THE LAST SUPPER

-Alternate Series Finale-

Extended Summary: With the predicted apocalypse approaching at the rate of a vampire on speed, the slayer-dream mojo is working overtime. Buffy is haunted by dreams of the Future, while Faith is shattered by disturbing visions of her past. The gang must solve the mystery of the Slayers' dreams before they are defeated by The First.
Timeline: Takes place sometime before the vineyard disaster in Dirty Girls.
Note: Slayer dreams/visions are centred and inside these trippy things: .-'-.-'-.-'-.-'-.
Thanks Joss: for letting me play with your girls


And all the woe that moved him so
That he gave that bitter cry,
And the wild regrets, and the bloody sweats,
None knew so well as I:
For he who live more lives than one
More deaths than one must die.
. --Oscar Wilde-- from "The Ballad of Reading Gaol"


CHAPTER ONE: FALLEN


.-'-.-'-.-'-.-'-.

The Earth purses its giant lips and prepares to swallow your Sun.
Same time every night, you watch because you can. Because you haven't been called off the street to dinner like the other kids. And because if you don't watch, you know one day you will miss out.
Silked silence, broken, by your whispered pleas. You are still, but inside you are falling…
It's like when you have a big secret that you're not allowed to tell, so you just gotta leave lots of clues, like in those mystery tv shows, and hope that somebody will solve them and save you.
And stop the sun from
Falling too…
The clouds part, and they know why you fear the inevitable. Because they are always there. Watching.
Knowing your secret.
But no matter the desperation in the cries that you choke back, -Fuckin' NO please- thoughtless Sun never ceased to fail you. Falling, falling…
Pink sherbet skies fade, smudged dark with filth. Like you, Faith.
And you knew that nobody would ever solve You before it happened.
Like every time before, the world will slip. Falling, falling, falling…
Into the night.

'-.-'-.-'-.-'-.-'

"It's pretty from up here." Buffy carefully poked her sister slayer in the ribs, deliberately scanning her sentences for anything that suggested she and Faith might possibly have a history on rooftops.

The sun was gently sinking behind a fluff of blazing pink clouds, and the view from Buffy Summers' roof was unearthly. It was as if the sky had predicted the impending apocalypse and was performing it's finest for those few crazy people who remained in the Hellmouth for the show.

"It's making me wicked hungry," came the veiled reply. "Pretty things do that," she continued off Buffy's perplexed expression, flashing a suggestive smirk towards the blonde slayer. The vision of her childhood had shaken Faith, and her eyes were distant behind her provocative actions.

Buffy raised her eyebrows and her lips curled into a knowing smile. Her witty comeback was already formed and ready to roll from her tongue, when she was interrupted by a suddenly serious Faith.

"You know, every night as a kid I….", Faith paused and self-consciously wrapped herself in her words, cloaking herself from Buffy's penetrating gaze. "I would watch that fucking sun from the street and wish for it to be light always..."

Buffy's eyebrows knotted. "You love the darkness Faith" she stated into the dusk sky.

Faith replied with a far-from-delicate snort. "I live for the night now. That's when we come alive baby!"

"Speak for yourself, slayer." Buffy quipped, carefully stepping over Faith's hints of a painful chidhood. It wasn't that she didn't want to learn about the dark slayer's past, but more that things had been uneasy between the two slayers of late. Words of blame had been unspoken, yet there was an unsettled air between Buffy and Faith. From the moment Willow had returned Faith to Sunnydale without letting Buffy know, their relationship had almost regressed back to that when Buffy was in highschool. Faith was acting strangely as well. Almost, too reflective. Silently tortured, too similar to Angel, and on a road of life that didn't involve Buffy and her friends anymore.

"I was quite happy getting 10 hours of sleep a night before all this slayer business." Buffy continued lightly.

Faith chuckled and changed the subject. "You're not, say, hiding from a bunch of spazzed-out little mini-slayers up here are ya, B?"

Buffy raised her hands in mock innocence. "No Faith! No, I just….well maybe. ….ohhhhhhh….Yeah okay. God, I remember the day when I thought fighting Dawn for the bathroom was an apocalyptic battle."

Both girls laughed. Buffy shook her head and continued her confession, "Though, worse than a herd of pubescent teenagers, I'm afraid Principal Wood has spent the last 12 hours just glowing in the fact that Spike's disappeared." She narrowed her eyes and pouted. "He's starting to make my hands twitch."

"Spike's gone?" Faith grinned at Buffy's homicidal urges. "Uh, where?"

Buffy didn't answer. Her lips tugged inwards and were drawn into an even more dramatic pout. She didn't realise she was with-holding details from a very inpatient dark slayer until she received a sharp poke in the ribs. "Hmmuh?" Faith probed.

"Can't say."

An indifferent Faith shrugged lazily. "Wild stab here, I'm thinking Crinkle-Face woke up on the wrong end of Principle Wood's stake last night?"

"Faith, that is just wrong, in so many ways." Buffy's eyes were wide, however she didn't bother to suppress her sly smile.

After a moment of juicy thought, an awkward silence overtook them again. Five, eight, ten minutes later, Faith quit her twitching and stole a glance at Buffy's face, realising the girl was miles away. Faith pretended to be deep in thought also.

"Faith, we've been hurt badly haven't we?"

"hnuh?" came the dark slayer's sharp reply. Where did that come from?!

"These girls have no powers and hardly any training. God, we've been hurt so badly in the last few years and we're powerful slayers! I'm leading them to die, aren't I?"

Faith stared hard at the falling sun. Come back! She was safe in the night now, but it didn't change her past. Her heartbeat stung in her chest and began to sluggishly crawl up her throat.

"Yeah" she croaked, longing to be back a moment in time, making Buffy smile with her impressive sexual innuendos once more. Faith acknowledged the single tear rolling down Buffy's cheek and turned her eyes downwards to study her power-filled hands.

Again, silence reigned. Three, five, seven minutes of private thought followed, until a strange realisation possessed Faith.

"Are we havin' a heart to heart, B?" She questioned suddenly, flicking her head around to face her sister slayer.

Buffy pulled away from the dark slayer quickly and wiped her face. "Disturbing much!" she had to smile sadly, thinking of the wrenching heart-to-hearts she'd had in her life. No, Faith, this isn't even close.

"Right, no wonder I was feeling sick then." The teasing words coming from Faith's mouth sounded as though they had been strained through her larynx. Husky didn't even begin to describe Faith's new voice. And it was a 'new' voice, because to everyone who knew her well, Faith was a new girl. Buffy told herself she was happy about the change, but when Faith's words cut and scratched her, Buffy took it as her cue to leave.

"See you out there, B." Faith indicated towards the darkening earth with her head, refusing eye-contact in case her invitation was rejected. She resumed staring at her hands. Buffy gazed silently into the night for moment before sliding off the side of the roof into her window.

"Okay" she whispered, fallen.

.-'-.-'-.-'-.-'-.

He held you in the dark.
The bed whispered and whined, and you dared not make a movement.
Spike's calloused hands held your own, the simple gesture inviting the hands of Peace to encircle your mind.
You loved that he could make you forget, didn't you Buffy?
Outside, so many young soldiers had fallen.
Softly.
Insignificant lives not even bruising the earth.
Was a time, Buffy Anne Summers, when you cried for all innocent bystanders who were killed by mistake.
Now you don't even care about their feelings, bake them cookies, braid their hair -
Learn their names…
Tonight you fight the hardest battle yet. Rejection. And for the moment you don't have to lead. In his arms, you never have to lead.
Tomorrow will be different. You'll fight the greatest evil for the greater good. Push away the thoughts of other lives that will be lost, fighting your battle. Thoughts will only slow you down.
The world will fall next, but you lie in his arms for an eternal night.
Falling in love?
No.
Just falling.

'-.-'-.-'-.-'-.-'

Author's Note: ...to be continued when I get my butt into gear! :-) Next chapter introduces the other characters. Please review! (i said that in the sweetest voice you could imagine!)