The next day at Xander and Dawn's was spent getting researchy with it. When Buffy announced the need for research on both the newest rogue slayer Simone and the singing phenomenon, the group groaned.
"Hey, look, we all remember what happened last time people started singing their guts out. It became literal with the singing their guts out."
"And you started boinking Spike," Dawn muttered under her breath.
"And whose boyfriend is singing about sex hair? Yeah. Peanut gallery, shut up." Buffy snapped.
"All right, Buff, no need to remind us of our singing debacles, let's just crack these books open. Or better yet, I'm going to run to grab many donuts and coffees. Sugar all around?" At Xander's plea to make the room calm again, a knock was heard from the door.
Willow rushed to open it finding Faith standing there with three dozen Kripsy Kremes and a Box o' Joe.
"Hope I didn't miss the party," she said as she slid into the apartment.
"Moment stealer." Xander muttered under his breath.
Ignoring Xander's comment Buffy and Dawn got up to help the brunette slayer with her treats. After a few mumbled thanks and a shrugging off of the coat Faith was wearing, the group all sat back down around the table again.
"So," Faith began, "did I miss anything?"
"Gotta say no. We don't know what the mystical mojos are with the singing and dancing this time around."
"Well, there's no dancing," Dawn piped up. After a beat of nothing but confused faces eating donuts in her direction, Dawn sighed.
"You guys, have you actually seen anyone dancing in all the singing?" Waiting for the silent answer Dawn knew was coming, she glared at everyone.
"See? So, this is a different musical extravaganza for us. Which, oh, hey! Upside, looks like maybe no dying this time."
"Yeah, that does make sense, but we should still do research. We really have no idea what's going on and why it's not even targeted to an area, just kind of anyone that's connected to us, I guess." Buffy groaned at her own words. Research, the funnest part of the slayage gig, apart from the dying.
The group nodded solemnly and returned to the dusty volumes in front of them, all except Faith.
"Hold on a sec. You kids still need to fill me in on the big bad mohawked one tryna put the smack down on B."
At the mention of Simone, the Scoobies shifted uncomfortably. "We don't know much about Simone, is the thing," Willow answered. "We know she holds up somewhere near the wharf, that she has a growing number of followers, and that the girl has a penchant for guns. Not the most helpful information, mostly just scary."
"Yeah, she's a little less scary when she's rapping, but we still need to take care of her. I really don't want to kill a human, Will, but I think she's too far gone for redemption." I wish all the rogue slayers would turn out like Faith. Yeah, she gets under my skin, but she's better now. Last night proved a lot of that. Ugh! Don't think about last night! The blond eyed the dark slayer careful not to be noticed. God, look at her lips…no, focus. You can't go thinking bad thoughts about Faith after everything that's happened. But she's just so nice to look at…
The group didn't notice Buffy's staring, and just nodded silently, again returning to their books of choice. Faith followed suit, realizing that if she wanted to get any info on this Simone chick, she'd have to do some recon later with B or the broody one.
Eventually the last jelly donut was gone along with the coffee, leaving the group in a stupor. Dawn dropped her head on the table, hitting the book she was pouring over with her forehead. "This is going nowhere. I give up. I surrender to singing." Faith, Willow and Xander all shut their books in agreement.
I'm having trouble tryin' to read
I'm counting spells but runnin' out
As time ticks by and still I try
No rest for demons in my mind
On my own, here I go
The group traded books with one another, looking sullen and incredibly bored.
My eyes feel like they're gonna bleed
Dried up and bulging out my skull
My mouth is dry
My face is numb
Rubbing her temples, Willow joined in.
Fucked up and spun out in my room
On my own, here we go
Dawn and Xander moved from the dining room table to the couch on the living room. Buffy looked concerned but could not bring herself to say anything. Instead, feeling forlorn, she reached for the book Dawn had been reading, and encouraged Faith to do the same. Willow had laid her head down on the table in defeat.
My mind is set on overdrive
The clock is laughing in my face
A crooked spine, my senses dulled
Passed the point of delirium
The song ended with the group spread across the dining and living room. Buffy still looked determined, but was about to admit defeat.
"I guess it's harder to find out why the singing when it's not just that demon guy. No one else has that as their M.O. Stupid demons," Buffy huffed as she snapped shut the volume in front of her.
"Look, B, no worries, we'll just focus on the other bad thing coming after ya. I say we go patrolling, do some recon on Simone. We gotta get to know this chick, find out if she can be saved."
"You're probably right, Faith. All right, let's gear up and go out. But so help me god if you start singing some screamo song, there will be hell to pay." The blond slayer joked.
"Same to you princess," Faith chuckled. The two grabbed a few stakes from the chest in the living and headed out the door.
"See you back at home, Will," Buffy yelled as she hut the door behind her.
The Wicca was left alone in the dining room, so no one noticed that her eyes were burning black and she was breathing heavily.
Buffy and Faith didn't find anything really on their early night patrol.
"I'm not sure we're going to find anything, Faith." Buffy said as they circled the same block for the third time in a row.
"Yeah, I guess. Let's just check out this next block and then head to some vamp infested areas near Haight."
Nodding in agreement, the blond followed as they continued their boring sweep of the city. As silence fell around them, Faith decided to strike up a conversation. She prayed to the high and holy Goddess that she didn't sing.
"So, I hear you've been tryna live the dull life lately. That true?"
"Yup. You know me, wanna be normal Buffy."
Faith raised her eyebrows, "I could never imagine not fighting, not helping people that need it. I couldn't imagine not doing what I have to do, the dirty work, you know?"
Buffy shifted a little. She had an idea what the dark slayer had been doing with her late Watcher, but she didn't want it spelled out for her. It made it real; it made it sad.
"Yeah, I heard about that. You always were the tough one. I may never admit it in front of anyone, but you really always had the harder decisions to make. I just tried to follow a script for it, really."
Buffy admission had surprised Faith and a look of shock settled on her features as Buffy kept walking ahead toward Haight-Ashbury. Catching up with Buffy, who was a few steps ahead, Faith questioned, "You honestly believe that?" The blond nodded silently.
"Wow, B. I didn't know you thought that about me."
"There's a lot of things I think about you that you don't know."
Again, Faith was left with a look of surprise and her mind exploded with possibilities. What if she thinks things about me like I think about her? Oh, god that's kinda hot, 'cause I think about her naked a lot. God, I'm such a pig. I should tell her how I've felt about her, right?
Before Faith could make a conscious decision about presenting her heart to Buffy, soft acoustic chords made the choice for her.
I am lost in the see-thru
I think you lost yourself too
She sang, noticing that Buffy was also lost in thought. This brought Buffy abruptly down to earth. Faith continued,
Throughout all of this confusion
I hope I somehow get to you
Faith turned her back to Buffy, she couldn't bare to look at her for what she was about to sing, but nothing could stop her from doing it, from being honest.
I practiced all the things I'd say
To tell you how I feel
And when I finally get my chance
It all seems so surreal
She turned back to the Chosen One in time to see a look of shock on her face, tears brimming her eyes.
'Cause from the first time I saw you
I only thought about you
I didn't know you
I wanted to hold onto
The things you'd never say to me
'Cause you can't change the way you feel
I could never do that, I would never do that
But you can't tell me this ain't real
'Cause this is real
Faith made the bold decision to grab on to Buffy's hand with her own. Her touch was so soft and tender, the blond inhaled deeply taken aback.
And in the end it's all I've got
So I'm gonna hold on and on and on and on
And now you've got me watching your eyes
You've got me waiting just to see
If it goes the way it never will
Will it ever go? Will it ever go my way?
Your eyes are watching me
Now you've got me thinking about
The first time that I met you
Dancing in that crowded room
But I could only see you
Faith looked completely shocked. Buffy actually did think the things she did? What?
I hope my words will get through
'Cause now I can't forget you
I wanted to tell you
If only I could reach you
Buffy pulled Faith's other hand in hers.
You make me feel this way.
Before the two slayers knew it, they were kissing passionately and slowly in the middle of the street they were crossing. Faith felt Buffy's soft lips melt against her own as they continued to crash together. Neither of them thought about anything else other than being close to the other. They only broke apart when Buffy's phone started ringing obnoxiously.
Buffy flipped open her phone annoyed and breathless to her Willow's voice on the other end.
"Uh, huh. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. We're heading back now."
She clicked the phone shut, ending the call to find Faith staring at her expectantly.
"The Power Rangers theme song? Really?"
While the Chosen Two were on their patrol Willow headed back home to her apartment along still feeling the magicks surging through her uncontrollably.
Once she entered the front door of the apartment, she put her keys down on the table beside the couch and faced the mirror across from her. Her eyes were still pulsing black.
What are you doing, black eyed girl?
Can you explain this singing world?
I thought that truth was the key
But here I know nothing's free
At night I dream of being young
Why didn't childhood keep me long?
Why am I fighting for my voice
When I could sing when I want?
What are you doing, black eyed girl?
What are you doing, black eyed girl?
What are you doing, black eyed girl?
Is magick winning?
Willow finished her short song sighing heavily.
"All the singing is my fault, and if anyone gets hurt, it'll be my fault too."
Willow picked up her phone to call Buffy and tell her the truth just when someone walked in the apartment behind.
"Oh, hey, Buffy I didn't realize you'd be back so soon—"
Willow turned and saw Simone standing in the doorway.
"Honey, I'm home." she sneered as she made her way toward Willow, pulling the glock from her waistband.