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  • Future's Hope: Return to Chaos

    Title: Futures Hope : Return to Chaos.
    Author: Firecracker.
    Disclaimer: The buffyverse and its character's do not belong to me, however Hope, Adam and Melaka do.
    A/N: the first story takes place around two weeks after the season seven final, Sunnydale was not destroyed and Spike did not crispy fry, Buffy ripped the amulet off him in time. The First and its army of uber vamps were still destroyed. The potentials turned slayers have all returned to their homes and will continue to slay vamps and demons there. No Faith/Wood either.
    A/N: This is a follow up story to Enter Hope, Into The Woods so it might not make any sense unless you've read them first.



    Cast:
    Sarah Michelle Geller : Buffy Summers
    Michelle Trachtenburg : Dawn Summers
    Eliza Dushku : Faith Lehane
    Jessica Biel : Hope.
    Iyari Limon : Kennedy.
    James Marsters : Spike
    Alyson Hannigan : Willow Rosenburg
    Nicholas Brendon : Xander Harris

    Guest Staring:
    Chad Michael Murray : Adam Davies.
    Jill Wagner : Melaka
    Anthony Stewart Head : Rupert Giles
    Robin Sachs : Ethan Rayne
    Saverio Guerra : Willy the Snitch


    Previously on Buffy the vampire slayer...


    "My watcher sent me here to help you, I'm from the future, my name is Hope."

    "Wait did you just say Scythe's as in plural there's only supposed to be one?" Willow said

    "Yes but that was also said to be true about slayers wasn’t it" Hope said

    "You see the Scythe that was passed on to me isn't yours Buffy it's Faith's." Hope told them

    "Why the hell did we tell them I was in Boston?" Faith asked standing up.

    "Maybe because you deserve a second chance." Buffy said meeting faith's eyes letting her know she meant it.

    "I guess somewhere deep down I've always known, but I was always too scared to admit it." Buffy said looking into Spike's eyes.

    "But I'm not afraid anymore. I love you." she told him

    "I love you." he repeated before leaning in to kiss her.

    "Future Girl does have a good point, either way one night off isn’t going to kill anyone." Faith said.

    "Well I hate to be the one to tell you this but it already has." said Dawn who moved to stand beside Hope, she held up the mornings newspaper for them all to see. The headline read "Third body found in woods"

    "Whoa what just happened?" Kennedy asked.

    They all came to a stop looking around them at their surroundings, they were still in the woods but it was now night.

    "Wild stab but I don't think were in Sunnydale anymore." Hope said looking around.

    "Or maybe we are." Faith said causing the others to turn around.

    Turning around they all looked towards the way they had just come it was still day there, it was if they were in another universe or something that had been cloaked.



    Teaser


    It was nine thirty when Spike and Hope walked into Willy's. Hope was dressed in a pair of black jeans and a black jacket that had two large red stripes down the front at either side of the zipper. Spike was dressed in his usual black jeans, black t shirt and leather coat. Hope made herself a mental note to buy him a shirt or something before she went back to the future.

    "So this is where all the demons like to party these days." She said making their presence known.

    The joint wasn't exactly jumping. Five demons, four in the corner and one at the bar. One vampire and two humans one at the table to the left of them and one behind the bar who she assumed was Willy.

    "S 'not what I expected." She told Spike sounding a little disappointed.

    They had come here because over the last few days there had been talk in the demon community that something big was on it's way to Sunnydale.

    The room fell silent as they walked over to the bar. Sitting on one of the stools Spike looked at Hope who followed suit.

    "Do me a favour pet watch my back." he said indicating to the group of demons over in the corner, before turning his attention to Willy.

    "What... er what can I get you Spike?" Willy asked.

    "Well how about my usual and then you can tell me what you know about this new nasty that’s on its was into town." Spike said placing some money on the bar.

    Willy who was pouring Spike's drink stopped dead in his tracks almost dropping the glass.

    "How many times do I have to tell you people? I'm... I'm not into that anymore." Willy said a little too quickly to be convincing.

    "Just once more only this time work on being a little more sincere." Hope said leaning on the bar.

    "New Slayer?" Willy asked fearing the answer, having a slayer around usually meant him getting hit.

    "Something like that." Hope replied.

    Before Willy could say anything more there was a loud crash as the door went flying off its hinges and skidded across the floor. Spike and Hope turned their attention towards the door where six girls were now entering the bar. Each of them carrying an assortment of weapons. They couldn't have been any older then Hope, it was obvious what they were.

    "Friend's of yours?" Spike asked knowing this couldn't end well.

    "I don't have any friends." Hope said dryly.

    One of the girls that was a few inches smaller then the other girls stepped forward in her left hand she held a crossbow raising it she took aim at the vampire that was sat at the bar, pulling the trigger without pause. The vampire turned to dust seconds later the glass he had been holding fell to the floor and smashed.

    As the girls began to walk further into the bar the man who had been sat at the table to the left of the door tried to make a run for it, he didn't get far before one of the girls pulled out a knife from her belt and threw it at him. Hitting him in the back he fell to the floor dead in the door way.

    Spike remained where he was not believing what he had just seen, and also because of the trigger happy slayer with the crossbow. It was Hope who got off the stool and walked into the middle of the bar stopping just before the group of girls. Each of them pulling out weapons should she try anything.

    "Okay here's the thing you're Slayers right?" Hope asked.

    The girls remained where they were their weapons trained on Hope.

    "Well as a rule Slayers kill demons." Hope continued as she stepped forward anger clear on her face now.

    "And him" she pointed at the man on the floor.

    "Not being one of 'em." she said standing just in front of one of the girls.

    The Girl who stood in front of her had short black hair with a red streak down the right side and wore a t-shirt with some rock band on the front of it that Hope had never heard of before. The girl remained still for a few seconds then swung out at Hope who ducked to avoid being punched in the face. Before the black haired slayer could make another move Hope kicked her legs from under her sending her to the ground.

    Spike and the demons stood up ready to fight the slayers. Stepping forward the slayer with the crossbow took aim at Hope who had her back turned, the demon who had been sat at the bar dived at her sending both of them to the ground, but not before she could pull the trigger. The arrow was shot into the wall not far from where Hope was standing distracting her for just a second. A second was all the black haired slayer needed.
    By this time Spike and the rest of the demons had joined in the fight. The slayer Spike took on was tall with dark brown hair, pulling two long knives from behind her back she began to swing at him slicing through the air as he ducked to avoid being cut to shreds. He managed to knock one of the knives away from her which slid across the floor. Meanwhile the rest of the demons weren't fairing as well two of them being taken out almost instantly.

    Distracted by the arrow Hope didn't see the slayers fist until it was too late, hitting her full on she was knocked to the ground, before she could regroup she was sent into the wall by a round house kick from the Black haired slayer. As she stood up Hope saw that she now had two slayers on her.

    The demon who had tackled the slayer with the crossbow to the floor had finally managed to gain the upper hand, giving her a swift kick to the ribs she fell to the floor. Leaning over her he rolled her onto her back only to be stabbed by the knife that had been knocked from the other slayers hand. The demon collapsed on top of her, rolling him off her she stood and retrieved her crossbow.

    The demon who had been sat alone in the back corner had slowly gained the upper hand pinning the slayer against the wall with his hand around her neck. Leaning forward he looked into her eyes as black spikes began to sprout from his body.

    "I hate slayers." he said raising his free hand claws began to sprout from his finger ends.

    "I’m going to enjoy this." he said bringing his hand down to slash the slayer across the chest.

    The slayer cried out in pain as the demon's claws cut into her skin. The demon was about to bring down his hand again when suddenly his eyes bulged wide with disbelief, his grip around the slayers throat loosened and he fell to the ground a knife lodged in his back.

    Hope managed to hold her own against the slayers, as long as they kept coming at her one at a time she had the upper hand, checking on Spike out of the corner of her eye she saw one of the slayers aiming at him with a crossbow.

    "Spike! Look out!" She shouted.

    Spike tuned just in time to be hit in the chest with the arrow which luckily missed his heart. Falling to his knees he let out a grunt of pain before falling onto his side.

    "Bloody Hell." He grunted seeing the arrow a few inches to the left and he would have been dust.

    Seeing that she had missed the heart the slayer dropped the crossbow to the floor, breaking one of the pool cues in half she stalked towards him. Before Hope could move to help him she was knocked to the floor by the black haired slayer, one of the demons who saw the slayer headed for Spike grabbed her into a head lock which was followed by the sound of her neck being snapped. The demon dropped the dead slayer to the ground beside Spike who had enough time to give the demon a nod of his head before he was taken out by the slayers.

    Hope evened out the playing field, grabbing the blond slayer by her left arm she ran her head first into the nearest wall knocking her out. She then turned to face the black haired slayer.

    "You're one of us but here you are with them." The black haired slayer said hatred filling her voice.

    "And you're just the poster child for slayer ness?" Hope replied as they began to circle one another.

    Suddenly the other slayers came out of nowhere, all of them uninterested with Spike who was still on the floor. They stood around her for a few seconds before they all jumped her. Knocking her to the floor they continued to kick and punch her where she lay none of them showing her a moments mercy.

    Standing up Spike pulled the arrow from his chest swallowing a scream as he did so, dropping the arrow to the floor he began to walk over to the slayers, who were too busy with Hope to notice him. Grabbing one of them by the neck he pulled her away from the group and threw he into the wall causing all the other slayers to stop what they were doing.

    "Now, now kiddies didn't your watcher teach you to play fair." He said baiting them.

    "Kill him." The black haired slayer said before turning her attention back to Hope.

    Hope who was lying on the floor rolled over onto her side she managing only to get onto her hands and knees before she was kicked in the ribs, before she could make any attempt to stand the black haired slayer pulled he to her feet.

    "You've lost the mission." The black haired slayer told her.

    "And killing humans is that part of the mission too." Hope said.

    Spike had three of them on him at once grabbing a pool cue from the table he swung it low knocking one of the slayers off her feet only to be attacked by the other two.

    "Com' on Spike you've killed two slayers before this should be easy." He told himself.

    "You should be with us but you chose them." The black haired slayer said.

    Hope didn't have time to reply before the black haired slayer picked her up and threw her into the bar. Colliding with the bottles that were hung up on the wall behind the bar causing them to brake upon impact. Hope fell to the ground behind the bar broken glass and liqueur falling around her. The black haired slayer walked behind the bar broken glass being crushed under her feet. She stood over Hope's unmoving figure looking at her for a few seconds. A look of complete hatred crossed her features before she pulled a knife from her belt bringing it down she stopped a few inches away from Hope's back.

    Spike was doing as well as could be expected against three slayers, just when he thought he was getting somewhere one of them sent him into flying into the wall with a strong right hook. They all began to walk towards him when suddenly they stopped as if frozen in place a few seconds later one of them spoke.

    "He calls to us." the red haired slayer said.

    "We must leave." another spoke before she and the red head picked up the slayer Hope had knocked out earlier.

    Looking at the black haired slayer who was still behind the bar the red head spoke again.

    "We must leave." she said firmly.

    The black haired slayer gave Hope one last look before following the others. Spike stood up using the wall behind him for support looking around the bar, there were bodies every where.

    "Hope?" he called out as he stepped over one of the bodies

    "Hope?" he called again.

    Relief filled him when he heard the sound of coughing coming from behind the bar.
    Lifting her head Hope began to cough, opening her eyes she expected to find the black haired slayer standing over her but instead she found Spike. She stood up using the bar as support broken glass falling to the floor as she did so. Her hair and cloths were soaked through with the contents of the broken bottles.

    "Have you ever thought about going to a meeting?" Spike joked seeing the broken bottles.

    "Very funny." she said as she walked from behind the bar.

    "So... who gets to tell Buffy?" she asked as they left the bar.

    A few moments later Willy poked his head around the side of the door that lead to the back room, checking to see if the coast was clear he slowly walked out into the bar with a baseball bat in his hands.
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  • #2
    Chapter One:


    Buffy and the others were sat around the kitchen, while they had been at the Bronze Spike had called Buffy and told her and the others to meet them back at the house, they had been back half an hour and Spike and Hope still weren't back as Buffy paced the room.

    "They'll be here." Xander said sensing her worry.

    At that moment the front door opened Spike and Hope walked in, limping into the kitchen Hope found everyone stood around the counter.

    "Full house." she said pulling out a stool from the counter and sitting on it.

    "Whoa, twelve steps not working for you Future Girl?" Faith asked as the smell of liqueur filled her nostrils.

    "Apparently not." Hope said looking at her cloths which were still soaked and had begun to stick to her.

    Hope pulled off her jacket closing her eyes for a second at the pain in her shoulder and ribs. As Spike walked over and stood beside Buffy.

    "What happened?" Buffy said seeing the blood on Spike’s t shirt, and the nasty looking cuts on Hopes shoulder "Who did this?"

    Spike and Hope looked at each other neither of them wanting to be the narrator of this story.

    "How 'bout we get the littlest slayer all patched up then we'll fill you in." Spike said sitting on the stool beside Hope.

    "Patched up, you’re the one with a hole in you're chest." Hope said as Willow placed a first aid kit on the counter.

    Spike took of his coat before turning so that his back was to the counter, opening the box Buffy pulled out some alcohol and gauze before ripping Spike's bloody shirt in half. Willow stood behind Hope taking a quick look at her shoulder.

    "There's still some glass in there that need's to come out." Willow said before putting on a pair of gloves she pulled out a pair of tweezers from the box.

    "This is gonna hurt isn't it?" Hope asked the red head.

    Willow gave the young slayer a sympathetic nod before setting to work on removing the glass.

    "What happened?" Faith asked sitting opposite the future slayer.

    "We went to Willy's only been in there five minutes and then the bloody door gets kicked in." Spike said as Buffy tended to his wound.

    "Who did this?" Buffy asked anger welling up inside of her at how close to Spike's heart the wound was it was obvious he'd been shot with a crossbow.

    "Slayers, six of them." Hope said causing the room to fall silent.

    "They came in started tearing the place to pieces, killed everyone." Spike told them.

    "Wait I don’t see how that's bad I mean isn't that a slayers job to kill demons?" Andrew asked clearly confused about what was so wrong with that.

    "There was a man..." Hope didn't need to continue the others already knew what had happened.

    "Oh that's bad, that's..." Andrew said before trailing off.

    "Did they know... that he was ..." Xander asked trying to process what he had just heard.

    "He tried to run, made it as far as the door before..." Hope said anger filling her voice.

    "Did you recognize any of them?" Kennedy asked from where she stood next to Xander.

    "None of ours I would have spotted them... ow! Bloody hell slayer." Spike yelled as Buffy pressed on a little too had as she bandaged the wound.

    "Oh be quiet ya big baby." Hope said laughing at the vampire’s outburst.

    Spike turned to face Buffy who gave him a sheepish smile before continuing.

    "What happened... after I mean?" Dawn asked.

    "All hell broke loose. The demons joined in the fight...Ouch!" Hope said breaking off and looking at Willow.

    "Got it." said Willow who was stood behind Hope holding up a large piece of glass with the tweezers in her hand.

    Hope turned her gaze towards Spike who raised his left eyebrow.

    "You were saying." Spike said grinning at the young slayer.

    "Can it William or I finish the job." Hope joked waving a stake in front of her before placing it back on the counter.

    "The demons stepped in some put up a decent fight against the slayers before they were killed, even took one with them." Hope told them.

    "Funny thing is I'm lying on the floor with an arrow hanging out of me and they just pass on by like I’m not even there, went straight for Hope." Spike told them.

    "Why?" Faith asked.

    "I don’t know the one I fought was acting like I had betrayed them or something, kept going on about how I had lost the mission. that I should be with them." Hope said as Willow finished dressing the wound on her shoulder.

    "Thanks." she said giving the witch a grateful smile.

    "Psycho slayer and her buddies jumped me." Hope told them holding her side as she stood up.

    "Really did a number too. Could've been worse if Spike hadn't jumped in." she said giving the vampire a grateful look.

    "So psycho slayer sends the others after Spike so she can have me to herself, kind enough to launch me into the bar before she left." she said rubbing her hand over the bandage on her shoulder.

    "I get the felling she really didn't like me?" she said turning her attention back to the others.

    "Because you hang out with a vampire or cause you don't kill people?" Xander asked shifting on his feet.

    "Y' know I forgot to ask." Hope said matching Xanders sarcasm.

    "Wait they left, after all that they just left?" Dawn asked.

    "Yeah they were coming at me and then the just stopped, said something about being called to then they just left.’’ Spike answered.

    "Look's like Giles picked a good time to come home." Willow said packing up the first aid box.

    "Giles is back?" Hope asked.

    "Yeah his plane lands in an hour." Buffy told her.

    "Ok, mind if I grab a shower, ‘cause alcoholic slayer not the first impression I want to make." Hope asked.

    "No go ahead." Buffy said putting Spike's ruined t shirt into the bin.

    Water ran from the shower head as steam began to fill the small bathroom, wearing only a towel Hope stood in front of the small mirror that was hung above the sink. Turning on her feet so that she could see her back in the mirror she slowly pulled off the bandage Willow had applied earlier, to reveal a series of tiny cuts and scrapes.

    Pulling her hair to one side she stared at two large scars that ran down the top of her back.

    "It's started." she said before turning away and walking towards the shower.
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    • #3
      Chapter Two:


      Faith sat alone on the steps of the front porch, tilting her head back she blew out a thick cloud of smoke, looking up at the sky for a few seconds before lowering her head and taking another drag from the cigarette in her hand.

      "You smoke?" Hope's voice said breaking through the silence.

      "I don't in the future?" Faith asked taking one last drag from the cigarette.

      "No I guess you kicked the habit." Hope said stepping out of the shadows.

      "How long you' been out here?" Faith asked before dropping the cigarette to the ground and crushing it with the heel of her boot.

      "Long, enough." Hope shrugged before sitting next to Faith on the steps.

      "How's your shoulder?" Faith asked the younger slayer.

      "Better." Hope said before turning to Faith.

      "If I could just go a week without getting my ass kicked, that'd be great." Hope said with a playful smile.

      "That bad huh?" Faith asked shifting positions on the step so that she was facing Hope.

      "Took a few good hits." Hope said with a shrug,

      "Four against one, not exactly a fair fight.’’ Hope said before pausing for a moment.

      "But here's the thing the one I thought took me out without even breaking a sweat." Hope admitted.

      "But that doesn't make any sense, the spell was only cast last month, there's no way...how else could they be that good that fast." Faith questioned.

      "They were revved up, they’ve gotta be it's the only way...Spike said that just before they left they we're talking about being called to." Hope said.

      'So we're dealing with something power full enough to give these girls the extra juice, maybe even control them too?" Faith began but stopped when she heard Hope laugh.

      "Control them? What make's you think they didn't do this out of their own free will? Hope asked.

      "Are you sure they didn't know he was..." Faith began but stopped, not really wanting to go down that road.

      "I get what you're saying Faith as long as there has been a slayer there's had to have been mistaken identities, good and evil, it all looks the same now, but there are also slayers who choose to walk that path, who choose to take lives. Spell or no spell the end result is still the same, there's still blood on their hands." Hope told Faith.

      Faith remained silent, fearing where this conversation would lead, when she had first arrived Hope hadn't known anything about what she had done, killing Finch, siding with the Mayor, going to prison, Faith was beginning to think that wasn't so true anymore. Faith was pulled from her thoughts by the sound of Hope's voice.

      "Giles is home." Hope said as Xander’s car pulled into the driveway.

      Faith turned to face Hope only to find the spot next to her on the step empty, looking over her shoulder she saw Hope walking into the house, she remained sat on the step for a few more seconds before heading inside.

      Giles and Buffy walked inside the house to find everyone gathered around the living room.

      Dawn was the first to step forward and give the watcher a quick hug.

      "I'm glad your back." she told him before stepping aside.

      "Mr Giles." Kennedy greeted from the doorway where she was stood.

      "Hello Kennedy." Giles said giving the newly activated slayer a small smile.

      A second later Andrew quickly rushed forward and hugged Giles who simply stood there unmoving, before looking at Buffy for some assistance, only to receive none.

      "Mr Giles I'm so glad you're back." Andrew said still holding Giles.

      "Let go." Giles said but there was no sign of movement on Andrew's part.

      "Now please." Giles said when Andrew still hadn't move.

      Andrew quickly let go and took a few steps back, Giles the turned to see Faith who was now stood beside Dawn.

      "Faith." Giles said with a small smile.

      "Giles." Faith said greeting the watcher.

      It was then when Giles spotted a face amongst the group he didn't recognise.

      "Ah and you must be Hope, Buffy has been keeping me up to date on recent event's ... I must say it's nice to finally meet you." Giles said extending his hand.

      "Nice to see you again Mr. Giles," Hope said shaking his hand, then seeing the confused look that crossed Giles face she explained.

      "Oh... we've met before in the future that is..." Hope told him.

      "Ah yes... how silly of me" Giles chuckled softly before turning to see Xander and Willow coming up the steps of the front porch.

      Xander walked up the steps toward the front door. In his arms he was carrying a large box, so large in fact that he could only just see over the top of it. Walking inside he dumped the heavy box at the foot of the stairs.

      "Okay Giles what did you do bring England here with you?" Xander asked rubbing his arms that were possibly an inch or two longer now.

      Before Giles could reply Willow placed the box she had being carrying beside Xander's.

      "Yeah Giles what's in these anyway?" Willow asked as she stood next to Xander.

      "Book's," Giles replied as he opened one of the boxes.

      "Okay but don’t you have like a million of those already?" Xander asked seeing that the boxes were in fact filled with books.

      "I'm guessing it was you who loaded the boxes into the car in the first place." Hope asked Buffy.

      "All five of them." Buffy said with a quick smirk at Xander who clearly wasn't looking forward to bringing the rest of the boxes inside.

      "Come on I'll help you..." Hope said seeing the look that washed over Xander’s face only to be quickly replaced with a goofy grin.

      "Ah slayer strength to the rescue." he said as they headed towards the door.

      "So Giles got anything in those books that could explain what the hell happened tonight?" Faith asked stepping forward.
      "I just might, any theories?" Giles asked the group.

      "I might have a few." Faith told them thinking back to her earlier conversation with Hope.

      "Right, well best to get started as soon as possible then," Giles said moving over to the boxes.

      In the centre of a dimly lit warehouse two girls stood in the centre of a large blue training mat, each of them holding a quarterstaff as they slowly began to circle each another. One of the girl's was slightly taller then the other and sported a nasty looking scratch across the top of her chest from where the demon had slashed at her with its talons. The smaller girl swung out with the quarterstaff only to have her attack blocked, before ducking to avoid an attack from the taller girl who suddenly began to come at her in a fit of rage, swinging the staff which narrowly avoided connecting with the side of the other girls head.

      "That's enough" came a voice from the shadows.

      Ignoring the voice she swung out again at the smaller girl who was now on her back on the training mat. The girl closed her eyes knowing she couldn't defend herself from the attack. Waiting for the staff to connect with her head, but it never did. Slowly opening her eye's she saw that’s someone had caught the staff before it could hit her.

      "I said that's enough." said the black haired slayer who had thrown Hope into the bar back at
      Willy’s as she pulled the staff from the slayers hands.

      "That's it for tonight, rest." she said helping the smaller slayer to her feet, before turning to face the other.

      "One more stunt like that and it'll be me slicing you open not the demons." She said running her fingers over the scratches on the other girls chest.

      "So in future I suggest you save your anger for them and not one of your own. Am I clear?" she asked.

      Her only reply was a quick nod from the other girl before she walked away. A few seconds after the girl was out of sight a voice broke through the silence.

      "The mission was a success." came a man's voice from the shadows. The voice was deep and filled with power.

      "We lost a girl, I would hardly call that a success." the black haired slayer replied.

      "You did what I asked that's all that matters." the man said.

      "I don't understand why you didn't just let me kill the slayer back at the bar." she told him.

      "Because my dear girl if the rumours I've heard are true and this Hope is indeed from the future, wouldn't it be better to have her on our side?" he asked.

      "Okay but what makes you so sure the slayer and her watcher will even know where to start after our little stunt at the bar." she asked.

      "Because..." the man said stepping out of the shadows.

      "...Ripper and I go way back." Ethan Rayne told her with a cocky grin.
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      • #4
        Chapter Three:


        They had been researching for over an hour now, separating into two groups. Faith, Xander and Hope were in the dining room while the remainder of the group were in the living room. Willow and Kennedy occupied the sofa while Giles, Andrew, Dawn and Buffy sat around the small table at the back of the room. Which left Spike patrolling the streets for any sign of the killer slayers. Xander came into the dining room from the kitchen holding two glasses of soda, looking up he saw that Hope was asleep at the table using her arms as a pillow.

        "Whoa I was only gone a few seconds." he said handing one of the glasses to Faith before sitting back down.

        "Should we wake her?" he asked Faith who shook her head in answer to his question.

        "She hasn't slept in two nights." She informed him before taking a drink.

        "How do you know?" he asked.

        "Because I haven't slept in two nights." Faith said not looking up from the book in front of her.

        "You two get along. She look's up to you y' know." Xander said.

        "Not so sure I'm the world's best role model." Faith said.

        "The old you? Not so much, the new and improved version...maybe." Xander shrugged.

        "Yeah, even after I stabbed her." Faith joked remembering their latest stint in the demon dimension.

        "Faith." Xander said.

        "Why are you doing this Xand?" she asked still not looking at him.

        "What?" Xander asked.

        "This talking to me like we're best buds." she told him.

        "You didn't seem to mind after you're little visit from the First." Xander said not meeting her eyes.

        "That was different I..." she stopped not knowing what to say.

        "Well I look at it this way. If any of us held a grudge after some one tried to kill us we'd have no friends." Xander joked trying to lighten the mood.

        Faith remained silent. Her mind wondered back to that night.

        *Flash Back*

        "You keep looking for love and acceptance from these people, these “friends” of yours, but you’re never going to find it. The truth is nobody will ever love you. Not the way I love you." he told her.

        "Get out." Faith said

        "They’ll forever see you as a killer." he said landing the final blow.

        "I said get out." Faith repeated.

        "I’ll always be with you, firecracker. In everything you do." he said before disappearing in a flash of light.

        Faith stared at the empty space in front of her, trying to deal with the flood of emotions The First had woken in her. A hand on her arm pulls her back into reality.

        "Faith." came Xander's voice from behind her.

        "Now's not a good time Xander." she said shrugging off his hand before putting some distance between them.

        "Then when is, Faith? The next time it decides to show up?" he asked

        "What'd you see?" she asked, still not turning to face him.

        "Enough to know it's got you spooked." Xander told her stepping forward.

        "So what, you here to catch the show?" Faith asked turning to face him.

        "It'd make thing's simpler for you wouldn't it? If I hated you" he asked.

        "You don't?" she asked.

        "No, Faith I don't. Even after everything that you ..." Xander stopped.

        Faith finally looked him in the eye. It was then when Xander saw how scared she was how vulnerable she looked it was something he had never seen before.

        She sat down on the end of the bed, staring blankly at the space in front of her. Xander remained still for a few seconds before moving over to the bed and sitting beside her.

        "It was him, he... the cloths the way he talked, everything," Faith said in a distant tone.

        "Guess you're really in the game now, the first only shows up if it thinks you matter." Xander said remembering how it had used Spike and Andrew.

        "Lucky me, I’m a player." Faith said not really frilled about this information.

        "Man, look at that. My hand’s shaking, Demons, vampires, women in the penitentiary system. None of that freaks me out." Faith said.

        "Well that's what the First does it finds you weakness..." Xander began.

        "Human Weakness... It never goes away." Faith said the word's chillingly familiar but she didn't know why.

        "It said that we’ve got to watch out for Buffy. That Buffy’s dangerous." Faith told him.

        "Is that what you think?" Xander asked.

        "Could be. I mean, we’ve given her a pretty good reason to be pissed off. You know the messed-up thing? The First is telling me to worry about her and I just wish she was here." Faith admitted.

        "When it came to you, did The First tell the truth?" Faith asked.

        "It never has, I guess I'm not so important after all." he said lowering his head.

        "You always do that, put yourself down. You shouldn't. While I was in prison Angel would visit me, he'd tell me about all the stuff that happened before I came to Sunnydale, I use to think that it was because of him that B lasted as long as she has. But after hearing him tell the stories I realised something it wasn't because of him it was because of you. Even Angel thought so... not that he'd ever say it." Faith began.

        Xander remained silent listening to what Faith was saying to him.

        "He told me how you went to his apartment, and forced him down to The Master's layer with a cross so that you could save Buffy, how it was you who brought her back. How you stood up to Angelus at the hospital stopped him from getting to Buffy." Faith told him.

        "It's what I had to do." Xander brushed it off.

        "Ok then how about zombies and disarming bombs?" Faith asked.

        "Yeah that too. Wait how did you...?" Xander asked.

        "After the fight in the high school we found a couple bodies in the lounge, looked like the demons work at first but Angel told me he did some digging, spoke to a couple of the local's at Willy’s said something about zombies and a kid with a Chevy." Faith told him.

        Xander didn't say anything instead he just smiled.

        "You saved us, and from how Willow tells it you saved her too." Faith said.

        "But not you huh?" Xander said with a small smile.

        There was silence after that, neither of them speaking for the moment both lost in their thoughts.

        "This is it isn't it, I've only been back a few days but I see it." Faith said breaking the silence.

        "Look's like, seven year's, the vamp's, the demon's, the apocalypse's it's like that was just the warm up but now... I don't know something about this one just feels..." Xander began.

        "Final." Faith finished for him.

        "Finishing my sentences, soon you'll be talking like me." Xander joked before heading towards the door.

        "Hey Xand." she called out to him.

        "Yeah" He said stopping in the door way.

        "Don't die." she told him with a small smile.

        'You too." he said with a lopsided smile before leaving the room.

        *End Flash Back*

        "Yeah I guess you're right." Faith told him with a small smile.

        "I kinda feel bad for her you know, she's just so ..." Xander paused searching for the right word.

        "Young?" Faith offered.

        "Yeah, she should be out there doing... I don't know something other then this, it just doesn't seem fair. She should be able to the things that every normal..." Xander stopped suddenly being cut off by Faith.

        "We're slayer's Xand we don't get normal." Faith told him.

        "And apparently we don’t get to sleep either." Hope chimed in before raising her head to look at them, seeing guilty looks on both their faces.

        "Sorry." Xander offered.

        "So… what'd I miss?" Hope asked.

        Ethan sat in a small wooden chair, inside the ware house, watching as the slayer in front of him paced back and forth, impatiently. The power and energy of the slayer coursing through her, Energy that she desperately wanted to use. He had known when he had escaped the initiative's facility that he would need power if he stood any chance of exacting his revenge.
        The power of the slayer was exactly what he had needed, and luckily for him there were plenty to choose from. That and a few new trick's as well, He chuckled to himself as he opened his hand, watching as an electrical current began to pass through his finger tips. He watched it for a few second before closing his fist, allowing the current to disappear. He turned his attention back to the slayer in front of him who was still trying her best to wear a hole into the ground.
        Sensing that she was being watch Claire stopped and turned to face Ethan who sat watching her from the shadows.

        "How long is this going to take?" she asked.

        "Patience Claire." he said, chuckling softly.

        "I don't get how you can just sit there." She told him

        "Well it's quite easy really." he joked before leaning forward.

        Claire gave him a smallest hint of a smile before sitting on a wooden crate opposite him.

        "I don't see why we can't just hit the streets, one of them is bound to show up sooner or later." she told him

        Before Ethan could reply he spotted one of the girls walking towards him.

        "Good news master the vampire was spotted on the town’s main street half an hour ago, the slayer's shouldn't be far behind." she told him.

        "Well Claire looks like you got your wish after all." Ethan said before turning back to the other slayer.

        "Gather the other's we're going out." he told her before turning hi s attention back to Claire.

        "I don't think I need to remind you but just in case..." Ethan began.

        "Capture, don't kill." she said referring to Hope.
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        • #5
          Chapter Four:


          Xander rubbed his temple as he read the book placed on the table in front of him. He had seen countless entries about demos with the power to control and now on to his fifth book they were no closer then they had been at the start.

          "I think I got another...okay I so can't pronounce that..." he said.

          "It's not him." Hope said looking at his book for a second before turning back to her own.

          "How do you know, you didn't even look..." Xander spoke before Hope held out her hand for the book.

          "Not our demon." she said looking at the picture before giving the book back to Xander.

          "The particular race that that demon belonged to only has the power to control children, that and he was killed some time during the forties by a slayer." Hope said with grin.

          At this Xander gave Giles a questioning look.

          "She's right." Giles said sounding a little too surprised as he saw the demon in question.

          "What can I help it if I aced demonic studies?" she asked seeing Faith and Xander surprised looks.

          "Watcher's pet." Xander said in a playful tone before turning his attention back to the book in front of him.

          "How is it that you know these things?" Giles asked from where he stood beside Xander.

          "What you think a slayer can't read?" Hope asked in a serious tone causing Faith head to pop up.

          "Well…I…of course I…" Giles stumbled over his words.

          Hope couldn't do it any more she burst out laughing as Giles tried to answer her question.

          "Relax Mr. Giles I was just kidding." Hope told him.

          "Ah, so I see it's still customary for you slayers to make fun of watchers." Giles said.

          "It was actually one of the council's new policies, demonic studies I mean, slayers had to learn about demons, then that way we would be truly prepared when out on patrol" she informed them.

          "That's a very smart move." Giles said.

          "You should think so it was your call." she said causing a small smile to spread across Giles's face.

          "You also made us fill out a report when we got back from patrol." Hope said causing Faith's face to drop.

          "Ok now this new system we’re not talking about all the slayers right?" Faith asked.

          "No, you and Buffy didn't have to... I don't think that Kennedy did either." Hope answered.

          "Besides what would you have written? Vamp's dead I'm not. Five by Five." Xander joked earning him a punch in the arm from Faith.

          "Yeah I wasn't too keen on that part, I think my first one went something like...Demon, Slayer, dead demon." Hope admitted.

          The group continued to research for what seemed like a life time, Dawn and Buffy had since joined the group at the table, and were once again in heavy research mode. Dawn spared a glance across in Hope's direction the future slayer was now sat on the floor in the corner of the dining room. A number book's lay open at her feet. Her eyes wondered the space in front of her, clearly not interested in the book she was holding. Her left foot tapped the floor softly in a rhythmic motion, while her fingers did the same on the book cover. Dawn turned her attention back to the book in front of her for a second before glancing back over to...

          "Ah!" Dawn cried out jumping out of her seat, the spot were hope had been a second ago was empty.

          "What the..." Kennedy asked as the others came into the room after hearing Dawn's outburst.

          "Hope she was there and then.." Dawn said pointing to the empty corner.

          "Hope?" Buffy called out, entering the dining room she found Hope slipping on her jacket.

          "You're leaving?" Buffy asked, as the others entered the kitchen.

          "I'm sorry but I've entertained this idea for long enough, we've been researching for the better part of the night and we've found squat." Hope said wincing as she pulled on her jacket.

          "Hope, we'll find something, but going off half cocked isn't the best thing to do." Giles said.

          "Yeah well it beat's sitting around here looking for answers when we don't even know if we're asking the right questions." Hope told him.

          "Hope, just wait we'll find something that will tell us what's controlling..." Hope didn't give Buffy time to finish her sentence.

          "Why are you so stuck on this, you're not even willing to accept the possibility that they're doing this of their own free will. None of you are." she said raising her voice.

          "You don't seem so surprised at that concept." Giles said crossing his arms.

          "You didn't seem so surprised when you came back here with Spike either, pissed off sure but not really surprised." Kennedy added.

          "Now Kennedy that's not what I meant I was simply..." Giles began.

          "You're right." Hope told them.

          "What?" Faith asked.

          "I wasn't surprised...I wasn't surprise when the door flew off its hinges, I wasn't surprised when they stepped into the bar, when they killed that man in cold blood. In fact I can even tell you that they're out there right now looking for a way to draw you out." Hope told them with a small smile on her face.

          "Okay Hope you wanna tell me what the hell's going on." Buffy said anger clear in her voice.

          "Don't you see... you're too busy trying to find out what's going to happen? Hope said stepping
          in front of Buffy.

          "When the truth is it’s already begun." Hope told her.

          "You're one of them aren't you?" Faith said stepping forward, with clenched fists.

          "As simple as that would make everything right now... sorry to disappoint you but I'm one of the good guy's." Hope said to Faith holding her hands up in mock surrender.

          "But you said Kennedy was..." Willow said.

          "Okay we've wasted enough time this evening a little more can't hurt..." Hope muttered before tuning back to the group.

          "You're spell worked like a charm... what was it you said now..." Hope paused as if trying to remember.
          "Oh that's right every girl in the world who could have the power... will have the power...and then we did, even those of us who weren't even born yet." Hope said placing both hands on her chest, to indicate herself.

          "But I guess that you were a little to busy playing God to see the big picture, think of it as a worst case scenario... as long as there's been a slayer there's had to have been one, some turned their backs on their calling, while other's were killed after only hours in the field, hell some only made it as far as a psychiatric facility..." Hope said.

          "Hope that's enough." Xander said.

          "Can you imagine been being four years old and having dreams of demons and every other creature that hell spat out..." Hope said.

          "I wasn't surprised because where I come from this happens everyday, there were hundreds, maybe thousands of slayer's but when the darkness came none of that mattered, any slayers that managed to survive... they abused their power, instead of fighting the demons, they worked with them, leaving us who still gave a damn to clean up their mess." Hope said before turning to leave.

          Hope turned away from the others and took a step toward the door way bumping into Kennedy who now stood blocking her path.

          "Okay don’t get me wrong I do have respect for my elders but we're not in the future here so reality check... I can still kick your ass." Hope told her.

          "You gonna step aside or do we throw down?" Hope asked Kennedy who still didn't move.

          "Kennedy." Giles said wanting to avoid any conflict.

          Doing as she was told Kennedy stepped aside, Hope quickly brushed past her opening the door she quickly exited slamming it behind her.

          "Not one of the bad guy's... I think I need a little more convincing on that one." Kennedy said taking a seat at the kitchen counter.

          "What do we do now, follow her?" Faith asked.

          "I'm not so sure that's the best thing right now, best to let her calm down first I'd like to avoid anymore confrontation if possible." Giles answered.

          Hope was slowly calming down as she walked the streets of down town Sunnydale, she hadn't meant to go off at the others like that but, they hadn't seen the future they didn't have to live there. She didn't blame Buffy for what had happened. If I'd been in that situation I probably would have done the same. Truth be told she was grateful to Buffy for what she had done, If it weren't for the power inside of me I would have been dead long before the world went to hell. She was sorry for what she had said, but she knew that they would forgive her, that's the type of people they are, were she corrected herself, they were all dead where you're from remember. She just hoped they would be so forgiving of her if they were to ever find out the truth about her... who she really was...

          Her trail of thought was interrupted by the sounds of a struggle coming from the ally just in front of her, she took off into a run coming to a stop when she saw a figure slumped against the wall, as she got closer she saw that it was a man. Standing over him she saw the slack expression on his face, his eyes stared into nothingness.

          "I'm sorry." she said knowing that she had been too late.

          "Don't feel so bad for him, it was a quick death." came a voice from the shadows a voice that she would recognise anywhere.

          "There's no such thing." Hope replied turning away from the body in time to see Ethan Rayne step out from the shadows.

          "I should have known you'd have something to do with this, you haven't changed much have you Ethan?" Hope asked as he walked across to her.

          "Actually you'd be surprised." he told her.

          With a quick flick of his hand electricity shot out from his fingertips hitting Hope in the chest, causing her to fall to the ground in pain. She stayed down for a few seconds, the pain in her chest causing her breath to come out in heaving gasps. After a few seconds she managed to slowly raise herself so that she were on here knees. Ethan stood in front of her, thinking he had won, but she wouldn't give him the satisfaction.

          "Is that... the best you... got?" she said laughing in his face, even as her teeth were covered in a thin layer of blood that was slowly beginning to trickle from the side of her mouth.

          "Actually..." Ethan didn't finish he just nodded to someone behind her.

          The pain in her chest was too much for Hope she didn't have time to turn and see who... suddenly she felt someone’s arm wrap around her neck she struggled in vain as she felt a sudden prick in her neck, the ally in front of her began to swirl as she felt someone tilt her head backwards.

          "That was just a warm up...I'd say that this has been a pleasure but apparently we've already met." she heard Ethan say.

          "You...son ...of…a..."Hope didn't have time to finish as darkness overcame her.

          The group stood around various places in the living room, each of them watching silently as Willow concentrated on the map that lay on the coffee table in front of her, various road's and placed lit up as she did so.

          "You sure this thing's gonna work?" Faith whispered to Xander who stood beside her.

          "Positive." he whispered before turning his attention back to Willow.

          "Okay I... I found her she's just around the corner from the magic box, she's behind it in the ally." Willow told them pausing a second.

          "What is it Will?" Xander asked knowing that something wasn't right.

          "Okay I've got good new and bad, I found Spike." she said with a small smile.

          "and the bad news?" Buffy asked.

          "Okay see here." Willow said pointing to a glowing dot that was moving on the map.

          "That's Spike that's a strong signal, were as Hope's..." she paused pointing the other signal.

          "It's barley glowing." Kennedy said.

          "Wait what does that...is she..." Xander questioned.

          "It could be for a number of reasons. I think the best thing to do right now is..." Giles began

          "Already ahead of you, 'you coming?" Buffy asked.

          "You bet I am." Faith said pulling on her jacket.

          "Okay we'll find Hope, Kennedy I need you to stay here in case any of our new friends decide to start making house calls. I need you the rest of you to keep looking into this, Willow check the net if anyone's rented out motel room's, large spaces I wanna know." she said before walking to the door with Faith in tow.
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          • #6
            Chapter Five:


            When she woke up, Hope could still feel the pain in her chest where the bolt had hit her, tilting her head she saw that she was in a warehouse, she tried to move but found she was tied to the table by her wrists and ankles. She grunted as she struggled against her bounds, stopping when she saw someone coming towards her.

            "Ah you're awake... I was beginning to think you'd be out for the night." Ethan said as he walked towards her.

            Hope began to pull on the ropes once more.

            "That was a very powerful sedative. I'd say you’re about an hour of your game." Ethan told her.

            "So you're her, the future slayer. The one that has the demons in hiding, well any demon with half a brain anyway," Ethan told her with a small smile that made Hope feel sick to her stomach.

            "What do you want with me... you could've killed me while I was out... you must need me for something?" Hope finally spoke.

            "Cleaver girl...as a matter of fact I do need you, you're going to help me bring the slayer down once and for all." he told he placing the palms of his hands on the table.

            "Yeah, see here's the thing, I was a total bitch to Buffy before I left this evening so as far as bait goes I'm pretty sure you picked the wrong girl… sorry I guess she’s not gonna show. " Hope said with a mocking smile.

            "Well then it's a good thing I see you as more then bait isn't it. Four years I've been preparing for this day, Do you have any idea what it's like to be strapped to a steel table while a bunch of scientists do painful and complicated things to you're body, to try and see what actually makes you tick, to be drugged up with whatever sedative they picked out that week." He began.

            "You ask me you had it coming." Hope told him straight up.

            She soon regretted her choice of words when Ethan sent another volt into her chest, only this one was stronger then the last and longer. Hope's body raised a few inches above the table, as she screamed out in pain, the current flowed into her for what seemed like a life time, just when she though she was about to pass out he finally let up. Her body dropped back onto the table, I hope I was wrong when I said they wouldn't come. She thought.

            Now then... is there anything else?" Ethan asked.

            Hope’s only reply was a small shake of her head, a she lay still on the table, her breath's coming in small gasps.

            "It wasn't too bad though being cooped up with a warlock for example, so good of him to give me these before he died." he said pulling a small pouch away from his belt.

            He slowly opened the pouch and emptied the contents into his hand, two black orbs he held them just low enough for Hope to see.

            "The orb's of Nezzal'khan." Hope whispered.

            "Yes, and with them I will be powerful enough to kill Ripper and the girl." he told her placing them back on his belt.

            "And soon-my-electro-ray-will-destroy-Metropolis… first rule of being the bad guy, Ethan, never reveal your plan to the enemy." she said shaking her head at his stupidity.

            He raised his hand electricity crackling at his fingertips.

            "Do we really need to go through this again?" he asked with a cocky smile.

            "It doesn't matter." she said grinning back at him.

            "The girl's, the new trick's up your sleeve, the orb's none of it matters, you're still going to fail, and believe me I should know, after all Buffy was still alive in my future, so was Giles. I know you have a heart in there somewhere too… I was there the night it was ripped from your chest, under different circumstances I might have found some satisfaction in your death.’’ she spat.

            Ethan's jaw tightened as he listened to the future slayer.

            "Maybe you're right but thing's change child. I have something now that I didn't have before." He said he loomed over her.

            "And what's that?" she asked

            "You." he said as he placed his hands on her one on her head and the other on her chest.

            Within seconds black energy began to circle around them like a small tornado, his hands glowed as the same energy passed from his hands into Hope's body which convulsed on the table, his eye's turned black and an evil smile spread across his features.

            Buffy and Faith rounded the corner of the building, both of them keeping their guard up as they walked across the street towards the magic box.

            "What if we run into the next generation, what happens then?" Faith asked.

            "We fight I think that we've proven that we can take on our own." Buffy said with a small smile.

            "Once or twice," Faith said as they stepped into the ally.

            "Okay the spell said she should be somewhere in this ally." Buffy said looking forward.

            "Well unless she's invisible...she ain’t here." Faith said as they walked further into the ally.

            "I'll call Willow ask her to try the spell again maybe..." Buffy paused seeing something shiny on the ground.

            Closing her phone she walked over, picking it up she saw that it was a necklace, with a small silver cross.

            "That's Hope's." Faith said seeing the chain in Buffy's hand.

            Moving it aside a small amount of blood smeared across the palm of Buffy's hand.

            "That's not good." Buffy said aloud.

            "Its hers." said Spike from the shadows causing them both to jump.

            "She was here," Spike said stepping out of the shadows, and walking towards them.
            Faith heard a noise coming from behind the magic box, turning away from the others she began to walk towards the edge of the building.

            "I wouldn't do that if I were you." Spike said.

            Faith disappeared around the corner, a few seconds later she swung back around the corner, her back firmly place against the building her face as white as a sheet.

            "What..., what is it a demon?" Buffy asked Spike.

            "Worse." said Faith as she walked over to them.

            "What could be worse?" Buffy asked.

            "Well right now... half of Sunnydale's police force who happen to be standing around that very corner, decorating the ally with their pretty yellow tape." Faith told her.

            She and Buffy both looked at Spike for answers as to why.

            "There's been a murder." he told them.
            "Hope." Buffy asked looking at the bloody necklace in her hand.

            "It's not our girl, they found the body about an hour ago, bloke was stabbed in the chest, straight through the heart." he informed them both.

            "Can you tell where she went?" Buffy asked him.

            Spike stood for a few second with his eyes closed, smelling the air around him.

            "Her trail ends here, she didn't walk out of 'ere that's for sure." He told them.

            "We need to get out of here." Faith said not taking her eye's of the ally ahead of them.

            Walking through the back door Buffy saw that Kennedy and Xander were seated at the small counter while Giles stood in the corner. Faith walking past her took a seat at the counter beside Kennedy. Spike closed the door and stood beside Buffy.

            "Did you find something?" Giles asked.

            "You could say that." Faith said.

            "The ally was a bust?" Kennedy asked noticing that Hope wasn't with them.

            "Not entirely." Buffy said pulling the bloody necklace onto the counter in front of her.

            "That's Hopes." Xander said after taking a closer look at the necklace.

            "She wasn't there?" he asked.

            "No." Buffy said before looking at the bloody necklace for a moment.

            "Did you find anything else?" Giles asked folding his arms across his chest.

            "Didn't really get the chance to look. Half of Sunnydales finest were standing around the corner." Faith told them.

            "Huh?" Kennedy asked

            "Cops," Faith told her.

            "The police were there?" Giles asked.

            "There's been a murder a man was stabbed around the corner." Buffy told them.
            "Good Lord." Giles said.

            "There's blood on it." Kennedy said aloud as she lifted the necklace of the counter.

            "Yeah we already got that part." Faith told her.

            "We still sure she's one of the good guys?" Kennedy asked.

            "What?" Xander asked.

            "Come on tell me I'm not the only one seeing this. She storms outta here and less then two hours later there’s a dead guy in an ally with a hole in his chest. The same ally where the spell took you to in the first place." Kennedy told them.

            "You're wrong." Xander said not wanting it to be true.

            "I think the bloody necklace proves otherwise." she told him

            "It's her blood... on the necklace." Spike pointed out to them all.

            "So maybe he fought back...it wouldn't be the first time..."Kennedy said stopping suddenly.

            "You wanna finish that sentence, Brat?" Faith asked clearly not in the mood for this.

            "You need to back off... right now..." Xander told Kennedy his voice low and dangerous, caught all the others by surprise.

            Their little shouting match quickly drew the attention of Dawn who came into the kitchen.

            "What's going..." she began to ask.

            "Did you find something?" Buffy asked.

            "Nothing so far but..." Dawn began only to be interrupted once more.

            The sound of Willow's voice came from the dining room, but what she said wasn't in English. Spike and Giles both looked up instantly recognizing the language as Latin.

            "What?" Xander asked seeing a huge smirk appear on Spikes face.

            "I had no idea Red used that kind of language." Spike said as they all filed into the dining room.

            "Y' know I might actually finish a sentence before the day is finished." Dawn said as she followed them.

            The others began to stand in different areas of the room while Buffy when to stand beside Willow.

            "You are not gonna believe this." Willow said.

            "I did what you said, checked out motel bookings, new leases..." Willow told her.

            "And." Buffy asked.

            "And look who’s back in town." Willow said pointing at a name on the screen.

            "I swear if a demon doesn't kill this guy I'm gonna." Buffy said.

            Stepping forward Giles looked at the computer screen in front of him.

            "Ethan." he said a bitter edge in his voice.

            "Say's here he's been renting a small warehouse, not too far from the docks." Willow told them.

            "Is there and address?" Giles asked.

            "Yeah it's right here." Willow showed him.

            "How long...how long has he been here? Buffy asked.

            "About a month and a half." Willow said looking at the screen.

            "Right about the same time our newest house guest showed up." Kennedy said referring to Hope.

            "Okay would you stop..." Xander said

            "She's right." Buffy said.

            "Buff' this is crazy. Have you thought about this really?" Xander asked.

            "Xander's right B, it doesn't add up." Faith said

            "There's a lot that doesn't add up... you heard Spike, the slayers back at the bar were gonna kill her." Willow said standing up.

            "Red's right luv, it doesn’t make any sense killin' one of there own." Spike told her.

            "Then I guess that we'll just have to ask her." Buffy said.

            "Gather what weapons you want but be quick about it we're leaving now." she told them.

            The others began to spread out gathering what they needed, Faith walked over to the weapons chest and pulled out a set of throwing stars and a small knife which she placed into her boot before stepping aside allowing Xander to reach for the axe.

            "Question?" Faith said.

            "Shoot." Xander replied as he turned to face her.

            "Who the hell is Ethan?" she asked.

            "Come' on I'll fill you in on the way." he said with a small smile.
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            • #7
              Chapter Six:


              It hadn't taken them long to reach the warehouse, they had left the house within minutes of finding the address. They had split into two groups. Faith, Buffy and Spike in the Desoto while Xander took Willow, Kennedy and Giles in his car. Buffy had been surprised, she had spoken to Dawn before they left, told her that she didn't want her in this fight that it was too dangerous. For the first time Buffy could remember Dawn hadn't protested, hadn't tried to sway her decision. She just hoped that Dawn and Andrew didn't kill each other before they got home.
              The group remain silent as they entered the warehouse, being careful not to draw any unwanted attention to themselves. Sticking to shadows was made a lot easier by the large crates that were stacked along the far wall where they crouched between.

              "Remember...stay in groups... don't let them corner you." Buffy whispered to the group as they moved forward.

              "Just a thought, these girls, these slayers they're human we can't..." Kennedy began.

              "What? Kill 'em...no." Xander spoke.

              "Yeah but beatin' 'em to a bloody pulp makes for a great plan B." Faith said.

              They came to a sudden stop as they reached the end of the crates, the main area of the warehouse was dimly lit by the light that poured in from the upper level, but it was enough light to make out the form lying on the floor a few feet away.

              "Hope?" Willow said stepping forward only to be stopped by Buffy.

              "It could be a trap." she whispered to the witch.

              "And it might not be...you wanna take that chance B?" Faith asked.

              "Be careful, keep your eyes peeled, we'll watch your back." Buffy said, letting go of Willow's arm.

              Moving quickly across the warehouse Faith came to a sharp stop, falling to her knees beside Hope's still form, the first thing she noticed was the wetness that began to spread over her knee's. Looking down panic washed over her features when she saw that she was knelling in a pool of Hope's blood.

              ''Oh God...'' Willow said when she caught sight of the future slayer, who's top was soaked in blood.

              ''This is not good.'' Willow said as she knelt opposite Faith.

              ''She's still breathing.'' Faith said seeing the small rise and fall of the slayers chest.
              At the sound of Faiths voice Hope jolted awake causing both girls to jump back in surprise.

              Opening her eyes slightly the future slayer began to cough as she tried to back away.

              ''Hope it's alright, its Faith... can you hear me?'' Faith asked

              ''Faith? I thought it... was them... I'm sorry I didn't listen to you.'' Hope managed to say before going into another coughing fit.

              ''They're not here... its safe.'' Hope informed them.

              As soon as Willow signalled the others they began to make their way over each of them still on guard.

              Faith quickly took of her jacket and tore it in half before handing one of the strips over to Willow, who found a small tear in the front of Hope's shirt and pressed the material down over the wound.

              ''Knife... they had a knife...''Hope muttered to Faith who was holding her head.

              ''Shh... it’s alright we're gonna get you fixed up, 'understand.'' Faith said.

              ''Xander, I need you to get her to the hospital.'' Buffy said turning her attention away from the injured slayer for a moment.

              ''Xander?'' Buffy said when she noticed her best friend's mind was else where.

              ''Yeah... yeah I can do that.'' He said snapping back to reality.

              He stepped forward but stopped in his tracks when he heard Spike mutter something.

              ''It's not her blood.'' Spike said faintly, realization kicking in.

              ''It's not her blood!'' He called out louder this time, as he quickly dragged Willow away.

              Before Faith had time to react to Spike's outburst Hope's hand was wrapped tightly around her throat, using her as a human shield, she smiled wickedly at the group over Faith's shoulder.

              ''See, now why'd you have to go and do that? I was just getting started.'' Hope said.

              Tightening her grip on Faith's throat Hope used her free hand to throw an empty blood packet at Buffy's feet.

              ''You blamed me for causing this, you said I was responsible... so let Faith go and deal with me.'' Buffy said stepping forward.

              ''Ah ah, one more step and I'll snap her neck.'' Hope warned the older slayer.

              ''Why are you doing this?'' Giles asked.

              ''Because it's fun...'' Hope told the watcher, before sending Faith flying into the group.

              ''You played us from the very beginning.'' Kennedy said as the others helped Faith to her feet.

              ''All this time.'' Buffy said as she stepped forward.

              ''Well maybe not all this time... the last hour or so would be more accurate.'' Ethan's voice sounded from above them as all the lights suddenly came on.

              This was the perfect distraction for Hope who jumped up onto the small overhead walkway, before the others had time to stop her. It wasn't long before she reached Ethan's side.

              ''I have to say I was a little surprised at how long it took you to put the pieces together.'' Ethan said as the slayers began to surround the group.

              ''But from what my new friend tells me you would have been here a lot sooner... if you hadn't been to busy with all your research...'' Ethan said giving the slayer a smile.

              ''If I knew it was you Ethan I would come sooner.'' Buffy said.

              ''Really not the time for conversation luv.'' Spike warned as he spotted the slayers closing in.

              ''What did you do to them?'' Kennedy asked as she raised her weapon.

              ''It's an improvement believe me.'' Ethan told them.

              ''Tell them how you feel Hope.'' Ethan said turning towards her.

              ''I feel free.'' Hope said to the group.

              ''You son of a bitch.'' Xander said wishing he could wipe that grin of Ethan’s face.

              ''The slayer and the watcher are mine everything else is fair game.'' Ethan called out to the others before walking across the bridge and into the shadows.

              ''Look's like I'm going to her.'' Faith said, noticing that Hope stayed where she was.
              ''What?'' Buffy asked moving into a fighting stance.

              ''I'm gonna get Future Girl, you good down here?'' Faith asked.

              ''Go.'' Buffy said tackling the slayer that stood blocking the stairs to the ground allowing Faith to pass. Recovering quickly they began to circle each other the moment they were on their feet.

              The other slayers began to close in around the group. Kennedy, Willow and Giles stood so they were back to back with Spike and Xander.

              ''You got somethin’ up your sleeve Red, now would be a great time to use it.'' Spike muttered, not taking his eyes off the slayer in front of him.

              As if on queue Willow raise both hands in front of her, causing a golden light to erupt from the palms of her hands that sent the four slayers in front of them flying through the air. All of them taking a few moments to recover from the blast, one of the slayers that had slammed into a stack of crates didn't get back up.

              ''One down...'' Xander muttered looking behind him for a second.

              ''Don't get too exited, still got six to go.'' Spike said spearing a glance at Xander.

              ''Switch...'' He said as the group began to spread out.

              ''What?'' Xander asked his grip tightening around the baseball bat in his hands.

              ''You want you blind side covering or not... Stand on my right.'' Spike told him.

              Understanding Xander and Spike quickly switched sides, just in time for the first attack from the slayers on their side. Spike quickly dodged the attack from the slayer in front of him, only to be punched across the face a second later. The slayer smiled wickedly at him before moving in for another attack. Xander swung out with his bat, catching the blonde haired slayer in the stomach, causing her to double over, swinging the bat once more, only to have the slayer catch it mid swing she had clearly been prepared for his second attack. Grabbing him by the front of his shirt she threw him into the creates behind her, slamming into them causing the wood to buckle on impact, landing on his side, he quickly got to his feet, using the crate for support as he did so.

              ''Bright side, you could've lost your bat.'' He muttered to himself as the slayer came closer.

              ''Okay.'' Kennedy said as she dodged yet another attack from the blonde slayer in front of her.

              ''I'm getting really tired of this whole... ducking punches thing.'' She said jumping back to avoid the slayers roundhouse kick.
              ''But since I can't really kill you...'' she said as she punched the girl

              ''Plan B...suits me just fine.'' Kennedy said before punching the girl with all the strength she could muster, causing her to land at the bottom of the staircase.

              ''I am getting better at that.'' Kennedy muttered when the slayer didn't rise, but her celebration didn't last long as she was tackled to the ground by one of the others.

              Hope stood in front of the railings on the upper level, watching the scene beneath her, smiling wickedly at what she saw. Hearing a noise she turned her head towards the staircase where Faith stood.

              ''You know this is pointless right?'' Hope said turning he gave back to the ground below as she spoke.

              ''All the fighting, all the pain... do you really think that it'll matter in the end.'' Hope asked.

              ''Not so much... I mean isn't that why your here.'' Faith asked, as she stepped closer preparing herself for the attack she knew was coming.

              ''Well I'm glad at least on of you is catching on.'' Hope said turning to face her.

              ''But that doesn't mean we'll stop fighting, we make a difference even if it’s just for a while...'' Faith told her, doing her best impression of Angel.

              ''Is that it?'' Hope asked as she began to laugh.

              ''Is that the best speech you could come up with?'' Hope laughed as she walked towards Faith.

              ''We fight... because it makes a difference... because it's the right thing to do...'' Hope mimicked.
              ''No wonder Buffy was always in charge.'' Hope grinned.

              ''Now there's someone who knows how to give a speech... I mean that girl can go on and on.'' Hope taunted.

              ''What can I say...'' Faith paused, punching Hope so hard that she flew through the air before landing on the ground with a dull thud.

              ''I was always much better at show then tell.'' Faith said as she walked over to the fallen slayer.

              ''Bugs you doesn't it...'' Hope said as Faith rolled her onto her back.

              ''Being compared to her.'' she said before grabbing Faith's arm and flipping her over.

              ''You think having one slayer was bad enough...'' she said from where she stood above Faith.

              ''Try having a thousand.'' she said before punching the other slayer across the face.

              ''Come on Faith...'' Hope said delivering another punch.

              ''Your making this way too easy...'' Hope said punching the rogue slayer once more.

              Recovering quickly, Faith pushed the future slayer back with her foot, causing Hope to fly into the railings behind her.

              ''Easy… Future Girl... I haven't even started...'' Faith said walking towards the fallen slayer.
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              • #8
                Chapter Seven:


                Giles stayed close to the wall as he moved down the narrow corridor, the darkness allowed him to stay hidden but unfortunately it meant that his enemy could do so too... he had always known this moment would come, that Ethan would some how find a way to slip out of the initiatives hold.

                ''Anything?'' came a whispered voice from behind causing him to jump.

                ''Willow... you shouldn't be here...'' Giles began.

                ''You heard what Buffy said... we stick together.'' Willow said cutting him off.

                ''And of course we must always do as Buffy says...'' came Ethan's voice from the small doorway.

                ''I remember a time when it was you they looked to for leadership and guidance...'' he said stepping into view.

                ''How quickly things change 'eh Ripper?'' he asks.

                ''Ah Miss Rosenberg, so good to see you again... and all grown up...'' Ethan grinned wickedly at the red head.

                ''What did you do to Hope?'' Willow asked ignoring his last comment.

                ''Nothing really... so much anger and hate boiling beneath the surface, all I did was let it out.'' He said proudly.

                ''Something you should know a little about, Miss Rosenberg...'' he began.

                ''I've heard so many interesting stories these last few weeks... yours was my favourite.'' he told her.

                ''I guess it really is the quiet ones you should watch out for.'' he chuckled softly.

                ''Leave her out of this Ethan...'' Giles said stepping between the two.

                ''Or what, you'll give me a good beating... tell me never to step foot in your town again.'' Ethan asked his voice filled with sarcasm.

                ''Something like that...'' Giles said stepping forward.

                ''Oh...'' Ethan said as he began to go over his options.

                Before sending the pair flying backwards into the wall behind them, with a quick flick of his wrist. Stepping closer as the two slumped to the floor.

                They had been fighting for what seemed like hours both the slayers giving just as good as they got, though it was clear that both of them were starting to tire. Faith stepped closer to Hope who was still recovering from her last attack, and punched the slayer hard across the face causing her to fall to the ground where she stood. Hope who was still on the ground lifted her head to see Faith who was standing in front of her, both of them breathing heavily.

                Faith knew that she couldn't keep this up, she knew that killing the future slayer wasn't an option... not only because of the obvious reasons. If she were anyone else she would consider the younger girl a friend but she was Faith... and she didn't have friends... but that didn't mean she wasn't fond of the girl. She knew there was only one option, but slayers didn't go down without a fight... it was gonna take all the strength that she had.

                ''I'm sorry Hope...'' Faith said lifting the slayer a few inches off the ground by the front of her shirt.

                ''For what...'' Hope didn't finish as Faith's fists began hammering her over and over.

                After the third time Faith saw an odd expression cross the younger slayers face.

                ''Why are you...'' Hope began only to be punched a fourth time.

                Faith closed her eyes as she hit the future slayer for the fifth time, knowing that she couldn't do it if she saw her eyes.

                ''Stop it...'' Hope said her voice sounding child like.

                Faith hit her again and again, she stopped when Hope's body finally sank to the floor.

                Faith stood over Hope who lay on her back breathing heavily as blood flooded from her lip and nose.

                Buffy traded blow after blow with the younger slayer, even as they continued to move up the stairs to the second level of the warehouse, stepping backwards to avoid the slayers latest attack Buffy lost her footing on the step, quickly recovering she punched the young girl hard across the face causing her to land on all fours half way up the stairs, allowing herself the time to reach the top as the slayer recovered.

                The fallen slayer raised her head to find that Buffy's attention was focused on the fight going on between the Hope and Faith, seizing the moment the younger slayer launched herself from the stairs colliding with Buffy hard enough to send both slayers to the ground.

                ''Don't worry about your friends so much... their death's will be quick.'' the slayer said before throwing Buffy into a row of packing crates like she was a rag doll.

                ''Unlike yours...'' she said moving in to attack again.

                ''You're not gonna kill me...'' Buffy said smugly as she got to her feet.

                ''And why's that?'' the younger slayer asked.

                ''Didn't your master say he wanted the slayer.... that would be me.... and the watcher for himself?'' Buffy asked baiting the slayer.

                ''You wouldn't want to make him angry now would you?'' Buffy continued.

                The young slayer looked uncertain for a moment before quickly striking Buffy across the jaw.

                ''There goes that plan...'' Buffy groaned from where she lay on the ground as the slayer headed towards Faith and Hope.

                Faith moved forward to deliver the final blow, seeing the future slayers condition she knew that was all it would take. Stepping closer Faith raised her fist but before she could connect with the future slayers face one more, the younger girl kicked her leg out and swept Faith of hers. Before Faith could recover Hope was behind her, rapping her arm around her neck from behind she lifted the rogue slayer to her knees.

                ''That wasn't... very nice...'' Hope said showing no sign of releasing her grip.

                ''Well it was better then the option...'' Faith said through gritted teeth as she spotted something on the ground to the right of them.

                Hope followed Faith's line of sight to see what had caught the slayers eye, a small throwing knife lay on the ground a few feet away.

                ''What are you gonna do Faith? Stab me? Again...'' Hope began.

                She didn't finish as something was jammed into her left leg, crying out in pain she released her grip on Faith and fell to the ground. Breathing heavily she saw the handle of a small blade sticking out from her thigh. She gripped at leg staring in disbelief at Faith who stood in front of her with a lopsided grin.

                ''Actually Future Girl... that wasn't such a bad idea...'' Faith said as the younger slayer pulled the blade from her leg.

                Faith was about to take the future slayer out when she was grabbed from behind by one of the others.

                Hope studied the small blade before throwing it to the ground. Clutching the wound on her leg she slowly got to her feet, pain visible on her face as she began to walk towards Faith who had her hands full with one of the other slayers. She didn't get very far as her path was blocked by Buffy, who stood in front of her showing the signs of the previous fight.

                ''You need to stop this Hope...'' Buffy said as the future slayer stared at her, murder in her eyes.

                ''You're right...'' Hope stopped suddenly.

                ''Oh wait no you're not...'' Hope said quickly striking Buffy hard across the face.

                ''Well this should be interesting... I hope you put up a better fight then she did.'' Hope said as she prepared to attack again.

                ''I think she did well enough...'' Buffy said before quickly jabbing her foot into the fresh wound on Hope's thigh, causing the future slayer to fall to the ground in pain.

                ''So what...'' Hope said through gritted teeth as she clutched her leg.

                ''You gonna give her a gold star...'' she said quickly knocking the older slayers feet from beneath her, causing her to land hard on the ground.

                Before Buffy had time to react the younger slayer was on top of her, rapping her hands around her throat.

                ''Don't...'' was all Buffy said before Hope's grip tightened.

                ''It's nothing personal... well maybe just a little...but if it makes you feel any better you won't be the first slayer I've killed.''

                ''I'll just enjoy this more...'' she grinned, too busy with this she didn't see Faith who had finished with her slayer and was running towards them.

                ''Stop...'' Buffy said faintly as she began to lose consciousness.

                ''Shh... it'll be over soon I promise....'' Hope stopped short, quickly jumping backwards, she releasing her grip on Buffy's throat.

                ''Buffy...'' she said panic in her voice, she didn't have the chance to check on the older slayer as she was dragged away by Faith, who threw her into the stack of crates behind them.

                ''B...'' Faith said as she rushed to the slayers side as she sat up and began gasping for air.

                ''You alright...'' Faith asked as she helped the oxygen deprived slayer to her feet.

                ''I'll live.'' Buffy said as she gently rubbed her throat.

                Both slayers turned their attention towards Hope who was sat on the ground resting against the crates. Confusion clear on her face as her eyes darted around taking in her surroundings.

                ''Hope?'' Buffy asked as she and Faith kept their distance between themselves and the confused slayer.

                ''Oh God...'' Hope said quietly as everything came rushing back.

                ''Buffy I...'' Hope began as she got to her feet using the crates as support.

                Before Hope could finish Faith had lifted her up by the front of her shirt, and pinned her against the crates.

                ''Faith don't!!!'' Buffy called out to her sister slayer who was about to knock the future slayer out cold.

                ''Why the hell not?'' Faith asked.

                ''Orbs... he's got the Orbs.'' Hope said, making no attempt to shield herself from the blow she knew was coming.

                ''What...?'' Buffy asked her, her voice more then a little raspy.

                ''The Orbs of Nezzla'khan... he's got a set of 'em.'' Hope said.

                ''Orbs of what now?'' Faith asked loosening her grip on the future slayer.

                ''That's impossible... there's only supposed to be one set, and I destroyed them over a year ago.'' Buffy said.

                ''Yeah well the same was once said about slayers...'' Hope said.

                ''And the slayers?'' Faith asked.

                ''I'll take care of them...'' Hope said coldly before she began to walk away.

                ''What the hell does that mean...'' Faith said grabbing the future slayers arm causing her to stop.

                ''You wanted to know what they were... '' Hope said spinning to face them.

                ''They're from the future... like me.'' Hope said dropping the bombshell on them.

                ''You knew and you didn't say anything.'' Buffy said sounding more then a little pissed.

                ''I didn't know... the spell it must have connected us some how... looks like I wasn't the only one who came through the portal that night...'' Hope said.

                ''They we're set here to bring me back... kill me if they had to. You break the orbs, the spell will be weakened... maybe even broken..'' Hope informed them.

                ''But that means they'll come straight for...'' Buffy began

                ''Me.'' Hope finished, before she began to walk away.

                ''They could kill you!!!'' Faith shouted.

                ''I won't let them.'' Hope replied as she focused on something behind Faith.

                The slayer that Faith had thought had recovered from the rogue slayers earlier attacks and was slowly getting to her feet.

                ''Think about what you're saying Hope...'' Buffy began.

                ''I have...'' Hope replied keeping an eye on the recovering slayer.

                ''They've killed people... and they'll do it again...'' Hope said angrily.

                ''We don't kill humans...'' Buffy said.

                ''Well maybe you should!!!'' Hope shouted as turning to face the blonde slayer.

                ''They're gonna kill your friends without a second thought... you once told me that being a slayer meant having to make the tough decisions...'' Hope paused.

                ''Let me know when you start...'' Hope didn't finish as something behind Faith caught her eye.

                Picking up one of the discarded knives from the floor the slayer grinned wickedly before charging towards Faith.

                ''No!!!'' Hope screamed as she dived at the knife wielding slayer stopping her in her tracks.

                Hope slammed into the slayer with enough force to send them both crashing threw the railings, and the ground bellow. Groaning in pain Hope rolled onto her back, the ceiling began to spin above her as she saw Buffy and Faith come into view.

                ''Hope... are you alright?'' Faith called down.

                ''I'm fine...'' Hope shouted up to them, sitting up she turned to face the other slayer.

                ''...she's not.'' Hope said seeing the un-natural angle of the evil slayers neck.

                ''Okay, I didn't hit my head that hard...'' Hope said as she studied the body for a moment.

                ''We see it too...'' Faith said as the dead slayers body began to shimmer.

                ''Good to know...'' Hope replied as she quickly backed away from the slayers body which began to slowly fade away before disappearing from sight.

                ''Hope?'' Faith called down.

                ''I'll be alright help you’re friends...'' she calls up as she gets to her feet.

                ''I just need to get their attention...'' she muttered to herself.

                ''... okay, that was easier then I thought it was gonna be...'' Hope said, spotting the remaining slayers coming straight for her.
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                • #9
                  Chapter Eight:

                  ''I just want you to know...'' Ethan said pulling a dazed Giles up from the ground.

                  ''I'm going to enjoy this...'' he finished before attacking Giles again.

                  With his enhanced strength, Ethan punched Giles hard enough to send him flying threw the doorway and into the next room. Landing hard on the ground Giles didn't get up again. Before Ethan could strike again a small steel pipe connected with the side of his head.

                  ''Did you really think that would stop me?'' He grinned even as blood trickled down the side of his face.

                  ''No... I didn't...'' Willow said before sending a larger piece of metal towards the self sure Brit.

                  Ethan slumped to the ground, landing on his hands and knee's after Willow's second attack.

                  ''Now Miss Rosenberg, was that entirely necessary?'' he chuckled as he got to his feet.

                  He began to walk towards her only to be stopped halfway by an invisible barrier.

                  ''Oh come now, there's no need for that.'' he said and with a wave of his hand the barrier vanished.

                  ''When are you going to learn...'' he stopped suddenly as if sensing that something had changed.

                  ''I apologize Miss Rosenberg, but it appears that I have other matters to attend to.'' he said.

                  Raising his hand, he lifted Willow into the air as she began to lose consciousness , as if being choked by some invisible force, before she flew into the wall behind her.


                  Hope quickly scanned the warehouse for a possible escape knowing that she had to get the slayers away from the others. Seeing a large door leading to a loading area she began to make a run for it, with the slayers giving chase behind. Running into the large space Hope was soon consumed by the shadows, with the only light being provided by the main area of the warehouse. Hearing the slayers approaching fast she quickly scanned the area for the doors controls and anything that she could use as a weapon. Seeing the first of the slayers enter the room she placed her hand on the large panel.

                  ''Welcome to Thunderdome...'' she muttered softly before slamming her hand into the panel as the last slayer entered.

                  Faith jumped down from the second floor landing in the space where Hope had been moments before, taking off in the direction the others had gone, she came to a stop finding the space in front of her empty. The sound of metal grinding against metal filled the air as a large set of steel doors began to close separating the rest of the warehouse from an old loading area. Faith immediately began to run towards them but she was too late as the doors sealed closed. Sealing Hope inside along with the slayers.

                  ''Hope, open the doors...'' Faith said trying to pry them apart with her bare hands.

                  ''Hope!!!'' Faith screamed.

                  She began pounding on the door with her fist, stopping only when she saw Hope's face appear in the small window.

                  ''The guy in the ally...'' Hope shouted so that she could be heard.

                  ''I was too late, I couldn't save him...'' Hope didn't finish as she was ripped away from the window.

                  ''Hope!!!'' Faith began to pound on the door once more.

                  ''Hope's in there?'' Kennedy asked as she and the others joined Faith.

                  ''Alone!'' Xander said.

                  ''Alone isn't the word I'd use...'' Spike said as he looked through the window and into the darkness.

                  ''We need to get her out of there...'' he said trying to pry the doors open, as Faith joined him.

                  ''This isn't working...'' Faith said frustrated.

                  ''Xander, Kennedy I need you to find the others...'' Buffy began.

                  ''Spike and Faith you concentrate on getting Hope out of there...'' she said as she began to head towards the stairs.

                  ''You heard the lady...'' Spike said to the others.

                  ''This'll be faster if we split up...'' Faith said began as she climbed up a large drain pipe.

                  ''Holler if you find anything.'' she called down to the vampire.

                  ''What are you gonna do?'' Kennedy shouted to Buffy's retrieving form.

                  ''Find Ethan...'' was all Buffy said before disappearing from sight.

                  From where he stood in front of the various television monitor’s Ethan watched as the group began to separate, his attention was soon drawn to one monitor in particular, his jaw clenching in anger as he watched the remaining slayers trapped in the loading area fighting it out with Hope, he watched as their numbers became less and less.

                  ''This stop's now...'' he says bitterly before walking into the shadows.


                  The slayer stood over Hope who lay beaten and bloody on the ground, grinning wickedly as she took in the sight in front of her. Suddenly she was pulled away by some unseen force.

                  ''If you want something done....'' Ethan said before snapping the slayers neck without lifting a finger.

                  ''...You have to do it yourself.'' he finished as the girls body slumped to the floor.

                  ''You shouldn't have done that...it tends to just piss 'em off.'' Hope began to chuckle from where she lay on the ground.

                  ''Not that there's many left, thanks to you...'' he said stepping closer.

                  ''You nothing but trouble, I should have done this in the first place...'' Ethan said raising his hands as a blue sparks appeared at his finger tips once more.

                  The sound of Hope's screams filled the warehouse, as her body began to convulse from Ethan's attack. Seconds later the screaming stopped, along with Ethan's magic as he was sent flying threw the air colliding with the wall behind him, falling to the floor he lay still for a few seconds his eyes focused on Hope who lay muttering something un audible over and over as her eyes turned black as night.


                  ''Giles... Giles can you hear me?'' Xander said gently shaking the watcher.

                  ''Uhhh How long was I out?'' Giles groaned.

                  ''You tell us...'' Came Kennedy's voice from behind them.

                  ''Willow?'' Giles asked concerned.

                  ''Right here...'' Willow said as Kennedy helped her to her feet.

                  ''And Ethan...'' Giles asked.

                  ''We don't know Buffy went to...'' Xander stopped seeing Buffy enter the room.

                  ''You didn't find him?'' Kennedy asked.

                  ''Hope!'' Xander said.

                  ''We need to move now...'' Buffy said before the group made a run for the loading area.



                  ''Is that the best you can do... kids tricks?'' he began to laugh stopping suddenly.

                  ''What...'' Ethan said in disbelief as he felt the new found power leave his body.

                  ''How did you...'' he muttered as he held up the remains of the smashed orbs.

                  Hope who's eyes returned to their original colour, rolled onto her side breathing hard.

                  His disbelief soon turned to rage as he got to his feet, using the wall behind him for support.

                  ''I might have lost the orbs, but I still have a trick or two...'' Ethan said menacingly as he strode towards Hope.

                  ''Would you like to see?'' he asked as he picked up a nasty looking dagger from the ground.

                  ''How do you expect to save the future, when you can't even save yourself...'' he asked.

                  Before Ethan could raise the knife to strike he was attacked from behind, one of the remaining slayers ran him through from behind with her sword, he stared down at the tip of the blade which had exited through his chest, before turning his attention towards Hope who lay near his feet her expression as shocked as his. The sword was quickly ripped out of him causing him to slump to the floor, his position mirroring Hope's. From where she lay she could see Ethan's attacker kneel beside one of the fallen slayers, before the girls body vanishes seconds later.

                  ''It doesn't make any sense...'' he said in disbelief as he struggled to breath.

                  ''Nothing does...'' Hope replied weakly.

                  ''They have no idea who you are, the things you've done... Kyra.'' he doesn't finish as his body becomes still.

                  Hope face remains emotionless as she stares into his lifeless eyes. The remaining slayer moves slowly towards Hope who struggles to sit up.

                  ''Get away from me...'' Hope says as the girl kneels beside her.

                  ''You don't belong here, with these people...'' the girl says softly as she drapes Hope's arm over her shoulder.

                  ''Yeah well I didn't exactly belong there either...'' Hope says through gritted teeth as she is helped to her feet.

                  ''We're on the same side y'know.'' she says as they walk towards a stack of creates.

                  ''I really doubt that...'' Hope says as she is lowered to the floor so that her back is resting against them.

                  ''Still so untrusting, you haven't changed much have you Kyra.'' the girl paused.

                  ''Oh that's right, you use a different name here... Hope.'' she smiled at the last part.

                  ''Gotta love that whole mystical connection...'' she said kneeling in front of Hope.

                  ''Works both ways... Melaka.'' the girls smile quickly disappeared.

                  Before anymore could be said there was a large crash as the front of a large truck plowed through the side of the loading bay, coming to a sharp stop before the drives door swung open to reveal Faith.

                  ''Hey!!!'' Faith shouted at the surviving slayer who knelt in front of Hope.

                  ''These are yours...'' Melaka said placing something into Hope's jacket pocket before running away.

                  ''Hope...'' Faith says as she checks on the fallen slayer.

                  ''Which way did she go...'' Faith began to stand, only to be pulled back to the ground.

                  ''Let her go...'' Hope said weakly as she pulled on Faith's jacket.

                  ''What!'' Faith said, unsure she had heard right.

                  ''She killed the bad guy's... let her go...'' Hope said

                  Faith's attention turned towards Buffy who now stood over Ethan's lifeless body.

                  ''Trust me.'' Hope said searching the older slayers eyes.

                  Before anything else could be said the others rushed to the loading area.

                  ''The doors just opened...'' Xander said.

                  ''You wouldn't happen to know anything about that?'' Willow asked.

                  ''I might...'' Hope didn't finish as the events of the last few hours finally took there toll causing her to pass out.

                  ''What do we do about him?'' Faith asks.

                  ''I'll think of something...'' Giles said never taking his eye's off the body.
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                  • #10
                    Chapter Nine:



                    Poking his head out of the back door Xander found Spike standing on the porch leaning against one of the posts.

                    ''We're all getting patched up if you need...'' Xander began.

                    ''Already healed up... mostly.'' Spike said, dropping the remainder of his cigarette onto the floor before crushing it underneath his boot.

                    ''Right... vampire.'' Xander said crossing his arms.

                    ''I'm more than that... I will be.'' Spike said anger clear in his voice, as he stepped forward.

                    ''But you'll never be human.'' Xander mentioned.

                    ''That's you problem, you still don't think I'm good enough for her...'' Spike began.

                    ''I think that it use to be... but now, not so much.'' Xander said with a sheepish smile.

                    ''Seeing what happened with Angel… Parker and then Riley... it just doesn't matter anymore. I saw her at the bronze a few weeks ago, I watched her... you were both dancing, and she was smiling.'' Xander paused.

                    ''I haven't seen her smile like that since...'' He pauses.

                    ''She was happy, and that's what she deserves, to be happy. You make her happy Spike.'' Xander said.

                    ''Okay exactly how hard did you hit your head ‘cause I'm starting to think that you might need medical attention.'' Spike said, not believing his ears.

                    Xander chuckled at this before speaking again.

                    ''I'm never gonna be your biggest fan Spike, but you went out there and fought for your soul... for her. You were willing to give up your life for her down in the Hellmouth... and that's more then Dead Boy ever did. So I'm thinking the whole vampire thing doesn't matter in the end.'' Xander told him.

                    ''Hey, thanks for what you did back at the factory.'' Xander said waving his hand to the left side of his head.

                    ''No problem.'' Spike replied.

                    '' Well I'm going inside, before we start to sound like we're friends.'' Xander joked. '' Which we're not.'' he added.

                    ''Absolutely'' the vampire snorted in discus.

                    ''Jerk...'' Xander muttered as they walked through the door.

                    ''Poofter...'' Spike replied as he followed him inside.

                    Entering the kitchen they found Buffy and Willow sitting at the counter, while Dawn was packing away the first aid kit. Buffy winced as she took a sip of water from the glass in her hand.

                    ''Okay I'll say it once more in case you didn't hear me the first fifty times, small sips.'' Dawn said.

                    ''Check out Dr Dawn.'' Xander said from the doorway, before heading towards the living room.

                    ''Well watcher Dawn is more accurate according to Hope.'' Buffy said her voice raspy and barley audible.

                    ''Watcher?'' Dawn said thinking for a moment. ''I can live with that.'' she added.

                    ''How are you feeling?'' Spike asked concerned at the amount of bruising around her neck.

                    ''I told you I'm fine...'' Buffy told him with a small smile.

                    Entering the living room Xander paused in the door way, his attention drawn to the future slayer who lay unconscious on the couch in front of him. Her cloths were a bloody mess, the multiple wounds that covered her face and arms had been cleaned and were healing, but not as fast as he would have liked.

                    ''You washed it off.'' He said noticing that the blood that had covered the future slayers hands and face was gone.

                    ''Someone had to...'' Faith replied as she continued to pace back and forth.

                    ''Any change?'' He asked turning to face her.

                    ''No...'' Faith paused.

                    ''She should have woken up by now...'' he said.

                    There was a short silence before Xander spoke again.

                    ''She locked herself in there with them... we could've helped her...'' Xander said still trying to process the nights events.

                    ''She locked them in there with her... so they couldn't get to us.'' Faith told him.

                    ''So what do we do now?'' he asked her.

                    ''We help her.'' Faith said turning her attention towards the future slayer.

                    ''Your serious, that's your answer...'' Kennedy said from where she sat behind them at the small table.

                    ''She didn't want our help when she stormed outta here this afternoon...'' Kennedy began as she walked towards them.

                    ''...and she sure as hell didn't want it when she decided it was open season on all slayers.'' Kennedy said anger clear in her voice.

                    ''Or is everyone forgetting that?'' she asked.

                    ''No ones forgetting anything...but the circumstances weren't exactly in her favour...'' Giles added from where he now stood in the door way.

                    ''And the guy in the ally what was he just another circumstance?'' Kennedy asked.

                    ''Now Kennedy that's not fair, we don't know for sure that she had any part in that.'' Giles said raising his voice.

                    ''That's right we don't know!!!'' Kennedy shouted.

                    ''I know.'' Faith said not even turning to face the others.

                    ''Back at the warehouse... she told me. She was too late, he was already dead.'' Faith said.

                    ''And you believe that?'' Kennedy asked.

                    ''I do.'' Faith said.

                    ''Well I should've guessed you'd take her side... the murderers gotta stick together right?'' Kennedy asked.

                    ''You did not just say that..'' Faith said moving forward so fast she was almost a blur.

                    ''Yeah I think I did...'' Kennedy said refusing to back down.

                    ''I might be a murderer, but another thing you should know about me...'' Faith said heading towards her.

                    ''I'm not so big on the whole trusting other people thing... but if it came down to it, you or her.'' Faith paused getting in the younger slayers face.

                    ''You haven't shown me a thing to make me wanna to take your side.'' Before Faith could say anymore she was cut off by Giles

                    ''That's enough!!!'' Giles shouted, they had enough problems without fighting amongst themselves.

                    ''How do you know she's any different then them?'' Kennedy called out as Faith walked away.

                    Before Faith could reply the sound of a small groan came from the couch as Hope began to stir.

                    ''I am different...'' she muttered as she began to open her eyes.

                    The first thing she noticed was that she was on the couch in Buffy’s living room, squinting her eyes against the light she could roughly make out the forms of Faith and Xander hovering above her.

                    ''Hope, can you hear me?'' Xander asked.

                    ''Load and clear.'' she said raising her hand to the side of her head.

                    ''Do you guy's have to shout so load.. or so much? she asked as Xander helped her sit up.

                    ''You alright?'' Spike asked as he and the others came into the room.

                    ''Can I answer that in a week...'' Hope said as she moved forward.

                    ''...or a month.'' she said wincing at the pain in her chest.

                    ''Is there a lot of pain?'' Xander asked handing her an ice pack.

                    ''Only when I breath.'' she smiled weakly accepting the ice pack.

                    ''That was quite a beating you took...'' Spike said.

                    ''Trust me I've had a lot worse...'' Hope replied noticing for the first time that everyone had gathered in the room.

                    There was a long silence before Hope spoke again.

                    ''I didn't kill him. The man in the ally, he was dead when I found him... it was a trap and I walked straight into it.'' She told the group.

                    ''Hope no one is saying...'' Giles began.

                    ''No but you were all thinking it. I could see it on your faces...'' she paused.

                    ''So what happens now... the body.'' Hope began awkwardly.

                    ''It's taken care off.'' Giles said not meeting her eyes.

                    ''I only did what I had to do. I know that you don't agree with what I did...'' she begins as pushes herself to her feet.

                    ''But a part of you understands it, or I wouldn't be here right now... you would have left me back there at that warehouse.'' She says.

                    ''I know you don't trust me...'' she began.

                    ''Hope that's...'' Buffy began.

                    ''All this time...'' Hope said repeating Buffy's words from earlier.

                    ''At the factory... you said all this time.'' she said turning to face Buffy.

                    ''I'm not asking you to trust me, I'm not sure you ever did.'' she began.

                    ''Can you blame us?'' came Kennedy’s voice from the corner.

                    ''You killed them, you stood by and watched her kill Ethan and now you want a second chance...'' Kennedy said.

                    ''Did you even give me a first!!!'' she yells as she turns to face Kennedy.

                    ''Think what you want Kennedy I don't care.'' She turns and heads towards Buffy.

                    ''What I said before I left I wasn't lying. Where I come from there are two different kinds of slayers.'' she began.

                    ''The ones who do the demons dirty work, and the ones who pick up the pieces when they're done.'' she told her.

                    ''I don't blame you, I never did. Truth be told without that spell the world would have ended a lot sooner then it did.'' she paused.

                    ''... I guess you do make the tough decisions after all.'' she said before heading towards the kitchen.

                    ''She killed Ethan... after everything that you said you let her go... why?'' Buffy asked.

                    ''She killed the bad guy, she could've killed me she didn't.'' Hope said turning to face the group.

                    ''What aren't you telling us?'' Giles asked.

                    ''She saved Dawn...'' she told them.

                    ''Saved me?'' Dawn asked stepping forward.

                    ''Nineteen years from now, all of this... everything you fought for all these years it won't matter...'' she told the group.

                    ''Ethan came back, and he killed your sister. The world ended that night...''

                    ''Ethan killed your sister... and my sister killed him. '' she paused.

                    ''I've watched him die twice. The first time I couldn't stop it... and tonight I didn't want to.'' she admitted.

                    ''You want to know how I feel. I feel sick.'' she told them before heading towards the kitchen.

                    Buffy began to follow but was stopped by Faith.

                    ''I got it...'' she said before heading after the future slayer.

                    Entering the kitchen Faith found Hope putting on her jacket while her bag was packed and sat on the counter.

                    ''You're leaving.'' Faith said.

                    ''I can't stay here Faith...'' Hope said pulling her hair from out of her jacket.

                    ''If this is about Kennedy...'' Faith began.

                    ''You here to plead her case?'' Hope asked.

                    ''Hell no...'' Faith answered quickly.

                    ''Then what, you think I should've hit her?'' Hope asked only half serious.

                    ''I think you should've hit her.'' Faith replied.

                    They both shared a small smile at this. There was a short silence before Hope spoke.

                    ''Doesn't matter, she wasn't the only one thinking it... I could see it on their faces...'' Hope began.

                    ''And me?'' Faith asked.

                    ''You?'' Hope paused.

                    ''You're kinda hard to read, anyone ever tell you that?'' Hope asked.

                    ''Look who's talking...'' Faith replied as Hope placed her bag over her shoulder.

                    ''Where are you going?'' Faith asked, knowing it was pointless to try and talk the future slayer around.

                    ''I scoped out a few places during patrols.'' Hope said picking up her Scythe from the counter top.

                    ''I'll be around...'' Hope said before heading towards the door.

                    ''You said there were two different kinds of slayer... which are you?'' Faith calls out.

                    ''I'm the one that picks up the pieces, I'm the one that does what I have to, to survive.'' Hope said keeping her back turned.

                    ''About Kennedy...'' Hope paused by the door.

                    ''Don't make her the bad guy okay...'' Hope said before opening the door and leaving the house.

                    Faith didn't need to turn around to know that Buffy was standing in the doorway behind her.

                    ''You think she'll be alright?'' Faith asked.

                    ''She's a Slayer, she can take care of herself...'' Buffy replied, as she walked over to the counter.

                    ''That's not what I meant.'' Faith said, turning to join her.

                    ''I know...'' the blonde slayer replied as she took a seat.

                    ''They just vanished...'' Faith said sitting opposite her.

                    ''I know...'' Buffy answered.

                    ''What aren't you telling me?'' Faith asked.

                    ''Back at the warehouse when Hope...'' Buffy began.

                    ''C'mon B, spill it.'' Faith said.

                    ''She said that I wouldn't be the first slayer that she'd killed.'' Buffy told the rogue slayer.

                    The two slayers sat in silence neither of them seeing Kennedy who hid in the shadows of the dining room.
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                    • #11
                      Chapter Ten:



                      Coming to a stop in front of the double doors Hope saw that one was half open, allowing a small amount of light to seep through into narrow corridor where she stood. Reaching behind her back she pulled out a small throwing knife from her belt before pushing the door open slowly.

                      Entering the apartment she saw that a number of candles had been placed around the large area, from where she was standing in the doorway she could see someone crouched over by the large crescent shaped window.

                      ''You know you should really get that fixed.'' the intruder said pointing to the broken window beside her.

                      ''I'll get right on that...'' Hope said, not in the mood for games.

                      The faint light flickered across the future slayers face allowing Hope to see the girls features clearly. She was older then herself maybe in her early twenties, her dark brown hair was fastened back tightly in a ponytail, and the beat up leather jacket she wore had clearly seen better days. Turning her head to the side Hope could just make out the small scar that ran through the older slayers lips.

                      ''I figured you'd show up here sooner or later...'' the older slayer said.

                      ''Like I said Kyra, you haven't changed much...'' Melaka added lighting the last of the candles.

                      ''And I figured you would've left town by now.'' Hope said ignoring her last comment.

                      ''I was on my way, decided to stop by.'' Melaka answered.

                      ''So we could do what, catch up on old times.'' Hope asked as she dumped her things on the small couch.

                      ''You still don't believe I'm on your side... after everything I...'' Melaka paused.

                      ''On my side?'' Hope laughed bitterly.

                      ''You work for the demons... like them. You do their dirty work... like them.'' Hope said raising her voice.

                      ''You've killed demons, humans and slayers... anything that has gotten in your way.'' Hope continued.

                      ''Look who's talking...'' Melaka interrupted.

                      Before Melaka could continue Hope's fist connected with her jaw sending her stumbling backwards.

                      ''What the hell do you know?'' Hope asked.

                      ''More then you think... Mystical connection remember?'' Melaka said waving her hands above her head.

                      ''It's one big mess but it's still there...'' she said tapping the side of her head.

                      ''I know that you sat there, in that hole in the ground for hours.'' Melaka began, walking forwards.

                      ''Feeling like something sick had crawled inside of you and you'd never get it out...'' she continued.

                      ''It didn’t matter what Spike or Michael told you, that feeling wasn't going away... and it's the same now.'' she said stopping in front of Hope.

                      Hope remained silent walking away from the Future Slayer.

                      ''It's good that you still have that... means you're still human...'' Melaka called out to Hope.

                      ''What happened to them... are they even alive?'' Hope asked as unshed tears filled her eyes.

                      ''I'm sorry...'' Melaka said lowering her head.

                      ''The demon's I work for might not be saints but they believe in an balance... one that no longer exists.'' Melaka said taking a seat on the back of the small couch.

                      ''We might not have the most moral game plan, but it's working. Taking out the demons, the humans that work for them.'' Melaka paused for a moment.

                      ''Giving those left behind a fighting chance...'' she informed Hope.

                      ''This balance... is that why they sent you?'' Hope asked turning to face her.

                      ''They wouldn't have... if your sister had followed her masters orders.'' the older slayer answered.

                      ''She was the one who sent them here...'' Melaka told her.

                      ''Ashleigh?'' Hope asked.

                      ''I've seen her around, she's playing in the big leagues now.'' Melaka informed her.

                      ''It isn't over, you know that right?'' Melaka asked shifting where she sat.

                      ''She'll find a way back , sooner or later and when she does...'' Melaka didn't finish.

                      ''I'll be the one to finish it... not you.'' Hope said firmly.

                      ''She's your sister...'' Melaka shrugged before getting to her feet.

                      ''Where are you headed?'' Hope asked.

                      ''New York...'' Melaka paused.

                      ''He always wanted to go there...'' Hope said softly, trying to sift through the memories that weren't here own.

                      A sad smile crept across Melaka's face before her expression hardened once more.

                      ''So, what are you going to do now?'' she asked the younger slayer.

                      ''What I should have done in the first place, stay out of their lives.'' she said with a sad smile.

                      ''That's not what I meant...'' Melaka said firmly.

                      ''I know...'' Hope said sitting on the now vacant couch.

                      ''Do you honestly think you can pull it off alone?'' the older slayer asked.

                      ''I have to try...'' Hope answered.

                      ''You know she'll try and stop you... or didn't you learn anything growing up?'' Melaka asked.

                      ''They're going to find out eventually, who you are...'' Melaka said before Hope could reply.

                      ''If you need anything, you know how to find me...'' She said before heading for the door.

                      ''Hey Mel...'' Hope called out causing the older slayer to face her.

                      ''Don't die.'' she said with a small smile.

                      ''...First rule of slaying.'' she smiled, pausing at the door.

                      ''One thing I don't get, you can tell him your real name but not them...'' Melaka said before leaving the apartment.


                      You in the dark
                      You in the pain
                      You on the run
                      Living a hell
                      Living your ghost
                      Living your end
                      Never seem to get in the place that I belong
                      Don't wanna lose the time
                      Lose the time to come


                      ''Two in the morning this better be good...'' he grunted making his way across the apartment, as someone knocked on the door once more.

                      ''Alright I heard you...'' he called out as he reached the door.

                      ''It's Kyra...'' she said softly from the other side of the door.

                      ''Just a second...'' he said as she heard him messing with the locks.

                      Standing in the doorway the light from the corridor quickly flooded into the apartment causing him to shut his eyes.

                      ''Aghh..'' he muttered rubbing his eyes.

                      ''Y'know normal people call and apologize if they bail on you, they don't make house calls at two am...'' he said opening his eyes.

                      ''Hey Adam...'' she said with an awkward smile, as she took in his dishevelled appearance.

                      ''What happened, are you alright?'' his voice flooded with concern at the sight of the numerous cuts and bruises that covered her face.

                      ''It's just been a really long day...'' she told him.

                      ''Can I come in?'' she asks softly.

                      ''Sure...'' he said stepping aside.

                      ''Sorry I never called, ...'' she said before heading for the couch.

                      Whatever you say it's alright
                      Whatever you do it's all good
                      Whatever you say it's alright
                      Silence is not the way
                      We need to talk about it
                      If heaven is on the way
                      If heaven is on the way


                      ''You tidied the place up...'' she said noticing the large bookshelf that was placed in the far corner of the room.

                      ''Just a little...'' he said with a small smile.

                      There was a short silence before Kyra spoke up.

                      ''I need you to look into something for me, I can get you the money...'' she began as he joined her on the couch.

                      ''I don't want your money Kyra...'' he told her.

                      ''...It has to stay between us, none of your outside sources.'' she said.

                      ''Whatever you need...'' he said, still unsure where this was headed.

                      ''I need you to find everything you can on Faith Lehane.'' she said.

                      The slayer?'' he asks, receiving a small nod from the future slayer.

                      ''Police records, Hospital records, Accommodation... everything you can find from the last four years.'' she said.

                      ''What's going on here?'' he asks nervously.

                      ''Let's just say that people talk a lot more openly when they think you can't hear them...'' she said with a bitter smile.

                      You in the sea
                      On a decline
                      Breaking the waves
                      Watching the lights go down
                      Letting the cables sleep


                      ''If people were gonna die, and you knew that you could stop it... would you make that choice, could you?'' she asks gently.

                      ''Kyra I...'' he paused, not knowing how to answer.

                      ''I did something tonight, something that I can't take back.'' she began.

                      ''I knew it had to be done... so why do I feel this way?'' she asked.

                      ''Because you're a good person...'' He replied softly.

                      ''Was it something I said?'' he asked seeing the odd expression that crossed her face.

                      ''It's nothing...'' she said shrugging it off.

                      ''You still haven't told me where you've been all day...'' he said with a small smile.

                      ''Adam...'' she began.

                      ''Y'know what... get some sleep and we can talk in the morning.'' he said getting to his feet.

                      He handed her the blanket that had been draped over the back of the couch, before heading for his bedroom.

                      ''Hey Adam...'' she called out causing him to turn around.

                      ''Thanks.'' she said.

                      ''No problem...'' he said with a small smile before disappearing through the doorway.

                      Whatever you say it's alright
                      Whatever you do it's all good
                      Whatever you say it's alright
                      Silence is not the way
                      We need to talk about it
                      If heaven is on the way
                      We'll wrap the world around it
                      If heaven is on the way
                      If heaven is on the way


                      Lying down on the couch she winced at the pain in her side, deciding it would be better to lay on her back she pulled the soft blanket up around her neck rapping it tightly around her. She lay still for a moment staring at the ceiling above her, Adam's words replaying in her head, she closed her eyes remembering the last person that had said them to her.

                      She sat there on the dirt covered ground of the small ditch that would be their shelter for the remaining hours until sun set. Her arms rapped around her legs almost pinning them to her chest as she shivered in silence.

                      ''Here...'' Came his soft voice from behind her, as he draped his large coat around her shoulders.

                      ''It's not the cold, Michael...'' she said softly.

                      ''I know that...'' he said feeling useless as he sat beside her.

                      ''It wasn't your fault Kyra.'' he told her, pulling out an old flask from the bag at his feet.

                      ''I killed her Michael, I killed...'' she said scratching at the dried blood that covered her hands.

                      ''She would have killed you Kyra...'' he began as he reached for her raw hands.

                      ''That doesn't make it alright...'' she said her voice breaking as tears filled her eyes.

                      ''Nothing about this place is alright...'' he said as he began to poor the contents of the flask over hands, washing away the blood.

                      ''It was me or her I know that, so why do I have to feel this way?'' she said resting her head on his shoulder.

                      ''Because your a good person...'' he said placing the flask back in his bag.

                      ''It doesn't feel that way.'' she said.

                      Opening her eyes she buried her face into the blanket as tears rolled down her face.

                      I'm a stranger in this town
                      I'm a stranger in this town

                      If heaven is on the way
                      If heaven is on the way
                      I'm a stranger in this town
                      I'm a stranger in this town
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                      • #12
                        Writers Commentary:


                        Okay so firstly I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has commented on the series so far, it's been great to hear what you guy's think and to know that sitting at my laptop for multiple hours furiously typing hasn't been in vain, so thank you once more to those people. You know who you are.

                        There were so many delays in the final outcome of this story... changes to the characters back stories, slight dialogue changes and in some cases re-writes altogether. Time and lack of same was also a factor.


                        >Ethan was originally supposed to put the same whammy on Giles and send him after Buffy in one draft.

                        > The slayers were originally past slayers that had died and were brought back by Ethan. I eventually decided that it would be better to have them be from the future instead. Linking them more to Hope and also the story itself.

                        > And finally for the alternate ending. None of the future slayers made it out of the warehouse. Ethan originally survived the events at the warehouse and was to be killed in secret by Hope at the very end of the story. But I decided that having her kill the slayers and also Ethan would be way too much, and would automatically label her one of the bad guys.

                        > His part in Dawn's death in the future wasn't supposed to be revealed until another three stories. The only question now is... what was Hope's part?

                        > Melaka: (last slayer standing) was named after the lead character of the Buffy verse comic series 'FRAY' the story tells the tale of a future slayer (sound familiar) although I have never read the comics I wanted to have a little something in there. Weather or not she will return is unknown at this point.

                        > And just in case anyone is left confused after the last two chapters, YES Hope and Kyra are the same person.



                        So after months of going over this thing again and again, here's the final result, changes were made to add even more mystery to Hope's character, so that hopefully you won't hate her all-together or label her one of the ''bad guy's.'' It's the third story in... I pretty much wanted to have you sat on the fence at this point and hopefully I succeeded in doing that.

                        The song you heard/read at the end is called ‘Letting the cables sleep’ by a British band named Bush from their 1999 album ’The Science of things.’
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