Willow watched from behind the steering wheel, she and Kennedy were parked outside the rest stop, they observed the Jeep ahead of them closely. After Kevin had asked them for a lift, Kennedy had become more or less convinced that her girlfriend had not gone completely insane. Then when she had caught a glimpse of the Faith-a-like she was slowly becoming convinced that something was definitely amiss.
They watched as Kevin and the Faith-a-like talked for a moment before the Fake-Faith got out of the Jeep and headed towards the general store, with Kevin following closely behind her.
“That didn’t happen before!” Willow grabbed for the door catch and started to open the SUV’s door.
“Where are you going?” Demanded Kennedy, “You can’t go in there with the murderer!”
“But I’ve got to!” Willow started to climb out onto the road, she turned back to Kennedy, “Stay here and wait for Faith,” She ordered, then seeing the puzzled look on her partner’s face she added, “The real Faith, I’m betting she’s not far away.”
Willow crossed the road and followed the Faithbot and Kevin into the general store.
Tru walked into the general store with Kevin right behind her. Pausing near the entrance she looked around. Luc was at the other end of the store studying the selection of chips. A woman passed by Tru heading for the door. There was a Sheriff’s deputy standing near the door with a lottery ticket. Everything looked normal and more or less as it should be, Tru walked over to the freezer where someone had left their wallet, she slide it stealthily into her pocket.
Turning around to check where Kevin was Tru spotted the red haired lesbian from the night before. Tru got the strangest feeling that ‘Red’ was following her. There was no time to worry about that now she had to get on with her plan.
“That’s him right there,” Tru pointed at Luc, “If you wanna ask him.”
Kevin walked over to where Luc was studying the chip display.
“Hey!” Kevin held out his hand to Luc, “Your girlfriend said…”
Tru came swiftly up behind Kevin and slipped the wallet into Kevin’s rucksack. Moments later a woman who had just left the store came back into the shop.
“Has anyone seen my wallet?” The absent-minded woman asked from the door. “It’s red, with a Velcro snap.”
“Yeah!” Tru pointed at Kevin, “He’s got it, I just saw him snatch it right off the counter!”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Kevin tried to back away holding his hands up palms towards Tru, “That’s not true.”
“If you don’t believe me,” Tru turned to the deputy sheriff, “You can just check in his bag.”
“What!” Kevin cried out in disbelief.
“Alright,” The deputy sheriff stepped forward, “Let’s take a look.”
As the deputy checked in Kevin’s bag the woman watched him accusingly. The deputy pulled out the wallet.
“I didn’t take that I swear!” Kevin had his arms pulled roughly behind his back by the deputy sheriff.
“Right I never heard that one before.” The deputy sheriff reached for his cuffs.
“Wait a minute, Officer!” Willow stepped out of the corner where she has been standing unseen, “I saw everything,” She pointed at Tru, “She put the wallet into that man’s bag!”
The deputy sheriff turned his head to look at Willow, as their eyes meet Willow pupils went dark for a moment and she whispered some strange archaic words under her breath. For a moment the deputy’s eyes went unfocused before he shook his head like a horse trying to lose an annoying fly and concentrated on Willow.
“That, Officer,” Willow pointed at Tru, “Is the infamous Faith Lehane, double murderer and escaped convict!”
Everybody in the shop gasped and turned to look at Tru. It was now Tru’s turn to look panicked; she tried to back away from Willow’s accusing finger.
“Hey no!” Cried Tru, “What’s goin’ on here?” She almost felt that she was this Lehane woman, it was really weird.
“You better be careful, Officer,” Willow continued to point her finger at Tru, “She’s very dangerous you’ll need your gun!”
As if in a daze the Deputy pulled his pistol and pointed it at Tru’s head.
“Okay Lehane, on the floor! NOW!”
Willow watched as the Faith-a-like got down on her knees and then lay on the floor while the deputy took his cuffs off Kevin and put them on Tru. Tru’s boyfriend started to object and got the deputy’s gun pointed at him for his pains. Willow smiled to herself and quietly left the shop under the cover of another minor spell; no one noticed her go.
The spell she had used on the deputy should last until the police did some in-depth checks. It would take hours for the whole thing to be sorted out by which time the time for Kevin’s murder should have passed. Willow walked back to the SUV where Kennedy was waiting.
“Everything okay?” Kennedy asked as Willow climbed back in behind the wheel.
“Yeah, that should hold them for a while.” Willow watched as the deputy sheriff led a cuffed and protesting Faith-a-like towards his patrol car. They were followed by a stunned and shocked boyfriend who was in turn followed by a pissed looking Kevin.
“We need to find the real Faith and soon.” Willow looked down the road behind them hoping that Faith and Xander would turn up.
“What’s the hurry?”
“I sorta had to tell the cop that the Faith-a-like was Faith.” Replied Willow guiltily.
“That’s ‘Faith the double murderer and escaped convict’.”
“Oh!” Kennedy looked at Willow despairingly, “I thought you’d…”
“Fixed the records?” Kennedy nodded as Willow explained. “The thing is, even I can’t change all the records in the system, it’s not as easy as everybody thinks. I had to settle for changing just enough so that if Faith was picked up we could convince the Police that they’d got the wrong woman. That they’d arrested someone that looks like Faith Lehane double murderer an’ so on…It works as long as she doesn’t go back to California for some reason.”
“Or the police are actively looking for Faith Lehane?” Kennedy suggested.
“Yeah,” Willow sounded miserable, “But I need to find her so I can disguise her…just in case.” Willow brightened after a moment, “Maybe I could convince the authorities that Faith’s dead!”
“Later,” Kennedy checked over her shoulder as a Jeep Cherokee drew up behind them.
Faith climbed down as the Deputy’s car pulled out into the road. Willow quickly cast a ‘don’t-spot-the-real-Faith’ spell. Faith jumped out of the way as the police car nearly ran her over.
“Oh darn!” Moaned Willow sadly, “At least the spell works,” This sort of thing always happened if you tried to use magic to put things right. She slapped herself on the hand. “Bad Witch.”
Xander pulled the Cherokee to a halt behind the YSWA SUV and watched Faith jump out and nearly get run down by a badly driven police patrol car. Faith ran over to the SUV’s driver’s window where she had a very animated conversation with Willow, he was just about to get out and break up the developing fight when Faith turned back to the Cherokee and ran towards him.
Xander’s mouth dropped open as he looked a Faith.
“Oh this is sooo bad!” He groaned as Faith climbed back into her seat.
Faith looked at Xander.
“What?” She demanded. Xander indicated the vanity mirror on the back of the sunshade. “What’s Red done to me?” Faith looked into the mirror. “BITCH!” She screamed and started to open the door again.
“Stop!” Warned Xander putting his hand on Faith’s arm. “It could be worse - you might be a rat.”
Faith sobered and sat back down in her seat.
“How could she?” Faith asked looking at herself in the mirror once again. “I’m blonde…”
“And cute…” Xander received a daggers look for this comment.
“Why this body, huh?” Demanded Faith. “Why the fuck did Willow make me look B?”
Xander sighed and looked longingly at the copy of the sixteen year old Buffy Summers that sat next to him. All his high school fantasies came flooding back, and he felt a stirring in his jeans, quickly he tried to think of something else…Gran’ma in a bikini that usually worked. Sighing in relief he turned his mind back to the problem in hand. Faith was not a happy camper right now.
“It was the best I could do in the time.” Confessed Willow as a furious scream pierced the air from the direction of the vehicle behind them.
“I think she’s just worked out who she looks like.” Kennedy smiled wickedly at Willow, “Bad Witch.”
“I couldn’t help it,” Pleaded Willow sadly, “I had to think fast and Buffy as I first knew her was the clearest picture I had in mind that wouldn’t cause more confusion…like imagine two Buffy’s as they are now…or a non-pregnant you…or, or…”
“But high school Buffy?” Kennedy shook her head in mock despair; this was the most fun she had had in a long time, “Poor Xander.”
“Oh Goddess yes!” Willow buried her face in her hands as the full consequences of what she had done hit her.
“STOP!” Yelled Buffy as Sally started her cheerleading routine; all day long she had this strange feeling of deja vu, and a replay of Sally’s routine had just hit her full force. She looked around at the confused Seattle Slayers.
“Sorry, but something weird’s going on.”
All the girls groaned and looked disappointed.
“Sorry guys,” Buffy apologised, “I’ve got the strangest feeling we’ve done all this before.”
As if being in a motel room with an angry Faith was not bad enough, the looks the woman at reception had given Xander made him feel like a child molester. Claiming that Faith/Buffy was his cousin had not seemed to have helped. Now Kennedy and Willow were both in his and Faith’s cabin. Faith was yelling; Willow was trying to say sorry and Kennedy was sitting in a corner looking smug and amused occasionally interjecting a caustic remark.
He needed to stop this before someone tried to hit someone else, and then there would be a sudden rat problem which would leave him looking for cages and exercise wheels. He ran various scenarios through his mind none came out well.
Eventually he filled his lungs with air and yelled, “EVERYBODY FRIGGIN’ SHUT UP!”
There was a sudden quiet in the room.
“Right on Xander,” This was from Kennedy. “I’d have shouted myself but that might have led to some embarrassing side-effects.” Kennedy paused but did not elaborate. “Now, Willow sweetie, how long will this spell last?”
“Faith will start to change back in about forty-eight hours,” Willow went to sit down next to Kennedy, “She’ll be completely back to normal after fifty hours or so.”
“And the thing you did on the police?” Kennedy took one of Willow’s hands in hers and started to stroke it, this had the effect of calming Willow down.
“Oh that was nothing but a verbal glamour,” Willow started to grin again, proud of her abilities, “That’ll wear off as soon as they start to think they’ve got the wrong woman…”
“But you’ve put the idea of Faith Lehane in the police’s collective mind.” Xander pointed out.
“So,” Kennedy looked over at a quietly fuming Faith who was standing by the fire place, “It’s just as well that Faith looks like a sixteen year old high school girl and not a vicious killer…right?”
Reluctantly Faith nodded her head in agreement, blonde hair bobbed about her face; she pushed it angrily out of the way.
“Fuck.” She cursed quietly.
“So,” Kennedy looked straight at Xander and Faith, she did not look happy, “What the hell were you two doing here in the first place?”
“Buffy told us to follow you.” Xander began to explain but was interrupted by Faith.
“Buffy wanted us to keep an eye on you both…turns out Kennedy here could be real important.” It was really odd to see Teen-Buffy and hear Faith’s voice come out of her mouth.
For Willow it brought back a few unpleasant memories.
Kennedy looked at Faith quizzically and waited for her to explain.
“Look, Giles found some prophecy that might refer to you or something,” Faith looked directly at Kennedy, that way she could avoid looking at Xander and making him turn red with embarrassment, and she did not want to look at Willow right now. “Kennedy, you’re the only Slayer that we know of whose pregnancy looks like it’s going to full term.”
“WHAT!?” Cried Willow jumping to her feet, “Why didn’t she say?”
“She didn’t want to worry you,” Faith shifted her gaze to Willow, “It said something about ‘the son of the Slayer’. Now that could mean Woody, but he’s nothing special and I should know.”
This made everyone smile and helped clear the air a little.
“Buffy thinks it could refer to Ken’s baby,” Faith continued, “So she wanted us to watch out for you while you were away…make sure nothing…unpleasant happened.”
“Unpleasant?” Willow and Kennedy chorused.
“Yeah, well,” Faith hesitated, so Xander finished for her.
“There’s been a few pregnant Slayers that we know of,” He rubbed at his forehead before continuing, “They all miscarried after about three months…The important thing is for Kennedy to be protected until she gives birth…then we’ll agonize about what happens once we’ve got a healthy baby to worry about.” Xander walked over to the front window at the sound vehicles pulling into the lot outside.
He pulled the curtain back to look outside.
“Damn!” He sighed.
“What’s wrong?” Faith got up to join Xander at the window.
“Kevin and the Faith-a-like have just turned up.”
“Crap!” Muttered Faith, “Now what do we do?”
Tru watched as the blue pick up parked in the motel’s parking lot. Kevin and the driver, an old guy, got out and stared at her as she sat in Luc’s jeep. What was it with the guys ‘round here, she wondered, they all looked like axe murderers. She looked at her boyfriend, and had the nastiest feeling that unless something good happened very soon Luc was going to be an ex-boyfriend.
After the police had satisfied themselves that Tru was not this Faith Lehane person, she still had to explain why she had slipped the woman’s wallet into Kevin’s bag. Eventually the sheriff had suggested that if Tru did not say anything about the mistaken identity mix-up, he would not press any charges about her trying to frame an innocent passer-by.
Somehow she had to save Kevin’s life, rescue her relationship with Luc, prevent Harrison and Lindsay breaking up and find out why the red haired lesbian would want to have the police arrest her thinking she was a murderer. So much for a romantic weekend get away.
Faith haunted the dark, damp woods where the murder had originally taken place. She felt uncomfortable in her ‘new’ body. Okay, she had inhabited Buffy’s body once before, but that had been an older Buffy who’s body had been more like her own, this one was so…short and cute and blonde.
Close by a twig snapped, Faith loosened the stake that rested in the small of her back, her spider sense tingled indicating danger, crouching down she hid in the shadows. Faith could see it now; a figure making its way through the trees towards the motel. Her senses said ‘vampire’, and she started to hunt.
Maybe it could be as simple as a vampire, she thought as she crept through the trees. Faith came up behind the vamp as she pulled her stake from its hiding place. The vampire sensed her and turned in a flash to meet her head on.
“Slayer!” He cried with stunning un-originality; Faith plunged the stake into his chest and watched the bloodsucker turn to dust in the rain.
“Well that sucked.” Faith replaced her stake in her jeans and glanced around the forest.
She glanced down at her watch. It was well past the time of the original murder; nothing was going to happen tonight she started back towards the cabin she was sharing with Xander. As usual after a slay, and especially after such an unsatisfying slay like that one she needed to have sex, wild uncontrolled frenzied sex. Faith smiled evilly remembering who she looked like, time to torture Xander…in a fun way of course.
Buffy put down the phone and looked around the empty family room; somehow she had to contact Faith and Xander. Giles had just called her with news that there had been a demonic contract put out on Kennedy. Shannon walked into the room and saw Slayer Prime’s worried look.
“What’s wrong?” She asked.
“Shannon, isn’t it?” The girl hesitated for a beat before answering, confirming Buffy’s suspicions about the Seattle Slayers, no time for that now. “Call everybody back home, something bad’s come up and we’re closest,” Buffy walked swiftly out to the weapons room and unlocked the door, “We’ve got to deal with it, and soon.”
Buffy started to sort through the wracks of weapons while Shannon began to call the Slayers home. Buffy picked up a sword and tested its weight in her hand, she cursed an uncaring fate. Once more her friends were in danger and she would have to ride to the rescue.
Kevin Rafferty knelt on his bedroom floor and bowed low in front of the altar to his Demon Lord. He thanked the Lord for saving him from the Police at the store, if he had been taken in they might have found out about the sacrifices to the Demon that he had been making.
He listened carefully to the words of the contract as they entered his brain, the task was so easy and the rewards would be so great. In exchange for the power to commit any crimes and not be caught, all he had to do was to sacrifice the dark haired woman and her unborn child.
What could be easier?
He sat back on his heels before standing up and walking over to the closet in the corner of his room. He opened the door and reached up to the top shelf. After a moment’s searching his fingers found his favourite knife. Sitting down on his bed he started to sharpen the blade to a razor like edge.