TITLE: "From the Strangest Places"
TIME: Sometime after "Revelations"
DISCLAIMER: I own none of the characters mentioned. All Joss' genius.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was a fic challenge that I did for a list so if some things seem random, it's because they needed to be included.

"Dun...dun...dundundun DUUUNN, dun," Xander Harris warbled, coming out of the movie theater. He swung around the toy light saber, almost hitting Oz in the face. "Oops,sorry."

"It's cool, Luke," Oz replied, not fazed, arm in arm with his girlfriend, Willow Rosenberg.

"Actually, Luke wouldn't have needed to say 'ooops,'" she remarked. She gave her childhood best friend a teasing grin.

But Xander just stuck his tongue out at the redhead and continued to sing the "Star Wars" theme as they walked down the sidewalks of Sunnydale.

It was a cool night, and the Scooby Gang decided to take in yet another movie. Lately, it seemed like the best thing to do to keep their minds off of certain things. However, sometimes they thought their own lives resembled a movie - a horror movie.

Xander swung the toy again, making sure Oz was far from him. "Do not fight the force, Luke," he said in his best Darth Vader voice. "'Cause the force is the coolest thing ever. Whoosh!" He made an outward arc with the saber. Suddenly, it wasn't in his hand anymore. "Hey!"

Buffy Summers held it in hers, almost becoming the second victim of his light saber. "Can we stop with that, please? Or else this is going to be broken in half."

Xander winced at the tone of the Slayer's voice. She didn't seem to be kidding around. "Okay, sorry." The saber returned to his possession and he held it by his side.

Willow frowned, noticing the harshness of Buffy's voice. She sighed, then glanced over at her best friend. "Hey, 'I Still Know What You Did Last Summer' is coming out next. That could be our next movie of the week."

"Who wants to see a bunch of stupid kids get killed?" Buffy muttered, staring straight ahead. "I mean, they acted like they had two lobotomies in the last one."

Xander felt the uncomfort among the group. Exchanging a look with Willow, he laid off on the saber swinging. "Uh, yeah. So, who's up for some--"

"Forget it, guys," Buffy interrupted. She turned to the others who stopped. "I mean, it's great you guys are pretending and all, but just cool it." She shook her head, already not wanting to be there. "I need to go."

"Where?" Willow asked. She held Oz's hand expectantly.

Buffy was already down the street. "Patrolling. What else?"


Buffy sat on a park bench near the main graveyard of Sunnydale. With stake in hand, she wasn't focused at all. Her rudeness and snippiness toward her friends were something she regretted but didn't want to linger on it. She stared at something far off, away from what was reality. She didn't want reality to sit in, but it had--in her.

"Thought I'd find you here, B," came Faith's voice. She appeared in front of the blonde Slayer, hands in her jean jacket.

"Leave me alone," she muttered, not making eye contact.

"Hmmm, for some reason, that ain't gonna happen." She sat down next to Buffy, feeling the unwantedness from the other Slayer. But as usual, she didn't care.

Buffy continued to just stare ahead. "Aren't you playing the part of Ms. I'm-Not-Really-Here lately?"

"Be a bitch," the younger Slayer said with a shrug. "I'm used to it. It's nice to see you're not always Marcia Brady with a stake 24/7." She shrugged deeper into her jacket. "You're having it rough, B."

Her jaw clenched. "I'm fine. Stop trying to be like the others."

Faith paused, going off into some distant memory. "I know what it's like."

"No you don't," Buffy snapped. "It happened to you once. That's not the same as this one."

Faith snapped her head to look at Buffy in disbelief and her temper flared. "Hey, you don't fucking TELL me what I don't feel. I liked the guy, too. So yeah, it happened to me twice, if you don't mind."

Buffy stood up and faced her, gesturing her words with her hands. "No! You didn't love him like I did. I'm sorry that you lost her before you came here. But Giles was the second one I loved like a father! Merrick DIED for me. I didn't want that to happen again, but lo and behold, it DID! You CAN'T know what I feel!"

"Buffy, snap out of it. I DO know. Yeah, Giles wasn't 'dad' to me, but that doesn't mean I don't feel the pain. And my first Watcher, she died for me. SHE put ME before herself. And she died suffering! So I didn't have her for as long as you had Giles. It doesn't matter. She was my mother because the one who gave birth to me definitely wasn't!"

Buffy glared at Faith. "What do you WANT from me? Sympathy? I don't HAVE that right now."

Faith stood up. "No. What I want is for you to stop holding it in. You didn't shed one damn tear at his funeral, for cripes' sakes! What the hell is that about?"

"Why does it matter to you?"

"Because you're Miss Emotional, Buffy. I even cried a little, and you know I don't do that shit - ever. Willow, Xander, and everyone were sobbing their eyes out and you just stood there like YOU were the one lying in that coffin." A fist suddenly slammed into Faith's cheek, sending her sprawling back onto the bench.

"Don't judge me, dammit!" Buffy retored, fists still balled. "I was dying inside! He left me! Giles just decided to risk his life for me when it's my JOB to do that for him!" Tears began to stream out of her eyes and she fell to her knees, burying her face in her hands.

The energy to stand, to be strong, to hold no emotions left Buffy then.

Finally done seeing stars, Faith managed to sit up straight and see the fallen Slayer. She paused, trying to decide what to do now. Without much thought, the dark-haired Slayer knelt beside Buffy. "B, hey, that's it. Let it out, girl." She placed a hand on Buffy's back then gathered her into an awkward embrace. "That's all I want to see."

"Why couldn't I save him?" she sobbed. "Why did he have to leave me?"

"Being a Slayer is shit sometimes. Giles had his duty. Hell, I don't understand it, probably never will, but good Watchers love their Slayers like that. Something I learned." She fought back tears of her own, remembering how much she missed her own Watcher. "Love comes from the strangest places."

The two sat there for as long as it took for Buffy to calm down. By then, the others had found them and they stood around them protectively.

"I guess she'll be okay now," Willow whispered to Oz and Xander.

"Well, she's on her way," Oz replied, squeezing Willow's hand assuringly.

"That's all she needed," Xander commented. "We've been trying to talk to Buffy since Giles...died. She was like a rock. Neither of us could break her." He cocked his head to one side in thought. "Strange it's Faith who brought it out of her."

There was something that neither Willow nor Xander could understand, even if they felt the same pain. Willow smiled, seeing the two Slayers share something more than just fighting vampires. "I don't think it's strange at all."


(Just as reference, these are the things that needed to be in it):
-someone singing showtunes*
-character death*
-a light saber
-teen horror flick
-Brady Bunch reference*