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Into Chaos

by Ann
Rating: PG

Disclaimer: BtVS does not belong to me etc.
Author's Notes: Words in the squared brackets means it's lines from the song "Possession" by Sarah McLachlan. (The lyrics of the song are not shown in order within my story.)
Thanks to: Pat Kelly for the great feedback (I really needed it!)
Feedback: Pleeeaaasee give feedback! I need it, I want it and I've gotta have it now!

The two girls sat on the fallen tree in the most secluded part of the park. Neither one uttered a word the entire night. Drawing heat from each other as one leaned on the other.

They both watched as the sun began to creep its way up over the horizon. The blonde gently resting her head on the other girl's shoulder. The tingling heat from the sun made them both want to close their eyes and forget. Here, on this old log, the girls found more peace than they ever had for a very long time.

The sun was halfway up when one girl reluctantly broke the peace that had formed between them.

"... What do we do now?"

"... I don't know."

"You wanna go back?"

"... No. Not yet."

"They'll come for us."

"Let them. I just can't care anymore."

"I know the feeling. But -"

"I know. We still have to go. Come on."

The brunette gently moved away and stretched out in the morning sun, causing a long Faith shaped shadow to appear on the grass.

"Where are we going?"

"Dunno B. I go wherever my feet take me. Or in this case, wherever my stomach takes me," Faith smirked. She grinned at Buffy's perplexed expression and decided to elaborate. "I'm wicked hungry. Wanna grab a bite? My treat of course."

"Huh? Oh right, yeah. But I thought you didn't have any money?" She tried to keep the slight edge of suspicion out of her voice. Faith gave a small half smile before turning around.

"I got my ways of getting a free meal."

"... Oh."

Buffy reluctantly thought of what her 'ways' actually were. Faith caught the look but didn't say anything further. Instead, taking the blonde's hand in her own and walking out of the park. They came to a stop outside of a small diner.

"What you feel like having B?" Faith asked cheerfully.

"Uh, whatever you're having I guess."

"Well come on then. We won't get anything if we're standing out here are we?" Buffy shot her another questioning look before she was pulled into the diner. There were only a few people in there. Probably because it was so early in the day. The place seemed to have some sort of weird X-Files theme going on since the walls were decorated with countless newspaper cut-outs. She leaned in to read one and became slightly worried by the 'TELEPATHY IN HUMANS' headline. She shook it off as a weird fad as Faith signalled for her to take a seat as she swaggered up to the counter.

//Probably gonna work her mojo on some unsuspecting guy...//

Buffy was unable to hide the grin from her face. But her face instantly fell as a young girl walked up, beaming when she saw Faith standing there fiddling with a menu. The girl was around 18, and there was something about her, something that showed she was more fragile than she let on to be. The kind of look Faith had when she had first arrived in Sunnydale.

This girl gave a small squeal of delight and wrapped Faith in a bear hug, and Faith returned it just as enthusiastically.

"Miss me?" Faith questioned, grinning widely at the girl.

"Where have you been Faith? I wanted to tell you the good news!"

"You got the job?!"

"Yeah I got the job! What else?"

Faith gave a squeal of her own and they both began jumping up and down happily, nearly knocking over a hat stand and some of the more closer customers as they done so. Buffy quietly noticed the girl was American. Faith carried on shouting happily.

"Oh Bethany this is great! I knew you would get it! Now you can fly back home! Aww, my little girl is growing up..!"

"Hey! I'm older than you and you know it. And besides, I don't wanna leave the country without my newest bestest friend coming with me!"

"You're kidding right? B, I ain't gonna let you spend money on me."

Buffy raised an eyebrow at Faith's use of her nickname on the other girl. She discreetly began ripping at the paper table cover into little pieces beneath her hands. She gradually began to get sick from the display and stifled an "Ahem", getting the brunette's attention. Faith smiled at her apologetically and pulled 'Bethany' from behind the counter while calling out loudly.

"Buffy! Come over here!"

Awkwardly, Buffy got up and walked over (making sure she concealed the new hole in the table cover with a vase before she got up). She forced a smile on her face and greeted this new girl with a "Hey." The girl smiled in return and shot her hand out nervously.

"Hi, I'm Bethany! Faith has told me so much about you."

Buffy strained to stop herself from rolling her eyes and replied another unenthusiastic answer of "Uh huh." Faith must have noticed the detached behaviour but decided not to comment on it. She did however, ask if Buffy wanted to sit down again and wait for breakfast. The blonde nodded quickly with that fake smile plastered on her face and sat down slowly. She really wasn't liking 'Bethany' at all. It didn't really cross her mind as to why.

After a few more excited outbursts from the girls, they eventually parted company and Faith sat down opposite Buffy with a satisfied grin on her face. She continued daydreaming until Buffy waved a hand in front of her eyes.

"You alive in there?"

Faith snapped out of her daze and it seemed to put a strain on her to focus her attention on Buffy.

"Uh, yeah. B, uh, I mean Bethany is gonna bring us some breakfast."

Buffy couldn't help hardening her gaze again at Faith's happy use of her nickname for that other girl. She shrugged it off again though and decided to carry on with the interrogation.

"So, how did you two meet?"

"Oh, er, I saved her from a vamp this one time and afterwards she invited me to spend the night. Not that she really needed my help anyway. The girl has super powers or something."

"Super powers?"

"Yeah, she can move stuff around with the powers of her mind. Real fast as well. I didn't believe it at first."

"Wow... Does she know about you?"

"What? Being a slayer? Oh yeah. She told me all about herself and I explained who I was. We pretty much hit it off from there. The girl's wicked-freaky sometimes but she's got charm. It was just great to have a friend again, ya know? It was weird. We barely knew each other but it was just so easy to talk to her. We got a lot of things in common... Within days we just got real close."

"... How close?" Buffy asked, trying to hold back the venom in her words. Faith smirked and leaned in close, as if trying to make sure no one else could hear her response.

"Close enough, B."

Before Buffy could reply (though she doubted she could anyway), Bethany came over struggling with two large plates.

"Alrighty! Here we go! Two servings of today's breakfast special! Oh, er, I apologise in advance."

"For what Bethany?"

"You'll see."

Faith shrugged as she dove into the large breakfast and after chewing for maybe two or three seconds, her jaw clenched and she shot Bethany a horrified look. Bethany merely shrugged.

"Yeah, I know. We got a new cook after Romano left to go back home. This guy has a thing about mixing spices together. I'm real sorry." Bethany walked back to the kitchen with her hand over her mouth, trying to stop herself from laughing.

After spitting her mouthful of the breakfast special into her napkin as politely as possible, the brunette slayer tried taking deep breaths. Her head hung low as if there was something really interesting on the table. Now it was Buffy's turn to smirk.

"You okay there Faith? The food's *that* good huh?"

Trying her hardest to keep a straight face, Faith looked up at the blonde, faking a smile.

"... Try some and find out."

Buffy rolled her eyes, "You're such a baby..." Neatly picking up a bite size piece with her fork, she shovelled it in her mouth. Faith's eyes lit up as her fellow slayer suddenly went an interesting shade of green.

"Great, huh B?"

"... I owe you some pain when we get out of here," Buffy growled before gagging the 'food' into a napkin. Faith merely shrugged and comfortably leaned back on her chair.

"Totally worth it."

"I would have rather starved to death and then buried with a family of howler monkeys."

Buffy was rewarded with the long awaited sound of the other slayer laughing softly. When the brunette looked up from the table, she was met with the gentle green eyes of Buffy Summers. There was a moment of nostalgia between the two as they continued staring into each other's eyes. But there was something else there as well. Something neither one was really comfortable to admit at this stage.

Forcing herself from doing something she would regret, Faith coughed and shook herself out of the daze.

"So uh, you still hungry B?"

Blinking once or twice, trying to regain focus, the blonde managed a "Huh?"

"I said, are you still hungry? 'Cause we can go somewhere else. I'll just tell Beth we need to go for a walk. She'll understand."

"Oh, er yeah. Sure."

Faith gave a quick nod and almost knocked the table over in her haste to leave the blonde's presence. Buffy just sat there, slightly stunned but with a strange 'low down tickle' which made her smile widely as she waited for Faith to return.

*****

"She's been gone for too long."

"I agree but I have no power over her. I never have."

"Let me go find her."

"This is between she and Faith. She openly expressed to me how much she didn't want anyone interfering. And I've got the bump to prove it."

"I... I can't believe she just left without... She didn't even say anything to Willow did she?"

"No. Joyce didn't have a clue either. Don't worry Angel. I'm sure they're both fine."

"... Thanks Giles. I'm grateful you've invited me into your home like this. After everything that has happened..."

"It's okay. I know you care about Buffy a lot. But did you think that leaving her for LA really helped matters?"

"I know that you agree with me. I had to do it. To be on the outside looking in at what I can't..."

"It's okay."

"I just hope she's safe..."

*****

"So, where are we headed?"

"I dunno. Anywhere I guess."

Buffy frowned at the answer. What was with the cryptic all of a sudden?

"I thought we were gonna get some food?"

"Huh? Oh, yeah sure... Um, B?" Faith paused briefly before continuing, "What happens afterwards?"

"After food? We find a nice cheap hotel, if anything like that exists here..."

"No, I mean when we're done here. When we go back to Sunnydale."

"I guess we head for home."

"Home... Well, that would be the motel for me wouldn't it?" Faith stated, all too bitterly.

The thought of the brunette's accommodations had been playing of Buffy's mind for a while now. Breathing in deeply, she uncertainly ventured into her question.

"... Well, you know I was thinking... Well, if you wanna you can..."

"C'mon B, the suspense is killing me."

Buffy playfully jabbed her in the ribs before continuing, slightly braver than before.

"I was thinking that you could stay with me, if you wanted."

Faith stopped walking and turned to look at Buffy, her eyebrows raised as high as they would go.

"You serious B?" Faith questioned with a playful tone to her voice. Buffy glanced away from the amused eyes of the other slayer. Her face was starting to become red. She didn't know why. Why was she getting so embarrassed?

Faith laughed softly and took Buffy's hand into her own. Making sure she had her full attention, she looked warmly into Buffy's eyes.

"I'd love to B."

For a moment, Buffy wasn't even sure she had heard her right. But when it slowly sank in, she began grinning widely, and she was rewarded with a look mirroring her own. They stood there staring at each other for a second too long, and they suddenly found themselves in the same awkward situation they were in at the diner. Realising she was still holding Buffy's hand, Faith coughed suddenly and dropped it gently.

"Tell you what, why don't we leave for 'home' sooner rather than later? I guess I'm getting tired of this place anyways."

"Sure."

"You er, got the tickets right B?"

"Yeah of course! Giles used some old illegal contacts he had and was able to make this."

Buffy pulled out a British passport and waved it in front of the younger slayer's face. Inside was a picture of Faith, not exactly a flattering picture as her expression was of pure shock as she was shoved into the photo booth by Buffy. For a moment she closed her eyes and remembered the fun they had at the pier that day. But then it kicked in.

"I have to be British?"

"Yeah, so?"

"I can't be British!"

"Well, all you have to do is put on a bit of an accent. Here, act like me. 'Good afternoon. My name is Giles and I am a watcher person.' See?"

Faith snickered at the awful impression of Giles Buffy had just performed. She shrugged.

"... My name is Faith. I am the slayer. The one girl in all her generation to blah, blah, blah."

Buffy gave a weak smile as she knew that Faith was remembering the words of her fallen watcher. Faith didn't seem realise so the older slayer made no move to try and bring it up. She smiled at the brunette in gentle regard.

"They won't even know the difference. We'll be flying back to Sunnydale, California courtesy of the council. Poetic justice right?"

"Right." Faith laughed happily. But she still had someone she needed to talk to before she could leave. "Er, B? Is it okay if we backtrack a bit then? I should tell Bethany I'm leaving."

"You think she'll be okay without you?" Buffy asked, trying to sound concerned. Actually, she couldn't care less, she just wanted to be polite.

"Yeah, she's a tough girl, with wicked-cool powers an' all. Besides, she'll be coming over to LA soon enough. Some kind of snooty law firm called "Wolf man and Karp" wanna speak to her about getting a job there. God knows why."

"You mean Wolfram and Hart?"

"Yeah, you know 'em?"

"Nah, well not in the strictest sense. I just recognise the name from somewhere."

Faith nodded in acknowledgement as they rounded back into the diner. Like before, she gestured for Buffy to sit down as she walked up to the counter. Buffy sighed as she contemplated how great it was going to be when they finally returned home.

*****

(An old forgotten fortress in the space between reality and fantasy)

"My lord, everything is ready. Should we go ahead with the plans?"

The form sitting on the cold throne inhaled deeply. Now it was time. After all this waiting he would finally be able to take what the realm which had cruelly banished him, valued most. He would transport them to his world, where the timeline is frozen in this one place. Where it is always night. Where danger was tripled in size. This is where the slayers belonged. In this abyss. Where he could always control them.

"... Yes. Are you sure the spell will work?"

"Of course my lord. The darkest magicks will be used for the task at hand. Shall I perform the ceremony here?"

"Yes. Are you certain you will only bring the slayers here? No one else? The Earth 'Council' will not go through with our deal if everything is not according to plan."

"Yes my lord. The slayers spirits are very different to the mortals. It should be an easy task. Once transported here, the slayers will no longer age. And they should be under your complete control. This... 'Council' will be most pleased."

"Excellent... Proceed."

*****

"Ugh..."

Buffy pressed her palm to her forehead. It was soaked in cold sweat. She desperately scanned the street for Faith. She gasped as she saw the other slayer hunched over and taking in as much air as possible.

*A kurum de est etkath forthtuo...*
(I call out to the old ones...)

*A shevorum du et vinfol mairting shivo...*
(I ask you grant me thine own powers...)

Faith felt something was going wrong as well. She could feel the colour drain from her face as it felt like some kind of force was curling around her soul. The slayers rushed forward towards each other but it took such effort that it felt like they were wading through deep water.

*Decorum merced a keree...*
(Pull the slayers out of this existence...)

Their ears began to hear things differently. The world around them began to slowly grind to a halt. Their eyes suddenly ached, causing the two slayers to shut them in pain, stopping them in their tracks. When they were able to open them eventually though, they were shocked at the strange new world in front of them.

*Lete yet acuum jezt warum...*
(Make them part of this world...)

Everything was twisted out of its regular shape. The people and cars were suddenly gone. There was no sunlight, yet they could still see. Panicking, they ran toward each other again. This time, there was no resistance at all. They couldn't even feel the wind on their faces anymore. But then something happened.

*Incirc tum le yet...*
(Separate them...)

A stream of light suddenly came across each of their paths. Stopping the slayers from reaching each other. It proceeded to separate them both. Pushing them to opposite sides of this nightmare realm. It sounded like a low roar which made the ground beneath their feet tremble.

Buffy screamed in anger. This wasn't going to happen. Forcefully, she broke free of the lights suffocating grasp. Faith, inspired by Buffy's actions, followed suit. They finally intercepted and held on to each other tightly as the world as they knew it fell away.

"Buffy! What's happening?"

"I don't know! Just don't let go of me!"

"Buffy! It's comin' back!"

"No!"

*Incirc tum le yet!*
(Separate them!)

The light suddenly returned to where the two frightened girls were standing. It attempted to separate them for a second time but the slayers weren't going to give up without a fight as they tried holding on tighter to each other. But they were losing, and their slayer strength was only gaining them an extra couple of seconds, of which they valued more than anything.

The girls had no idea what was happening. One minute they were happily strolling down the street, the next, all this started to happen. Somehow they knew that if they let go now, it would be a long time till they would see each other again.

Sobbing because she was steadily losing her hold, Buffy cried out to the other slayer.

"This isn't it! Promise me that you'll find me Faith!"

*Incirc tum le yet!*
(Separate them!!)

Her muscles were straining as she tried to maintain her grip on the blonde before her. She felt her fingers beginning to break from the hold.

//I won't let go.I won't let go.I won't let go.I won't let go.I won't let go.//

Tears of anger ran down her face as she sobbed out her reply to Buffy.

"I'll find you! No matter what! Buffy, I... I..."

Just then, the light flung them both in different directions, each going years apart from the other. The lingering promise that they'd see each other again hung on their lips, and they both silently vowed they would never break it for as long as they were forced to survive in this God forsaken place.

(In the fortress)

The small form lifted himself wearily from the floor. Sweat ran down his brow as he took in shaky breaths. The creature perched high on the throne gave an amused smile.

"I trust they gave you some trouble?"

"... Yes my lord. Their attachment to each other is strong. I should make sure they stay apart using some more potent magicks."

"No. I would like to see how they manage without us interfering. At least for a while..." The deep voice paused thoughtfully before continuing, "Oh, which sectors did you send them to?"

"... The original slayer is in the Aquarial sector. And the second is in the Earthen sector. They're many miles apart from each other. It should prove to be quite entertaining my lord."

"They won't age will they?"

"No, this realm still prevents that from happening. Though, you can still say that a few days in the material realm will seem like a few years in this one."

"Very well. You may return to your sector Master Ethnil. Peace be with you."

"And with you my lord."

As the weary creature ducked out of the deserted courtroom, the form on the throne sighed happily to himself. Now life was going to get difficult for the mortals. And life for him just became ten times better with the new editions to the realms. Yes, this was going to be very interesting indeed.

* * (The Earthen sector) * *

The brunette sat motionless in the strange and twisted forest/jungle she found herself in. The only light there was provided by the pale moon which hovered in the abyss which vaguely resembled a sky above her head. Her surroundings resembled something out of a sick fairytale. The horrific roars of the massive cat-like creatures around her echoed in the distance. But her mind was not on them however. Her tear streaked cheeks were pale as she hugged her knees into her chest. She was covered in sand mixed with dirt.

She hated being alone. No, she didn't hate it. She feared it. She was alone in this dark place and it scared her more than anything. She shifted her weight slightly as she sat in the dry dirt, causing the earth to crunch softly. She tried to remember what she was supposed to be doing. But her mind was filled with strange and alien thoughts. Someone or something was messing around inside her head. Language seemed to disappear and no matter how hard she tried, only one word could escape her lips as she pushed herself into a standing position.

"... Buffy..."

* * (The Aquarial sector) * *

The isolated girl cried softly as she sat on the only dry part of this strange marsh-like place. She was covered in mud and her clothes clung onto her shivering body. She wasn't cold. But she was afraid.

She watched as the steam seemed to melt away from the water around her. The smell could best be described as damp and grassy. She expected to hear a hum of insects judging by the environment but she heard nothing. All she heard was awful howling coming from those wolves in the distance. It had taken her nearly half of the immortal night to notice that the light around here wasn't changing. Did time even go forward here. Or was it frozen? She sighed at the slow realisation that this place was stuck in an eternal darkness of night.

She tried to remember what she was doing here. She knew she was brought here against her will with that other girl. What was her name again? The girl growled in frustration and punched a hole into the mud beneath her. But suddenly, she felt a buzzing rip through her mind. She knew instinctively that someone was messing around in her head, trying to make her forget things. And it was working. As she tried to yell at no one particular to stop it, she was horrified to find that she couldn't. She couldn't even remember how to form words.

She clutched onto her head as she tried to hold onto what little she had left in her mind. But it was too hard. It was like someone was scooping out all of her memories and it required all of her effort to grasp onto the single thought dancing around in her head.

"...Faith..."

*****

(In the material world where time continues)

"Found anything?"

"I'm afraid not. This is pointless!" The witch shrunk back as she watched Giles slam down yet another magick book. They had been going at this ever since Giles had gone all the way to England only to come back empty handed. He said that a girl named Bethany had become friends with Faith and Buffy. She said that she had seen them just minutes before they had supposedly disappeared into thin air. The gang were trying to find a spell which would locate their friends, but they were coming up with nothing. Not that they couldn't find a spell, they just couldn't find the slayers.

Every single spell had said the exact same thing. Buffy and Faith had totally disappeared from this corporeal realm.

"Willow?"

The witch smiled as she turned to face her newest friend. She had met the blonde witch in her wicca group at college. She sighed as she thought about how Buffy should have been there with her when everything started to change. Ever since she had agreed to go to U.C Sunnydale the two best friends had been so excited at the prospect of going to their first day of college together. But Buffy hadn't kept up her end of the bargain, and Willow couldn't help but feel somewhat betrayed by that.

"Yeah Tara?"

"I got an idea of how we might be able to find them..."

"Really?! How?"

"Well, we know they're not in the corporeal realm right? I mean, they can't be."

"Yeah, every spell has indicated that."

"Well, why don't we search the spiritual realm for them instead then?"

Giles thought it was time for him to speak up.

"But it's impossible for them to exist in the spiritual world without their souls and bodies being maintained by very potent magicks or well, being dead."

Willow let out a small whimper at the prospect of her friend being dead. Tara noticed it and laid a reassuring hand on her shoulder.

"It's okay. I'm sure they're not dead. I mean, the spell would have said so right? Why don't we at least try and find them in that realm? It wouldn't hurt to try would it?"

"Tara's right Giles. We got nothing else."

The watcher nodded in acceptance and made his way to his personal library depicting other realms.

Xander day dreamed silently on the couch, his back turned on the rest of the room. He had only returned a week ago and already he found that Sunnydale was in peril yet again. With the absence of Buffy, vampires in town seemed to think that they ruled the place. Despite being the 'zeppo' of the gang, Xander was the only one capable of formulating good hunting strategies. So it became his responsibility to keep an eye on the number of vamps in each part of Sunnydale.

He sighed sadly to himself. He had lost a lot of friends this year. Cordelia was in LA. Faith and Buffy were supposedly in England. And a lot of people he had known, died at graduation. During a routine patrol, he had witnessed the death of one of the people he hadn't been able to save. He felt himself curl up into a foetal position as a few stray tears ran down his face. His body shook slightly as he tried to hold back his despair.

But a reassuring touch from his life-long best friend suddenly reminded him that things were not always as hopeless as he thought them to be. He tried to keep a strong expression as Willow silently took him into a hug which conveyed both hope and a promise that things would get better.

*(Aquarial sector-4 years later in the spiritual realm. 8 days later in the material)*

When was it? When did they forget? Was it when all hope of finding their way back disappeared with the light? Or was it when they lost their grip on each others hands?

This place, if viewed by an outsider, might be considered quite beautiful. But if you were stuck in it yourself, well... Your nightmares may have seemed like better places to hang out in. This place makes you forget, no matter how hard you try to fight it. Soon, all that matters is staying out of trouble.

[Listen as the wind blows from across the great divide// voices trapped in yearning// memories trapped in time// the night is my companion and solitude my guide...]

She inhaled rhythmically, trying to reassure herself. It was a long drop. Nevertheless, she had to jump, what else could she do?

The dirt crunched beneath her bare feet as she launched herself into the canyon below. The air whipped at her face as she tried to make sure she would land on her feet. It wasn't hard, she had changed a great deal over the years. But her body still hit the ground with a sickening thud, temporarily knocking the wind out of her.

The brown haired girl gasped as she looked around at her new surroundings. This place was so different to what she was used to back home. She felt moisture in the air as she touched the water which was gently steaming beside her landing point. The ground beneath her feet was spongy and in places she seemed to sink right into it.

She was weary in this place. She didn't know how to survive here, though she knew she couldn't die. She had figured that out the hard way when a tusk which had ripped through her heart during an attack had gradually healed itself. She wasn't able to move while she was healing though. It was like she was aware of everything around her without actually feeling like she was there. It wasn't until blood suddenly started pumping through her veins again that she realised she was suddenly alive again. It was a strange, almost painful sensation. Like all this noise suddenly started pumping through your ears just when you had gotten used to the quiet. She didn't want to go through that again. She feared that next time she might not *want* to wake up.

She often thought to herself. Did that mean she still understood language? She didn't know. She couldn't remember how stuff was supposed to sound. Did it matter if she forgot? This world didn't allow her to speak. So what was the point of trying to hold onto something so mundane?

Because of that name... The one which she wouldn't forget no matter how much this world pushed her. That name which plagued her thoughts ever since she had arrived in this place, all those years ago.

It was impossible to keep track of time. But generally speaking, time didn't exist here. Only moments, and fading memories made you realise that you were living in some kind of timeline.

She didn't get older here. But other things about her still changed.

She didn't know why she was here. She had long since forgotten the life and memories she had left behind. But something was drawing her to this place. Life before this place was mostly about surviving and keeping out of other creatures territories. She had learned that the hard way.

She sniffed the air, and for the first time in months she picked up something other than the reek of wild cats. Another thing like her had marked its territory here. If the brunette remembered what language was, she would have cursed quite loudly by now.

She didn't like confrontations with the creatures in this place. They were frightening and she really didn't know how to fight them. She only knew how to hide.

She gripped the stone dagger in her hand tightly. She didn't like the idea of fighting here but that didn't mean that she wouldn't. She ducked her head low and lay her now slender and cat-like body down on the soft grass. She knew she was being hunted by the way her senses suddenly flared up and it felt like her blood was on fire.

With all of the years she had spent in this dark realm, the girl had evolved to suit her surroundings. Her eyes had formed into slits to get used to the constant night which existed here like a plague. They looked like a set of tiger eyes. Her muscles had been built up around her back and she had learned to be more agile than any mortal could hope to be. Her hair was matted but it had stopped getting longer years ago. She had even developed a set of fangs. In other words, she was now 'built to kill'.

She had been scared when she saw her new eyes, which reflected a white light whenever she would look up at the moon. She saw her eyes mirrored in a small pool that one time. Any hope of trying to become what she was, faded at that point. But what was she? That girl whose name she couldn't remember? This place was filled with magick, this she knew. This magick sometimes liked to mess with her. It was the magick which made her forget everything.

A low feral growl in the bushes to her right suddenly caught her attention. She grimaced at the new knowledge that whoever owned this territory, was back home.

No longer feeling the need to hide since she had obviously been spotted, the girl raised herself gingerly off the marshy ground and crouched in a defensive position. Waiting for whatever was out there to show herself.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The predator in the bushes growled softly as she could sense another one of those disgusting creatures must have found its way into *her* territory. She despised everything here and couldn't handle the idea of sharing.

She stalked the presence in her home carefully, assessing what kind of creature it was. She became more interested as she found she didn't recognise this form which was wearily inching its way around her marsh. Her curiosity was replaced with anger as she watched this new form pull out a weapon and duck into the long grass. She bared her new fangs in amusement. Did it really think it could sneak up on her? She finally let her presence known as she released a low growl into the damp night.

She grinned as the form slowly stood, slightly crouched on its hind legs, knowing it had been spotted. Its eyes landed on her exact location, though the predator knew it couldn't see her. She was mildly impressed with its skills. She growled with shock as she got a better view of the form before her. This creature looked like her. Granted, its hair was a different colour, the body shape was just slightly different and it reeked of dry dirt. This creature took a more feline posture than she did, but its animal eyes still resembled her own. The feline's face was covered in mud much like herself. It was wearing tattered shreds of old skins which the predator vaguely recognised. But that wasn't important. Not in the least.

The predator grinned maliciously, realising that the perfect rival stood before her. This was going to be a very, very interesting match.

Pushing the matted blonde hair from her face, she emitted a low growl before leaping out of her hiding place and landing straight onto her new prey.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The girl cried out as her stalker finally let itself be known. It landed heavily on top of her and went straight for her throat, but she was ready, and plunged her home made weapon into its gut. The form on top of her growled and rolled off of her her, clutching the bloody wound. The girl was still dizzy from the impact on the ground but she still managed to scramble to her feet and back into a fighting pose.

The creature in front of her eyed her body curiously, as if it recognised the position she was taking.

Finally, she was able to look at her attacker properly. This creature resembled the wolves which populated this area. It circled her like one of them, and growled, baring its fangs. Its face was hidden by the strands of long, golden, matted hair which clung to its face along with thick mud. A brief flash of recognition swept through her mind, but it was cut short as the now very angry wolf-like girl leapt at her yet again.

On reflex, her leg shot outward, knocking the wolf to the ground. The wolf got up quickly however, and suddenly its body started to move in a way she vaguely recognised from a very long time ago. It actually stood on its hind legs and its arms came in front of the wolf in a fighting stance.

Soon, they reflected each others positions. Both not really sure what was happening with their bodies. They never fought any of their other enemies like this.

The wolf gasped as the tiger-girl shot out her arm. A punch? What was this? Shocking herself, the wolf blocked the punch and countered with her own, connecting with the jaw of the tiger-girl.

The feline hissed at the pain and felt her body duck and sweep the wolf off of her feet. The wolf hit the mud with a thud and the feline wasted no time in taking advantage by lifting it off the ground and attempting to throw it into the lagoon. The wolf wasn't going in alone though as she held on tightly to the feline and they both flew into the cool, clear water.

The fight continued in the water as they both scratched and clawed at each other, each one trying to make it back to the surface first. The wolf clambered back onto the marsh first. She felt her muddy camouflage slip from her face due to the water. She growled in annoyance, and instantly grabbed the tiger-girl who was still trying to make her way out of the water. She held her up in the air and flung her angrily towards a slightly raised mound on the other end of the marsh.

The feline hit it with a loud thud and appeared dazed, the mud slipping from her own face. The wolf growled happily as she knew she was going to win the fight. Savouring the moment, the wolf strode up to her prey and straddled it, making sure it couldn't get up.

But the moment was interrupted as a blinding light began to make its way past the horizon. The sun?

The feline's eyes snapped shut as the light shone into the marsh. She could hear the wolf on top of her wincing and she used the distraction as a last effort to win the fight. She bucked her hips up roughly and the wolf flew onto the ground beside her.

The feline rose to her feet quickly as she knew they were both getting used to the light already. She straddled the wolf and held its arms above its head. The wolf growled in protest and tried bucking her hips like she herself had done earlier, but it didn't work. She was ready for the kill.

But as the light shone on their naked faces, something clicked in each of them. They both watched as the other's eyes suddenly reverted back to their human form. Wearily, the feline creature leaned in to stare into the wolf's eyes.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The wolf gasped as she saw the eyes of the the creature sitting on top of her. She knew this being. Something was screaming at her in the back of her mind. This... girl was so familiar. But where...? Those deep brown, haunted eyes. She knew those eyes.

[through this world i've stumbled so many times betrayed // trying to find an honest word // to find the truth enslaved...]

She watched as this girl cried out. The deep sign of recognition was apparent in her eyes also. But how?

Suddenly, the wolf saw the girl's lips move apart ever so slightly. She saw it was taking great effort for the girl to form the word which hung on the tip of her tongue. The girl's face flinched as if it hurt her to move her mouth in this way. But eventually, a quiet, almost silent sound made its way past her lips.

"...Bu... Buff...Buffy...?"

[you speak to me in riddles and you speak to me in rhymes // my body aches to breathe your breath // your words keep me alive...]

The wolf's eyes suddenly became wet with tears. And before she knew it, she found herself replying.

"Fai...th... Faith...?"

[into this night i wander // it's the morning that i dread // another day of not knowing of the path i fear to tread]

A tear splashed down onto the blonde's cheek as she suddenly felt the lips of the girl press down onto hers. It was as if the girl was seeking reassurance that this was all real. She passionately returned this kiss of yearning, with the tears flowing from her now human eyes. She sat up and enveloped the other girl into an overwhelming hug. The girl returned it as they both sat there in the first morning sun the realm had ever seen. They sobbed into each others shoulders; tears mixed with happiness and longing. But it finally happened.

They had found one another.

[into the sea of waking dreams // i follow without pride // nothing stands between us here and i won't be denied...]

[and i would be the one to hold you down // kiss you so hard // i'll take your breath away // and after i'd wipe away the tears // just close your eyes...] -- -- --Possession.

...continued in Save Me...

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