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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:34 pm 
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3. Flaming O

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:35 am
Posts: 59
Location: Baltimore, MD
Sorry if the alert of this post gets anyone's hopes up, lol.

I just wanted to drop in, since it's been forever since I've posted a comment on this, to let you know I'm still enjoying this story and can't wait for more.

Take care.


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:15 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 7:19 pm
Posts: 391
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Hi, Azirahael, Mother D, and Mysticrain.

Sorry for the long delay guys. I got halfway through this chapter over a month ago and then I came down with a flu that dragged on for what feels like two months. I spent way too many weeks essentially high on cough syrup and nyquil before I finally got back into the writing. But the next chapter is finally done. I hope you enjoy and that you all had a good enough holiday.

_________________
Time and Time Again


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:20 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Time and Time Again.

Author: Citanul

Feedback: Be kind, rewind? Seriously though all feedback is welcome.

Spoilers: Just about all of them. Go watch the show. And Angel too. Also Agents of Shield a little bit. You know what, if a name you don’t recognize pops up most of the time you can find dozens of pages of character bio if you type that name and the word comics into Wikipedia. It’s almost scary how much page space comic book fans have taken up on that site.

Rating: NC-17 = Smutty smut smut smut. Seriously though they make love quite often.

Pairings: W/T, B/F, G/J, D/J, F/G, A/?, X/A. Also D/C (Though not till they’re older and even then maybe not so much with the graphic detail.)

Disclaimer: You all know I don’t own the rights to characters you’ve seen on TV.

Summary: A story of reincarnation and interdimensional travel made possible through the power of love. What misfortunes will our two favorite love birds be able to prevent with the aid of experience from countless past lives?

Author’s Note: Oh, wow. Okay, sorry again for the delays. Extra long flu season knocked me on my ass and kept me there for too long. But on to the story. Earshot. Epiphany... Kinda wonky but I found some funny bits in there. Buffy is about to be struck with waves of "Too much information!"

*****

Chapter 39: Earshot

The light patter of rainfall and the distant crack of thunder could be heard as one of two figures stirred in the bed. Dim light filled the subterranean apartment as two vampires slowly began to recover from the degradation they had inflicted upon each other. The dark haired male shot up with a gasp as soul-crushing agony filled his being. He struggled to draw unnecessary breath as his hands clutch at the breastbone covering a heart that refused to beat.

The petite blonde at his side purred as his panicked motions slowly pulled her from the depths of slumber. “Don’t fight it, my love.” Darla leaned closer, making every effort to wrap herself around pale muscular arms that had once held her so close. “Just let it happen. It will only hurt for…” The man beside her flinched.

“Eww! Get away from me.” Angel’s disgust cut through any seductive words the other vampire might have planned. “Your breath smells like my balls.”

It was Darla’s turn to flinch and shy away from her dark stallion. “Wait...” She couldn’t believe what her senses were telling her. She peered deep into the still cursed vampire and found the abhorrent light that had turned her away over a century ago. “You still have a soul.”

“Oh, god...” Angel gasped yet again as he took stock of his surroundings. “Oh, god, I can still smell your stink all over my sheets. I’ll have to burn them.”

“Maybe,” Darla said as she tried and failed to comprehend his scorn. The blonde watched as Angel stood up from the bed, wrapping his entire body from just above the nipples down to his feet with the single bed sheet that had covered the only bed in his basement apartment. Darla’s gaze fell back to the bed she was now sitting on while stark naked. She could not see where they had gone wrong. Where she had failed to lift her dear boy’s curse. “But we…”

“Yeah,” Angel said as he paced back and forth, still covered from breast to toe in the lone sheet.

Darla turned back to him with confusion in her quavering voice. “And you…

He nodded. “I know.”

An almost wistful smile played across Darla’s face. “And I…”

“Three times,” Angel said.

“You’re not evil.” This was wrong. “Why aren’t you evil?” Darla still could not understand the problem, and that ignorance sparked a fire deep within the petite blonde vampire. “I was at the top of my game. I was great! You can not tell me that wasn’t perfect!

Angel was quiet for a moment before a single, unenthusiastic utterance left his throat. “Meh…”

That casual disregard took the fire flickering within Darla and fanned it into an outraged inferno. “I don't’ accept that! Not only have I been around for four hundred years, but I used to do this professionally! That was perfect!” A moment passed while the blonde quieted and decided on her next course of action. “We’re going again.”

“Eww, no means no!” Angel’s shouted disgust crashed against Darla’s indignation like a wave of icy water.

“You have got to be fucking kidding me!” The petite blonde could not believe the turn their reunion had taken. “An hour ago you wanted this! I didn’t trick you into anything! I didn’t seduce you! You wanted this!”

“Yeah, and it was perfect Darla. Perfect despair. Perfect misery. That’s all we’ve ever had together. A hundred years of misery and despair.” Angel’s pacing slowed as he turned to take in the sight of the naked blonde before him. “I don’t know why it took me so long to realize… I can’t save you.”

Darla let out an exasperated huff as memories surfaced from so many nights spent with the clients she entertained while still human. “So what? It’s just over because you suddenly decided? You’ve had your fun and now you’re out the door?”

“No, I’m not out the door,” Angel said as he faced his sire once more. “Because it’s my door. I’m gonna go take a shower. Try to wash the shame off every inch of my body. When I’m done you need to be gone.”

The cursed vampire turned and strode into the small ensuite of his underground apartment. He left without another word or even a consideration for the naked blonde standing in his wake. Outrage melted to shock and then confusion as Darla watched the man walk out on her yet again. As Angel turned the knob of his shower a dull scream reverberated through his apartment. It was soon followed by the slamming of doors and the stomping of feet through the office upstairs.

*****

Two demons covered in pale scabby skin chased a petite blonde through the Sunnydale Park. The blonde tripped and came tumbling to the ground beside a swing set. She looked back at the approaching demons and let a wicked smirk play across her face.

“You demons can’t resist a run and stumble, can you?” Buffy said as she leapt back to her feet, ready to fight.

“Nah, B!” Faith called out as she came up behind the pair of demons. “They just couldn’t resist your nice tight ass. I know I can’t.”

“Flattery and sexy times later, Honey,” Buffy said just before she moved to sweep the legs out from under the closest demon. “Slaying these mouthless freaks now.”

“That’s got to be a new one.” Faith said as she closed with the other demon. “Where’d your mouth go ugly?”

“Bet they save a fortune on dentist visit.” Buffy quipped as punches and kicks were thrown back and forth.

“Unless they got their teeth somewhere else, B.” Faith said. “Watch those kicks to the groin. I don’t want any teeth marks scuffing up your sexy come fuck me boots.”

“Thanks for the warning, Honey,” Buffy said as she pulled out a dagger and threw it right at the demon she faced. Buffy’s demon ducked the whirling blade. Without even looking the demon facing Faith snatched the weapon out of the air and slashed at the brunette Slayer. “Shit! Sorry.”

“Ain’t no thang, B.” Faith ducked the slash and brought one boot up in a powerful kick. She connected solidly with the demon’s chest and the mouthless fiend flew backwards. The demon landed on the nearby picnic table. Buffy wasted no time in retrieving her dagger and ramming it into the heart of their stunned foe.

“Shit!” Faith was more than agitated as she came up to her girl’s side. “The other one got away.”

“We’ll get it next time, Honey,” Buffy said. She pulled her girl closer and before either Slayer knew it they were kissing, as was often the case after any taxing slay. Neither Slayer cared to notice the viscous glowing white ooze seeping from the knife wound in the fallen demon’s chest. Neither Slayer noticed the same glowing demon blood as it seeped into the skin of Buffy’s left hand.

*****

“Mouthless demons?” Willow perked up as she and Tara walked side by side with the pair of Slayers. “Oh, oh no. How mouthless? Were they scabby?”

“Yeah, I guess,” Buffy said. The girls came to a stop by their lockers and began pulling out the books they each needed for their next classes. “They just had scabby skin where their mouths should be.”

Before the girls would continue recapping their evening’s Slay for the witches another student called out to a group of letterman jacket clad jocks coming down the hall. “Hogan! Great game man!”

“Hogan Martin thinks he’s sooooo hot!” Xander’s snide remark only served to draw eye rolls from the girls. “Like we should all be awed by him because he put a ball in a net.”

“Hey, Xander.” Hogan greeted the Scooby as he and his teammates drew near.

“He said my name. He knows my name!” The casual greeting was clearly more than Xander could handle from the basketball team’s star player.

“‘Course he knows your name, dude.” Faith shook her head as she put an arm around her girl. “Half the basketball team’s starting lineup and all of the second string survived last year’s swim team. Guys don’t forget the guy who gives them a rousing speech about not letting their dicks fall off.”

“Remember all that hot, sweaty, male bonding you boys did last year?” Buffy’s smirk was only matched by the wicked grin sported by Faith and the sly grin Tara shared with Willow. “Xander, you’ve been friends with most of the jocks at this school for a while now.”

“Plus it helps your cred that a few of them are dumb enough to believe that B and me bat you back and forth in the sack like cats playing with a mouse.” Buffy’s eyes widened in horror at Faith’s playful innuendo. The brunette could only laugh as she watched the confusion in Xander’s eyes glaze over with vacant arousal. Faith continued to chuckle into blonde locks as Percy and a few of the other basketball players following Hogan checked in with Jonathan and Amy about a fifth-period study session.

“See ya, Hogan!” Xander bid farewell to the leader of the departing jocks once they started walking down the hall. The young man then turned and started walking towards his next class. Buffy eventually joined her girl in laughter as the Slayers walked off, arm in arm.

With the next class imminent the hallway began to empty out. Few took notice of the honey blonde gently reassuring the redhead in her arms. None questioned the couple as Tara whispered tender assurances into Willow’s ear. “We’ll find the other demon, Sweetie. We won’t let her go insane.”

*****

“Infect?” Buffy cried out in shock as Giles went over one of the tomes in the office behind the new library’s front desk. “Infect! Giles!” The watcher looked up to find his Slayer all too worried about his choice of words. “Infect!”

“Oh, ah, infect the host with an aspect of the demon.” His words did little to ease Buffy’s new fears. “That’s all it says.”

“An aspect of the demon?” Buffy grabbed the book as a laundry list of deformities possessed by the demons began to parade through her mind. None of her foe’s physical attributes appealed to the young blonde.

“It is rather terse, isn’t it?” Giles muttered as he pondered their current crisis.

“You mean like a part of it?” Buffy was only half listening as panic consumed her.

Giles tried to assuage his charge’s fears only to be cut short with a new and terrifying outcome. “There could be any number of...”

“What if my mouth closes up and my skin gets all scabby. What am I supposed to do without a mouth? I won’t be able to talk, or eat, or tell Faith how wonderful she is… I won’t be able to tell Faith I love her. Giles, what if this changes me into some creepy crawly thing and Faith won’t have anything to do with me?”

“Now I must say, that is just ridiculous.” Giles dismissed Buffy’s worry out of hand. “Buffy, that girl idolizes you. She worships you emotionally, and I would assume physically.”

“Giles!” Buffy let out a horrified squeak as the Englishman implied any sort of vague knowledge about her sex life.

The watcher’s exasperation was more than evident. “Oh come now, Buffy! We live in the same house. Anyone with at least two of the five senses can tell how much you girls mean to each other. Your mother and I would never question your devotion to Faith. Please don’t question her devotion to you.”

Buffy couldn’t help the thin wisp of hope her watcher dangled before her. “You really think she’ll still love me?”

Giles smiled as he put a reassuring hand on Buffy’s shoulder. “I know she will move heaven and hell to undo any changes you don’t want. I know that even if some negative change from this demon becomes permanent it won’t change her feelings for you. Your girlfriend loves you, Buffy. Tentacles and all.”

“Tentacles!” The Slayer’s terrified shriek could be heard throughout the hallways leading to the library of the new high school.

*****

Lorne smiled as he walked across his closed bar with two drinks in hand. “Between you and me, if it had taken you much longer to hit your bottom, I was gonna kick it.”

Angel sighed as he took the drink. “I’m still not sure I understand what happened.”

“What’s not to understand? You think you’re the first guy who ever rolled over, saw what was lying next to him, and went GEEH-AH!” The green lounge singer couldn’t help but smile as he relieved the vampire of the illusion that angry sex with an ex could be in any way rare or novel. Indeed, if Lorne’s clientele was any measure of rarity, then Angel’s experience was shared by countless legions of other men with checkered relationship histories. “You’re not, believe me.” A moment of silence passed before Lorne went on with the speech the cursed vampire needed to hear. “It’s called a moment of clarity, my lamb, and you’ve just had one! Sort of appalling, ain’t it? To see just exactly where you’ve gotten yourself.”

“I don’t know how to get back,” Angel admitted as he leaned on the table.

Lorne sighed as the apparent champion of the powers that be went through all the steps the demon had seen hundreds of his regulars trace after hitting rock bottom in their own lives. “Well, that’s just the thing. You don’t. You go on to the new place. Wherever that is.”

Angel remained dour as he tried to figure out some way to piece his life back together. “I don’t know if I can. I’ve done things. Questionable things.”

“Yes, you have.” Lorne agreed. “But you didn’t kill those watchers, Angel. That was slated to happen with or without you. The powers were just trying to work it so it’d be without you. You weren't much help in that department, were ya, Sparky?”

“I wasn’t much help?” Angel asked as he rounded an emotional corner and came up against the anger phase Lorne knew was coming. “If they wanted me to stay away why didn’t they just tell me?”

“Would you have listened?” Lorne asked before plowing ahead. “Besides, what makes you think they didn’t? Over and over and, as per example, over.”

“You know, they could have been a little more specific.” Angel remained stuck in his own misplaced animosity until the demon before him cleared his throat.

“Isn’t this just the sort of ‘tude that got you where you are now? I think I’m speaking for everyone when I say if all you’re gonna do is switch back to brood mode we’d rather have you evil.” Lorne took a moment to sip his drink and look over one side of the table to the vampire’s legs. “Then at least, well, leather pants.”

Lorne’s words seemed to finally sink in. The vampire sighed, letting go of the last of his anger and resentment. A moment later Angel looked back to the green demon. Lorne could tell the desperate need for answers was finally joined with an openness to actually hear the advice given. “What now? How do I fix this? What do the powers want me to do?”

The questions were almost enough to make Lorne slam his green forehead and red horns into the surface of the small table between them. “Does it look like I’m hearing voices? ‘Cause I’m not.” Lorne forged ahead before Angel could lose focus again. “I’m not your link with the powers, Angel. Never was. Hell, if you’d paid attention to the things the witches have been saying about the powers you’d be having second thoughts about hopping back on their leash. Just because they aren’t demons or hell gods doesn’t mean they automatically have anyone’s best interest at heart.”

As the words sank in Angel leaned further onto the table. Lorne almost took pity on the man, but he knew there were still hard truths the vampire needed to hear. “You severed your ties with the powers when you walked out on the Hyperion Crew. That’s going to be the hardest part of all this you know. There’s a chance, a good chance, you won’t be able to put this back together. It just, well, it depends really.”

“Yeah, whether they’ll even talk to me.” Angel huffed as he faced his nearly impossible task.

“No, actually it depends on whether they live through the next few days.” Lorne’s admission drew back all of Angel’s attention. Any trace of doubt or self-recrimination evaporated in the face of what would be lost if Angel failed his friends yet again. “And I gotta tell you. At the moment, the odds, not good.”

*****

Cheerleaders shouted out letters in the heart of the school courtyard as the members of the basketball team stood behind them. Off to one side of the proceedings, the Scoobies sat on their favorite bench and watched as most of their classmates carried on.

“Is it just me or is this really lame?” Buffy asked the group.

Xander hardly noticed what was said as he watched Cordelia and the other cheerleaders bounce. “They really are very good.”

Tara nodded noncommittally as both Xander and Faith’s eyes trailed the movements of Xander’s ex. “Their spelling has improved.”

Sitting beside Tara, Willow noticed the other blonde in her life checking her hair. “It’s not gonna be horns, Buffy.”

“What?” The panicked Slayer all but shrieked.

“You aren’t growing horns,” Willow repeated. “It’s more of a mess. Don’t worry too much. We’ll track down the other demon and fix it. We have to.”

“You know what aspect I’m gonna get?” Buffy asked before the obvious struck her with full force. “What is it? Claws? Scabs? A tail? It’s not… Oh god, Will, please tell me I won’t grow scabby demon boy parts.”

“You won’t grow any parts, Buffy,” Willow said as she continued to watch the pep rally. “It’s more cerebral. You’ll figure it out in a little bit. Just don’t get too crazy with it.”

As Buffy and Willow spoke Faith abandoned all pretense of watching the pep rally and focused all she had on her girl. Before Buffy could let fear and panic consume her further she found herself wrapped up in Faith’s arms. For the moment Buffy knew everything would be okay. She knew she would always have Faith to rely on.

*****

An hour later Buffy swore she could hear Xander’s mind crawl its way through a gutter filled with half-remembered and lurid sensations. Aborted grope-fests in half the closets in the old high school. Awkwardly mashing his lips against Cordelia’s. Even more awkwardly palming her breasts and ass. Buffy’s revulsion dueled with Xander’s remembered arousal as they both remembered each time Cordelia put on a clichéd damsel voice and called Xander her “Big, strong, demon-slaying hero.”

When the Slayer wasn’t brought near the point of dry heaves at her friend’s memory of the so-called “dates” she was rolling her eyes at each and every one of his petty jealousies. Buffy could hardly believe the extent of Xander’s infatuation with the head cheerleader who still occasionally joined their Scooby meetings out of boredom or habit.

Xander’s inappropriateness aside Buffy began to worry if she would be forced to read the minds of all her friends and family. Then she realized the extent of her newfound powers. A brief stroll down the school hallways with Faith’s arm draped over her shoulder clued Buffy into the inner workings of dozens of their classmates and teachers.

Students, if only we could get rid of all the students…

Oh, hey, there’s Buffy and Faith. Don’t look, don’t look, don’t look, I don’t think she saw me looking…

I swear, one day my pants are gonna fall right off…

Damn, Summers has a nice, shit Lehane is with her! Okay just don’t look and I can keep my dick…

Take French. How hard can it be? Idiot…

Oh god if Faith catches me looking at Buffy’s ass one more time she’ll rip my dick off…

Gahh, I almost looked at Summers’ ass. It’s okay I don’t think Faith saw me…

She put the lime in the coconut, she drank 'em bot' up
She put the lime in the coconut, she drank 'em bot' up…

If I don’t move my head as they walk by Faith won’t think I’m looking and she won’t rip my dick off…

M-m-m-my Sharona…

Two of the hottest girls in school and none of us can even look without, shit, Faith just locked eyes with me. I hope she doesn’t rip my dick off…

Walk like an Egyptian…

Buffy and Faith are so hot together. I can’t believe Harmony is still such a stuck up homophobe about them. It’s not like Cordelia is still dating Xander. If only I could find a girl like, oh no, Faith just caught me looking. Was that a wink? Faith just winked at me for looking at her and Buffy’s asses. What does that mean? Are they looking for another girl to… oh god! Abort, abort…

Glare all you want, Faith. You know I swing for the other team. I wonder what Allan is doing later…

Oh no, I need to go this way to get to my next class, but if Faith sees me walking behind her and Buffy she’ll think I’m staring at her girlfriend's ass and rip my dick off…

Don’t think I don’t see you asshole! You ain’t slick! If I catch that fuckboy staring at B’s ass one more time I’ll rip his dick off…

An inescapable pattern emerged. Buffy couldn’t help but turn to catch her girlfriend’s eye. Faith smiled as she fell into Buffy’s bewildered hazel pools. As the brunette swooned Buffy was nearly swept away. With her mind open to all others Buffy felt the full force of her connection with Faith like never before. The Slayer stood transfixed as a ceaseless cascade of love, devotion, and lust hammered down on her like a waterfall. So all-encompassing was the torrent of raw emotion that Buffy nearly collapsed to her knees. Luckily Faith’s arm was already securely wrapped around her waist. A brief flicker of worry crossed expressive brown eyes before the brunette whisked her girl into the nearest restroom. Faith moved Buffy into the empty stall at the end and propped her against the wall.

“What’s wrong, B? You ain’t never spaced out on me like that before.” Buffy all but swooned again as Faith’s worries, desperation, and care cradled her mind and practically wound the brunette around Buffy’s very soul.

“Faith… please…” Buffy whispered. Her hands clung to Faith’s shoulders as if they alone carried the last of her strength.

“Please what, B? What do you need?” Faith was all but beside herself with panic. Something was wrong with the most important person in her world. The person who might as well have been her whole world.

“I need you to…” Buffy paused as she felt all of Faith pour into her yet again. Her girl was intoxicating. “Make love to me…”

A sly smirk overtook Faith’s face as she leaned closer to her girl. The brunette stared into lost and needy hazel depths as her hands wound around slender hips. Where Faith’s love had been a relentless waterfall pounding Buffy’s petite frame into oblivion, Faith’s cocky self-assurance was a delicate but strong hand reaching its way up Buffy’s skirt. Buffy could feel Faith’s desire for her. It caressed her like powerful but nimble fingers cupping her pussy, sliding back and forth through the slickness of Buffy’s own arousal. Teasing and writhing the petite blonde’s aching center all while they were both still fully clothed. Faith’s physical hands were still gripping Buffy’s hips, ready to take her girl to new heights of pleasure and debauchery.

“Careful what you wish for, B.” Faith smirked as she failed to realize how her own cocky attitude was already sending Buffy over the edge. “Knowing me, you’re gonna get it.”

*****

“She can read our minds?” Xander asked as the Scoobies sat around the large table in their meeting room behind Giles’ office. “Our every impulse and fantasy?”

Buffy answered with a slight smirk. “Every one.”

Oh god!

Buffy was perched in the middle of the massive table with Faith hovering at her side. Willow sat just next to where Faith stood and Tara was for once sitting outside of Willow’s immediate reach on the other side of the table. Cordelia rolled her head back and forth in boredom on one side of Tara. Xander sat on the honey blonde’s other side in the chair closest to the door. Giles stood at the end of the table with a thick book in hand.

I don’t see what this has to do with me…

“I don’t see what this has to do with me,” Cordelia spoke her mind as always. Buffy found some comfort in realizing that the head cheerleader was abrasively honest if not always pleasant.

“This will be fuckin’ awesome!” Faith cheered her girl on before turning to Giles. “Hey, G Man, when do I get my mojo upgraded?”

B, yo, B, blink twice if you want to sneak off and screw as soon as we get these guys in research mode. We still got a few closets and a boiler room to christen. I’m gonna make you ride my face like we’re comin’ in second at the Kentucky Derby…

Buffy’s blush and arousal were tempered as she felt an exceedingly weary sigh coming from the watcher. “Now, Faith, don’t be too hasty,” Giles said as he did a remarkable job of keeping his mind clear of any stray thoughts. “We don’t know the full ramifications of this yet.”

“So you’re saying B and me should patrol while you guys hit the books.” Just you wait, B. After you come your brains out down my throat I want to see if you can still hear me thinkin’ about railing your tight little bod with my thighs wrapped around your ears.

“Faith!” Buffy all but shouted as lurid scenarios paraded through her girl’s mind. The Slayer could already tell she was blushing a shade of crimson that rivaled Willow’s hair.

“Smooth, Faith,” Tara smirked as she and Willow shared a look. Buffy did her best to hide her furious blush before moving her focus to the two witches. At first, all she got was static. Then a more panicked voice began to ring clear.

What am I gonna do? I think about sex all the time. Sex. Help. Four times five is thirty. Five times six is thirty-two. Naked girls. Naked women. Naked Buffy. Naked Faith. Naked Buffy on top of naked Faith. Oh, stop me!

Buffy couldn’t take any more. “God, Xander! Is that all you think about?”

“Actually...” Xander locked eyes with Buffy for one instant before proceeding with the most reasonable option available. “Bye.” He shot up from his chair and bolted from the room with a speed that impressed even the two Slayers.

“Yes, well, let that be a warning,” Giles said as he walked over to one of the shelves and started picking out any books that might contain valuable insight. “Try to keep your minds focused on the task at hand, whatever that may be.”

Okay, B, I’ll give Xander a pass this one time, but any of those other fuckboys out there get out of line you just tell me and I’ll rip their dicks off.

“Oh god, Faith, please don’t.” Buffy pleaded as both witches began to laugh. Their amusement drew the Slayer’s attention. She renewed her focus on her redheaded friend. At first all she heard was static, but eventually, her eyes began to fill with a curious picture. A man began to sing in a language she had trouble discerning, and then she saw Tara.

The honey blonde witch was wearing a light pink sarong wrap skirt with gold embroidery and a matching top that ended just below her breasts. Her hair was up, held back with two long thin chopsticks and an intricate gold medallion hung just above the plunging neckline of her pink and gold top. Tara smiled as she, the rest of the Scooby Gang, and half the Hyperion Crew stood in a wedge formation in the middle of the old high school’s open courtyard. As one they all bobbed their heads and waved their arms in sync with the song filling the air.

Faut savoir s'étendre
Sans se répandre
Pauvre Lola
Faut savoir s'étendre
Sans se répandre
C'est délicat


Buffy swore she heard a girl laughing as the first verse came to a close. She shook herself out of Willow’s mind to find the redhead looking at her with an amused smile. Before she could ask what was going on Buffy’s attention was drawn to a different melody. The Slayer turned to look at Tara and gasped as her vision blurred and filled with red.

A soothing melody played as Buffy saw Willow. Her best friend was completely naked, laying on a thick field of rose petals. Stray petals swirled and covered parts of the redhead so that Buffy’s view of certain features was thankfully obscured. As a breeze blew a stream of rose petals into the Slayer’s face she was cast out of the vision and found herself back in the courtyard filled with dancing teens and disembodied singing in a language she could not understand.

Ne pas la surprendre
Pas l'entreprendre
Pauvre Lola
Ne pas la surprendre
Pas l'entreprendre
De but en bas


As most of the people Buffy knew danced to the strange song, she noticed Willow standing across from Tara. The redhead was smiling as she matched Tara’s movements. The sarong and blouse Willow wore matched Tara’s, save for the fact they were dark green and gold in color where Tara wore pink and gold.

Il est des mots tendres
Qu'elle aime entendre
Tendre Lola
Oui quelques mots tendres
Devraient atten-
Drir Lolita


The backup dancers shifted, skipping and leaping around the Slayer in a wide arc, and Buffy found herself facing both Willow and Tara. The couple’s arm, legs, and hips moved in unison as Buffy was once more cast out of Willow’s mind. The Slayer’s vision was again filled with rose petals and she saw that the carpet of red Willow was sprawled out on had grown in size, volume, and thickness. More rose petals swirled and Buffy found herself in the library again.

“What the hell!” The Slayer cried as she tried to catch her breath.

“That seemed to hit her harder than usual,” Tara said as she looked back to Willow. “Sweetie, what did you play for her?”

Willow blushed as her gaze met that of her always. “Pauvre Lola by Serge Gainsbourg. In French… With pretty much all of us doing a Bollywood dance number to the music.”

“Do what now?” Faith asked as she looked back and forth between the witches and her girl.

“That’s so cute.” Tara smiled as she and Willow locked eyes.

A curious frown crossed Willow’s face as she faced her everything. “Wait, what did you show her, Baby?”

“Oh...” Tara blushed once more. “The flower petal scene from American Beauty, but with you instead of Mena Suvari.”

“Oh, Goddess! Why didn’t I think of that.” Buffy saw Willow’s brow crease before she was pulled back into a realm of rose petals. To one side of the Slayer, she saw Willow again, sprawled out on a bed of rose petals with several large clumps strategically covering her nudity. To the other side, she saw a naked Tara on an identical mattress of crimson flower petals with matching swaths of roses covering her larger and curvier assets. The two rose-clad witches smiled and waved to one another, seemingly oblivious to the Slayer caught between them.

Just as Buffy thought she would be trapped forever between her two naked friends, as they made love with only their eyes and smiles, she was struck down. Something hit the Slayer from behind. Buffy turned just enough to see a dark figure decked in rags. The creature clung to Buffy’s side as they fell through space. Before Buffy could throw the beast off she hit the library floor and crawled backwards, away from the table. Faith was at her side in an instant.

“What the hell was that?” Both Slayers shouted.

“Guys, it’s okay,” Willow said as she calmly stood and walked around the table to stand beside Tara. “It’s just the spell we have to block out mind walkers. We dropped the first few defensive layers so Buffy wouldn’t get hurt.”

“Well, it still looks like it hurt from where I’m standing.” Faith snapped back. “You okay, B?”

Buffy almost couldn’t find the words to reply. “I don’t… What was that?”

“A busy signal,” Tara said as she pulled Willow into her lap. “You tried to peek at what we were thinking and couldn’t hear anything, right Buffy?”

“I, maybe.” Buffy realized where she had screwed up just before it was spelled out for her.

“And when you tried to look harder you saw what we wanted you to see instead of what was there to see.” Willow finished the explanation. “It’s one of our better nonlethal defenses. You shouldn’t even have a headache.”

Giles stood beside the Slayers, clearly concerned for what Buffy might have experienced. “What do you mean nonlethal?”

“Remember the Bezoar and the evil mind control eggs?” Willow asked as she played with Tara’s hair. “If Buffy had more than just the surface thoughts parlor trick and tried to force her way in and completely dominate our minds then her nervous system would have burned out and her brain stem would have been liquefied. We don’t play around with mind walkers.”

“But since the demon blood didn’t give Buffy any higher tier mind powers she was safe,” Tara added as the Slayers began to look more nervous with each passing second.

“You can’t tell me everyone who reads your minds sees that.” Buffy protested. “Will, you guys were, you were naked.” the last words were spoken in a whisper.

Both Willow and Tara looked at Buffy and laughed. It was several embarrassing seconds for the Slayer before either of them spoke to her again. “Oh, Buffy. No, we don’t show those scenarios to everyone. Most of the time our first line of defense is enough to painfully shut down anyone taking a peek. Our second line just downloads fifty or so lifetimes worth of memories into their brain. It takes a truly remarkable mind to survive that and still maintain their sense of self. The next three layers are pretty much instant kills for anything that tries to dig that deep. For you, we had to turn most of that off and pull up what are basically prerecorded dream sequences to keep you from hurting yourself on our psychic firewalls.”

Buffy blinked in surprise at Willow’s babbled explanation. She had no clue what most of the redhead’s words had meant and she was beginning to suspect her friends had far deeper levels of power than either of them had let on so far. One thing was for certain. She wasn’t going to try and read either Willow or Tara again.

A bell rang outside the library and the girls began to gather up their things for the next round of classes. They left Giles to his books. Before the bell rang again the watcher stumbled across a similar account that drew too many parallels. He saw what happened to the last human cursed with this demonic aspect and let out a worried gasp.

The watcher reached over and picked up his phone. He pressed the third button on speed dial and called the number he rarely needed. “Hello? Yes, it’s Giles. We may need some help.”

*****

“Doyle!” Alonna called out as she descended the stairs to the hotel lobby. “Giles just called. Buffy got herself in trouble again. I’m heading to Sunnydale for the next few days. You in?”

“Sorry, darlin’.” The Irishman said as the Slayer walked up to the front desk. “The boys are still dealing with the Skilosh nest, and I need to negotiate with the Nahdrah demon clan. They shouldn’t be trouble, but they did ask for Wes to solve their fancy math puzzle and knowing him we’ll need someone to smooth things over once his foot gets jammed in his mouth.”

“Fine.” Alonna sighed as she grabbed a set of keys from behind the desk. “I’m taking the Lambo. Don’t let the world end till I get back.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it, kiddo.” As the half-demon watched the Slayer walk out the door he couldn’t shake the feeling that trouble was waiting just around the corner.

*****

I think she’s waking up…

She’s okay…

Oh, thank god…

Her eyes are opening…

Please be okay, Buffy. You’re all I got…

I’m cold…

“What!” Buffy cried out as she awoke in Faith’s arms.

“B, fuck, girl, don’t scare me like that.” Faith pleaded as she held her girl.

“I told them not to move you.” Cordelia’s words drew a harsh glare from Faith. “They probably severed your spinal cord.”

“I’m okay.” Buffy let out a pained grunt. Faith helped her stand up. “No really, I’m okay. There’s a killer in the cafeteria.”

“See! I’ve been saying for years that the lunch lady is gonna do us all in with that mulligan stew.” Xander’s quip drew a harsh slap on the shoulder from Cordelia and an annoyed huff from Giles. “I mean, what the hell is a mulligan?”

“Someone was thinking it.” Buffy went on, ignoring Xander’s commentary. “They thought, “This time tomorrow I’ll kill you all.” There was so much hate. I have to find them.”

“Nope.” Faith said as she grabbed her girl by the shoulders. “I hauled you out of there once, B. I ain’t doing it again. We’re going home.”

“No, Faith I need to…” Buffy took one step back towards the school, only to collapse into Faith’s arms as she was hit with an onslaught of stray thoughts.

“You had your fun playin’ Miss Cleo’s psychic friends network, B. Now we’re going home while Red and Blondie tell the boys how to track down the killer.” Faith was adamant as she all but carried her girl away from the densely populated high school buildings.

She looks so tired…

I’m not getting any warmer…

I bet it was…

“Shut up!” Buffy snapped as Giles, Cordelia, and Xander’s thoughts grew louder. The Slayer sighed in relief as she realized she wasn’t getting anything from Faith, Willow, or Tara. “I’m sorry, just, can you guys not think so loud, or… so much?”

“Buffy, you should go home. Faith, see that she gets there. Make sure Joyce and Jennifer know what’s going on.”

“Already on it.” Faith said as she dragged Buffy away.

If it doesn't go away she’ll go insane…

“Jesus fucking Christ Giles!” Buffy shouted as her watcher’s fear rattled around in her own mind. A moment later she felt the other voices fade into the background. Pushed aside by one all-encompassing voice that filled the Slayer from within.

You are mine, Buffy. I won’t let anything happen to you. I won’t lose you. You’re mine damn it. Mine!

“Thanks, Faith,” Buffy whispered as she felt her girl’s overtly possessive thoughts form a barricade around her crumbling psyche. “You need to show me how you’re doing this.”

“Soon as we get home, B.” Faith promised as she hurried them along. “I got all kinds of tricks to show ya.”

*****

“There, you look better already.” Joyce busied herself tucking Buffy into her bed. As soon as she finished that task she moved about the room with an almost frantic pace to her steps.

“Thanks, Mom,” Buffy said as she watched her mother almost power walk out into the upstairs hallway. Faith sat on Buffy’s window sill, a slight smirk curling her lips as she too noticed the older blonde’s frantic pace.

“I’m, uh, I’m just gonna get you another pillow,” Joyce called out as she fled the room.

Buffy looked at her easily amused girlfriend then tried to still her mother’s motions with a calm voice. “I really don’t need one.”

“But you need another blanket.” Joyce hardly paused as she delivered the superfluous pillow only to turn on her heel and again march out into the hall. Faith was grinning as she worked to conceal her thoughts from Buffy. She knew what had to be going on in the mind of her girl’s mother.

“Mom, I’m fine.” Buffy pleaded as Joyce’s pace quickened.

“Wait for it.” Faith chuckled to herself as she watched Joyce’s fearful pacing.

Joyce’s words faltered as she kept up her brisk pace of entering and exiting her eldest daughter’s bedroom. “How, um, how about some soup? Chicken and stars?”

Buffy rolled her eyes as her mother delivered a fresh stack of blankets. “Mom, please, just come sit with me.”

Joyce came to a halt at her daughter’s plea. She stood at the foot of Buffy’s bed and fidgeted as though caught in a trap. “I’ve, um, I, I’ve got laundry.”

“Why…” Buffy paused while looking at her mother. In an instant, the Slayer’s hands came up to her head. Mortification and revulsion swept the petite blonde as she overheard her mother’s thoughts. “Oh god, Mom! Stop thinking about having sex with Giles!”

“There it is!” Faith laughed as she clapped her hands.

“He’s just so…” Joyce tried to explain her wandering mind as she backed away from Buffy’s bed. “And it’s been years since your father… Even when we were married… Rupert is a very passionate man.”

“Ew, eww, ewwww! I don’t want to know those things!” Buffy was flailing as she fought off thoughts of her watcher not wearing the tweed he was so well known for.

“Might wanna amscray Mrs. S.” Faith chuckled as she walked over to Buffy’s side.

Joyce fled into the hallway with no intention of coming back. “I’ll be downstairs. You feel better.”

“You’re still thinking about having sex with Giles!” Buffy shrieked as her mother vanished.

Faith took a moment to laugh as her girl suffered in abject agony. “Now that was funny.”

“I need to wipe my mind of everything Mom just put in it,” Buffy muttered in disgust. “What the hell is a stevedore anyway?” As Faith opened her mouth, as if to provide an answer, Buffy thrust an accusing finger her girlfriend’s way. “No! Don’t even think whatever you were gonna think just now! I don’t ever want to know what that word means!”

Faith held her tongue while deciding to look up the word as soon as her girl recovered from this current nightmare. She was about to start explaining what she had planned to show Buffy, but before the brunette could speak a head of long light brown hair popped into Buffy’s room from the hallway door.

“Hey, Buffy, can I borrow that leather jacket that’s one size too small for you? Cass is coming over later and we’re.” Dawn’s cheerful tone was cut down by Buffy’s tormented screams.

“GAAHHHH! God damn it, Dawn! I don’t want to know what Cassie’s nipples taste like!” Buffy screamed as her hands came back to her head, unable to shield her mind from her sister’s lecherous imaginings. Faith cackled as Buffy quickly realized Xander’s perverse mind was nothing compared to Dawn’s.

Nearly a full minute passed before Faith got her laughter under control and moved towards the door of Buffy’s bedroom. “Gonna need some privacy to get your sister’s head back in the game, Squirt. Slayers only until Red or Blondie say otherwise.”

“Fine.” Dawn huffed as she retreated down the hall. “But tell the drama queen to stop being jealous of the fact that I have better game than she did at my age.”

“Damn, that kid is gonna be a terror if things don’t work out with the little blonde brat.” Faith muttered to herself as she shut Buffy’s door. The Slayer turned to see her girl curled into a fetal position in the center of her bed. There was no doubt in Faith’s mind that the easily embarrassed blonde was suffering greatly under the stray sexual thoughts of her family members. In a few quick strides, Faith was at Buffy’s side once more. “Okay, B, time to practice.”

You’re mine, Buffy! Forget all that crap about their fuck buddies. All that matters right now is you and me.

Buffy almost flinched as Faith’s possessive thoughts once more forced everything else by the wayside. The petite blonde had no idea how her girlfriend was able to clear out all the noise made by those around them. Her only clue was their Slayer connection. The bond forged by their Slayer senses was as strong as ever and somehow Faith was able to use Buffy’s telepathy to speak into Buffy’s mind with such force and clarity that all other voices were silenced.

“Thank you, Faith,” Buffy whispered as her mind cleared of the noise and fog left by other people’s thoughts. “How are you doing this? Please, help me.”

“Of course I’m gonna help ya, B.” Faith whispered as Buffy felt herself being caressed by the brunette’s love and devotion.

Mine…

“Yours,” Buffy whispered in response to her girl’s one driving motivation.

Faith smirked at her girl as she leaned over the petite blonde. “Okay, first things first. Get out from under the covers.”

“But I just got all comfy.” Buffy protested as she rolled out from under her bed sheets.

“Comfy don’t count for jack where we’re goin’, B.” The brunette helped her girl stand before reaching over and pulling the sheets and comforter back towards Buffy’s pillows. “Now sit.”

Buffy pouted as she watched her girl climb onto the bed and sit with her knees spread wide and bent so each foot was tucked under the thigh of her other leg. “We couldn’t do this under the covers?” Despite the meager protest Buffy got back onto her own bed and sat facing Faith.

Faith smirked again as she watched her girl adopt the same meditative sitting position. “No can do with the covers, B. We’re tryin’ to open your mind, not your snatch.”

“Faith!” The Slayer let out a scandalized shout as her girl laughed off the offended tone.

“Seriously, B.” Faith said in a calmer tone as she locked eyes with Buffy. “You know what we’d be doin’ if we got under your covers together. I ain’t sayin’ I’m against a little bit of down and dirty, but us gettin’ our fuck on ain’t gonna help that massive skull fucker of a headache you got from just walking through the cafeteria.”

“Okay, fine.” Buffy continued to pout for a few moments before fixing her girl with a serious look. “Now tell me how you focused our Slayer connection so you could force out all the thoughts I was hearing from everyone else.”

Faith smiled with pride as she met her girl’s gaze. “Gold stars for figuring out the basics of the trick, B.”

“Do I get a prize for these stars?” Buffy met the smile with a coy little smirk of her own. This only served the bring the brunette’s smirk back in full force.

“Turn in five gold stars and I dress up in whatever kinky fetish costume you want. We can roleplay any naughty thing that gets your motor revving. Naughty Nurse, Naughty Schoolgirl, Naughty Secretary, Naughty…”

Buffy cut her girl off before she could go on to list anything nightmare inducing. “Don’t say naughty librarian or vampire or any other naughty thing that will remind me of my mom thinking about sex with Giles! And definitely, don’t say naughty stevedore.”

A long, uneasy moment passed before the Slayer settled down again. The petite blonde and the brunette sat facing one another with their legs crossed, hands resting open on spread knees, breathing slow measured breaths. As Faith’s eyes drifted shut Buffy asked the obvious question. “How exactly are we doing this again?”

Faith let out a sigh as she looked into her girl’s curious yet expectant eyes. “I had a lot of time to myself when I ran away last summer like a scared dumbass.”

“That wasn’t your fault, Faith.” Buffy tried to reassure the brunette, only to be cut off again with a raised palm.

“It takes two to have a fight, B.” Faith lowered her hand and closed her eyes once more. “That’s not what’s important now. While I was feelin’ sorry for myself I had a lot of free time. ‘Lot of time to get worked up in my own head. So I decided to do something useful for a change. I took some of that meditation crap the G man tried to teach us last year and I tried it out. It worked. A little too good for some reason. I focused on my Slayer connection and the bond I thought I lost with you and before I knew it I was in a… anyway, just close your eyes, B.”

Buffy looked at her girl skeptically before doing as Faith said. Even with Faith’s forceful personality keeping stray thoughts at bay the dull roar from outside was getting louder. As if the screaming hoard of other peoples’ minds were drawing near. Buffy was getting desperate. She was willing to try just about anything Faith suggested.

“Okay, relax, deep slow breaths.” Faith’s voice was a soothing river that flowed easily through Buffy as the petite blonde eased into the exercise. “Focus on our bond. Our connection. Focus on the Slayer inside you. In me. Feel her out.”

Buffy sought the connection that reinforced their relationship in every waking, and even every slumbering, moment. She felt her link to Faith as strong as it ever was. Powerful, defiant, energizing, comforting. The pull that without error would always lead her back to Faith. The all-consuming fire of their power and their love, tempered with experience passed down from each and every Slayer that had fought and died before they were called to wage war against the night. To rage against the darkness plaguing their world. Buffy could not deny the allure of that raw untamed power.

“Yeah, it gets me wet too, B.” Faith snickered as she felt her girl take the first step on their journey. “Feel that power. Feel it comin’ up from deep inside you.”

“Are you sure this isn’t a sex thing?” Buffy’s question, though playful in intent, came with a decidedly aroused tone. The Slayer’s voice tapered out in a breathless whisper as Buffy felt her power. Their power.

“Everything is a sex thing, B.” Faith smirked to herself as she began to drift deeper into the maelstrom that was the Slayer within. “Go deeper with me. Follow it down. Let it draw you in…”

“Draw me where…” Buffy’s question ended with a gasp. She felt her own power wrap around her in a vice-like grip. The petite blonde was dragged down by the Slayer. Deeper than she had ever dreamed. Depths within herself deeper than any chasm she could ever imagine. Buffy fell through darkness for what seemed an eternity. Then there was stillness. Buffy didn’t know what she had just felt, but she knew she wasn’t going to fix her problems just sitting on her bedspread with her girlfriend.

“Okay, Faith, seriously. What’s the pla…” Again Buffy’s question was silenced. The petite blonde opened her eyes to find a realm she had not expected.

Clear blue skies and bright golden desert sands stretched out to the endless horizon. Scrub brush and cacti filled the eternal desert, life thriving in defiance of a harsh and uncaring world. Buffy felt the warm sands beneath her bare feet, shifting between her toes. She looked down and saw a brief flash of her own nudity before a loose white sundress covered in crimson flowers came into being, wrapped around her torso. She heard footsteps in the sands behind her and spun expecting Faith. What she saw was just as surprising as the endless desert all around.

Jagged rock formations sat atop the sandy hill in the heart of the eternal desert. Protruding out of the ground at an odd angle, pointing off to Buffy’s right, stone spikes hanging over one end of the sandy hilltop. From the direction the rocks pointed, Buffy saw a lone figure coming towards her at a slow and steady pace.

“Huh.” Faith said as she watched the slight figure draw closer. “I didn’t expect her here.”

“Faith!” Buffy let out a shriek as she realized her girl had joined her in the endless barrens. “What’s going on?”

“Gonna need to ask your spirit animal over there, B.” Faith merely pointed at the young blonde now standing a dozen yards away from the blonde and brunette.

“Hi, Buffy.” The other blonde said as she came to a halt. Her hair was done up in a series of spikes that defied logic and fashion. The girl wore a red and black garment that covered her torso and upper thighs while ending just above the knees in large flared out pant legs that could only be described as bell-bottom shorts. Her feet were covered with oversized and rounded yellow shoes that resembled massive clogs. Her shoulders and upper arms were covered in a light black and white short sleeve jacket. Fingerless white gloves covered each hand.

In one hand and over one shoulder rested a massive key. The end of the key resting in the girl’s hand bore what resembled the hilt and pommel of a sword. The grip and hilt were encircled by a wide yellow guard that formed a slightly rounded square. The pommel end of the lopsided square came out a little further than the ends that formed the cross guard. The body of the key was thick and round and silver in color. The bar ended on a flat edge with a wide slab of metal protruding from one side. The metal slab formed the teeth of the key, three sharp cuts in the slab giving the impression of a crown in the negative space left by the giant key’s square plank.

“Like my blade?” The girl asked the other blonde. “It’s also a key.”

“Cassie! What the hell are you doing here?” Buffy shouted as her sister’s submissive plaything beamed a bright smile her way.

“I was borrowed,” Cassie said.

Faith cocked her head to the side as she gave the girl a confused look. “Okay, but why are ya dressed like that?”

Cassie sighed before launching into a long ramble that would have made Willow quite proud. “I don’t know. I was in Dawn’s subconscious, and she was trying to figure out if my nipples tasted more like fresh strawberries or strawberry jam. So I was naked when I was borrowed for this whole thing you guys are doing, but Dawn didn’t want anyone else “perving on her girl’s bits” so she dressed me in this before “what’s her nuts” dragged me here.” There was a pause as the girl looked down at her odd clothes and then back up to the Slayers. “I think Dawn’s subconscious mind was trying to drop some hints for you guys and her conscious mind filled in the details with Disney paraphernalia. What do you guys think of my Sora Cosplay?”

“Who?” Buffy asked before a dark figure stepped out from behind her. “You again! What is this? What were you doing in Willow and Tara’s flower vision thingy?”

The ebony skinned woman crouched at Buffy’s side, eyes darting back and forth between the petite blonde and the brunette. Her toned, muscular frame was shrouded in gauzy gray rags wrapped tightly around her body. Her hair was jet black, matted, hanging in unkempt dreadlocks. Her face was caked in white war paint, giving the faint impression of a skull hanging amidst her dark features. The dreadlocks hanging partially over her face were stained gray by the primitive makeup. Dark, harrowed eyes ran up and down the petite blonde in rapid bursts.

The crouching figure began to slowly circle Buffy as Cassie spoke. “Anyway, I was borrowed. Someone,” the younger blonde cast an annoyed glare at the woman wearing little more than rags and dirt, “doesn't want to speak for herself.”

“Who is she?” Buffy asked as she ignored the primitive creature prowling the sandy dunes around the jagged rock formation. “Make her speak.”

“Okay, she’s ranting now,” Cassie said as she looked from the dark woman to Buffy. “No speech. No name. She lives in the action of death. Blood cries, pene… Eww! No, I’m not saying that.” The dark figure spun to growl at Cassie. The girl cast off the creature’s outrage with a roll of the eyes and a pointed thrust of the massive key. “No! You think just because you’re older than the written word you’re in charge here? Well, you’re not, Sineya! I’m not your mouthpiece, and you’re not the oldest presence in this shard of the astral plane. Seriously, what is it with you Slayers? Lesbians shouldn’t be this focused on penetration!”

The ancient Slayer roared and drew a stone dagger. The primordial ebony weapon was shaped into a sinister jagged blade as if it was chipped away over time from a much larger chunk of obsidian. Cassie paid no heed to the dark woman as she raged across the sands. The girl let out an unimpressed snort before leveling the key at the first Slayer. The bright blue skies over the desert darkened for an instant. Then a flash of green danced across the sky. Countless flickering motes of vibrant emerald light flew and swarmed through the air, all converging on Cassie and the odd weapon held in her delicate hand.

Cassie smirked as the ancient figure backed down. Buffy and Faith watched in wonder as the green lights danced across the girl’s skin. Some as small as pinpricks. Others as large as beach balls. Green lights flared into and out of existence as Cassie just smirked at the Slayers standing on the sandy slope. “Next time you need a voice, Sineya, think twice before you draft someone who’s gotten a good look at the universe’s playbook. Oh, and never threaten someone dating one of the elemental forces that bind all the laws of physics together. She takes the phrase, “Step off my kool-aid, motherfucker!” to a whole new level.”

“Faith, what’s going on right now?” Buffy asked as she watched the unassuming little blonde girl who was dating her sister threaten and berate a near-mythical figure from ancient prehistory. “Did this happen the last time you came here?”

“What? Heck no, B.” Faith shook her head in bewilderment and she too watched the ghost of the very first slayer lose a pissing contest with a girl who routinely walked into walls and door frames whenever Buffy’s little sister wore a tank top. A girl they had once seen fall out of a dining room chair when Dawn skipped into the room wearing a new bikini. “The first time I came here cave girl just jumped me. I whooped her ass and she hasn’t bothered me ever since. I figured you’d have to fight her a bit, but after that was done we could just chill here until the gang comes up with a cure.”

“We’re done here, Sineya,” Cassie said as the lights all around her swirled and coalesced into a massive freestanding door. The base of the dark polished wood door dug into the sand. It loomed twenty meters over the bright desert sands. Stars were carved into its surface, flowing and swirling in streams that came from the edges around the door. Rivers of engraved stars flowed and poured into the oversized keyhole resting in the dead center of the wooden surface. “Sineya, don’t borrow me again. Faith, I’ll tell the guys you’re keeping Buffy safe, and, Buffy... Kick her ass.”

The Slayers watched as Cassie raised the giant key and pointed it at the door. She flicked her outstretched wrist, the key twisting in the air. The door opened. In the blink of an eye tendrils of green light enveloped Cassie, dragging her into the open portal. The door slammed shut and vanished. Buffy swore she heard a soft popping sound. As if the wooden door was a balloon someone had taken a pin to in another room.

*****

“Huh?” Dawn stirred as she heard the sound of distant popping. “Cassie? Did we fall asleep on our date?”

The blonde just pulled her confused and bleary-eyed girlfriend back down to the couch resting in the Summers living room. “Hush, Babe.” She whispered as she snuggled closer to her oblivious yet all-powerful girlfriend. “Everything is gonna be alright.”

“Mmm, love you…” Dawn whispered as Cassie stroked her hair. Before Cassie could return the sentiment Dawn was fast asleep. All memories of calling the very stars in the heavens to threaten and smite an ancient ghost were long gone. Replaced with sweet dreams of her girlfriend in ever more compromising garments. Cassie smiled as she joined Dawn in blissful slumber. Though their subconscious minds had depicted Cassie wielding the full power of the Key as a weapon, they both knew it was far more often for the Key to take charge. Playing the young blonde’s heartstrings like a fine instrument. Unlocking new worlds of love and devotion with every sly smile and every tender caress.

*****

“Well, that happened.” Faith let out a whistle as the skies over the astral desert cleared and brightened.

“I am so confused.” Buffy had little time to ponder Cassie’s words. Before the blonde could even form a relevant question the dark figure pounced. Sineya threw herself into Buffy’s midsection. Buffy let out an annoyed grunt as she was tackled. The Slayers tumbled, rolling down the sandy slope, limbs swinging wildly as each young woman tried to strike at her foe. “A little help Faith?”

“No help!” Sineya growled as they rolled to a stop with Buffy straddling her hips. “No friends!” The ancient creature lashed out, taking the petite blonde by surprise. Buffy found herself flat on her back with her foe crouching over her. Sineya loomed over her, the jagged obsidian blade held high. “Just kill. We. Are. Alone!” The sinister dagger came down. It’s course never erring from Buffy’s heart.

The jagged stone weapon failed to find its target. To the ancient woman’s surprise, Buffy grasped her by the wrist and squeezed. “That was then. This is now. There’s trees in the desert since you moved out, and I don’t sleep on a bed of bones. Now back off!”

As she ended her rebuttal with a shout Buffy slammed her open palm into Sineya’s chest. The ancient force flew backwards. The dark figure sailed through the air, away from the blonde. Climbing to her feet, Buffy was greeted by an eager brunette.

“Way to go, B!” Faith shouted as she ran up and wrapped her arms around her girl. She spun the petite blonde around in the air several times before setting her back on the sandy slope and leaning in for a kiss. “Knew you could do it,” She whispered into Buffy’s parted lips.

“Is she gonna be a problem?” Buffy asked just before Faith’s amorous advances stole away all her worries.

Faith chuckled as she kissed her way along Buffy’s jaw and down the side of her neck, nipping at all her girl’s most sensitive spots along the way. “Nah, she’s a cream puff once ya stand your ground. Just had to show her who was the alpha bitch.”

“So I’m the alpha bitch now?” Buffy almost protested as she felt Faith’s hands come up to play with her nipples through the thin sundress she was wearing. “What does that make you?”

Faith just smirked as she slid down to her knees before Buffy. Her hands trailed down toned thighs until they came to the hem of the sundress. The brunette looked up at her girl as her hands slipped under the dress and around Buffy’s thighs. The smirk was renewed as her fingertips slid through the arousal dripping down the inside of Buffy’s legs. Faith smiled up at her girl and spoke one word before hiking up the dress and burying her face in Buffy’s heated folds. “Yours.”

Buffy’s head flew back as she felt Faith’s tongue slide up and down her center. Nose crashing into the swollen bundle of nerves and longing perched atop Buffy’s quivering entrance. The sun beat down upon the golden sands and the wind howled across the wide open astral desert. An ancient ghost prowled the wastes outside of the outcropping of rock and sand where two Slayers made love. With the sun warming her skin and her head thrown back in ecstasy, there was only one response that came to Buffy’s mind. She moaned the word in between ragged, lust-ridden breaths.

“Mine.”

*****

Xander stood in the hidden Slayer HQ within the school library as he looked over the small group of volunteers he had managed to draft. “Okay, so we’ve got a potential mass murderer on the loose and only until lunch tomorrow to find out who.”

Around the large conference table sat Cordelia, Larry, Johnathan, and Amy. The expressions on their faces ranged from terrified to an odd mix of confusion and boredom. To say none of them knew what to do about the crisis would have been a grave understatement.

Amy was the only one to speak up. “And you’re sure we can’t ask Willow and Tara to help us find the bad guy?”

Xander frowned as he realized where the girl’s concern was coming from. “Yeah, they’re busy getting the cure for Buffy’s brain thingy. This one is up to us.”

Nervous nods of agreement came from all around the table as Xander’s emergency backup team realized the day still needed saving, and the duty fell to them. As night began to fall the teens went to work planning their search for the following day.

*****

“I still can’t believe one of those three-eyed demons got the back of your head pregnant, Wes.”

“Damn it, Charles, this is hardly the time!” Wesley snapped at Gunn as the gang leader examined the third eye that had formed on the back of the watcher’s head.

Their attempt to clear out the nearest Skilosh demon nest had gone sideways. With a third of the Hyperion Crew helping Fred and Doyle solve some strange math puzzle for a minor demon prince, the rest had decided to clear out a local threat. Word of three-eyed demons stalking people passing by the park had gotten to the Crew. A short round of research concluded that the Skilosh were about to enter the breeding cycle they went through once every decade. So far the only human to be impregnated had been Wesley.

“Just hurry with the counter agent. Please!” Wesley was growing more and more frantic as he watched Gunn, Chain, and Rondell prepare mystic herbs and powders behind him. As the three young men ground the last ingredients into the concoction a scraping sound came from the hotel’s main entrance. Gunn drew his homemade battle axe forged from a discarded hubcap. Rondell finished grinding the powders as Chain picked up both of their weapons. Wesley cringed as the scraping turned into shuffling and a few sinister growls.

“How much you wanna bet they followed their new baby mama back to us?” Gunn asked the others.

“Just hurry and fix this.” Wesley pleaded. “With everyone else out on patrol, it’s down to just us. Oh, why the devil did Alonna have to run off to the hellmouth now of all times?”

Rondell hurried over to Wesley with the antidote. He peppered the back of the Englishman’s head and whispered the words of the incantation. He and Chain let out a gasp as the grotesque, gray, third eye vanished before their own dark brown eyes. With that out of the way the three men drew up their own weapons and joined Gunn’s vigil by the front doors.

“Think they’ll all come bursting in the front?” Chain asked.

“They didn’t seem smart enough to flank the last time we...” Gunn’s answer drew to an abrupt halt. The sounds coming from outside grew in intensity. Predatory growls turned to cries of rage and agony as the sound of a sword carving through flesh and bone filed the night.

“What the devil is that?” Wesley whispered as he clutched his own short sword.

“New enemy?” Rondell asked as he and Gunn shared a look.

“Or an old one,” Gunn said as the sounds of battle died out. For a moment there was silence. Then footsteps. Slow, methodical, plodding, steps drew ever closer to the front door of the Hyperion Hotel. The four men waited behind the fogged glass doors, tensing, weapons drawn.

The footsteps drew up to the door then stopped. Wesley let out a gasp as the fiend beyond their front door rattled the door handle. The door shook for a brief instant, but the lock held. Oddly familiar grumbling came from beyond the sealed portal and all four men’s eyes widened.

“Guys?” Angel called out from the other side of the closed and locked hotel door. “Please unlock the door, we’ve got more demons to deal with tonight.”

“My word...” Wesley whispered as Gunn and Rondell shared another look.

“Come on!” Angel called out again. “I know you’re in there. I can hear Wes quivering!”

Gunn grit his teeth before reaching forward and opening the door. There Angel stood, frowning as he clutched a long sword dripping with the blood and gore from the many dead demons littering the walkway at his back. For his part, Gunn still held his axe at the ready as he addressed the wayward vampire. “What are you doing here, Fangs?”

“The others are in trouble. We have to go save them.” Angel hurried out his answer before turning to head back to his convertible. “If we leave now we’ll get to the docks just in time. Let’s go.”

“I seem to recall you quitting,” Wesley said as none of the humans moved to follow the vampire.

Angel stopped and turned back to the group. There was a confused and slightly annoyed look in his eyes as he addressed the watcher’s accusation. “Seriously? We don’t have time to go through every life I was too lazy or hungry to save. The second Fred solves the puzzle for the Nahdrah demons they are going to cut off her head and stick it onto their prince’s neck stump.”

“They’re gonna what!” Gunn shouted. The ebony man leapt forward, glaring at the vampire. “What about Irish? He wouldn’t let them hurt her!”

“Doyle is gonna need help on this one.” Angel brushed aside the questions which paled in comparison to the dire straits they faced. “Now are you guys gonna come help or am I killing all the demons and saving Fred by myself?” The vampire met the gang leader’s furious glare with exasperation. As Gunn stared the vampire down he noticed there was a hint of desperation buried deep beneath Angel’s annoyed attitude. Despite all that had passed between them the young man knew what was at stake. He knew what he had to do.

Without further hesitation, Gunn marched towards Angel’s waiting car. “Let’s go!” He shouted to those left in his wake.

Angel simply nodded and followed. Wesley, Chain, and Rondell shared concerned glances before following the unlikely duo. As they stepped out of the hotel they nearly faltered at the carnage awaiting them. The mangled and severed bodies of at least twenty Skilosh demons littered the walkway and small garden that made up the entrance to the Hyperion Hotel.

“I said move!” Gunn shouted from the front passenger's seat of the convertible. There was no time to address the carnage left by the cursed vampire. Some of their closest friends needed them to act. They hurried past the demon corpses all around them and piled into the vampire’s car. The car roared to life and Angel sped them towards the docks. They could only hope to make it in time.

*****

It was a full hour after sunset before Joyce worked up the courage to face her daughter once again. The thought of her each and every intimate thought being spread out for Buffy’s perusal absolutely terrified the art gallery owner. Joyce had counted herself lucky that Buffy had freely given her approval to Giles. The Slayer seemed to sidestep the awkwardness of mixing the newfound domesticity of the Summers home with their work relationship. A work relationship already fraught with murkiness and blurred lines between Giles’ rolls as teacher and that of surrogate father. Even when Buffy finally realized the depths of her watcher’s relations with her mother the Slayer had welcomed the man into their home with open arms.

That would not last if Buffy continued to see Joyce getting stripped naked and bent over the front desk, meeting table, card catalog, and office desk in either of the old or new high school libraries where Giles worked. Joyce shuddered at the thought her daughter might be sickened by visions of the deceptively athletic librarian shoving the older blonde up against the book stacks. Joyce’s moans as her legs wrapped around Giles’ strong, vigorous hips. Fanciful thoughts of being manhandled by a stevedore who had the stamina necessary to put in a hard day’s work and follow up by disciplining the winsome blonde well into the night.

Joyce had to stop. Her daughter could hear her every ribald thought. Every erotic flight of fancy. Every lurid string of profanity she had ever grunted into her boyfriend’s neck or inner thigh.

“Gaahhh! Laundry! Think about doing the laundry! Running the dishwasher. Dusting the shelves. Polishing Buffy’s sword collection… No, wait! That’s too phallic! Sharpening her stakes! No that’s worse.” Joyce could not help herself. None of her prior relationships had ever felt like this. No honeymoon period had ever gone on this long. Not with boys she dated in high school, nor the girl she entertained in college, even the biological father of her own daughters. No connection had ever resonated so strongly. No partner had ever touched Joyce so deeply.

“God, Buffy is probably still reeling from me thinking about Rupert’s ass,” Joyce muttered to herself as she came to a halt outside her eldest daughter’s door. Though she was loath to try, she had to risk the Slayer’s ire and embarrassment. It was already well past dinner and even if Buffy was writhing in agony Faith would be hungry. Her girls needed her to pull her head out of the gutter and offer all the support she could muster. Joyce took a deep breath, cleared her mind, and opened the door to Buffy’s bedroom. The sight awaiting her was all but the last thing she ever expected to see.

Both Slayers sat on the bed, facing each other. Their legs were folded and crossed, hands resting idly on their knees. Eyes were closed in what Joyce assumed was concentration. As she approached she noticed small, almost serene, smiles gracing both Buffy’s and Faith’s lips. Joyce didn’t have the first clue as to whether or not meditation was even listed as one of her daughter’s superpowers. The art gallery owner still had a hard time grasping the physical aspects of the Slayer’s power. She had no clue as to the depths of spiritual powers Giles, Jennifer, Willow, and Tara had once tried to explain. She could not imagine what it was the girls were doing.

She knew for a fact, however, that it was working. Whatever it was Faith had gotten Buffy to try, and Joyce knew this was something the brunette had instigated, it worked. Buffy was no longer wincing in agony at every stray thought. She wasn’t crying into her pillows, trying desperately to ignore the intimate thoughts Joyce routinely failed to suppress. Her daughter was no longer teetering on the brink of madness.

Joyce leaned closer to the brunette and placed a gentle kiss on the side of her relaxed brow. “Thank you, Faith. You always know how to take care of our girls. Don’t ever doubt your place in this family, Sweetheart. We wouldn’t know how to get by without you.”

As Joyce leaned back she swore that for a single instant she saw Faith’s lips twitch upwards into a smug grin. Joyce smiled back at the nearly oblivious girl. The girls were busy, whatever it was they were doing. They would be hungry later though. Joyce left the bedroom, intent on wrapping up leftovers for the big meal they’d share once Willow and Tara finally came up with a cure for this fresh nightmare.

As the Slayer’s mother descended the stairs she remained unaware of the scene playing out in the astral desert. Two Slayers luxuriating in each other’s embrace. Basking in the sunlight that heated the sands beneath their bodies to the perfect temperature. Idly gazing as the swaths of bright stars that somehow remained visible in the night sky high above. Even when the sands all around reflected the bright light of the noonday sun baking the endless expanse of astral sands, the sky further up was that of a warm summer’s eve. Two Slayers, warm, sated, loved. Two souls free to embrace one another as a third prowled the sun-parched sands of the endless astral realm.

*****

“No, you don’t!” Alonna roared as she launched herself through the air. Her feet came into contact with the dead center of the mouthless demon’s chest. The fiend went crashing to the ground, landing beside a vacant picnic table that sat in the middle of the park. The deserted park made for an excellent battleground. So late into the evening were they that not even vampires were likely to interrupt their duel.

The Slayer rolled to her feet, kicking one leg out in a wide arc. Her solid boot striking her quarry in the side of the head. Staggered, the demon let out the same odd clicking screech it had with after each clash. It scrambled away from the Slayer, desperate to flee. She refused to give it that opportunity. Alonna dove forward, delivering one devastating punch to the creature’s throat. Even though it lacked the traditional mouth and esophagus arrangement of most lifeforms, the full might of the Slayer was more than enough to disrupt the delicate array of bone and spinal column most lifeforms kept in their necks.

“Stay down,” Alonna warned as the demon clutched uselessly at its own neck and head. It wobbled once as it tried to get up. It tried in vain. Alonna took two slow steps towards her staggered foe. With grim determination, the ebony Slayer wrapped two strong hands around the creature’s head. She gave one final twist, filling the late night air with a sickening crack and the dull thud of a lifeless body hitting soft grass and dirt.

“Great work Alonna!” Willow cheered as the Slayer picked the bruised but fully intact corpse up with one hand. She threw the demon over one shoulder before turning to face the witches.

“You sure this will cure Buffy’s brain thing?” Alonna couldn’t help but ask. She leapt into action the second she arrived in Sunnydale and they had explained the full situation. The thought of losing someone like Buffy to the sheer maddening cacophony of other people’s thoughts was unacceptable. The world needed Buffy. The Scoobies needed Buffy. Faith needed Buffy. Alonna would not fail her fellow Slayers in their moment of greatest need.

“We’re sure,” Tara assured as she and Willow fell into step with the Slayer. “We ju-just n-need to get it back home and make a potion out of its heart.”

Alonna let out an incredulous grunt. “These demon tricks and loopholes get more and more complicated each day. I mean who uses their own blood as a slow-acting mind poison?”

“Tell me about it.” Willow agreed as she and Tara clutched hands. The hardest part was over. Without Angel to leap in at the last second They had needed to improvise this fight over the lifetimes. Alonna’s willingness to fight unarmed in the name of her friends ranked among the best of their solutions. “But now we have the cure. Buffy’s almost as good as new. One quick potion and we can put all this mind-reading nonsense behind us.”

The three girls and their lifeless cargo quickly made it back to sixteen thirty-two Revello Drive. Nothing could distract them from their life-saving mission. The petite blonde Slayer was far too important to each of them.

*****

“So, you had an epiphany, did you?” Gunn spoke with skepticism and more than a little derision as he grew tired of the vampire’s attempts at small talk.

“Yeah, heh...” Angel was almost relieved the young man had finally spoken up. Things would go more smoothly if he could just get the Gunn siblings to give him a second chance.

“So what? You just wake up and bang?” It was clear to the other three men in the car that Gunn’s animosity had flown well over the vampire’s head.

“It was sort of the other way around.” Only once he turned to see the face of the young gang leader did Angel realize the other man’s seething animosity.

“Well, that’s good. You know that’s real good you could have one of those.” Gunn put on a falsely cheerful tone before turning to his three friends in the back seat of the convertible. “Ain’t that good, Wes? Rondell, you know what I’m talkin’ about. Matter of fact, didn’t you have that big epiphany just last week, Chain?”

“Man...” Rondell shook his head as it became clear his oldest friend was about to lay into the vampire.

“That’s real good,” Gunn muttered as his eyes returned to the road ahead. “Because, epiphanies, they’re handy.” The young man paused before turning a hard glare on the cursed vampire. “When you think you might be having another one?”

“Gunn.” Wesley chimed in as both Chain and Rondell remained silent.

“Nah, nah, I’m interested.” Gunn dismissed Wesley’s concern. “You know cause they could strike at any time. Could be it’ll happen the next time you see one of them watchers you’ll get all epiphanied off right back at ‘em.”

There was a moment of hesitation before the vampire answered. “No.” The reply did little to rekindle any hope the four humans had for Angel’s trustworthiness.

“No? You don’t think so?” Gunn almost laughed as he took in the vampire’s halfhearted response. “Hmm, well I hope you don’t go having another one before we get to Fred and Irish. ‘Cause if something happens to them, I mean something bad, I might just have me an epiphany.”

Silence reigned over the group as they continued towards the docks. There was little chance of Angel making amends with just his words. He would have to prove himself with action. Only then would he be given the chance he honestly didn’t think he deserved.

*****

“And here it is!” Willow shouted as she and Tara burst into Buffy’s bedroom. “Guys?” The redhead looked at the pair of Slayers, still sitting on the bed, facing each other, lost in their own private mental realm. “Huh, well would ya look at that?”

“I didn’t think Faith knew that trick just yet.” Tara was just as surprised as her everything was at the sight of both Slayers engaged in deep meditation. “Think Buffy kicked Sineya’s butt?”

Willow let out a dismissive snort, nearly a raspberry, at the honey blonde’s curiosity. “Please! Buffy always beats Sineya. I don’t think any Slayer that lasts more than a few months could lose to that old ghost. Our girls don’t have anything to worry about from the likes of her.”

“What a relief.” Tara agreed with a giggle as they walked over to the bed. “You can wake up, Faith. We got the antidote.”

There was a slight shift in the brunette’s posture, but she remained in her meditative trance. Willow and Tara shared an unimpressed look before the honey blonde decided on more drastic action. With one open palm Tara reached out and shoved Faith’s shoulder. The brunette flinched and her brow creased in annoyance. Just as Tara was about to prod the girl again expressive brown eyes flew open.

“Wha… What the hell?” Faith scowled and cursed before she noticed the witches standing at the side of her girl’s bed. “You guys get the stuff?”

“Of course,” Willow assured as she moved over to Buffy’s side.

With Faith awake, there was only so much time before Buffy came to as well. They could already see a surprised frown working its way across the Slayer’s face. Her brow began to crease in much the same way it had before she was overwhelmed in the school cafeteria.

Willow ignored her friend’s imminent agony as she raised the vial of glowing blue liquid. “Did you ever have any doubts that we’d save the day?”

“To be fair you had a little help,” Alonna smirked as she leaned against Buffy’s bedroom door frame.

“Hey, Al. You came all the way to Sunny D for this mess?” Faith smiled as she greeted her fellow Slayer. “Who’s keeping all your boy toys in line while you’re gone?”

“Ugh, don’t even make me think about all the crap they’re probably getting up to.” Alonna rolled her eyes as she approached the brunette. “How’s your girl?”

“She’s a hot mess,” Faith chuckled and shook her head as she looked back at her girl and watched Willow pour the strange blue sludge down her throat, “but I love her, so what are ya gonna do?”

“Love makes you do the wacky,” Tara smiled at her redhead as Buffy began to cough and sputter in Willow’s arms.

A full body shiver overtook the Slayer and Buffy’s eyes snapped open. “Ghaa! Wha… Will? Faith?”

“Welcome back Buffy.” Tara and Alonna said as Willow began to pat the petite blonde on the back.

“The voices… You guys saved me…” Before Buffy could thank them further she was tackled by a sobbing mess of a Slayer. Dark brown locks flew everywhere as Buffy was constricted by her girl. “Faith?”

“Goddess, B.” Faith whispered in between sobs. “Don’t fuckin’ scare me like that again.”

“I’ll try, Honey,” Buffy assured as the other three girls let themselves out of the Slayer’s bedroom. “I love you.”

*****

“We’re here to…” Wesley shouted as he, Gunn, Chain, Rondell, and Angel all burst into the throne room of the Nahdrah demon prince. The sight awaiting them was the last thing they had expected. “Rescue you?” Wesley finished with more than a little confusion.

“Oh, hey guys,” Fred said as she stood and helped Doyle back to his feet. “Did you find out these guys lied to us or did… Oh, hi, Angel.”

“Hi, Fred.” Angel greeted the slim brunette. “Lorne said you guys were gonna be in trouble. I had to… But it looks like you’ve got it handled.”

The vampire and the four men looked around the room and took in the gruesome sight. Demon limbs and body parts were everywhere. The long flowing robes and the distinctive geometric patterned tabards the fiends had worn were in tatters across the floor. The pallid purple flesh of the Nahdrah demons sported deep gashes. More than a few of the demon’s silvery metal masks were cleaved in two. In the center of the carnage stood the petite Texan, holding a thick briefcase in one hand and hoisting a woozy-looking half-demon with the other.

“Well, I did get some pretty nifty combat training since meeting you guys. Oh and this helped.” Fred appeared to remember something important and began to awkwardly shift the briefcase over to the hand that was wrapped around Doyle. She then drew a long silver blade curved into a shape resembling a question mark. Fred smiled as she held her sword up for the others to see. “Really thankful Willow and Tara gave me this khopesh.”

“Didn’t that thing have more rust when we trained with it?” Angel asked as he eyed the ancient gleaming blade.

“Hell with the rust, it’s twice the size it was yesterday!” Gunn nearly shouted as he watched his girlfriend display the blade.

“It actually grew in size?” Wesley asked as he too eyed the khopesh. “How is that even possible.”

“Oh, yeah.” Fred grew slightly nervous as she put away her sword. “I noticed that in the fight and back when I used it on Halloween in Sunnydale. I think it cleans itself and gets a little bigger after feeding on demon blood.”

“It feeds on demon blood!” Chain shouted. As he and Rondell looked at the slender young woman in awe, Gunn, Wesley and Angel looked around the room once more. The trio was shocked that they hadn’t noticed it before. Despite the piles of severed demons parts littering the space, there was no blood to be seen. Not a drop of demon goo or gore could be seen on Fred or Doyle.

“Fellas, if we could be goin’…” Doyle muttered as he rubbed a nasty looking bruise on the side of his head.

“Right,” Angel said as he moved to prop up Doyle’s other side. “I brought my car if you two didn’t bring one of the vans or whatever when you came here.”

“You back for good this time, Angel?” Fred asked as she sent Gunn and Wesley a concerned look.

“He had an epiphany.” Gunn and Wesley spoke in perfect, yet unimpressed, synchronicity.

“I had an epiphany.” Angel agreed a little too wholeheartedly.

“Bloody fantastic.” Doyle laughed before cringing at the pain the emotion caused in his head.

The Hyperion Crew left the boat, taking anything that looked even remotely valuable on their way out. The Nahdrah demons appeared to be one of the more affluent clans and their prince certainly had expensive tastes. Those spoils and the half a million dollar payment in the briefcase would prove to be a sizable sum. Though the Crew had no real money problems to speak of with their corporate sponsorship, Fred still wanted to loot the place out of sheer spite. The Texan also had a few ideas for how to put this unexpected windfall to good use. Anne’s shelter project was about to receive it’s first large donation, and Fred’s parents would soon find an anonymous trust had paid off their mortgage.

*****

“So the killer is definitely the lunch lady,” Xander said as he and his impromptu investigative force found the Slayers in the new high school’s library. “Apparently she just really hates her job.”

“You’d think she would have tried to start over someplace without kids when the old school got all good and blown up.” Amy dismissed the woman’s insanity as she collapsed into a seat “Can you guys go back to handling this hero stuff? Not that I mind, but I’m not cut out for this Nancy Drew shtick.”

“I’ll admit this is the hardest I’ve Nancy Drewed in my life,” Larry added.

The head cheerleader just cringed at the morbid nature of their findings. “Seriously though, rat poison in the chili?”

“We’ll deal with her,” Buffy said as she and Faith stood and began to stalk towards the library doors. “Thank you guys for helping. You have no idea how much the last few days have sucked.”

Once the Slayers were gone Johnathan turned to Xander and then Giles. “They’re not gonna actually “Slay” the lunch lady are they?”

“No…” Xander began only to falter as he looked at the now closed library doors. “Probably not.”

“It depends entirely on how sturdy the woman’s jaw is and whether or not she comes at them with a cleaver or some such,” Giles admitted to the group of shocked teens. “Still, with the evidence you’ve found and the support of the mayor, I’m sure the madwoman will face proper legal justice.”

All around the library the teens Xander had assembled shared concerned looks. A moment later screaming and shouts of “vermin” and “filth” filtered down the hallway just outside the doors. The almost inhuman screeching was followed by a dull thud. Giles smiled as it became clear his Slayers had just saved the day yet again.

*****

“So let me get this straight.” Alonna ground out her words one by one as she slowly paced the lobby of the Hyperion Hotel. “You guys accidentally sold Fred’s head to an insane demon clan’s prince. You started a turf war with another clan that Angel had to kill for you. You let Wesley get pregnant.”

“It’s not quite as bad as it sounds.” Wesley tried and failed to put a positive spin on his unwilling demonic impregnation.

Several of the young men around the lobby snickered at the Englishman’s obvious embarrassment. “You got knocked up real good Wes,” Rondell countered, causing Chain to break out in laughter at his side. “We had to do a whole magic ritual and everything. Still, don’t know if that’s covered by your health insurance.”

“Not the time guys,” Doyle whispered as he saw the rage smoldering in the Slayer’s eyes. It was a long tense moment before Alonna spoke again. When she did it was directly to the cursed vampire.

“So.” She folded her arms as she stood in front of the vampire.

“So.” Angel’s reply and mirrored posture did little to hide his trepidation.

“You’re back.” The tension in the room built with each word from the Slayer.

“If you’ll have me.” The vampire held no illusions that he would be accepted back freely and without question. He had burned too many bridges.

“Why?” The Slayer’s question shocked most of those who heard it. “Tell me why you want back… and don’t use the word epiphany.”

When Angel spoke his words were soft and unassuming. “Because I think I can help.”

The Slayer took the answer and weighed it against everything her senses were telling her at the moment. “How do I know I can trust you?”

Angel looked the Slayer in the eye, then he cast his gaze around the room. He took in the faces of those he had known. Those he had fought alongside. Those he had so carelessly abandoned. There was a long moment before he looked to the Slayer. He knew no answer he had would be good enough. “I guess I’ll just have to earn that.”

Alonna stared Angel down. The hard glare in her eyes sent shivers down the vampire’s spine. Moments dragged on as the two supernatural creatures held each other’s gaze. Neither flinched. Neither backed down. Just as the rest of the Hyperion Crew was about to chime in Alonna spoke.

“Your room is where you left it.” The Slayer turned on her heel and marched towards the stairs leading up to her room. “This is your one and only second chance Angel. If you ever abandon the mission to chase down your undead fuck buddies I’ll stake you myself.”

“Noted,” Angel called out as the Slayer stormed up the stairs.

“And take a shower for fuck’s sake!” She snapped before heading down the second-floor hallway that led to her room. “You still have Darla’s stank all over you!”

Silence reigned over the hotel lobby in the wake of the Slayer’s departure.

*****

“Any suggestions for the movie, B?” Faith had been extra attentive since the arrest of the lunch lady. Now all the Scoobies were gathered, spread out on Xander’s bed in the Rosenberg-Maclay house as the boy flipped through his Bollywood collection and fiddled with a massive prototype TV Willow had designed. They had a moment to go over the events of the week and Buffy all but cringed at the memories she may never recover from.

The Slayer cringed once more for good measure before answering her girl’s question. “Nothing that reminds me of my mother having sex with Giles.”

“They’ve been dating for months, Buff.” Willow’s comment did little to ease Buffy’s nerves. “You’re gonna have to face facts eventually. Joyce and Giles have a healthy… attraction… for each other.”

“But it’s so gross!” Buffy lamented as she leaned further into Faith’s embrace. “And that word. No one ever tell me what stevedore means.”

“Okay, B.” Faith agreed before looking over to Tara with a wicked smirk. “I’ll say this though. I looked it up, and good for Joyce. Most cougars go their whole lives looking for their stevedore. She found hers and pounced. G man must have laid his game down flat.”

Buffy’s pained moans were drowned out by the laughter of the other three teens in the room. Though she could not stand the imagery that sprang to her mind, there was no denying the truth. Her mother and her watcher had found love. The Slayer looked to her girl once more and felt her heart melt. If what Joyce felt for Giles was even a tenth of what she felt for Faith then she could never deny her happiness.

_________________
Time and Time Again


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:52 am 
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9. Gay Now
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Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:45 pm
Posts: 941
Topics: 15
Location: Beyond the orbit of Mars and accelerating...
Dibs! :P

Torturing Buffy with her prudishness is always fun :P

Also, who's "D/J, F/G" I recognize the rest of them.

"Your girlfriend loves you, Buffy. Tentacles and all." LOL.

And wow. Faith really made an impact.
I mean, sure, she's more butch than Buffy, but damn!
Now i wanna see some of the encounters where she established her territory, now.

Though Faith saves the day was nice :)

And it's early days yet, but you do not mess with The Key.
“Step off my kool-aid, motherfucker!”
Damn.

And hey, Angel's back.
I guess he got over being a div.

and Joyce seems to be happy.
Very Happy.
:P

Awesome chapter. Roll on the next one! :bounce

R :flower

_________________
“All I feel is sunlight. All I hear is music.” Willow
How i Met Your Mother - By Ariel


My Story: Coming Home


Last edited by Azirahael on Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:47 am 
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9. Gay Now
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Yay for excellent update-y goodness...

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:49 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Hi Azirahael, hi Zampsa.

Glad you guys liked this one. I believe Buffy is still in the stage of her relationship where she defaults to full blown panic mode at the first sign of trouble. At least that's the impression I got of her various relations on the show. Faith, likewise, has just too much swagger for her own good. Like in the show.

All in all I'm enjoying playing up Buffy's roll as the girly girl, pillow princess to Faith's super macho "bad boy" persona.

But when they swap rolls and Faith bottoms for Buffy. Oh boy. Also I just really wanted Faith to come away from her time in LA having picked up a new parlor trick. Something she might have picked up from memories of watching Jennifer and Tara refresh their spell slots / mana points.

Wow it's been a while since I wrote that incomprehensible string of gibberish. If I'm rereading this right then it's something like...

Willow/Tara
Buffy/Faith
Giles/Joyce
Doyle/Jennifer
Fred/Gunn
Angel/???
Xander/Anya
Dawn/Cassie

Gotta get back to work ironing out the last 5 or so chapters in this act. Glad to know my posting delays and mishaps haven't completely eroded the readership.

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:00 am 
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Actually, i more meant the 'I hope Faith doesn't tear my dick off.' Comments.

And weird how no one was checking out Faith's butt.
People are really missing out. :P

R :flower

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:30 am 
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Oh, right, of course. I've been going under the assumption that Faith's macho posturing and leather pants mean everyone is expected to check out her ass. Most times you probably can't avoid checking out Faith's ass.

But woe to those who check out her girl's ass. I like to think that Faith has a special glare that speaks louder than any threatening words. Her "I'm about to rip yo dick off!" glare.

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:28 pm 
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OMG!!! I was lost in a hot, dusty wasteland. No sign of civilization, no escape from the emptiness!! Well, anyway it FELT that way; my computer was in the "shop"!!
But I am back now, I have read the latest chapter and as usual, I LOVED it!!! It was like an extra gift,...I got my computer back AND an update!!
"Buffy lamented as she leaned further into Faith’s embrace. “And that word. No one ever tell me what stevedore means.”
Now that is just an open invitation,...HA!!

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:50 am 
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Hi MotherD. Glad you successfully navigated and escaped the wastelands. Sorry for not responding earlier. This holiday season got away from me for a bit there.

But yes, Joyce has a Stevedore fetish. The show glossed over it with a few one liners, but Buffy had to wrestle with the fact that her Mom nailed her watcher in the middle of season 3. There Buffy was, dealing with all her relationship drama with Angel, and Faith, and pencil neck Wesley lusting after cheerleaders. Then in the middle of all that she has to deal with the soul crushing realization that the "old people" in her life still enjoy their sexual intercourse! The horror.

Working on the next chapter. It'll be a Marvels entry just in case anyone lost count. More moral quandaries staring Faith, Papa Wolverine, and Deadpool. Will try to get it up as soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:33 am 
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So, i just finished my 17th read through. :blush

More please? :kiss1

R :flower

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:29 pm 
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Citanul,..Before I bug you for another update I usually like to give you plenty of time to work out the kinks,...get all the grammar in line, etc.. However, I didn't want you to feel that I wasn't following this epic any more. I had mentioned a problem with my computer; WELL, it was not one that could be fixed as it turns out. I had an "insert manufacturer name" with a touchscreen. SO,..according to the tech who helped me there must have been a grain of dirt, an eyelash OR a gnats fart,! Something got on the screen and when the laptop was closed it put constant pressure on the touchscreen and basically KILLED the cursor. I had NO control. LONG story short,..I'm on new computer and good to go. WITHOUT a touchscreen!! Who knew. So, I am more than ready to read a new chapter (hint) and comment for you. Love and Blessings

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:41 pm 
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I too have a new laptoip, just perfect for reading this story.
Tablet/laptop. Just perfect. :kiss1

Just saying. :bounce

R :flower

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:40 pm 
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9. Gay Now
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Curses!
I need my fix!

Starting read-through #18.

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