had a few people telling me that Joyce is being rather irrational. This was not my deliberate intention. I grew up with those sort of reactions, I don’t really know how else to put it. The way Joyce reacted on the show when Buffy came back is foreign to me and very much surprised me. I’m sorry but that’s just me. Either you stop reading this fic or you deal with it. But I hope you choose the latter.Also
, many of you have told me that Faith’s first Watcher was female. I apologize for my mistake and am now announcing that for the sake of this story her Watcher’s a guy. Thank you.Chapter Seven
“Faith, we agreed I would ease them in.” Patrick commented slightly annoyed at his Slayer’s impatience. He cared for the girl but she could drive him mad on many occasions. He tried often to teach her some manners but to no avail. Though she had improved since their first meeting, he thought feeling a little pride.
“What’s there to ease in, Pips?” Faith asked with a roll of her eyes. “Top Slayer’s not here, second Slayer is.” She shrugged indifferent and wandered around Giles’ living room with the helmet still in hand. She could feel the other teens’ eyes burning in her back but ignored them.
“Have you stopped to think that maybe they don’t know about a second Slayer?” Patrick sighed exasperated. He shook his head lightly in disapproval when Faith looked at him and then gave Giles an apologetic smile.
“Actually, we should have figured as much.” The older Brit spoke with a wry smile. “When Buffy drowned during her fight with the Master, she was technically dead for less than two minutes but it had been enough to call Kendra.” He continued.
“The Slayer before you.” Patrick answered Faith’s unasked question when the brunette eyed Giles a little confused. She knew she wasn’t the immediate second Slayer but she didn’t figure the Sunnydale Slayer would’ve known about the first second Slayer. Patrick had told her that it was an agreement among Watchers that this Buffy Summers was not to come in contact with another Slayer.
“Yes, quite.” Giles smiled uneasily. “She was murdered a few months ago.” He added with a saddened expression. Patrick gave him a sympathetic look. He never lost a Slayer of his own, Faith was his first Slayer, but even though Kendra wasn’t Giles’ Slayer, he could imagine what it must feel like to lose a Slayer under your watch.
“And now I’m the Slayer.” Faith said confidently. “Well, second Slayer but I’m the SunnyD Slayer now.” She added trying not to sound as confused as she felt. In the few minutes they have been in Giles’ apartment plus their Slayer being missing, it was obvious that Buffy had enough of slaying.
“But Buffy’s coming back.” Willow piped up. “Giles, tell her Buffy’s coming back.” She pleaded the Englishman. Oz tenderly rubbed his girlfriend’s back to sooth her but the redhead barely registered the movement.
“I don’t know, Willow.” Giles sighed heavily. “Her mother told me she was going to bring her back but if Buffy doesn’t want to it’ll be only a matter of time before she runs away again.” He took off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Or ends up dead.” Faith threw in casually. “What? I’m just bein’ honest here.” She added seeing the horrified look on Willow’s face. “A Slayer that doesn’t wanna slay dies.” She left no room for arguments in her statement. “That’s why I’m here; she doesn’t have to be back for the Slaying so if your Buffy does come back it’ll be a lot easier.”
White, nothing but white. He tried to look at his hands but either he was invisible or he was as white as his surroundings. No, wait, they’re materializing. Slowly but surely he saw his hands then his arms and the rest of his body appear. He frowned slightly looking at his attire. He was wearing a white sleeveless shirt and white pants but not like his environment, besides he could see his bare feet. He grew wide-eyed when he took in his arms. They were not this muscular when he went to sleep. He could actually see the muscles flex with every move he made. Looking around the endless space he noted he was really alone. He slowly lifted up his shirt and chuckled approvingly taking in his thickset chest.
“You don’t need them.” He dropped his shirt like he had just been burnt and looked around the white setting but still didn’t see anyone. Cautiously he started walking forward trying to see where the voice came from but it was eerily silent, he couldn’t even hear his own breathing.
“Is someone there?” He asked turning his head in any direction possible to look for a second someone. Other than the fact he looked like Superman-on-steroids, there was absolutely nothing that made it seem like a dream of his.
“It is time.” He stopped walking. This time the voice came from right in front of his. He could feel the words on his face but still couldn’t see anything that could be the cause. He felt like he knew the voice but something in his mind was blocking the recognition. He shivered involuntarily though there was no wind to feel.
“Time for what? Who are you?” He slowly pivoted in his place trying to make sense of the whole concept. “Where the hell am I?” He was getting aggravated and nervous. It may have seemed fun for a moment when he saw his strapping self but that was all over now.
“Don’t be afraid, Xander.” That voice. He knew that voice. He searched his brain, going over all the people he knew and just when he thought he was close to figuring it out the ground underneath him vanished and he began falling.
Xander awoke abruptly in the small hospital bed. He shook his head and could swear he saw a flash of brown hair and familiar brown eyes before he woke up. Those eyes and that voice, why did they seem so familiar? It was then that he noticed he was alone in the bed, Buffy was gone. He looked around the room and saw she wasn’t present at all. He jumped out of the bed and rushed out of the room crashing straight into a smaller person, knocking them both to the floor.
“Shit, I’m sorry.” Xander scrambled up and winced when he recognized the smaller person. He held out his hand with an apologetic smile. “I didn’t see you.” That wasn’t entirely true, he did see her just a little too late to stop himself from knocking her to the floor.
“Hospitals don’t seem to like me with you two around.” Calleigh chuckled and accepted Xander’s hand. “Buffy’s fine, they had some tests to do and she didn’t want to wake you.” Calleigh smiled reassuringly as she straightened her outfit.
“Yeah, I knew that.” Xander replied trying to act casually but couldn’t help grinning nervously when Calleigh eyed him disbelievingly. “I did, I was just going for a run.” He added while stretching his legs. “It’s been a while and I need to work out, y’know?” He started lifting his legs up like he was running but stayed in place.
“Whatever you say.” Calleigh chuckled and held her hands up in surrender. “You feel like putting your run on a hold for a while and join me in the cafeteria for a bite?” She asked him with a smile and Xander stopped his movements. “Buffy’s tests will take another half an hour and I’m guessing you haven’t had anything to eat for a while.” The words had barely left her mouth when a soft growling was heard coming from Xander.
“Okay sure, let’s feed the beast.” He grinned and motioned for Calleigh to lead the way.
Joyce had stayed with Buffy the entire time they did the testing. Just like the doctors she was surprised at Buffy’s healing. They had did some tests to see if her brain trauma hadn’t gotten worse but came to the conclusion that other than the small bald spot where they had to shave her hair for surgery there was no sign of an injury whatsoever. Aside from her broken arm she was completely healed, physically at least. They had demanded answers but they weren’t getting any from Buffy and Joyce had been just as shocked as them.
After that little discovery Joyce had to admit Buffy was different but she still refused to believe that Buffy was the only, teenage, girl that could fight things that go bump in the night. She was going to take Buffy back to Sunnydale and already forbid her to see that ‘crazy librarian’ again. Buffy, of course, begged her mother not to take her back to Sunnydale but Joyce remained unrelenting. Buffy had her school in Sunnydale and she had her gallery. They couldn’t just move again.
Buffy was back in her hospital room but wasn’t worried about Xander not being there. Calleigh had told her she’d take Xander for something to eat when Buffy mentioned he’d get worried for being gone so long. She was sitting on the edge of her bed waiting for her mother to sign the release forms. The doctors had agreed to let Buffy go a few days early because of her fast healing.
“Buffy.” Xander entered the room with a concerned look in his eyes. “What’s this about you leaving?” He asked calmly walking up to Buffy, not wanting to frighten her with too sudden movements. He knew Buffy wasn’t scared of him but Calleigh had told him that rape and assault victims were likely to jump from any sudden movement, good or bad.
“Mom’s taking me back to Sunnydale.” Buffy’s voice was quivering by the time he was standing right in front of her. With carefully calm movements he wrapped his arms around Buffy and sighed relieved when the blonde hugged him tightly. At least he’d be able to hold her without scaring her. “I don’t wanna go back there.” Buffy whispered to his chest. A soft knock at the door alerted both of them but Buffy didn’t let go of Xander, she simply turned her head to look at the door and frowned when she saw the person by the door.
“Dad?” She pulled back from her bubble with Xander but held onto his arm for some sort of support. She didn’t understand what he was doing here. Who had called him? Why did he even bother? He didn’t want to see her when she wanted to see him but now he was here? What gave the incentive?
“I heard what happened, sweetie, I came as fast as I could.” Hank smiled sympathetically and gave Xander a friendly nod as a greeting. Xander forced a smile but didn’t trust him. Joyce was ready to kill Xander when he barely touched Buffy’s shoulder but this man, the father apparently, didn’t even fake a glare at him. If someone told Xander his daughter had been raped he’d do whatever in his power to keep every guy away from his little girl but not Hank, no he was smiling at Xander.
“Who told you?” Buffy asked surprised. Maybe he did care about her. Maybe she could stay with him instead of going to Sunnydale. If he was here for her he did want his daughter. It wouldn’t be near Xander if Speedle won the custody case but at least it was out of Sunnydale.
“Calleigh called me.” Hank replied. Buffy’s expression fell immediately. Of course, that was why he was here. Calleigh made it seem like he was the greatest big brother there was but she didn’t know him like that. “And your mother of course.” He added hastily seeing Buffy’s expression but it didn’t change. Buffy knew he was here more for his little sister than for his daughter. She couldn’t deny it hurt.
“Why didn’t you tell me about her?” Se asked not bothering to keep the disappointment out of her voice. “Don’t you think I deserve to know about my aunt?” She questioned tightening her grip around Xander’s arm when Hank took a step forwards. “It could’ve spared me from getting raped.” She spat at her father. She didn’t know if it could’ve spared her but she was hurt and angry and didn’t care what she was saying to her father.
“What do you mean?” Hank asked shocked. He hadn’t seen Calleigh in fifteen years, how could telling Buffy sooner about his sister change what happened to her? Buffy released her grip on Xander’s arm and sighed tiredly.
“Get out, dad.” Her voice was harsh and unyielding. “Go find Calleigh.” Hank didn’t respond, he turned and let the room. He knew he wasn’t the greatest father and didn’t have a real bond with his daughter but the look in Buffy’s eyes still hurt him.