It wasn't supposed to be like this.

That was the notion that Kendra couldn't stop from running through her mind.

The 'It' which occupied her thoughts was nothing less than her own death. An event which was only moments away in her estimation, using the rapidly spreading stain that was darkening her tattered tank top as a guide. The stain caused from the blood flooding out of the stab wounds in her chest. The wounds that made each of her breaths labored as her punctured lungs struggled in vain to fulfill their function and keep her alive.

And yet, with so little time left, the training and conditioning that had been the sole focus of her brief life kept her mind from being overcome by fear or any other frivolous emotions. Instead she was entirely consumed with the thought that she was not supposed to die this way.

Not at the hands of a fellow Slayer.

Then again, she shouldn't have had a fellow Slayer in the first place. The Slayer was meant to be a solitary title…held by only one girl in all the world. A girl who was granted the strength to fight and vanquish the vampires and demons and monsters that preyed upon humanity. A girl who would fight until she finally fell to those monsters…and then another would be given the strength to fight in her place.

But that had changed when Kendra had gone against the infamous vampire known only as 'The Master'. The unholy fiend, the murderer of Kendra's predecessor, had almost succeeded in ending her life as well. But she'd been revived… saved…by nothing more than simple CPR, and later gone on to end the creature's reign of terror.

Still, those few short moments when her heart had not been beating of its own accord…that had been enough to trigger the rise of a new Slayer. A Slayer who kept the newfound power she'd acquired even after Kendra had been revived. A Slayer named Faith.

The same Faith who'd plunged her wicked looking dagger again and again into Kendra's flesh.

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

The two girls should have been on the same side. They should have been partners…comrades. And for a time, they had been. And then they had become more. How could they have not? They were joined by a bond that predated recorded history, yet was at the same time unprecedented and new. Two Slayers…two girls in all the world with the same purpose…the same mission…the same burden. The vast differences in their backgrounds and personalities? Nothing more than trivialities that began to be brushed aside the first moment they'd stood face to face and looked into one another's eyes. They were much more than comrades. Friends…sisters…lovers…they were all these things in turn.

And in the end, they found none of this was enough.

For Faith had not gone through a lifetime of training and preparation for her new role as Kendra had. She'd not had the wisdom to see through the lies of the clever, oh-so-subtle sorcerer who'd whispered sweet words and played on her hidden fears. His devious manipulations had twisted and warped the bond between the two Slayers and transformed a beautiful yet fragile love into chaotic, violent hatred.

Hatred that had led to Kendra's life blood spilling onto the cold hard ground on which she now lay.

And standing over her was her killer. Not a demon or a vampire…but a teenage girl just like herself. A girl with powers meant to defend and protect others but would now be put to much darker purposes.

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

"You scared, K?" Faith asked as she looked down at her victim. There was no sign of remorse in her eyes and her voice carried a mocking tone. "It's okay if you are. Just you and me here. No need to keep the whole stoic act right up to the end."

Kendra knew Faith wanted to see her show fear…or anger…or shed bitter tears. Some sign of emotion that could be taken as weakness, and thus would let Faith tell herself that she was that much stronger. Kendra could deny her this…even now with her view of the world growing hazy and indistinct, she still could rely on the iron discipline and self-control that had been drilled into her for as long as she could remember.

But she chose to abandon those attributes. It was the decision she felt she had to make.

"Faith," she said weakly as tears began rolling down her cheeks. "Faith…please..." She raised a trembling hand to beckon to her murderer. "One…thing…for you…"

Smirking, but with a sliver of curiosity appearing in her eyes, Faith knelt down over the dying teen.

"What's that?" she asked. "You got something to tell me?"

Kendra's expression hardened and managed a small, barely perceptible shake of her head. "To…give…you…" she hissed.

Forcing the very last vestiges of her fading strength into her right arm, Kendra snatched the dagger that had been used on her from the sheath that hung from Faith's belt. Before the surprised Slayer could even register what was happening, Kendra swept the blade under Faith's chin and felt it slice deeply into the brunette's throat. So keen was its edge that Kendra could feel only the barest trace of resistance as it neatly severed the girl's jugular vein.

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

The thought still dominated Kendra's mind as she kept her gaze locked on Faith's now panic-stricken face. The two dying girls were a study in contrasts. The emotions that Kendra had just summoned to the fore were quickly banished, but Faith's eyes were filled with fear. The smirking, confident façade that she had always taken such care in presenting to the world was gone, revealing a terrified and lost little girl. She tried to scream as her hands flew up to her throat in a vain effort to staunch the crimson torrent of blood that gushed out with each hammering beat of her heart, but all she could manage were pitiful gurgling chokes. Both girls knew their lives were over, but only Kendra had the courage to face the inevitable calmly.

Faith tried to rise only to fall forward and lie atop the girl she'd both killed and been killed by. She looked into Kendra's eyes with a hopeless, desperate plea for some sort of miraculous salvation that would never come.

It wasn't supposed to be like this, Kendra reflected one final time. There cannot be two Slayers. Two to share what cannot be shared. Two that think they can join together and accomplish more than what one could alone.

That had been the trap they'd fallen into. Two special girls drawn to one another, yet who had been meant to exist as solitary warriors. The mission to battle the darkness could never end, it would always go on while evil existed. That was why there was only one Slayer at a time. The point was not to defeat what could not be defeated…the point was to never abandon the struggle no matter what.

There can only be one Slayer, Kendra thought as she watched the light fade from Faith's fear-filled eyes. Watched even as her own vision dimmed to complete blackness. Only one.

And less than a moment later, thousands of miles away…there was.

******'******

The End.

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author's notes: This is a prompt fic from the great and powerful SilverTurtle (go and read all her stories…she's great). Anyway, the guidelines she gave me for this fic were: AU, Faith and Kendra, 'The best gifts are sharp'.

This turned out to be the darkest thing I've written to date. Poor Faith and Kendra…I love both of them so. Yet as a writer I had to see how far I could go and just be absolutely horrible to them. As to the story saying that there should be only ONE Slayer…whereas the show eventually gave us hundreds...keep in mind the story is matching Kendra's point of view. Being the traditionalist that she is, I think she would believe that things should remain as they'd always been.

Please review. I live for feedback.