The sun lifted above Cleveland's skyline
“There are a few advantages to living on a Hellmouth, I guess.” Xander let the morning's first sunrays shine on his face, appreciating the warmth. “A night's patrolling, and now time to tell the Mini-Slayers their potential doom.”
“Ya know, X? You really know how to spoil a sunrise. At least we didn't run into that Mactimus
again last night. Too bad the bloodsuckers didn't have the same courtesy to leave us alone.”
“You know you had fun, kicking ass, and all that.” Xander knew Faith too well to let her get away with being depressed too long.
“I suppose. Too bad it comes with the normal side effects. What do you say, Boytoy? You up to a little R and R upstairs?”
“Faith? It's been a year since the collapse of Sunnydale, and five since we slept together. While I wouldn't trade that night for anything, being kicked out right afterwards wasn't my idea of a good time. If I haven't dragged you back upstairs yet, what makes you think that's gonna change now?”
“Ya never know, X. You never know.”
“Well, thanks for the idea. Now, to go face our demise at the hand of several dozen tired, hormone driven teens. Were we ever that age?”
“It's been five years since then.” Her quirked grin was answered in kind. “At least we don't have to do it alone, Everybody's gonna be there.”
Handing out copies of the prophecy, as well as answering what questions they could, the topic began sliding into a dark discussion. One that sounded familiar to Giles.
“So, we're just gonna die, then.” Rona spoke up. “We survive Sunnydale, move here, and just when we're ready to get on with our lives, we're done for.”
“Hardly. Prophecy can be twisted or broken. We've done it over and over.” Xander's confident tone began to set them back on the path to sanity.
Then SHE spoke up. “Giles, didn't you once say that the Pergamum Codex was always right?”
“Well, yes, but.”
“And didn't you say that the book this was from was on the same level as the Codex?”
“Now see here, Kennedy, while the Tiberius Manifesto hasn't been wrong historically, the book has been lost for the last hundred years, and the last prophecy was not written by Tiberius himself, so it could be invalidated by that, as well. Please, lets get back on topic, though.”
Despite Willow's hand on her shoulder, Kennedy went on, “Oh yes, lets. Lets get to the point where the line of slayers is ended. My dear Willow,” her sarcasm was far too pointed at her lover, and Willow's emotions broke down immediately, Kennedy ignored her, “has said 'once a slayer, always a slayer'. So, the only way to end the line would be to kill us, then wouldn't it.” She was shouting now “Wouldn't it!”
Faith stepped in and grabbed Kennedy by the shoulder “Look, K, I know it sucks, but we're looking for solutions. Not problems. Calm down.”
“I will not be calm! Once again, you've found a way to screw with our lives, and I, for one, am not gonna take it again! I'm out of here. Anyone who's with me, we're leaving. Now.”
“That's enough.” Giles calm voice silenced the room, and drew all attention to him. The girls turned from their hushed conversations. Even the Scoobies turned to watch the calm father figure. “No one is leaving. We're going to work on this prophecy, and find a way to change it... to cancel it.”
The sound of ribs snapping punctuated his sentence. Faith was blindsided by an enraged Kennedy landing a full strength punch into her unprepared side. Kennedy's tirade of every foul word in any language she could think of was heaped on the quickly unconscious senior slayer.
The room quickly devolved into an old fashioned slugfest. The girls taking their frustrations with each other and the situation out on each other.
A gunshot rang out. Freezing everyone solid.
Every eye turned to the doorway to see a strange woman standing there, black biking leathers and brown hair, looking flat from hours of being under a helmet with a smoking pistol pointed at the dirt next to the house.
Xander realized then, that one more person in the room was about to lose her control. And if that happened the world really would end. In an instant he was holding his best friend from childhood whispering that no one was shot.