Disclaimer : Everyone knows who own Buffy and co ! Obviously, it's not me!

The story is the eighth episode in a series called 'Rocky path' and begins around one year after 'Chosen'

( I strongly recommand to read the 7 first episodes to understand that one)

You can check the series out on my website

Please let me know what you think.

It was pitch dark. The sky was murky as a thick layer of clouds hid the stars and the moon. A light mist drifted around the impeccably lined up tombstones in some cemetery. An appropriate deathly silence was reigning over the place.

An absolute silence.

Well, almost absolute.

A partially held back sneeze pierced the peace of the place.

On one of the secondary paths, two figures - who were silently moving up to that point - stopped. The most forward of the two turned to her companion.

"God! Blondie! What did we say? You're gonna wake up the dead!" Faith exclaimed, rolling her eyes at Tara following her.

"I thought that was part of the plan." Tara said, trying to keep herself from sneezing again. "So-sorry Faith but it's freezing cold out here."

"Told you to put some more clothes on. You never listen to me."

"Like another tee shirt would have made a change" Tara replied, this time being the one rolling her eyes. "Why did you want me to come anyway?"

"You've been sleeping for days since our little trip in the mountains." Faith explained, appearing like she wasn't paying attention to Tara as she looked around carefully. "Figured you could use some fresh air."

"Of course," Tara replied. "In winter. In a cemetery. At night. In the middle of Montana."

"A Slayer idea," she then mumbled in a low voice.

"I heard you," Faith said casually, not turning towards her. "Slayer hearing. Never forget that."

She leaned nonchalantly against a tombstone a few feet away and gestured to Tara to keep quiet. Then she pointed to her feet.

"There," she whispered. "Don't move."

Tara looked at what Faith was showing her and understood what the Slayer meant when she saw the ground moving. She remained motionless a few meters away as she had been told.

A few moment later, a newly risen vampire rose from his tombstone. Faith let him get out partially before kneeling beside the man. He was in his midfifties. He was wearing a suit and a tie, and looked like the perfect bank clerk.

"Hey guy," Faith greeted casually. "Got some news for you."

The man turned to her with a confused look.

"Want me to go with the good or bad news first?" Faith went on.

She paused and smirked.

"Oh wait. Only bad news I think."

She paused again as the vampire frowned and finished getting out.

"So? Want me to start with the bad?" She asked.

"Or maybe the bad?" She added, looking like she was really wondering what to choose.


She looked at the man brushing some dust off his suit.

"Bad news: you're a vampire," she announced seriously. "You know? Bloodsucking sort and fangs and all"

She paused again as the vampire looked at her with even more puzzlement in his eyes.

"But…" she resumed. "Even worst news here: I'm Faith, the vampire Slayer"

He frowned, perplexity painting over his face.

"What?" The vampire asked.

But he never got an answer. Faith held out her stake and plunged it in his heart. The vampire crumpled to dust at her feet.

Faith stood and went to Tara.

"God, I hate newbies. They're so boring," she said, putting her stake back into her jacket.

"What?" she added, looking up and noticing Tara looking at her strangely.

"What was that?" the blonde asked.

"What was what?" Faith replied in a bored tone.

"The 'I'm Faith, the vampire Slayer?'"

"Impressive stuff," Faith answered, shrugging. "It's a sort of trademark thing you know?"

Tara gave her a dumbfounded look and Faith rolled her eyes again.

"Was fun right?"

Tara arched a skeptical eyebrow and Faith shrugged once more.

"Whatever," she said. "C'mon"

Faith started to walk again and Tara followed.

"C'mon Blondie" Faith repeated.

"We aren't going back to the motel? I feel like it's been hours…"

"Want to find better than newbies before going to bed"

"Right,." Tara said in a bored tone. "Should have figured that out myself"

She crossed her arms over her chest, quickening her pace to catch up to the Slayer.

"So? Do you have an idea where you…"

"Shh!" Faith answered. "I think there's something right there"

Faith pointed somewhere in front of her.

"I feel my Slayer sense tingle," she said. "There are vampires nearby"

She speeded up a little and got her stake out of her jacket again. She suddenly stopped beside a row of cypresses around thirty feet further.

Behind the trees, a group of vampires were devouring victims.

"Oh Goddess," Tara breathed when she caught sight of the scene.

She turned around and she nearly threw up while Faith was closely examining the vampires.

"Stay here," she said, not looking at Tara. "I'm gonna take care of them."

"They're five of them," Tara protested.

"And?" Faith smirked. "I can handle five"

"You, just stay here," she added firmly. "Won't be long"

Faith just walked out of the shadow of the trees and headed toward the vampires.

"Hey guys," she said casually. "Party's over"

The vampires stopped their current activity and looked up towards Faith. The Slayer didn't add anything else and lunged at them with her stake in hand.

She almost knocked two of them to the ground with her first kicks then fiercely engaged the three remaining ones. One crumpled to dust a second after as she plunged her stake in his heart. The second one tried to attack her on her left side as she was dusting his companion but Faith saw him coming out of the corner of her eye. She struck back and drew her dagger at lightning speed with her left hand and chopped his head off. She turned to the third and rained blows on his face.

She was ready to finish him off when she heard Tara's voice calling out to her.

"F-Faith! Watch o-out!"

The Slayer turned around and found herself facing one of the two vampires she had knocked down before. He hit her hard in her face but Faith had time to push him back away from her with a kick and turning towards Tara as she fell to the ground. The blonde had gotten out of the shadows of the trees and she was staring at her. Faith silently cursed the witch when she saw the remaining vampires heading toward Tara.

She quickly got to her feet and called out to the demons.

"Hey guys! I'm over here! I'm not finished with you!"

They turned briefly to her and looked at her blankly. Then they turned away to face Tara. The witch didn't make a sound as they came closer and closer. The look on her face was somewhere between focused and terrified. Faith ran as fast as she could to close the distance to the vampires. She dusted two of them before they realized she was even there.

As the third was raising his fangs to Tara's neck, Faith could hear the witch trying to pronounce words in Latin. But nothing happened. The Slayer grabbed the vampire by his shoulders to pull him away, turned him around while taking advantage of his surprise and plunged her stake into his heart.

It had lasted less than a second.

Tara let out a deep sigh as the vampire disappeared to dust in front of her and sketched a smile to her savior.

"Th-thank y…" Tara began.

"God, Blondie!" Faith interrupted. "What did I say?"

Faith was now gesturing to the trees behind them.

"I told you to hide. I thought it was a plan simple enough for you to follow. You could have easily been killed. Be more careful."

Tara crossed her arms over her chest and looked down for a few seconds.

"Well…" she said after a silence. "I wanted to help. I warned you…"

"Yeah" Faith said in a mocking tone. "You warned me. God, I sometimes wonder what I would do without you"

"You'd be bored,"

Faith turned to Tara with much surprise. She hadn't expected the blonde to reply.

"Well," she said with a half smile. "That's it. I'd be bored. Like I could be more bored than I already am."

"Think about it" Tara said and Faith frowned even more in surprise. "All alone, killing vampires without distraction. It could be a lot worse"

"Oh yeah," Faith said and she rolled her eyes. "I often think about this. It could be a lot worse than it is."

She paused and looked like she was giving some thought to the matter.

"Well, I could have had a mother who loved me."

"I would have gone to high school and I could have become a real bitch without any sense of what it is to protect the world. Only interested in…"

She paused, thinking about it.

"…in hair and clothes and boys. A true high school bitch. Like in the movies"

"Or, I could've never been called to be the Slayer. And I would have ended up in jail anyway."

"And you" she said after a pause. "Think about it. You've got the real opportunity to hit the road with a hottie. Instead of this, you could have not been killed in the first place. You would have lived with Willow and got bored with your life."

"Yeah," She concluded with a serious nod. "You're right. Things could have gone a lot worse than they did"