Title:Purple Rain (The Story Formerly Known As "That Night")
Author:lilyme
Summary:Set in BtVS Season 3. Can changing one pivotal event be the beginning of something entirely unexpected? Or will things still turn out the same?
Pairing:A slayer and a Witch (OR – two people much more similar than expected)
Rating: PG-13 to R
Disclaimer:I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". They were created by Joss Whedon and belong to him, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Television, Kuzui Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television and the WB Network. Thank you all for these characters! Large parts of the dialogue for this chapter taken from a certain Buffy episode we all know...duh! No infringement intended ;)
Schedule:"What's that supposed to mean?" you might ask. It means, I'm planning to update this on a weekly basis. Unless I don't find the time because of…what do you call this again…oh, right, "life"! ;) Or…well, unless no one reviews it, of course. In that case, I'm gonna hold by breath and wait till it happens. I think that's what they call 'blackmailing', huh? Well, sorry, guys, but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind :P :P :P
Author's Note: If you wanna know how this title happened…well, you could look up the meanings of 'purple' and 'rain'…or think of associations…'purple' is…purple and 'rain' is wet…ah, heck, it's Prince's fault! Quoting one of my betas: "And Special Thanks to Prince for being so undecided he inspired the title". But the looking up meanings and associations still works, I guess ;)
Thanks to: My lovely beta Wil-Lehane-
Dedication:To the Buffyverse-characters and the people behind them (actors and writers). This story wouldn't have happened, if you hadn't inspired me this much
Another Note: The first couple of chapters are not my best (no matter how hard I worked on them…I still don't necessarily like them). But I promise you, it'll get better.

And apparently I have a thing for headers. So you'll get to see this one - sometimes in a slightly modified way - at the beginning of almost every chapter ;)


CHAPTER ONE --- IMPURE THOUGHTS

The Scoobie Gang was sitting in chemistry class, awaiting the test that Buffy, despite having promised to do so yesterday, hadn't come over to Willow's house to study for.

Of course there had been reasons: yesterday that new watcher – tall, stuffy and even more British than Giles – had set foot into the Sunnyhell High Library. Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, evil in his own stuffily-unevil way, as Buffy had explained to her friends.

Faith had been even less excited than her blonde friend about being confronted with yet a new watcher; the incident with faux watcher Gwendolyn Post was still troubling her. At the moment she was simply denying his so-called 'authority', doing whatever she wanted to do…even if that coincidently was what Wesley ordered them to do, anyway.

And this was what Buffy was explaining to her friends right now, laying out the events of last night's patrol to them.

"It was intense. It was like I just... let go and became this force. I just didn't care anymore."

Buffy was so eager to explain every detail to them that it was almost hard for Willow to stay angry...no, not angry...maybe disappointed in her best friend for dumping her last night.

This was not the first time that this has happened; Buffy had run out on her at least three times already in the still young year of 1999 – because of Angel, but mainly because of her new slaying buddy.

"Yeah, I know what that's like," Willow tried to not let her emotion show and smiled.

"I don't think you can!" Buffy replied a bit too harsh for Willow's taste, "It's kind of a Slayer thing."

Yeah… the slayer thing, as if I haven't heard enough slayer-thing-stories in the last months...,Willow thought and averted her eyes.

The slayers' increasing spending time with each other had been bothering her lately, though she didn't really have an idea why. She felt that it had something to do with Faith and her constant being around them lately. Was it jealousy? Fear of losing her best friends to the brunette? Or was it something else entirely?

Willow had to admit that Faith has been good for Team Scoobie. There had been the humiliation of one Scott Hope, who had dared to show up with a new girlat Homecoming dance within days of breaking up with Buffy.

She would have laughed out loud if she hadn't been so caught up in her Xander-kissage problems at that time. They had practically been sitting ten feet away from the scene but it hadn't really registered on her. She had heard all sorts of rumors about Scott in the following days and had an idea where they may have come from

Plus…there had been that one time Faith had helped her to catch her werewolf boyfriend after he had fought with Jekyll/Hyde Pete. She could still see Faith being pinned to the ground by him and desperately trying to not get bit.

And…there had also been…her newest near-death-experience…

---

Flashback:

That night …two weeks ago, three-fourths of the Scoobie Gang, plus Angel and Faith were in the library, facing yet another apocalypse – the first one for Faith. The young slayer was eager to take on and take out every demon crossing her path...even the gigantic seven-headed one with armsand tentacles…that were dripping with slime. Of course, mucus-y demons were, and still are her favorites.

The others did not share Faith's eagerness in the least. They noticed that the creature had grown in the one and a half years it had been dwelling right beneath the library.

As the fight progressed, it became obvious that this battle was going to be harder than expected. The few remaining parties of the Sisterhood of Jhe were easy to manage; mostly lifeless bodies were left of them after ten minutes.

The seven-headeddemon, now, that was the real task. Not only had it grown but it also seemed more agile than before, the slimy arms shooting through the air faster than ever.

Willow and Giles were just about to prepare a spell to slow down the demon and make it easier to kill it, when said demon lashed out and knocked Angel, who was standing just a couple of feet away, unconscious. It slung its armaround his ankle and pulled him towards the gaping hole in the library floor – the gateway to hell, or Hellmouth, as the Scoobies have come to know it.

The two slayers were attacking the demon from the galleryunable to reach the vampire in time. "Angel!" Buffy yelled.

Giles, who was much closer to the vampire, in the book cage, grabbed the battle axe next to him and flung it at the demon, hitting the arm thatwas pulling Angel towards the Hellmouth.He didn't severe it from the demon's body, just cut it barely, but still this was enough to rendered the armuseless.

The watcher sprang forward, grabbed the vampire under the arms and pulled him behind the counter and out of harm's way. His first instinct was to check for a pulse and breath…just then he remembered Angel's undead status. The Englishman sat helplessly for a couple of minutes; he wanted to take off his glasses, but unfortunately he had lost them then they had been battling the Sisterhood of Jhe earlier.

Buffy gave the head she was fighting with one last swing, embedding the tip of the sword in it. The creature screamed earth-shatteringly. Yellowish-green slimedripped from its wound, before all life drained from the head and it slumped down. The blond slayer then ran down the stairs to Giles and Angel, leaving her brunette counterpart to battle another one of the demon's heads.

Meanwhile Willow had finished the set-up for the spell and was now waiting for Giles to return. Seeing that he was still crouching over Angel, checking for any sign of un-life in him, she stepped out of the cage, only with the intention to shout over to him. They didn't have much time; the demon was getting strongerwith every second.

As soon as she set a foot out of the cage, she regretted it. Just as it had happened to Angel mere minutes ago, an armgot hold of Willow's ankle and pulled her forward – the only difference was that she was still conscious and was screaming as loud as she possibly could.

Seconds later, Willow felt two strong arms around her waist, felt them pull her backwards, while the long slimy armof the Hellmouth demon still held a firm grip on her left foot.

"Buffy, God, help me!" the redhead screamed in terror.

"It's me, Red," she heard the low female voice right next to her ear. There is only one person that calls her this. Willow had no idea how the slayer had made it down here in just a fraction of a second. "Don't worry, I'll get you out of there," Faith reassured her, tightening her grip. "Just hang in here, okay?"

Willow couldn't do more than nod. Faith moved further backwards, trying to get away from the nastily agile demon that started to lash out more violently.

Faith's left arm tightened its hold around Willow's waist while she slowly removed the right one. "Don't let go!Hold on to my arm, otherwise I can't guarantee for anything."

And Willow did. She held on for dear life. She dug her nails into Faith's skin, hard enough to hurt her...if she weren't the slayer.

"B, I need something sharp!" Faith yelled over to her fellow slayer whilst the demon pulled even harder on Willow's leg.

Quick-wittedly, Buffy threw her a broad sword, which Faith caught without even looking. The dark-haired slayer swung at the slimy arm of the demon, which was curled around Willow's foot. She missed it by a few inches.

The demon pulled harder, making Faith lose her secure footing. Now it was really time to do things properly. She aimed again, this time slicing right through the arm freeing Willow.

With the redhead still in her grasp, Faith fell backwards, landing on her left shoulder. She hissed softly and pushed Willow through the open book cage door.

Willow looked concerned as she scrambled to her feet and saw the slayer pulling herself up with a pained expression on her face. "Faith, are you okay?"

"No big. Just dislocated my shoulder earlier tonight. Still hurts a bit." Seeing Willow's sorrowful and apologetic face, she added, "Hey, you can kiss it better later, okay? Do that spell now. We need to finish this thing off..."

"Right," Willow nodded, confused about the 'kiss it better' comment but pushing it out of her brain for now.

The slayer grabbed her sword and turned around "B! Giles! Let's move!" she yelled, seeing out of the corner of her eye that Angel had started to wake up…

---

Willow knew that she would be eternally thankful for that. The plans to tie herself to something sturdy next time they had an apocalypse in the librarywere already fix in her brain. Getting literally sucked into hell was not something that she wanted to witness before she had at least graduated from High School. Or…she didn't wanna witness it ever, actually.

Still there's something about Faith that makes me just...it makes me feel like she's stealing my time with Buffy. Nowadays my best friend doesn't even want me around anymore on patrol. For my own safety, she says. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's nice that she cares about me...

A-And I'm not saying that Faith is the only reason for Buffy's behavior. But she just makes me feel uneasy somehow. I'm sure she doesn't mean to. She's actually pretty cool…she fun, though I don't believe half of those stories she loves to tell. But the way she tells them…that enthusiasm…really contagious. Plus her dancing is just…

Willow's thoughts came to an abrupt halt, as she came to a sudden realization. No, her problem with Faith…the thing that made her uneasy…was not that she was jealous of her…no, it wasn't only the story-telling and the dancing…there was also the voice and not to mention those gorgeous, big brown eyes…

No, not jealousy...I just like her...too much...

Wow, nice way of getting there…From feeling uneasy to feeling attracted all of a sudden? But…i-it's true, I guess…

And that apparent jealousy only seemed to stem from her secretly wanting to spend more time with the brunette herself…which often was denied to her by Buffy, who suddenly took the view that 'civilians' shouldn't be involved in the fight against evil. Only exceptions – sudden cases of apocalypse or Faith MIA.

Oh, man, you're soooo smart, Willow, why didn't you think of this before? Willow thought about her shiny new attraction some more. Now she also realized why the act of being rescued by Faith had been playing itself over and over in her head over the last two weeks.

There definitely had been some parts of Faith that she shouldn't have been aware under normal circumstances. The warmth of her body, the…ahems…that had been pressing into her back, the hot breath that had been tickling her ear, the implications of the 'kiss it better' comment…

Near-death experience, crushing on the big savior? You hear stories like that every day…No, it's not like that! I was…I think I was…attracted to her since I saw her the first time…Why am I justifying this to myself…?

"I don't even think I'm explaining it well," Buffy, still talking about the Slayer thing, said, bringing Willow out of her thinking.

"You're explaining it a lot, though," Xander replied in a hushed voice.

Willow looked up again as Mrs. Taggart came to her and Xander's desk and handed them their tests. Buffy turned around, opening her test booklet. Willow was relieved that the speech about the slayer thing…and Faith…and Faith and her slayer thing seemed to be over. She needed to get her mind off the dark-haired girl.

"Alright. You have one period to fill out your test booklets. Periodic charts are located on the back. You're on honor system, so remember, no talking," Mrs. Taggart addressed the class. Willow snatched up her pencil, looking over the test. At least it gave her something to concentrate on, hopefully a chance to get the Faith-thoughts out of her head.

Or not…Because seconds later, Buffy turned back to Willow and Xander. "You see, the thing was, Faith knew I didn't even wanna go down there..."

Mrs. Taggart cleared her throat, interrupting Buffy, "Ahem. Ms. Summers?"

Buffy faced the front and gestured that she was keeping her mouth shut now.

"You have one hour," the teacher told the class and gave Buffy another look. Then she left the room. Buffy immediately turned back to Willow and Xander.

"Okay, so the best part..."

"Buffy," Willow interrupted Buffy concerned, not only because another mention of Faith might have made her lose her concentration on the test completely, but also because Mrs. Taggart might come in again and catch them talking. "Test? You know, remember? The thing you didn't come over to study for?"

Buffy seemed to get it finally. "Right. Got it." She turned back to her test.

Willow shook her head and looked down at her own test. It took a lot out of her to not put 'Faith Rosenberg' as her name on the worksheet. Even without Buffy starting to talk about Faith again…her brain was blocked.

Her blonde friend simply couldn't resist and turned around again. She smiled at Willow apologetically, "Sorry," and turned towards Xander again, "Okay, so we're down there, in the sewers, and Faith got three of them on her at once..."

Xander seemed equally as nervous as Willow. "Hey! Whoa!" He interrupted Buffy, "can we resume Buffy's 'Ode to Faith' later, like, when I'm not actively multiple-choicing?"

Buffy's voice took on a questioning tone. "How come your eye twitches every time I say Faith's name?"

The tip of Willow's pencil broke from the sudden pressure that she had put on it. She looked up at Buffy's question, panic in her eyes. She thought that her friend was talking to her just then. Luckily Buffy was staring at Xander momentarily and didn't see her reaction.

Xander's eye twitched again at the mention of Faith. "What?" he asked defensively and chuckled. "No, it doesn't."

Seeing Buffy lean in closer to Xander, Willow quickly picked up her pencil sharpener and started to sharpen. She bowed her head quickly, knowing what would come next.

"Faith!"

His eye twitched and he slapped his hand over it. Willow jumped at the same moment,unnoticed by her two best friends.

She was relieved.

And at the same time…she didn't even wanna think about how she would react if Faith suddenly showed up her, within minutes of her realizing her feeling for the brunette. Drool? Hyperventilate? Stammer? Best option: fall over dead – then there'd be no way the others could ask me about why I just did…whatever I'd do in that case…

"Cut it out!" Xander exclaimed. "We got a test to take, okay? And I'm highly caffeinated, and I'm trying to concentrate. Some of us actually care about school. You know." Buffy looked to Willow who, done with sharpening her pencil, indeed seemed to be concentrating on her test. Buffy finally realized that she was not going to be allowed to continue her story and settled down to take her test.

Xander started his actively-multiple-choicing routine, while Willow's mind was still trying to get back to its actual task. Xander's words rang in her mind, 'Some of us actually care about school, you know?'

Right, school, think school, school. Chemistry class. Elements, witchcraft with less newt…newt…huh, never realized that 'newt' sounds like' nude'…kinda. Oh, God, I'm in trouble...Okay, newt, newts, eye of newt...Faith has beautiful eyes...no, don't think about her, work on your test…Okay, you can think about her later…maybe?

Why do I have to do this babble thing in my head?! Stop!

Willow sighed, exasperated, arousing Xander's attention; and also Buffy's, who, of course, had the advantage of slayer hearing.

However, her friends didn't have time to ask what was wrong, since they now heard a rap on the window pane. It was Faith, trying to get Buffy's attention. The dark-haired slayer lifted the sash and leaned in.

The redhead's heart started to hammer in her chest. As Faith looked around the room nonchalantly, smirking when she didn't see a teacher present, Willow took in the slayer's appearance. Well, at least that part of the appearance that she could make out. All black and skintight, like most times.

Faith smiled, "Hey, girlfriend," meaning Buffy, obviously. It was just a nickname to the brunette, but Willow more and more wished that it would mean something, and especially – that it would mean her. "Bad time?"

The dark slayer leaned over to the next window, wiped the dust from it with her sleeve, exhaled to fog it and used her index fingers to draw a heart with a stake through it. She looked at Buffy, smiled and wiggled her eyebrows. Then she glanced at Xander and Willow shortly and smirked at them.

Buffy understood the meaning of Faith's heart right away and thought for only a moment before deciding to blow off the test. She glid down her lab stool and headed for the window.

Xander just sat there shock-faced.

Willow was trying to ignore the blush that was creeping into her cheeks, as she…"No, sh-she can't!" she said in Faith's direction. Keep the stutter out, dammit!

Faith smiled and leaned back in to wait for her fellow slayer.

Willow addressed Buffy now, "Y-you can't, can you?!"

Buffy ignored her and climbed out of the window. Faith lowered the sash after Buffy, giving Willow and Xander one last look, winking. Willow couldn't believe what had just happened.

She looked at Xander, who was just staringahead of him, an odd expression on his face. She was not quite sure what had caused his reaction to Faith but guessed that the reasons were similar to her own.

At least he's single…well, thanks to me. But what about Oz? I mean…the thing with Xander was only three months ago…I can't do this to him…again. Well, I didn't do anything yet…thoughts are no crime…are they?

Willow stared down at her test. Nothing on the sheets of paper seemed to make sense any more. Normally she loved chemistry…just like anything else…but today all these formulas with way too many Fs and O2s were simply too confusing today. Right now, Willow couldn't even tell, if, chemically-speaking, one could combine those two or not. Her brain seemed to scream 'yes!!!' And it's not like the little singular Os weren't confusing as well.

She moved her No #2 pencil over the worksheet again, deciding to try the "Xan-approach" for a change. Not much chance to do anything else, anyway. Okay, just tick the option that looks the best, Will. It might even be the right one, you never know. Three-out-of-four chance to flunk. Oh, man…someone's gonna kill me for that…probably Giles.

Speaking of…, she scrunched her eyebrows, didn't I say the best option is to fall over dead if she showed up here? Well, maybe I did and am now stuck in Can't-think-of-anything-but-Faith-Hell…though I'm not even sure if I'd really call this 'Hell'…

---

to be continued...


A/N: If you want to know why the story used to be called..."That Night", you'll have to wait and see, I guess ;)

And, again, I would be if someone reviewed :)))