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To Stand

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Failure. Pain. Disappointment. That was all Buffy could feel after she fell to the ground, sword through her middle, the Scythe no longer in her hands. It made sense, really, to feel such things after sustaining what must be a fatal wound in the middle of the largest apocalypse the Slayer Line had seen in a while with their greatest enemy laughing overhead. That wasn’t her reason, though. She felt those things because of the eyes. Brown and terrified and veering dangerously towards empty. Faith accepted the Scythe from her, true; she took up their legacy in a moment of need and fought as their Line was always meant to.

Buffy, though… She was dying. She knew it, and she knew that Faith knew it too. That the intangible, indescribable, infuriating link between them was wavering, fading, threatening to snap. That even with the spell, Faith would be left alone in a crowd of overconfident children who would never understand their true burden. That she would never be able to sit with her sister-Slayer and truly leave the past behind, never fight each other with that addicting, primal pleasure coursing just beneath their skin. Never have the chance to take off their masks and share in the true knowing of each other that the others could only pretend to have.

Failure. Kendra’s death. Angelus. Stabbing Faith, and messing up again when she woke…

Pain. The brunette’s eyes lancing through her, begging her silently to stand and watch her back for just a little longer.

Disappointment. Knowing that no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t answer. Feeling the blankness slipping towards her with the inevitability of the tide.

Then anger came, echoing above them all for all of those reasons and more, as the dark inched forward that last little way to claim her soul, and-

The Slayer snarled.

No.

Faith heard, turned-

No.

Her eyes screaming and hoping-

No.

Praying for the first time ever that-

NO.

 

Buffy stood.