We arrive back at the magic shop with everyone else. "We just have to get our stuff, Buffy," a very excited Willow is saying as we walk in the door. "Then it's food, I promise…" she trails off as we all notice our visitors.
The Kahimi and the Watchers. They're seated at the table.
"What…what are you doing here?" Buffy asks.
"You passed," The Kahimi says.
We all look at each other, confused. "Passed?" Buffy asks.
Giles looks angry. "This was another one of your damned tests?"
The Kahimi smiles. "Not ours, but yes, it was a test."
"Whose test? What was the test?" Buffy asks.
The Kahimi looks at me. "The Apprentice…the Twice Called Slayer…you are restored," she says, holding her hand out to me. White light shoots from her hand and wraps around me.
"Hey!" Spike says, trying to get to me, but the light blocks him out. When it disappears…I feel strong…stronger than ever.
I look up at everyone, surprise and wonder on my face, I'm sure. I can't believe it…across the room I spy Buffy's knives and tree stump. Quickly I pick the knives up and toss them at the stump…whoosh whoosh whoosh…all five, perfect. Smiling like a moron I turn around. "I'm…back."
They're all smiling at me, but there's confusion there to. Spike opens his arms up and I fly into them. He spins me around once and plants a kiss on my head.
"Ok," Xander says to us, "when she's done talking," indicating the Kahimi, "we're moving on to this new development."
Buffy steps forward. "Faith…she's still a Slayer?"
The Kahimi nods, as do the Watchers. "She is the Apprentice no longer. She is the Twice Called…as it was foretold she would be. She gave up what is most important to her for another, for her duty. She is worthy, and she is needed."
"So, let me get this straight," Sloan says. "Because Faith willingly gave up her Slayer powers she's now worthy of getting them back?"
The Kahimi nods. "Sometimes the things that sound the most simple are the hardest to do. Buffy knew this. Faith did not. She knows it now."
"So…I'm back on active duty?" I ask.
She nods. "You are needed."
"And Angel?" Buffy asks.
The Kahimi smiles and Angel comes walking out of the back room. A look of joy comes over Buffy's face, and huge smile spreads across Angel's. She runs to him and throws her arms around his neck. He whispers something in her ear and she hugs him more tightly.
Giles speaks. "So, all of this, this was just to prove that Faith was ready to be the Slayer again?"
The Kahimi smiles. "In a way. Angelus is needed. He is needed here. He was needed to bring the Slayer, Buffy, back. The Champion, the Chosen, the Key and she who is Twice Called. Big things are coming, my little ones."
"What would have happened if they didn't pass?" Willow asks.
The Kahimi lowers her head a bit. "I hoped that would not happen. But I would have had to make good on my threats. Faith would have been stripped of her powers and Angelus forced to serve in my court."
"What's coming?" Buffy asks, undraping herself from Angel.
"The End of Days," the Kahimi says. "You are all needed. As I am needed now back in my home."
"Wait," Buffy says. "That's it? You put us through all this and just leave?"
The Kahimi touches Buffy's cheek. "Slayer…you have been restored because you have a duty to perform. You yourself passed the ultimate test. You gave your life for your sister, for your friends, for the world. The Powers That Be, they needed to be certain…the ancient prophecy…it is all predetermined. The three of you, and the Key, will be powerful allies." And with that, she left the shop, the other Watchers trailing after her.
"Again with the predestined stuff," Xander mutters.
"The End of Days," Buffy says softly, thinking. "Doesn't sound good."
Giles sighs, then throws a glance at his Slayer. "Buffy, I think that can wait until tomorrow, don't you?"
She grins and looks at him. "It's been a hell of a day, hasn't it?"
Angel takes her hand. "How do you feel?" he asks.
She grins. "I feel great, actually. Much better than the last time I died."
This is surreal. I mean, just earlier today we were still mourning our friend, now she's here, in front of us, cracking jokes. It's happened so quickly. And, I'm still needed.
"How are you, Faith?" Sloan asks.
I nod. "I'm good." I throw a glance at B. "Five by five." She grins back at me and wraps an arm around my waist.
"Do you think this time we can avoid the fighting, stabbing, put you in a coma, switching bodies part?"
I think about it…then grin. "I'll try."
Spike's behind me, his hands on my shoulders. "Yeah," Xander says, "What the hell is up with you two?"
I look at him curiously. "I don't know what you mean," I say, and tilt my head back. Spike kisses my lips.
"Oh brother," Xander says, rolling his eyes and tucking Anya under his arm.
"Can we eat, really?" Buffy asks. There's giggling amongst Tara and Dawn who sling arms around each other and head for the door, everyone else walking with them.
"What I don't get," Willow says, "is what she meant by me having Wicca in my bloodline…" I can hear her saying as they head out to fill up a starving Buffy.
Spike and I watch them go. I turn to him a moment later and kiss him.
"Happy?" he asks.
I nod. "Pretty much."
I look up at him. "Never dated the undead. Dated some guys who should be dead…."
"Never dated a Slayer, not to mention the bloody Twice Called," he says, grinning sexily at me. "Guess this means you'll be sticking around."
"Looks that way."
"Hmm…" he says, nuzzling my neck. Shivers run up my back. "I like girls who can fight."
"I can kick your ass," I tell him, dragging my hands through his hair.
"Wanna bet?" he asks saucily.
I giggle like a school girl, all innocent-like, and lay him out on his back. He lands with an UFF sound and stares up at me, stunned. Climbing on top of him, I lean down to kiss him. "Come 'ere," I whisper. We end up very late for dinner.