Chapter 2: sorrows children

A/N: I don't own these characters just borrowing them for awhile… Be kind,and I apologize now for any errors.

yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose

Lyndon B Johnson

The clouds had begun to roll in early that morning. Buffy should know; she watched the shy as it changed from dark to light as the sun rose up to dark again as the clouds took over. It wasn't normal for gray clouds to fill the skies in California but it wasn't unheard of either and Buffy had to admit if a thunderstorm was all the Hellmouth had to offer today she would gladly take it.

sighing, Buffy rolled onto her side,she hadn't been able to sleep with all the thoughts and unanswered questions that waged war in her mind. Why did the first choose now to attack? How were they going to defeat it/…..were they going to defeat it? And as always, who was going to be the next to die? The truth was nobody knew what was to come,and they were all more then a little afraid to find out. Yes, Buffy knew about fear, she knew what it was like to play grown up in the dark and about the monsters that lurked there. She knew what it was like to lose everything. To bleed. To cry; she was the slayer, and as much as she wished she didn't Buffy Summers knew about death.

Sometimes Buffy imagined what it would be like if she had never been called to her destiny. Imagined escaping into the night and forgetting she ever heard words like fate or chosen one; she imagined going to a place where no one knew her and she was just another nameless face in a sea of thousands. But these were selfish thoughts, thoughts she only allowed herself to fall into in those quiet moments before sleep took over, thoughts never be acted on again. Running away only caused more problems and besides she had people who relied on her and not just because she was the slayer.

Buffy closed her eyes. So many things had been happening lately, most of them confusing and causing conflicting emotions. With The First attacking at every opportunity it made it harder to know who you could trust, who was lying and who was even real. As if it hadn't been hard enough already.

The council had been destroyed, which in Buffys mind was no sad loss but it hade upset giles and she had had the decency to grieve with him. "they weren't all bad" he had said one night while sipping his scotch Buffy only nodded and Giles had said no more.

The return of the first had not only brought death with it but the return of some familiar faces: Jonathan,warren and Andrew. Of the three only Andrew remained. Buffy thought he could be annoying at times but he knew things and although she would never admit it to him Buffy was grateful to have him on their side.

Spike was back too…with a soul and a bad case of the crazies. But with a lot of work and fighting He too became apart of the group and to Buffy a very good friend, It was strange thinking that after everything her and the blonde vampire had been through together that they were so close now.

Faith was an entirely different story but before she could walk down that confusing path of thoughts a banging at her door interrupted her and pulled her away from getting lost in thoughts of Faith.

" Buffy?" her sister whined from the other side of the door," Andrew wont put that stupid video camera away and im pretty sure kennedys goin to kill him"

Buffy opened her eyes and breathed in deep….and so the day begins.

Hours later found Buffy down in the basement, rain splattered againt the window. She thought the sound was kind of soothing. They were in complete research mode but as one by one the original Scooby members joined her in their basement headquarters Buffy thought they too were hiding from the slayers in training. She definitely didn't blame them, sometimes it got to be a little much like summer camp only with vampires and demons instead of campfires and smores. And yes, while they might have been hiding from the potentials they were also trying to find anything to help decipher the text spike had found around the seal.. The blonde vamp sat with giles, once again going over what the markings had looked like. The watcher nodded and grabbed a book from their make shift table where willow sat with her nose in a book that did not look like it remotely written in English and for a moment Buffy pictured them back at the sunnydale high library, back before things got so out of hand, back before the mayor helped them to destroy it. Which brought her eyes to Faith. The dark slayer sat across from her staring out the window at the falling rain, her brown eyes seemed a million miles away though and buffy wondered where the younger girls mind truly was. Buffy thought she looked tired and remembered Willows tale of how they had caotured Angelus with a dangerous ploy to return his soul that had almost killed Faith and angel both. Although, most of Faiths injuries were gone thanks to slayer healing , a few cuts and angry bruises remained; along with another bruise that was forming under Faiths right eye. Buffy winced feeling a lillte guility for hitting the other girl the way she had after finding them all at the bronze. It had only been a short while that faith had returned to the fold "a whitehat' Faith had referred to them, and as much as buffy wanted to deny it, to justify the use of violence against faith,the changes in the other girl was undeniable. It was in Faiths eyes.. she was there to help.

Buffy wondered if the Faith felt as restless as she did, if her muscles screamed for action and her since of duty called out for justice like her own.

"gah" willow exploded.

Both Buffy and Faith jumped at the sudden break in the silence.

" stupid latin text…its all from beneath you it devours and no weapons forged blah blah blah" the red head ranted, " but nothing tells you what happens after it rises"

"Its all circles" spike agreed, sounding equally as frustrated. Beside him Giles removed his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose,"perhaps we should call it a night….theres nothing here…were missing something"

"like any clue of what were looking for" Willow said glumly following the watcher upstairs.

Thunder clapped loudly outside and buffy looked at faith again; this time the other girl stared back at her an unreadable expression crossing her features.

"up for patrol?" Buffy asked.

Faith looked more then a little relieved, "you know me B….always up for a party"

Buffy looked to spike.

" I think ill stay here then" Spike said thoughtfully before lighting a gigarette, "you do realize it raining luv"

Buffy only nodded looking at the window as lightning lit up their faces.

Around two in the morning but Slayers ran up on the Summers porch, soaking wet but smiling. There hadn't been much action; a couple bringers that they avoided and a few vampires they had not. It had felt so good fighting alongside Faith there synchronized slaying techniques were just as strong as ever as if the last three years had never happened.

"well that was-"

"disappointing" Faith finished for her.

Yes,they had killed a few vampires but they were not the real enemy that the slayers sought. They wanted The First.

"pretty much sums it up" Buffy said with a small smile,"you got clothes to change into"

Faith shrugged,'not really …wasn't really expecting all this when wes came and saw me yeah? Everything I got is pretty much covered in blood"

Buffy thought it was kind of cute that Faiths boston accent was a little more noticeable when she was nervous, and then silently scolded herself for thinking Faith was cute in any way and now she knew her mind had already started the confusing path of thoughts she had avoided this morning..a path of thoughts that had always been there but never traveled upon. Shaking her head Buffy said, "im sure ive got -"

A blood curdling scream ripped through the silence from the other side of the door stopping her thoughts and the rest of her words from coming out. The scream was familiar and in pain.

Faith looked at her and in unison they both cried out" willow!'