| Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7 | Ch. 8 | Ch. 9 | Ch. 10 | End Season 1 - Epilogue |
| Begin Season 2 - Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15 | Ch. 16. | Ch. 17 | Ch. 18 | Ch. 19 | Ch. 20 | Season 2 - Epilogue |
| Ch. 21 | Ch. 22 | Ch. 23 | Ch. 24 | Ch. 25 | Ch. 26 | Ch. 27 | Ch. 28 | Ch. 29 | Ch. 30 | Season 3 - Epilogue |
| Toilet Demons Project |
| Ch. 31 | Ch. 32 | Ch. 33 | Ch. 34 |

TITLE: It Starts With Faith
CHAPTER: Seventeen
AUTHOR: Dreiser
EMAIL: dreiser0@earthlink.net
ICQ #: 37674780
WEBSITE: http://www.lvdi.net/~reddeath/dreiser.htm
CONTENT: F/F romance. Don't like it, don't read it.
SUMMARY: An alternate reality series that places Faith as the one true slayer aka the chosen one for her generation.
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing but my naughty handcuffs.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Yeah, I'm writing quickly. Sorry.

It Starts With Faith
By: Dreiser


Cordelia had to admit, like Faith said, it was a thing of beauty. And like the person holding it, it was all hers.

"I know it's sorta plain," said Faith a bit sheepishly as she handed Cordelia the midnight black helmet. "But I was thinking that maybe you could paint it yourself. Make a design that you'd like best." Turning back to Lil' Butchy who sat behind her, Faith opened to the leather satchel on the side of the bike and revealed a box of paints. Offering the paints to Cordelia, she said, "The lady at the art store said that these would be good to paint on it with and what you paint should stay on the helmet no problem."

There was a moment of silence as Cordelia gently accepted the paints and finally, Faith averted her eyes from her girlfriend's and said nervously, "If you don't wanna do it I understand. I just thought that you might like that sorta thing since you're all good with the artsy stuff and--"

"Faith," interrupted Cordelia smoothly.

"Yeah?" asked Faith, meeting Cordelia's eyes.

"Thank you," Cordelia smiled, wanting to give the other girl a hug and kiss but feeling impeded by the paints and helmet she held in her hands. "This was sweet of you."

"Yeah, well, I dunno," Faith mumbled, blushing dark red. "I just wanted you to feel special, y'know? To have a helmet of your own when we go cruising."

"Faith," said Cordelia softly, now setting down the paints and helmet on top of Lil' Butchy. Reaching out, she firmly gripped the dark Slayer's waist and pulled her close. "I always feel special when I'm with you."

"Good," murmured Faith, smiling. "'Cause you are special. You're the most special person in the world to me, sweets. Y'know that, right?"

"Yeah, I know," Cordelia said softly, her eyes softening as she leaned down to capture Faith's lips with her own and delighting in hearing the other girl moan.

Winding her fingers in the back of Cordelia's long brown hair, Faith found herself becoming lost in the taste and the feeling of the other girl as she surrendered herself to Cordelia's touch as her girlfriend pulled her closer. The one kiss soon turned into two, then three, and eventually four, which would have lead to five but a cough, that had an almost amused sound to it, emerged in the air.

Reluctantly pulling away from one another, the couple looked more than a bit flushed as they met Maria's brown eyes which twinkled with humor. "Lunch," was all that the maid said as she held up two brown bags. "You forgot it inside, Cor, and now I think I know why."

"Maria!" exclaimed Cordelia, turning red.

"Good one," Faith drawled, accepting the lunches from Maria. "And I never thought she could turn more red than that time we discussed birth control in front of her."

"Yes, she did turn red then, didn't she?" Maria agreed. "For a minute, I almost thought she had a fever."

"Not funny," Cordelia grumped as she folded her arms across her chest rather huffily. "I hate it whenever the two of you team up to try and embarrass me."

"Try?" Faith quirked an eyebrow. "Whadya mean try, sweets? We always succeed in embarrassing you."

For a response, Cordelia merely stuck her tongue out at the Slayer who chuckled at this. While this went on Maria walked towards the blue Harley parked in the front driveway and carefully touched the handlebars.

"So this is your new 'ride'?" asked Maria, referring to the conversation she had with Faith earlier.

"Yup," said Faith proudly as she gave a nod. "Isn't she a thing of beauty, Maria? Even Cordelia agrees with me now about that particular issue."

"It's a nice looking motorcycle," Cordelia admitted, giving a shrug. "As far as motorcycles go."

"Nice? Nice?!" said Faith incredulously. "Lil' Butchy is a hottie! She's the Venus of motorcycles!"

"Lil' Butchy?" echoed Maria.

"It's a long story," said Cordelia wryly.

"I can imagine," Maria murmured. "Well, then," she smiled at Faith and Cordelia. "You probably should be heading off for school unless you want to be late."

"Yeah, you're right," Faith said. Looking to Cordelia, she asked, "Ready to go, sweets?"

"As ready as I'm ever going to be," said Cordelia in humorous tones. She paused in front of the motorcycle to watch as Faith put their lunches inside the leather satchel. "I can do this," Cordelia murmured to herself. Then taking a deep breath, she sat on the leather seat behind Faith and strapped her helmet on.

Putting her helmet on, Faith grinned and looked back at Cordelia then drawled, "Now hold onto my waist. I want you to hold on as tight as you can, all right?"

"All right," Cordelia replied, doing just as Faith said before the motorcycle started up and the Slayer pulled forward.

And as they drove off, Maria couldn't help but smile as she heard Faith's loud yelp moments later as Cordelia held on a little too tight for the other girl's comfort.


"That is truly disturbing you know."

"What?" asked Xander innocently, shooting a look at Buffy. "I bet in ancient times the act of balancing many number two pencils on the tips of your fingers was seen as a sign of virility for men. Yup, I betcha that's true."

Shaking her head a bit, Buffy smirked at Xander who was still precariously balancing five pencils on the tips of his fingers from where he sat next to Amy at their usual table in the quad. It was just moments before first period started and Faith and Cordelia were nowhere in sight.

The former was bothering Buffy some.

"I wonder where Faith is," murmured Buffy, her eyes drawing towards the parking lot, knowing that the other Slayer would be driving her motorcycle today.

"She went to pick up Cordelia," said Willow, studying Buffy carefully with her green eyes. "She said that she had something important to give to her."

"Yeah?" Buffy asked, looking to Willow and unable to help smiling. "How do you know that, Will?"

"I called her this morning about our Human Anatomy project," Willow replied, smiling also. "We are partners in it, you know. By the way," now sounding very sneaky, she leaned closer to Buffy. "How are you and Amy doing on your project? Did you even start it yet?"

"Start it? I'm offended!" Buffy cried, pressing a delicate hand against her chest. "Of course Amy and I started our project. Right, Amy?"

The blonde Slayer looked to her closest friend for support but instead found Amy helping Xander to balance even more number two pencils on his fingertips. Groaning at this, Buffy muttered, "Some partner you are. You can't even tell fibs in synch with me these days."

"Heh, I knew it," said Willow triumphantly, beaming now. "You guys haven't even started." Looking away for a moment, she turned back to Buffy and made a large 'L' shape with her fingers then said, "Loooosers."

"Fine, fine, whatever," Buffy rolled her eyes playfully. "Then what is your and Faith's project, little Miss NonLoser?"

On hearing this request, Willow's smile turned almost evil before she said, "The comparison of models and regular girls and how much nutrition models lack and how the lack of nutrition will cause their timely deaths."

"Damn, Will," said Buffy as her eyes went wide. "That sounds almost... well... evil."

"I'm the Master of evil," said Willow, still smiling.

"Righhhhht," Buffy drawled, giving a silly smile. "The nicest girl in school with the prettiest smile is secretly the Master of evil in her spare time. I'm really buying that one." Before Willow could reply, she sighed then said, "Where's Faith? I want to talk to her..."

Instead of replying, Willow simply stared at Buffy who had a lost look on her pretty features as she searched the parking lot and the road it was connected to with some familiar type of desperation in her gaze.

It was a desperation that Willow knew all too well. Along with the exact reason behind it. But she hadn't ever expected to see that desperation connected to Buffy when it came to Faith. Then again, maybe it had been there all along and she'd just ignored its presence, seeing only what she wanted to see. Seeing only what told her that Buffy liked her too, that Buffy wanted what she wanted.

That Buffy wanted to be with her as well.

"Hey, Red. What's up?"

Lifting her head, Willow looked up into Vince's soft and concerned chocolate brown eyes and couldn't help but smile on seeing him. As usual, his shaggy dyed blonde hair fell slightly into his eyes as he quietly sat down next to her and offered a gentle smile that accented his good looks.

"Nothing much, just hanging out," answered Willow, turning to face him. "You?"

"Just got finished raiding the music room," Vince said. He looked around quickly, appearing comically conspiratorial, before he leaned forward and said, "They got a brand new piano, Red. Me and Charlie just finished tuning it up so it'd be perfect when you play it first hour."

"A new piano? Really?" Willow's eyes lit up. "Is it--"

"Top of the line Steinway, yup," interrupted Vince, smiling widely now. "Just the type of your dreams."

"Wow," said Willow breathlessly. She paused to frown then said, "But how could the school afford it?"

Chuckling at this, Vince said, "I heard that the Snyde man wanted to take advantage of us having a way cool musical prodigy at our school who gets straight A's."

"No way," Willow blushed bright red. "Me?"

"Yeah, you," said Vince, chuckling again. His brown eyes fond, he reached out to hold her hand in his own as he said, "You're something special, Red. You gotta try and remember that because I sure as hell can't forget it." He paused to blush on realizing what he just said then giving a cough, he added, "Plus Derrick and Charlie too."

"Yeah," said Willow quietly, smiling at Vince, her eyes full of affection. "Can't forget Derrick and Charlie."

"Nope, can't forget them," said Vince, still looking a bit red as he rose to his feet. "In fact, I think I'm gonna go find them before class. See you later, Red!"

With that, Vince loped away, managing somehow to make it look like he wasn't running as he did. Watching him with affection, Willow shook her head a bit and said quietly to herself, "You're special to me too, Vince."

"He's a muffin, Will," said Buffy.

Turning around to look at the blonde Slayer with certain surprise, Willow having almost forgotten that she was there as she was talking with Vince, she said in rather nervous tones, "Yeah... he has muffin like qualities."

"Very muffiny qualities, I think," Buffy continued, now studying Willow with a close gaze. Their gazes were locked for a long moment before she asked, "Do you like him, Will?"

"Like, like... there are a lot of different kinds of like. I mean, I like cheese but I wouldn't want to marry cheese. I also like the Brady Bunch but would I want to get a hook up with Greg one day? I think not! So you see the liking issue is varied and complicated in its--" Willow babbled continuously, only stopping when Buffy tenderly placed her hand over the redhead's mouth.

"Do you like him?" Buffy repeated the question.

Before Willow could reply, a loud roar sounded in the air and Buffy whirled around to face the parking lot, an expression of excitement on her features as she did so.

"Faith," whispered Buffy as she jumped to her feet and headed towards the blue motorcycle that was parking.

"Whoah, cool wheels," said Xander, his eyes going wide. "So the Buffy monster wasn't lying when she told us that Faith had scammed some poor vamp out of his ride."

"It's awfully shiny," Amy said, squinting at it.

"Shiny is a good thing, honey bunch," Xander insisted, taking Amy's hand in his own as she headed off towards the bike. He paused in front of Willow and then giving her his best goofy Xander smile, he dipped his head then said, "You going to come with, Willster?"

"No, that's okay," said Willow quietly, returning his smile and feeling a bit better at this attention. "I think I might just go and hang out with Vince and the guys before our music class starts. Check out the new piano and all."

"Oh, okay," said Xander, his eyes concerned as he watched her walk away. Turning to look at Amy, who had the same concern he did, he said, "Love can suck."

"Yeah," Amy agreed quietly. "It really can."

The couple contemplated this for a moment before they approached the others and found Faith leaning back against the motorcycle along with Cordelia, her arm firmly wrapped around the other girl's waist. Cordelia had a flushed look on her face and didn't even seem bothered that her hair was slightly awry thanks to the helmet she'd worn on the way to school.

"I made a convert outta her, Buff," drawled Faith proudly, giving Cordelia a fond squeeze from where she held the other girl around the waist. "She loves Lil' Butchy almost as much as I do now. Dontcha, sweets?"

"She's a lot of fun," Cordelia agreed, leaning down to kiss Faith lightly on the top of her wavy locks.

"Wait, wait," said Xander, waving his hand around wildly and on seeing this, the others sighed inwardly. They knew this hand gesture of his all too well by now. He then paused then said slowly, "Lil' Butchy?"

"Long story," said Cordelia in firm tones, giving Xander a look that said he better drop the issue right now if he wanted his good health to continue. "Okay?"

"Yes, yes, very okay," Xander said quickly. Giving a sigh, he leaned down to whisper to Amy, who was softly giggling at this whole incident, and said, "Scary big butchy."

"I heard that!" Cordelia said sharply, moving after Xander who shrieked then went dashing off.

"Heh," Faith chuckled. "You get him every time, sweets. But when are you going to get tired of scaring him?"

"Never," replied Cordelia drably. "It's just too much fun for me to ever get really bored with it."

"Anyway, Buff, the ride was the best," said Faith, looking to the other Slayer. "I took sweets up on that long curving road, the turns were killer up there. Had her just hanging on for her dear life. Was all that and more."

"Nearly killed me," Cordelia grumbled good naturedly. "But it was still a lot of fun somehow."

"Really?" Buffy asked. Looking to Faith, she said a bit shyly, "Could you take me riding there sometime?"

"Sure, Buff," Faith said easily with a smile. "Me and you can go there sometime after patrol. I betcha it's hell more scary driving there at night."

"Yeah, I bet," said Buffy warmly.

Cordelia observed this interaction for a moment then the first bell went off and firmly taking Faith's hand in her own, she said stiffly, "C'mon, we'll be late."

"Later, Buff!" Faith called out cheerfully, before turning back to Cordelia and leaning against her slightly as the couple headed off to their Latin class.

"Yeah," Buffy said in soft and sad tones while she watched the happy couple walk away. "Later."

Observing Buffy with careful blue eyes, Amy recalled the earlier words of her boyfriend and thought to herself that at times love and all of its complications could and definitely did suck.


Buffy couldn't take it anymore. The staring was just getting to her too much. She had to know what it was all about and she had to know right now.

"All right," Buffy said, turning to face Amy. "What's going on? I know something has to be going on. You don't stare at me like that for no reason."

"I don't know," said Amy quietly. "Why don't you tell me what's going on, Buffy?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," said Buffy, averting her eyes. "What do you mean?"

"You and Faith," Amy murmured. "What's going on?"

Closing her eyes painfully, Buffy said quietly, "Nothing is going on between me and Faith. Trust me."

"But you want something to be going on," volunteered Amy quietly. "Don't you?"

"Well, there's a lot of goings on going on in this conversation, that much is for sure," said Buffy, offering her best winning smile to Amy who wasn't buying it.

"Buffy," said Amy in quietly demanding tones.

"All right," Buffy said with a sigh. Averting her eyes from Amy's she continued, "I don't know what the deal is, Amy. I really don't. I'm just so confused about the entire thing. All I know is that when I'm with Faith I just feel happy, so much happier than I've ever been with anyone else. She makes me feel complete."

"You love her don't you," said Amy with shock.

Looking into Amy's eyes, Buffy said, "I think so."

"Oh, Buffy," murmured Amy sadly.

"Yeah," Buffy replied, giving a wan laugh. "I know."


Shifting uncomfortably in her seat, Faith tried her very best not to feel like a little girl being punished as her Watcher bore his steady gaze into her.

"I said I was sorry," Faith muttered finally.

School was over for the day and as usual, the Scooby Gang was having their daily meeting about the bad happenings in Sunnydale. Which included Kakistos and the information that Faith and Buffy were supposed to have gathered on him from their interaction with vamps while on patrol. Except that it seemed they didn't have any sort of information for Giles about this new threat.

Which was annoying him quite a bit.

"Faith," said Giles as he heaved a sigh while adjusting his wire rim glasses. "I thought that we agreed it would be best to gather information on Kakistos before striking. True, we know what Willow has told us from her previous life as an Oracle having contact with him but we do need something a little more current, you realize."

"Yeah, I know," said Faith sheepishly. "It's just that me and Buff... sorta forgot about the getting the info thing once we got into the swing of things. Slaying can be such a rush, y'know? And thoughts, plans, that sorta stuff can all just fly outta your head during that rush." She then looked to Buffy for help and said, "Right, Buff?"

"It happens," Buffy admitted with a wry grin. "Slayers don't have the best memories in battle I guess."

"Yup," Faith gave an easy nod as she leaned back in her chair and folded her hands behind her head. "Brains that go defunct while fighting for our lives, that's what we Slayers have. It's a sorta sad thing to realize, y'know."

"I bet," said Cordelia derisively to herself.

"What, sweets?" asked Faith, looking to her girlfriend with warm brown eyes. And on seeing them, the taller girl felt any anger she'd focused at the dark Slayer disappear as their eyes met. "Hey," said Faith quietly, ducking her head and reaching out to entwine their fingers. "What's the matter?"

"Nothing, Faith," murmured Cordelia. Leaning forward, she gave Faith a soft kiss on the lips before she moved to nuzzle her neck as she said, "Nothing at all."

Giles cough interrupted them going any further. That and the looks that all of their friends were giving them. But the look that interested Cordelia the most was the one from Buffy. The one that seemed almost haunted.

As she studied that look Buffy had, Cordelia got the worst sinking feeling as she realized just what it meant.

And she knew that it meant nothing good at all.

Not for her, not for Faith, not for Buffy, not for Willow, not for anyone in their group of friends.

But before Cordelia could ponder this any further, Faith was rising to her feet along with Buffy, both of them giving their best promises to Giles to get him some type of real information about Kakistos from patrolling tonight.

Cordelia seemed to be stuck in a sort of daze, in a strange vortex of time not of her own making as the world slowed down around her as Faith leaned in to give her kiss on the lips before turning to walk away with Buffy.

She could only remain frozen, helpless as she watched Faith turn towards Buffy, smile, then ask if the blonde Slayer wanted to take a spin on her baby.

Then watch as Buffy happily accepted, her face glowing and her eyes alight as she did so. And as this went on, Cordelia watched and couldn't help but think that what she was seeing was going to be the end of them all.

She just didn't know why she felt this way.


"We have to destroy them, you know."

Holding back the urge to sigh, Trick eyed Iris warily as he pulled up his pants. Honestly, he did enjoy his relationship with the other vampire. She was just his type. Beautiful, cunning, and ruthless. But she had the most awful habit of bringing up work at the worst times.

"I know," said Trick, putting on one of his designer silk shirts now. "But they won't be so easy to kill. They've taken out almost all of our newest employees and only our main crew is left these days. Everyone else ends up a pile of dust when facing off against them." He turned to give her a dry look as he said, "And you know that Kakistos doesn't want to deal with them himself."

"No, of course not," Iris chuckled, her knees resting against her chest and their bedsheet strewn loosely about her lithe frame. "He much rather be mooning over his recently reincarnated Oracle lady. Fun, fun, fun."

"To him, I guess," Trick murmured. His eyes darkened and sitting down on the bed, he stretched out his muscular and dangerous frame near her own. Resting his chin in the palm of his hand he looked up into Iris clear blue eyes then said, "What have we been told about the Slayers exactly? Give me the list as we now have it."

"Faith was the first to be called," Iris began, reciting the facts almost as if she was a dictionary. "Her Watcher is one Rupert Giles, whom everyone in town has been told is her Uncle. Only her close friends know that he is, in reality, her Watcher. Those friends would include Nerine, reincarnated as Willow Rosenburg.

"Also among her friends also is a young witch, Amy Madison, who has powers hardly to be feared, focusing more on healing. As it was seen from Buffy Summers, the second Slayer, being able to recover from your poisoning efforts thanks to one of her spells being cast. Amy's boyfriend, Xander Harris, is also a part of their group but hardly influential. The last and final member is," Iris paused to smile widely, "Interesting to say the least."

"Oh?" asked Trick, his eyes darkening. "How?"

"Cordelia Chase," drawled Iris slowly. "The most beloved girlfriend and paramour of Faith Spencer. They've been together for almost a year now and seem inseparable. The local vamps say the last thing anyone wants to do is to harm Miss Chase, since the last time a vamp even gave her the slightest of scratches, Faith went on a slight bender."

"Oh ho," Trick was chuckling now. "Is that so?"

"I thought you'd find that interesting," said Iris. Moving forward with a catlike grace, she climbed onto his chest and left their faces inches apart. Their eyes meeting, she gave a coy smile then asked, "And do you want to know something else? A lovely new tidbit of information just recently given hot off the presses from a newly born vampire that went to Sunnydale High?"

"Lay it on me, baby," said Trick in a low purr.

"Buffy, the second Slayer," Iris paused to give a girlish giggle of delight and she then ran her fingers down the sides of Trick's chest. "Has been rumored to have the tiniest of crushes on our enigmatic Slayer number one."

"You don't say?" asked Trick, looking intrigued.

"Oh, I say," said Iris in sultry tones, her hands still traveling down his sides while she spoke. "And I say that this could be something we could exploit greatly. Kakistos said he wants us to destroy the Slayers but he's an old vampire, with old ways... they do things the painful way. He doesn't mean for us to just kill them. No, he wants us to annihilate their very souls before bringing them to the final release."

Resting his head back on the bed, Trick gazed up at the ceiling, unable to help sighing as Iris planted a series of sensuous kisses down his chest. "Yes," he said huskily as his eyes remained fixed on the ceiling. "We'll destroy their souls first by taking away their ability to trust."

Lifting her head, Iris' blue eyes glittered in the shards of moonlight echoing in the room while she said, "But before that, we take away the ones they love.

"Starting with each other."


Amy, Cordelia, and Willow all sat quietly around the library table before one of them finally spoke what was running around inside of her head right then.

"I hope Xander doesn't buy fried chicken," said Amy with a sigh. "I really don't want fried chicken."

"I told him to get Chinese," said Cordelia matter of factly, as if that explained everything right there.

"I could've gone for burgers myself," said Willow.

"But you won't even be here to eat," Amy reminded, looking at Willow. "You have band rehearsal."

"Oh yeah," said Willow a bit dimly.

The girls were silent for another moment before they all looked at each other sheepishly then laughing all amongst themselves at their own private joke.

"Are we bored or what?" Cordelia asked playfully, wiping away the tears at her eyes.

"What," responded Willow. Her smiling face disappeared as she looked away then murmured, "I'm just thinking about things... about how things are turning out these days. You know what I mean?"

"Yeah," said Cordelia softly. "I do."

"Life doesn't turn out how we think it's going to," Willow continued on. "And sometimes, I wonder if that's a good thing. We work so hard to make plans for ourselves, things that we want to do, people we want to aspire to be like, places we want to go, and sometimes we just can't do any of those things. It's just not meant to be or the world around us turns topsy turvy and it all gets ruined and our point of view is turned completely around. We're not what we once were and neither are our dreams. And people... people change in our eyes," she added quietly.

"And we change to them too," murmured Cordelia.

"Yeah, we do, don't we?" Willow said sadly.

Looking back and forth from Cordelia to Willow to Cordelia then Willow then back again, Amy blinked as she said, "I have no clue what you're talking about."

Both girls laughed at this as they smiled warmly at Amy and Willow said, "You're lucky then, Amy."

"Yeah," Cordelia smiled as well. "Way lucky." She then focused on Willow then asked, "So what's got you so topsy turvy these days, Will? Still my usual theory?"

"Cordelia!" exclaimed Willow, blushing red.

"Heh, I knew it," said Cordelia smugly. Leaning forward, she said in sly tones, "Just sneak a drug in her drink, Will, and then bring her back to your place where you can wile her with all of your singer girl charms."

"I'm not hearing this," Willow muttered, covering her ears with her hands while she said this.

"Hearing what? What's this about?" asked Amy.

"Ohhhh, you don't know?" Cordelia asked, forming a wide and sneaky smile. "Willow likes none other than--"

"Cordelia!" exclaimed Willow again, diving across the table to clasp her hand over the other girl's mouth.

"Mmmphowerp," Cordelia said in muffled tones.

"Who?" Amy blinked.

Pushing Willow's hand away from her mouth, Cordelia looked at the redhead and said, "I won't tell her if it's really that big a deal. I think it's sort of obvious though and Amy is a bright girl about this stuff."

"Bright about what?" Amy puzzled.

On this, Willow shot Cordelia an almost withering look and Cordelia said sheepishly, "Or so I thought."

"What's going on?" asked Amy blankly.

Looking to Cordelia who had her best innocent expression on her features as she mock whistled and gazed up at the ceiling of the library, Willow groaned before she turned to Amy and gave a soft smile.

"I sort of... like Buffy," said Willow, who averted her eyes from Amy's as she said this and blushed lightly.

"You like Buffy?" echoed Amy. Her eyes went wide and she asked, "You mean you like like her?"

"Yeah," Willow said with a nod. "But I'm not sure if Buffy feels the same way. Cordelia thinks--"

"You mean that Cordelia knows," interrupted Cordelia smoothly. "And Cordelia knows that you and Buffy would make a great couple."

"You think so?" asked Willow quietly. Sighing to herself, she murmured, "I'm beginning to doubt that..."

"This is turning into a soap opera," Amy muttered as she recalled her earlier conversation with Buffy.

"What, Amy?" asked Cordelia, having vaguely heard the other girl say something.

"Nothing," said Amy quickly, offering a forced smile.

Before Cordelia could question Amy further, the doors to the library opened to reveal Vince's shyly smiling figure as he approached the three girls.

"Hey, Red," he said, stopping in front of the library table. "You ready to head out for our daily torture?"

"Torture? C'mon, Vince, you mean our daily oodles of fun fest," said Willow in teasing tones as she took the hand that he was offering to her. When he pulled her to her feet, she smiled at him and touched his arm lightly. "You know that you wouldn't have it any other way."

"Yeah, I know," said Vince softly, his eyes full of affection as he gazed at Willow. "Well," he gave a slight cough. "We better get going then." Looking to Amy and Cordelia he gave a them a small smile then asked, "We'll see you at the show tonight, huh?"

"Count on it," Cordelia replied, smiling.

"Ditto," said Amy with a nod.

Vince offered them another warm smile before Willow clasped his hand in her own and proceeded to pull him out of the library while Amy and Cordelia watched with more than a bit of curiosity.

While they watched the two depart, both of them couldn't help but think one thing about the current state of relationships within their tiny circle of friends.

And so, the plot thickens.


No, nope, uh-uh, not a chance, no way, nada, there's no possibility in hell, yeah right, bam... a winner!

This was how Faith's train of thought went while she scanned the streets looking for a possible vamp lackey of Trick's that would lead her and Buffy back to Kakistos and hopefully, some useful information about the vamp.

There was just one small problem. They'd found the lackey, yes that's true, and beating him up and getting him to tell them info, that would be no problem, but what sort of info did they want him to tell them anyway?

"Ehhh... Buff?" asked Faith slowly.

"Yeah, Faith?" said Buffy, turning to look at the other Slayer from where they stood in the shadows, still inspecting the vamp lackey in question. "What's up?"

"What did G-man want us to find out exactly?" Faith asked as she locked her brown eyes with Buffy's light hazel ones. "General info on Kakistos or where his big bad hideout is so we can swoop in and stake him?"

"Well, which one of those options do we prefer?" Buffy asked, giving a positively sly smile. "Which one has the most fun potential according to the chosen two?"

"Finding big bad hideout, definitely," Faith said, forming a smile just as sly as Buffy's was. "Nice thinking, Buff. Now lets get to work with the vamp scaring."

"My thoughts exactly," said Buffy.

Seconds later, the two Slayers emerged from the shadows and made their way towards one very unknowing vampire lackey who didn't know just what was in store for him that night. Even if it had been hinted to him by his two very smug mutual employers.

Because, after all, he was just an insignificant part of a far greater plan that had nothing at all to do with him.

But whether that was good or bad for him, the young vampire really didn't know. All he knew was that he prayed he somehow made it out of an encounter with both Slayers with his undead life in tact.

Something that, right now as he was being flung up against the wall and being threatened in a horrifically scary manner, he really doubted happening.

And who can really blame him?


Kakistos looked almost happy.

It was something that Trick hadn't seen in a long while and he felt pleased that he caused this mood swing in his new employer who could be difficult at times.

"Trick," said Kakistos said his name in rumbling tones that echoed beautifully. "This is plan of yours is truly a piece of art. Destroying the Slayers inside and out, in the most horrific of ways. I must say that I enjoy it."

"I'm glad," said Trick with a smile. "The first portion of the plan has been put into action, Kakistos. The Slayers were already given the location of one of the lesser buildings we work out of and have been told that's where our base of operations is. They won't hit it tonight, not without the backup of the rest of their team."

"So we move into position there tomorrow," Kakistos continued, his fingers entwining as he leaned back in his chair. "Then we simply sit back and wait."

"Precisely," Trick said, giving a nod.

Chuckling lowly, Kakistos said, "Wonderful, Trick. Simply wonderful. Thanks to you, the Slayers undoing will be nearer than they could ever begin to know."

"Hey," said Trick in charming tones, forming an easy smile as he straightened his tie. "That's what I'm paid for."

It's truly sad when people can make their lively hoods out of planning chaos and destruction. But this was Sunnydale, after all. And Trick was a vampire.

So his path and everyone else's was already drawn. The only thing left was for all of the players to walk down it.

And to see if they, or anyone, would survive. 

Continue to Chapter Eighteen

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