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Dreams, Darkness & Devilish Things
by Liz M
It's getting late. Already my stomach's starting to churn. I look around at all of us. The sky is grey with black streaks reaching across it for miles. I can already smell the next town coming. The stench gets worse the closer we get to, whatever you call it, civilization. Every town is the same: burnt, smoldering, chaos and debris. Aftermath or beginning? I can't tell anymore.
I'm so tired, exhausted beyond even my reaches but I'm up. Got to stay alert, frosty, nobody dies on my watch and I mean nobody. Some of the tensions release as I let out a long breath, funny, I didn't even realize that I'd been holding it. I look around at my troop, well, THE troop as they lie sleeping. We've been driving for hours. All of us packed up in the back of this old truck like pigs going to slaughter. I laugh inward to myself as I recall that old story about pigs.
Softly and slowly I mouth, " little pig, little pig, let me come in...or I'll huff and puff and blow your house in." I follow it up by stifled laughs.
Well, it's not really funny, but it's funny in an ironic way that we truly are the pigs and the wolf is really out there.
I can't control my laughter anymore. I'd sucked it in as much as I could, but shit, my bucket never could hold water.
She stirs and I can feel her watching me. I adjust and try to not look as crazy as she thinks I am. But hey, who the fuck cares? So what if I talk to myself? So what if I answer? So what if I laugh out loud at my own damned thoughts? I'm one of a kind. I'm special. She moves next to me, places her hand on my leg, "you okay?", she asks. I've always been rough and tough but I don't even try to pretend anymore. I'm breakable. I shift and lie my head on her lap. She lightly traces her fingers over my head and through my hair, relaxing me. It's about the only way I can sleep anymore. As her ministrations become firmer, my eyes grow heavy. I locate my knife before I let sleep take me over.
Darkness is surrounding us. Everyone is exhausted. I see Xander looking out at me from the drivers side, eyes questioning whether to stop in this town or go on through. Looking around at the ruins and leftover meat, I motion him on. Xander and Giles have been taking turns driving, for days, I think. One sleeps, one drives, meeting somewhere, somehow in between the two to navigate. Not many of us left. All the scoobs are here, me, Dawn, Willow, Xander, Giles, minus anya, she didn't make it, but plus Kennedy, Faith and some oriental chick, we just call her china, basically because we don't know what the hell she's saying.
Willow and Kennedy are lying close. Everyone's dead to the world. Dawn looks so grown up and finally at peace, like all is fine in the world, at least while she's sleeping. All of them, including myself, have had at least ten hours of sleep, except for her. I look down at the figure draped over my lap, still ready to fight, not allowing herself to fully fall under sleeps spell. Resting but aware. My hands make their way from her hair and face to her shoulders, neck and back, kneading, trying to work some of the tension out. She kept us going, got us moving, fought when all we could do was watch. I'm pretty sure she kept us alive, took control when all was lost, when we were lost.
Sunnydale has just fell in. We were all just looking at where it use to be. I remember her asking, "How does it feel now that you're not the only one?" I remember feeling good. She felt it before I did. Dark mist, clouds, seeping up through the newly formed pit. Crashes of light, thunder, smoke, lit our surroundings. It was as if hell itself opened up and the devil sent his dogs to finish off what his other toadies couldn't accomplish. Black lightning ripped through the sky as far as the eye could see. Making me flinch as my eyes and ears were shocked by mere volume alone. Spots in midair seemed to appear, ripple before our eyes, seemed to ravage the earth, I guess. She yelled, pulled me and Dawn back from the pit, picked up the scithe, "get ready!" she yelled.
That was it, it was over, nothing happened, it was all gone, ran home to tell mama, all good, fine and dandy, five by five, as she'd say. Time to relax and rest easy, and I was, we were. Just a little fireworks show and now it was over. Kennedy and China ran off the bus, looking scared, surveying the scene as it was playing out. It was all okay, calm, but she stayed firm. So here we all were, me, Dawn, Willow, Kennedy, Giles and Xander outside in some kind of mist, trying to reason with her to put the weapon down. Her eyes pleading silently with me. I remember thinking, she's not playing, she's really spooked.
Out of nothing, nowhere, everywhere, a winged beast of a thing swooped down, grabbed the bus, hoisted it off of the ground, squeezed it like you'd crush a can of coke and flung it so hard that it had most likely sunk deeper than SunnyD.
It swooped, no swarmed, no rocketed downward, turning, making a low pass over the ghost town, turned and was coming at us fast, straight, low to the ground, right over the rubble. She was moving backwards, fast and then she started at it. Head on, scithe in hand, screaming, just like a game of chicken, only as the beast started to open it's mouth to give her a little kiss, she brought the scithe up, letting it's mouth meet with her blade. It cost her dearly, it's teeth tore her arms and hands up instantly, blood splattering the surrounding pavement, us. Somehow, she still hung on to her blade. Sometimes, when I close my eyes.... I can still hear it scream. Haunting. It was pissed. Injured but not out.
It shook off it's pain like a robe, took off, made a pass over us, setting us up for another run or try. Again, low, straight, fast as hell it came at HER, not us.... This was personal now. Another game of chicken, you know, who has the biggest balls. She ran head on, only this time she leaped over it, flipping, bringing the scithe to rest in between the things eyes. She kept her grip, making her come to a complete stop in midair. She pulled the blade out and buried it deeper. With a claw it reached her and flung her across the pavement just like a dog would scratch a flea, and fell dead. She skidded a good distance, clothes and skin tore as she made harsh contact with the asphalt. She was bloodied, torn and she just laid there lifeless. All I could do was stare.
Kennedy ran to her. "She's alive!" she yelled. Relief washed over me. Why? Well I'm not sure, completely, yet. She finally stood on her own, barely. Abrasions covered her face and body and yet the thing that I remember, that I always remember, the thing that I notice even now....is that when we made eye contact, she lowered her gaze. She still does, she thinks she's unworthy.
So little confidence and so much pain in her eyes; I'm a fool not to have ever noticed her eyes, they give her away, everything, all of her. She acts so tough, runs at you like a bull but her eyes tell all, all her need, desire and wants are right there for the viewing. Makes it hard to breathe. I can't give her the confidence or self worth that she needs, she'll have to find that on her own. I can let her know that her and me, we're ok, that I forgive her and that I'm sorry for my part in our messed up past. In time she'll be fine, we both will. I hope.
Best we can figure, is that when we called all the slayers at once, it caused lots of rips in reality, worlds, time, I don't know. Guess there was something to that 'one girl in the world thing' after all. I mean, I died, was brought back. I died again, was brought back, threw the universe out of whack, made a crack in my lifeline, opened up a door and evil came a knockin. Faith just cracked up about it, went around for hours singing that tune, 'I hear ya knocking but ya can't come in... I'm in my nightie and it's oooh so thin', she's such a comedienne.
She stirs and it knocks me out of my musings. I wonder if she's standing on a cliff, if so what cliff, will she fall, jump, step back, survive? The last few days her eyes have changed. She has horrors and madness in them. What else can I expect? She does all the dirty work, not the fighting, no, we all do that, it's equal, but, when it comes to killing the ones who seem to be infected with some sort of mental madness, she does it, the killing. Women, kids, babies, says she's already a killer, no sense in all of us dirtying our hands. Last town, I saw her after cleaning out a house. She went around to the back, threw up and cried so hard that I cried with her from my distance. When she came back, she was fine, said she didn't find anything.
I move my hand to trace her lips, she smiles slightly and turns her head to face into my body, snuggling against me. I accept the contact, holding her closer to me. Her breath is hot and warming to my stomach. I close my eyes and let my hands begin touching her again, massaging all the pain away with a single touch. Trying to give her a time of peace, relaxation and to allow her the time to put aside all the things that she's done, she's seen, she's heard, trying to make her feel safe. The same feeling that she's given to us, all of us, over the last few days.
She's sacrificed her mind and body so that we could sleep and not have the nightmares that she seems to have. Is she crazy? Mad? Insane? Well, no more than the rest of us are. I mean the other day, we were making good time, trying to get to an army base before nightfall. Giles drives over a clump of bodies, dead of course, the truck bounces so harshly that I fall out. She jumps out after me. Sarcastically, got to be me after all, I ask her for a hand up. Well, she gives me one. Not hers, but an actual hand lying on the ground. I'm mortified! She's laughing her ass off. All of them smile, wanting to laugh but I glare at them. I'm the leader after all, well I was for a long time, some things die hard.
I look down at her sleeping form, thinking of her helping hand. I laugh out loud in spite of myself.
She's looking at me, brown eyes searching for an answer. She gives a nod and a knowing smirk, " and I'm the crazy one?" she asks.
We both laugh. Seriousness takes over her features.
Raspy, barely audible, but I hear her. "We're it B, I can feel it. Us against the dark, again, all alone."
"You're not alone." I remind her. "We're all together."
"How do you think it'll end?" She asks.
I can't even imagine. "Just remember the rule, our rule, k?" I say pulling her tigher into my body. "You remember?"
"Yeah, don't die."
I smile at her and she smiles back, sits up, grimaces as she flexes her cramped muscles, and checks the sky. She removes a map from her back pocket. "You wanna drive a while, let the guys get some sleep?" I nod a yes and her smile grows bigger. She reaches over and bangs the side of the truck, it's a signal to slow, stop or prepare for, ya know. Daylight will be here soon and she's refreshed. I watch her from the corners of my eyes. She's talking to the guys, getting a bearing. She looks at me, flashes a brilliant smile and I know that I'm in for something. Something big. Something Faith.
I look up and search the sky. Yeah, daylight is upon us, it'll be making its show in just a bit. I climb in next to her and settle in. She's on automatic, driving, checking the rear view mirror, throwing small looks my way. About an hour later she pulls into some kind of place. I read the sign. Hot Springs, it says. She keeps on, only stopping when she finds some kind of little park with accomodations. We practically fall out of the truck, scrunge around for all our needed supplies, fuel, water, food, even clothing. God knows, we all need this. We even scored a few luxuries like soap, shampoo and much needed feminine products. She tells us all to take some time for ourselves to stay in pairs and don't wonder off far from the group. People start to pair off. Well, Willow and Kennedy pair off. The rest of us just stand and stare at one another. I mean hell, we all need this. That need to feel alive. I look around and mentally count whats left. That leaves me, Dawn, China, Xander, Giles and Faith. They are all looking at me and I notice that faith herself is leaving the pairing up to me. Dawn gives me the eye and I catch her drift. She wants to experience life, all of life, before hers ends. That's easy. I pair her up with Xander. Ok, left is China, Faith, Me and Giles. I shake the thought off. I don't really like the idea of Faith and China, much less Faith and Giles, and I can sense the tension radiating off of her like the sun. All that stress needing to be released. Deep down I know that who ever I sent her with, well it, that is if something happened, well it would only be for comfort and need, not that she'd desire them. I make my choice. Giles you and China go relax, work on english or something. That's it. I look to Faith. "What do you have in mind?" I ask.
She looks puzzled, smiles, laughs a bit. "A hot shower and a long bath." She replies.
I feel much better, more alive, not so much with the doom and gloom anymore. I can't help but think, 'Buffy paired off with me'. Does that mean anything? I try not to think of her but she keeps looking at me. We just stare. Taking in a heavy breath and releasing it just as slow, I walk over to her, take her hand and lead her in to the small room that we now seem to occupy. I let some of the heavy utility belts fall to the floor. I almost feel free, I mean, I'd forgotten how heavy they were. I guess somewhere over the last few days or so they'd become like a part of me. It felt good to unstap the weapons, placing them safely to the side but close enough to use. I watch her. She's having trouble removing her belt. It seems stuck. I go over, kneel and try to push the lock in to release it. No luck. I get on both knees to see it better. It has debris in the mechanism. Afer a few bouts of pull and tug, it gives and releases. Holding both sides of the heavy belt, I lower it slowly to the floor around her feet. Out of nowhere my location hits me hard. I'm leaning into her center, so close but so far, the heat, God the heat is pulsating through my entire body. Hers, mine, who cares? My breath catches and my mind, well my mind, well all I can think is that if you start in the middle you don't have far to go. I shake it off. I stand, breath ragged, shallow and look her in the eyes. She seems to penetrate me, mind, body and soul. We're so close. I can hear her breaths coming in slow, smoothe and deep. I feel her, slowly, painfully drifting over me. I can't hold her eye contact. Her eyes hold so much depth and seems to voice to me all the things that I know I am, that she knows I am. Those voices haunt me.
I turn from her, taking my leave to finally have that much needed and deserved shower. I turn the water on, letting it heat as I peel the clothes from my body. My body aches and a few minor wounds become active again as the worn clothes pull against them. I notice myself in the mirror. I don't even second glance myself, I just crawl under the steady flow of hot rushing water. After a bit, I feel her behind me, just washing and cleaning my cuts. Her hands healing me, checking me for any fatal flaws. The quietness is deafening. I join her, silently knowing, silently understanding. Each touch is tender, concerned, nothing sexual, it's more than sexual. Words can't even describe it.
With every part, every curve, every space, cleaned and checked we turn from each other letting the water take us. We complete our tasks at hand. Mine is cleaning my unmentionables and shaving. I leave the warmth of the shower, giving her a last look. Her eyes meet mine, she slowly closes them and lets the shower run over her face and head.
I look in the mirror again, smile, that's the girl I know and love. My body still aches so I turn the hot water on in the tub. One of those jet ones, I anticipate the experience as I see the steam rise from the hot water. And let me ask, who would ever have thought that brushing my teeth would become a religious experience, but it was. As the hot water was rerouted from the shower to the tub, I heard her yell out and gasp. Smiling I flushed the toilet, giving her another douse of cold reality. I was rewarded with another loud yell, hey, got to find the fun, and I did. I found some bath oil, poured the whole bottle in the tub and slid slowly into the hot water. The water enveloped me, soothed my body and relaxed my soul. Aware that Buffy was now at the sink, finding her religion, I smiled inwardly.
She's watching me. I can always tell, even when my eyes are shut, I just know. She's closer. I hear her towel fall and I know she's joining me. She makes room, sitting between my legs, lying her head back against my chest. The electricity between us is painful. I sit up more, making it more comfortable for her and my arms move automatically, going directly around her, pulling her closer and holding her against me. She sighs and leans into me, putting her hands over mine. We just stay like that, frozen, still in time. With each breath we take, we shiver, needing, wanting, knowing that it's now or never. Finally, she breaks the spell, moving against my body, moving my hands until my instincts take over. I move my body, making contact easier. I can now reach her neck and earlobe with my mouth. I sigh and moan in ecstasy as my hands search and find her ready and waiting. She writhes against me. Contact is hard this way but manageable. Our bodies twist and turn to make contact, in the end my mouth settles for biting her earlobe. She can hear me echoing through her head, I know it. One hand holds her against me, preventing her from slipping away and the other slides down between her legs, sliding upward, searching, feeling, giving a thousand feelings all at once. The introduction is slow and sweet until need and urgency take over, guiding my hand, begging to be let in, she opens up, my hand quickly finds its passagway, the entry, making a frenzy of friction. I bite and moan louder, finding a rhythm that's suitable for her and myself. Her ragged breathing and sighs excite me more, enthrall me, urge me on, making me move my hand harder and faster, trying to go deeper inside. She snakes a hand behind her, searching me out, wanting and needing me to feel the same way she is at this moment. She finds me, learns my body quickly,feels her way around my arousal and starts a rhythm like my own. We gasp, her pushing back into me and me trying to hold her close so we don't lose contact. Desperation guides us on, keeps us strong. We rock, rub and move against one another, desire, raw need to hear the other cry out. Sighs, moans, gasps, all climbing higher, pushing further, closer and closer to the edge. She's there, we're there, feeling the warmth, the tingle. One last act of desperation and I can feel the flood, the closing of her passage, holding me still inside it. She cries out and I cry with her, tears flowing slowly. Her body spasms and it's all I need to push me over the edge, she moves against me, prolonging my release. I come to my senses and continue to move my hand against her, trying to make her pleasure, her heart and her body convulse again. Just a touch, just a feel, she jerks against me and falls limp into my body. We're still again, frozen in another time, clinging onto each other.
Ages later, we're dressed, still no words between us and getting ready to head out. Got to keep moving when dark hits, can't take anymore loses. I gather my things and glance at her. I turn ready to walk out the door and she's there instantly, pulling at me, turning me around. I'm frozen, lost in her eyes, waiting for her, and she doesn't leave me waiting for long. She touches my face. I try to look away, she stops me, holds my eyes firm, she smiles, leans in and captures my lips. She steps back and gauges my reaction, leans back in and kisses me fully, deeply, slowly, penetrating.
We hear the guys yelling.
She opens the door, takes my hand and leads me out. We all load up. Like I said, dark is coming, got to keep on the move. She's looking at me. I can feel her. I give her one of my patented full on smiles, walk over and sit between her legs and lean into her. She wraps her arms around me. Funny how two hours turned into all day. I won't call the day wasted though, we got essentials. I look into the darkening sky. I'm renewed.
Come on darkness. Show me what you got. I can take it.
She's relaxed. I can just feel all of her energy, like it's pouring out of her and into me. Wow, I mean wow! I knew something might eventually happen between us. It was enevitable, destined to be. I'm already looking forward to our next time. My body flushes with a new desire. I want to go slower, do other things, more juicy things. I don't want our time to be so urgent, frantic like it was earlier. I truly...uhm...desire her. It's funny, I mean, there really is a thin line between love and hate. One minute, I hate her, the next, I love her, can't get enough of her. I guess if truth be told, even when I hate her, deep beneath the surface I still want her, at least I know and acknowledge that now.
I feel kind of safe, at ease, I can see a light through the darkness. I got more than I ever bargained for on that stop. I mean we got fuel and ammo, fundamentals, it was such a nice break from our usual. Generally, we clean out a town in daylight hours, but we got carried away. I guess everyone needed a break though. I know I did. It'll be black soon, we usually don't stop during the nights and I don't think we'd risk stopping for anything at night, unless we absolutely had to. Where are we going? Well we're trying to locate some kind of base, survivors, people in general. It's not like any of us put up a fight or anything, well except for Faith. She was like,' looking for people, what the hell's wrong with you, we don't have to look for them, they're looking for us, god help us if they find us',so she thought it was a joke, a great big ironic joke. Anyway, about what she wanted to do, well who'd of thought that all those years of comics, video games and sci fi would pay off. She had an idea or thought on everything. She might not show much to the world, but she was a thinker more than a doer, at least now I'd say.....by that I mean, she use to do everything without thinking but now, you can see things mulling over behind her eyes. She's thinking and hard.
As I was saying before I lost track, she had an idea of getting on a boat, sailing around for a while until, well, people died off. She was thinking we wouldn't have to worry and fight much that way. She thought the infected would die, hell even the vamps couldn't live without food, it'd be a fight, survival of the fiendish. We'd just wait it out. Her idea got knocked out the first go around. We were going to set up camp, make friends, sing songs, get an army going. I can still hear her laughing."We're gonna hold hands, shout hallelulah, have a big ole sappy everything's ok orgy." She had gotten a dramatic edge to her and hell she certainly did put on a show. In the end, she relented, sunk down, beaten, hardened.
I look at the figure sitting against me. She's been still for so long, stiff actually. I nudge her. She leans back into me, breathing shallow and quick. I run my fingers over her neck. I can feel prickly hairs standing up, goosebumps. "Do you hear that?" She asks softly. I listen intently and nod a 'no'. "I don't hear anything." I whisper, feeling the need to do so. I'm getting creeped out too.
Everyone gets quiet, they notice the exchange between me and B, I look around and pull B down into the bed of the truck, she'd been sitting on a crate. China mimics us. I smile thinking of what new tricks she might have taught Giles, I frown instantly at the thought and decide to get my thoughts back on track. Something is out there, watching, waiting, stalking.... Damn... my ass hurts, bet B could fix it..... and I'm back, shaking my head, trying to clear it from all and I mean all, well, one distraction.
The path gets choppy, muddy. We end up slowing down, way too slow. I don't like it. "Stick to the road." I yell. "Don't get us stuck!" "Road's blocked!" Xander shouts. I pan around. That's not just a blocked road. That's deliberate, a set up, a trap. The truck bogs down...Full alert! Damn, stuck in muck, completely fucked. "Arm up!" I yell. "We got to push this heap out now, fast!" Scrambling, we all jump out, grab a piece of metal, lift and surge forward. Four slayers, well yeah, we got it, that's like 40 men, well, I think we got it. We're making a little progress. "Harder!" I urge them on. "You wanna die or you want a hernia?" I can feel B looking, questioning with her eyes, 'a hernia'? My eyes just answer, well yeah, hello, it's all I got, you got something better? She shakes my eye contact off, smirking. Thank God for Giles, he grabs some planks out of the truck bed, wood, whatever he thought might work and put them underneath the tires for traction. We push, Xander guns the engine and viola, we're unstuck. We run behind the truck, pushing when necessary. I pan around. I hear them, coming fast through the trees.."Hurry!" I scream.
Xander gets the truck around the blockage and back onto the road. I can only hope the road out isn't blocked also. "Load up!" I toss Dawn into the truck.. Xander hops out to help, Giles automatically slides into his spot behind the wheel. Xan helps Willow climb in the truck while I silently count faces. China, where's China. Panning around I see her still a good way from us, still in the mud, just standing, scared shitless is my bet. I yell at her. "China!" Her attention is on me. "Hurry up, Run!" I scream motioning her with my hands. Oh God, I can see them. "Run, Behind you!" She's just looking at me, making a face and I realize she's thinking to herself, 'what the fuck is she saying'? "Fuck!" I yell and take off toward her at full speed, drawing my sword. I'm already too late but I have to try.
There's just a few infected but when they feed, well more just seem to show up for dinner. You can just see their crazy little heads churning out thoughts and sometimes you can even hear them. 'Guess who's coming to dinner? I'm making something special, join us.' We don't really know what's wrong with them, or how you catch it, but I just associate it with being rabid. The only thing that we do know, is that we don't want it.
She hears them coming too late. She turns gets ready to fight and falls as they tackle her. I feel her screaming and it gives me the energy to run faster. In an instant, I'm there, slashing, dropping them with one blow. I learned the less contact you have with them, the better, I really don't want to catch 'it', you know what I mean. I see her on the ground, muddy, bloody, see the hands, nails and teeth pulling at her, clawing at her, disecting her. I get lost in a daze, repeating it all over again in my head. ' I see her fall, see her death, I'm froze.' I come back to my senses quickly and shut my eyes tight, we lost a slayer. A slayer!
I hear B screaming at the top of her lungs. I reach for the automatic that some soldier left me. The holster was empty. Damn, it's in the truck, I'm disgusted with my own carelessness. I finally realize why B's screaming, I'm surrounded. All I have for defense is a short sword, 22 inches, right now I'd kill for a samurai. I look to my group, screaming, "Get the hell outta here!"
B starts to run for me but Dawn grabs her, stopping her. I'm relieved for that. Xander grabs a revolver and runs toward me. He fires. I run toward him, clearing a path. I hear other shots. The group has armed themselves and are trying to take out some of the threat to us and to them. Each shot fired knocks me a little further from the dinner equation and I'm relieved and grateful all at once. I hear Xander's gun click. Shit! I'm close to him now, just in time to grab him and burst out from the oncoming slaughter, we run toward our ride, our salvation.
I remember my training, knees, eyes, throat. If it can't see, it can't get ya, if it can't walk, it can't get ya, and if it can't breathe, well you get my point. Funny, you'd of thought something more enlightening would pass by me in what might be my last fight.
Fastly approaching our friends I yell, "Start moving!" I jump, barely catching on, gotta love helping hands. I was hoisted up on back of the already moving truck. I reach out for Xander, he jumps, grabs on and I help him over the railing, falling backwards as we hit a bump. That was a close one. I look up and see Xander just staring off the back of the truck holding onto the rail. He must've shit his pants. He's breathing heavy. Finally, he breaks down and cries. We all just lower our heads, letting him have his moment of privacy. I'm still lying on the ground, no worse for the wear.
He turns around. I search out his eyes, give him a nod, thanking him. He smiles at me. I smile back, jumping up. He moves fast but I'm faster. I draw back the bat that I picked up from my fall, swing and knock him backwards off and out of the truck, letting the makeshift weapon fall as I watch him tumble away from us. I can hear all the gasps around me, shocked at what I'd done. I'm still focused on my friend, out there now. I feel a sharp crack to my head. That's it. That's all. Three words to describe it, bat, crack, gone.
Oh my God! "Xander!" I yell, screaming, crying. I see him tumble over the ground. He's up, foaming, seething, running after us at alarming speed. His features aren't goofy anymore, they're filled with lust, a lust for us: A lust for life, our life. He's infected. I grab up a rifle, aim and take him down, clean, one shot. I look at the others who finally understand. I look to the form lying crumpled, her clothes turning crimson from her own blood. I'm freaking out now!
"Faith!" I shake her roughly. "Faith!" I cry out with Tears flowing. Kennedy pushes me out of the way, taking over. She strips off her shirt, folds it. "Direct pressure!" She gives me the shirt. "Apply direct pressure!" I put the shirt to Faith's head, over the wound, holding it firm, secure, slowing and stopping her blood loss. No other injuries are evident. I hear Dawn ask, "Is she infected too?" , I just glance over, eyes cutting her.
I manage to get her into my arms. I've been holding her for what feels like hours. I'm covered in her blood, we're both covered, it's drying and sticky. We managed to get the hell out of that town in record time. We're lucky we only lost two, hopefully we won't lose her, we can't lose her too. We've had too much death, way too much. Kennedy comes back over, checks her head. The bleeding has stopped. She picks up some scissors and a razor and makes a move toward Faith's head, her hair to be more precise. "I wouldn't do that." I say flatly. She continues. She cuts away some of her hair, shaves the area around the lasceration, places some butterfly strips on it, makeshift stitches if you will and surveys her work. At least she cut Faith's hair so that some of it would hang over the area, covering that 'spot'. That'll be a big help, I'm sure.
I can hear Willow. "Better tie her up, Buffy, just to be sure." I don't want to but I know I have to. I move and let them do what they have to do. I can't bear to tie her down myself. I glance at her, hog tied and a shaved spot on her head. Oh yeah, I can see it now, it didn't really matter if she was infected or not, either way, she was going to be pissed, and I mean pissed.
Giles managed to find an open field, cleared for a good mile or so in either direction. He pulled over, abruptly, stopping. We just sat there, stunned. He went about menial tasks, like refeuling the truck. He looked faith over, checked her pupils and stroked her hair. Looking back at us, he searched our eyes, counted our losses. He cleared his throat and removed his glasses, toying with them, absently wiping them clean. He drew a shaky breath and looked at me. "Maybe we should, head for the coast, get a boat and wait this out." I nod an approval. "Do you think Faith's Ok?" I ask. He just shakes his head, not knowing. Kennedy gets out to drive. I try and get Dawn to go with her, she just keeps sitting there staring at Faith. I guess she's feeling a little guilty, I mean, after all, she was the one who cracked Faith's head like it was a nut. She finally relents, giving a last look back before she climbs down and makes her way around to the front seat.
Hours later and we see no change in Faith. I'm scared. I can't help but cry. I don't want to lose her. I've been practically sitting on top of her since we left that field. I start cleaning her up some, well as much as I can, trying to get the blood off of her. It ran so fast, coating her, seems like such a small spot for so much blood. I wipe a cloth around her neck, she stirs and moans. I move to face her, trying to coax her to wake up. I ingnore Willow's remarks to be careful. I touch her, talk to her, whisper her name. Nothing. I lean down, bringing my face to hers, whispering again, "Faith." I wait, then begin again, bringing my face closer still. "Faith." Tears well up in my eyes again and I feel the familiar pangs of desperation seeping in. "Faith!" I say as I brush against her lips softly. Her eyes open.. "That's my girl." I say between sobs. Her brow furrows, she's realized that she's restrained. Her eyes question me. "We didn't know if you had been infected or not." She relaxes somewhat, God only knows what she could have been thinking.
I help her sit up, using the side of the truck to help balance her. She leans her head against the side of the truck and gets an extra knock due to rough terrain. I can see her flinching, even felt it. Her head is hurting I can tell just by looking at the way she's sitting in the corner. Well I know it must be extremely painful, I mean, I've seen my little sister hit a softball, she's good, a little too good. We all just sit and watch her, waiting, for the change. It's been long enough I think, I debate over it and decide to untie her. She doesn't scream, yell or even throw a fit, no, she just rubs her wrists and then rubs her head. I flinch when she realizes that she has a shaved spot on her head. Her eyes get big, and she's got this hell no they didn't look on her face. "Anything wrong?" I ask, just waiting to be cussed out. She starts to yell but shrinks back down from the looks everyone's giving her. "Uh Yeah! But I can't really get mad about it right now.....someone might just shoot me." She widens her eyes at me for emphasis, I can only smile at her.
I move closer to her, I need to be near her. I smile and she finally smiles back. She grabs me unexpectedly, pulls me toward her. I can hear Willow scream. She places the softest, most erotic kiss on me. I just melt into her, forgetting about Willow, forgetting about all the eyes glued to us. Tomorrow's a new day, it's not promised but we have here, now, and I'm not waiting any longer. Too much time has been wasted. I don't really care who see's. I want her, she's mine and we might not make it thru to tomorrow.
I feel the truck stop and hear Willow as she leaves the back and crunches into the cab of the truck. I know they're not looking anymore. I smile, knowing that we're finally alone. Not that we're doing anything heavy, we're dressed for God's sake. We're just kissing and groping, sighing and moaning. Be realistic, she's injured, she needs TLC, time, loving and lots of the last one, it's a long word, I never could pronounce it properly but you get the drift I'm sure, if you don't it does start with a C. Daybreak will be here soon. I know that Kennedy will pull into the first place she finds standing, not like they'll want to watch or anything, and then, well you figure it out for yourself, as for me, I know what I want now, took the end of the world as we know it, to figure it out. I'd continue the story but I can't really think right now, talk either for that matter, what's wrong, you ask? Come on now, you know how this girl is...you feel it too.
She's just really turning... me... on!
Okay, I'll admit it, I was kinda getting a little frisky for a certain slayer that shall remain nameless but truth be told, she's not exactly up to it. She tries to act like she's okay, that she's not in pain, but I can hear it in her sounds. I'm not an idiot, I know when to back off and just relax, not that I want to do it, back off I mean, it just has to be done. She needs to heal and I have to allow her that. I'm settling for holding her close to me, lets face it, the past eight hours or so have been horrific. We lost two of our group, Xander and China. I'm ashamed to admit it but China isn't really even a blip on my scale of important. Xander, now he's another story altogether. He was family, Is family. Sad part is that right now we can't even really take the time to mourn him. I wanted to get lost in 'her', so that I could forget but ....she's starting to break from everything. She finally lets a few stay tears fall and all I can do is hold her, touch her, cry with her.
I have so much guilt. I mean, I shot Xander, not that it was much of a choice or anything. I could't bear for him to be 'that' way. He was always so full of boyish charm, had a heart of gold and there is nothing that he wouldn't do for anyone. He was just special that way.
I can't even imagine what Dawn must think. I mean, her and Xander, I'm sure, you know, well, I'm sure they were close. She must be dying inside, what with losing a new love and an old friend, take that and add almost killing, a protector, my new love, and old .... ...I keep forgetting about that last part. Things change, people change, I've changed and I know that she's changed. I look to the form who is once again draped over me, resting, I think that if she hadn't of made it, well I think that I would have given up right then and there. That's a lie. I would've tried to protect everyone, right down to the last ... one. I sigh heavily. Thinking is starting to hurt, I'll just concentrate on Faith. I softly outline her features with my fingertips. She feels so hot. I'm a little worried about her. I mean sure, we had a serious make out session earlier, thinking about it now, she was slightly hesitant and when I finally realized it and pulled back, giving her a minute to recoop, she just kind of drifted off to sleep. Giles said it's most likely a concussion but it seems kind of strange, I mean, you don't usually have a fever with a bump on the head. Do you?
I just realized something. I haven't seen a vampire in a few days. Oh God.. I think I'd rather deal with them than the 'wild ones'. I'm not really sure how Faith was able to put them down and not catch it. I wonder, what did Xander do that she didn't? Maybe its because we have more resiliance than most people, maybe slayers are immune. That doesn't fare too well for Dawn, Giles or Willow for that matter. I glance at them, all sitting in the cab. I'm supposed to Fix things, battle evil and when it really comes down to it, I'm just scared and alone, without a clue. I could really use some idea's from Xander and Faith.. they were quite the pair, always having some kind of input, whether it was crazy or not. I smile remembering.
She stirs and snuggles into my body. Her eyes hold mine, letting me know that she's ok, that she's just resting. I exhale in relief. She raises herself, and brings her hand to the buttons on my shirt, slowly unfastening them. I can only watch. To my surprise she opens my shirt, exposing me just a little, but only for a brief second before she lowers her head against my breasts. She leans into me, letting her face touch my skin, my hot, flushed skin, feeling contact, listening to my heartbeat. She closes her eyes and I wrap my arms around her, holding her, feeling her breath against me. It surprises me how utterly romantic she is, she's not all about sex, she's so much more. I'm finally beginning to know her, well as much as I can, I mean for a minute there I thought she was actually taking my shirt off, when all she wanted was to feel my body warmth against her. Still, she's erotic.
It's time like these when I'm at my most content. Here I am, lying against her. Skin on skin and it's the closest I've felt to anyone. I'm not so sure things are going to be alright anymore. There's just too much against us. I know one thing though, I'll do whatever I have to do to keep them safe. I know now that we're headed for the coast, at record speed I might add, due in part to me watching some Stephen King movie. Kinda ironic if you think about it. She's watching me so I unfurrow my brows and nuzzle deeper against her soft flesh, relaxing my eyes. "You know I love you, right?" I say in a low voice. She just pulls me closer. It kind of hits me hard you know. She's all about love, well not always, there were things and I mean 'things' she did that was out of need. I guess I just wanted to finally be in her heart. I wait for a response. Not one word. Damn! Reality is a bitch. I guess if I really look back on things... like when she paired off with me, well, not like she had much choice, Dawn, Giles, Xander and Willow are like family, and that's... well incest, so ewwww....Ken is Willow's girl. That just left me and China. I sigh heavily, becoming a little disgusted with myself. I leave her warm confines and move to the back of the truck to look out.
She tries to follow me, but I insist on being alone for a bit. I shake my head saying, "No", even wave my hand at her, telling her to let me be. What do I expect? I glance out at the passing scenery. "Do we have enough fuel to make it to the coast?" I ask. She nods a yes. I can only look at her. I stare at her and she stares back. The story of our lives. I'm a little dizzy and a lot scared. I rub my aching head, asking her with my eyes if she's the one who knocked be back to next week. "No." She says softly, "Dawn hit you with the bat, she thought you had.....turned and hurt Xander." I look down, blow out a heavy breath and look back to her. "I'm sorry, I know how you felt about him, I just didn't have a choice." She gives me one of those fake smiles, half hearted. Things are just building up so fast inside of me. I feel like I can't breathe. What happened? Where did everyone go? How can towns and people just disappear? We can't be all that's left, can we? I'm about two seconds from running. I put my head between my knees and breathe deep and slow. She's beside me instantly, coaxing me, soothing me, talking to me, trying to keep me here and grounded. I hit the side of the truck, wait for it to slow and jump out, I'm bent over, trying to breathe but feeling like I can't pull In a breath. My eyes are watering, stomach heaving, I'm trying to get away from them, I'm tired. Lack of oxygen hits me and I collapse to my knees. I finally manage to get a deep breath pulled in and as I breathe out, all the pain and tears and sorrows come with it. I just sit there, sobbing, on my knees, half lying on the ground, half hoping that all this would just end. I can hear Giles pulling Buffy away from me. "Let her alone." He finally yells. They let me have my moment, a first of many I'm sure are to come. After my sobs cease and my breathing becomes regular again, I open my eyes. I dry my tears, wipe the snot and slobber off of my face, slick my hair back and steel my eyes. I stand, with a new aura around me, a confident one. We're getting the hell out of here, we're going to make it.
Buffy runs to me. I push her off. "What's wrong?" She asks. "You." I answer flatly. She just looks at me, tears swelling in her eyes. She shakes her head, back and forth, not fully understanding what I'm saying. I face her head on. "Do you love me?" I ask. She sighs out a breath of relief. "After all we've been through, things that we've shared, you have to ask? I care very much for you, you are a part of me, I want and need you, I can't live without you." She smiles at me. I step closer. "But, do you love me?" She pauses and it's all I need. I turn and leave her abruptly. She calls after me, "Faith!, Faith!" She runs afer me, pulling my arm, turning me around. "Don't do this, don't walk away from me." She says low and even. I smirk, old faith in check, "I'm nobody's sloppy second, at least this time around. And I won't be second best!" I walk back to the truck, "Break's over, load up!" I yell. I drape my swords back over me, scabbards in place across my back. She's just standing there, looking at me, refusing to move, daring me to make her get in the truck. She can be a cocky little shit I give her that. She taunts me, "What you gonna do, Faith, huh, spank me?" I laugh, "You need a good spanking, often and by someone who knows how."
I go about my task at hand, and that's getting on the move. We've been still too long, "Giles, ride up front, I want to talk to you." He obeys like a good little boy should. Everyone has climbed on board except for her. I don't have time for this shit. I climb behind the wheel, rev the engine and start rolling. I do have a heart, I slow down enough for her to jump on back. Can't say I'm a little shocked when she makes her way to the front of the truck and pounds the glass with her fist. I slide open the window, "Miss me, much?" "You bitch!" She yells. "Yeah, well..." I throw her a wink and a smile. She just sits under the window, shocked. I know I'm being petty, but it hurts when you tell someone how you feel and they don't reciprocate.
I discuss a plan of action for when we get to the coast, Giles agrees, we'll see how it turns out. I can see her start to move over toward Willow, I gun the engine, then stomp on the brakes. I can see her glare at me. She moves toward me, again, I gun the engine then tap the brake. "Damn it, Faith!" Finally, she sits on her ass, what does it take to get through to this girl after all.
Everyone is staring at me, wanting to laugh, I can just feel the heat, fire, the anger boiling through me. She has embarassed me, and why, why? I know why, I didn't say 'that' back, just like her to always want to be on top, funny, she says that about me, it's just hard to say it to her. I guess three little words 'can' make or break you. I give her a death stare and she puckers her lips and kisses at me, turns and goes back to driving. I'm scared, we're in a hell of a situation and it's stupid I know, but I don't want to lose someone else that I love, it just seems like saying it would make me more vulnerable and I'd give even more of myself away, especially if she doesn't make it. If she didn't, could I stand her not knowing? We're almost there, maybe another hour or so. I'm scared and she's just pissing me off. I almost need to pummel something, I'll have to soon or I'll explode. I hear her and Giles laughing, I wonder what they were talking about. That just makes me more upset.
We come to a fork in the road, more like a three way fork. The sign's broken, we stop, I can see them checking the map, looking for the right road to take. Giles goes over and holds the broken sign up, she's upset, I strain to hear her, "that can't be right", she puts the broken piece over the piece sticking out of the ground, trying to match them up. Her brow furrows, she throws down her piece of sign. She raises her head and smells the salt air, points to her right, she's shaking her head, she doesn't like it. I sit back against the side of the truck. She makes her way back, stops to look at me, I get up and sit on the side of the truck, my legs hanging over the side, pleading with my eyes for her to notice me. She puts her hands to my hips and helps me down, I hug her, and she pulls me so tight against her. She leans in and kisses me lightly, such sorrow and determination in those eyes, she turns to get back behind the wheel. I grab her, pulling her to me, " I do." I say. I pull back, looking into her eyes, touching her face delicately, "I do love you."
She smiles, turns me around and gives me a pat on the ass, her way of telling me to get back in the truck.
There's a little store up ahead, if it looks clear, we're going in to get supplies, no spoils, canned goods, staples, things that will last. I survey the area, looks good on the outside, but it's the inside we'll need to worry about. We've made our plans, I pull up and we're out. Dawn and Giles stay in the truck, Dawn behind the wheel, Giles standing up in back with a shotgun, watching our backs, nothing follows us in, nothing chases us out.
I open the door and lead us into the dark. I can hardly see, and I can't hear anything but my heartbeat and my breathing. I finally get mine calmed down, like that did any good, sounds like a million horses in here. I look around at everyone breathing heavy, I almost laugh. "Let in the light." I say, and I start breaking glass, the windows have been painted for some kind of celebration or sales event, but right now, who cares, it's making the place dark. B props the two front doors open, giving us a ghostly view. Willow makes us a little ambiance, the store glows. It's more damn scary now than it was in the dark. Now it's got this blue glow to it, like a blue screen or something. It's not light enough for my liking. We ease our way in, working one aisle at a time. Two up front with weapons watching as two go down the darkened row. Wouldn't it be my luck that I get to go. Me and Ken that is. We slowly shuffle away from safety, I tell you, we probably looked like two little old women going to church, I was up her ass and she was up mine. Slowly and methodically we put the needed items in the bags. Aisle by Aisle, slowly and quietly, something fell and I gasped, breathing shallow, panting. I'm not good with all this trick or treat shit. Ken fills her bag and walks it over to B, who takes it and puts it in the back of the truck. Four bags later, we're feeling a lot better. B and Ken went out to the pumps to siphon out some fuel. We're finally finished, I'm glad, I'm ready to get out of here. "Got everything?" I ask. "Yeah." Red smiles, relieved. "Lets blow this stand." She nods and we make our way out. "You ever sailed red? I really don't have a clue but I'm a fast learner. Can't swim for shit, but I'll be glad to take the odds on that." I laugh a bit. I turn to face her, she's just standing there, looking kind of weird. "Come on, red." My smile fades. I back up fast, to the open door, In shock, I can't stop staring. I dropped the juice I was holding and the glass shatters on the ground. I can hear Kennedy screaming in the background, Hear the others shout and yell.
Willow? Willow? "WILLOW!!!" It steps out from behind her, letting her fall, crumpled on the ground. In its' hand it's holding her heart, still convulsing with her life. It smiles at me and gorges itself on the warm organ. I can hear Giles yelling to get in, Buffy's got Kennedy, holding her down, screaming for me to come on. I'm just stuck, froze, can't move. This is one sadistic mother fucker. Not demon, Not vampire, No, just a crazy big ass ugly human, he'd pulled his skin back in places, stuck wires and pins through himself, making his limbs into weapons. Chicken! That's what this was, a game of chicken, I didn't move, he didn't move. I'm at the entry door, sensing for an idea, one jerk and I know he's coming. They can't get a clear shot at him. It's now or never. I knock the door stop out and start moving backwards. He's coming at me, full speed, running. As he closes in on me, I shove the door forwards, connecting with his face, knocking him a good bit backwards. Giles throws me a gun, I walk inside a bit and give him two straight to the head. I look at Red, turn and run out. I hop on the truck and we take off. Kennedy and B are crying in the corner. Giles looks to me for some kind of answers but I can only shake my head back and forth, lowering my eyes.
The next twenty minutes feels like years. We drive in silence, nothing heard but the sound of sobs and hitching breaths. I climb in through the cab window and start to hand everything we'll need back to Giles. "Bag it and get it all ready, we'll have to do this quick." He nods and gets to work. The coastline is coming up. You can actually feel it. It's hazy out, overcast, not good for us. We're closer, not much longer to go. We finally spot what we're looking for, there's an alcove with several landings and there it is, our salvation, regulation crew for all I know. Giles seems to know about them, so he's our guy, nothing gets through to him. He bangs the side of the truck. "Listen up." He gets our attention, "We're going in fast, We're gonna drive onto the dock, throw the bags onto the boat, get on, cut the ropes, then we'll deal with what may or might not be down below." He looks hard at Kennedy, she just nods in agreement.
I notice several people on the outskirts. I grab up some explosives. "You guys go, I'll draw them off." Buffy starts to protest Kennedy grabs her from behind and holds her to the floor of the truck. I hit the side and they take off.
I pull a pin on a grenade and throw it, right into the oncomers. They scatter, I move fast, dodging, coming out from cover only to throw another blast. I can see my group on the dock, throwing things into the boat. Kennedy is helping, that means that they had to use the taser on B. I launch another grenade, moving fast, trying to get anyone out there to follow me and not them. I'm low on explosives, so I start yelling, I'm saving my grenades, well I'll save one, just in case I can't make it out. I take a chance and look to the crew, they're cutting the ropes, just a little more time. They've been spotted! Damn! I run toward the dock, getting ready to throw a grenade, I stop, gauge the distance and release it into the air. It comes down hitting the front of the dock, exploding, taking away my chance of getting to them. I only have two grenades left. I can hear more of those things coming. I smile. The boat is slowly moving. They made it. They made it! Tears start to fall.
They're coming........ I turn and run.
What did she just say? What? I see her grab some explosives. "No! You can't do that, Faith!" I try to get to her, to stop her. Kennedy falls on top of me, pushing me into the bed of the truck, holding me, pinning my arms behind me. I'm pushing and screaming and I can't seem to get up. I hear her hit the truck and we take off. "No! Let me go! LET ME GO!! FAITH!!" I push backwards hard, twisting, making her lose her grip, I see Giles coming toward me, She lets go of me quickly, I try to get up and I fall back down, fading into black.
I eventually fade back in, after I'm not sure how long, we're in the harbor, this thing is kinda slow, slower than they thought it would be I'm sure. I look around, looking for an exit. I see a landing coming up. It's close enough to reach if I get a good running start. I go to move and I realize I'm chained. I start crying, pleading, "please let me go, I have to find her, please." Giles walks over to me, tears filling his eyes, it's the first time I've seen him cry, "You have to understand, Buffy, it's what she wanted. She knew someone would have to lead them away from the group just so we had a chance." His tone was shallow and his hands were shaking. "You planned this?" I asked. "No, Faith was clear on what I was to do." "We can't leave her." I cried.
I'm running at top speed, damn these things are fast. They don't seem to stop or tire, they just keep coming. I'm trying to keep to the coast, watching, looking for some kind of way, some kind of something. I hear something to my left. I break right, running under some brush, pushing and heaving trying to make it through to the other side. I'll have to get to some open ground, it's dangerous, but I'll be caught for sure If I get tangled up anymore. I turn away from the ocean, heading into the small town, running at full speed. My side is hurting, I can hardly breathe. I hear them behind me, like a pack of wolves, panting, growling, getting closer and closer. I need some time. I have one grenade left...I make a choice, I pull the pin and chunk it. I hear them scream and howl, what did I get, another 30 seconds, a minute max. I hope it's enough. There's a building up ahead. I'm gonna try to fake them out. I stop and hurl the door open and run right into a vampire, his skin just barely starting to singe from the faint glow of ultraviolet light. I fall backwards, scrounging under a bin. He see's what's chasing me, freezes and takes off running. If I weren't so scared, I'd be laughing my ass off right now. I mean, these fools are chasing the vamps. See, what goes around, truly does come back around.
They pass me and I scoot out from my hiding spot and backtrack toward the ocean, heading downward. I get to the end of the street and I realise that I've lost my direction. I look around, smell the air, I see a faint boat in the distance and I take off for it. I have to stay low, if just one of these things gets to me, I'll be surrounded. I pull a sword from it's sheath and push myself faster, harder, I hear a commotion from the next street up, I glance and see that vampire, looks like he's just about flying for his friggin life. I move lower, to the shoreline, It's slower but they can't see me from here. I can see the boat out in the distance but I can't yell to them. I see my chance, my only chance, straight ahead. There's a pier about a half mile away. I speed up, running for all I'm worth.
Feels like my chest is going to explode, I can't breathe, I'm not gonna make it. The pier is fast approaching, I have to go up onto the road just to get on it. I have to try. I jump the curb and run, sliding from lack of traction in the sand. I'm there and my feet make loud soundfalls, I can hear my steps pounding on the planks and I cringe inside. The gate is locked, I jump and make my way over it in no time. I slip, as I'm trying to right myself I cast a quick glance up. The gate is covered, they'll be through in a minute. I turn and run, fast as I can.
I finally managed to get them to unchain me. I promised that I wouldn't leave them, that I would stay and protect Dawn, and I will. We're still moving slow and I notice that Giles is watching the shoreline. He has to be looking for Faith, right? I get up and look, eyes scanning for anything moving. I focus and listen, I hear something to the right, above. I turn, my eyes, penetrating, I see something. I can't make it out, but whatever it is, it's moving fast. I listen, focus harder, I can feel a slight tingle. It's her, "It's her! There!" I point to the pier. Giles speeds the motor up and we move faster toward her. "We can't get too close, they might get on board," He yells into the wind. Kennedy grabs a rifle and starts slowly, carefully, evening the odds.
My breaths are fast, furious, short, crisp. My heart is banging in my head, adrenaline on overload. They're catching up to her. I want to just scream, cry, shout. She disappears underneath them, "NO! GOD NO!" She burst up through them, swords in hand, cutting and making her a path, not stopping, not slowing, she runs faster, speeding up, getting ready, she jumps, puts a foot on the railing and leaps off into the water below.
She falls downward, I see her falling swords as they hit the water, hear a small splash, followed by a larger one. I see those things jumping in after her. She's under for so long, where is she? She has to come up. Where? Dawn shouts. "There!" I look and see her, she's having trouble. "Shit!" I jump in swimming after her. She goes under. I swim toward her, panicked, fast, diving under, searching, finding, swimming up around her, lifting her, we break for air and in a panic make our way toward the boat, Giles swings it toward us, I'm pushing us through the water screaming for them to get her. We make it to the side of the boat. I push her upwards and they pull, with me following right behind her. We fall into the boat and I hear the engine pushed into overdrive, taking us away from this madness. "She's not breathing! Ken, help me!" Ken rushes over, kneels, and begins mouth to mouth. She lifts her chin, pinches her nose shut, and covers her mouth, giving two breaths. I see her chest rise and fall, check for a pulse, sigh in relief, it's shallow but it's there. I nod to Ken and she starts her count, she gives her a breath and counts, one, one thousand, two, one thousand, three, one thousand, four, one thousand and gives her another breath. I'm crying so hard that I'm useless. She continues, on and on, hoping.
I hear something hitting the side of the boat, I look. "Oh God." Some of them are coming aboard. We don't have time for this. I can't leave Faith, What can I do? I look around for a weapon and out of nowhere comes Dawn with her bat, swinging with all her might. She connects with one's head, knocking them back into the water, and quickly crosses to the back of the boat, drawing back and swinging, taking another overboard. She drops the bat, crying, not turning to look at us and I'm scared. "Dawn?" She doesn't answer. "Dawn?" I ask again. I hear Faith choking up the water, taking in her first breath but I can't glance at her or let her know that I'm here for her. I have to focus at what's before me, us. I stand up, getting ready. She swings around, chest heaving, looks at all of us, falls to her knees and cries. I cry out as my fear subsides, running to her, pulling her back to us, to our safety.
We make sail further from the chaos, looking tired, worn, weathered. We're going to try to stay away for a month or more. We're hoping that will be enough time, for things to change in our favor. We have the radio, so hopefully, if there are any survivors we'll be able to reach them, sometime, eventually. For now, we'll just stay on our own for awhile, until we feel safe again, if we ever feel safe again. I can't really complain too much. I have my father, my sister, a good friend and a lover, all in all, we're lucky to have this many left. I walk over to them, sitting next to Faith, touching her, letting her know how I feel that we're together again. She leans into me, relaxing, "What you wanna do first when we land?" She asks softly.
I look at her, fix my arms around her, press my forehead to hers and say, "Teach you to swim." She laughs.
It is the beginning or the end, I still can't tell. We're alive, this is just how things are now. It could be a lot worse. I'm not going to get all sappy or bitch and moan about this new world. I owe it to Red, Xan and China to make the most out of what they helped us to get. It's a sad day, we're leaving so much behind but things will look up, when you least expect them. I look around at all of us. Dawn became a warrior. Kennedy learned to work as part of a team. B learned to trust me again. Giles, he learned that he raised his girls well and me, well I learned that I'm pretty lucky. I have to find the good in this situation just to keep from going crazy, to help all the others deal with what's ahead and in an offbeat kind of way, I'm kind of living out a fantasy.
I'm sailing off into the sunset, so to speak, with someone I love, friends and a new family. I've never had that before.... And you can rest assured, that I won't ever take it for granted or lose it.
We'll see you around if we come back, if not, take care, just remember....
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