The Power of Faith

by

Princess McPhee

Disclaimer: I have no claim. Don't own=don't sue. Please!

Author's Note: f/f slash. No complaints regarding this, please!

Summary: A prophecy is found, and coupled with there being no new Slayer called, is believed to be for Buffy. But a catch exists: A girl who is in love with Buffy, must call her back to life.

Rating: PG-13

Chapter One

In a shadow oh so rare
In the arms of thee trusted least
The spell of a witch long passed
Will bring a girl passed before her time
Back to life with another line

But back she will only come
If the one who calls
A girl who is oh so rare
Breathes her love
Upon her spell
And gives it her truthsome prayer

Giles stared at the prophecy, perplexed like the rest of the Scooby Gang. He pushed his glasses up on his nose, and looked around. "Well, obviously it means that the girl or woman who casts the spell must love Buffy. But I must admit I'm a bit perplexed by the rest of it."

Xander leaned forward, Anya in his lap, and looked at the odd phrases in the Watcher's hands. "Why don't you just read it like it says? Maybe it's literal."

Giles nodded. "It's a place to start, I suppose." He rubbed his face, and closed his eyes for a second before looking back at the paper.

"'In a shadow oh so rare'" He quoted. "Perhaps a vampire's shadow?"

Willow nodded. "It makes sense. But what about the next line?"

"'In the arms of thee trusted least'", Xander read from the paper. "Well, I guess that would be Spike."

Giles gave him a little glower, and Spike didn't bother to respond in his defense. "It might have to be something a little more evil, Xander."

Xander rolled his eyes. "Okay, how about the next part?"

"'The spell of a witch long passed'" Willow quoted back, leaning over Giles' shoulder. "That's pretty simple. It's an old spell. I'll be in charge of finding it."

Giles nodded. "Thank you Willow." He stared at the paper a long moment. "The next two lines pertain to the girl. It might well be Buffy." Hope shone in his eyes for the first time since the Slayer had sacrificed herself for her sister, and all of the Slayerettes were geared up and ready to go.

Five days ago, when Giles had received word from the council that another Slayer had yet to have been called, and that they were all mystified by this occurrence, or lack of one, Giles had decided that it must be a sign, perhaps from the Powers that Be, that Buffy hadn't been meant to die yet.

They had found this prophecy just a few days ago.

Anya leaned away from her boyfriend a little, and looked at the tiny piece of paper with such an important piece of information on it. "But, like usual, there's a catch," She noted.

They all read the last part over Giles' shoulders. "Well," Willow observed, "Dawn and I fit the 'love' part, but only Dawn is a 'girl ever so rare'."

Xander clapped his hands. "All right! Let's get to work. Willow, you're going to find the spell. Tara, see what you can do about giving a vampire a shadow, even temporarily. And the rest of us will dig around, see what we can figure out, see if we can make this darn thing make any more sense."

They all looked at him with amusement, and then exchanging glances, shrugged, and decided not to say anything about his odd change to leader of the group. "Okay," Willow decided. "Tara and I will be upstairs."

Giles looked after them worriedly, but rightly assumed that since any spells of real power would be in those books, it was the first place the wiccas should look. "Don't read anything out loud!" He called after them in a concerned voice.

Willow turned and smiled a little. "We won't."

Giles heard Tara's soft voice asking, "Why shouldn't we?" and Willow's light laugh, and "It's a long story", and felt more relaxed than he had in days, at least.

Willow and Tara found the spells without extreme trouble, and the next day, they put it into action. Spike acted as 'thee trusted least' though they weren't sure if it would mess up the spell, since Dawn looked just a little too comfortable in the vampire's arms.

Spike was standing under a street light, facing so that Dawn was in his shadow, as they began the ritual. Dawn intoned the spell that she'd worked to memorize, hope lighting her features.

"Spirits of the living, I call thee!

"Spirits of the dead, I call thee!

"Bind together, bring me back the one who died too young, cut her a new line and send her back to the world of the living.

"With a heart full of love, I beseech thee." Dawn closed her eyes, and the teenager looked to be concentrating hard. Willow hoped, for Dawn's sake as well as hers, that the spell worked.

But there was no poof, and Buffy didn't appear, and pretty much nothing happened. After long enough, Willow motioned Dawn out of Spike's arms, and his fading shadow, and they left, not sure if their actions had brought about any results.

The original spell didn't work, and neither did the one after. Willow called for Buffy, even Cordelia was given a chance when she was contacted in LA, and sent for. With less hope, Anya and Tara were given their chances, but nothing happened.

The dejected Slayerettes were now gathered, once again, in the Magic Box, watching Giles as he sat at the table, and though.

Looking up at Willow, who sat across the table from him, he seemed to have thought of something. "Giles?" She asked.

"It may be that the person casting the spell needs to love Buffy... but not in the way that a sister or close friend does," He told the wicca. The Englishman shied away from actually explaining anymore than that, and Xander took up the task.

"You mean, someone who's romantically in love with Buffy." He stated. Giles nodded. "But it has to be a girl." Giles nodded again.

Xander looked at the table, and slammed his fist into it. Tara, sitting next to him, jumped. "Sorry," He muttered. "It's just that, where are we going to find someone who's romantically in love with Buffy, and a girl? Willow's already been up there. No offense, guys," He said, nodding at the wiccas, "But she was our best chance. What do we do now?"

Giles got that look that said he had thought of something, and the gang watched him abruptly rise from the table, and get the store's telephone. He held it up for all of them to see, and almost smiled.

"We call the Los Angeles juvenile detention facility," He said.

For a long moment, no one spoke. Then Anya, breaking the mood, looked around. "Who did Buffy know who's in jail?"

The rest of the crowd ignored her, and Dawn breathed the answer behind Spike. "Faith."

They all turned to look at the teenager, and Dawn explained hurriedly. "I was twelve when Faith came to town. Well, not really, but you know. I liked her a lot, wanted to be just like her, but Buffy told me that she never wanted to catch me with her."

Xander looked from Giles to the youngest member of the gang. "But what does that have to do with using Faith to bring Buffy back?" He asked.

Dawn nodded. "Well, since I wasn't allowed to be with Faith, I used to watch her

and Buffy out the windows, and stuff. And once, I saw her bring Buffy home, and kiss her."

Xander looked a little dazed, and the rest of them just looked surprised. Spike spoke first. "I didn't know Slayer swung that way, pet."

Dawn shook her head. "She doesn't. I don't think. But Faith does. And the prophecy didn't say that Buffy has to love the girl, just that the girl has to love her."

Around the table, shrugs were exchanged, and then, hopeful glances. Giles picked up the phone, and hurriedly dialed the number from a pad of paper that looked like it had never seen the light of day, which wasn't surprising, since he had had little or no contact with the rogue Slayer, as far as the Scoobies knew.

"Damn!" Giles slammed down the phone, his tone losing the lilting British inflection for just a moment. No one even looked up, used to this by now. The prison just wasn't going to release Faith.

Xander didn't bother to look up from the book he was reading. "What did the council say?"

Giles shook his head. "They said they'd try, but it could be months. I don't know what there is left to do, honestly."

"We could break her out," Dawn suggested.

"Yeah, right. We'll just go up to a high-security prison, and storm her out. No offense, Dawn, but that wouldn't work."

Dawn nodded. "I know."

"So, what do we do, Giles?" Willow asked.

The older British man stared at his glasses, and wiped them on his shirt. "Well, I guess we wait."

And wait they did. When the papers finally came through in mid-August, they were hardly what the Scooby gang had hoped for. But they were apparently the best the council could do.

Giles, Willow, Tara, Xander, Anya, Spike and Dawn had three days, with a police officer breathing over their shoulder at every turn, to convince Faith to work with them, and then to perform the ritual.

Faith arrived, escorted by three policemen, at the door of the Magic Box around noon on the following day. She looked like Willow and Xander remembered her, but the spark, the Faith brightness, liveliness, was missing. Giles hardly recognized her. "Hey," She greeted them.

Giles rose to his feet, and escorted her to the table. "Careful, sir," One of the police officers warned. "She's potentially dangerous."

Giles looked down at the girl, not even nineteen, and the look of her broken spirit, and then back at the officers. "Thank you," He told them in about as sarcastic a tone as Giles ever took with anyone. "You may leave now."

He sat Faith down at the table, and then sat beside her. The cops surrounded the room, making sure that there was no exit unguarded. Luckily, they were also out of hearing range, as long as they spoke softly.

Giles slid the piece of paper under the Slayer's hands. "This is a prophecy we found," He explained. "But it has been carried out as best as we are able, with no results. Now, the only conclusion we were able to draw was that perhaps the love for Buffy had to be romantic, rather than platonic." Giles didn't even state the other possibility, that this prophecy wasn't meant for the recently departed Slayer.

Faith looked sharply at the Watcher, looking just a little more like herself. "And you think I..." She trailed off, letting the sentence hang.

All of the gang just looked at her.

"No! That isn't my thing. I'm sure Xander could tell you that."

Xander, Anya snuggled up against him, blushed, and muttered to his fiancee, "It was a long time ago."

Giles looked at Dawn, who nodded, giving him permission to use her statement. "Dawn said that she saw you kiss Buffy once. Do you deny having feelings for her?"

Faith looked around nervously, then down at the table. "No, I guess not."

Giles pushed the Slayer's chin up to look at him. The cops surrounding the room looked about ready to spring, but the Watcher's council had given strict instructions, one of them being that Giles' orders were to be obeyed. "Faith, it doesn't matter what you've decided to do with those feelings now. We just need to use them, one more time. If nothing else, I know that Buffy was your friend. And we have to bring her back, or the world is in great peril."

The dark-haired Slayer looked around nervously, but didn't answer. Luckily, Tara, who seemed to pretty well acquainted with reading other people's signals, suggested that she think about it for a while.

"Thanks," Faith smiled at the wicca, looking a little relieved. Then, facing Giles, "Do you have anything I could really beat up on? They pretty much don't like us practicing our martial arts in prison, and I know I'm really rusty."

Giles led the rogue Slayer into Buffy's training room, and held the door open. Faith looked at it, in awe. "What can I use?" She asked.

"Take your pick," Offered Xander. "Except that I am not getting in that suit. I've had enough bad experiences as 'Puffy Xander'."

The others smiled, and Faith looked perplexed, then leaned over, and started to stretch. Warming up quickly, she began to take on Buffy's equipment, looking like a woman dying of thirst finding water. Clearly, she was in her element.

An hour later, sweaty and exhausted but obviously much happier, Faith stuck her head under the faucet, and wrapped a towel over her head, rubbing her long hair dry. "Thanks," She breathed at Giles. "I've been wanting to do that for so long."

Giles smiled. "You're welcome, Faith. Now, do you want to go and clean up, maybe enjoy a night of freedom--"

"Or, at least relatively so," Xander piped up, nodding the direction of the cops.

Giles gave him a glare, and he shut up. Then the older British man continued. "Maybe enjoy a night of freedom before you make your choice?"

"No."

Everyone watched Faith anxiously, waiting for her answer, and hoping that she would help. The dark-haired Slayer slid the towel off of her head, dropped it on the table, and fluffed her hair. "I'll help you."

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