Title: Personal experience
Spoilers: Post Season 7
Disclaimer: Willow and Faith belong to Joss Whendon and Mutant Enemy. I don't own any of these characters and this text is not to be of any commercial use.
Distribution: Ask me and put my nick on.
Faith stared darkly at a cup of hot cocoa. The new Cleveland building was large enough to fit all the SITs and acquired funds of old Council let the operation run and expand. They hired professional trainers, created a network for research, recruiting, magical education, artifact collection and information gathering. The mechanism worked, new slayers were brought up, evil was fought, world kept turning, but… something kept bothering her.
Willow crashed onto the chair next to her and smacked the table with her forehead.
-Coffee,- she muttered. –Lots of sweet caffeinated goodness.-
Faith looked in amusement as a coffee pot and a cup floated onto the table. Without looking up, the witch stretched out her hand, grabbed the pot and poured herself a cup. Then she moved the cup towards herself, rose her head slightly and landed it onto the cup, then shifted it and started sipping. A minute later she landed her head on the table with a content smile, her eyes closed.
Faith chuckled. Willow turned towards her, still keeping the position and her eyes closed.
-I can see that. Tuition?-
The witch grabbed legs of her chair and gently pulled, stretching her shoulders and back.
-If I knew it’d be that hard, I’d have left after Sunnydale.-
-That bad, eh?-
Willow nodded solemnly, her eyes still closed. String of coffee flew up from the cup and went to the redhead's mouth, as if sucked in through an invisible drinking straw. Faith looked away and sipped her own drink.
-So, what's up with you?- Willow's voice sounded more alive than a minute ago.
-It's the new Slayers. They're...- Faith went silent , trying to think of a word. -Guess it's a conflict of generations. When your parents tell you stories of their youth and of their mistakes you think "that's stupid", you think "that would never happen to me". Now, when they hear stories of Sunnydale I see the same expression on their faces. They don't understand it and think that they can kick down any Darkness.-
-It's a matter of personal experience, Faith. You cannot fight Darkness, especially the one inside by reading a book or training course. You can only face it, touch it and fight it, win or fall. We've been there, we've seen it, we were lost and we were saved. No talk or briefing can give you that.-
-But without being there, without seeing it they won't be ready. Those who were in Sunnydale knew the Darkest Night of Slayerhood, but none of them know what living in the dark is like. How many of those girls will die, Willow? How many will we send to die?-
Witch's answer sent shivers down Slayer's spine.
-All of them. Each and every one. One day we all die, Faith, no matter if you're a Slayer, a Watcher, a Witch or a Mortal. We all will fall and the best we can do is to last as long as we can, if only to keep the world turning. So that when we die, we could say to whatever awaits us that we did everything we could. Do what you must and come what may. It only works like that.-
Silence fell onto the room. A minute later Willow stood up and walked towards the door, only stopping in the door frame. The night had fallen covering the unlit kitchen with blankets of shadows and Faith could only see Willow as a silhouette against the light outside.
"Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk's flight on the empty sky..."*
whispered the witch and vanished from sight. Faith sighed and rose from her chair. She had work to do. Keeping the world turning.
*- Ursula K. Le Guin, Creation of Ea