hitting, kicking, punching and dodging.  Buffy grabbed willow by the back of her shirt and flung her across the room, wincing when Willow crashed heavily on the table on the upper landing, just next to where Anya was still chanting.  Willow looked up at the vengeance demon with interest.

"Well, hey isn't this interesting.  Anya's still here," Willow said calmly, standing up and heading towards a scared but defiant Anya.

Buffy was quick to jump between them, kicking Willow back down to the main level of the Magic Box.  Anya took the opportunity to duck behind the counter to where Xander and Dawn were still huddled together.  She moved towards the door that Andrew and Jonathan had disappeared out of, ready to leave at any second if she felt she had to.  Xander stood in front of the girl he still loved protectively as Anya continued to chant.

Buffy moved back down the stairs and positioned herself between the Scoobies and Willow, attacking as their guardian.  Willow stood, glancing back and forth between Anya and Buffy. 

"Buff, I gotta tell ya.  I get it now," Willow began conversationally, slowly walking towards the Slayer who tensed, ready for the next onslaught of violence.  "The Slayer thing really isn't about the violence."  She clenched her hand into a fist and struck Buffy quickly, the force of the blow sending her flying into the railing of the balcony above them and crashing down again.

Dawn and Xander cried out simultaneously.  "Buffy!"  They went to rush to her aid, but Anya grabbed hold of them both, forgetting to continue the chanting.  Xander and Dawn looked at the vengeance demon to see why she had stopped them.  They saw that Anya was conflicted, worried that they would be hurt if they stepped into battle.  It wasn't that Anya wanted Bufy dead, it was that Anya didn't want Dawn or Xander to be hurt in a battle they had no hope of winning.

"It's about the power."

Buffy coughed and spat out a mouthful of blood.  She'd felt several of her ribs crack when she'd landed, and the fact that she was having trouble breathing only added credence to the worried thought that she may well have just punctured a lung as well.  She tried to struggle to her feet, but her arms wouldn't hold her up.  She stayed still for a moment, closing her eyes to focus her energies and push past the physical pain.  This wasn't the first serious injury she'd had whilst fighting, and she didn't want it to be the last.

Willow stepped forward and delivered a stunning kick to the Slayer's face, Buffy groaning and fell onto her back in pain.  Willow smiled evilly and put a booted foot to Buffy's chest to keep her in place, the force of it crushing against Buffy's broken ribs, making the entire thing incredibly painful for the girl.

"And there's no one in the world with the power to stop me now."

Willow went to lift her foot in order to bring it down and completely crush the Slayer's lungs when she was struck by a flash or green light that threw her against the wall.  She turned and looked to where the light had come from and her eyes widened in shock.

Rupert Giles stood on the raised platform of the Magic Box, his green eyes cold and accusing as they took in the scene before him.

"I'd like to test that theory."