The bad news
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer is copyright and not created or owned by me. References to characters, episodes and all other intellectual property related to the show below are made for entertainment only and I do not profit from it in any way.
Note: For the purpose of this fic, Dawn is older than canon - a year younger than Faith. As far as the subject of the fic, essentially I wanted to take a standard trope usually used in PWP stories and take it seriously & flesh it out. That said, while there is plot, there will also be sex. Which leads to...
Warnings: British spelling, coarse language, sexual references, sex scenes, dub-con, rough sex, references to bdsm (although the last not described or explicit).
“The spell that was performed has some very serious ramifications.” Giles began, dreading the moment everyone understood what would be required.
“Like opening the mouth of hell.” Anya observed.
“Well...yes.” Giles glanced over at her. “The increase in demonic activity hasn't yet become overwhelming, but the more evil creatures that come through, the more will be able to come through, until we are looking at a mass incursion and all out war with full blooded demons ravaging the earth.”
“You could just say apocalypse.” Xander protested, having grasped what was being described.
“Indeed.” Giles refrained from getting frustrated, knowing the worst was yet to come. “The only way to prevent this is to close the hellmouth again, but the manner in which it was opened makes this somewhat difficult.”
“Come on Giles. Dumb it down for us. You're not saying impossible, so what's the what? Rocket launcher? A bit of ancient Sumerian and some power sharing? Or was Oz right all along and we'll need a whole lot of hummus?” Xander sat forward, trying pre-emptively to undermine the tension he felt coming off their former librarian in waves.
“We essentially have to reverse the spell used by the warlock who opened it. He merged the essences of a multitude in one vessel then performed a blood-letting ritual which functioned in the same way a mass-sacrifice would. To dumb it down, as Xander says – everyone who was present when the hellmouth was opened will have to likewise merge essences into a single vessel whose blood will then be used in a spell to close the gates to the underworld.”
“So what's the big?” Xander protested. “Merging essences, we got that covered! A bit of hand holding, memorising chunks of some ancient language, a few bad dreams the night after...”
“That was sharing power, that didn't affect your blood.” Anya contradicted casually. “The only way to do what Giles is describing is for everyone to have sex with the vessel in a Mage Circle to ensure the transition of essence.”
“Anya!” Willow looked scandalised. “You're obsessed! Not everything is about orgasms!”
“No, she's right.” Giles sighed. “That's exactly what I'm saying.” Anya shot a look of triumph over at Willow, who was far too shocked to notice.
“You want us to...I mean, we have to...” Xander floundered. “With Buffy? I mean...she's the vessel, right? The Slayer is always the THE thing. You know.”
They all turned and looked at the Slayer who was sitting a little stiffly. Finally she shrugged.
“Well...” she spoke up, eyes distant, “I guess it isn't any worse than being told about the prophecy with the Master.”
“Of course it's worse!” Joyce slapped a hand down on the table, causing everyone to jump slightly in surprise. “I may accept that my daughter is some kind of superhero, I may have accepted that it's up to her to go out and fight every night to keep other people safe. I may have accepted that there are demons out there trying to kill her, and I may have accepted that she regularly fights to stop the world from ending. But I will not accept that there is no choice for her but to have some sort of orgy to prevent an apocalypse!!” She shouted.
“Wow, guess I arrived just in time.” The voice came from the doorway into the front hall, and not a single person had heard Faith come in. Spinning to her in shock, everyone was far too highly strung to know how to react on the back of Giles' existing bad news.
“Faith. What are you doing here?” Buffy asked bitterly.
“Your very own Queen C had a vision. Apparently the world is ending and she told me my specific skills would be required to help stop it. I thought – maybe a drinking competition with the Big Bad? But fucking to prevent the apocalypse...guess that falls in my skill set, too.” She dropped a carry bag to the floor just inside the doorway.
“What makes you think we would trust you to help no matter what
is needed?” Willow narrowed her eyes in suspicion.
“Like Momma Bear just said. Buffy's too good for that shit. She shouldn't have to dirty up her record. Me? Down and dirty is my M.O.”
“Faith, no...” Joyce shook her head. “No matter what's happened in the past, I wouldn't wish this on you any more than Buffy. It's just...my God, Mr Giles, surely there's another way to...what did you say? Exchange essences? I mean, how exactly is it achieved?”
“With an...” Giles cleared his throat as his cheeks suddenly flamed, but he left his glasses on and looked very serious, “...an exchange of fluids, as it were.”
“So there's a risk of pregnancy.” Joyce looked even more horrified.
“No, no.” Giles rushed to assure her. “That's one...er...good thing. The magicks at work are death magicks, not life magicks – it renders the participants infertile throughout the process and for a week afterward.”
“It's rape.” Tara contributed quietly but pensively.
“Hey now, don't be like that.” Faith held up her hands. “No rape in it, I'm agreeing now, alright? Don't get all dramatic on me.”
“Yes, but why are you agreeing? There are legal allowances for situations of duress – like if someone held you at gunpoint. You might agree, but only because the alternative is death. You may agree to this but only because the alternative is the apocalypse.” Tara explained her view, although didn't make eye contact with anybody at the table. There was a pause while everyone absorbed it.
“Well even if it is like that, it'd be the fuckin' Powers doing the raping, it's them holding the apocalypse over our head, right?” Faith argued.
“That's true.” Joyce spoke up unexpectedly, garnering everyone's attention. “It wouldn't just be Faith being...taken advantage of. There are many of us who wouldn't normally agree to the situation required if it weren't for the apocalypse.”
“Mom? What do you mean, there's no way you're getting involved in this.” Buffy protested looking appalled.
“I already am, Buffy. If what Mr Giles has said is true, everyone that was present when we cast the original closing spell would need to....partake.” She swallowed hard.
“Oh God.” Buffy spoke as she realised. “Dawn.”
“What? No fucking way, she's what, like twelve?” Faith stood up suddenly, her chair falling over from the violence of the action.
“I'm eighteen now, Faith. Only a year younger than you, remember?” Dawn's voice floated in from the hall, closely followed by the rest of her appearing in the doorway.
“Dawn! You're meant to be in your room!” Buffy protested in shock. Her sister just rolled her eyes.
“I heard when things started getting heated and came down to eavesdrop. Turns out it was a good idea.”
“Well that just seals the deal, then.” Faith ran a hand over her head, shifting nervously on her feet. “It's gotta be this slayer. Aint no way Buffy can do it with Joyce and Vampbait over there.” She tried not to think about the Dawn-factor, still completely uncomfortable with the idea of someone she had known since they were fourteen.
“Does it...have to be the same slayer, for everyone?” Willow asked hesitantly, looking at Giles.
“I'm afraid so. It must be a single vessel representing all of us, and it must be a slayer because the magical portion, once the sharing of essences is complete, would kill anyone else.” He explained, taking refuge in procedure and facts.
They all sat in silence, absorbing and considering, trying desperately to think of any other way.
“I'm so sorry Dawn. Mom.” Buffy finally spoke up.
“Not your fault.” Dawn shrugged.
“This is wrong.” Tara spoke up again. “No-one should...we can't just use Faith like this. I mean I know the circumstances aren't ideal for any of us but for most of us it's just the one unplanned partner. You're asking Faith to have sex with all of ten of us for God's sake!” Tara spoke with the most anger any of them had heard from her, and it wasn't just Willow who was watching close enough to see the Wiccan's hands tremble before she clutched them together.
“Maybe we could apply for a Guinness record.” Xander joked weakly. Faith snorted.
“Aint no record for me, even if it was all in one night. I guess this time I'd be sober – that's sort of new.” She shrugged. They all stared at her in varying states of disgust and sadness. “Oh hey, don't worry.” She noticed the looks but misinterpreted them. “I got a clean bill of health, lab report right here.” She pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket and waved it in the air before putting it on the table. “Y'all might want to get checked out though, not what I figure you mean when you say 'sharing is caring' right? Better safe than itchin'.” She joked, falling back on an old habit of distancing others when uncomfortable by trying to disgust or offend them.
“God, Faith, shut up.” Buffy put her head in her hands. “I'm sorry this is just...all too much.”