She had to keep counting, while the muscles of her arms trembled with the
effort she was putting them through.
It had come back. The rage, that black, gnawing creature she knew so well
was whispering to her, again.
It whispered to her how it didn’t matter how hard she tried. It whispered
to her that she was never going to really change. The creature was still
inside of her, sinking its sharp, little teeth into her soul, making it
Buffy needed her. She knew it; she could feel it in her guts, and God knew
whether she wanted to help her. She didn’t think she had ever wanted
something more…she wanted to help her as much as she had wanted to destroy
Sweat was dampening her hair; it was slowly tracing a cold path along her
spine, making her shiver.
How could she get out from there? She had to. It would have been so simple.
Simple…she should just have to take down one of the guards; she wouldn’t
even hurt them…
She gritted her teeth. Was she going to keep feeling that need forever?
Was she going to keep craving for violence, as much as she craved for
The door of her cell, her isolation cell opened, then immediately closed
behind a figure she couldn’t exactly pinpoint in the obscurity of the cell.
She was often in an isolation cell. She needed to be alone; she had to be,
especially when she felt on the verge of losing what she was achieving.
“Faith?” A female voice called her. It was a soft, harmonious voice, a
voice she had never heard in her life.
Faith narrowed her eyes, when a shaft of light seemed to light the whole
<Time, too much time in the dark…>
“Yep...” She said, slowly rising on her feet.
The woman, who had talked to her, stepped toward her. Her long, blonde
hair almost sparkled like a golden cascade, she was dressed in a cream
colored dress, she almost looked like an angel.
“Who are you?” She eventually asked.
“I’m here to help you, Faith…you want to find your way back, don’t you?”
She got close to her, and Faith could see her eyes, they were green, the
look in them was soulful and old, very old.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about” Faith said lowering her head.
“Your sister of blood is in danger…she needs your help,” The woman
“Aw, well…in case you didn’t notice I’m kinda stuck right now…”
“You’re striving so much for redemption. You need to show to yourself you
have changed…but you’re just spending time in the dark, brooding as your
savior…is that your idea of atonement?”
“Hey, I’m paying for what I did…cell, prison, any of it ringing a bell?”
Faith almost snapped.
“Man’s law is different…there are other laws, older than this…you were
supposed to fight for those forces…”
“Spare me the Cliff notes version of my past, will you? I know it…I was
“You relive it, each moment of the day; you see the blood of the men you
have killed on your hands...” She paused and took a step toward her saying,
“you wanted to be the strongest, the more powerful…didn’t you?”
“It’s the past!” Faith exclaimed, “I can’t change what I've done…I can’t
erase the hurt…”
The woman shook her head, “You have the chance…”
“No, you don’t get it…do you? I could spend the rest of my life trying to
atone for what I did, it wouldn’t change anything…”
“But you can prevent the person you wounded the most from losing what she
“B.?” Faith asked. “What’s happening to her?”
“She’s struggling with something powerful Faith, something which comes
from within herself and there are people who want to hurt her and the
people she loves…”
“I can’t help her…” Faith said lowering her head.
“You can’t or you don’t want to?” The woman asked, “Are you so afraid to
face those people…are you so afraid that they will see you haven’t changed
after all? Are you so afraid that they will just see how good you’ve
gotten at hiding your darkness?”
“I’m fighting it…who the fuck are you to come here and tell me all of this?
Aren’t you supposed to help me?”
The woman shrugged, “I can’t, if you don’t want to be helped…you are the
only one who can help her…really help her…”
“I can’t get out from here…I’d disappoint so many people who trusted me…I’d
“You would help …you would have the chance to see whether it’s worth it…”
The woman gently smiled at her and continued, “I’m sure Angel would
“Can you get me out of here?” Faith asked, “I …don’t want to kill…”
The woman’s smile widened while she nodded at her, “Yes, I can…”
Faith couldn’t help blinking in surprise when the woman’s features changed,
morphed and she found herself looking at herself.
“Son of…” She mumbled.
The woman gently smiled at her and said, “Step at the center of the room.
You will not have weapons…it’s not on them you have to rely on…you can’t
even imagine how really powerful a Slayer can be, Faith”
Faith swallowed while she stepped at the center of the little room. She
could feel her powers; she had always been able to, much more than Buffy.
Perhaps it had been her loneliness, her rage against life, or perhaps just
the fact she enjoyed her strength and heightened senses while Buffy had
been scared by them. She wondered what had happened to her, to let her
discover her dark side.
“How will I come back?” She asked.
“Do you want to?” The woman asked.
Did she want to come back to prison? Of course she didn’t want to. She
hated being in prison, but she had to. She owed it…to the people she had
killed, to Angel who had gone against everything, including Buffy to
defend her, to Wesley who had once told her that he felt that there was
still something good inside of her…and she owed it to herself.
She nodded, unable to do anything else.
“I will bring you back, then…” The woman said.
“Who are you?” Faith asked.
“Does it matter?” The woman said.
Faith shook her head; she hated all the mystical crap that surrounded
Slayers…she always had.
The woman chuckled at her puzzled face then said, “Now just relax…”
She began chanting, in a language Faith had ever heard. The magic in the
room was so strong, so powerful that her skin was starting to itch, and
she had to close her eyes while the woman’s voice grew louder and louder,
yet it didn’t lose its harmonious edge.
She felt matter and space dilating, folding while she left that dark cell.
She didn’t know where she was headed; she just knew she had to help Buffy…
Help her…or die trying.
“I can’t believe it!” Electra exclaimed when Faith left the cell, “that’s
She shook her head and sat on Faith’s bed, producing out of thin air a
little, oval mirror. She knew she couldn’t do a lot, but she was curious
to see how things were going to get.
She knew the Slayer had been taken to an old Lighthouse, that told her a
lot about what was going to happen. The ritual based itself on the
Slayer’s powers…she was pretty sure about that. The presence of the other
Slayer was bound to have consequences.
The council had to be stopped, one way or another. The Slayer had to carry
on her pregnancy…it was necessary for her plan.
“It’s too strange, no one is blocking us…” Giles said in a low voice
They were on the beach, in front of the lighthouse. While Spike and Xander
checked out the perimeter around the lighthouse, making sure no one was
watching them, Giles had begun chanting.
He was right, though; no one had attempted to block them, so far. The
former watcher glanced at Spike; he could see doubts in his eyes.
“I don’t like it-” Spike said, “This is not the procedure…”
“Just out of curiosity, what’s the procedure?” Xander asked.
Giles looked as Spike clenched his jaws. “The Slayer gets deported to the
Council, and after that she is killed.” He eventually said.
“How nice…” Xander mumbled.
“This…” Spike said pointing at the old building, “is not the procedure. It
smells like a trap”
“Oh, you know how they say” Xander said, “If it looks like a trap, it
smells like a trap, it walks…” He shook his head and mumbled, “We can’t
let them kill her…”
“I know…but I don’t like it…” Spike said.
“I agree” Giles commented. He knew it was probably some kind of trap. He
thought about Buffy, her green eyes bright with joy when they had told
their friends about her pregnancy. He thought about their plans, their
The Council had decided otherwise, the Council had decided to storm into
their lives, without giving them a chance. They had already decided Buffy
had reached Obscuritas, and therefore, she had to die…and so had their
Eric had warned him of the strong vibes he had gotten from the lighthouse
and Giles couldn’t help agreeing with him and Spike…that wasn’t the
procedure…it was something else, altogether.
He swallowed, and began casting the other spell necessary to pass through
the magic shields created by the men of the Council.
He opened his mouth to utter the last words of the spell, when a female
voice made him start.
A voice he had hoped never to hear again.
“Hello guys, did you miss me?” Faith said, getting close to them.
“We so didn’t need this!” Xander exclaimed.
Giles’ shoulders slumped, he exchanged a quick glance with Spike, he could
see worry in the vampire’s eyes and he knew it wasn’t just due to Buffy.
He nodded at Spike and said, “Faith…we all believed you were in jail…”
The brunette Slayer got close to them, only when the pale moonlight lit
her, Giles could see how different she looked from the last time he had
seen her: her long hair framed her pale face devoid of any make up; there
was sadness in her dark eyes that were surrounded by deep circles that
Giles had never noticed before.
“I was…but it’s a long story, to make it short…I've been sent here to help
you…” Faith explained.
“By whom?” Spike asked.
Faith looked at him for an instant before shifting her attention to the
lighthouse, she shrugged and said, “Beats me, I haven’t the faintest” She
looked at Giles asking, “So, that’s where B. has been taken?”
It was Xander who spoke, saying, “Yes, it is…and now may we know which
your plans are this time, Faith?”
“I've been sent here to help you freeing Buffy…” She shrugged and said,
“Hey, if the chipped one can help you, why can’t I?” She shook her head
and asked, “So what’s the plan?”
Giles looked at Faith, he had been informed by Buffy about what had
happened in Los Angeles a few months before, he knew everything about
Faith’s apparent changes. Perhaps that was the moment to verify those
He exchanged a long glance with Spike, the vampire nodded at him, only
then did he turn toward Faith saying, “All right, but I warn you, Faith…if
something bad happens to Buffy because of you, I will kill you myself.”
Faith nodded at him, “If something bad happens to B, because of me, I will
let you…” She couldn’t help grinning at him before saying, “Glad to know
you guys have finally tied the knot, Giles…”
She ignored his puzzled face and asked, “So any of you up to a bit of
“The first one has passed through the shield,” Maximillian Hawthorne said.
He was sitting on the floor of a big circular room, similar to the one
where Buffy had been taken. The man was sitting within a white pentacle.
“Perfect” Daniel said. He swallowed, feeling the energies filling the
lighthouse. He had been warned about what was going to happen once the
ritual began…but he hadn’t been prepared to such feelings. He hadn’t been
prepared to the burst of energy that lit up the walls, making the white
brighter, almost dazzling.
“Sir?” Charles asked.
“Yes, Mr. Dutton?” The man asked.
“There might be an occurrence we hadn’t foreseen,” He said.
Daniel frowned before asking, “Specify”
“The other Slayer is here. ” Charles said.
Daniel was sure there had been a hint of satisfaction in his voice. “It
can’t be possible,” He said. “She was in jail not even an hour ago…we made
sure she was put in an isolation cell tonight, before carrying on with the
“The second one has passed through the shield.” Maximillian said. He
looked up from the floor and said, “Sir, it looks like things weren’t so
“I don’t think this is a moment for understatements, Maximillian!” Daniel
said. He got close to the man and asked, “How long until she passes
through the shield?”
The blonde man closed his eyes, waving his hand over four white crystals
in front of him, before saying, “A few minutes…”
“Block her.” Daniel said.
“I can’t…” He replied. “Her energies are too strong…”
Daniel shook his head. He went to one desk, which was under a covered
window and took a little black box from his suitcase. He approached the
man and handed him the box saying, “Use this…”
Maximillan looked at him, perplexed, but before he could talk Daniel said,
“We didn’t overlook the possibility of such an occurrence…use it!”
Maximillian opened the black box; inside of it there was a blue crystal,
yet under the light it sparkled with an unnatural orange light.
Maximillian took it in his hands and stretched them up, murmuring a few
Daniel couldn’t help blinking in surprise when Charles, who had been next
to him until that moment, took a step forward and grabbed the blue crystal
from Maximillian’s hands.
“Bloody hell, Mr. Dutton, what are you doing?” Daniel exclaimed.
“I’m giving the Slayer a fair fight.” Charles replied, throwing the
crystal on the floor and stomping his foot on it, shattering it. Blue and
orange sparks crept under his foot.
“I will inform the Council about that…” Daniel hissed.
He should have expected something like that. Charles had probably agreed
with the younger watchers…he probably thought that the Slayer, that
Slayer, deserved a chance.
“It is within your rights…” Charles said. “I don’t agree with the
procedure, but I’m willing to let it happen. What I won’t tolerate is the
death of another Slayer, sir!” He basically spat the last words.
“Sir,” Maximillian said, interrupting him before he could talk, “I’m
holding the Slayer back…but the shields won’t hold for much longer. Should
we abort the procedure?”
“It’s too late.” Daniel said. “Proceed. Let her pass. The procedure needs
to be performed…”
“Yes, sir.” Maximillian said. He took a deep breath then a few seconds
later he said, “The Slayer has passed through the shield…”
“Mr. Dutton, I hope you are satisfied.” Daniel said, “You’ve given the
Slayer the chance for a fair fight. Of course, it goes without saying that
you have probably given her the chance to unleash hell on Earth…”
He smiled at the young man and said, “Now, would you go and bring the
pregnant Slayer to her loved ones?”
They had entered.
There had been a problem when the brunette Slayer had tried to enter the
Lighthouse for a few minutes, but in the end she had succeeded.
No one of them had noticed him; Xavier looked around, taking in his
He looked at the old lighthouse; his senses overwhelmed by it, strong
smells came from it, he could sense them, sense the Eletti, the Watcher,
the boy and mostly the two Slayers.
He gritted his teeth.
They had names: William, Rupert, Xander, Faith and Buffy.
They were people…
And they were in danger.
He knew what was going to happen and he couldn’t do anything to avoid it.
No one could.
Not the people inside the Lighthouse, not Electra with her powers, not
Eric with his.
He couldn’t do anything to help them.
Even if he had had the powers, he couldn’t have helped them.
God knew whether he wanted to help the Slayer.
But the only one who could help Buffy was herself and her baby.
The power of the Slayer…it could be their end, or their only hope.
If they exited the lighthouse he was going to set things in motion.
Until then, he had to wait…and hope.