Note: Several years ago I started reading a fic in which Willow became a slayer and Giles rejected Buffy and took Willow as his slayer. I don't remember the title or the author of that story and I have not been able to find it again. This is all I remember from the story since I did not finish reading it. What I remember reading was very good; that is what gave me the idea to write this fic. I don't know how close to (or far from) the original story this one is. I hope this does not offend the author of the original story.
Who's The Better Slayer?
Pairings: None early, eventually B/A, C/We, Fr/Gu, hint of T/S
Feedback: Please. Constructive criticism is always appreciated.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything associated with BtVS and AtS. (Characters, plots and dialogue from the shows are borrowed with no infringement intent whatsoever.)
Distribution: Please ask and let me know where it's going.
Summary: Willow is a slayer. Giles rejects Buffy. And this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Warning 1: Giles, Willow and Xander are the bad guys in this story; they are shown very much out of character and meet very unhappy ends. If this offends you, you might not want to read this story.
Warning 2: Major character deaths
A/N1: This story is strictly AU. I have greatly altered events and time lines from the original shows. Seasons 1 through 5 of BtVS happened except that Faith didn't come out of her coma until season 5 and just in time to join the fight against Glori.
A/N 2: Thoughts are in single quotes ('').
Glori had been defeated and all of the Scoobies, including Spike, had survived. What had surprised everyone, including Buffy, was that it had been Faith who had defeated Glori while Buffy was saving Dawn from Doc. Faith came out of her coma with initial intentions to get revenge on Buffy for putting her there. Once she saw the situation in Sunnydale her slayer instincts kicked in and she joined the fight against Glori. Everyone was suspicious of her at first, including Giles, but Buffy convinced the others to give her a chance. Buffy's support broke the ice between Faith and herself and between Faith and the rest of the group, everyone in the group except Willow, that is.
'Why couldn't she just stay in her coma or die for that matter? We don't need her here; we can fight Glori without her.'
Of course Willow did not voice her thoughts to anyone, but it was obvious to anyone who looked close enough that she was not happy with Faith's presence in the group. Buffy noticed and just assumed that Willow was still mad at Faith because of the incidence with the mayor when Faith had tried to kill Willow and she hoped that the negative feelings would soon blow over. She would speak with Willow about it after the fight with Glori was over, but before the fight everybody's energy was focused on preparing for a life or death confrontation with a hell god.
Tonight they were at the Bronze celebrating their victory; even Giles was there. Willow noticed Faith and Tara talking and without preamble, she grabbed Tara by the hand with a glare in Faith's direction and said, "Let's dance" as she pulled Tara toward the dance floor. Faith was left standing there wondering what she had done to piss Willow off.
Faith walked over to the table where the others were sitting. Almost immediately Xander grabbed Anya by the arm and led her to the dance floor leaving Faith alone with Buffy and Giles. She couldn't stand it any longer so she asked, "Is Willow pissed at me for some reason?"
Buffy started to speak, "Well, I think…" but before she could finish her thought Giles interrupted her with
"You should be able to understand why Willow would find it difficult to just forgive and forget when someone has held a knife to your throat and threatened to kill you. I can certainly understand it myself." He turned and looked directly at Buffy when he made that last statement, intentionally reminding her of his torture at the hands of Angelus. He did so, it seemed to Buffy, every chance he got.
Willow, Tara, Xander and Anya returned to the table just as Buffy responded to her watcher. "Giles, how many more ways can Faith apologize for her actions last year? And Angel's soul has been returned and he has left Sunnydale. What more do you want?"
"I want him dead," Giles roared with a viciousness that startled everyone at the table.
"That works for me as well," Willow said glaring pointedly at Faith.
Barely able to speak, Buffy looked at her Watcher and her best friend. "Giles, Willow, what is happening here? I thought we had put all of this behind us."
"No, Buffy," Willow shot back, "you put it behind you because it didn't happen to you. Nothing like this has happened to you, so you can't understand how we feel."
"Nothing like this has happened to me?" Buffy asked incredulously. "Do you remember the master, or the order of Taraka, or Angelus for that matter? Have you any idea what I face every night?"
"You're the slayer, Buffy," Giles said condescendingly, "you're supposed to face danger every night. Your job is to protect the innocent and I must say, in these two instances you did not do your job very well."
Buffy stood there with her mouth open; she was so surprised at Giles' words. 'Is that how Giles sees me, as just a weapon, a body guard?'
Before she could reply, Faith spoke up. "Let it go, B. Giles has already told me that he is sending me to Cleveland, I guess to get me out of everybody's hair."
Just as Faith finished speaking, a group of vampires entered the Bronze and started attacking the nearest humans they could get their hands on. Willow screamed as one grabbed Tara from behind and bit into her neck. Seeing this Faith went into action as Buffy fought the vamps attacking from the other side. Faith managed to stake the vamp that was attacking Tara and as he turned to dust she went off to fight others. What she didn't see was that as the vamp turned to dust, Tara fell forward hitting her head on the table before anyone could catch her.
When the fighting was done Buffy and Faith looked around to see if everyone was all right. It was then that they noticed a crowd around their table. Buffy had a sinking feeling as she pushed her way through the crowd to get to her friends.
She heard Willow wailing as she got closer. Willow was holding Tara and rocking her in her arms.
"Is she all right? What happened?" Buffy asked.
No one answered her.
At that moment Faith pushed her way through the crowd. "B, what's happened? Who's hurt?"
Hearing Faith's voice, Willow looked up and yelled at her. "You did this. You killed her. You killed Tara."
"What? No I didn't. I staked the vamp that was feeding off her. He couldn't have taken enough of her blood to kill her."
Xander spoke up. "It wasn't the vampire that killed her. When you dusted him she struck her head on the table as she fell forward. You didn't even look back to see what happened to her."
"What was I supposed to do, let that vampire continue to feed off her?"
Before anyone answered her, Giles said, "Faith, Buffy, get out of here. Go patrol or whatever you do at night. We will handle things here." With that he turned his back to them effectively dismissing them.
Buffy stood there staring at his back until Faith put her hand on her shoulder and said, "Come on, B, let's patrol." When Buffy didn't move Faith took her by the arm and pulled her from the club.
Neither of the slayers spoke while they patrolled, each lost in her own thoughts. As they approached Revello Drive Faith said, "B, I don't know what is going on, but I don't think it is a good idea for me to sleep at your house anymore. I'm sure Willow would rather not have me there. I'll just stay at the apartment for a while."
"This wasn't your fault, you know that, right?"
Faith nodded. "I'll see you tomorrow."
Buffy continued up Revello Drive and Faith turned to go to the apartment that the mayor had gotten for her. Neither slayer saw Willow as she turned to follow Faith.
'Nearly everything is in place. Day after tomorrow there'll be a new slayer in town. Me. Then we'll just sit back and watch the feathers fly. So that's where she lives. Nice place. Too bad she won't be needing it much longer. Faith had just better be glad that Tara is going to be alright. If she had really been dead, by the time I got through with Faith, Angelus' torture exploits would seem like child's play. I'm so glad I figured out how to get into Giles' private books that he keeps under lock and key. There is so much good information in them. It's like a witch's gold mine.'
Justifications for her deadly plan were already forming in Willow's mind. 'I should have done this long ago, when she first showed up in Sunnydale. Even then she tried to take Buffy away from me. Buffy was my friend, not hers; how could she side with Faith against us. Now that I have Giles eating out of my hands, I don't need Buffy's friendship. I'll just have to find a way to get rid of her as well.'
When Buffy arrived home the first thing she did was check to see if Willow was asleep. She was surprised to find that Willow was not in her room, she was not even in the house. 'She must be with Giles. She probably needed someone after losing Tara and I wasn't there for her. What kind of friend am I? I'll call Giles to see if she is there.'
She could tell that Giles was irritated when he answered the phone. "What is it, Buffy?"
"Is that the way you always answer the phone, Giles, or is it just me that irritates you so much?" Continuing on before Giles had time to answer, she said, "I was looking for Willow. She wasn't here when I got back from patrol."
"Maybe she just needed to put some distance between herself and Faith. She's probably at Xander's apartment. However I don't suggest you call him at this ungodly hour; some of us have to work tomorrow." The next thing Buffy heard was the receiver being slammed down followed by a very annoying dial tone.
'What is wrong with Giles? He is acting so unlike himself these days, I wonder…'
Before she could finish the thought, she heard the front door open. She got halfway down the stairs just as Willow started up.
Willow looked up at her. "Hello, Buffy," she said coldly and continued up the stairs past her.
Buffy reached out and touched Willow's arm. "Will, I am so sorry about Tara. I should have been there for you tonight, but Giles told Faith and me to leave."
"I know. I heard."
She caught up with Willow at the top of the stairs and put her arms around her. "Will please don't shut me out. I love you. Let me be there for you the way you were there for me when Mom died."
Willow looked at Buffy and her face softened. She saw real compassion in Buffy's eyes. "Oh. Oh you don't know. Tara wasn't dead; she was just unconscious. She woke up in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. She's going to be all right."
Buffy hugged her friend again. "Oh, Will, that's wonderful. We have to let Faith know. She still thinks Tara is dead."
'Is that bitch always the first thing she thinks about? What about me?'
Aloud Willow's words did not betray her thoughts. "I'll stop by her place tomorrow and tell her. It's on the way to the hospital. I'll apologize to her too."
"She'll be relieved to hear that. We've all been under a lot of stress lately. I'm just glad that Tara is going to be all right."
"Me too, Buffy. Good night." 'She'll be relieved all right. She'll be relieved of her life tomorrow night if I have anything to say about it.' Willow's thoughts were cold and vindictive as she closed the door to her bedroom. 'Let the bitch enjoy tonight. It'll be her last.'
The next morning Willow smelled food when she reached the top of the stairs. As she approached the kitchen she heard Buffy singing. "You're in a good mood this morning."
"Oh, Will, good morning. I am in a good mood. My best friend's girl friend is going to be all right and my sister slayer is not going to be charged with murder. Come on in, I made breakfast for us."
Willow hid well her distaste when Buffy mentioned Faith. "Smells good. What're we having?"
The girls ate breakfast in seemingly companionable ease, but Willow was boiling inside. 'One more day and the rules will change drastically,' she thought to herself.
"Will, why don't you drop me off at work and keep the car for the day? That way you will be able to spend more time with Tara and will have a car in case she gets released from the hospital today."
"Thanks, Buffy, that's sweet of you. You go upstairs and get ready to go while I clean up the kitchen. I'll be ready when you are."
"Thanks, Will, you're the best."
"I know." Willow said with an evil sneer that Buffy did not see.
"I'll call you to find out if Tara is being released today. Give her my love and tell her I'll see her later today," Buffy said as she got out of the car.
"Okay. I'll talk to you soon," Willow said and pulled the car away from the curb.
Things were turning out better than she had planned. She drove directly to a warehouse that had once been occupied by Spike and Drusilla. She knew that some of Spike's minions still nested there.
After putting a repel spell on herself she walked boldly into the warehouse leaving the door open so that she would be bathed in sunlight and the resident vampires could not reach her. "Wakey, wakey sleepyheads," she said as the vampires came awake. "Hello, boys, I have a little proposition for you and I think you're going to like it a lot."
"Why should we deal with you, witch?" asked one of the vamps, "You're a friend of the slayers."
"Things change. What would you say if I told you that tonight I would deliver a slayer to you weakened and almost completely helpless?"
"A helpless slayer at our mercy? What's in this for you, witch?"
"Just make sure that you tell her that Willow sends her regards."
"That's it. Oh, and you keep your mouth shut about this. When you're done with her, take the body to her apartment and leave it there; here's the address." She stuck a Post-it note with Faith's address on it on the wall near the door. "There is no attendant on the door between three and five in the morning and since she'll already be dead, you should have no problem getting in. She should have her key on her when she arrives here tonight."
"You've thought this thing through, haven't you? All right, it's a deal."
"She'll be here at 10 o'clock tonight. Enjoy."
Willow hopped into the car and sped toward Sunnydale General Hospital.
At nine o'clock that night just as she expected Faith to be leaving for patrol, she parked the car in front of Faith's apartment building and walked inside. She identified herself as Faith's friend and asked for the apartment number after whispering a quick 'forget me' spell on the attendant. 'Apartment 4B. Must be nice.'
Faith was surprised when she opened the door. Willow was the last person she expected to see, but she invited her in anyway. She started to apologize for Tara when she was interrupted.
"Tara was just knocked out. She's in the hospital, but she's going to be fine. That's what I came by to tell you and to apologize for my behavior. I know that I've treated you terribly and I'm sorry."
"It's okay, Willow. I can understand why you would hate me. I'm just glad that your friend is going to be all right."
"So am I. Look, I'm on my way to the hospital now to see Tara. The rest of the gang is already there. Do you want to come? I have Buffy's car." Willow said with a smile on her face that did not reach her eyes.
As soon as they were in the car and on the way to the hospital, Willow reached over and touched Faith's hand and quickly whispered the words of a spell that put Faith completely under her control; Faith could not move, her mind was blank and she stared straight ahead.
"Oh, didn't I tell you? I have to make a little detour before I go to the hospital?" Willow said snickering to herself; she knew full well that Faith could not reply to her. She pulled onto a side street and parked the car in a wooded area a few yard away from a clearing where she had set up her ritual. She opened the door on the passenger's side, pulled Faith out of the car and ordered her to follow. Faith had no will of her own and was forced to follow.
She commanded Faith to stand in the center of the circle of stones that she had set up earlier. Then she stepped into the circle. She called upon her strongest magic as she pulled Faith's slayer strength into herself leaving Faith weakened and barely able to stand.
"Return to the car," she ordered and Faith moved slowly toward the car, dragging her feet as she went. Willow drove once again to the warehouse. "Get out of the car and go into that building," she again ordered and again Faith did as she was told.
Willow waited until she heard vampire grunts and roars coming from the warehouse. She drove away with a smile of self satisfaction on her face.
End of Chapter 1