Ch. 45 – Guess Who?
A/N: Involves episodes “This Year’s Girl” and “Who Are You”. I changed the order of events to suit my story.
The “say hello” quote is a line from Scarface – I do not own
Early the next morning:
“I want you to finish this up,” John commanded. “I’m going to check on Caleb and then I’ll meet you back at the motel.”
John hitched his shovel over his shoulder and noticed the blank look on his son’s face as he stared off into the cemetery.
“Dean!” John barked.
Dean shook off his daze and set his eyes on his dad.
“Did you hear me?”
After a long minute, Dean slowly nodded. “Uh yeah, I’ll uh…..”
John marked the worry lines on his son’s face. “Finish this up.”
“Yes sir,” Dean replied softly.
John heaved a sigh as Dean started to stare off into the woods surrounding the cemetery.
“What’s going on?”
Dean blinked and shifted his focus on his dad’s stern expression.
“You worried about Buffy?” John asked with a gruff tone.
“I’m worried about all of them,” Dean answered.
Dean tossed a lit match into the coffin.
“This dude Adam – he was like a Zombie Terminator – super fast, super strong and not an ounce of feeling. He viciously killed two people before I could blink.”
“How did Buffy fare against this thing?”
John noticed the fear thickening on his son’s face.
“She hardly made a dent in him dad,” Dean replied gloomily. “Walsh bred him to be a supercharged, invincible killing machine. I just don’t know how he can be stopped. I saw him tear two people apart without blinking.”
“She’ll figure it out,” John replied dryly. “She always does.”
Dean looked off and said, “Yeah, uh, I’m sure she will.”
John studied Dean for a long moment. He saw the intense dread and fear brimming in his eyes. He also saw a flicker of something else.
“Do you love her Dean?” John asked bluntly.
Dean paused a moment before he checked on the progress of the fire. He took a long breath before he shifted his eyes back on his dad.
“I care about her a lot dad,” he answered. “I mean, I have known her forever, I guess it’s hard not too and….despite the fact that she drives me crazy, I don’t want to see anything bad happen to her.”
John nodded and drew a paternal smile. “She’s been a part of this family for a long time.”
Dean broke from his morose mood and cocked an eyebrow at his dad. “Uh, you don’t consider her like the daughter you never had, right?”
John chuckled briefly. “I’m sure that would complicate things for you, wouldn’t it?”
Dean feigned a dumb look.
“What are you talking about? I was just asking a question.”
Dean began screwing the cap back on the gasoline tank.
“It’s not like I’m going to Hell for having thoughts about my – pseudo sister,” he muttered.
He went wide eyed for a bit before picking up the gas tank.
“When you’re done here, you can pack up and head back to Sunnydale,” John replied.
Dean shifted his eyes to his dad.
“But I thought you needed me for a couple of days.”
“It’s obvious you’ve been distracted since you got here,” John replied. “You’re no good to me unless you’re focused. So take a few days to settle your mind. When I see you again, I expect you to be ready to work with a clear head. Understood?”
Dean slowly nodded, “Yes sir.”
John pivoted toward his truck before he twisted around.
“Don’t get yourself killed,” John replied firmly. “And….”
The hard lines on his face softened briefly.
“Let me know if you need help,” he finished. “Sounds like Adam is unlike anything Buffy has faced before. If you come across a problem Giles and the group can’t solve, call me. I’ll be there.”
“I will. Thanks dad.”
A short time later, Dean shuttled back to the motel for a quick shower before he packed up.
Buffy hung up the phone turned to the group, including Riley, gathered in the living room. Her look of dread set off alarms.
“What is it?” Willow asked.
“Faith – woke up from her coma,” Buffy answered, “She….she attacked a girl, stole her clothes and took off from the hospital.”
After a brief pause to absorb the news, everyone in the room frantically reacted.
“This is so typical Faith,” Xander replied. “Just when we’re having the worst day ever, she has to come along and top that.”
“What now?” Willow asked.
“You need to find her as soon as possible Buffy,” Giles advised.
“Oh, but - Adam,” Willow reminded.
“Oh great, so here it comes down to choosing to hunt the lesser of two murderous psychopaths,” Xander replied dryly.
“Well, Faith doesn’t really fly under the radar,” Buffy replied. “I’ll make a pass through her usual haunts and see if
I can find any damage she’s done.”
“And when you find her?” Giles asked.
Willow bounced in her seat. “I know! Buffy goes ballistic on that bad booty!”
“I like that plan,” Xander said.
“In theory,” Buffy replied.
She eyed Giles with concern.
“When I find Faith and talk to her…”
Willow bounced in her seat anxiously. Buffy eyed her.
“After I go ballistic on that bad booty,” she added.
Willow nodded and grinned in satisfaction.
“We still have to figure out what to do – we can’t hand her over to the cops, they’re too ignorant to believe what a Slayer can do, even if they knew of our existence….”
Willow, Xander and Giles gave suggestions that proved futile. Buffy sighed.
“Whether I like it or not, Faith is my problem and I’m going to have to deal with her. So right now we need to figure out where she is and what frame of mind she’s in…”
As the group brainstormed a bit, Buffy broke off and headed toward the door.
“We can keep a look out for her too,” Willow replied.
Xander and Giles put their coats on and gathered a few weapons.
“Fine but don’t approach her,” Buffy said. “If you see her, find me. I’ll handle her.”
“Buffy? Who are you talking about?”
Buffy hitched her eyes behind her to see Riley.
“I’ll walk you home and explain on the way,” she said.
Buffy, Riley, Giles, Willow and Xander filled out the door. A few seconds later, the phone rang.
Faith ducked behind a group of trees when she saw Buffy and the others leaving Giles’ place. After they disappeared, Faith slowly edged her way to the walk and headed back into town.
When he was five miles from Sunnydale, Dean started making calls. First, he tried the dorm. He got the machine after three rings and left a message. The second call he made to Giles. He was out as well.
“Where the hell is everyone?”
He felt a painful twinge in his stomach as he scrolled through his contact list. The next call he made was to Xander’s. Mrs. Harris picked up and said Xander was out and had no idea when he would be back.
“Dammit,” he grumbled.
Dean gripped the steering wheel as his mind spun with horrifying scenarios.
“They’re not all dead,” he replied. “They’re not all dead Dean, don’t think like that.”
He glanced at his contact list and made one last call.
“Hi Joyce, it’s Dean….I’m fine, how are you?.....Dad is fine, thanks for asking……uh huh….uh huh….’
Dean drummed up his patience at Joyce animatedly conversed with him for several minutes.
“Oh, that’s…neat…..uh….Joyce, I’m sorry to bother but uh…..no, that’s actually why I was calling. Have you heard from her in the past twelve hours or so? No, no, nothing’s wrong…..just let her know I called and that I’d like to see her….yeah she knows the number….okay, you take care too….thanks…bye.”
He hung up and drew a deep breath.
“They’re not all dead…they’re not all dead,” he chanted softly.
When he reached downtown Sunnydale, he pulled into the parking lot of the Rise and Shine Motor Inn and quickly checked into a room. He let out a yawn as he dropped his bag on the bed. Everyone was out and he had no idea where to start looking. He could drive around town and stop by at the hangouts and residences but that would take too long. He opted to make a second round of calls. He heard his stomach growl from hunger and ambled out the door. He was too anxious to sit down and eat a meal so he strolled over to the vending machine across from his room.
Faith wandered down the street and watched all the happy people around her. She felt a sickening knot in her stomach as she eyed a couple walking hand in hand down the sidewalk. She shuffled aimlessly through downtown until something caught her eyes. She darted across the street and paused at the foot of a motel parking lot. She grinned when she saw a familiar face walking into a motel room. A few minutes later, she saw the door open.
Faith dashed toward the door and found it unlocked. She shook her head and grinned as she crept inside.
By the time he returned from raiding the vending machine, Dean had polished off his second bag of chips. When he reached his room, he fumbled for his key and was surprised to find he had left the door unlocked. He shook his head and cursed himself for being so careless. He padded into the room and forced himself to relax. He shuffled into the bathroom and splashed some cold water on his face. He yanked a towel off the rack and dried off the water when something made him tense. He cautiously swung around when a flash charged into him.
Faith lunged out of a dark corner as Dean swung around. She kicked him hard in the face, blowing him back into the sink. She flashed a wicked smile.
“Hey D, you miss me?”
Dean blinked in astonishment before his whole body tensed.
“What? No kiss hello?”
His eyes filled with fury as he charged toward her. He rammed full force into her, taking her down to the ground.
Dean ripped out his knife and pressed the blade against her neck.
“Say hello to my little friend,” he growled.
Faith gave an amused smile. “Aw, guess you still have some hard feelings, huh?”
Her smile faded into a vicious glare. She kneed him hard in the gut and swung her fist across his face. She grabbed him by the head and rammed him face first into the mirrored cabinet. The glass fissured and shattered into shards.
“Still like it rough huh?”
She smashed his face into the sink.
“I can work with that.”
Dean swallowed back the enormous sting gripping his body as he threw his weight back and slammed the back of his head into her face. Faith staggered back slightly as he whipped around and swung a left hook across her jaw. He came back fast with a right cross. Faith growled as she counterattacked with a flurry of punches. The power behind her punches began to crack away at his strength.
Faith swung a right front kick which he blocked. She came back with a left hook which he dodged. After parrying a few more of her attacks, she growled in frustration and beat him back into the bedroom. He staggered back into a table as she lunged at him, kicking him in the sternum. The table caved and splintered from the impact. Dean let out a low groan as he felt a painful throbbing in his head. His eyes faded in and out until he lost consciousness.
A short time later, Dean came to and found he was completely bound to a chair with several layers of duct tape. Faith was sitting on the bed, watching TV. She grinned arrogantly when she saw Dean shaking off his dizziness. He spat out some blood that had flowed into his mouth and set an icy glare on Faith.
“I’m gonna kill you – you goddamn psycho bitch,” he growled.
Faith threw her head back defiantly. Dean shifted his eyes around the room and noticed all the contents from his pockets, including his weapons, had been removed and placed on the dresser.
“Gotta say D, you really don’t know when to give up,” she snorted. “Here you are killing time with me while your little blonde crush is out riding her latest dope rocket. Funny how Miss High and Mighty moved on from the so called ‘love of her life’ the guy she would have died for….the guy she nearly killed me for!”
Faith hardened her stony glare as she hopped off the bed and began to circle him like a hungry lion eyeing its prey.
“So you have to see why I’ve got a beef with her. I don’t know why you don’t. Goldilocks went and shacked up with yet another new guy – and it’s not you, it’s never you D…..I can’t figure out why that doesn’t kill you….why you don’t drop that bitch’s ass for rejecting you time after time….no, you keep trotting along beside her like some dopey puppy, hoping for the day she sees you in a new light…. ….”
Faith stopped in front of him and climbed onto his lap. She grabbed him by the back of the head and hardened her glare another degree.
“Maybe I should do you a favor and put you out of your misery,” she replied menacingly. “Because B is too damn dumb and stuck up to ever love a lowlife guy like you….”
She removed a knife from her back pocket and brushed the blade along his jaw.
“That’s mine,” he grunted.
She drew the knife away from his face and admired it.
“It’s nice,” she said. “I think I’ll take it.”
His eyes danced with rage as she pompously played with the knife in front of him.
“Then you better bury it in my gut until I’m cold and dead because that’s the only way you’re taking that from me,” he snarled.
Faith eyed the blade and grinned. “Ah, Princess Stuck Up got this for ya right? Is this some sort of consolation prize in the ‘win the Slayer’s heart’ contest? You must have a whole set of these blades then, huh?”
The wail of a police siren drew her attention away from her menacing moment. She got up and crossed to the window. She peeled back the curtain and saw a patrol car pulling into a convenience store parking lot across from the motel.
“Gotta fly,” she said.
She gave a taunting smile as she darted into the bathroom and climbed out the window.
“God dammit,” he grumbled.
Dean twisted his hands in a loop, trying to break through the layers of duct tape. Growing impatient, he pushed his foot out and toppled himself over, hitting the floor. He eyed the shards of wood from the table carcass a few feet out of his reach. He slowly maneuvered himself to the pile of wood pieces until he got a large, sharp fragment in his hand.
After several minutes, he broke through his wrist bindings. He swiftly cut away the tape from his ankles and then worked on his mid section. When he was completely free, he slowly got to his feet and bit down the enormous wave of pain that had blasted through his body. He snatched his weapons off the dresser and stuffed them back in his pocket. He tore through the door and hobbled out into the parking lot.
“Gee, so nice no one bothered to call and say Hey Dean, how’s it going, by the way, the raging mega bitch woke up from her coma and is running loose around town, you might want to keep your eyes open.”
He stamped back the nausea rising in his throat as his head swam violently with dizziness. When he let out a breath, he felt an intense sting on the right side of his body. He clutched his ribcage and figured he had a couple of fractures or bruises. He swallowed the sting as he bounded around a dark corner. After a couple more blocks of searching for Faith, he paused in his tracks when he saw two familiar faces.
Giles and Xander ambled down the street, looking humbled. They stopped when they saw Dean.
“Hey, you’re back,” Xander replied.
Dean drew a disgruntled frown.
“Obviously, what are you two doing?”
Dean caught a glimpse of a blaster rifle peeking out from Xander’s jacket.
“You guys are patrolling?”
His mind suddenly shifted onto a handful of dreadful thoughts.
“Is the Slayer out of commission?” he asked apprehensively.
“No, we’re assisting in the search for Faith,” Giles answered. “She woke up and escaped from the hospital.”
Dean fell back into his sour mood. “Yeah, I know. That crazy bitch hid in my room and gave me a surprise party.”
“She did that to your face?” Xander asked.
“No, I rammed my own damn face into a sink,” Dean replied coarsely.
Xander gulped at the caustic remark. Dean drew a painful breath to let out some of the fury boiling inside him.
“Sorry man, I’m just really pissed that damn bitch got away - again. Please give me some good news and tell me
that you guys managed to kill Adam.”
“I’m afraid he’s still a problem,” Giles answered glumly.
“Well that’s just great,” Dean grumbled. “You’ve got Mega Bitch and ZombieZilla running rampant in this town. This is the worst day ever.”
“Well, I guess it can’t get any worse,” Xander replied.
“Yes, I think it is best we all go home and retire safely,” Giles advised.
Dean pivoted toward the direction of the motel.
“Check in with me when you get home,” he replied. “I’m going to pass through town see if I can her.”
“Well you may run into Buffy,” Xander said. “She’s going to check out Faith’s old hangouts.”
Dean heard his cell phone and fished it out of his pocket.
“Hello? What happened?....I’m coming over there.”
Dean stepped off the curb and glanced at Giles.
“That was Joyce. Faith showed up at the house, held her hostage…”
“Is she okay? We have to find Buffy!” Xander replied shakily.
“She showed up too – had a big ass fight through the whole house, anyway, cops showed up and they carted psycho chick away in an ambulance. Maybe things are looking up. I’m heading over there to check on them. I’ll talk to you guys later.”
By the time he pulled up to the curb of the Summers’ house, there were no police vehicles in sight. Dean quickly ambled up the walkway and rapped on the door. After a few minutes, Joyce answered the door. Her smile faded when she saw the bruises on his face.
“My goodness, what happened to you?”
“It’s nothing, not important. Are you okay?”
Joyce drew a proud smile. “Yes, my girl showed up and saved the day.”
Dean poked his head in and looked around. Joyce widened the door and let him inside.
“Where is she?”
“She left awhile ago,” Joyce answered.
Dean sunk with disappointment as he walked around and surveyed the damage in the house.
“You’re kidding, she didn’t wait for me?”
He eyed a corner of the living room where several small trinkets had been destroyed. He spotted something in the mess and wandered over. He crouched over a pile of ceramics and fished out his knife. He pocketed the knife as he straightened.
“Do you have any idea where she went?”
“Giles called a meeting at his place. She headed over there.”
“Giles called a meeting?”
Joyce nodded. Dean fished out his cell phone and checked his messages. He frowned when he had no missed calls.
“My invitation must have gotten lost in the mail,” he grumbled.
“Would you like to stay for awhile? I can brew some coffee,” she offered eagerly.
Dean flashed a polite smile. “Maybe some other time. I’m going to go crash the meeting.”
“It was good to see you,” Joyce replied. “Say hello to your father for me.”
“I will. Have a goodnight.”
Faith got into character when she arrived at Giles’ place. She gave a dopey grin to Xander and Willow.
“So Giles, what’s the…sitch?”
“It concerns Faith.”
“Didn’t you hear from my mom? I busted that ass.”
“Actually, Dean made mention of it when we ran into him earlier.”
Faith brightened with amusement. “How’d he look? Licking his wounds?”
“He’s back in town so soon?” Willow asked.
Willow regarded Faith with curious eyes. Faith gulped.
“Uh, he may have called but you know me, I’m busy and stuff. Puppy will come home sooner or later.”
The group regarded her with confused expressions.
“I’m surprised he’s not here,” Willow replied. “Didn’t you call him?”
Giles blinked and gave a sheepish smile. “Perhaps I may have missed him in making the rounds.”
“Well, why are we here?” Faith asked.
“I’m afraid that the authorities no longer have Faith in custody.”
Faith masked her dismay.
“How is that possible?”
“Apparently the Watcher’s Council sent a covert retrieval team to recover Faith. The Council uses them for their most difficult jobs.”
Giles imparted more information about the operations team and the likely extradition back to England. Faith threw her head back and laughed with amusement. The others shared her satisfaction but for different reasons. Faith was about to bail when Giles inquired about Adam. She feigned knowledge and a confident smile.
“Ah well, no worries, I’m Buffy, the dutiful Slayer, I’ll patrol the whole town until I find him, even if it takes the whole night. You all enjoy a nice fun evening and leave the tedious, monotonous work to me – BUFFY.”
She widened her smile and tried to figure out if everyone was convinced. After a minute, Xander and Anya departed. Willow left shortly after. Faith gave a wave to Giles as she left his place.
A short time later, Dean arrived at Giles’ place still grumbling from being left out of the meeting. He knocked on the door and after several minutes, Giles answered. Dean peeked inside and found the main room empty.
“Am I early or late?”
Giles drew a remorseful smile. “I’m afraid we’ve adjourned.”
Dean shook his head in disappointment and hurt. “You got to be kidding me. What the hell man – I’ve done so much crap for you guys over the years and all of a sudden you decide to cancel my newsletter?”
“I thought Buffy would have informed you,” Giles reasoned.
“I keep missing her.”
“Well she left about five minutes ago to go on patrol for Adam. Perhaps you could catch her.”
Dean heaved a sigh. “I guess I’ll run into her at some point….if she even cares….I’ll just…see you later.”
Faith ambled back over to Willow and Tara after taking care of a small vampire problem in the back hall of the Bronze.
“Did you finish your dusting?” Willow asked.
Faith settled onto a lounge and smiled. “Yeah, that vamp was toast.”
“Great, well, I’m going to make sure Tara gets home okay. She’s not feeling too well.”
Faith cracked an amused smile at Willow’s new love interest. “Oh yeah? Well you go on and take real good care of her.”
“Will I see you back at home or are you headed over to see Riley?”
Faith widened her smile. “Ah, Riley, yeah. I could do that.”
Willow waved goodbye as Faith gave a smug smile.
Still stewing in his bad mood, Dean made another pass through town and ended up a block away from the Bronze. He noticed a guy groping a girl near the back entrance. The guy was trying to hard to blend in, thinking his denim jeans and leather jacket fit right in. The only problem was, his wide collared shirt was straight out of the seventies.
Dean ambled toward the back entrance of the Bronze when he heard the girl’s soft cries for help. Not in any shape to fight or even dish out a clever line, Dean crept up behind the vampire and simply tapped on his shoulder. As the vampire froze and slowly swung around, Dean slammed a stake into its heart.
“Eat dust, you damn bloodsucking evil sonofabitch!”
The vampire howled and exploded into dust. The girl beneath him cowered in a corner, her eyes wide with fear and shock. Dean clenched his jaw and swallowed a pang of pain that swarmed through him when he had moved his arm.
“You okay miss?”
The girl couldn’t speak. Dean slowly approached her and eyed her neck. There were no puncture wounds.
“You’re going to be okay,” he said. “Are you here alone?”
The girl tore her eyes away from the pile of vampire dust and looked at Dean.
“Nnn-no, I’m here with my sister. I – I snuck out here for a smoke.”
He flashed a small smile.
“Well, you what they say, smoking will kill ya,” he said. “Let’s get you back inside where it’s safe.”
He propped the back door open as she slowly straightened.
“I’m going to quit smoking,” she vowed.
“Good idea,” he said with a small smile.
The girl eyed him.
“Thank you – for saving my life.”
When the shock faded from her face, her eyes rolled over him in sudden awareness. She drew a friendly smile.
“Can I buy a drink for my hero?”
“Yeah, I could really use one – or two.”
A short time later, after a few beers, his bad mood had lifted away. Then he finally saw the girl he had been looking for since he got into town. Relief flooded over him after seeing for himself that Buffy was alive and well and – dancing a little too close to every guy who wandered up to her. The longer he watched her seductive hip grinding movements, the greater his internal alarm thickened.
Dean sunk his beer as he continued to observe her. She was flirting shamelessly with the guys around her, not to mention she was dressed in a sultry outfit of tight leather pants and a very low cut strapless top. He retreated into a throng of people as she broke from the dance floor and headed toward the bar. She ran head on into Spike.
Dean blinked when he watched a very unsettling encounter between the Slayer and the neutered vampire. She gave a smug smile as he tore out of the Bronze. Eventually, leather clad Buffy went back to the dance floor.
Dean hung back at the far end of the bar and continued to watch her behavior on the dance floor.
Faith broke from her manic dancing and flashed a self-gratified smile. Willow and her lesbian girlfriend just left and she had successfully rattled Spike’s chain. Who else could she have fun with? She weaved through a crowd as her eyes wandered around the club. She cracked a mischievous smile when she saw someone near the bar.
“Oh, the fun just never ends.”
She drew another smug smile and summoned all her Buffy ‘tight ass’ energy before she weaved her way over. She snaked up beside Dean as he plucked up another beer from the bar. She did her best Buffy ‘I’m so cute’ smile and flashed it at him.
“Hey,” she cooed.
Dean masked his heavy suspicion when she smiled at him. He feigned a worried look before he wrapped his arms around her.
“Thank god you’re okay,” he said. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you!”
Faith gulped back her shock when Dean hugged her tightly. What was up with that? He and B hugged?
Dean temporarily swallowed his fears when an intense feeling bore through him as he held her in his arms. Faith gently pulled out of his embrace and masked her surprise.
“Oh well, here I am,” she said.
“Let me see,” he said.
He hitched her chin up with his thumb and examined her face. He brushed back a lock of hair behind her ear and flashed a look of relief.
“Not a scratch on you,” he said, smiling. “I heard about the fight with Faith at your mom’s house.”
Faith reminded herself to stay in character although Dean’s overly friendly manner rattled her nerves.
“Tell me you kicked the crap out of that bitch before they carted her off,” he said.
Faith pried a gleeful smile on her face. “Yeah, that…bitch ate my fist countless times.”
Dean forced out a laugh and a smile.
“Well, that cheers me up. I’m glad you’re okay. Giles told me that you haven’t had any luck finding Adam.”
She gave a dismissive wave.
“I looked here, there, everywhere but no luck so I thought I’d call it a night and just have some fun.”
Faith masked her alarm as she noticed Dean studying her for a long minute. She brushed off her insecurity, having fooled him once before.
“So, you uh, want to go hunt or something?”
“I thought you just finished patrolling,” he noted.
Faith exaggerated a dumb blonde look.
“Well, that’s why I added the uh, something.”
“Something huh? Are you feeling okay?”
Faith batted her eyes and smiled.
“Yeah, of course. I’m out - having fun and….you’re here visiting me….it’s all good.”
Faith had enough of the saccharine conversation. Time to kick the puppy
She inched closer to Dean and drew a silly smile as she recalled Buffy’s praises about him.
“You know Dean,” she said. “I hope you know how much I appreciate you for all that you’ve done for me over the years. Because I know I can be so self-absorbed that I don’t think about anyone else’s hard work but my own.”
Faith slid her body against him.
“And I know that mind of yours has probably thought of a dozen ways I could show you some appreciation and I probably said in the past no way because I’m Buffy, I’m a good girl. I have a boyfriend and he’s my world and I – would never do anything to hurt him or anyone….but I’ve been thinking you know…not giving you what you want is hurting you and I would never…”
She exaggerated Buffy’s pouty lipped expression.
“…Never - want to hurt you by keeping what you want from you,” she said. “I really care about you and if you want me – you can have me for one night only – we can climb into that car of yours and I can ride you so hard you’ll be screaming out of your eyeballs with pleasure…”
Faith propped herself on her toes and drew her mouth close to his.
“I’d show you over and over how much I appreciate you – because that’s what friends do…and we’re friends and it’s just sex, right? Hot, wild, mind blowing sex between long time friends, that’s all….”
She ran her hands over him.
“So just ask me Dean, ask me if I’ll show you the appreciation you deserve…and when I say yes…….”
Faith propped her mouth over his and kissed him hard very briefly, just enough to give him a taste that would linger in his mind forever. She broke the kiss and looked up as he opened his eyes.
“You’ll wake up!”
She snorted with amusement long minute before she took a step back to drink in the humiliation on his face. She snickered as she saw the lines on his face tighten with irritation.
“Oh come on Dean, you know I was kidding….like you and I would ever get it on….we’re just friends….”
She did her best “don’t hate me because I’m Buffy” annoying smile and capped it with a wide doe eyed expression.
“Call me later, okay?”
Faith swallowed a huge chuckle in her throat as she ambled toward the door. Dean stared at the door as he slowly recovered from the bizarre encounter.
After finding and viewing a campus map, Faith stumbled into the student center and asked around. Apparently, a lot of students knew Riley and in a short time she found Lowell House, where he lived. She snuck inside and made her way upstairs. She passed a few doors until she saw Riley studying in his room. She leaned in the doorway and smiled to herself. This was too easy
After the scene at the Bronze, Dean bolted out of the club. He grimaced in pain when his pace made his entire body ache. He reluctantly stopped by his room to pop some aspirin and check out his injuries. He pulled up his shirt and saw a large purple and black bruise under his ribcage. He pulled out a roll of medical tape and began to bind it around his sternum. He hastily treated the cuts and bruises on his face.
It was the early morning when Dean finally reached Giles’ place. He knocked hard on the door until a weary Giles answered.
Giles brewed a pot of tea and made some toast while Dean went over his suspicions about Buffy’s strange behavior.
“I’m telling you she’s possessed Giles!”
Dean slowly paced around the living room, reeling with a mixture of dread, panic and shock. Giles stifled a yawn as he settled into an armchair.
“What makes you suspect Buffy is possessed?”
“I told you when I got here– were you not listening?”
Giles drew a frown as he sipped his tea.
“Pardon me for my lack of ability to retain information at this hour.”
Dean raked a hand through his hair as he continued to pace around the room.
“She was acting really weird, not to mention the way she was dressed – not that it was bad it was just - different….”
“What exactly do you mean by weird?”
“Well, she was pretty reckless at the Bronze and I know she’s all for trying to make friends but trust me, the way she was acting was just not like her…I mean, she was all over….me.”
Giles raised his tea cup to his mouth and paused.
“Right, there must be something wrong with her.”
Dean scoffed, “Excuse me? Just because a chick gets a little handsy with me doesn’t make her mental – we are
talking about me you know…..”
Giles rolled his eyes.
“Yes, of course. Yet when have we known Buffy to be so forthcoming with someone she’s not….romantically involved with?”
Dean drew out a breath, masking the sting of that statement.
“She has put herself through a lot stress lately with Riley’s injury and Adam running loose and then the ordeal with Faith. Perhaps she’s just releasing a lot of that anxiety.”
Dean drew a doubtful look.
“I think there’s more going on here Giles. I’ve known this girl since she was in pigtails. The girl I saw tonight….that was not her. There’s no way. You just have to trust me.”
After a long moment, Giles nodded and moved toward his bookshelf.
“She could be possessed by a number of entities…”
“My dad had an encounter with a skinwalker a few years back. From what he told me those things are sneaky sonofabitches…they retain all your memories….”
“Yes, there are many cultures which….”
Dean and Giles jumped when the door abruptly flew open. Buffy charged through the door and rushed inside. She blinked in surprise when she found Dean with Giles. She brightened with hope.
“Dean, you’re back so soon,” she said.
Dean blinked in surprise before he retrieved his pistol and snapped off the safety.
Buffy noticed the welts and bruises on his face.
“My god, what happened to you?” she gasped.
She dashed toward him until he leveled his pistol at her. She froze when she saw his steely glare.
“One more step and you’ll be back in the hospital,” he warned.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” she insisted.
“Oh, I guess that means you’re here to kill us quickly then, huh? Well, I’m not going down without a major kick ass fight and since you so rudely took off before I could start the next round, I’ve got a lot of pent up anger to inflict on you!” he growled.
“Faith did that to your face?”
Dean saw the face of Faith and hardened his glare.
“You think that’s funny? Wait until I’m finished with you, we’ll see who is laughing.”
“No, Dean, please listen to me. I know I look like Faith but I’m not. I’m Buffy.”
Dean shifted his eyes on Giles for a brief second as they exchanged looks.
“You really think we’re idiots, don’t you?”
“No, you’re not idiots,” Buffy replied. “You’re smart – that’s why I came here. You and Giles - you’re the only ones who can help me.”
“Oh, we can help – we can help send you to the loony bin for the criminally insane psycho bitches.”
Buffy shook her head slowly and bit down on her lip.
“Please, you have to listen to me. I found Faith and we fought and then she used some kind of device to switch our bodies. She’s in my body and I’m in hers. You have to believe me,” she pleaded.
Dean frowned back at her with thick skepticism. “The only thing I believe is that your lies get crazier by the minute.”
Giles stared at Buffy.
“Perhaps we could restrain her until we can be certain she’s telling the truth.”
Dean glared at Giles with heavy annoyance.
“Giles, are you nuts? You can’t honestly believe that this psycho chick is capable of telling the truth…..although, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to restrain her.”
Dean kept a steady aim on Buffy as he shuffled through his pockets and retrieved a pair of handcuffs.
“Again with the handcuffs,” Buffy remarked.
Dean eyed her briefly as he tossed the handcuffs to Giles. As Giles approached Buffy, she started to back away.
“You make another step toward that door and you’ll be limping for the rest of your life,” Dean growled.
Buffy clenched her hands into fists and stamped down a groan.
“Look, if I was really Faith I would have taunted you and attacked you and then bolted. I’m standing here asking
you to help me, please, help me.”
She noticed Giles had paused.
“Faith is in control of my body and she’s probably skipped out of the country. I don’t have time for this.”
Her mind drummed up an idea as she looked at Giles and Dean.
“I’ll prove to you that I’m Buffy,” she said. “Ask me something only I would know.”
“Who is the Governor of California?” Giles asked.
“Giles, we’re not checking for amnesiac Buffy. Come on! Can’t you just look at me really closely and tell it’s me? I did that when you were a demon. Ask me something else.”
Giles pondered over several questions before she shifted her eyes to Dean.
“Come on Dean, you’ve known me forever. Ask me something only you’ve told me about.”
Dean eyed Giles before he heaved a deep breath.
“Alright, I’ll bite…”
He kept his pistol trained on her as he drummed up some trivia.
“What did my dad get me for my tenth birthday?”
“A gun,” she answered.
“What kind of gun?”
Buffy pooled her memories of the Winchester family history.
“A shotgun,” she said. “A – Remington shotgun….you went out to the woods the day you got it and went hunting…you shot a rabbit….you were so excited and took it back to your dad but Sam walked in and saw it and he cried for hours and you felt so bad you swore to him you’d never harm an animal unless it was attacking.”
Buffy glanced at Dean to gauge a reaction. He simply studied her and kept his gun leveled on her.
“What was the best gift Sammy ever gave me?”
Buffy sorted through her memory and brightened. She pointed to the necklace he was wearing.
“That necklace! Sam gave that to you one Christmas – it was meant for your dad but Sam was mad at him for lying about the hunting life – so he gave it to you and you love it, you never take it off.”
“Who was the first girl Sam ever had a crush on?”
After a long minute, she snapped her fingers and grinned.
“That’s a trick question! It wasn’t a girl but a woman– Mrs. Whitesell, his fifth grade English teacher. He brought her an apple every day for six weeks until you had to move.”
Dean blinked in shock before he finally lowered his pistol. “I’ll be damned. The truth is coming out of Faith’s mouth.”
When Giles saw Dean pocket his pistol, he blew out a sigh of relief.
“Yes, now that we’ve cleared that up, please go over the details about this device.”
Buffy relaxed and moved in further to living room. She noticed Dean lost in thought.
“Now it makes sense,” he muttered.
“Nothing,” he replied.
Buffy studied him and recognized the hesitation on his face.
“What are you not telling me?”
“It’s just uh…..I ran into you – well - your physical form at the Bronze and you were – well Faith was…..getting very acquainted with – everyone.”
Buffy drew a look of horror.
“Oh god, she’s sleazing my body out! Ugh…..wait….if you ran into her and she was…..then she hit on you in my
“Me too,” he muttered.
“You said magic is the reason for this body swap?” Giles asked.
Dean pondered over Faith’s seduction at the Bronze and developed a bad taste in his mouth. The taste of Faith.
He spied Giles’ liquor cabinet and casually poured a small glass for himself.
“We really need to find Faith – she could be on her way to the Bahamas by now.”
The door flew open again and Willow ran inside, Tara falling behind. Willow whipped her eyes around the living
room and set them on Buffy.
“Oh wow,” Willow replied.
“Willow, no, it’s not what you think,” Buffy assured.
“I think that you are Buffy stuck inside Faith’s body most likely due to a Draconian Katra spell…”
Buffy blinked. “Wow, I guess it is what you think.”
Giles regarded Willow. “How did you figure this out?”
Willow smiled and eagerly clutched to Tara’s arm.
“It was all Tara!”
Willow nodded toward Buffy.
“Tara, this is Buffy – the real Buffy and that’s Giles and that’s Dean.”
Tara gave a meek smile and wave. “Hello.”
“Tara is a highly skilled wiccan.”
Tara blushed, “Um….she’s exaggerating a lot.”
Willow looked over at Buffy. Dean watched the body language between Willow and Tara. His nauseous state began to fade away. He knocked back the rest of his drink and smiled at his deduction of Willow’s ‘friend’.
“No, I’m not. Tara was the one who sensed there was something off about you so she and I performed a spell to connect with the nether realm and that’s when we discovered what was going on. We made this.”
She pulls a box out of her purse, opens it to reveal a little ethereal glow sphere.
“It’s a home made Katra that should reverse the effects of the first spell and put you back in your body – providing you can catch Faith.”
Buffy sighed with relief. “Thank goodness, you guys are the best!”
Giles, looking defeated and useless, dropped his eyes to the floor.
“Had I known, I would have….”
Giles’ complaining was interrupted by the ringing of his telephone. He answered and after a few minutes hung up.
He crossed to the television and switched it on.
“Xander wanted us to see this,” he imparted.
They all gathered around the television as a news reporter stood outside a church.
“….Sunnydale police units are out in full force as three men barged into the church this morning and barricaded the doors, sealing themselves in with at least two dozen patrons…..one of the few lucky patrons who managed to escape described the three hostage takers as being grossly disfigured….one escapee was severely injured at the scene and died at the hospital…police report the victim received several fatal wounds to the neck.”
Everyone shared collective looks of dread. Giles, Willow and Tara rode over to the church in the council van while Dean and Buffy followed in the Impala. Dean shifted restlessly while shooting looks over at Buffy. She noticed his occasional stares and glared at him.
“What is your problem?”
He glared back at her, “Look in the damn mirror.”
Buffy let out a breath and shot him an annoyed look. “I thought you believed me.”
“I do but….come on, you’re wearing the face of a bitch I despise….”
“I’m not exactly dancing with glee here either but the sooner we find Faith, the sooner I can fix this and be inside my body again.”
Dean let out a short laugh until he felt the weight of her glaring eyes.
“Sorry, it’s just….I never thought I’d hear you talk about being so eager to get inside your own body…”
Buffy grimaced and smacked him on the shoulder. Dean swallowed a gasp as his body rumbled with pain.
“Eww. You’re gross.”
“Hey, you should have thought about how that sounded….I know I did.”
He couldn’t help but smirk at the thought running through his head. When she bore her eyes into him he stopped laughing.
“Sorry,” he said.
He pulled up behind the Council van as everyone climbed out. A uniformed sergeant approached the group and waved them away.
“You can’t be here,” he replied sternly. “Move it along!”
Buffy glanced at Giles and threw him a signal. He nodded and fell to his knees and channeled his inner drama queen.
“Please sir! We need to get in there! Our friends and family are inside! Our neighbors and their…babies! Precious, tiny babies! Have a heart sir! We must get in there!”
As the officer dealt with Giles, Buffy and Dean snuck off toward the back of the church.
Riley cautiously eyed the side door as a guy ran out and barreled into him. Riley noticed the guy was clutching a dark cloak over his body – to protect him from the sun. He grabbed the vampire by the cloak and hurled him into the bushes. Sunlight down onto the vampire and lit him up into flames.
Riley winced with pain as the small action aggravated his injury. He spotted a dark haired girl running toward him. He also noticed Dean loading a bolt in a crossbow. Buffy flung her arms around Riley.
“Oh Riley! Thank god!”
Dean blinked in surprise.
“When did he get back?”
Riley gently broke away. “It’s okay young lady.”
Dean ambled up to Buffy and eyed the side door. Riley regarded the two of them before he glanced at Dean.
“She with you?”
Dean glanced at her face and grew nauseous.
“Hell, no! She’s….never mind dude. How many are we dealing with in there?”
“We’ve got it under control,” Riley replied firmly.
Buffy had no explanation that made sense so she simply brushed past him and quickly bounded toward the church.
Inside the church, a major fight was going on. A vampire began to make an impassioned speech as he pummeled Faith with immense force. He beat Faith back into a corner and closed in on her.
“I am invinci –“
The vampire suddenly screamed. Faith glanced at the vampire’s chest and noticed a crossbow bolt sticking through him. He fell down and exploded into dust. Faith blinked when she saw Buffy and Dean side by side. Faith growled as she charged toward Buffy, tackling her to the ground. Buffy sprung back to her feet and attacked.
The two Slayers began sparring in a ferocious hand to hand match. Faith overpowered Buffy slightly, fueled by her own inner turmoil.
“Just give it up Faith!”
Buffy knocked Faith to the ground with a powerful kick. Faith shot to her feet.
“No, you give it up! You’ll never be good enough!”
Faith threw a hard spin kick to Buffy’s face. Buffy flew across the room. Faith charged toward Dean and flung out her foot. Dean blocked her and knocked her back on her butt. She sprung up on her heels and roared. He got her in a chokehold and began squeezing the air out of her throat. Faith pitched her weight forward and hurled Dean over her shoulders. She slammed him to the ground. Dean let out a low groan as his body became paralyzed with pain. His head began spinning as his vision faded in and out.
Buffy launched herself into the air. She kicked Faith in the head and the two sparred for several long minutes. Faith parried Buffy’s attacks, knocking her hard to the ground. She pinned Buffy to the ground and began raining punches on her face.
“You’re nothing! You’re sick! You’re a hopeless, pathetic, psychopathic bitch! You should die!” she screamed.
Tears welled in her eyes as Buffy absorbed the blows but did not counter. Faith continued to rant a little more until she raised her arm and brought her fist down. Buffy caught Faith’s hand in her own. Suddenly, all action stopped as the two stared at each other, feeling different. Faith blinked before she threw Buffy aside and bolted out the back door.
Buffy slowly got to her feet and spotted Dean lying unconscious on the floor. She ran over to check on him. She crouched over him as he was coming to. He groaned as his vision came into focus. He saw a flash of blonde closing in on him. His eyes widened as he swiftly snatched his knife and pressed it against her neck.
“Dean, stop, it’s me.”
He studied her eyes for a long minute. He stamped back his recognition as he feigned an intimidating glare.
“What was my nickname for you when you were six and you crashed into that blue paint display at the mall?”
He narrowed his eyes on her when she didn’t answer right away.
“Answer the question,” he barked.
Buffy traveled back in her mind to that exact memory.
“Smurfette,” she grumbled.
She heard a deep rumble in his throat as he lowered the knife. His icy glare shifted into a smug smile.
“I knew it was you, I just wanted to bring that up again,” he replied.
He burst into laughter as she gasped in horror.
“You’re such a jerk!”
Dean swallowed an enormous sting that jolted his bruised rib when he laughed. He slowly got to his feet and
noticed a blaring absence.
“Where the hell is she?”
“Gone. She took off.”
“God dammit,” he groaned. “That bitch is like the friggin’ Roadrunner!”
He shook his head as his eyes watched her relishing at being back in her own body.
“So – how does it feel to be back inside yourself? Feel good?”
Buffy looked up to see the amused smirk on his face. She sighed and rolled her eyes.
“Oh great, more comical ammunition for the next six months,” she grumbled.
“Humiliation is the gift that just keeps on giving,” he taunted.
When he settled down from laughing, he eyed the door.
“Come on Smurfette, let’s get out of here.”
She groaned loudly and glared at him. “If you ever call me that again, I will seriously hurt you!”
Several hours later, Buffy stopped by Riley’s to check on him. She sat on his bed and made a phone call to Giles to get an update about Faith. After almost thirty-five minutes, she hung up the phone and let out a sigh.
“Well, no sign of her anywhere,” she said. “Cops are on the lookout but I’d bet anything she got out of town. Those pesky Council goons are gone too.”
Riley leaned forward in his chair and looked incredulous.
“How did this all happen? I mean…how was she able to…”
“She used magic.”
“Oh….I thought there was something odd but I….I just thought maybe you were stressed out about Adam….I didn’t realize…”
Buffy read the embarrassment on his face and widened her eyes in horror when it dawned on her.
“Oh my god, you had sex with Faith!” she gasped.
Riley’s face shaded a deeper red. The weight of that revelation slammed into her like a brick wall.