NtOO Ch 11: Strong Emotions
Not the Only OneChapter Eleven: Strong Emotions NtOO
To say that things had gone back to normal in the house after Ginny woke up would be a big fat lie.
Well for most people, anyway.
Their definition of normal would not accept all the screaming girls, the angry headache-y slayer, the red headed witch who seemed to be trying really hard not to go black and veiny just to shut them up… or the sudden silence followed by panicky jumping girls, when the, also red headed, witchy potential reached her limit and used her magic to silence them all.
But this WAS Sunnydale. So when Xander danced and looked up thanking any higher being up there for saving his ears, no one thought it weird, though they did their best to ignore the impulse to join him. He only got a couple of glares from the girls after he hugged the source of their silence.
"You're welcome Xander." Ginny said smiling. Then she turned to the other potentials. "I'm fine. Yes, the first tried to kill me. But he…she... it, whatever, is trying to kill all of us. Kind of, the reason we are here, remember?"
Some of the girls tried to protest but then remembered they still couldn't talk.
Buffy and the rest of the scoobies just watched, amused at the way Ginny was handling the situation. It was funny how some of them looked at her fearfully, while others just glared and a few seemed impressed. Buffy guessed she would have to work with some of them. It wouldn't do to train them only for them to die because they were paralyzed by fear. If a witchy girl who was on their side scared them so much, a Bringer or a vamp…well she didn't want to think about it.
"It used magic to disturb a spell Willow and I were casting, which required my spirit to travel into another plane and for Willow to act as my anchor to this one while I found what I was looking for." Ginny looked at them and made sure they were paying attention. She saw Kennedy in a corner looking at her with a mix of emotions. They had talked, exactly what had been said she didn't mention to the scoobies, but at least they had reached an understanding…sort of. The other girls wouldn't find out, and Ginny wouldn't retaliate, but Kennedy had to talk to someone, explain why she did it what the First said to her, but the brunette would choose which of the scoobies to talk to. The red head already kind of knew what her choice would be but she didn't let on that she did. Ginny sighed.
"By wounding Willow and tricking the wards designed to protect me into recognizing her as an enemy, she was unable to remain as my anchor and without her I…" Ginny ran a hand through her hair nervously. She hoped they wouldn't look at her differently now. She was still the new girl and she was different, powerful, Kennedy wasn't the only one jealous, and if not jealous, at least wary of her. And this would only make her more different from them.
More of an outsider.
She had considered keeping it quiet but if she was going to be fighting side by side with them she didn't want to keep secrets from them…well not too many secrets, anyway. Some things were really no one else's business but hers. But this was related to the First and since it wanted them all dead, they deserved to know…at least some of it anyway. 'This better not come back to bite me in the arse'
"…I died. My body lost too much energy and for a minute I was dead." Ginny had the feeling that even without her silencing spell no one would have made a sound. "Fortunately Buffy was able to take Willow's place in time, so I didn't stay dead… obviously." She said cheerfully…it was Sunnydale remember? Talking about one's own death like that was normal in this town. It still made Ginny feel a little weird but she guessed she'd get used to it.
"Anyway. Willow and I put some wards up and no more First magic. So, how about I give your voices back and we all have lunch?"
And that was it.
Of course that wasn't really it. But it was what the potentials would know anyway. There was the matter of what to do about Kennedy. Buffy talked to her too. And there would have been more yelling if not for Ginny. Who once more made use of her silencing skills to make sure the others didn't hear. The witch didn't want the conversation be an attack on the brunette potential, thought it'd only make things worse and though Buffy still wasn't happy with keeping Kennedy's actions from everyone and not doing something, anything about it, a lengthy conversation with Ginny about the brunette's motivations and state of mind, and something the young witch had said brought Buffy's thoughts to another brunette from her past. And a lot of confusing thoughts Buffy wasn't sure how to deal with.
"She's not okay Buffy. She's hurt and a little damaged. I don't know what happened to her in the past, but I felt pain coming from her… I think it might have something to do with her watcher or something but she's not okay." Ginny had said to Buffy after the slayer asked her again why she wanted to protect Kennedy. They had been talking about this for hours now.
"That's why I think she's dangerous. She could hurt the others!" Buffy was angry. If the first had manipulated the girl once, it could do it again. They had to do something. What Buffy didn't know, but they couldn't just ignore it!
"What do you want to do then Buffy? Start pointing fingers without understanding the situation? Keep her prisoner? Chain her up in the basement with Spike to keep her company? We can't do that. It'll just make her distrust us, resent us? Drive her over the edge? We might as well just give her to the First and have it kill her or turn her into our enemy. People, especially desperate, hurt, lonely people, once broken, driven over the edge, will choose survival when backed into a corner, Buffy. And if someone starts saying the right words they can manipulate them, twist their thoughts, their feelings, and shape them into a weapon they can use against their enemies."Ginny was pacing now. And she was saying things she couldn't have known, would hit Buffy harder than she intended. "We can't let that happen. If we don't try to help her and we lose her to the first. Then everything she does will be on our conscience."
"What if we try to help her and it doesn't work? What if we try talking to her and she doesn't listen?" Buffy, couldn't help but ask. The witch sighed. "We try harder? If she resists at first then we keep trying until she does listen. She's not evil Buffy. She's damaged, but not evil. I don't think anyone good at heart would turn to evil without being pushed into it. I just don't want us to be the ones doing the pushing." Something weird was going on, Ginny noticed. Buffy's eyes seemed far away like she was remembering something and was that pain Ginny saw in her aura?
"What if…what if she still leaves me for some stupid, snake wannabe demon!?" Buffy whispered. The slayer was breathing hard now. And Ginny realized they weren't talking about Kennedy anymore. 'Snake wannabe? The mayor Willow mentioned? But then who is Buffy talk- OH.' The other witch had said something about another slayer. A slayer who had betrayed them…joined the mayor. Is that what had happened to her? She was driven over the edge and the mayor turned her against them…oh bugger. No wonder Buffy's aura was spiking up right now. 'I practically told her it was her fault the other slayer turned on her.' And from the pain coming from her Buffy had cared about her. The blonde felt guilty, confused and surprised and then even guiltier…the confusion and surprise Ginny couldn't understand…not that Buffy understood either, that much was obvious.
"Buffy? Are you okay?"Buffy was startled out of her thoughts by Ginny's voice. "I…yeah…sorry. I'm fine. And I think I get what you are trying to do with Kennedy. Just, let's be careful too, okay? We'll try to help her but be cautious, just in case…I should…I need to go and think." And with that the slayer had left Ginny standing in the middle of the room unsure of what to do.
Buffy was kind of embarrassed about that. 'She must think I'm crazy, the way I left'.
But, she had been caught by surprise by the girl's words and the situation with Kennedy. She was suddenly reminded of Faith and Buffy wasn't sure how to feel. Since her resurrection, the blonde slayer had to get used to feelings again. The numbness she had felt all the time after digging out of her coffin, had only been penetrated… Buffy winced at the choice of word her mind had come up with, by the disgust and pain she felt with Spike, something she somehow had figured, at the time, was better than not feeling anything at all.
After she ended things with the Vampire and with everything that had happened since then, Buffy had gotten a lot better. She had started to recover her ability to feel good, positive emotions…but she wasn't completely recovered yet. And to be honest she wasn't sure she ever would be. Sometimes feelings overwhelmed her, the complete opposite of her previous situation…moments when instead of not feeling anything she would feel too much.
And Faith? Faith had always made her feel too much, even back when Buffy had no problems dealing with her emotions. Whether it was companionship, excitement, sadness, pity, guilt or uncontrollable anger. There were always strong emotions involved, when it came to the brunette slayer.
But Buffy hadn't thought about Faith since she came back to life…except when Giles had shown up with the potentials telling her that the First was trying to destroy the slayer line. But Buffy had pushed the thought away so she could concentrate on dealing with the sudden invasion of her house, and the situation with Spike. If she had let herself think of Faith at the time…well she wouldn't have been able to function, literally. It would have been too much at once, and she hadn't been ready. Not better enough, still too broken from her resurrection and already on the edge by all that was going on around her. She was getting better at dealing with it every day, but she wasn't sure she was ready for what she was feeling right now.
She wasn't angry.
Something that surprised the hell out of Buffy. Hurt. Yeah, she was still hurt. But the anger hadn't survived her death it seemed. Maybe because so much had happened since then. Maybe because she had seen too much and not so long ago her own eyes had looked so much like the way she now remembered Faith's eyes back when they were kids, desperate, empty….Maybe because,
they had all been kids back then. Faith had been a kid back then. 'How old was Faith back then, anyway? I never asked'
Maybe because Ginny's words had made her feel the guilt first, the pain, the failure, that she used to cover up with anger. Maybe because she wasn't used to strong emotions and no matter how angry she would get at Faith in the past, the guilt was stronger than the anger now.
And God, Buffy knew even back then that Faith had been broken by what happened with Finch… what she… 'What we did.'
"…if someone starts saying the right words they can manipulate them, twist their thoughts, their feelings, and shape them into a weapon they can use against their enemies."
Is that what had happened with Faith? The mayor manipulated her? Found her at her weakest and took advantage of a broken girl…one who would be useful to him because of her power.
"…don't think anyone good at heart would turn to evil without being pushed into it."
Had Faith been evil? Really evil? Or had she been pushed into it. Would an evil person regret her actions? Would she have turned herself in…stayed in prison all this years? Or at least Buffy thought she was still in prison. She hadn't thought about Faith…she hadn't asked anyone about her, not even when she found out about the First's plan. And here was the new guilt. Joining the old guilt Buffy had never dealt with in the first place. 'She's in danger too.'
And she was alone, not knowing, not expecting to be attacked. And Buffy hadn't thought
about her at all! Hadn't even bothered to let her know so she could be alert. Was she only capable of screwing up when it came to Faith?
Buffy had to put her thoughts in order. Get used to all these feelings before she lost it. For now all she could do was make sure Faith knew she was in danger. And hope she could deal with her emotions, if getting the brunette slayer out of prison became necessary. Despite all the confusing emotions and the history between the chosen two, one thing Buffy knew for sure was that she didn't want some other girl to take Faith's place as a slayer.
And this thing with Kennedy? Well, they'll follow Ginny's plan… for now. Buffy didn't want to fail the girl like she felt she failed Faith, but she had the other potentials and her family and friends to think about too.
AN: Yes, I'm still alive. Nothing bad happened to me this time, only plot bunnies jumping around in my head not letting me continue with this fic. Sorry? Blame the bunnies? One thing I wanted your opinion on is pairings. Ah...yes it always seems to come to that in fanfiction huh? Anyway, You guys think it should stay Harry/Ginny? I ship them but there are many options in the buffyverse that could work for Ginny so for now nothing is set in stone. As for the Buffy characters. Xander/Dawn? Nuh huh, nope it's icky and one of the reasons I don't Bother with Buffy season 9 anymore and just read Angel&Faith for my buffyverse comic fix. Willow/Kennedy might stay that way but with some changes.As for Buffy...well if you go to my profile and check the pairings I like you may notice Buffy/Faith and Buffy/Angel...but NOT Buffy/Spike. Don't get me wrong I love Spike but I prefer Xander/Dawn than Spuffy. Maybe it was the way that pairing came to be and how I hate the person Buffy became when she was with him or even just around him. So it might be Angel or Faith or no one at all but if you were hoping for Spike...Review and let me know what you think.