Jody (strangebint) wrote in slayerlore,
Jody
strangebint
slayerlore

Fic: More or Less Part 2: Faith/Spike Willow/Kennedy: Connor

IMPORTANT: THIS FIC GETS CUT OFF BY LJ IF YOU WANT TO READ THE REST GO TO:
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2025615/2/

Title: More Or Less Part Two- "I'll see you in my Dreams"



Rating: R



Main Characters/Pairings in order: Faith/Spike; Connor; Angel, Robin Wood, Willow/Kennedy, Wesley, Dawn



A/N: Summary: Part Two of the Second Season. Faith and Spike are still in Angel’s Wolfram and Hart Summer house having a good time. Spike and Willow both get phone calls that make Faith and Kennedy curious. Faith has a dream that makes Spike a little more than curious. Kennedy has a dream that freaks her out, and Dawn has a dream that makes her miserable. Meanwhile, Robin has some ambitious dreams that seem to differ from Wesley’s.



Warning: More references to Faith’s past which includes sexual abuse, but it’s not sexualized.



PS. I had a wicked hard time writing this part for some reason. I feel like I haven’t updated in forever, so I’d really appreciate any feedback just to let me know y’all are still reading. I want to REALLY thank Dutch for her help this time. I think she really stopped it from sucking this time.



SITE: Strangebint.com



IMPORTANT: THIS FIC GETS CUT OFF BY LJ IF YOU WANT TO READ THE REST GO TO:
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2025615/2/

More Or Less Part Two- "I'll see you in my Dreams"

"And yesterday will always be the reason why
You keep comin' back for more. I'll see you in my dreams
There we'll be safe tonight, from the lonely days of memory." Giant



“I told you. It’s raining. You can’t teach me how to swim after all,” Faith said as she busted in the guest room where Spike had decided to take his “important call.”



Important call. It made Faith laugh. Who was he, Angel all of a sudden? He did have his own business dealings, but they usually took place on the street with dice or in a back room with cards. The only calls that were usually made were how the cards would fall. The cards had come out real good for them for a change.



Faith now jumped on the bed in the very room that she had thought she would end up dying in to save Spike. When Spike had found her and busted in the room she thought for sure Spike was going to be the one to die instead, and it would be all her fault. But it hadn’t gone down that way. Instead Spike was grinning as she jumped up and down on the bed.



“Can you believe a Slayer who doesn’t know how to swim?” Spike said into the phone.



“I can believe a naked chick jumping up and down on a bed can totally distract you from your business call. I’m not the Slayer anymore, Brit boy. I gave it all up so you could live and breathe to make shady business calls,” she said as she jumped in his lap.



“I resent that. I don’t breathe,” he smiled.



“So, this is a shady business call? Are they evil? Can they hear me? Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned I’m not the Slayer anymore because now we’ll have some lame ass card sharks on our ass, right? Tell them we have a boy. We’ve been given an awesome boy unlike any other to train and unleash all Hell on them if we see fit. So they better not try anything,” she beamed.



“Ah, yes the boy,” Spike smiled at both Faith and the phone, like it was a person.



“See, Faith is very eager to get back to the boy. Me an’ her and Blade make three. So there is nothing to worry about, love,” Spike said to the phone.



Faith frowned. The phone was a “love?” The phone didn’t have anything to worry about?



“Who is that?” Faith asked.



“No, Blade is not his real name. We call him that ‘cause of the movie. No, he’s not half vamp. We don’t really know---Where he came from? Well, that’s a tale and a half I think should wait ‘till later. Of course, I know I can trust him,” Spike scoffed.



“What the hell are you doing telling some shady business partner of yours all about Connor?” Faith demanded, “I swear sometimes you are so thick!”



“Ow!” he grumbled after she smacked his bleached blond head.



“You are both really brassing me off. There’s a surprise. I don’t trust the wrong people. Everyone I trust is a friend. If you want the hero who trusts the wrong people you’ll have to talk to the other vampire with—Hey!” Spike snapped as Faith grabbed the phone.



“Hello, Spike’s friend,” Faith said in her best throaty voice, “You’re not evil, are you? I know you’re a chick, since he called you ‘love.’ Unless Spike has a little surprise for me. What are you wearing?”



Spike grabbed the phone away quickly and easily and pinned her down.



“Now someone’s in a world of trouble,” Spike said in mock snippiness.



Faith laughed and shrieked out obscenities as his hand came down on her ass. She wiggled her best wiggle knowing that the muscled one-armed grip around her middle would only get tighter.



“Where are you going? I’m not done talking to you. Anyway, you can just stay right where you are for now,” Spike said.



It took a second for Faith to realize he was talking to the phone and not her, as his grip on her went slack and she was free, or encouraged, to go. Faith thought that he’d have hung up on whoever it was by now.



“Are you sure I was underestimating your intelligence?” she asked as she sat up on his lap, “You stopped me from flirting with your little phone friend. You could have had your first three-way since your soulless days.”



Faith put her tongue in Spike’s ear. He pushed her gently away.



“I don’t think it will matter to everyone as much as you think,” Spike said to the phone all seriously.



“Fine,” Faith whispered, “I can take a hint after a boot to the head. I’m outta here.”



Faith went to rise, but he wouldn’t permit it. He pulled her closer to him.



“That’s not what I meant and you know it,” Spike scoffed into the phone.



Faith couldn’t see his face as she now relaxed on his shoulder, but she knew he was rolling his eyes.



“I think everyone will understand in the end, that is what I meant. Besides, it seems like you’d rather die than leave where you are since you are suddenly dying to hang up on me, so go,” he sighed.



Spike sighed again and put down his phone.



“So you have secret girlfriends? I knew you had to be getting laid more than you let on. Why didn’t you ever tell me? I’d have been happy for you. A little less than thrilled now,” Faith said.



Faith was an idiot and she knew it. This was the part where she was hoping he would say that he just told the other girl they had to stop, because he and Faith were no longer just friends. But how could Faith ever believe him since he hid the truth in the first place? She couldn’t leave his lap with the grip he had on her hip.



“I have no secrets from you. Not girlfriends or secret girls who are my friend. She is my friend and you know her. She is just a bit shy right now, going through a bit of trouble and wanted to talk to me is all,” he said as his hands traveled up her back.



She caressed his face. Ever since Faith could touch Spike without him bursting into flames it was like she desperately had to do it. It was true that she desperately wanted to touch him when he would have burst into flames for it. It was so wrong. If Faith had given into that desire she would have killed Spike, so she had fought it. Now he was alive, and the fire that wanted to burn him all up was gone, but there was a new one.



“Dawn? Is it Dawn?” Faith smiled, “I heard she was having a rough time lately. I’m glad she’s letting you in again.”



“So it really decided to rain here in Santa Monica. It never does that,” he said. “You know what that means?”



“We should enjoy it and go under the sky light to watch it,” she said taking his hand and getting up.



“Well, yes,” he said, “Watch it get all wet… Feel it come down.”



He worked his hand between her legs, and she instantly shut her eyes while she gripped his shoulders. Yeah, his hands could cause instant flash floods between her legs. He should have a danger sign on them, or it should be on her, but that wasn’t fair. Spike caused it. No, they were both dangerous. Spike took his hand away to pull her face to his and kiss her.



“It means big things are coming, when the world does things it’s not supposed to,” he said.



“What?” she asked as her eyes flew open.



Was this wrong? Was she not supposed to do this or feel this way? Faith knew there were reasons why being with Spike wasn’t the best idea. But she couldn’t even name what or who they were right now if there was a sudden pop quiz. It just felt so right. It was true that other things had felt right before, but not like this. Come to think of it the other things that felt right really felt wrong compared to this.



“Rain in the desert, especially in a wonky desert like LA,” he said, “Usually means big things are coming.”



“Right,” she drawled, “and I think I know what it is.”



“You do?” he asked earnestly, “You mean you know about--- What do you know? Did you have a prophetic Slayer dream?”



“I keep having to tell you I’m not a Slayer anymore, princess, and even when I was I didn’t have the dreams. I just have really weird dreams, if I’m lucky, if I’m not they can get pretty hairy,” she pushed off a chill and walked him backwards out of the guest room.



“And I keep having to tell you, once a Slayer always a Slayer. So what if you are minus the muscle, you think that’s all a Slayer is supposed to be?”



“Kind of, yeah,” she said, “I think you just have a kink about wanting to fuck one. Whatever you need to believe. Even if I can’t throw you across the room, I know I still have mad skillz or else you’d be out the door already.”



“You have a mad head is more like it. I told you,” he said as he pushed her down roughly on to the bed, so that she let out a grunt.



He held her wrists together in one of his delicate looking super vice-grip hands. He ran his hand down her stomach until he got to the slash scar and stroked it.



“The reason I fall in love with the chosen Slayers is because the powers that chose them have very good taste, similar to mine. They just don’t go picking any silly bint, you know. They pick the best girl in all the world, the one who has the most power and brains on her own, so she can take what they have to give.”



Spike sucked at her bite scar and stroked the slash scar on her stomach. Then his hand would trade places with his lips, slowly and sometimes roughly finding their way back to either scar. Sometimes his hand or his lips would get lost between her legs or at her tits, but one thing was always at one of Faith’s scars, if not both.



“Spike, niiig,” she said breathily as her body shook.



Faith was trying to say “no” or “wait” or something and totally blowing it. Instead she got out whatever it was she just said. Spike didn’t know what he was messing with and Faith wasn’t sure either. She was in free fall and it felt like he was pulling a rip cord inside her body, and the parachute had opened up between her two scars or inside them. Faith didn’t think she could get beyond the screaming noise he made her make. That had been something new. Faith had already given it a name, she called it her “slasher movie girl wail,” and Spike totally approved. Now this was one up on that. What she felt was beyond what she could express in sound. Release. Release. Release. Faith didn’t know that she could just keep letting go like that. That was why he should stop—had to stop. She felt so fucking good all the shit in her had to be going somewhere. She was sure she was going to set Spike on fire again, because the opposite feeling of this had to be being burned alive.



“Stop, stop. Don’t want you on fire,” she managed to whisper in a moment that he released both of her scars.



He let go of her wrists, and she instantly wrapped her arms around him, and rolled him over. He was so strong it was ridiculous, but he always rolled right over when she pushed for it. Faith rode the hell out of him and the slasher movie girl wail came out more often then not. It actually seemed to be a constant, like some girl was being slowly taken apart piece by piece, but it felt like quite the opposite. It was really Spike that Faith felt sorry for. It was true she didn’t have the strength of a Slayer anymore, but she couldn’t remember riding someone so hard when she did. When she could think she didn’t know how a man could be so rock hard and still with her. How could he not want to explode? When she thought about this it only made her explode all over again time after time, and when it was done he was still there for more, and then that only made her do it more. She thought it was a never ending cycle. Then Faith could see in Spike’s eyes the joy he was having from not exploding. It was all in the thrill of the chase and not the catch for him, or maybe knowing that when he caught it, it would be better the longer he waited.



They were like those weird shaped blocks they used in that test to see how stupid you were, if you put one on top of the other and twisted one just right they fit perfect. She told him that she wanted him inside her every second of every hour of every day. She told him no one had gotten so deep inside her. He went the deepest, she said. She didn’t know how clearly she was saying it, or if she was just grunting out noises like before. It didn’t matter, and then he let go. A huge rush. A release that made Faith want to just live and die because this was what it was all about and it was happening at this very moment and then it would be over.



He was actually speechless. Faith wanted to make a joke about it, but so was she. She loved rising and falling as she lay on his chest. A good screw made him pant like any other man, not that he was like any other man. She wanted to joke: So much for not needing to breathe, but anything anybody said or thought would just ruin this. Time itself moving forward would ruin it.



“I love you, Faith,” he said.



Okay, maybe that didn’t ruin it.



“See,” she said, “I told you I knew the next big thing that was coming.”



Spike laughed. Faith could tell it was from deep within from the way she heard it in his chest and the way his whole gut moved. That was the other thing she could do—make him laugh, besides make him listen and save his life, and now she could fuck his brains out. Not bad. Maybe she really did have mad skills. She could feel her eyelids grow heavy as he rubbed her head and her back. She could hear his hands rub by her ears and still hear the rain.



“Mmm, yes, sleep, love,” he said like she had just had a brilliant idea.



It did seem like a pretty good one, actually.





“Wow, okay maybe coming here was a pretty good idea,” Robin said, “This is Angel’s company. I gotta say, I’m impressed.”



Robin said as he made himself stand tall as some suits walked by. Alistair told Robin that Wesley Windom Pryce had suddenly decided he didn’t want to be part of the New Council. Alistair was here to convince him otherwise. Robin wanted the guy on their side too even if he was working for a formerly evil corporation, so he came along. This was a very different environment than being around kids all day. One he might be able to get used to, but no. This company was no good just like much of corporate life. On the whole it wasn’t making the world a better place, and despite his recent apathy, Robin knew he still wanted to do that.



“Too bad it’s all financed by evil,” Robin sighed in a low voice to Alistair.



Robin wanted to make sure Alistair knew he hadn’t forgotten. He was going to have his eye on things and if the slightest thing happened he didn’t like, he was out.



“We aren’t evil,” a round faced woman with long golden hair snipped.



“The Los Angeles branch of Wolfram and Hart is strictly for the good,” she said.



“Um…” was all Robin said to her, but he said it haughtily and gave the woman a principal’s glare.



“Sorry, I can’t help it. Vampire hearing. It comes in handy when people are saying bad things about you,” she said.



“You’re a vampire,” Robin felt his eyes widen, “but I thought there were only the two of them…with the souls. Not that it matters.”



It didn’t matter. This woman kind of looked like Barbie. Faith and Robin used to joke that the souled vamps were like Ken dolls- one a business man, the other a punk. Maybe they were all just little dolls. Stereotypes of humans, since they were not human. Now Faith had taken off to fuck the punk rocker Ken doll. If punk guys lived the stereotype they were no good. If only Spike was nothing more than the unemployed punk that would be great. But he had power, he needed to be stopped.



“Oh, I don’t have a soul,” the Barbie woman laughed.



“You don’t have a soul, and you’re a vampire who has a job working here at this place, which you say isn’t evil?”



“I don’t drink human blood. We have random tests every day, and if anyone tests positive they are automatically fired and then it’s looked into. If they are found to be killing people, then sfffft,” she made a cutting motion across her neck.



“And this happens a lot?” Robin asked with a raised brow.



“I guess I shouldn’t really be talking about it,” the girl said, suddenly anxious, “Why don’t I just take you to Wes’s office myself.”



Robin found he was now following the curvy blonde vampire as she was chatting away with Alistair. She was talking about cyborgs and Wes’s father. Robin found he wasn’t really listening. He was thinking more about all the things that were troubling him lately. He was more than tired of watching Spike and Faith in that god damned house. Robin didn’t know what he hated more—when he was forced to watch them fuck like animals or when they talked. Well, no, he knew which he hated more. Spike had done something to Faith. That prophecy said Spike would turn Faith into something else, something bad, and he had. Robin didn’t recognize the woman that Spike was with. She seemed to exist only to screw the vampire. To Robin’s horror, Faith even told the runt that was all she wanted to do with herself--fuck him. She would talk about giving up her Slayer strength for Spike’s life like it was some kind of joke. When Faith was with Robin being a Slayer was all she cared about. Why would she be happy to be powerless with Spike unless he had done something to her? And Robin couldn’t even bare to think about what she had said to Spike during sex, so he didn’t. But, Robin kept watching because he wanted—needed-- to understand what the vampire was doing to her. He needed to know so he could stop it.



He wanted to stop all the demons, or at least do all that was possible to control them. He had it with all this picking your battles bullshit. Robin just wanted one thing—justice—for his mother and everyone like her. Justice for the people who couldn’t go on with their lives while the others who did things to them had. A devil-looking demon in Dockers passed Robin, so did some kind of demon with a big pale bald head. He had some kind of mini-me on a leash. Alistair and the girl didn’t even notice, as he seemed to be enjoying talking to the blonde vampire.



“Here’s Wes’s office. Not here as usual. He’s probably off contemplating this whole thing, ever since that thing with his Dad, well, not his Dad…He’ll pop up,” the Barbie Vampire sighed.



Someone sprang up from the big desk and dropped a huge pile of books on it with a loud thud. Robin jumped and his hands balled into fists. There were a lot of demons and bad vibes around here.



“Oh, sorry,” her sweet voice said, “I didn’t mean to jump out at ya. I’m just having trouble lugging heavy things around these days with the one arm on sabbatical.”



It was a girl with long honey brown hair, with her arm in a sling. She was adorable. She had a little perky face and he missed big brown eyes looking sheepishly at him like that. There was softness to her that Faith didn’t have. Robin was sure she wasn’t a vampire or a demon.



“No, I’m sorry,” Robin cleared his throat, “You just weren’t at all what I was expecting.”



“Yeah,” she chuckled, “Don’t mind me. Wesley and I have a lot of common interests, so I’m always messin’ with his stuff and he’s always messin’ with mine.”



For some reason this made the vampire girl snort.



“In a completely professional way of course. I’m Fred,” she said holding out her hand that wasn’t in the sling.



“Glad to hear it,” Robin said, “I’m Robin.”



“Oh!” she gasped excitedly as if he said he was Tae Diggs, “You- you are that principal from Sunnydale—Faith’s boyfriend. Oh gosh. It’s so great to meet you.”



“Wow,” he said, “Are Principals celebrities where you come from?”



“No,” she said, “But from where you’re from they should be, or at least you should be. Being in charge of a school that’s over a Hellmouth can’t be an easy day’s work. I heard about it opening again. I’m really sorry, but from what Faith says about ya, I’m sure ya can handle it.”



“You’d be surprised how much a high school doesn’t change when there is a Hellmouth lurking under it,” he said, “You know Faith? She talked about me?”



“Of course,” Fred said, “I saw her just a few days ago after we got her out of the ocean. I hear she’s doing much better. She wasn’t too happy that day. She thought I let Spike die, and it was just a big ol’ mess. Oh! You must have been out of your mind. Her tryin’ to die like that in order to let Spike live even though he wanted to die for her. If I was you I probably would just wish Faith would stop bein’ such a hero, but I’m selfish like that…”



Robin saw Fred looking past him and turned and saw Wesley Wyndom-Pryce coming into the office.



“…when I love somebody,” she finished.



“Angel wanted you to know that he’s going straight to Italy after he drops his kid in Santa Monica. There’s something going on there. Some werewolf hunting-eating thing. I told him what you said about The Immortal being able to handle it, but he just made that face. You know that face?” the Barbie vamp asked like she really wanted an answer.



“Yes, Harmony,” Wesley sighed, but he then looked at something and smiled. Fred.



“So while Angel’s away you’re the boss, boss,” the vampire Barbie was still talking.



“Terrific. Just what I needed,” Wesley said flatly.





Wesley looked much less beat up than the last time Robin saw him. He still looked tired and scruffy though. Robin didn’t blame him. He wouldn’t want to be in charge of this freak show no matter what it paid.



“Mr. Crowley,” Wesley said even more flatly, “As if I didn’t know why you were here, and let me save you a lot of time. I’m not going to change my mind in rejoining The Council; in light of recent events I don’t think it would be the wisest way for me to spend my time and resources.”



He then said, “Oh, hello Mr. Wood,” as he looked a little surprised to see Robin.



“Miss Kendall was just telling me all about those recent events. How ghastly. Imagine, thinking you had killed your own father. Although, I guess it depends on who your father is. But, I am sorry, Wesley,” Alistair said before Robin could respond to Wes.



“It’s Mr. Wyndom-Pryce. Why don’t we go into the conference room to talk?” Wesley said to Alistair in that pleasant but obviously furious English way Robin grew up with.



Wesley quickly left his office and Alistair followed with a grin.



“Way to introduce us, Wes,” Fred muttered.



“Don’t worry. That’s just my gramps—adopted obviously, but I don’t know what’s going on either. Who’s Miss Kendall? And he didn’t just say Wesley killed his own Father,” Robin sighed.



He knew he should probably be in there with Alistair, putting the pressure on Wes to come into the Counsel, but Robin didn’t understand why Alistair wanted him so badly. He probably was excited about the idea of access to this company. Robin could gladly live without them, but maybe not everything in this company was bad. Fred smiled at him.



“Hello! I’m Miss Kendall, and I told you Wes shot a cyborg that was disguised as his Dad,” the vampire huffed, “You’re the new Principal of Sunnydale High, and the Slayers boyfriend? You’re not going to last very long there if you can’t pay attention, no matter how hot and built you are.”



“Harmony!” Fred warned the vampire gently.



“No,” Robin laughed despite himself, “Maybe she’s right. Maybe we should just leave Sunnydale to the vampires, since they get all the good stuff that goes with it.”



“Vampires got a hold of that new outlet mall? Finally free pratta!” the vampire said.



“Well,” Robin said, “that would explain why a lot of the students go there for lunch and never come back. But, I was talking about Faith; she’s with Spike now. Maybe it is about how hot and strapping you are, but it’s also about how much you like to fight, even if it’s pointless.”



He wasn’t looking at the vampire at all, but straight into the eyes of Fred.



“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know, but I know you can’t think the fight is pointless or you wouldn’t be here, doing what ever it is your doing. What are you doing?” she said.



This was a person that cared for good people, and thought everyone should do the same. He felt a tug out of the numbness he had been feeling. When he started talking to Fred about what had happened with Faith it just felt so natural, like it was just the two of them in the room.



“Me?” Robin answered, “I’m not looking for a fight anymore. I’m looking for a way to end the fighting. I guess I never was much of a fighter. I always kept losing sight of the mission in favor of the people I cared about, and what did it get me? You were right I did want Faith to stop being the hero. Especially if it meant her trying to die for a vampire. Our relationship couldn’t survive that, well that and the fact that she was a big meat eater, and I’m a vegetarian.”



“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that,” Fred said.



“Oh, I don’t have anything against eating meat. She just always was pressuring me to do it too. I guess now she’s with a real carnivore,” Robin said.



“I meant looking for ways to end the fight,” Fred laughed, “and of putting the people you love ahead of everything else. I think that’s why we have to keep fighting though, for the people we love, for a better world. Sometimes the people we love have their own battles to fight, and we can’t do it for ‘em. Risking her life for the Champion Vampires is what Faith does.”



“No, it’s not right!” The Barbie vampire suddenly yelled as she knocked over some books, “Why does Spike have to be a Slayer Whore Loving Freak?”



“Harmony,” Fred said, “Maybe you should go to lunch now.”



“No, I think she’s right for the most part. I mean when has a vampire being with a Slayer ever done anything but cause grief? Why should a Slayer ever die for a vampire?” Robin asked.



“Well, I don’t know, but it seemed like that was what Faith wanted. She was willing to die to save Spike and Angel, and only Spike or Angel had a right to stop her from doing it,” Fred said.



Before Robin could argue the vampire was talking again.



“Well, that’s a Slayers job, right? Angel and Spike don’t have to be all good; they just want to. But, a Slayer has to do it. They got called or something, and throwing themselves to the lambs is—like—what they have to do. I mean, why can’t they just do their job? Why do Slayers have to hook up with vampires and ruin every thing?” the vampire said.



“Um, sorry, throwing themselves to the lambs?” Fred asked.



“Yeah, ya know. Dying for the good of the world. Isn’t that what all the Slayers are supposed to do?” she asked.



“No!” Robin said firmly, “There job is to kill vampires, and it’s the vampire’s job to die. That was what was supposed to happen. Spike was supposed to die for Faith, not the other way around, and that’s why I’m here.”



“You’re here to hurt Blondie Bear!” the vampire shrieked, “Well, I don’t care if he is with that butch Slayer whore. I won’t let you.”



All of a sudden she was in front of Robin, and she was a vampire indeed. Her placid round face turned into a demon’s.



“Harmony quit it,” Fred said calmly as she had worked her way in between Robin and the vampire with surprising speed, “I’m sure Robin isn’t here to hurt anyone.”



“No,” Robin said as he felt his breathing slow down. He was pretty sure if Fred hadn’t stepped between them, Robin would have been able to grab the stake in his jacket pocket and get this vampire.



“I’m not here to hurt anyone,” he said, “At least not things that don’t deserve it, like animals. Did she just say she wasn’t going to let me hurt a bear?”



“She means Spike. Apparently, they dated once,” Fred said as she had a hold on the vampire’s arm.



“I had him before any of the Slayers. I tried to help him get the chip out of his head. I gave him everything he wanted. It’s not fair. I know I have to be a better girlfriend than that slut-bomb uber-dyke one,” the vampire sniffed.



Robin had never seen one cry before.



“Hey! You’re talking about the woman who was my girlfriend two weeks ago,” Robin said less firmly than he would have liked.



“Not to mention a woman that helped saved the world,” Fred said.



“Has anyone not dated Spike by the way?” Robin smiled sadly.



“Well, I haven’t,” Fred said.



“Thank God,” he sighed.



“I don’t care what that ho’ did for the world she--- “the vampire began angrily and then stopped herself, “Oh, I’m sorry. I guess she was just your girlfriend, and I don’t really know her. She couldn’t be so bad dating hotties like you and Spikey. How long were you together? Do you think she’ll be good to him? I heard Buffy might as well ripped out his heart and stepped on it. She won’t do that will she? Well, I guess she kind of did that to you, didn’t she? I mean it sounds like she left you for Spike. Do you think she’ll hurt him?”



“We can all hope,” he said, “Fred, it was a pleasure meeting you. I think I’m going to go to the room where the grown ups are talking about ending the fight. You should join us.”



“I’d love to, but I’m in the middle of trying to find a way to cure a mystical flesh eating virus. Things like that don’t stop unless you fight ‘em,” she said.



“Maybe someday you can stop them all,” he said.



“No,” she shook her head, “viruses always mutate, but I’ll show you to the conference room.”



Robin was disappointed when Fred showed him to Wes’s office only to leave quickly, but he supposed that she had to go fight her mutating viruses. Wesley made it clear with his face that no one was to say a word in Fred’s presence. Maybe she wouldn’t understand all that they planned to do to really end the fight. Maybe she was like Faith in her own way. Maybe she too was young and naïve and thought their way was the only way. In the end Robin was just relieved to get away from that idiot blathering vampire that Fred tolerated. It would be good to sit down with some adults.



“You, sir, are a coward!” Alistair said smugly to Wes as soon as Fred was out of earshot.



“I thought I asked you to leave,” Wes said.



He had a really impressive look of repressed fury on his face. Robin remembered how Alistair could get you that mad.



“Really, and I thought you were different from your father,” Alistair went on, “It seemed like you were a man who knew what needed to be done, when you thought you killed him not a week ago. But no, you are just like him, all bluster but by the book.”



“Really?” Wes questioned, “Because I don’t think torturing one of the most powerful warlocks until I find out how he knows what happened here not a week ago is by the book.”



Alistair only smiled at Wes, like this was an empty threat. Robin wasn’t too sure if it was, or if it wasn’t how he felt about it. Robin knew Alistair was a nosey old coot, who liked to use other people’s personal issues to manipulate them. He knew that Alistair had done just that to him to get him back into the mission, and even at 34, Robin was Alistair’s second chance to attempt to have some kind of a lineage, and a way for Alistair to get back at his own son. Robin wasn’t a fool. He knew what the old man was up to, but this time he was right in what he wanted to accomplish.



“Wesley, I know Alistair doesn’t have the best history, with the cult and the attempt to take over the world but—, “Robin began.



“Attempts,” Wesley said plainly, “Your former guardian has been around for a very long time. Some say he must be using some black magic in order to still be alive, but I’m not one to take stock in rumor. What I know for certain is that his idea with what to do with the New Counsel in not one I want to be part of.”



“Okay,” Robin sighed, “Number one he was never my guardian, Bernard was and number two why wouldn’t you want to at least try to make soldiers out of demons. That way they can fight the mission for you. They can all kill each other and stop killing us, or are you happier making them your office workers so you can fight the mission in a great big office? You are in danger of losing people everyday—people like Fred, when you can easily have that bimbo vampire die in her place. I lost all my people, my women.”



“Bernard Crowley, yes. He must’ve been a wonderful guardian,” Wes seemed to relax and get an almost dopey smile, “He was my incantation professor. He always had the best jokes and when the other students tormented me he— Never mind.“



Suddenly he stopped himself from talking and he seemed to snap quickly back into the composed man Robin knew.



“Yeah, Bernard and Celia are terrific. I couldn’t have asked for anyone to protect me from this world who would have been better—accept my mother. But, I’m not a scared kid anymore that wants to read about Slayers dying in books, and neither are you,
" Robin said.



“Bernard Crowley is your son. I always seem to forget. Well, it is not as if you are alike,” Wesley finished stiffly to Alistair as he seemed to ignore Robin.



“No, we’re not,” Alistair smiled, “He has gone the way of ineffectual, much of how you were as a Watcher, if I’m not correct.”



Robin felt his nose twitch with anger as he sucked in his breath. That wasn’t fair to say about Bernard, or true, even though Bernard had really wanted to walk away after Robin’s mother died. Wesley rose as if he was about to hit Alistair.



“Okay,” Robin sighed, “Everyone just relax, and let’s just stick to the issue at hand. I think we all want the same thing—to control the demons. God! How you were ever a cult leader, I’ll never know, Pops. You’re about as charming as a snake.”



“Oh, I think a lot have people have been charmed by snakes. Look at all the Slayers you’ve known, but unlike those forbidden fruit offering slitherers I’m offering you all to be a part of something where the world can benefit. My son, Mr. Windom Pryce, doesn’t want to be apart of it because of old grievances. I’d like to think that you are above that,” Alistair said.



“I don’t understand, Crowley,” Wesley looked at him with narrowed eyes, “You told me that you have the majority of the surviving Counsel on your side for this. What do you need from me?... You don’t need me at all, do you? You need Fred! You want the resources of Wolfram and Hart’s science department to create the technology to control the demons.”



“My, my, my,” Alistair laughed, “Aren’t we preoccupied? I’m sure your girl is lovely. One of the best, but I’m afraid I already have the best girl for the whole gadget Robby the robot part of the job. She comes from a long line of—enthusiastic inventors. I’ve been watching Wolfram and Hart’s departments since before you were born, and they, and your best girl, are wonderful at maintaining what they want—be it good or evil, if you want to go on about semantics. Where you lack is in your desire to create something new for yourselves.”



“Then, I need you to help me to understand,” Wesley said, “Why exactly are you here if you don’t need Wolfram and Hart’s resources?”



“Oh, dear boy,” Alistair sighed, “I thought it would be obvious. Your father must have really done a number on you. What I would like is you.”



“Me?”



“One of the finest members the Counsel ever had; I’ve also been watching you for a while. You do what needs to be done in a way the Counsel never could, so what if being a Watcher wasn’t your forte? The New Counsel needs rogue thinkers like you. You brought out Angelus when he was of use to you. You took the child of the two vampires in order to protect him even though it was a great risk to you,” Alistair said.



“I—I don’t…How do you know of that reality? Angel had it erased,” Wesley demanded.



He almost looked afraid for a second, but then he just looked angry. Faith had told Robin all about how Wes had kidnapped the kid and put him in some place where time moved different, and that was why he was all grown up and pissed off like he was. Angel did some magic to try to give the kid a good life, and the price was he had to be forgotten. Robin didn’t know why Wesley seemed surprised Alistair knew about this. It seems like the spell hadn’t worked. The kid only seemed happy around Faith, and he was making sure no one forgot him by being Spike’s pain in the ass side kick.



“I’m Alistair Crowley, son. No one can choose what reality to reveal to me, and they shouldn’t be able to do it to you either. I don’t understand why your superior would hide your decision from you, especially since the boy seems to have been better off because of it. Maybe it’s time that you made some of your own decisions again, and this time you could be the one to hide the reality from your vampire superior,” Alistair said.



“Spike,” Wesley seemed to come to a realization, and was pleased with himself.



“The New Counsel wants to put the chip back in Spike’s head and they need me to do it, because I’m the only one that can hide it from Angel. They know Angel would stop it when all was said and done. But, why are they so interested in putting the chip back in Spike’s head?”



“What?” Robin demanded, “That’s not why we need you. Angel trusts Spike as much as I do. Why would he stop us from putting the chip back in Spike’s head?”



“Perhaps the real question should be: why aren’t you interested in putting a chip in the head of that ruffian?” Alistair asked Wes, “He and that vampire child nearly crippled you with that beating. I think you were right to take that boy away. Vampires in his clan seem to make him dangerous and violent. But, after the chip was back in Spike he could never be dangerous again. He wouldn’t be able to beat on any human ever again unless he was ordered to because it is for the greater good.”



“All right!” Wesley said fiercely, “Now I demand to know how it is you know about the encounter I had with Spike and Angel’s son.”



“Encounter with Spike and Angel’s son? Do I want to know about this?” Robin asked gently. Then he realized it all almost instantly:

“Spike and Connor were the ones that beat on you that time when you were walking around with the cane and the various shades of purple for your face! Why? Oh, it was over Faith, wasn’t it?”



Robin knew he was often the last to get wind of all the different realities in this world, but no matter how different they were they all were basically the same. The demons couldn’t be trusted.



“How did you know, Crowley?” Wesley demanded of Alistair.



“Don’t be a dimwit, Pryce. You were discussing the idea of putting the chip back in William’s head after he beat you to a pulp with the Mick brat,” Alistair actually seemed to lose patients for a moment.



“I didn’t even discuss that with my closest friends. The only people I discussed the possibility of that with was—“



“You’re friends in the Yank government. Do you really think you’re the only Englishman they sit down to tea with? I hate to tell you, but they seemed to be charmed by the lot of us. The more public branches may have The Prime Minister in their pocket, but you know we have it all over them when it comes to controlling demons. There not to blame really. Such a young country,” Alistair was smiling again.



“And just like Angel’s son, the young are dangerous when they get into the wrong hands,” Wesley said flatly.



“Exactly!” Alistair beamed, “So, here is our chance to have it all be in the right hands.”



“Why do I highly doubt that? Tell me Crowley, why are you so interested in Spike? Why now? Why this way? Why not just destroy him with magic? And if you are as redeemed as you say, why are you doing it now after he has become a Champion? ”



“Will people stop using that word? You of all people know that Spike is no angel. You of all people should be interested in helping us before he hurts Faith again,” Robin said.



“You’re right. Spike is nothing like Angel. He’s crude, and reckless, and I have to say when I heard that he and Faith were having a liaison at a summer house where I once had my own…Well, let’s just say I lost my apatite. I have no doubt that Faith has made a bad choice in choosing Spike over a real man like you, but I fail to see where putting a chip into his head---” Wesley began.



“It isn’t about that. That isn’t even what happened. I don’t think you understand what this is all about—“



“And I don’t think you do either, Mr. Wood. I know that you and Alistair are like—well you’re essentially family, and I do know it’s difficult to admit when your family may not have your best interest at heart, but I know what men like Alistair are like, and this isn’t adding up. He has other motivations.”



“Don’t you think I know that?” Wood found he was yelling at a man he didn’t know very well, “He wants to be the King of the Counsel. Rule it how he sees fit. Maybe it’s just like how your vampire boss wanted to be in charge of this place. I don’t care. It’s not about me wanting Faith for myself. I just want her safe, because that’s what’s right. But it goes way beyond Spike and even Faith. I want justice. I want it for everyone, for good, forever. I want no more women dying or being forced into being death’s whore. I want no more motherless children with fathers who are just soldiers that know how to just chip at an ever growing virus of evil. What do you want to get out of working here? Please tell me it’s more than wanting Fred for yourself. Because if that’s all you want and then you get it, one day you’ll probably just be nothing more than a lonely soldier in this mission. But at least you’ll have this fancy office.”



“I do want her; I don’t think I’ll ever have her,” Wesley surprised Robin by answering him, “So, it has to be about something else for me—sometimes I don’t even remember what my other reasons are. But, I know I want to make a better world for her to live in, and I don’t think that involves controlling a vampire with a soul,” Wesley said firmly.



“Very well, then. Be happy with one controlling you,” Alistair said.



“Good one, pops,” Robin said to Alistair as they were walking out of Wolfram & Hart.



Alistair was always great at getting the last word, even if it wasn’t quite true.



“The Council can get to Spike without Wes’s help though? Right? You were just saying that to get Wes to join us, right? I mean, why wouldn't Angel be happy that we stopped Spike from hurting people?” Robin asked Alistair in the elevator.



“Blood is thicker than humanity, Robin,” Alistair said.



“What?” Robin said, “You’re saying because they are both vampires with souls that Angel won’t let it happen. I don’t agree. I think he puts up with Spike because Angel is a good guy, and knows Spike has done some good, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to stop him from screwing everything up, with his kid, with Faith. I’ve seen him throw the little shit across a room.”



“Maybe so, but as much as family hurt each other they get a little touchy when outsiders come in and try it. Remember when the Council came to get me and Bernard helped me escape. My boy, better at running than confronting,” Alistair smiled nostalgically.



“Bernard didn’t run, well at least not that time. He whipped their asses with that spell. It was pretty cool how he had them all remembering you as dying in the forties for a while. But, Angel, Spike just because they are both souled vampires doesn’t make them family,” Robin said.



“No, it doesn’t,” Alistair smiled, “What makes them family is the same thing that makes us family. Angel is Spike’s Grand-Sire. You do realize Angel had his soulless days to? Angel essentially created Spike. He taught Spike everything about the unseemly parts of life, more than his Sire ever did.”



“Why am I the last person to know everything?” Robin said in a low, but fierce voice, “So, that’s it. We can get a hold of other demons, but we’re not getting Spike.”



“Patients, son, patients,” Alistair said, “I thought that Spike wasn’t your main reason for doing this. I thought you had noble reasons, unlike my shameful ones, you were so ready to agree with Pryce about.”



“I do have noble reasons,” Robin insisted, “Stopping Spike is just part of them.”



“It looks like you’ll have to put that ambition on hold,” Alistair said “But, every reality starts with dreaming.”





“Good job, Kitten,” Daddy said.



Yeah! She had fired two arrows in the heart of the paper target vampires. She did it twice in a row. Her half sister could never do that. She wasn’t special like Kennedy, even if Daddy had just come back from seeing her. Kennedy was sure they didn’t do fun stuff like this.



“Do you love me the best, Daddy?” she asked as she ran to him.



She made sure she unloaded and put down the cross-bow before she did it.



A sharp shooter only shoots sharp with safety.



“You know I do,” he said.



He held her to him with one arm, like she was learning to hold the crossbow. Ha! He said it. He loved her best and not Trista. She was the best.



“One girl in all the world, right Daddy?” she said.



She wasn’t really sure what this meant. Those old Council men that talked to Daddy said it about Kennedy or something, and Daddy seemed to like it.



“Right, Kitten. That might be you one day. So, you have to be the best. I know you can do it,” he sighed happily.



“I AM the best, you said,” Kennedy said as she smacked his black T-shirt.



“You are my best girl,” he said.



Her and Daddy were going some where. Kennedy recognized where they were going. It wasn’t so much that she remembered the tiny brick building that Mommy spent so much time in that was so much smaller than the house. It was the broken ladies that were outside the building. They were all lined up to see Mommy. They were waiting for her. Some of them had black eyes and scratches and some of them looked like the Barbie dolls that Kennedy pulled apart. They were holding their plaster arms or legs as they waited.



When you are injured you must assess the damage as quickly as possible and decide whether it is better to retreat or keep fighting.



“One day I’ll get Mom to love me the best. She will love me more than any of those girls that get beat up, those sissy girls,” Kennedy sighed as they past the line of girls waiting for Mommy.



Daddy put Kennedy down inside Mommy’s job place. Kennedy saw Mommy’s office door. It was closed. If Kennedy looked up high she knew she would see that sign that said: “In S-E-S-S-I-O-N” which meant that Mommy didn’t want to see her. If she looked straight ahead all she could see was the door knob. She put both of her hands on it and turned it.



“Kitten,” Daddy said, “You know you can’t go in there. You have to wait.”



Kennedy could tell Daddy didn’t really mean it. He really wanted to see Mommy too.



Timing is everything in a battle strategy. Attacking your opponent when they least expect it helps ensure victory.



A blond girl was crying in Mommy’s office. Something was wrong. There was a man there, and he was yelling. He shouldn’t be there. Mommy didn’t see men in her office. She only saw women who were trying to get away from bad men. Mommy’s office was even in a secret place that wasn’t listed in the phone book so the men couldn’t find it. The Council in England was like that too. Kennedy’s Mommy took her hand even though Kennedy shouldn’t be there like the yelling man. Mommy was scared. Scared like the blond girl. The yelling man had something Kennedy recognized. A bowie knife.



“Run, Kennedy, run!” Mommy whispered and Kennedy did run.



She knew what to do.



When disarming an opponent with a knife you must get control of their hand. Then use your body weight to DRIVE the blade of the knife to the ground. Keep control of your opponents hand and wrist and keep the knife pinned to the ground. Bite his arm, thrust your head back into their face, but keep control of the knife. Then you are free to use the knife against your opponent.



The man was gone. Kennedy wasn’t sure where he went. She just saw Mommy yelling at Daddy.



“You have taught her just to be like the patriarchy. You’ve taught her to be just like men…all you do is solve things with violence. All she is is an instrument of all the war and oppression you breed!”



“Don’t give me that crap. We can’t change who she is and we have to get her ready for what she could become,” Daddy said.



“You mean what she is. You’ve made my daughter into a murderer!” Mommy said.



Kennedy saw something rising out of the floor. Monsters! Horrible ugly monsters.



“Mommy. Daddy,” Kennedy called, but they didn’t hear.



They had pointy ears, and splotchy grey skin with scary wrinkly faces.



“She saved your life. We’ll take care of this,” Daddy said.



“Mommy! Daddy!” Kennedy yelped.



The monsters had no hair and horrible sharp teeth. There were three of them coming out of the floor.



“Yes, cover it all up with your money! I swear, once a fascist always a fascist,” Mommy didn’t see.



“My money bought this place!” Daddy didn’t see.



Kennedy’s parents were gone. She wasn’t a little girl. These things weren’t monsters. They were Turok Han; the first vampires. She knew what to do. Kill them. She just didn’t know how. They began to advance on her, but she wasn’t alone anymore. The Potentials were with her, but they were afraid.



Panic can be your biggest enemy. When in doubt go back to traditional strategy.



“All right, everyone,” she said, “We know how to do this. Form a circle. Back to back.”



She was doing her best, and girls were still dying. Donna. Oksana. Dead. She was not the best.



Then she saw the Turok Han turn to dust. She had been here before. Seen this movie. There was going to be another blond girl standing there when the smoke cleared. Didn’t blondes always star in these things? Only it wasn’t the blond girl. It was a brunette and instead of giving Kennedy a bitchy look she smiled at her.



“Faith!” Kennedy gasped in surprise.



“There’s a new Sheriff in town,” Faith smiled wickedly.



“But this isn’t how it happens. This is never how it happens,” Kennedy told her.



“You’re the one that put me in charge, and now you don’t like it?” Faith demanded.



“No, I like it. I like it a lot. So, I changed things? I made things happen? I’m the best for you,” Kennedy smiled.



Faith frowned that severe frown she had all of a sudden. She was looking at an approaching figure. It was Spike. He had a limp form in his arms. It was a blond. It was Buffy Summers.



“Oh God!” Faith gasped as all of her attention was on Buffy’s body.



“I think the both of us are in trouble, Kitten,” Spike said simply.



“I didn’t do it. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t me,” Kennedy insisted.



“Not with this. It’s Red. She’s bein’ like me. Hiding things,” Spike said.



Before Kennedy could ask what Willow and Spike were hiding, Kennedy saw her girl come bounding down into the basement where they all stood. Kennedy smiled when she saw her despite everything. She didn’t care if Red was hiding something, they’d work on it. Red wasn’t smiling though. In fact her hair wasn’t even red.



“Willow, your hair?” Kennedy questioned, “Are you going Goth? That’s okay, but—“



“Get the hell out of my way!” Willow snapped with her completely darkened eyes.



She knocked Kennedy to the ground. Kennedy was filled with anguish. What had she done to deserve such treatment? Oh yeah. Buffy was dead… again. Kennedy was trying to think of what to say. She wasn’t good at saying the right things about dead girls. Kennedy was better at trying to keep people alive. Well, she knew she couldn’t be any worse than Buffy unless she said Buffy was an idiot who had it coming. That is all the comfort Buffy had given the potentials over the ones that didn’t make it as far as Kennedy was concerned. Then Kennedy saw what Red was trying to do, and she knew just what to say.



“Red, you can’t bring her back. It’s too dangerous. You need to come back to me. I’m the one girl in all the world that can ground you,” Kennedy said.



“There are some things I have to keep to myself. There are some things I have to do on my own,” Willow looked at her with her empty black eyes.



“No!” Kennedy said, “You can’t be without me. You need me!”



Kennedy woke up with a start



“What the fuck!” she demanded to her empty bed.



“What the fuck?” she said more softly.



Willow was gone. Kennedy had convinced her to sleep over even though Dawn was all depressed for a change. If Red had gone back to the Summer’s house to check on an eighteen-year old girl who should be taking care of herself Kennedy was going to lose it.



“Red?” Kennedy called quietly.



Then she remembered Faith wasn’t here. Kennedy found the quietness of her place eerie. Faith should be here snoring as her salvation army TV blasted “Mutant X” or something. That chick better get herself back here.



Faith had called twice. Her first call was cryptic and apologetic. Her second call was even more cryptic and ecstatic. Typical Faith. She thought she was some Mastermind. Any idiot could see what was going on. Not the part where Spike wasn’t crazy or trying to burn some mystical fire into Faith. Kennedy wasn’t quite sure how Spike had gotten over that. But Faith was no fool; she wouldn’t let Spike near her if he was no good. What was obvious was that Spike and Faith were doing it, finally. Faith didn’t want to come out and say it, like it would jinx it or something. She just told Kennedy that “amazing shit that you’d never in a million years guess” had happened. Yeah right. Maybe that whole Spike-is-going-to-burn-hell-into-me song and dance was really about Faith working out her guilt for the fact that she loved the Brit. Sometimes even Kennedy knew when to keep her mouth shut. She wouldn’t call Faith on it, or how clueless she had been about it.



Faith not knowing what was going on in her own head never pissed Kennedy off. What did, was the fact that she had no idea what was going on in her girlfriend’s head. Something was up. Everything had been going so well. Red was going to move into her house, and leave baby-sitting Dawn, leave the ghost of Buffy. Then something had happened. Yeah, Dawn was depressed and having bad dreams. What else was new? It had to be something else.



Kennedy found she was sneaking around her own house even though no one in it was sleeping. She could hear her girlfriend. She was talking to someone quietly. She didn’t want Kennedy to wake up and hear. If it was Dawn with another dream Kennedy would lose it.



“I’m so happy,” Red’s voice shook as it whispered.



She didn’t sound happy. She sounded desperate about something.



“Aren’t you happy? I mean of course you aren’t totally happy. This is hard, but I think it will all be worth it,” Willow said.



They were kind words from a kind woman. They were words that gave Kennedy a sinking feeling, like the one she had when she first got word she had to travel to this town.



“You haven’t lost any baking time. The timer is still on the same place in your oven, and it will go off when it’s good and ready,” Willow said more peacefully now.



Okay, now those were crazy-Willow-like words. Oddly, the lack of sense made Kennedy feel better.



“It doesn’t matter that you’ve only had two and a half boyfriends…It’s the quality not the quan… You didn’t kill two of them, just one, and they always come back to life.” Willow insisted downright cheerfully now.



Okay, what the fuck was going on here?



“Willow!” Kennedy made sure she said her name fully.



“Ah!” Willow jumped as if she were caught on the phone after the dorms had lights out.



“Kennedy,” Willow gasped, “It’s Kennedy.”



Like her girl had to remind herself who Kennedy was.



“What are you doing, baby?” Willow asked.



“What am I doing?” Kennedy demanded, “What are you doing? It’s 3 am! Is something wrong?”



Kennedy found she couldn’t help it, her voice had softened. She felt ashamed for thinking that someone like Red was capable of doing anything other than the right thing. Maybe Kennedy had done something wrong.



“International call,” Willow shrugged, like this explained everything.



“Um, okay, you,” she said into the phone, “I should really go. But, I’ll talk to you more about that thing at that time, okay?”



This all sounded fine and good. Willow and her cute little fairy-tale magic friends in England. But when Willow hung up the phone she looked like someone had just died. It was even worse when she looked at Kennedy and gave a plastic smile.



“Okay, I want to know the truth. You’ve been acting suspicious for days,” Kennedy demanded, “3 am? Talking about boyfriends? Saying it will all be worth it? Did you meet some straight girl? Are you dating her behind my back?”



Willow looked guilty at first, but then she just looked like Kennedy had been the one on the phone talking about ovens at 3 am.



“Um, okay, I am kind of new to the scene. How does one date a straight girl? I don’t think I would begin to know how to cheat on someone, let alone do it with a straight girl. How could you think that?” Willow asked earnestly.



“Well, what am I supposed to think?” Kennedy asked more softly, “You and I were doing great. You were finally going to live here, and now I get all this pushing away, and defensiveness, and you get weird phone calls at 3am and I hear you telling some girl it doesn’t matter how many boyfriends she had because it will all work out.”



“I’m not defensive, and I never said I was going to live here. Why do you keep insisting I said something I didn’t say?” Willow snapped.



“What happened to us, Willow?” Kennedy asked in hurt.



“Okay, maybe I am a little defensive,” Willow said and went to embrace Kennedy.



Kennedy wanted to fold her arms and pull away, but she found she was opening them.



“It’s not what you think, okay?” Willow said, “It’s not about us. It’s got nothing to do with us.”



“What is it then?” Kennedy demanded.



“I can’t tell you, not yet, but it has nothing to do with you and me. So, don’t worry,” Willow pulled back from the hug to give Kennedy a reassuring smile.



“It has everything to do with us if you aren’t telling me about it,” Kennedy swallowed.



“No, it really doesn’t. My life can get very complicated, and there are things I have to deal with on my own. It doesn’t mean that you are not the best thing that’s happened to me in a while. It doesn’t mean I don’t need you,” Willow insisted.



She rubbed Kennedy’s back and kissed her softly on the lips.



“Say more things like that,” Kennedy smiled as she felt Willow’s sweet perky lips on her face.



She let Willow back her out of the room. She had taken her straight girl call into Faith’s room. The room with its punk boy posters, demon skulls, and strewn about black clothing wasn’t really the place for her Goddess. Kennedy found she cared less about why Willow had gone in there and more about the fact that Willow was so happy to push Kennedy out of the room. This was a pushing out Kennedy could live with. Willow’s lips and hands were everywhere. She was magic, a fairy tale, better than a dream.



Dawn’s dream was always so vivid, even though it made no sense. Beyond vivid. More life-like than life so it went off into being post-surreal. Yeah, that was it, post-surreal. You had to know those “post” words to get into college and sound smart. Post-modernism, post-feminism, post traumatic stress. Especially if you took a year off because your school was destroyed in a huge earthquake, or at least that is what you told college interviewers. Why didn’t you just go to school somewhere else? They always wanted to know. Dawn had thought about it. She wouldn’t have even have had to go live with Dad in LA. Xander had this idea that they could move away to...Where was it? Eugene, Oregon. They hadn’t of course. Sunnydale may have risen along with Spike, but it wasn’t him that dragged it up



It was Dawn, in the dream. In her post-real post-sane dream she was the key. In her dreams she kept this place alive. Dawn saw things, understood things in this dream. She got all the truth and the lies. Dawn knew everything that happened and what would happen and why. It was like something Andrew would talk about, the force. Dawn could hear a million voices cry out, she could feel what they felt, see what they saw- or something like that. Totally freaky. She was powerful. The thing was, the funny thing (and so not ha-ha funny) was that as vivid as the dream was she could never remember when it was over, what it was that made it all make sense. She tried to write it down once as soon as she woke up. She would have sworn that she wrote it down and in the morning when she really woke up she would know the truth, know everything. Then, in the morning when she really woke up all that the paper said was: 32.



Of course she did remember some stuff, and of course what she remembered totally sucked, or at least almost totally. She remembered being this one person, or feeling what they felt or whatever. Whoever they were they were in a world of crap. There was this girl that looked like Glory’s nerd sister. Her outfits weren’t as slut-bomb, but she was still a fake blond that thought she was way prettier than she was. Plus she was into torture like Glory, only she was nerdier about it, taking notes and stuff. Actually, if Dawn was into torture notes might be handy. But Dawn always remembered being the one who was tortured.



Wasn’t that always how stuff went for Dawn? Only Dawn didn’t remember it as Dawn, she was this other person. They had a strength Dawn didn’t. They didn’t really care they were being tortured. It wasn’t that they wanted to die; they wanted to live. They wanted to live so bad they “could taste it.” But, they knew they wouldn’t and it was okay.



Dawn never really felt that way. When she didn’t get something she really wanted it was never okay. Dawn really wanted a car. She really wanted to get into a good school. She really really wanted her mother and sister back. She wouldn’t get any of it and it wasn’t okay.
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