Kevin had got up extra early; he had some work he needed to do. The previous night after he had accepted the contract to kill the pregnant woman he had raised a minor demon and sent it to destroy the nearby cellphone relay tower. It had gone off line once already so no one would be too suspicious if it went off line again. He would cut the lines for the land lines himself. There had been a storm the previous night so people would think that the wind had brought the lines down; by the time anyone knew better it would be too late.
The forces of light met for breakfast at about eight-thirty the next morning. Willow cast a privacy spell around their table in the Motel restaurant, anyone within ear shot would think they were just four young people talking about what they were going to do for the rest of the day. However, they were in fact four young people with a mission who were talking about what they would be doing later that day.
“How did you get on last night Faith?” Willow sipped at her tea, not even she was happy with what she done to Faith, but it couldn’t be helped now.
“Oh fine,” Faith looked down at her breakfast, cereal with sliced banana, hardly the breakfast of heroes, “Xander’s mouth said ‘no’ but other bits of him said, ‘OH GOD YES PLEASE!’.” Faith gave Xander a ‘cat who’d got the cream’ look.
Willow tried to puzzle out what Faith was talking about and came up blank until Kennedy snorted orange juice down her noise and had a choking/laughing fit. Realisation dawned on Willow as she patted Kennedy’s back.
“That’s not quite what I meant.” Hissed Willow as she passed Kennedy a spare serviette, “Did you see anything when you patrolled last night?”
“One pretty limp Vamp but no murderers,” Faith started to spoon cereal into her mouth while at the same time looking quite disgusted with the idea.
This was not what she normally ate, but somehow this disguise she was wearing craved this light weight crap! Next, she supposed she would be braiding her hair and lusting after boy-bands!
“Anyway as you can see,” Faith pointed with her spoon, “Kevin is very much alive.”
Everyone turned to see Kevin walk into the restaurant and sit down at a table in the corner.
“You know Willow,” Faith turned to look at the Witch, “Xander still has a lot of unresolved issues with Buffy, this…”
“Sitting right here!” Xander threw his knife and fork down on his plate, everyone in the room turned to stare, “Can we stop discussing my ‘issues’ with Buffy and get back to the problem in hand? Will, what did you see last night…or last possible night, or whatever?”
Willow put down her cup and marshalled her thoughts.
“Okay,” She pushed some hair away from her face, “I was out looking for some ice for Ken,” She glanced at Faith to forestall any ribald comment, “For her hiccups. Then I saw the Faith-a-like talking to that pretty blonde girl…”
“Not as pretty as me I hope?” Faith tossed her blonde locks, Willow’s lips set in a thin line as she gave Faith a disapproving stare.
“Faith, one Slayer to another,” Kennedy paused between shovelling forkfuls of egg and ham into her mouth, “If you didn’t know,” She gestured to Willow, “That’s her ‘I’m starting to get annoyed look’.”
“Is it?” Faith’s eyebrows drew together as she studied Willow closely.
“Yeah,” Kennedy reached for more toast, “Blonde rat…know what I mean?”
“She’d do that?” Faith asked, Kennedy shrugged noncommittally and went back to the serious business of eating.
“People,” Xander tried to get everyone refocused, “No one’s turning anyone into anything,” He glanced at both Willow and Faith. “Now go on with what you were saying Will.”
“Where was I?” Willow glanced at Faith who remained silent.
“Ice.” Said Xander helpfully.
“Yeah, right. Ice, blonde girl…right. Okay, I saw the Faith-a-like walk off into the woods so I followed her. I lost her for a minute or two then when I found her again there she was standing over Kevin’s body with a bloody knife in her hand.”
“Faith?” Xander invited her to add anything she knew.
“Didn’t see much more than Willow here.” She flicked a finger in Willow’s direction, “I was following Red ‘cause I thought her getting eaten by a Vamp wouldn’t do Kennedy any good.” Faith gave up on the cereal and looked about for some proper food, however Kennedy had eaten it all, “When I found her again it’s like she said; other me, bloody knife, dead body an’ I think she had something in her other hand.”
“Like?” Willow lent across the table towards Faith.
“Looked like a cut out heart.”
“Yuk!” Kennedy looked up from her plate and pulled a face.
“No a cut out paper heart or something,” Faith explained an evil smile spreading across her face, “Though a real one would’ a’ been wicked!”
“But neither of you actually saw her kill this Kevin guy?” Xander looked from Faith to Willow and back again.
“Not as such.”
“So there’s no real proof that she killed him?” Xander looked at his two main witnesses again thinking he had missed his vocation and should have been a lawyer
“No.” They chorused.
“But she’s evil,” Said Faith matter-of-factly, “She’s got my face.”
“In that case,” Explained Xander, “You’re evil ‘cause you’re wearing one of Buffy’s cast-off bodies.”
“And don’t you love it?” Faith suddenly leant against Xander and ran her tongue around his ear.
“No,” Willow added as Xander tried to push Faith away from him, “Faith-Buffy is right, she’s evil. It’s as plain as the underage cheerleader sticking her tongue in your ear. She’ll have to die!”
“That’s a bit harsh isn’t it?” Kennedy having finished off any carelessly discarded food rejoined the conversation. Everyone looked at her in surprise, “I mean killing Faith just because she’s licking Xander’s ear…talk about issues Will!”
Tru gazed across the dinning room as she tried to get her thoughts into some form of order. Yesterday had been a disaster, getting arrested because she looked like some murderer. Then finding Kevin’s body in the woods like that; and why had she picked up the murder weapon? She knew better than that!
She was truly puzzled about how the red haired lesbian fitted into everything. She had been in the general store and told the Deputy about her other self (she had been shown the ‘Wanted Posters’ for this Faith Lehane. The resemblance was uncanny.) It was the odd way the redhead had looked at her and pointed, it was almost like hypnoses, and everyone just went along with what she was saying, that was just so weird.
Then the same woman turned up when she found the body; that just could not be a coincidence. Tru was almost sure there had been someone else nearby; surely she had heard the redhead say ‘Faith’? Faith-Faith Lehane! Maybe the redhead knew the murderer; maybe the murderer was this Lehane woman. If that was so she would just have to look out for someone that looked like herself!
It would certainly make things easier if it was this mysterious Lehane woman, all the men; except Luc and Harrison, looked like serial killers. There was the guy with the cough who had given Kevin a lift; he looked as if he would cut you up as soon as look at you. Then there was the older guy with the glasses, another axe wielding maniac if ever she had seen one.
Then there was the dark haired, one eyed guy with the blonde girl who could not keep her hands off him. Not only did he look like a stone cold killer, he was obviously a child molester because that girl he was with did not look more than sixteen and should really be at home with her Mom baking cookies. As it was she was mauling a guy that looked ten years older than her and wearing clothes more suited to some sort of biker slut than the cheerleader she so obviously was!
Someone grabbed hold of Tru’s hand; she screamed!
“Tru?” Luc looked at her in concern, “You okay?”
“Huh? Oh sorry,” Tru looked around the room, everyone was looking at her, she smiled apologetically, “Sorry I musta been day dreaming.”
“Yeah,” Agreed Luc, “You were miles away,” He smiled reassuringly, “What you want to do today?”
Taken by surprise by the question Tru did not know what to say for a second.
“I need to speak to Harrison.” She announced finally.
“You do?” Luc sounded disappointed.
“Yeah,” Tru stood up, “It won’t take a moment.”
She hurried towards the door, she could feel the eye’s of the one-eyed man, his underage girlfriend and their lesbian friends on her back.
Buffy noticed how white her knuckles were as she gripped the dashboard of the YSWA Mini Cooper with all her strength. She caught a glimpse of herself in the rear view mirror; she had seen that look before. It was the one people usually wore on the rare occasions that she was allowed to drive!
Tammy gunned the engine, changed gear and slid the Mini around the corner of the country road that they were presently heading down at breakneck speed.
“Don’t worry Ma’am,” Cried Tammy over the roar of the engine, “I’ve been doin’ this since I was thirteen or so…” Tammy swerved to avoid a pot-hole, “And I’m still alive!” Tammy grinned manically at Buffy.
Buffy settled back in her seat and surreptitiously tightened her seat belt. The fact that they were not standard seatbelts but more like the harness you found on fighter jets should have given her some warning of what she was letting herself in for. Again she thanked all the Gods, Goddesses, and anyone else that watched over Slayers, that she had agreed to wait until morning before starting out. The thought of doing this in the pitch dark was enough to turn her grey. She looked at a strand of hair, she sighed in relief, still blonde.
“Aren’t you worried about being stopped for speeding?” Cried Buffy hoping that Tammy might slow down a little, instead the younger Slayer took a hand off the wheel and tapped a small leather bag that hung from the rear view mirror.
“No Ma’am!” She grinned over at Buffy.
Slayer Prime restrained herself from grabbing the steering wheel.
“Miss Willow put a charm in the car,” Tammy put both hands back on the wheel, Buffy sighed with relief, “Speed camera’s just get blurred pictures of us and police don’t really see us, we’ll be okay…Ma’am!”
Tammy went through a complex series of gear changes and Buffy found that they were going even faster than before. Blurred pictures, she thought, that would be from the speed of course! Trees flashed by as they headed into the wilderness area south of Seattle, the road was just wide enough for two cars to pass…slowly. Buffy tore her eyes away from the road ahead and glanced at the young woman beside her.
Tammy grinned like someone possessed; Buffy had a vague recollection of Willow telling her about Tammy’s past. Something about home made cars, drag racing and the death of a best friend. Buffy’s eyes clicked back to look out the windscreen as she sensed danger. Oh Gods! She cried to herself, they were approaching a farm yard…there were chickens in the road!
“HARRISON!” Tru banged on the door of the cabin where Harrison and Lindsay where staying.
“We’re all set with…” It was Harrison’s voice.
“Open up you guys it’s me!” Tru could hear movement and a whispered conversation coming from inside.
“Tru?” Harrison opened the door a crack, “What’d you want, I’m kinda busy right now.” He clutched Lindsay’s robe around his shoulders against the cold.
“I need your help.” Tru explained earnestly.
“Rewind day?” Harrison’s face fell as he realised he was going to have to leave a warm bed and his warm girlfriend.
Tru waited outside for her brother, ten minutes later he reappeared fully dressed and looking really pissed.
“You and Lindsay make up?” Tru asked as they walked across the parking lot together.
“We had.” Replied Harrison rather pointedly, they stopped by Luc’s jeep.
Tru took five minutes explaining the last twelve hours of her life to her brother.
“But wait,” Harrison glanced around checking the area for mad knife wielding red-haired lesbians, “Shouldn’t we call the cops? Tell them we got a whack job loose in the area?”
“I’d love to,” Explained Tru, “But I don’t have any proof. And if told them I was reliving a day, they’d think I was insane.”
Harrison snapped his fingers.
“Let’s call the tabloids! Tell them you had a psychic premonition of a killer.”
“How would that help?”
“It wouldn’t,” Harrison grinned at his sister, “But we could make a mint!”
Tru rolled her eyes and then grabbed Harrison’s arm as she started to explain her plan.
“One of us should keep an eye on Kevin,” Tru explained, “While the other looks for suspects.”
“We got any?” Harrison wanted to know.
“More than enough.” Tru sighed as she pulled her Cell from her pocket, “Darn I thought they’d fixed that.”
“None,” Tru slipped the useless Cell into her pocket, “Look, you go check out the old guys cabin, I’ll keep an eye on Kevin, okay?”
“Okay.” Agreed Harrison as he made his way across the parking lot.”
Faith watched from the window of the Reception area of the main cabin as Xander tried to explain to the owner lady that he had not kidnapped a minor and that Faith was actually older than he was; she just looked really young. Strictly speaking this was all true but the woman was not buying it. Faith watched as the Faith-a-like and her friend split up, he would need watching. Turning back to the interior of the cabin she moved to save Xander from ‘twenty-five to life’ in a Federal jail.
The things she did for love!
Carl (the old guy) stepped out of his cabin, locked the door behind him and headed off toward the parking lot. Moments later Harrison appeared around the corner of the cabin and walked up to the door, he stopped and looked around. Seeing no one he bent to pick the lock with his clasp knife. There was a quiet click and the lock came free, once again he checked over his shoulder and then walked into the cabin.
As Harrison disappeared inside Faith sneaked around from the other corner of the cabin. Quietly she walked up to the cabin’s front window and peeped inside where she could see Harrison (who she recognises as the mousy blonde guy from the night before) standing in the middle of the room.
Harrison stood in the middle of the room and looked around. There was a silver container resting on the table, it was about the size of a flower vase. He walked over to it and picked it up. Unscrewing the top he found it to be full of a grey and black powdery substance. He licked his finger and tasted the contents; it tasted very much like ash. Putting down the vase he started to search the rest of the cabin not noticing the door opening and closing quietly behind him. On top of a dresser Harrison found pages from several old newspapers. Remembering what his sister said about the paper heart he picked up a large pair of scissors.
“Now I wonder what you’re doing in here?” Asked a female voice from behind him.
Harrison turned to confront the intruder; he relaxed a little as he saw that it was only the teenage girl Tru had told him about.
“Who are you?” He demanded believing that a good attack is the best form of defence.
“I’m the girl who’s going to rip her t-shirt and scream an’ tell people that you dragged me in here.” Faith smirked thinking that looking like a sixteen year old Buffy had its advantages. “Now start talking before I start screaming.” Faith took a lung full of air and opened her mouth; this was so much easier than beating the crap out of this guy.
“Hey look,” Harrison tried to slip around the girl and head for the door, “I musta come into the wrong cabin by mistake, okay?”
“After you picked the lock.” Faith smiled.
“Shit!” Harrison kicked himself, he had been sure no one had been looking.
“You can either talk to me or you can talk to my friends.”
Harrison weighed up his chances of getting out of the cabin with out being charged with statuary rape. He looked at the little blonde girl in front of him, how bad could her friends be?
“Okay, let’s talk to your friends.” Harrison decided to call her bluff.
“Okay,” Sighed Faith heading for the door, “After you.”
It was amazing just how much damage a high velocity chicken could do. Buffy rubbed her shoulders where the safety harness had bitten into them, an irate farmer yelled and stamped in front of her wanting to know who was going to pay for the wrecked barn and dead chickens. Tammy bent over the front of the Mini checking the damage.
They had hit the farm yard doing about seventy miles an hour; the chicken had flapped up in front of them in panic before smashing into the windscreen. Tammy, quite naturally had tried to take evasive action. Unfortunately the chicken which had kamikaze’ed itself into the car obscured her vision so much that she never noticed the barn full of farm machinery.
Tammy got up from the front of the car and walked over to Buffy, as she passed between the farmer and Buffy she casually punched him on the chin, she did not even turn to see if he was unconscious.
“Sorry Ma’am but the car’s a write-off, hole straight through the radiator.” Tammy indicated a hole about six inches across with her hands.
“Do-do Willow and Kennedy let you do things like that?” Stuttered Buffy as she stared down in shock at the unconscious farmer.
“Only in an emergency.” Tammy bent over the farmer and checked his breathing and pulse before turning him on to his side.
“But-but you can’t…” Buffy was angry now, what the hell had been going on in Seattle over the months?
“Ma’am,” Tammy sounded very calm as she stood up and looked at Buffy, “If I hadn’t put him down,” She jerked her thumb at sleeping farmer, “We’d be here all day trying to fix things. You want Kennedy an’ Miss Willow cut up into itty bitty bits ‘cause we couldn’t get there to warn them?”
Buffy did not like it but she could see Tammy’s point, she reached into her Jeans for her Cell. Flipping it open she found she had no signal.
“Your Cell working?” Buffy put her phone away as Tammy tried hers; she shook her head and replaced the cell in her jacket.
Buffy looked about the farm yard, there did not appear to be a car or a truck anywhere in sight.
“I suppose we start walking?” Buffy moved towards the wrecked Mini to retrieve her things.
“Walk?” Tammy sounded astounded by the idea, she pointed at a tractor parked near by, “Why walk when we can ride?”
Five minutes later Buffy was perched up in the tractor’s cab with Tammy behind the wheel as they rumbled down the road. Buffy reflected on how terrifying twenty-five miles an hour looked if you had the right driver.