Blame it on Cain

by Strange Bint

Summary: Alternate ending to Season 7 "Buffy," A certain Preacher isn't dead after all. A certain vamp with a soul, a Slayer, and two potentials go to take care of the problem.

Rating: PG-13 – Violence, Language

Story Notes: An older fic that I fixed and re-posted. Winner of 2 Dark Awards: Winner of 1 Feels Like Heaven Hurts Like Hell Award

Disclaimer: Blame it on Cain" by Elvis Costello "My Aim is True" 1979?

All of stuff Caleb was spouting was in quotes from the Bible. Creepy book.

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Blame it on Cain

They were all so pretty. Even the ugly ones had a charm about them that made them pretty. It was all that dirt and pathetic-ness it caked on them like a whore's make-up. Who was it that said women were either supposed to be wives or prostitutes? The man read the good book, and he saw it like it was, in regard to women anyway. He was a good man people followed, but he was misguided and caused rebellion and chaos. Who the hell was that? Caleb's head wasn't too clear, since his God had forsaken him.

But, he knew he was being tested as Jesus was on the cross, and he knew the real Slayer would come back to this dimension, with his God along with her. She was the reluctant savior. The real Jesus. Imagine that a woman, a girl! But, Caleb hadn't wanted to be the real Jesus. Hell, no! The Slayer would be the last sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice. So The First could reign, and Caleb would not be to the right or the left, but dead center. For now he waited. He had been killing them all. They were all possible vessels for the thing The First feared the most. He knew it was way too early, but he was doing good deeds either way.

He also passed the time with his hobbies black jack, Pax TV, bible study, people watching. Now he was watching a couple or a non-couple, as the boy was not smart enough to get trapped. He should read the book more, as he would learn it's best that you don't touch a woman. But, the boy was only human. The girl had her apple, or apples, and her peach, and now she wanted something for leading him astray. Just like all of them. But this one had the gall to announce herself.

"But, it's your baby!" She cried in her overalls. Her hair was in a bun. It was a dirty brown- the color of earth- and to the earth she would return. She had thick glasses. People probably thought she was innocent like the girl that was murdered in the Hitchcock film with the glasses. She wasn't innocent either, all glasses meant was that she couldn't see a damn thing.

"It ain't mine! I never touched you. You would have tasted like someone else's food they spit out," The boy drawled.

The boy was a lot smarter than he looked. He looked like a pirate with a huge bandana on his head. He wore it low so it almost covered his eyes. Was that how those white rap boys wore it now? Thankfully, the boy sounded as Southern as they come. He wasn't saying "yo" or "biatch." Caleb laughed audibly as he sat at the bus stop with them. He had gone back to being a man of simple means. They hadn't noticed his laughing. The girl would notice soon enough.

"Lying sack a' shit!" The girl cried. It seemed like she was laughing for a second. It was all really a big joke with these whores. Crack She had slapped him hard.

"Who do you think you are? Who the fuck do you think you are? Filthy whore! No one wants you! I bet there is no baby!" Crack The good 'ol boy had smacked her back hard, and had shoved her down. They knew how to do things here.

Caleb could still sense things. Most of his power had taken off with The First, but he still got the basics of people. But, things were a little mixed up, like now the same vibes seemed to come off of both of these kids, like they were the same person. But of course, that couldn't be true. Maybe the girl was so evil and empty she just reflected the boy's vibes.

There was rage and hurt. A lot of hurt and anguish. He sensed a warrior in that boy. There was blood all over his hands. Maybe he had killed a few of these girls of his. Good he should turn it into rage, as he was doing. The girl was crying on the ground. She was sad. She was alone. She did love this boy, but knew she couldn't have him. Those had to be her feelings, while the rage and all the strength were to boys. This girl was no warrior. She was a manipulator.

Caleb tried to see if there was a baby. What else did he have to do? What he sensed made no sense. It had to be wrong! So there was no use being frightened. Caleb would kill her extra dead to be sure...or maybe the boy would do it himself.

"No one wants you, Nadine! Your used up, and I know your lyin' about this here, baby!" He yelled with a grin. Did he enjoy being cruel? If he still had the time and the power he'd make the boy into one of his no-eyed chiefs. But, for now he'd have to be happy for the ones he had left. They were loyal boys.

"Please, Ray. I got no where else to go!" She cried but seemed to laugh again. Did she like cruelty? Punishment? Yes, she did. She would not be disappointed.

"Boy!" Caleb yelled and the boy looked up. So much rage. He'd do the deed himself. But Caleb wanted the honors due to what he saw, even though it was probably just paranoia.

"I can't let you hurt this girl, boy! Now, normally I am a peaceful sort of man to other men...Live and let live...Judge not...But, I can't abide by this! You best get gone. I'll take care of her from here," Caleb said firmly.

"You want her! You got her!" He said and threw a large duffle bag down with skulls painted on it. Skulls. He had blood on his hands maybe he had actually cracked a few. Maybe he killed all the women who had seduced him. Trite. You should do it for more pure reasons than that. The bag had made a clanging noise when the boy threw it.

"Thanks," The girl said more flatly then he expected. She was supposed to be making doe eyes at him!

"What do ya have in that bag? Did you steal his Mama's silverware?" He joked.

"It's a back brace," She sighed.

"Oh. Well, I'm sorry to hear that. But, you seem to get around all right," He said. She was silent.

"Well, I guess that saying 'Guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses' isn't true," Caleb smiled. Glasses and a back-brace. The other side could only get a flawed vessel. But, there was no seed planted, not yet. The bitch HAD lied. There was no baby...yet. And now never.

"Men suck," She said fiercely. She did have the rage too. She had to suffer before she went.

"Do I know you?" He asked.

She shook her head shyly now. "No one knows me. I ain't got nobody."

"Aw, Nadine," Caleb sighed. "Don't say that. The lord knows you. You always have the lord...Your name is Nadine, right?"

"I feel alone," She sighed. She acted small and sad but there was a rage. Lying bitch.

"Well, you are not alone, Nadine. Not at all," Caleb said reaching into his pocket.

"You have that child. That bastard no good antichrist 'For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.' ...I can sense it. Sense it in you girl! This is my test! I'll be the one to take it out of the way before it's even born!" Caleb screamed in her pasty face with his knife.

"Oh Dude! You are way more schitzo than I thought," She laughed. Caleb stood open mouthed. This is usually the part where they become afraid of him and beg and cry...But, if this girl was the vessel for the antichrist, HIS antichrist- the opposer of The First maybe she had some power. Well, she would see what power really was. Caleb went to thrust his knife inside the womb. She grabbed his wrist, and he was on his knees. Bones cracking.

"English, it's tea time, Baby!" She yelled taking her glasses off and shaking her hair out with her free hand.

"What?" Caleb demanded. "Where did your accent go?" She put the glasses on Caleb's face and smiled.

"Ain't from here," She said in her Southern Accent. "But, it's a hell of a place to party!" She smiled and spoke in a sultry extremely Non-Southern way.

"Eh, it was better in the forties... a lot more gambling and corruption," An English voice said. A bleached blond man stepped out of the shadows. Caleb knew him. The vampire, the vampire The First knew that they had lost to the other side forever, unlike the other vampire where there was hope.

"Really? Tell me about it," The raspy voiced girl said.

"There was a lot more gambling and corruption. It was fun, until someone tried to steal Dru, again...A big bad Vamp ran the whole place. Made it clear I was to know my place," He sang casually, but there was that misery under there.

"I think I killed that Vamp," She said casually.

"Get out! That couldn't have been too easy," The vampire's eyes lit up. He would be seduced by this woman. Like the Southern boy. Where was the Southern boy? Oh God in Heaven, it had been...

"Spike...the prodigal son. How has your existence on this mud ball been since you've turned...Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. Are ya happy, boy? Everything working out to your liking?" Caleb snickered and kicked the sultry girl. The girl of ultimate deceit. It hadn't hurt her much but it made her let go off his wrist. Bitch! He'd take out that evil womb and show it to her.

"There are a few things I can complain about, but I do all right. My work keeps me busy," Spike sang still. Caleb had just run into the vampire's fist somehow. He missed his high pain threshold most of all.

"E, he just called you a Nimrod!..Are you gonna take that?" The slut laughed. Suddenly Caleb laughed too.

"Cain!...The Slayer's dark half! Gallivanting around like Bathsheba with the real Slayer's man,"

"Okay, I like, understood half of that...What was that, Rev?" She asked as Caleb groaned because she had made him sit up by grabbing his ear.

"He pretty much called you a whore, Nib," Spike sighed.

"And he called you a Nimrod," The dark Slayer sighed. She punched Caleb in the face.

"You've come to beat information out of me. You want to know how to get the real Slayer back?" The Bible-Boy spat. Spike was impressed a broken wrist and now a broken nose, and still Bible Boy was trying to manipulate them. He had almost opened his mouth to the bait, but then quickly shut it. The party was just beginning. Spike would have lots of time to talk on his own terms.

"Sorry to say, I am the real Slayer now....I need your giant dew-rag, English," Faith called to Spike. That was never something he thought anyone would request of him, but here they were. He tossed her the whatever she called it...The thing that covered his head so he could be a hick bastard. Faith had been right it had been fun to toy with Bible Boy. Faith was doing a great job of acting caviler, but she also had a nice little sneer. It made Spike smile. She tied Bible boy's hands behind his back.

"We know B can't come back, so don't even try it," She spat.

"What do you know? Don't you want her back, or does Cain want Able dead?" He laughed.

"SHE'S NOT DEAD!" Faith screamed before Spike could scoff out the same comment. Faith began pummeling the Preacher man. She was hitting him like a punching bag and screaming.

"Nib...Nib...Faith!" Spike went over to her. "Stop," He said firmly and she listened. Breathing hard and fast.

"B's just in another dimension, where she belongs. She is happy with human Angel. Things are easier there" Faith sighed in a happy tone now, as if she was a Hari Chrisna trying to sell Preacher a flower, and that was her mantra.

"Is that what you think?" Preacher said weakly but with a smile.

"How in bloody hell are you still alive, let alone conscious!" Spike demanded. He had made sure he stood back from the Preacher still. The temptation was too great. He and Faith talked about all the things that they would do, but now that it was D day he realized that his job was as always- to help the girl.

"I've got a little sunshine left. I was savin' it for a rainy day," The man smiled. He then jumped up and kicked Faith in the face. The girl went down like he did was Preacher kicked him into the wine barrel.

"Faith!" Spike yelled and ran over to her.

"Don't let him get away!" She spat at him with so much desperation in her voice. It had been no real challenge catching him.

"Was that all you had left?" Spike tisked as he dragged the Preacher back to Faith.

"Your lover could come back," Preacher said. So, yes, that was all the power he had left. Now he was gonna try his oh-so-awe-inspiring preaching.

"Yeah, you'd love that. Buffy being back here would enable your little ghosty friend to come back. Then you wouldn't have such a hard time killing little girls. No one would even notice," Spike hit him. He wanted to see if he could control himself and only do it once. One hit. One bight. One kiss. Yes, somehow William the Bloody had learned self-control. Or his shaky version of it.

"That's right. Your girl that you love is on my side. She enabled The First to come; she is our savior...A pretty little whore Jesus," Preacher man said.

Spike had turned into vampire face. He was going to play the drums on the Preacher's head with his femur bone. Yep. He looked up and saw those round eyes staring at him and that satisfied little girl and was shocked back into human face. Buffy?

"What's wrong, English?" She asked. It was ridiculous, but sometimes Faith looked like Buffy. But, Faith let that grin out more easily. Having a vampire fight at her side was still a novelty for her.

"You're hurt," He said. Her mouth was bleeding, and besides that she looked so tired.

"I'm fine...I was hoping he'd have the balls to say Buffy was on his side. It's like saying the winning hockey team caused all the riots because they weren't supposed to win," Faith spat, and slashed the side of the Preacher's swollen face with his own knife. Spike studied the girl's face to see if the bleeding had stopped. Preacher's power had not been just any power. When he had broke Faith's arm it had taken longer than usual to heal. The preacher's blood spilled out on the grass. He wondered if Faith could see how much there was. It was dark. The preacher laughed.

"I thought you stopped the girl from hitting me because you wanted to do the honors, which you do...But for all the wrong reasons...You don't trust the girl. She isn't your innocent strawberry," He laughed. The preacher seeing was warped, much like Dru's had been.

"Wrong. I trust her. You tend to trust people you go through hell with...Do you trust me, Firecracker?" He asked calmly. That's when he saw the freak. Balls, how many of these did you have to kill?

"Well, I do have the trust issues....Should we do one of those trust fal---" She was saying as he pushed her down. The ax flew over them. It grazed his coat.

"I'm gonna say yeah," She said as she looked behind her.

"Blind mice," He smiled as he threw the ax to her.

"Three of 'em...See how they die," She said as she axed one in the gut. She missed nothing.

"You think Cain here will take the place of your first real love?...The real Slayer will always be your Rachel, and you're gonna let the universe dupe you into taking this illiterate whore as your Leah! Bring the true Slayer back from the other dimension. End your suffering. End the suffering of all the unworthy girls who wanted to be the Slayer. Sire her as you tried to do with The First and only woman who really loved you, and the Slayer will be yours forever," Preacher seemed to have a burst of energy. Now Spike was mad.

"Would you..SHUT THE FUCK UP!" He screamed and kicked Preacher man in the head.

"Who with the what now?" Faith asked as she grunted to bring down the last Bringer. She didn't get it all. Thank God the Yank school systems left so much out.

"I didn't get that something about me not being able to take the place of B...No kidding! I'm just here to do a job Rev...Until I'm offed...Then I'll be a ghost at the Chelsea," She said in that singsong "so there" voice she had. A girl with a plan. He didn't like that plan though. It sounded like she thought it would happen soon.

"Don't do it. You think it would be brilliant, but I suspect there are a lot of theater types there. They get on your bloody nerves," He said lighting a cigarette.

"I dunno. You seem like you were a theater type. You did a good job playing the Southern Eminem...Actually Eminem wanted his kid, I almost lost it when you called me Nadine...Great ad-lib. Stellar job really..," She said.

"Oh, bullocks! You're forgetting why we had to pretend to be so Southern," He grinned.

"Oh yeah!" She laughed. "When I need a laugh I can ask you to try to do a real American accent of the non-inbred variety...Why can you do a Southern one so good and you can't do a normal one for shit?" She asked.

"Actually, I have the answer to that," He said.

"You vile whore! I see it all now! You and this one! We planted a seed in the other vampire, and THEY will plant the seed in the two of you...In you and your filthy whorish womb...The coming of the lawless one!" Preacher man actually sounded scared. Faith and Spike looked over at him on the ground bemused.

"So, yeah...The reason I can do a Southern accent, and not your Bean town one is the Southern accent is actually closer to an English accent...We say a lot of vowels the same," Spike continued.

"Yeah, Huh, Like classy repressed hicks," She nodded.

"We should have killed you first! Disgusting unkempt whore. There is no strength in you! Only sickness," Preacher man screamed

"I'm not repressed," Spike insisted as he kicked Preacher in the gut.

"'He spilled the semen on the ground...And what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord and He slew him!' Spilling your seed in the vilest of places! You WILL be stopped. You will pay for your adultery, William!" Preacher was on a roll in between coughing. This made no sense. A human wouldn't be able to talk after he was kicked in the gut by Spike. Preacher must still have some power to not go down so fast. Good.

"Hey! I have an idea, let's gag the Rev," Faith exclaimed.

"I think we damaged the boy's brain," Spike sighed bending down to gag the Preacher with the bandanna thing they had tied his hands with.

"You just go from under one whore's thumb to another. Your gonna be the servant of Cain now! The one who betrayed your beloved Able!" The preacher spat.

"Okay, you are really running that reference into the ground...We get it...And Spike's not doing my bidding. If it wasn't for him we wouldn't have even have found you," She said.

"Oh...But, you had that whole disguise ourselves to see if he's still killing plan," Spike reminded.

"Ah, that's what I said it was for...But I just wanted to have some fun! We all knew it was him leaving a trail of dead pregnant teenagers straight from Sunny D," She scoffed.

"Still. You're the Slayer. You hold the bullwhip, Pet," He smiled.

"And you're the whipping boy?" Preacher asked pleased with himself.

"No, I'm the whip...and you're the bull," Spike told him and punched him.

"I see it. I see it all...You are the whore that brings it all down betraying the real Slayer. You don't know anything about love or loyalty. The other one was supposed to kill you. You're not supposed to be here! But you are and you will be the whore you were raised to be. You want the fruit you can't taste...I see you Faith- your mother named you so ironically-, and you ARE Cain...You destroyed your Able...I see your real face!"

"Yeah, I'm happy for ya. Shouldn't take that for granted. I have a friend who has a little trouble seeing thanks to you..," She smiled coolly and Spike felt her grab the cigarette out of his mouth. He tried not to think "Good girl," but he did. He could see Buffy frowning on him. The preacher was screaming. You couldn't here the eye ball sizzle.

"I got a bible reference for ya 'An eye for an eye, Motherfucka.'...Of course, I could be paraphrasing...I'm not really versed in the good book. They had bible study in prison, but that was when I would do my girlfriend...So I never went," Faith said over Preacher's screaming. Good Good girl. Spike snickered. He realized he hadn't been laughing much.

They found out the Preacher was human. So what? So, bloody what, Buffy. He hurt you too much. He hurt the boy. He killed sweet little Molly who talked on and on about going back home...and of course all the others. Then there is the obvious: If not for him you would have been able to stay ... with me. Angel and You thought you had the star-crossed ill-fated deal, but all along it was you and I. The preacher will go down hard and screaming.

"'m damaged like your loyal boy now," Preacher said.

"Oh no, no, no!" Faith laughed. Spike could see something too. He could see how Faith was when she was a bad girl. If you could enjoy this sit-in with the preacher at one time maybe you could enjoy it with other people that brassed you off.

I told you! I told you to keep her balanced! She needs you! Buffy was in his head. She is balanced, Love. The only people that are going to brass her off this much are people like the Preacher. They will be few and far between. We are not like you, Baby. We never were.

"We are just starting you mother of shit! How many of my girls did you kill? I want a number,"

"I lost count...They were demon vermin, and you are the queen bee. The real Slayer who enabled The First to come was the only non-Whore among you," He laughed. He was probably in shock. Humans laugh when you think they never would. He was also a cocksucker.

"STOP SAYING THAT ABOUT B!" She screamed. "She did not enable your lame ass shape-shifter to come! Her coming back just upset the balance. It wasn't her fault," She had broken some fingers on him.

"You want me to take over, Love?" Spike asked.

"No, English and I ain't no one's Love...I'm just a girl doing a job...You know? I was in theater. Maybe I COULD be a ghost at the Chelsea," After she said that he took her hand and pulled her up from the Preacher. Talking about plans of one's afterlife was a sign that a break was needed.

"You'd have to die a violent death at the Chelsea; you realize...Hardly any chance of that. Not much going on in New York for the Slayer. Not since there has been much going on at the Chelsea, anyway...What play were you in?" He asked.

"Macbeth...I was in Macbeth in prison," She sighed wiping the sweat off her brow.

"Don't tell me? You were Lady Macbeth?" He grinned. Couldn't help it.

"You will burn in hell for everything you've done. The blood won't wash away. The men whose seed you---" It was Spike that kicked the Preacher knocking him out.

"No, I was Macbeth...'Out out brief candle...Life is but a walking shadow...blah, blah,...a playa is always a playa..and I'm a playa, baby.'...Women's prison, so the less lady like of us got to take the boy roles. It was great!...Giving culture to us psychos," She laughed. He found himself giving her a cigarette, though he had started to disapprove of her smoking.

"Us cultured Psychos are far less boring," He nodded.

"Anything is better than this raving bible shit," She sighed.

"I always KNEW I was evil. It's like, Preacher knows he's evil, but he thinks evil IS good," Spike sighed.

"I knew I was bad too...Ya, know. I thought I wanted to torture this Dude to ask him stuff. But, I really don't want to ask him shit," She sighed.

"What is there left to know?" Spike told her.

"Then what are we doing?" She asked

"Faith!" A girl screamed as she was trying to tackle a Bringer. It was Amanda. She was losing the fight and she was a distance away. God Damn it! Spike than saw Kennedy Axing the Bringer in the back as it was over Amanda. Kennedy and Amanda. If anything ever happened to Faith, it would be between the two of them if the Powers that be had any sense. But, nothing would happen to Faith.

"Did you find him? We thought you found him because all these Bringers jumped out a' nowhere...Like they were tryin' to protect somethin.' I killed one. I got it in the head. Kennedy killed two. She was all like Ungh..Ungh...and I was all: 'whoa!'" Amanda was showing them Kennedy's fighting moves. How could Spike have killed so many so young?

"I told you guys to stay at the hotel!" Faith snapped.

"Well, you're welcome," Kennedy grumbled.

"It's not that I don't know you're awesome. It's just if anything happened to you guys after living through all of that shit...I'd wanna kill myself...and then there would only be Rhona and Colleen left to be the Slayer, and I don't think they could deal," Faith said looking more at Kennedy than at Amanda, because no one could tell Kennedy what to do without an explanation.

Why had they brought them? Oh yeah. Amanda said she wanted to see them kick his ass. They said no of course. But, then she had cried. Kennedy just announced she was coming, and Faith seemed pleased. Spike actually asked the boy along. But, he had shown no interest. He wanted to stay with Red and Dawn. He wanted to go to work. If Preacher had taken one of the girls' eyes Spike knew the boy would be The First to come.

"Nothing is going to---" Kennedy was cutoff by Amanda screaming. It was the Preacher man. He had been coming at them. His face all bloody burnt and swollen. His bloody hands holding an ax. He walked like a zombie. Why wouldn't he stay down?

He still had some bloody power. The First hadn't really given him the power. It just told him how to get it. By killing witches with power -- in a brutal ritualistic type way of course.

He had been a Preacher who had killed a girl or two just to take a walk on the wild side. Ya know, because he couldn't do the ruff and tumble with them. Then he tried it with the wrong girl. A witch. He then started a good old fashioned witch hunt with his congregation. It went very well. Then The First deemed him worthy of revealing how to get all this power from the witches. But, poor man, he was too stupid to really use the magics. He just manifested the power in physical ways. Or so the story goes, thanks to all the Scooby research.

"That's my bloody ax!" Spike growled and pushed him down. It was easy enough. It was like someone from the intensive care unit attacking you.

"Filthy lawless seed," He murmured on the ground.

"Is that a zombie? Why are zombies here? I just wanted to make sure you caught that guy!" Amanda said.

"That IS the guy Amanda," Kennedy said fiercely.

"Is he a zombie now? I-I didn't recognize him...His face is all screwed up," Amanda marveled. It didn't seem right that Slayers were so young.

"Faith and Spike beat the shit out of him. You remember what Xander looked like. A person's face changes when you pound on it good...They didn't pound good enough. Bastard's still moving," Kennedy glared down at him.

"Gee, K! You'd make a great mom!...This is why I wanted you at the hotel!" Faith spat.

"Oh please, Faith! After what this kid's been through...Who are you, Willow? You know she has to know what hand to hand combat is like," Kennedy insisted.

"No, I am not Willow or Buffy! I do things hard when they get hard...But, we don't need to make this kid hard...As bad as the Rev is- he's human. We shoulda just taken him to jail," Faith sighed.

"So he could get out and start murdering witches like my Willow. He wasn't like you Faith. He enjoyed killing and maiming innocent people so he could have absolute power!"

"I enjoyed hurting people, I did...I thought I changed, but I enjoyed hurting him...a lot," She said quietly. Bloody Hell! He should have come here alone.

"Faith, maybe you enjoyed hurting people, but you changed. You always had good in you...You just had pain," Kennedy said. Yeah. That was it.

"That doesn't make it okay! Maybe the Rev has pain," Faith's voice was shaking. Yep, he should have come here alone.

"Faith, I've had this conversation with Willow a million times. You had good still inside you...I'm gonna say the Rev doesn't. And before you say that we aren't the ones to decide. It's your job to kill demons. Some people-very few- are demons. What would Buffy do? Lock the Rev away?...That's great! So he can get another chance when some other thing screws up our dimension! The rev slaughtered innocents WITH a soul and decided to try to end it all as we know it with a soul...Don't you think that if someone telling him they loved him would have stopped him like it did Willow it woulda happened by now? Don't you think if he had wanted to be killed by you because he felt SO bad he would have said something?...The world above can't deal with him. But if they did they would say he declared war on our people. He declared war on the guardians of the human race! Maybe Buffy would have taken her chances for some moral higher ground...But, you're not Buffy. Buffy never had to deal with the disciples of The First- you do! There is no precedence for this. You're the Slayer now, Faith. If I were one of those people that believed things happened for a reason, I'd believe you are the Slayer now for a reason," Kennedy ended with a sigh and then said:

"You can do what you want. He's still alive," Wow! That Drill Sergeant job was not wasted on her. She really got right to the point with the speeches. Not like Buffy. It was either too much prattle, or "kill everything that moves," We merry band of buggered...He missed her so much. If only she were here she'd somehow make everything all right.

"You son of a bitch! You killed Molly! You killed Vi! I fucking hate you!" Amanda was screaming and kicking preacher man in the nuts.

"Get her away from this! I want no arguments, please!" Faith said to Kennedy.

"'Manda. 'Manda...It's all over now, Love. We'll take care of it," He heard himself say as he lifted the girl away from the preacher and set her down next to Kennedy. Amanda was crying. Poor Bit. Kennedy listened to Faith and the girls got small as they walked away.

"What should we do now?" She asked. He wasn't used to being asked questions. He usually insisted his answers be heard anyway.

"I dunno," He shrugged and then laughed. "I feel so awful 'bout 'Manda, but her just nailing him in the balls was kinda funny," They both laughed for a while. A bus seemed to come and sneak up on them. It stopped and opened it's doors.

"Goin' to Baton Rouge, Dharlins?" The bleached blond 60-something driver asked.

"Uh, nope," Faith said.

"Y'all take care then," She said and the Bus that had snuck up on him with his vamp hearing intact, noisily went away. Didn't the driver notice the unconscious beaten bloke at their feet? If he had known people were this oblivious when he was evil...He was glad he hadn't known.

"Faith...Faith.," Preacher man was calling from the ground like a ghost. A cheesy TV ghost.

"What no more 'Cain'? I was growing to like it," She sighed.

"Why can't he just go into a coma?" Spike growled.

"Comas don't really fix anything...Well, sometimes," She shrugged.

"Faith...I know when you first became dirty," He whispered.

"Never got around to gagging him, did I?" Spike asked.

"No, but I want to hear this. It sounds hot!" She laughed.

"Your Mama left you. She had whored her way on to that boat and it went glug, glug," Preacher boy said. Faith's face fell.

"Your Grandma had been a whore too. They said she had that old people disease, but it was probably syphilis...Or she wanted to pretend she forgot about you," He droned.

"And the gag is going on," Spike sang, but she grabbed his arm to stop him. The way you stop someone from going into your burning house because you want to watch it burn.

"Then you met him. Your nice foster Dad. You loved him. But, you didn't love him---" Preacher boy was cut short. Your head being twisted around will stop you from prattling.

"Ah, Why did you do that?" Faith tried so hard to ask him casually. "That's just what he wanted you to do,"

"I'm a people pleaser," He grunted as he picked up the body. It didn't feel at all heavy. It was just a habit. She picked up the bloody fake glasses and the weapons bag.

It's a back brace. She was as quick as a whip. Spike laughed to himself.

She talked of burying the body. But he suggested that they just wieght it and throw it into the river. He was surprised when she took his suggestion. She stood at the edge of the river. He took off his duster and put it around her. Who would have thought Louisiana got breezy?

"Bloody hell! Coat got ripped. If I'd of realized that I'd of killed him right away," He said rubbing the back of it as she wore it.

"I can fix it...I learned sewing stuff in prison," She smiled. It was an embarrassed smile.

"Ya know, plays, weight room, sewing...Prison sounds bloody decent,"

"You're forgetting I had to sit through 'Glitter.'" She laughed. "But I miss it sometimes. It was easy...Hey maybe I'll get caught...and have to go back,"

"Not bloody likely between Red and that bint in L.A.'s hacking skills. They made you into a new woman,"

"I wish...Maybe I'll get caught for this murder and the new me will go down," She said with false cheeriness.

"Sorry, Love. Wasn't you. It was me,"

"No. He was dying from all I did to him. You were the merciful one, shooting the horse," She sighed.

"I came here to do it and I did it,"

"Fine, we both did it."

"We'll just blame it on Cain...Preacher and all his bible crap...Cain was really a scapegoat, he was innocent, ya know?" Spike sighed. He heard that on the History channel or something. Cain really represented a tribe of people that got blamed for everything or something...Oh, he hated bloody Genesis! He skipped to the battles and the sex that came later in The Romans and Deuteronomy.

"Then I'm not really Cain," She sighed back.

"Of course not...Well..I don't mean because you're not innocent I mean..,"

"Blame it on Cain ...Don't blame it on me ...Oh-oh, oh, it's nobody's fault ...But we need somebody to burn," She sang. He knew his eyes lit up.

"So, you got that, huh? I thought it went over your head. How old were you when that song came out, two?"

"Had a cool Mom," She said.

He went out for a smoke and he heard Kennedy and Faith talking. He couldn't hear what they were saying but he realized it was serious talk. He almost busted in, but it occurred to him that this was a woman thing that was going on. A thought flashed in his mind that Kennedy and Faith were having an affair behind Red's back. But, no he would have heard kissing and the whole tone would have been different. When had they become such good friends? War makes friends fast.

So, Kennedy was to Faith as Red was to Buffy. It broke his heart when he thought about it. Because things were shifting and the Slayer was coming into her own. Buffy was gone. Not dead. But gone. He had the luxury of knowing who she was with, but he could never see her again, lest the world come crashing down around them. Talk about ill-fated romance.

You're doing a good job Buffy said in his head. I killed a man, Love. You're doing a good job. You have to take care of her. She's not like me. She needs care. Like you always wanted me to. What? You DO need care! I don't....Spike refused to get into an argument with Buffy in his head. He would end up in the high school basement again with Wood paying him a visit.

He entered the room. Kennedy sat reading "Boys Like Her" was the book. Amanda was sleeping soundly. Not a scratch on her from a Bringer.

"Where's Faith?" He asked.

"She's in the bathroom," Kennedy said.

"That was one hell of a rousing speech you gave," He said.

"I just said the truth," She shrugged. Then she put the book down and looked off at nothing.

"I was very shaky about you...very shaky," She told him.

"I get that a lot," He said.

"Willow told me some stuff and I thought you were just a ticking time bomb that had once been Buffy's sex toy...And the only reasons you were around were that you were pussy whipped and liked to fight," She stated. He was too tired to respond to that.

"Then I thought you were sleeping with Faith behind Buffy's back..,"

"Its funny you should say that..,"

"But, now, now I think you are a really good guy...No, your probably a great guy, like, you'll save the world again...and you listen to SOME good music," She said.

"If all I had to do was kill a mass-murdering misogynistic Preacher Man and put on a 'Bad Religion' album to get you to like me...I would have done it right away. Next time be more direct and tell me," He sighed.

"Yep. A good guy...Maybe not as good as Xander," She said.

"Well, who can be as good as the boy," Spike found he was only half kidding. He was in the group now. Part of it. He wasn't the renegade anymore. That seemed a bloody shame.

Faith came out of the bathroom. She was wearing a big sweat shirt that insisted it was "Skate-punk Xtreme" and a pair of old man's boxers. She looked pale and drawn. Not the spunky little sexpot with the big red lips he first saw as she hit him. But she still had the beautiful round eyes, and the other stuff would come back when things settled. Things would settle, enough for her to get all the spark back anyway.

"Don't cry, Love," He found himself saying. She wasn't crying, but she had been.

"You don't understand...I DON'T feel guilty... I am so happy it's over. It never would of felt over for me if we hadn't done all that...Is that wrong?" She asked. Again with the questions. Wasn't this the girl that HAD to be on top?

"No," Kennedy said firmly.

"No," Spike followed.

"No," Amanda said sleepily and rolled over.

"Good. Just checking," She said.

He sat on the floor, and watched them sleep in the dark. It WAS over. It wouldn't have felt over until Preacher man was dead. No, had the shit kicked out of him and was murdered. If I could have stayed, do you really think I let anyone get away with what he did? With what he did to Xander alone? No, Love. What now? Go back. Help Will and Xander take care of my sister when you can. But, most important watch Faith. Help Faith. Take care of Faith, so she can do what she has to do. Am I a Scooby now, Love? No, you are more than that. You'll understand Faith in a way Scoobys can't. Like I did for you? Yes, but it will be different. Faith and I are different. Faith needs you. I needed you too. I did. I love you. But, this is different. He didn't bother to ask how it was different or why. It didn't matter that he didn't know. Buffy HAD needed him and loved him. Thanks, Love.

End Blame it on Cain by Strange Bint:

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