Heavy Stakes.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters

Author: C.A.

Pairing: Not sure yet.

Summary: Faith died end of S3 and a new slayer is called, one with an existing destiny...(plays dramatic music)

A/N: January 2010- this is a rewrite of Heavy Stakes. I've changed the tense, added some meat to the bare bones of the original version. Hopefully this reads better!

First, I have to thank everyone who has put an alert, or reviewed, or favourited the original version of this, I hope you enjoy the revamped version of this. In particular ljubezen and Leonie1988 thanks very much for reviewing. I hope this meets your expectations :)

Isabel stumbled out of her room. Her hand was clamped over her mouth and her hair was dishevelled from sleep. Her only goal was to reach the bathroom; she collapsed in front of the toilet bowl to throw up uncontrollably. Her stomach clenched painfully and her throat felt bruised from the uncontrollable spasms. Simultaneously hot and cold, she pushed herself up off the tiled floor, her arms trembling at the effort. She breathed in shakily and reached over to flush the toilet.

"Gotta get a grip," she whispered to herself. She made her way over to the sink and stared at her reflection, taking particular notice of her bloodshot eyes and the dark smudges underneath. A look of disgust crossed her face and she looked away from the mirror. She made a face at the residual taste of bile in her mouth and not bothering with conventional toothbrush and toothpaste, she swiped her hand across her mouth and ran her fingers through her hair.

Without waiting for the glow to fade she turned to walk back to her room. She reached the familiar white door and gently pushed it open further. She flicked on the main light and as she stepped in, she whispered to herself,

"Get a grip, there's nothing here". Despite the warmth, goosebumps rose on her skin and unable to help herself; she gave in to her impulses and scanned the room carefully. Noting the drawn curtains, she suppressed her sigh of relief and gingerly walked into the room. She flicked on the lamp that was sitting beside the bed. She sighed heavily, simultaneously stretching. She felt a twinge in her lower back and reached out to rub a clenched fist over the small of her back as she walked over to flick off the main light. She then crawled into bed smoothing the white linen sheets over her body.

She closed her eyes only to be bombarded with the images from her dream. She felt the bile rise in her sore throat and she swallowed hastily, trying to control the uncontrollable. The images were as vivid as her dreamwalks, she could feel the endorphin rush flooding through her body as the acidic taste in her mouth faded to be replaced with the metallic tang of blood. She felt the unnatural strength and vitality flowing through her veins. She was invincible.

Then, abruptly, she heard the screams, felt the terror, and the sharp pain in her neck. She felt the listlessness as the life drained out of her body. She was dying.

Isabel violently pushed away the covers and jerked upright, she stifled a scream into bloodless hands. Tears welled in her eyes and unable to stop herself, she sobbed. After she had cried herself dry, she sat on the edge of her bed. Her hands were a little shaky and she sniffled occasionally

Trying to forget about the images of blood and teeth she swore and reached for her yearbook. She shouldn't have watched that dodgy euro vampire flick on late night TV. She smoothed the embroidered bed sheets over her body and touched her finger to the picture. Her eyes fluttered shut as she walked into someone else's dream.

"Is?" Max waited a moment before waving his hand in front of her face "Is?"

"What?" Isabel looked annoyed for an instant.

"You totally spaced out, I was just telling you we need to get a move on, we're going to be late!"

She nodded and got up to put her half empty bowl of fruit into a container. She quickly washed the bowl and placed it on the dish rack as their Mom rushed in.

"Morning kids, we're running late as well…" She paused to drink from Isabel's cup of coffee, she spluttered and choked. Isabel turned, a look of guilt, horror and amusement on her face as Max patted Diane's back,

"Oh no, sorry Mom…"

"It's alright, I should have known." Diane wiped the tears from her eyes. "You'd think I'd be used to the taste of Tabasco by now," she shook her head and chuckled.

A car horn blared out, "ooh, that's your father, ok, call if you need us ok? You have money for dinner and don't forget to pick up some salad ingredients for dinner tomorrow!"

"Ok Mom" they said as Diane kissed both kids, grabbed two bananas and hurried out the front door.

"We should go as well. I'll meet you outside." Max said. Isabel nodded and turned to grab a fork and the container of fruit. She swung her bag over her shoulder and took one last look around the house. As she walked out she ran through her mental checklist and pulled the door shut.

With a crunch, the doorknob exploded off the door as it ricocheted back off the frame. Isabel stared blankly at the doorknob as Max came sprinting up to her. His hand was raised and he looked frantic as he sprinted up.


She stared blankly at the doorknob resting in her hand as Max reached her side and grasped her by the shoulders. He frantically glanced around the yard as he shoved her behind him. Isabel, momentarily dumbstruck, was shaken out her fugue.

"Max, it's nothing..."

He slowly lowered his hands, still glancing around.

She repeated softly "It's nothing..."

a/n: second chapter is original version, revised chapter will be up latest in a week