Author:- Real Emma Gray
Start Date:- 14th January 2011
Disclaimer:- I do not own Buffy or any of the characters. They all belong to the brilliant mastermind that is Joss Whedon!
AN:- Ok, this was a story I started on this Buffy fansite, and I was gonna wait until it was finished to put it up here, but I changed my mind. To those who are starting to read this, it is kinda different to all my other stories, as in this story contains a female/female love story. The idea came into my head after reading some of the other stories on the site, and I just had to write it.
Faith Lehane lay on her back on her bed, sparked out, staring up at the ceiling, the table side lamp the only illumination besides the glare from the full moon pouring into her window. Today had been a long day, like every other recently since she had found herself back in Sunnydale.
She really was thankful for Angel for getting her out of prison. Even living over the Hellmouth was better than that place. Like Spike had told her when they first spoke, though, she had had the power to break free of that place whenever she wanted. She was a Slayer for Christ Sake, no one in that place could take her on and win. But there was one person who was stopping her from just walking right out before her time. Herself.
She had been there for a reason, because she needed to be, she knew that now. She had done so many things in her past that she felt guilty for, from Finch's murder to turning her back on Buffy and all the others who had tried to be friends with her, turning to the dark side. It had taken her a while, but she now she knew just how messed up she had been back then. She had blamed it on her family, on her shitty upbringing compared to Buffy's perfect life… and still did now. But while a large part of her did believe that, believe that she would have turned out a lot different if she had had the life Buffy did, recently, there was that small amount of doubt creeping in. It was telling her that maybe, just maybe, that was all just an excuse she used to get over the fact that she really did have a tendency to the darker side of life.
But, no matter what had happened in the past, she was here, in an unimaginably crowded Summers house, to redeem herself for everything. When The First had started its big battle against the Slayer line and Faith had been attacked in prison, Angel had figured the best place for her was outside of those four concrete walls and back in the real world, where she could fight, make herself useful. She had to admit, it had hurt that once they knew what The First was after, Buffy and her little gang hadn't thought that maybe Faith should be with them, but she was over that now.
When she first stepped foot back in that house, she hadn't been met with a wonderfully warm welcome. She hadn't expected it, of course. Every one of them had reason to hate her after what she had done. But, over time, things had changed. They had all come to realise that she really was there to help, and they had a better chance of winning with her around.
She, however, wasn't all the kick-ass help they had. For a while now, ever since the Council had been destroyed (which, although she would never admit to the others, she thought of as a good thing. They did try and kill her after all), Potential Slayers had been arriving from every corner of the Globe. With no where else to go, no Council to give them a place in the world, they had come to the Hellmouth and to Buffy, hoping she could help them. The house had been getting more and more crowded ever since. Faith was the only one with a room to herself. Best guess? Every Potential in the place had been told the tale of Faith, the Rogue Slayer, and now no one was about to risk sleeping in the same room as her.
But even now, end of the day, in a room all to herself, Faith was still developing a major migraine. Not because of the Potential's upstairs, giggling and yelling over who'd been in the bathroom longest or whose turn it was now. Not because of the latest rant from Buffy, which was still fresh in her mind, about how they needed to be prepared for what was coming. Not even Andrew's incessant rambling voice, which she could hear even now, moaning about some other piece of information he had been kept out of just because he used to be evil, and how come Spike and Faith were let off when they had killed way more people than him.
No, this migraine, as usual, was thanks to the over powerful emotions that were not her own that were invading her mind.
Ever since the Potential's had started crawling out of the woodwork, Faith had been affected in a different way to everyone else. Granted, the constant girly chattering and giggling that seemed to be around the clock still affected her like everyone else in the house, but that wasn't the only thing. Recently, she had noticed feelings that she was 100% sure were not her own invading into her mind. She could be in the best mood possible, having one of her rare good days, but there would be sadness nagging at the back of her brain, vying for supremacy.
At first, it had most definitely confused her. She had thought something was wrong with her, that she couldn't be happy for some reason. And after all the mystery she had caused everyone around her, she sometimes kinda felt like she deserved it, like it was her punishment. But, as the days went by and her advanced Slayer senses kicked in, she was able to recognise these feelings as coming from some external place that was not her own mind.
The others had noticed of course. They'd be blind to miss it, the way her feelings were changing. She could be laughing and joking one minute, and in a flat second, she'd be on the verge of depression. Willow figured it was her proximity to all the Potential's. Slayers always had a connection to each other, even Potential's, so she thought maybe she was picking up on some of their feelings. Faith thought different. She'd been round the girl's, she could see none of them were feeling what she was getting. This was true misery, the kind that was very hard to hide.
With a heavy sigh, Faith swung herself off of bed, dodging past numerous teenage girls as she made her way downstairs. Luckily, the kitchen was one of the only empty rooms in the house. Feeling the growl in her stomach as she sat down, Faith reached for the quickest food she could find, which happened to be the cereal box. She debated whether to stay or take the box, knowing that there was no chance in hell she'd get the kitchen to herself for that long.
As if on cue, a group of the girls walk in, talking louder than is probably necessary as they take Faith's snack time approach, this time grabbing all the cookies they could from the cupboards. Beyond the point of caring right now, Faith simply drops her head into her hands, letting them get on with it. She doesn't even lift her head when they decide to leave, or when she hears two more sets of softer footsteps walk into the room. She just groans loudly.
"Well, hello there, Sunshine!" one of the new kitchen members says. Faith raises her head to see Buffy and Willow now in the kitchen, side by side and stood in front of her over the counter.
"Let's see how 'sunshiny' you'd be if you had to deal with this house full of teenage girls while trying to battle one major migraine," Faith replied, scowling slightly at Buffy.
"You still getting those weird feelings?" Willow asked, actual concern in the red heads voice. Faith just nodded, closing her eyes and gently massaging the sides of her forehead. Like that was gonna do any good! "You just need to learn to control this, Faith. With all these Potentials in the house with all sorts of emotions running through their heads, you're bound to…."
"Listen, Red," Faith butt in, opening her eyes and looking up at the woman. "I appreciate you trying to help, really. But these are not emotions from anyone inside this house I'm feeling. Whoever this is, they're depressed… and I mean truly depressed, not how B gets whenever her latest squeeze dumps her." Faith could see Buffy's offended look, but she carried on.
"Last time I looked, none of the girls in the house are even a little depressed. No sad feelings, just an awful lot of giggling and long, midnight chats that I can hear through the thin ass walls in this house! So why don't you try coming up with a new theory, and a new way for me to get my mind back to myself, instead of spieling off the same crap you always do just to shut me up!"
Faith simply dropped her head back against the table with a heavy thud after her little outburst, not seeing Buffy and Willow staring at her before exchanging a look. Yes, they were used to Faith's mood changes, but she'd never snapped at them the way she had just then.
"Is it really that bad, that intrusive?" Willow asked. For an answer, Faith simply nodded her head where it was, banging it against the counter a couple more times with the motion. "Well… then… there might be something I could do." At this, Faith pulled her head up off the table top.
"And you didn't think it might be a good idea to bring out this little 'something' when I first mention this almost two weeks ago!" Faith pretty much growled at the red head witch, making the girl gulp visibly. She may have been on their side now, but everyone was still aware that Faith was not someone you went out of your way to piss off.
"Well… I just… I thought…." Willow began to babble. "I kinda, really thought it was one of the girls in here you know, what with the Slayer connection thing. And I know they're not Slayers yet, but they're Potential's, and I figured that was, you know, the same thing, because…." Willow met Faith's eyes then, seeing the look she was giving her, and gave up on the babbling for a more coherent train of thought.
"And, honestly, it could be… kinda dangerous. For both me and you."
"Well, if we can get this sorted out, I'm ok with 'kinda dangerous'," Faith said, jumping to her feet, seemingly in a better mood now. "So, what do we need to do?"
About half an hour later, Faith and Willow were sat cross legged opposite each other on the dining room table, a bowl of some herbs that Faith had never even heard of mixed together in a bowl between them, a white candle either side of that. Buffy was stood off to the side of them, insurance in case anything did go wrong.
"So let me get this right," Faith said again for about the tenth time. "With the help of this stinky mix here, you're gonna have a little walk through my mind and find out whose frequency I'm tapping into."
"Basically… yeah," Willow told her with a smile, not at all helping to comfort Faith.
"What you guys doing, a spell or something?" Faith heard Kennedy's voice beside her, turning to see Willow's girl and Dawn walking in from the kitchen.
"No, I'm sat on the table because it's so darn comfy up here," Faith quipped.
"Well, whatever it is, I hope it gets rid of the Little Miss Grumpy attitude you've developed," Dawn stated, glaring at Faith.
"Here's hoping, Squirt," Faith said with an over exaggerated smile.
"This person clearly has a link with your mind that maybe they don't even know about," Willow continued with her explanation. "The idea of this spell is to sort of reverse that link, use it to backtrack and see whose emotions it is you've been picking up on recently."
"I thought we agreed that was just the abundance Potentials we have here," Giles said as he too walked in, over hearing their conversation.
"Not so much anymore," Willow said. "From what Faith has been saying about the emotions she's picking up, it doesn't sound like it can be any of these girls."
"What's going on in here?" another voice asked as Xander walked into the room with his attached-at-the-hip, not-really-a-girlfriend girlfriend Anya.
"Geez guys, what I am, a circus sideshow or something!" Faith groaned out as the crowd round her began to grow.
"Am I expected to answer that?" Xander asked with a smirk at Faith.
"Sure… if you wanna loose an appendage. And guess which ones going first," Faith growled at Xander, giving him that look that everyone in the house knew to be careful of. Xander just gulped, backing up and crossing his legs as if in protection of his 'appendage'. "Let's just get this over and done with."
"Get what over and done with?" Spike's voice added to the mix as he strolled into the kitchen, that ever present black leather jacket billowing behind him.
"Oh for the love of…." Faith moaned before putting that fake smile back on. "Come on in, join the party. Every bugger else has!"
"Well, don't mind if I do," Spike smirked, leaning casually against the doorframe to watch over the proceedings.
"Look, can we just do this, and do this quickly," Buffy said, moving closer to the table.
"I second that motion," Faith said, turning to Willow. "Get your magic on, Red. Let's see how good you are."
"Ok, well, this is all pretty simple. It just relies on concentration," Willow said. "So, first, you need to take the candle on your left." Faith did so, picking it up as Willow took the other one.
"Now, when I put the flame to my side of the bowl, you do the same," Willow said, before she began muttering softly in what Faith thought was probably Latin, though she didn't understand a word of it. All these types of spells were usually in Latin, right?
Watching Willow's hand rather than focusing on the words, when she saw it tip towards the bowl she did the same, the flames touching either side of the mixture at the same time. When it did, whatever was in the bowl seemed to separate, giving a different reaction to the flame. While Willow's flamed glowed the natural orange of live fire, Faith's side had immediately began to burn an intense raven black, so dark she it looked like her side of the mixture had burnt to a crisp.
"Ok, now I need you to take my hands," Willow said, holding both her hands across the table for Faith to take. "And completely empty your mind to allow me in."
"That shouldn't be difficult, there's not too much in there to empty," Dawn muttered, just loud enough for Faith to hear. She turned to the Slayer's little sis, ready to snap, but the sharp pull on her hands brought her attention back to Willow.
"Just sit and don't do anything," Willow told her. "I'll do most of the work."
Faith, complied, closing her eyes and trying to just relax. This wasn't exactly an easy task for her, but if it got rid of the migraines, she'd do anything.
After a few moments of just sitting there, Faith suddenly felt a push into her mind, an intruder. Automatically, her brain built up defences, trying not to let the invader in.
"Faith, you need to relax and let me in for this to work," Willow's voice said, and Faith was aware that the voice was in her head, not spoke aloud for all the room to hear. Apparently, Red's spell had actually worked. After what Faith had heard about last time Willow used magic, she wasn't too sure she was stable enough to do the spell and not going all murderer on them again.
"Hypocrite," Faith heard Willow's voice again, which confused her. What the hell was the witch on about, and who was she talking to. What confused her more was Red's laughter that followed.
"I'm in your mind, Faith," she explained to her. "I can hear what you're thinking. And you should know better than anyone that being a killer in the past doesn't mean you can't change in the present."
"Sorry, Red," Faith replied, in her mind this time, catching on quickly they could now speak like this. "After what B told me about the last time you used magic, I guess I was a little weary since it is my brain you're invading."
"I'll be in and out quickly, I promise," Willow joked. "Now we just need to see if we can find… hang on, I think I've got the connection."
One moment, Faith was staring into darkness, the backs of her eyes. Now, it was like she was travelling through the streets at high speed, houses, cars and trees flying past her in a blur. For a moment, she felt like she was gonna throw up from the images flashing across her eyes, but they began to slow down gradually. Now they were just travelling down a street, looking at each house, searching for something. The images soon slowed even more, stopping outside one house. Slowly, Faith's vision zoomed into the upstairs bedroom. Inside was who she figured had been getting into her mind.
The bedroom was a pretty typical young girl's room. Lilac painted walls, books, papers and CD's littering the desk and photos of friends pinned up on her wall. There was a uniform lay out on the chair in the corner, one that Faith recognised from coffee bar, The Espresso Pump. Lying on the bed, curled into a foetal position, was a young girl that only looked to be a few years younger than Faith. She was wearing baggy clothes that didn't help Faith see how tall she was, or what kinda figure she had. Her short hair was covering her face as she lay, sobbing gently. Even without knowing what she was crying over, Faith could feel the pain coming from this girl. Faith wasn't sure if it was because of the connection or not, but she instantly felt sorry for her.
Before she knew it, Faith was pulled out of the girl's room, opening her eyes to see she was still sitting on the table in Buffy's dining room, but she was no longer holding Willow's hands and the young witch was slumped slightly in front of her, breathing heavily.
"Sorry," Willow breathed out. "The connection was too strong to hold, I was pulled out too soon."
"It's ok, Will," Buffy said. "At least you know who it is now."
"Yeah, but I couldn't tell anything about her or where she might be from what I saw," Willow said, her breathing back to normal now. "That house looked like any other round here, and I didn't catch a street name. But, now we backtracked on the connection and I still have that in my mind, a locator spell should find her easy enough."
"Willow, sweetie, are you sure you're well enough to do another spell after that one?" Kennedy asked her, concerned.
"Yeah," Willow said, hopping off the table, Faith following. "A locator spell is simple compared to what I just did. Using a mind as strong willed as Faith to explore another mind just as strong is a difficult thing."
"You say this girl also had a strong mind, very similar to Faith's?" Giles asked Willow. She nodded, but before she could answer, Faith spoke up.
"Yeah, even I could feel it. I think you guys were original right on one part. I think she might be a Potential," Faith said.
"Another one so close and we didn't know about her?" Buffy questioned.
"It's not that surprising," Giles said. "Rona is proof that not all of the Potential's are aware of their heritage from birth like Faith, or even Kendra where. It could be that perhaps this girl hasn't yet been given a Watcher, and the Council were destroyed before they got the chance to find her."
"Not like the Council were ever up on their game while they were around anyone," Anya muttered, and Faith couldn't help but smile.
"She's got a point," she said, pulling away from the table as in the background, Willow set up for her locator spell.
"Anything you got from the girl Faith, what with your connection and all?" Buffy asked her.
"Well, I think I get the whole depressed thing now," Faith said. "The girl hasn't got the best home life. I couldn't hear it, but I think the parents were yelling somewhere, I could feel that from her. And I sorta got that maybe her mother isn't the only one her father yells at… and it might not stop at yelling."
"If that's the case, maybe it would be good for us to find her fast and get her back here away from her father," Buffy said. "The more Potentials we have to help, the better."
"That might not be the best idea right off," Giles told them, continuing at the looks from the two Slayers stood in front of him. "It seems clear that this girl has grown up in an abusive household full of fighting, and not knowing her heritage, I can image has more then likely grown a tolerance away from violence. Taking her from one lot of violence and expecting her to fight, be the cause of another, is not fair on this young girl. It may traumatise her. Rona had a perfectly normal life, yet she did not take too kindly to being told to fight, imagine what this girl might do. I think the best idea might be to ease her into all this, allow Faith to get close to her."
"Me?" Faith questioned. "Why me? Buffy's the people person, I simply kill things."
"You have this connection for a reason, Faith, I suggest we use it," Giles continued. "If you could befriend this girl first, pull her away from that life or violence and gain her trust, perhaps we could help ease her into the idea that she is a Potential Slayer."
Before Faith could say anything to that, there was a bright orange spark from the table. Apparently, while they had been discussing just how to get round this girl, Willow had already completed her locator spell.
"I've got her," Willow announced. "She's in the cemetery, which can't be a good thing."
"Are you sure it's our girl?" Xander asked.
"Yeah, I used the connection I could still feel from what I got in Faith's mind to find the right girl."
Every eye in the room turned to Faith, clearly waiting for her to do something.
"I guess I'm taking patrol duty tonight then."
Snatching her coat from the banister and a stake from the table, Faith went out in the night to see if she could finally, once and for all, find a way to get rid of her migraines.
AN:- Ok, also my first attempt at a Buffy story, so what do you guys think? R&R, please!