A/N: Some of the conversations are taken from the episodes, which means I do not own them, or the character obviously, I mean this is FAN FICTION after all, and a few were altered to fit the plot of my story. I'm sure you'll know the difference between what's mine and what belongs to the wonderful writers of the Buffyverse. All rights belong to Mutant Enemy.
Episode setting: This Years Girl & Who Are You.
Sorry there's such a large gap between posts. I'm being attacked by the enemy known as Writers Block. I'll try to get another chapter up soon. Fingers Crossed. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy.
In Her Shoes
Buffy tugged on the fresh white sheet. Her hand sliding over the fabric slowly. "They smell good, don't they?" she murmured, glancing up through her lashes.
"Clean sheets. Like summer."
"I wouldn't know." Faith replied from the other sides of the bed.
"Right. I forgot."
"I wish I could stay, but…"
"No, you have to go."
"It's just with…."
"Little sis coming. I know. So much to do before she gets here."
"Now I really have to…."
"So go. Don't let me keep….damn!" Faith moaned, glancing down at the bed sheets. "Just when we made it so nice. Are you ever gonna take this thing out?"
Buffy glanced down at her hand, the knife still gripped tightly in her palm. The end buried deep insider the other slayer.
Buffy shot up in bed, her heart pounding and sweat clinging to her forehead.
Giles frowned. "Are you alright? Buffy?"
"I'm fine." she panted, pressing her hand to her chest. "Just a bad dream."
"Are you sure? What was…?"
Buffy glanced across to Giles, his eyes overshadowed with concern. "It was nothing. Probably just the stress of Adam and the Initiative." she smiled reassuringly. "I'm just going to get some water." she threw back the covers and padded barefoot to the stairs, aware the whole time that Giles was watching her.
She sipped at the cool water, her heart slowly regaining its normal rhythm. She hadn't thought about Faith in months. Not since she'd put her in that coma in the first place. And as much as she knew Faith had deserved everything that had happened to her, she couldn't shake the feeling of guilt. They were sisters after all, if not by blood by legacy. She shouldn't have just forgotten about her. Turning to head back up to bed she caught sight of the phone. Frowning, her eyes raised to the loft for a few moments before she put the glass down and picked up the receiver, dialling the number for the hospital.
"Hello. Sunnydale Hospital. How may I help you?"
"Hi, I was just wondering if you could tell me how Faith Lehane is."
"I'm afraid I can't give out that….."
"I'm her sister."
There was a long silence.
"I'm afraid her condition is unchanged."
"Oh. Thank you." Buffy hung up and rested on the edge of the desk, a weight suddenly lifting off her shoulders. She didn't know what she'd been so scared off? Maybe she'd expected the hospital to tell her that she was awake. And how horrible was it of her to be glad she wasn't.
"Buffy?" Giles announced from the stairs.
She turned with a start.
"Are you alright?"
Buffy smiled reassuringly, this time a genuine smile as she straightened and headed back towards the stairs. Pausing in front of her lover she reached out of him, pressing her palm to his cheek, and guiding his mouth down to hers. Giles hands slipping smoothing around her waist, beneath the oversized t-shirt she wore. The gentle kiss quickly turned passionate as Giles lifted her off her feet and carried her back to the bed. Ending all thoughts and worries about Faith.
Buffy threw herself down on the couch warily, her head rolling back against the cushions and her eyes closed. She listened to the movement around her. Willow and Xander talking about the 'blaster' they'd 'requisitioned' from the Initiative. Sam babbling from the floor not that far away from her. He'd been getting closer and closer to actually forming words over the past few days, they were all pretty sure it wouldn't be long before he was talking and then they'd all have to start watching what they were saying. Movement behind her told her Giles was walking towards her and she cracked one eye open as he lowered himself of the couch beside her, that frown of concern imprinted on his face once again. He didn't say anything though; he just turned his attention to folding the washing.
Buffy let her breathing lure into a sense of piece that was broken when Xander apparently electrocuted himself.
"Shi….shouldn't have done that." Xander said, glancing at Sam who was staring at him with a wide grin and a gurgle of laughter. "Thanks little man. Really."
Buffy straightened reluctantly and inhaled a breath. "No luck?"
"None." Willow shook her head regretfully. Though the sadness in her eyes had little to do with their lack of progress and more to do with her missing boyfriend. Though he wasn't so much missing, they knew exactly where he was, she just wasn't able to see him.
Buffy hated seeing Willow like that, but at least she was dealing with it better this time than she was when Oz vanished. There was no wacky spells that had her making out with her worst enemy. And there was always the hope that at some point Riley would be back. Though Buffy couldn't help but wonder if that was really a good thing.
"You alright?" Giles quiet voice broke into her thoughts. "You've been patrolling round the clock for three days straight. Perhaps you could use some…"
"What?" Buffy met his gaze. "Some rest? There's a demonoid killing machine out there that doesn't only work the night shift."
"I was going to say perhaps you could use some backup. But now you mention it….you haven't…." he glanced over his shoulder at the others. "….slept since the night you came back from the Initiative. And then you had that nightmare."
Buffy looked at him intensely, shifting closer.
"Gathering your strength might not be a bad idea." Giles added as Buffy pressed into his side.
Buffy smiled softly up at him, snuggling even closer, silently asking for his comfort. Giles returned her smile, dropped the washing he'd been folding and leant back into the couch, his arm raising to wrap around Buffy's.
"Just get the blaster working…." she murmured sleepily.
Giles pressed a kiss to her forehead as her eyes drifted closed.
"You heading out?" Giles asked as he feed Sam his nightly meal.
"Yeah." Buffy nodded, shrugging into her white leopard print coat. "And don't worry; Will and Xander are coming with."
Giles nodded. "Just be careful alright."
Buffy smiled down lovingly at him, pressing a kiss to his forehead. "I'll be home in a few hours. I promise." she whispered against his skin. She strolled around his chair to kiss Sam too. "See you later Sammy."
"I've never seen anything like that." Buffy murmured pacing back and forth, her stomach still rolling at the memory of the strung up and dissected demon.
"And I can go a long, health stretch without seeing anything like that again." Xander grumbled from the couch beside Willow.
"And you're sure it was Adam?" Giles frowned, watching her from the doorway. His shoulder pressed against the wall.
"It had to be."
"But why?" Xander frowned.
"He's studying biology." Buffy answered. "Human, demon, whatever he can get his hands on."
"Leaning what make things work." Willow nodded.
"I don't wanna be around for the final exam." Xander shuddered.
"It's not coming to that. The Initiative created this and they can't stop it. But we will."
Xander twisted in his seat. "Question. Will hiding in a cabin with stockpiles chocolates be part of this plan?"
Buffy met his gaze. "No."
"Told you." he whispered to Willow.
"So what's first?" Giles asked, pushing himself off the wall.
Willow straightened. "What?"
"If anyone's going to know how to get information, it's him. Which means we need to get him out of there." Buffy stated.
"Buffy how are you….?" Giles frowned.
"Will, I need you to hack into the security mainframe and buy me a ten minutes shutdown of the systems…"
"That could be…"
"Tricky. Not Impossible."
"But highly illegal."
Everyone spun to star at the door.
"Riley!" Willow gasped, scrambling off the couch and running over to him. Wrapping her arms around his waist.
"Ohhh!" he grunted, wincing at the pain.
"God. I'm sorry. Did I hurt you?"
"No, a giant skewer through the ribcage hurt me. That' was just a reminder." he smiled down at her, his fingers brushing though her short red hair.
"How'd you get out?" Willow asked softly.
"And they just let you go?" Buffy asked suspiciously.
"No. But I told them they couldn't keep me without a major ass-kicking, one way or another. So here I am." he pulled Willow tighter to his side, ignoring the pain. "I'm sorry about…." he flushed guiltily. "…I wasn't myself."
"Forget it. - Tell you what, you help Buffy take down an unstoppable killer-cyborg-demon hybrid thingy and well call it even."
"Just like that?" Riley raised a brow at her.
"Well, I suppose Chocolates and….grovelling wouldn't heart." she flushed.
Riley pressed a kiss to her lips. "Deal. - So what do we have?"
Buffy glanced over at Giles as Willow lead Riley to the couch. Both uncertain.
"Take down Adam will be tough. There's no way to predict what he'll throw at us." Riley stated as he settled between Xander and Willow.
"I think we could do with some tea."
Buffy followed him into the kitchen. "What do you think?" she whispered, glancing out into the lounge.
Buffy raised a brow. "Duh." she waved her hand at couch. "You don't think it's weird they just let him go?"
Giles frowned over her shoulder. "You think he's lying?"
"I don't know." she shook her head. "I just….I just can't trust anything that comes out of that place anymore."
"You wanted his help a few moments ago. You were willing to break in to get him out."
"Yeah, that was when I thought he was being held there. But them just letting him walk out; it just….it doesn't sit right."
Giles sighed, taking a few steps into Buffy's personal space. "I know what happened with Riley and Maggie Walsh had kinda shaken your trust in people, but we can't assume that just because we didn't have to rescue him that he's some how working against us. - Realistically they would have let him go eventually."
Buffy chewed her lower lip, glancing over her shoulder once more. "Well, I'm going to be keeping a close eye on him from now on. I just….I don't Willow get hurt any more."
Giles pressed a kiss to her forehead as the kettle whispered.
Buffy headed back out into the living room while Giles finished preparing the tea, taking a seat on the armchair. A few minutes later he strolled out with a tray, setting it on the coffee table. Buffy got up to let him sit before placing herself into his lap.
"The puzzle is why Adam had stayed dormant this long?" Giles asked, one arm around Buffy's waist, the other gripping his mug.
"When he's not making performance art out of other demons." Willow shuddered, causing Riley to wrap an arm tighter around her shoulders.
"He's probably working off an autonomic power source. Because he's straight out of the box, he needs to charge up." Riley informed them.
"Ok. What's he charging up for?" Buffy quizzed, settling deeper into Giles embrace.
"Based on the clues, I'll go with killing spree." Xander replied.
Riley turned his head to the side to meet the other man's gaze. "And that's a best-case scenario."
Xander's face suddenly looked pinched. "Great."
Riley waved his arm at the blaster that was still resting on the coffee table from earlier that morning. Xander lent forward and grabbed it. Handing it over to him.
"I suppose a little fire power would be a good idea right now." he mumbled, fiddling with the switches as Xander watched him like a hawk, as the weapon activated.
"Hey! How'd you do that?"
Riley smiled at him.
"Is there an on/off button?" Xander asked, snatching the weapon from his hand.
"Blasters are easy. Adam won't be."
"Since Professor Walsh designed it, any chance she left instructions lying around?" Giles asked with a frown.
"If she did, they'll be in the Initiative." Buffy sighed.
"Which we can't easily get into." Xander added.
"Speak for yourself." Riley smiled. "I'm just sayin'"
"A man on the inside would be…." Giles said, glancing up at a still concerned Buffy.
"A really good idea." Willow finished. "But are you sure you wanna be Double Agent Guy?"
"I think we might want to come up with a better code name…." he grinned warmly. "But yeah. I'll share information. It's the least I can do."
"Riley's right…" Xander murmured, still playing with the blaster. "It is the least he can do."
The sudden ringing of a phone brought the whole conversation to a halt as Giles wiggled out from beneath Buffy to answer the phone.
"Hello? - Yes, she is. - It's for you." waving the phone at Buffy.
Buffy scrambled out of her seat and rushed for the phone. "Hello? Speaking."
Her stomach dropped at the doctors words. A sick feeling rolling over her insides like a tidal wave. She should have known those dreams weren't stress, that they were a warning. She should have told Giles days ago. "No. I haven't. Thank you. I'll let you know." she hung up the phone with a world heavy weight on her shoulders. Her heart already beginning to pound in her chest.
"What is it?" Giles asked, his voice ringing with concern.
"It's Faith. - She's awake."
The whole room fell impossibly silent until Buffy turned to face them.
"She beat someone up, took her clothes and disappeared out of the hospital. No one knows where she is."
"I'd say this qualifies for the 'worst timing ever' award." Xander huffed, slouching into the couch.
"What do we do?" Willow asked, peering over the back of the couch.
"Well, we have to find her." Giles replied warily.
"What about Adam?"
"I'd hate the pursuit of a homicidal lunatic to get in the way of pursuing a homicidal lunatic." Xander grumbled sarcastically.
"Fait's not exactly Low Profile Girl. I'll patrol and wait for her to make a move."
"But then what?" Xander asked desperately.
"Ooo!" I have an idea. Beat the crap out of her."
Riley frowned at the sudden violent turn in his usually peaceful girlfriend. Who shrugged.
"Good plan!" Xander nodded.
"Good on paper. But we still have a decision to make. Do we hand her over to the cops? They wouldn't know what to do with a slayer, even if they knew we existed."
"What about the council?" Willow put forward.
"Been there. Tried that." Xander sighed. "Not unlike smothering a forest fire with napalm, as I recall."
"Well, the initiative had containment facilities."
"One word: Evil!"
"Hey!" Riley snapped defensively.
"Sorry bro but…"
"there's no way around it." Buffy interrupted. "Faith's back and whether I like it or not, she's my responsibility." Buffy slumped against the desk.
Giles closed the gap between them, wrapping his arm around her shoulders.
"Too bad." Willow sighed. "That was the funniest coma ever."
Everyone fell silent as the weight of the revelation settled over them like a suffocating blanket.
"Huh…One question." Riley said cautiously. "Who's Faith?"
Willow looked from Buffy to Riley. "Walk me back to the dorm, and I'll explain everything."
"Be careful." Buffy said as Willow, Riley and Xander all got to their feet. "We have no idea where she is. We don't know what she's thinking, what she's feeling…."
"Who she's doing." Xander mumbled under his breath.
"And as much as I'd like to hope that she's won't remember any of it. Or that she's had a change of…."
"Just watch out okay." Buffy insisted.
"See you tomorrow for class?" Willow asked as they reached the door.
"Yeah. Night guys."
As the door closed Buffy released a long tired sigh and walked heavily to the couch, dropping down into it like she was made of led. Closing her eyes she let her head drop back.
Buffy cringed at Giles accusing words. "No. - I….I was having dreams. I didn't think they were anything. I swear." she opened her eyes to meet his gaze. "I called the hospital, they said she was still out. That there was no change. I just figured it was all this Adam stuff bring up past….mistakes."
Giles nodded sympathetically, wrapping his arm around her once more. "She'll come after you, you know that?"
"Are you ready for this?"
"I don't have much choice do I. She won't just get on a plane and vanish. I tried to kill her, I'm pretty sure she's not going to forgive me for that one."
The pair fell silent as the memory of those events replayed themselves.
"At least she doesn't know about us."
"Are you alright?" Giles asked, sitting on the edge of the coffee table.
"I'm fine." Buffy insisted, absently rubbing at her jaw, remembering the right hook Faith had delivered in the quad.
Giles rubbed at the bridge off his nose, his glasses lying forgotten next to his leg. "I can't believe she confronted you." he sighed. "I would have thought she'd lay low."
"What can I say, she never was the smart one." Buffy sighed. "Oh, and she knows about us, by the way."
"What?" Giles snapped up to stare at her. "How?"
Buffy shrugged. "At least Will's fine. - I sent her back to her dorm."
Giles nodded. "I should probably call the council. - And Xander."
Buffy rolled her lips. "I'll drop by mom's. Let her know what's going on. Knowing Faith she'll probably go there next."
Giles ran his fingers through her hair. "Are you sure your alright?"
"Its just…..she said some things that…kinda hit home, I guess. - I tried to kill her Giles."
"Buffy." he sighed, moving from the coffee table to her side, his hand resting on her knee.
"No. How am I any better than her?"
"Because you are. She left you know choice."
Buffy shook her head disbelievingly. "Didn't she? - I could have let him die." she murmured.
"No you couldn't." Giles replied in a rough, almost choked voice. "Anymore than you would have let any of us die."
Buffy stared at him for a long moment, unable to voice the torrent of emotions rushing though her. "I better go." she leapt to her feet.
"I'll call Xander. We hit the streets, see if we can find her."
Buffy nodded, her gaze flickering over to the floor where Sam sat playing. "Take Sam to Willow."
They stood staring at each other silently for a few moments before Buffy turned to walk out of the apartment. The heavy weight of Faith's words on her shoulders. "You're still the same old better than thou Buffy. I knew it. I kept having this dream, I'm not sure what it means. But in the dream this self righteous blonde chick stabs me. And you wanna know why?….she does it for a guy…..I wake up to find that this blonde chick isn't even dating the guy she was so nuts about. No, she's moved on. And to who, you may ask. To her self righteous old watcher. Really, I should have seen that one. I mean, thinking back its pretty obvious really. - So tell me B. Is he good in the sake? I better he is. All that pent up British-ness. Man, I bet he can go for hours huh?"
Buffy clenched her jaw, leaning against the wall to the complex, breathing deeply. "Maybe I'll drop by a reacquaint myself." she flexed her fingers, remembering how good it had felt to thrust her knuckles into the side of Faith's jaw.
Her vision was still blurry and her head was pounding as the EMT rolled her out of the house. She didn't know what Faith had shocked her with but his was still buzzing through her, making her feel wrong. There was something off with her body. It didn't feel right. It wasn't until she was being rolled past her mom that she knew why. - Because this wasn't her body. As hard as it was to understand, she wasn't in her own body anymore. Because she was looking at herself thought blurred vision. Her own lips smiling back at her. Faith.
"Giles." she grumbled as the weakness pulled her back into unconsciousness again.
Giles rushed through the crowd of people. "Buffy! - My God, are you alright?" he asked desperately, cupping the blondes face.
"Giles. - I'm fine." she replied.
Giles turned, watching Faith being rolled into the ambulance. "Thanks heavens. - I was so worried."
"Well, you guys'll be safe now. We have a couple of questions in the morning." the detective interrupted.
"Oh, of course." Joyce nodded. "Thank you."
"No. Thank you. Both." the detective nodded with a reassuring smile before heading back to his car.
"What will happen to her now?" Joyce asked.
Giles looked from the Ambulance to Joyce. "That's down to the council. They'll probably pull some strings."
"It's a shame." Joyce shook her head, turning to head back inside as the ambulance pulled away from the house.
Giles wrapped his arm around the blonde's shoulders, pulling her close. "I'm so glad your alright/" he murmured into her hair. "I have no idea what I would have done if…"
Faith looked up at him with Buffy's green eyes. "You thought she'd actually be able to beat me?"
"No. But….you know I always worry. It doesn't matter that I know you'll be fine."
Faith just stared at him for a long while, her eyes searching his.
"Are you alright?"
"I…." she swallowed. "Just tired. It was a hard fight. I think I just need some rest."
"Of course. Let's go home."
"Home?" Faith frowned.
"Yes. - Sam will be wanting goodnight kiss."
"Sam….Right. - Uh….could you….I think I should stay here tonight. With Mom. She's a little shaken after….everything."
Giles started at her. "Right. Yes. Of course. Understandable really. - I'll come get you in the morning."
"Sure. In the morning."
Giles smiled softly at her. Brushing the stray strands of blond hair out of her face, his fingers trailing down her cheek. "Rest. I'll see you tomorrow." he pressed a lingering kiss to her lips.
"Yeah. Night." Faith said awkwardly.
"I love you."
"Yeah." Faith nodded, shaking off Giles hold and heading for the house.
Giles watched her go inside with a deep crease between his brows.
Buffy slowly began to come round. Forcing her eyes open once more she tired to focus, figure out where she was. The last thing she remembered was being put in the back of an ambulance watching herself smiling down at her. She shook her head. Was that real? No. She must have been concussed. She winced as she shifted, her eyes finally taking in the her surroundings, as well as the handcuffs on her wrists. "Faith." she murmured. Where was Faith?
Before she could ask the men in the front of the car, they when straight into a large trust, sending Buffy forward painfully into the grate in front of her. She flinched as the glass beside her was smashed and a balding man in a leather jacket dragged her out of the window of the police vehicle.
"By order of the Watcher's Council, you are being taken into custody until such time…." the balding guy said as he manhandled her away from the cops.
"Skip the speech." another man said.
Her head was aching. And bleeding. She could feel it running warmly down her forehead as the men lifted her into the truck and chained her to the side.
She didn't know how long she was out. Her head felt like there was a lead bowling ball rolling around inside it and her stomach was churning in on itself over and over. At least she wasn't moving anymore. Taking a couple of deep breaths she forced her eyes open, but it was still as task. She hadn't felt this out of it and drained since….that time she'd gotten the flu in Junior year. When they'd gone after that Der Kinde-whatever. She rolled her head a little, wincing at the tightness in her neck and raised her hands to touch her head. Only they wouldn't lift. They were being held down. Finally her gaze focused and she found her wrists chained. Then it came back to her, everything she'd thought was just a bad dream. Her fight with Faith. The bright light and then the seconds of recognition before the bitch knocked her out. Then there was the police and the EMT's and then strange English guys dragging her out of the police car.
The worst thing was the image she'd seen just before the ambulance doors were closed on her. Giles, his arms around her. - Faith, her - holding her with that look of relief and worry on his face. Her stomach flipped and her chest tightened. She was with Giles. - Giles didn't know. Oh God. She's with Sam.
"Well it's awake." One of the English guys said.
"Who are you"?
"Council. We're taking you back to the mother country. Seems you've been a naughty girl."
"Listen to me. You've made a mistake. I am not Faith. - I'm Buffy Summers. Faith performed some kind of spell. She switched our bodies."
"Congratulations." Another older guy said from beyond the truck doors. "No one's ever tried that one on me before."
"You have to find Faith. - Call Giles! Warning him. Get him here!"
"Giles doesn't work for the council anymore. For that matter, neither does Buffy Summers."
Buffy groaned inwardly. "I know that. But….I swear, I'm her. I'm Buffy."
"What you are, miss, is the package…" the older guy said coldly. "I deliver the package. I don't much care what's inside. - Come on." he ordered the balding one out of the truck.
"He may not care, but I do." Balding one said in a hard threatening tone. "The Watcher's Council used to mean something. You perverted it. You're trash. We should have killed you while you were asleep." he spat. Literally.
"No. Please. I…." she was cut off by the slamming of the truck door.
"Buffy?" Giles groaned, squinting into the dark. "I thought you…?"
"Mom's fine. I wanted to see you." Faith murmured seductively, crawling up the bed towards him.
"Yeah." She straddled his hips, yanking at the bottom of the black vest, pulling it off over her head, before leaning down and pressing a punishing hungry kiss to Giles lips.
He pulled back, looking up at her. "Buffy?"
"Shhh." she silenced him with her month, his hands threading into the short hairs at the back of his neck, her body curving into him as her hips ground down.
Giles moaned, his hand reaching out to pull her closer, his tongue slipping into her warm mouth to duel with hers. The kiss was nothing like what they usually shared. It was desperate and hungry, like she was starving for him. He rolled them over, shoving the sheets out of the way.
Faith wrapped her legs around his waist, grinding up into him. Giles fingers biting into her muscled thigh as he tore his mouth away to kiss and bite down her neck. She let out a deep groan of pleasure and dropped one of her hands to his waist before sliding it down beneath his pyjama pants to cup his ass. Squeezing it tight making his hips snap delightfully forward.
She used her slayer strength to rolled them again, pinning Giles beneath her as she devoured his neck, biting and sucking a path down his chest and stomach, before dragging the pants down. She lifted her eyes to smile up at him lecherously before lowering her mouth to cover engulf him. Sucking hard and relentlessly until he was yelling out her name. - Buffy's name.
When she felt him growing close to his release she pulled away with a wet pop, crawling back off the bed. She stood at the end of the bed, Giles eyes watching her every movement as she stripped out of the tight faux-leather pants and panties. Then she climbed back, towering over Giles for a few long seconds before towering herself down, right onto his painfully full erection. The pair of them releasing a deep satisfied moan as she took him in.
"B-uffy." Giles gasped; his fingers biting into her hips as she raised herself up and lowered herself back down slowly, dragging out the pleasure. "God…Buffy." he moaned.
Faith rolled her head back, her eyes closed as she rode the ex-watcher towards his orgasm. Gasping when he yanked her down, pressing a bruising kiss to her mouth as he rolled them over.
Faith stared up at him as he increased his pace and altered the angle to hit just the right spot over and again. His face filled with such concentration and something she'd never seen before in her life. Something that made she feel sick to her core, even as the pure bliss of her orgasm swept through her.
"Buffy…" he panted. "I….I love….you."
Faith winced as his whole body when ridged. She sucked in a shape breath as he spilled himself inside her body. - No, Buffy's body. Buffy's body. Buffy's boyfriend. Buffy's life.
Giles collapsed beside her.
Faith stared up at the ceiling, a tremor beginning beneath the skin. Hating the way her heart was pounding and her body felt warm and cold at the same moment.
Giles rolled over, dragging her to his chest. "That was incredible." he whispered. "I'm glad you changed your mind about coming home." then he kissed her sweetly and drifted off to sleep.
She needed to get away. She needed to warn Giles and stop Faith. She yanked on the chains. They'd come lose eventually. He paused when she heard the truck door opening. Another guy stepped inside. She hadn't seen this one before but she'd heard him. Not that that really mattered, because he had a syringe and Buffy knew what that meant. They were going to knock her out again. She couldn't let that happen. Giles, Sam and her friends were in danger. She waited for the new guy to get close then wrapped the chain around his neck.
"How about this? I'll be quiet and you can scream."
"Now, you unchain me very slowly and politely, or/ I kill this guy." Buffy said as the other two rushed to the door.
"When we go on a job we always put our affairs in order first, in case of accidents." the older guy informed her calmly.
"Sorry, Smithy." the older one, Buffy now knew as Collins, sighed before walking away.
Buffy looked down at the guy, cursing the damn watcher's council and their heartless approach. Grunting angrily, she pushed the man away, and kicking him out of the truck.
Buffy stared at the grey walls of the truck, fear clawing at her insides and tears burning her eyes. She was never getting out of this. She was never going to see Giles or Sam or her mom or Will and Xan again. Faith had won. She'd always wanted Buffy's life, her friends and now she'd have them while Buffy was dragged across the world and probably dumped in some deep dark cell. She swallowed the pain and let the tears fall.
Giles was in the kitchen, wrapped in his robe making breakfast when he heard Buffy coming down stairs. He scrapped the scrambled eggs onto a plate and carried them out to meet her. "Morning." he smiled brightly, holding a plate out to her.
Faith looked from him to the plate. "Morning."
"Here." he insisted.
Faith took the plate reluctantly. "Thanks."
Giles nodded, dropped a kiss to her lips and walked over to the couch.
Faith watched him for a few moments before following after him. Taking a seat on the armchair to eat her breakfast, ignoring the way he frowned at her with confusion. She needed to leave, her flight was in a couple of hours.
"Are you alright?"
Faith's head snapped up to meet Giles concerned eyes. "Huh? Yeah. Five by five." she shovelled the eggs into her mouth and dropped her gaze to the floor. Leaping out of her skin when the sudden cry of a baby echoed the room.
"You eat, I'll get him." Giles said, putting his plate on the coffee table and getting out of his seat.
Faith sat there silently for a few long seconds before realizing this was the perfect chance to escape without questions. She got up, placing the plate next to Giles's and headed for the door. She didn't make it.
"He wants you." Giles said suddenly from behind her.
Faith spun around and found herself suddenly with a armful of crying baby. Her nose wrinkled as she held him awkwardly. "What's wrong with it…him?"
Giles watched her, his brow drawn tight together. "You know Sam. Sometimes your all he wants."
Faith looked down at the little boy, who stared back at her, looking deeply into her eyes before bursting into a high pitched scream and scrambling to get away from her.
"Here. Here. Take him. - I've got to go." she thrust the little boy into Giles arms and headed for the door.
"Where are you going?"
"I…the cops want statements."
"But they don't have her. The council picked her up."
"What?" Faith spun to stare at him.
"The Watcher's Council sent a retrieval team after her."
"Oh…." she didn't know how she felt, happy, relieved, guilty. She looked between Giles and the little boy. "…I've got to go."
Giles watched her rush out of the house with a deep feeling of unease in his chest.
Buffy wasn't going down like this. She'd spent the whole night thinking about it, swinging from hope to despair before deciding that there was no way in hell that she was going to let Faith take her life. Even if it meant take these guys lives. She was stretched out on the floor of the truck, her feet near the door. She didn't have a plan, she just had to wait for the perfect opportunity and finally it came when Collins pushed his weapon through the bars windows intending to shoot her.
Buffy flipped herself, capturing his wrist and the gun with her legs and yanking hard. Pulling Collins forward so hard his face collided with the door. He dropped the gun and fell backwards. Buffy dragged the weapon up till she could reach it with her hands and then used it to shoot off the chains, and the lock on the door to the front of the truck. She climbed into the drivers seat, grateful the idiots had left the keys on the floor of the truck. The balding guy came running at the door to stop her. Buffy flung it open hard, smashing him in the face and knocking him out. Then turned the key and hit the gas, driving the truck straight through the doors of the warehouse. Gunshot's ringing in her wake.
Giles was cleaning up, carrying the plates into the kitchen when his apartment door opened. He turned hoping to see Buffy and froze at the sight of Faith.
"God!" he staggered back.
"Don't move. OK, Giles, you have to listen to me very carefully…."
Giles looked at the weapon's chest, judging if he could get to it before she could get to him.
"…I'm not Faith."
"Really?" Giles snorted, moving slowly towards the chest.
"Cos the resemblance is striking."
Buffy rolled her eyes. "I know. Giles, you just have to…Stop inching!"
Giles froze. "Look, I know what you're going to say and…."
Giles eyes widened. "Alright, I didn't know what you were going to say, but that doesn't make you any less crazy."
Buffy looked at him pleadingly, her eyes scanning him. "It's really me. Giles." she took a step forward and he took on back. "Giles, Faith switched. I mean, she had some device. She switched our bodies."
Giles felt his insides cramp even as his mind told him it was impossible. That there was no way that could have happened. That this was just one of Faith's tricks.
"Giles, I swear. It's me." She said softly, looking at him warmly and with such love.
Giles inhale sharply. "Um…." he put the plates down on the sideboard. "….If you are Buffy, then….then you'll let me tie you up without killing me."
"Giles we've had this discussion, I'm not into the kinky stuff." she smiled and laughed softly.
Giles head snapped around to stare at his son, the little body had shifted himself off the blanket he'd left him on and was staring up at Faith with arms raised.
"Ma." he babbled.
Buffy's lips pulled into a wide smile as she rushed over to him. "Hey Sammy." she lifted him into her arms, hugging him tight. "I missed you."
"Oh my God." she looked at Giles with a bright grin. "Did you hear that, he said Ma. You're so clever." she pressed a hard kiss to his head, her eyes closed as she inhaled his scent.
"Oh my God." Giles gasped, eyes wide and pained as he staggered back and into the desk chair.
Giles dropped his head into his hands, his fingers tugging at his hair.
"Giles!" Willow yelled racing into the apartment.
"Will." Buffy grinned.
Giles looked over his shoulder as the teenager ran in with another girl.
"Oh, my God."
"Willow, wait. You don't understand."
"You're Buffy. You and Faith switched bodies. Probably through a Draconian Katra spell."
Buffy's eyes widened. "Wow. Uh…"
"You knew?" Giles said almost angrily.
"No." Willow frowned defensively. "No…I…we ran into Buffy - Faith, last night at the Bronze and Tara figured it out. - Tara, this is Buffy. Only really, this time. - Oh and Sam. - And Giles." she introduced.
"Hi." Tara said quietly.
"Tara's a really powerful witch."
"Not really." Tara blushed.
"No, really. She knew right away you weren't you. So we connected with the Nether Realms to find out what happened and we conjured this." Willow said in a rush of words, handing over a box to Buffy.
Buffy shifted Sam on her hip and took it. "What is…?"
"It's a Katra. Or the home-conjured version." Willow grinned. "It should switch you back, if you can get a-hold of Faith."
"Thank God. Do you know where Faith is?"
The phone ringing cut their conversation short. Giles reached for it blindly. "Hello. - Oh. Yes. Buffy's here. Actually, she's um….Oh, alright." he hung up and got to his feet, heading of the TV. "It was Xander. Apparently there's a report on the television."
"…and barricaded themselves in the church with at least 20 parishioners. One of the few who escaped described the three men as frighteningly disfigured, almost inhuman. So far one escapee had since died of severe neck wounds."
Buffy stared at the screen, her arms tightening around her son.
"There is no report on the condition of the parishioners still trapped inside but their assailants have vowed to killed all of them if police attempt to storm the church."
"I need to get there. Giles?"
"Just give me a second to get changed." he said, running up the stairs to the bedroom.
At the top he froze at the sight of the tangled heap that were his bedclothes, that sickness flooding him once more. His heart pounding painfully in his chest.
"Giles!" Buffy yelled up.
"One minute." he stripped out of his robe and grabbed his discarded clothes from the day before. He dressed as quickly as he humanly could then turned to the bed, staring at it.
"People's lives are in danger Giles!" Buffy called.
Swallowing down the thick ball of guilt he ran down the stairs to find the girls waiting for him at the door.
The stolen truck screeched to a halt a few feet from the police line and they all climbed out. Buffy handing Sam off to Willow as they ran up to the cordon.
"You people, get outta here!" a police officer ordered.
"We've gotta get inside." Willow said desperately.
"The police are handling this. Back off. Right now."
"But we can't. You don't understand."
Buffy exchanged looks with Giles, before he threw himself in front of the officer. "Dammit, man! We have to get inside!" he yelled, throwing his arms around dramatically. "Our, erm…our families are in there! Our, erm, mothers and tiny, tiny babies."
Buffy snuck in through the back away. As she reached the door, Riley and one of the vamps rolled into her path. Riley throwing the guy into the sunlight where it went up in flames.
"Riley!" Buffy rushed over.
"Uh, it's OK, miss. Get yourself out of harm's way."
Buffy rolled her eyes. "It's me. Buffy. - Look I can't explain now. How many are in there."
Riley frowned at her. "Uh…I…"
"Right." she huffed. "Forget it. Will's out front with Giles and Tara. I have to get in there."
"But…?" he looked from Buffy to the door. "….Buffy's already…."
"I'm in there? - I mean…." she shook her head. "Just keep everyone out." with that she rushed past him into the church.
Buffy saw them from the door, the vamp railing on her - Faith. Sneaking quietly around the behind the guy she picked up a piece of wood from one of the broken pews. While he was busy jabbering on she thrust the stake through his back, turning him to ash.
She stared at herself, fury ablaze inside her. Faith attacked first.
"Giles? You alright?" Willow asked, bouncing Sam in her arms.
Giles looked down at her. "I'm fine."
"She'll be alright. She'll fix this." Willow said comfortingly.
"I know." only there were things that couldn't be fixed. He'd cheated, knowingly or not. He should have know it wasn't Buffy the moment he'd kissed her. In hindsight all the signs were there. She was too rough. Too dangerous. Too hungry. And he hadn't questioned it. - No. He had. For a second he'd know something was wrong but then he'd let himself be seduced. He'd let himself be taken over by the heat and the lust. How was he ever meant to face her again? How was she ever going to forgive him when she found out.
"Giles." Willow said, shaking his arm, pulling him from his thoughts. "It's done. She's back."
He sagged against the side of the truck.
He froze as he yanked the bottom sheet off the bed.
Buffy lent against the wall, her hands behind her, palms flat, watching him. Things had been tense since she'd gotten her body back. After saving the people at the church and losing Faith, they'd come back and Giles had instantly vanished up stairs. Buffy had given him half an hour before she'd followed him.
"You slept with her." Buffy said after too long a silence.
Giles whole body stiffened, his head staring straight ahead. He didn't reply. He knew there was nothing he could say that was going to make it better.
Buffy stared down at her shoes, tears once again pooling in her eyes.