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Keeping The Faith

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Willow tossed and turned as she dreamed, Tara was trying to say something to her, but she couldn't quite make it out. Then Willow heard a word faith; Tara telling her to keep the faith. Willow woke up with a start; Tara had visited her in her sleep and was trying to send a message she thought to herself, then she remembered what Tara said, Tara didn't mean Faith as in Vampire Slayer did she?

No, that couldn't be right Willow thought to herself, why would Tara be trying to send a message about Faith? She then looked down at the mark on her wrist, the one that had linked her to Tara, that showed the world they were soulmates. "I miss you, baby," she whispered.

The next day Willow and Buffy were sitting at the dining table discussing the First and the Turok-Han and how the Potentials were in danger, Buffy said: "I can't protect the girls alone, those vampires are like on steroids or something, It's time Will to get help."

Willow shook her head "No Buffy! You can't mean what I think you mean, I mean ..." she went immediately silent as Buffy put her hand over Willows' mouth.

"Breath Will, I know that we've had some difficulties in the past." Buffy screwed up her face realising how much of an understatement that was, "but I've talked to Angel and Giles, they've both confirmed that she'd been a model prisoner and we do need another Slayer."

After, Buffy let Willow go, Willow sat still and was deep in thought, she remembered her dream from the previous night. Was Tara trying to tell her what was about to happen and if so what did it all mean.

Buffy said, "Earth to Will, are you going to be OK?"

Willow nodded "I don't like it, but I understand that we're dealing with something that we've never dealt with before and all of us need all the help we can get. Let's get Faith out."

Buffy called Giles and told him to tell the council to get Faith out of prison. After, a few days the phone rang.

"Yo B, betcha you never thought you'd hear from me again," Faiths husky voice said.

"Not this soon anyway," Buffy replied, "Did Angel tell you what's happening here in good old Sunnydale."

"Something about the First and super vampires, what the hell has been happening since I was away?" Faith asked.

"Oh have I got a lot to tell you when you get here, your ride will be there shortly," Buffy replied as she puts the phone down.

Faith was pacing up and down the lobby of the Hyperion Hotel when she heard the front door open. Willow stood at the entrance which shocked Faith a little "Never thought B would send you off all the others to pick me up." she said as she grabbed her bag and walked towards the door.

When Faith had reached the entrance where Willow was standing, Willow stood back a bit she had felt was seemed to be an electric shock ran through her. Shaking it off, she said, "No one else was available or willing to come."

Faith snorted "Yeah, seems about right, I guess we're stuck together then."

The ride back to Sunnydale from Los Angeles luckily went off without a hitch until they were nearly back at the Summers' house. Just as they were arriving in town, Faith had her first encounter with the Turok-Han. As she jumped out of the car to deal with the vampire, she realized that she was really out of shape and Buffy was right about having a lot to tell her. After, being badly beaten she was finally able to dust the vampire.

Willow rushed over to Faith and helped her into the car, wanting to take her to the hospital, but Faith was adamant about going to Buffy's house as she'd had enough of hospitals in the past. Willow reluctantly agreed and drove them both back to the house.

Once there a combination of Slayer healing and first aid from Willow, Faith slowly recovered over the next few days. While she was doing so, Buffy caught her up on what had been happening while she'd been in prison from facing Glory, the Trio, Tara's death and Willow becoming Dark Willow.

It was then she noticed that a new mark had appeared on her wrist, the kind that only meant one thing her soulmate was near. Faith couldn't believe it she had never believed in soulmates before especially seeing what her parents went through, but there it was.

As everyone was busy coming up with a battle plan to defeat the First, Faith had been able to hide the mark and what it entailed. But as luck would have it Buffy became the first to notice Faith was acting strangely and she first thought that Faith had got a new tattoo. Buffy watched Faith carefully as Faith was trying to figure out who her soulmate might be, her first thought was Buffy, maybe Dawn or even a Potential. It was Buffy who realized what was going on when she saw Willow typing on her laptop one afternoon researching information on a weapon that might be helpful.

Buffy looked down at Willows' wrist were at one time Tara's mark had been prevalent another had appeared "Uh Will, what's that?" Buffy asked pointing to Willows' wrist on it as well as Tara's mark of a pentagram, a small stake had appeared.

Willow went pale and replied, "It just appeared, I can't understand it." Willow looked sad as she said, "I wasn't looking for this, Tara was my everything."

Buffy nodded "I know Will, but she wouldn't want you to grieve forever, maybe this is fate's way of helping you move on."

Buffy then suddenly stood up straight "Look, Will, we'll talk later and figure this out, I've gotta thing I've to do." she quickly walked out of the room heading to where Faith was resting.

"Faith We've gotta talk," Buffy said as she sat next to Faith, "I know what's been bugging you lately."

Faith started to deny that anything was wrong trying to hide her anxiety but Buffy wasn't going to let her away with it this time. "OK B, here's the sitch," as Faith showed Buffy her wrist.

Buffy looked down confirming what she'd already seen "Faith, I know who your soulmate is," Buffy told Faith "It's Willow."

"Red!" Faith said in disbelief "Oh, Karma's a bitch, she'll never want anything to do with me."

"Don't be so sure" Buffy replied, looking up at the door where Willow had appeared. "I'll leave you guys alone now." as she left the room.

Willow stood at the door not knowing what to do or think when she heard Faith say "I guess we've gotta lot to talk about."

Willow nodded and sat next to Faith, they talked through the night clearing the air between them. When morning broke, Willow felt a new calm wash over her as if a weight had been lifted from her shoulders especially since Faith had a similar experience and was able to sympathize with what Willow had done. Later on, it became apparent that their bond was now stronger.

Their relationship was surprising to everyone else (except for Buffy), and Willow had asked Giles to research why her and Faith had not been marked as soulmates when they had first met. Giles could only suggest that it was due to them both being underage at the time and it was only now that fate would be able to bond them together.

Weeks soon passed, and both women had started to become closer to each other. Faith managed to grab some alone time with Buffy and asked her "Do you think Red will go out with me, like on a date or something?"

Buffy laughed slightly "Ask her I'm sure you'll be okay."

Willow noticed Faith acting very nervous the next day and asked her "Is something wrong?"

Faith told herself to get her act together and said "Look, Will, I like you, and now we know we're supposed to be soulmates, I think we should you know get to know each other better and doyouwanttogooutwithme?" she quickly asked Willow.

Willow smiled back "I thought I was the queen of babbling, Okay it's a date."

"Cool, see you tonight we can catch a movie then go to the Bronze" Faith sighed in relief.

Later that night after they had left the Bronze and we're walking home. Faith realized that a pack of vampires was stalking them, she quickly staked one but before she knew it one of the other vampires quickly grabbed Willow and was about to bite her. Faith felt a power rising through her that never existed before, and a bolt of fire left her hand and dusted the vampire holding Willow.

Willow stood in shock "That was unbelievable, I didn't know you could use magic."

Faith answered back "Neither did I"

Willow thought about it and said "Let's try something, hold one of your stakes out in your hand and repeat after me." as Willow spoke an incantation.

Faith did as Willow asked and was stunned to see the stake float up into the air. "I think we need to talk to G-man about this." Faith said.

When they arrived home they told Giles about what Faith had been able to achieve. Giles smiled as he informed them that sometimes magical powers awoke in new soulmates and that with Willow's guidance Faith may become a talented witch as well as Slayer.

Soon the battle plan was finalised and the day was drawing near where the final battle would commence. Willow and Faith had spent a lot of time together and had noticed they could read each other's thoughts, and magic was becoming easier to Faith the more the bond grew stronger.

Although they hadn't slept together yet, a fact of which Faith was amazed by how okay she was taking it slowly. There had been some smooching and Buffy had more than once told them to get a room. Faith was sitting in the living room watching TV when she heard Willow's voice in her head. "Come upstairs; I have a surprise for you."

Faith walked upstairs and into Willow's room. She looked around noticing all the candles lit up making a romantic atmosphere. Willow was lying on the bed with her eyes closed and looked so beautiful in her negligee. Faith neared the bed lay down and kissed Willow. They both didn't notice a slight breeze float through the room with a whispered goodbye my love, and their marks on the wrist glow in unison as their soul bond became complete.

The day of the final battle was upon them, and Buffy was going over the plans with the others making sure of all the details. Faith was glad that she is allowed the honor of guarding Willow during the spell she would be using. She had never realized how protective she had become over her soulmate until then.

They got to Sunnydale High, and everything seemed to be going to plan before Faith left to let Willow have a few minutes with the original Scooby Gang she gave her a small kiss and said: "Once we get out of this I have something I want to tell you."

Faith then entered the room that was going to be used by Willow to do her spell that would hopefully make all the Potentials Slayers. Faith still wasn't sure how it worked exactly, although Willow had tried to explain it to her. Soon everything had been set up, and Willow sat down ready to begin the spell. As Willow started to do her incantation a beacon of light embraced both women as Faith felt her magic power being drawn in to amplify the spell.

Willow told Faith to go and help Buffy, Faith reluctantly left her soulmate and ran to join the others in the fight. Luckily getting there in time to help the others until Spike had sacrificed himself to save them. They all ran out of the building and Faith went immediately to Willow's side, carrying her lover out to the bus she jokingly said: "Looks like it's my time to play nurse."

Willow laughed and said, "I'm looking forward to it and are you okay?"

"Five by Five, Will." Faith replied as the bus reached the end of town just in time to escape the crater that had rapidly appeared. She then pulled Willow towards her and whispered: "I love you."

Willow turned to Faith and said, "I love you too."

Later on, Willow confessed to Faith that she had been worried that something had happened to her when everyone else was evacuating and Faith seemed to be last out. Faith smiled and said, "Sometimes Red you've just gotta keep the faith."