Author's Note: Another old fic, slightly edited from its earlier incarnation. This is set at the end of season four, when, in my opinion, Buffy was starting to veer a bit out of control.
Disclaimer: Joss owns' em.
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Somehow she was walking into Faith's apartment.
How this was possible she had no idea. The place looked like it hadn't been touched since she and Faith had thrown down right before graduation.
Yet here she was, in the ruins of a smashed apartment, glass and cracked furniture all over the place. This was ridiculous. All this crap had to have been thrown out months ago. The only thing intact was a pennant on the wall that read B2F. Buffy had no idea what it meant and cared even less.
And then it hit her.
This was another dream.
Another prophecy. Well, she could handle that. So she stood there and waited.
But nothing happened. The furniture didn't rearrange, no mysterious figures appeared, no cryptic messages written on the wall, if you didn't count the pennant. This was the damnedest oddest prophecy she'd ever been in.
An indeterminate time later, Buffy noticed she was tapping her feet. She forced herself to stop and muttered, "Okay, I'm giving this five more minutes and then I'm gone."
"So how were you planning to leave?" A voice said behind her. "'cause the front door kinda leads off into nothingness. And the roof, well, the drop'll kill you. Or at least leave you in a coma for the better part of a year."
"Faith." Buffy's voice dripped with enough venom to kill the Russian Army.
"The one and only."
Snorting, Buffy said, "So that's what this is. Another damn plot by you to fuck up my life. What is it this time? Invade my dreams, drive me crazy?"
"God, B!" Faith said, fingering a smashed-up piece of sofa. "You are so paranoid."
Tightly, Buffy answered, "Not like I don't have cause around you."
Nodding her head, Faith said, "True enough. But why do you think I'm me?"
"Who the hell else would you be? Drew Carey?"
"Not fat enough, not blonde enough, not male enough, and no way is his ass as killer as mine."
Gritting her teeth, Buffy said, "Okay, that's it, I'm gone." And she stormed out the front door . . . and slammed on the brakes. A gray nothingness swallowed up her entire line of sight as far as she could see. Damn, Faith'd been telling the truth. Who would have believed it?
"Identity, B. It's all about identity."
Buffy shook her head. "Huh?"
"Never mind. You'll tumble to it eventually. You're pretty good at these cryptic dream thingies. Lot better than I ever been, that's for damn sure." Faith walked over to the window. "Wow, what a view."
"Would you please just lay off the compliments and let me wake up?"
Faith shrugged. "Sorry, B. No can do. Not my choice." Them she turned back to looking out the window.
Buffy tapped her foot impatiently. "I'm waiting."
"Why don't you come on over and see the sights?"
In frustration, Buffy finally walked over and, standing as far from Faith as possible, looked through the busted glass. Not the view she remembered. There was a giant-sized TV screen - the kind you saw in baseball games - on the roof of the building across the street.
But what it was playing was kind of odd. It flashed in between Buffy confronting Faith after Faith had murdered Deputy Mayor Finch last year, and then to Buffy and Faith on the roof of Angel's office building. It was being shown from the point of view of some mythical camera angle, so Buffy was watching herself. Damn eerie, but what did it mean?
"You know, B, I never get tired of watchin' this. It's remarkably clarifying."
"I'm still confused." Buffy said after she turned away.
Faith repressed a sigh. "I ain't surprised. It's not something I think you'd want to know." Then she pointed to the B2F pennant. "And don't you worry. No big evil coming here. Least not right away. In the future, look alive. Miss Muffet's countin' down from three-six-five."
"You know," Buffy said, "Just once I'd like whoever sends me these dreams to spell it out clearly."
"I'll try," Faith said. "Look. On the roof. In LA. You told me that I was the only person who'd made you a victim."
"That why you came to LA?"
"I came to LA because I thought Angel was in danger." She grimaced. "I was right. Because of you we had a fight."
"'scuse me, there, B. 'cause of me? I'm not the one who decked him while I walked away. I'm not the one who had a shoutin' match with him in the police station. I'm not the one who came to LA looking for personal revenge. And don't hand me that line about thinking Angel was in trouble. You came to get me, pure and simple."
"And wasn't I entitled?" Buffy exploded. "After all you did to me wasn't I entitled to a little revenge?"
"You got justice. I'm in jail. Possibly for the rest of my life. Ain't that enough, B?" Faith walked over and faced Buffy, hands on hips.
"No. No, it's not."
"Because I made you a victim. Because I beat you. Because I won, and you can't take the fact that I won. Even for a minute. That just pissed you off so much, because Buffy never loses, right? Right?"
"Right," Buffy said coldly.
"But I beat you. And so you came to LA to kill me."
A weight had been lifted. "Yes! Yes, dammit, yes!"
Faith grabbed her arm. "B, you don't get it. You wanted to kill a woman."
Shaking herself free, Buffy answered, "No, you don't get it. I don't care." After a second, it hit her. "Oh my god."
"What's the matter? Echo got your tongue?"
"I - that's what you - oh, no."
"Now I think you get it. B2F. If you let that happen, then you're right. I really have won. Whoever fights monsters, B. Happened to me. Keep it in mind."
And then Buffy woke up panting. Immediately she reached for the phone.
"Yes, what is it?" Giles said sleepily.
"I just had a dream. Talk to you about it in the morning but I need to know something. Is there a famous quote that begins with the three words, "Whoever fights monsters?"
"Yes. Yes. Nietzsche, German philosopher. 'Whoever fights monsters must beware lest they become a monster.' Is this relevant? Buffy?"
"Yes," Buffy said numbly. "Yes, it's relevant."