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Broken Souls

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Summary: Broken from losing the man she loves, and finding out she can no longer die. Buffy begins working for the Powers that Be. How will her life change when she meets a man just as broken as she is.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Buffy-Centered > Pairing: Dean WinchesterAngelinaswayFR18423,7111224,41115 May 1226 Nov 12No

Prologue

Author's Notes: Okay so I have been wanting to write this story for awhile now, and I know I have unfinished ones out there, but my muse wouldn't let me rest until I wrote the first chapter of this. The rating is subject to change, depending on how graphic this gets. Hope you all enjoy this and remember reviews are like hot chocolate they make me feel warm inside.

Special thanks to Spikelissa for her wonderful beta job.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Prologue

They were celebrating, all of them. It had been exactly seven months since the destruction of Sunnydale, and they were all living it up in the training room. She didn’t blame them. Her girls deserved a night off, and what better night to do it, than the seven month anniversary of the day they were all called. Buffy just couldn’t find it within herself to join them. All that she cared about, save for her sister, crumbled to dust that fateful day.

The people she had once called her friends felt like strangers to her now, and after everything that had happened between them, she honestly didn’t think they could ever be the same again. She didn’t blame them for their distance, or the tension that permeated between all of them. They had learned some hard painful lessons that last year in Sunnydale, and truth be told; they had all hurt each other, in one way or another, throughout the years. She just didn’t know how long it would take for all of their wounds to heal. She didn’t hate them, but she couldn’t help the resentment she felt towards them, and being around them was like trying to swallow a bitter chalky pill.

She missed Sunnydale. It had seemed so much simpler then, or at least it did now. Slay the demons, save the world, and then party. It’s why she had left England and came to Cleveland. She had needed to feel that little bit of normalcy again. So, that maybe, she could feel like herself again.

She wasn’t in the proper frame of mind to be Head Slayer at Headquarters anyway. So, she had graciously passed on the torch to Kennedy, and even though they hated each other with the power of a thousand suns. Buffy could at least swallow her pride and admit that she was the next best choice. Especially since Faith also turned the position down.

Dawn wanted to go to Rome and help Andrew with the new Slayers there. She found her calling. She was going to become a Watcher, and Buffy couldn’t have been prouder of her baby sister. The excitement in her eyes was enough reason to allow her to go. Saying goodbye to Dawn had been the only hard thing about leaving.

That had been six months ago, and she didn’t feel anymore like herself. There was a hole, a missing piece, and no matter what she did, she couldn’t fill it. She tried not to think of what that meant, of what kind of person this made her. She refused to see it, refusing to even acknowledge…not until it was too late, and now, her regret…it was all consuming.

She couldn’t think of him. She refused to even say his name. Not in her head, and certainly not aloud, because if she let the words fly…if she uttered those five letters. All of this, everything that had happened…was real. So, Buffy fought evil, and trained her girls, overworked herself, and ate too little. She couldn’t stop, had to keep going, and she hated sleeping, because that’s when her nightmare was real. That’s when he was really gone.

Luckily, for her, it wasn’t that difficult to stay busy. Giles decided that since Faith turned down the position of Head Slayer too, that she would go to Cleveland with Buffy. There she would help Buffy start up a secondary training facility for the Slayers that they would undoubtedly be sent their way. Buffy was surprised that Faith had agreed to this.

What Giles had neglected to mention was that he had bigger plans for Buffy and Faith than either of them anticipated. He decided that, because of Buffy’s very small stint in counseling and Faith’s quest for redemption. They would be perfect candidates to train the more unorthodox Slayers. Which in laymen’s terms meant; he wanted them responsible for those who could possibly become a problem. Of course, the truly mentally disturbed went to a facility that had been around since the old Watchers Council, but the ones who had been in gangs, thrown out on the streets, or worse, abused. These were the ones sent to Buffy and Faith in Cleveland, Ohio.

They found an abandoned private school building for their students, and they had it renovated. It had only taken a month to complete the project, and Buffy was proud of the work they had done. They had made the classrooms into Slayer quarters, allowing the girls to have their own rooms, and only keeping a few for the basic required classes needed for Slayers. They converted the gym into a large training room. It was truly perfect for what they needed.

Buffy smiled as she heard an obnoxious shout from Rayann. She was Buffy’s favorite student. Her life had been hard. Full of drugs, and sex, and things Buffy really didn’t want to think about, but becoming a Slayer had been like finding the home Rayann never had. The girl loved her calling, and the truth was, she was one of the best Buffy had ever seen. Hell, if Buffy was being completely honest, Rayann probably would have made a better Slayer than herself when she was first called.

The girl had more potential in her pinky than Kennedy had in her whole body, and her happy-go-lucky spirit—even after everything she had been through—was something a good leader really needed. It kept the girls motivated and ready to fight, while at the same time, letting them remember it was still okay to have fun once in a while. It was a quality that Buffy herself had lost over the years, one that seemed almost impossible to get back. That frightened her more than anything else. Especially since what she had been suspecting was going on with her, was becoming a reality.

She suspected it since Sunnydale…since that day down in the Hellmouth. She clearly remembered being run through by a sword, and the agony as it had sliced into her kidney. She felt like she was on fire, and her legs buckled making her fall onto her stomach. She remembered thinking that she was going to die, and had told Faith to hold the line. It was then she began to notice her Slayer healing kicking into overdrive. She remembered watching as the girls began to falter, so many of them dying around her. Suddenly, The First was there, right in her face, ridiculing and mocking her.

Fierce anger and hatred, unlike anything she had ever experienced welled in her chest, and she remembered finding the strength to stand back up. The rest of what happened was somewhat of a blur…well most of it. The other things…those things she refused to think about…came after, and she wouldn’t dare try to analyze any of that, for fear she would go insane. She could safely recall pulling up to the motel outside of Los Angeles, without fear of her mind wandering, because at that time Robin had begun to convulse and it was imperative that they get him to an emergency room.

Buffy and Faith had both volunteered, and it wasn’t until they reached the hospital that Buffy remembered her wound. Or rather, the nurse who had forced her to get it checked out did. What had surprised Buffy at the time was the fact that her wound had already sealed. It was nothing more than a shallow cut, with a matching twin on her back side. She didn’t have time to dwell on it though, because a doctor had come out looking somber.

When the doctor had taken them aside and announced that Robin had died, Faith had completely lost it. Buffy had never seen her like that, not once in the whole time of knowing her. She had collapsed in grief, and all Buffy could do was fall to her knees and hold her heart-broken comrade. It was then that she realized how much her sister-slayer had grown in the past three years, how much she had changed. Faith had earned something that she had never had before. Without even trying, she earned Buffy’s respect.

As Buffy watched Faith cry her heart out, it took everything in her power not to join her. Her grief was right under the surface, bubbling in her throat and wanting release, but she swallowed it down, stamping on it until it was nothing more than dull ache. She had to be strong. She had to forget, because she was the only one who could hold it all together. That was the price of being a leader. That was her sacrifice; her feelings weren’t important, only the mission was.

Last week, something had happened that had reminded Buffy of that day in the Hellmouth, and how quickly her wound had healed. She was out patrolling in her favorite cemetery. The one she lit a candle in every night for fallen heroes when, she was suddenly, jumped by five vamps. Normally it would have been a cake walk, but they had surprised her while she had been performing her nightly ritual, and slammed her head against the mausoleum wall.

She had been dizzy from the blow, but had managed to drag herself to her feet. That’s when she noticed her own dagger protruding from her chest. She must have accidentally stabbed herself in the fall. She had yanked the offending object out, and still managed to dust all five of their asses, but after all the blood loss and the exhaustion from the fight she had passed out on the cold stone floor of the tomb.

When she awoke it was a few hours later, and she was covered in her own blood and gore, but the wound had once again healed completely, leaving nothing but a small scratch over her heart. The real shocker though had been when she noticed her smell and the feeling in her pants. She urinated and defecated on herself, and that’s when she knew. All the blood caked on her and around her. No one could have survived that, not even a Slayer.

She had died! God, she was an immortal, as in really! It was why she was in her office at 9:00pm. She had just finished the recommendation letter for Rayann, and now she had to figure out a way to tell Giles. Calling him was out of the question. She had tried, and every time the words got stuck. ‘How do you even say that?’ “Hey Giles, I died last week. How do I know? Oh, well…I bleed out, and realized I pissed and shit myself after I woke up. Was I drunk? Of course not!” ‘Yeah, that would go over well.’

So now she sat here staring at a blank word document, and she still didn’t know what to say. Her mind began to wonder as she zoned out in front of the screen. If she couldn’t die…God, she must not be allowed to return to paradise. She would have to stay here and watch everyone she loved die. It was almost enough to make her want to march into the bathroom and slit her wrists, just to make sure.

The truth was though, she would never do that. He had died so she could live. He had saved them all, and she wouldn’t disrespect his memory in such a way, even if she was stuck here. If she, for one second happened to be wrong…facing his disappointed gaze in the afterlife would destroy her.

She sighed, and began typing:

Dear Giles,

I have a very big problem.

‘There!’
Buffy thought, ‘Get right to the point.’

I have begun to have some very real suspicions. Well, to put it bluntly… I think I may be immortal.

Last week there was an incident that has led me to believe-


“Ms. Summers!” Sarah bellowed down the corridor, startling Buffy from her letter. “There’s a big green demon with horns, here to see you.”

Buffy frowned and stood up. She grabbed the dagger that she kept sheathed underneath her desk. She doubted anything, but a harmless demon would dare show up at a Slayer School, but she could never be too carful nowadays. They had already had a few attacks from some of the older demons who had resided in Cleveland for more than a few decades. They definitely didn’t like the Slayers moving in on their turf, but they learned quickly that the girls wouldn’t be detoured, and it had been really quiet on that front lately.

She heard an enthusiastic squeal as she walked down the corridor to the lobby. “No way! Lorne, is that you?” Faith’s husky voice carried down the hallway.

“Hey sugarplum, how you been?” A gentle male voice answered in greeting.

Buffy wondered who the voice belonged to. He didn’t sound evil, but you could never be too sure. Obviously though, Faith knew him pretty well, which was weird, because Faith wasn’t really known to consort with demons. ‘Well, unless of course, they were souled vampires,' Buffy thought with a little bit of bitterness.

She shook herself quickly though, that was the old Faith, the one who had wanted to destroy her. This Faith, actually seemed to care for her. She always had her back nowadays, and she had become the closest friend whom Buffy had.

“Man, we’ve been great! It was pretty hectic at first, but once we got everything in order, it’s been five by five.” Faith said happily.

It was weird, but that was true. After losing Robin, Faith had thrown herself into Slaying. She was an excellent teacher, and even though she would never admit it, Buffy knew she had found a family in these girls. She took her redemption to a whole new level when she had volunteered to be head counselor to all the girls with a criminal past, which was most of them. It was an amazing accomplishment, especially because she seemed to be really helping.

“So,” Faith said, “How’s Evil Inc.? Still changing things from the inside out?”

Buffy stopped dead in her tracks at that question. ‘Angel,’ she thought angrily. She couldn’t believe he had taken over that stupid law firm. ‘What had he even been thinking?’

Her anger quickly dissolved though, when she heard Faith’s whispered. “Oh, shit.”

Buffy rounded the corner just in time to see one of the most flamboyantly dressed demons she had ever seen. It would have been funny, if the scene itself wasn’t so heart breaking. The demon Faith had called Lorne, had fallen to his knees and was sobbing loudly.

“Everyone’s…dead.” Lorne muttered between sobs. He took a deep breath and looked up meeting Buffy’s eyes. He must have seen something then, because he quickly looked away and his sobs picked up again. “I-I couldn’t help him anymore…not after what he made me do.”

Faith then helped Lorne to his feet and ushered him to one of the couches. “You couldn’t help who, Lorne? After, who made you do what?”

His sobs had lessened some, but there was still a prominent hitching in his voice as he spoke. “A-Angel, he made me do it. I-I didn’t want to, but he was right. Lindsey wouldn’t have stopped if I-I didn’t.”

“Didn’t what?” It was Buffy who spoke now. She was just as curious as Faith at this point, and she couldn’t help remember a conversation she had with Angel several summers ago. “You mean handless Lindsey, the lawyer.”

Lorne met her eyes again then quickly looked away. He was right; he could sell the movie rights to this and make a killing. Buffy was in turmoil, had been since she had lost him. It was one of those wrong places, wrong time stories.

He didn’t know her path because she had never sung for him, but her misery was a permeable dark cloud that hovered around her. He realized then, that he would be the one responsible for sending her over the edge. Not because of what he had done, but because of what he had promised to tell her.

“That’s the one.” He said, looking into her eyes. It was hard to watch the conflict in her eyes. She already knew Angel had made him kill Lindsey. So did Faith. He didn’t need to elaborate. “There’s more though…I have some letters, for the Chosen. Specifically, the ones they had met.”

The emphasis he put on they, had a dreadful knot forming in Buffy’s stomach. What did he mean by they? There was only one true demon from that group that she personally knew. Her lips began to tremble as she finally replied. “What do you mean by they?”

Lorne’s eyes closed; he couldn’t look at the devastation on her face when he told her. ‘That stupid moron! Why hadn’t he at least called her and let her know?’ So instead he said. “I’m so sorry Buffy. I wish he at least called and told you.”

Her heart began to thunder in her chest and goose bumps broke out along her skin. She curled her hands into fists to try and stop the shaking that had begun in them. ‘Who was this demon talking about?’ But even as the thought surfaced, a niggling voice in the back of her mind told her she already knew. She took a very deep breath and finally asked the inevitable question. “Who should have called me?”

Lorne looked at her briefly before dropping his eyes to the ground again. He swallowed hard and then reached into his jacket and pulled out the letters and held them out to Faith, who was still crouched concerned in front of Lorne.

Faith took the letters from Lorne and flipped threw them. One was for her, and she recognized the hand writing immediately. It was from Angel. The other two letters were for Buffy. One of which was also from Angel. The other handwriting, however, she did not recognize. She shrugged, not knowing what to think. She then stood up and handed the letters to Buffy. It was then that she noticed Buffy’s hands were shaking.

As Buffy tentatively reached out and took the envelopes from Faith, it felt like she was in a dream. She couldn’t hear anything, but the sound of her heart galloping in her chest, and everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. She slowly brought the envelopes into her line of sight, and had to blink a few times before her vision cleared enough to make out the elegant script that was scrawled across them.

Buffy stumbled back and hit the wall when she recognized his handwriting, and tears she had held in for seven months began coursing down her cheeks in rivers. She brought her hand up to her mouth trying to hold in the scream that was bubbling in her throat. When she was suddenly wrapped in a strong embrace she couldn’t hold it in anymore. Buffy did the only thing she could; she buried her face in Faith’s shoulder and screamed as loud as she could.

Faith knew who the other letter was from as soon as she saw all the color drain from Buffy’s face. She watched as a look of sheer horror shown threw Buffy’s eyes and she stumbled. That’s when Faith sprung into action, getting to her sister Slayers side right when she hit the wall.

It’s not that Faith didn’t think that Buffy would be upset to hear that Angel had died, but Buffy could still say Angel’s name. It was Spike’s name whom she refused to say, and anytime he was mentioned, she would leave the room. Faith had tried on several occasions to get Buffy to open up about him, but it only made Buffy agitated, and once she had even lashed out.

When Faith felt the vibration of Buffy’s scream against her shoulder, she grabbed on as tight as she could, knowing Buffy would try to push her away soon. What surprised her though was when she suddenly found herself slammed into the wall on the other side of the lobby. Buffy stood there shaking and looking at her apologetically with tears still streaming down her cheeks.

Buffy shook her head. “No...no...no…” She muttered to herself. “I j-just… I need to be alone for a little while. I-I’m sorry,” and then she was gone, heading straight for the cafeteria.

A group of the Slayers had run into the lobby wondering what all the commotion was about. All of them were shocked to see one of their leaders in tears, especially Buffy. She had always seemed so level headed. Rayann was the first to step forward, trying to step in front of her mentor’s path and see if she could get some answers.

Buffy couldn’t speak as the sobs began to bubble once again in her throat, and she pushed past Rayann without even realizing who it was. She brought her hand back up to her mouth to stem off the sobs that were making their way out of her mouth. She needed to get away. She needed to think, but most of all she needed a drink. It wasn’t something she did very often, but right now it is a necessity.

All the people in the lobby listened as the lock was broken and the alarm sounded on Faiths stash of alcohol. It was something that most of the girls knew about, but didn’t dare touch for fear of the wrath of Faith. They heard the sound of bottle’s breaking, and Faith grimaced.

“Man, I hope that isn’t my Grey Goose.” Faith mumbled to herself. Lorne was in front of her the next second.

“You need to go after her. She’s found something out, and she’s not right at this moment.” He said urgently. “You need to be there for her, Faith. She needs you, and…” He looked around, eyes landing on Rayann’s. “You.”

Rayann’s eyes widened, and she squeaked. “Me?”

“Yes.” He stated, simply. “You’re her favorite, and right now she needs you.”

Rayann’s eyes wavered to Faith, who nodded in agreement.

“Alright girls.” Faith said in a stern voice. “Lorne’s gonna be staying with us for awhile. He’s a close friend of mine, and you all know how much I hate it when my friends get disrespected. So be on your best behavior, you here?”

She then turned to Lorne and nodded. “You can stay as long as you want. They won’t mess with you. Sarah, show Lorne to his room.”

Faith eyes then landed on Rayann’s. “You’re with me,” and then they were gone, racing towards the upper levels, because that’s where they felt her strongest.



Buffy sat on the roof of the school staring at the envelope in her hand. She had already read Angel’s. Finding out once again he made a decision without her. ‘Big surprise there,’ She snorted, and then took another long drink off the bottle she nabbed from Faith’s liquor cabinet.

She could hear Angel now, telling her that he only kept Spike away because he thought it was what she needed. She could even hear the words he must have spoken to Spike to make him stay away. She closed her eyes before a new wave of sobs wracked her body. ‘Oh God…Spike.’

She hadn’t opened his letter yet. She wanted to wallow in her misery for a little while. She knew that whatever he had written would be sweet and wonderful, and she would start blubbering like a baby all over again. He always had the effect on her.

Heavy tears slid down her cheeks, and she pressed the envelope to her eyes, crying against the paper. She couldn’t completely blame Angel, as much as she would have liked to. No, she knew this was mostly her fault. If she had just told him sooner, or if she hadn’t kissed Angel, she knew he would have come and found her. Hell, he probably thought he was doing her a favor, ‘Stupid vampire.’

They had been through a lot throughout the years, but she knew he wouldn’t ever be able to forgive himself for what he had tried to do, even if she already had. The truth was she had forgiven him a long time ago. She had forgiven him when she had found out he had gotten his soul for her. She hadn’t wanted too. She had always felt she had forgiven Angel much too quickly after the fiasco of him losing his soul, and for that. Spike had been the brunt of her anger at herself, like he always was.

She had been very naïve for forgiving Angel so quickly, and very stupid for not telling Spike she forgave him sooner. She remembered that night in the bathroom clearly, especially the look on his face after she had kicked him away. He had felt guilt and horror at what he had almost done. Something she never thought she would see cross his features, and the even more amazing thing was. He hadn’t gone after her again. He had stopped and left, even after she had spat her venomous words at him.

‘Would Angelus?’ In the past when this thought would surface she would stamp it down and not analyze it, because she already knew the answer. When Spike had returned though, and she had learned the truth, she couldn’t help analyzing it over and over again. The answer was obvious.

No…Angelus would not have stopped. He would have got sick pleasure out of tearing into her, and telling her how disgusting she was, how he was only doing this to break her will, and how there were so many other women out there better than her. She would have looked into his eyes and seen nothing but empty black hatred, because Angelus didn’t love her…and it wasn’t as if she hadn’t realized Angelus didn’t love her before. Oh she knew that. It was just…It took her all that time to realize how much Spike really did love her, how far he and his demon were willing to go for her. It was then, when she had realized that she had begun to love him in turn.

She still didn’t know why she kissed Angel that day, but she suspected it was because she had wanted to see if he could make her forget the way Spike could. The way Angel used to. She knew then though that she didn’t love him anymore, that whatever it was they had was truly gone. It hadn’t felt right kissing him, and she didn’t know why she left him with even a smidgeon of hope, when she gave him that ridicules cookie dough analogy.

Buffy sniffed miserably as she took another long pull from the bottle. She couldn’t even taste it, she was to upset, and had to blink a few times when she realized she had drunken half the bottle. She couldn’t feel it either; her mind was too much of a mess.

Buffy sighed as she heard the others approach. She didn’t know what she was going to do now. Part of her just wanted to leave to parts unknown. To take off and never come back, but she had grown to love Faith over these few months, and she knew leaving would make things harder on her sister-slayer. Then, there was Rayann, who really looked up to Buffy. It wouldn’t be right to just up and leave the girl, even if she was being recommended for Head Slayer.

The girls sat down on either side of Buffy. Rayann ran her fingers over her purple hair, her dark, coal rimmed eyes staring out into the darkness of the city. She didn’t know how to approach her mentor, what to say to make her pain stop. She had enough of her own pain that she was still dealing with, but she knew Buffy needed her now. Yet, she was at a loss. She reached into her jacket and pulled out her pack of smokes. She knew if anything would get a rise out of Ms. Summers this would be it. She was always riding her ass for smoking.

Faith watched as Rayann slightly smirked when Buffy snatched the cigarette out of her mouth right when she lit it, but the look of horror that was replaced when Buffy took a drag had Faith stifling a snort. Faith didn’t know what to expect, but Buffy taking up a new habit certainly wasn’t it. It was almost comical the way she would chew the girls out when she even smelt smoke on them, and now here she was joining the fray. Yes, something was most definitely wrong here.

Buffy studied the smoldering cancer-stick for a few long seconds before shrugging, taking one more drag, and handing it back. She didn’t need to worry about cancer now, did she? She didn’t need to worry about her health at all. She sighed warily then looked at Faith. “Something’s happened.” She said quietly.

“We know the letter’s from Spike,” Faith said, wincing as she prepared for a hit to the jaw. When none came she sighed in relief, though when the hysterical giggle erupted from Buffy’s mouth and then ended on a sob. She really started to worry.

“Yeah,” Buffy whispered. “The letter is from him, but that’s only half of my problem right now.”

“What is it?” Rayann prodded, finally speaking for the first time. She didn’t know what was going on with Ms. Summers, but she was going to find out. She was so out of character right now, that if Rayann hadn’t witnessed Buffy’s breakdown in the lobby with her own eyes, she would be convinced she was possessed at this moment.

“I knew for sure last week.” Buffy began quietly, and Faith froze when realization dawned on her. The clothes she found stuffed in the trash last week. The ones covered in blood, they must have been Buffy’s. When Faith had first found them, she had been pissed. She had thought one of the girls had gone dark-side on some poor demon, but apparently she was going to find out that wasn’t the case at all.

As Buffy’s story progressed, Faith’s eyes filled with horror. If anybody deserved entry into heaven, it was Buffy. Hell, she had already been once. That must have been it then. That must have been what threw the balance off in the first place. If Buffy couldn’t die, then there would always be two Slayers. That must have been what had allowed The First entry into this realm.

She wondered if they screwed up even more by allowing all the Slayers to get called. There were thousands now, and new ones being called every day, but part of her knew that wasn’t true. They had needed more power. The Shadow Men wouldn’t have offered it to Buffy if it wasn’t something she needed, and though she hadn’t taken it. The power that they had used had been necessary, not to mention pure white magic. It hadn’t been anything like the spell Willow had used to bring Buffy back.

They sat there silently for several long minutes after Buffy had finished speaking. Finally, Rayann spoke. “You’re leaving us aren’t you?”

Surprise filled Buffy’s face, before a flash of guilt ran across her features. Rayann hadn’t seen it, but Faith had, and that’s when an idea began to play across Faith’s mind. It was an idea she had before, but hadn’t seriously considered. Now though, it almost seemed genius.

“N-no,” Buffy whispered. “I’m not leaving you.”

Faith looked at Buffy then, really looked at her for the first time in a while. Her eyes were hollow and sad, with black shadows underneath them. Her California tan had faded in the months being here in Cleveland, and she looked almost sickly now. She was way too skinny as well, and her whole personality had become darker, emptier. That’s when Faith made up her mind. Buffy was wilting here, withering away to nothing, and if they didn’t do something soon, they would end up with an immortal Slayer tearing ass through the city when she finally snapped completely.

“I think you should go.” Faith said quietly.

Buffy’s eyes then snapped to Faith’s. She didn’t know if the alcohol was just kicking in or if she was hearing things, but her anger bubbled at the thought that Faith still didn’t want her around. She had a snide comment right on the tip of her tongue when Faith’s next words silenced her.

“You’re suffocating here B. I and everyone else can see it.” Faith said, reaching for the bottle that Buffy was babysitting. She pulled the bottle up to her lips and took a long slow sip before, meeting her friend’s eyes. “You need to find yourself again B, or you’re gonna end up just as fucked up as me.”

Buffy smiled grimly before replying. “I think you are a lot less fucked up than me right now.”

Rayann laughed, rarely ever hearing Ms. Summers say fuck. “Yah, but no one is as fucked up as I am.”

Buffy looked at her, and rolled her eyes. “You know that’s not true.” She shook her head waving her arm out in front of her and turned back to Faith. “But wait we’re getting off topic… and wow…am I buzzed.” She shook her head again and pointed at Faith. “You think I should leave, but where would I even go?”

“I actually have an idea for that.” Faith said. “You remember how a couple of months ago we were talking about Jamie being the go to girl for all the harmless demons in Cleveland.”

Buffy nodded. “Well yeah, of course I remember. It was my idea after all.”

Faith rolled her eyes and waved her off. “Anyway, it got me to thinking. With all the Slayers we have now, and god knows how many more dimensions out there, some of which probably need the help. I don’t know…I just thought maybe we could make some kind of deal with the Powers, and send a Slayer out on a trial run to see what it’s like.”

Buffy looked at Faith blankly for a few minutes, before she finally let the sparkle of interest show in her eyes. “That’s actually an excellent idea.”

Rayann nodded as well. “Yah that’s like genius or something.”

Faith looked away embarrassed by Buffy and Rayann’s compliment. She shrugged at them, but before they could say anything else to each other, a throat clearing had them shooting to their feet and whirling around to face a short, badly dressed demon.

Whistler smiled at the three girls before nodding. “Have to admit lady’s you definitely got our attention.”
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