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  PART TWO: Inner demons

Christine was the youngest child in her family. She had the perfect older sister who was the upper dog and did what mom and dad liked. She was also ten years older then Christine. Christine also had an older brother who was 13 years older then her. He acted in LA and did a lot of extra work and backstage stuff for the soap, Passions as well as other various things.

Besides her brother and sister she had two yorkies at home whom she missed deeply. You've got to love your pets! No matter what you do, your pet always loves you. That's why Christine missed them. They didn't judge her like everyone else did.

Christine rarely talked about her parents. That was a touchy subject among other things. Christine and Faith fell into a settle friendship that was bound to build over time. That's how Kennedy found them the next morning. They were still sitting in the back talking. The young potential was disappointed when she woke up. She expected to see Christine there with her.

She was a little jealous to find her there with Faith, having a good time. It didn't take long for all the other girls to wake up and attack the kitchen. Christine just said she was an early riser when Kennedy asked her why she was downstairs so early.

Buffy rounded the girls up and took them out side to start training for the day. Buffy still hadn't talked to Faith. As everyone went outside, the brunette slayer hung back. Christine started to wait for her but Kennedy snuck up behind her and grabbed her sides. Christine let out a loud scream. It sounded more like a terrified scream then a startled one.

Faith immediately ran to where she heard Christine scream and Kennedy turned Christine around feeling awful.

"Shhhh, it's just me," Kennedy said worried. That shouldn't freak people out. People do it all the time. Christine looked into Kennedy's eyes and felt stupid.

"I I I am sorry...I don't like being approached from behind like that..." Christine stuttered, memories flashing through her mind briefly, causing her to shiver. She felt foolish as the other potentials walked by staring at her. Faith came to a stop next to Christine having heard part of the conversation.

"Chris, you all right?" she asked looking at her. Why would she freak out like that? Christine looked up at Faith and changed her emotions around. She was able to do that since she barley felt anything inside anyway.

"It's cool. I just got startled really bad," Christine said trying to sound cool. Faith furrowed her brow knowing she was lying and Kennedy looked between the two. Christine looked over the brunette slayer’s shoulder and saw Willow approach.

They made eye contact and everything went slow. Willow walking down the steps with a mug in her hand. Then a flash of Christine being ganged up on behind her and dragged by her hair. Flash, Christine being hit in the back of the head sending her headfirst into the ground. Flash, Christine huddled in a corner on the floor being kicked repeatedly behind the head, neck, and back, crying. Flash, Christine being lifted into the air, by her neck, from behind as she struggled and kicked her feet frantically.

As the flashes ended Willow felt ill. She dropped her mug and it slowly fell to the bottom step where is shattered. Then the slowness of the moment seemed to be lost and everything went black.

When Willow came to, she was lying on the couch with a swarm of potentials, a very worried Buffy, and an annoyed Anya. Kennedy came by and gave her a glass of water.

"Willow, are you ok?" Buffy asked after telling the potentials to go back outside and practice. Willow sat up a little and took a drink from her water trying to clear her head. So it was Christine's memories she was seeing. But why? And how?

"Where's Christine?" Willow asked handing Buffy the water. The blonde looked at her friend.

"I...uh...don't know," Buffy replied, "Probably out with the others...why?" Willow got up no longer feeling dizzy and walked past the blonde to the back door. Buffy followed close behind.

"You ok?" Buffy asked. Willow turned to her.

"I'm fine...I suppose you don't know where Faith is either do you?" the redhead asked as Kennedy walked up to the door.

"Faith went to find Christine," Kennedy stated hearing their conversation. The potential wanted to go but Faith told her to say. After Willow collapsed, everyone rushed to her and during that time Christine ran off. Kennedy saw her at the last moment but was stopped by Faith. Willow nodded her head thinking. The young potential glanced at Buffy, seeing that the slayer was puzzled over Willow’s behavior.

"Are you sure you're ok Willow? Maybe you should lie back down," Kennedy suggested. Willow shook her head.

"No that's ok. I'm fine. But I'm going to go up stairs for a little bit...and Buffy? Maybe you should talk to Faith when she returns," Willow said trying to make a point to Buffy. The redhead knew very well what the blonde was doing and didn't like it at all. After that Willow headed up stairs leaving the two girls a bit confused.

After Willow collapsed, Christine ran out of the yard unnoticed, or so she thought. She ran through the streets and to the park trying to clear her mind. She finally reached a clearing where no one was around. She found a thick tree and slid down it into a sitting position.

"Ok, get it together Christine. What are you doing? Quit being such a dumb ass," Christine mumbled to herself holding her fists to her head. "Making yourself into an idiot over there...good job. Like to screw anything else up?” Christine sighed, lifting her head a little. “Calm down now. It wasn't like anyone was going to attack you there..." Christine said to herself.

< They all think you're queer. You didn't have to freak out. You're a pansy ass like always. So useless you are. >

"Shut up," Christine said out loud.

< You're a real nut job, you know that? >

"S h u t u p," Christine said through clenched teeth shaking her head.

< You're such a child. So weak... >

"SHUT UP!" Christine yelled. "I'm not listening to you!" Christine clenched her fists digging her nails into her palms. "Ugh!" Christine then sighed and slumped down drawing one leg up picking at the grass. She just had to get away from the house and everyone. Many people made her nervous. And having The First be able to speak to her through her mind wasn't helping either. She didn't know why it was doing it to her.

She was afraid of mentioning it to anyone. So she didn't. But after traveling with Giles she told him. It could have been no one else. But why her? She was no one in this battle. And she was starting to think she was getting too old to be called.

Christine about had a heart attack when Faith came from behind her.

"God! You're supposed to make noises when you're following someone or snooping or whatever you're doing. It's...like a rule," Christine stated a little startled and flustered. Faith laughed a little and sat beside Christine at the tree.

"What's up?" Faith stated at the same time that Christine asked how Willow was doing.

"How original Faith," Christine laughed throwing some grass at her thatshe just picked.

"Hey, I'm new with the whole caring/bonding thing aight. Don't expect me to be no Martha Stewart...or Oprah or whatever," Faith said causing Christine to laugh.

"You care Faith? I'm so touched," Christine mocked over dramatically, placing her hand on her forehead and the other on her heart.

"Oh that's it," Faith said jumping on Christine and madly tickling her. The potential turned into a fit of giggles as Faith tickled her.

"How's research going?" Willow asked entering the dinning room where Dawn was in the middle of books and papers with her laptop.

"Slow and boring," Dawn replied looking up. Willow leaned up against the doorframe and smiled.

"What?" Dawn asked noticing the witch’s smile.

"Nothing, you just remind me of me," Willow replied sighing.

"Except I'm non nerdy right?" Dawn stated smiling.

"Hey!" Willow protested as Dawn snorted and smiled. The phone rang and Willow went to answer it.

"Hello?" Willow answered.

"Good evening. I was told that you called," came Giles voice from the phone.

"Yeah...we need to talk..."

Buffy walked around watching various potentials doing training. Anya, Xander, Kennedy, and even Andrew headed some groups on various things. Kennedy was the best-trained potential out of all of them and had last the longest. So Buffy had her do some training with the others.

Willow was right. Buffy did need to speak with Faith. She had been avoiding the situation and Buffy knew that the redhead could tell. Willow told her that Faith really pulled through in LA. But she was short on the details. But Buffy did know that Faith almost died saving Angel. Buffy also knew that Faith could have broken out of jail any time she wanted to but didn't.

"So you see, Caleb is like the Darth Vader of Star Wars," Andrew explained to the potentials. Andrew's job was to educate the potentials on any bad guy or magical mythical force there was and how to deal with them. Buffy laughed at the girl's facial expressions toward Andrew and shook her head.

Buffy looked near the back where she saw movement. Faith and Christine were walking back talking and laughing. Christine must have said something sarcastic for Faith started to chase her then tackled her to the ground tickling her as Christine laughed uncontrollably.

Faith laughed looking up and made eye contact with Buffy. Her face dropped a little and she immediately got off of Christine feeling ashamed.

Buffy was smiling at the sight but felt bad when Faith looked at her. Buffy could tell that the brunette slayer was trying to watch the way she acted around the blonde.

Christine looked up wondering why Faith's attitude changed so suddenly and saw Buffy. She too got up and brushed herself off. Christine was able to change subjects with Faith at the park avoiding the situation on what happened. So they were just talking about random things on their way back.

Faith avoided eye contact with Buffy as she passed with Christine. "Hold up," Buffy said making Faith and Christine stop. Dread built up in Faith's chest. The two girls turned around. "You've got training to do Christine. Go join Kennedy," Buffy instructed.

Faith let out a breath she didn't know she was holding. Christine nodded and went over where Kennedy was.

Faith started to walk away feeling that Buffy wouldn't want her there. Buffy noticed and grabbed her arm stopping her.

"Faith...I..." Buffy started looking into the brunette's eyes. Buffy was surprised at what she saw in those brown eyes. The fire, that used to be there, was gone. "Nothing...never mind..." Buffy said letting go of her. Faith looked ather for a moment then sighed walking away. Buffy watched her go feeling bad. She should have said something but she was so lost for words after looking into Faith's eyes.

Kennedy saw Christine approaching and smiled waving. "So what's up?" Christine asked coming to a stop next to Kennedy. The other potential was glad to see that Christine was doing all right.

"Hand to hand combat," Kennedy replied.

"Ok, let's sattle up then," Christine replied. Kennedy smiled as Christine joined the group.

"Did you tell Buffy this?" Willow asked switching the phone to her other ear.

"I tried but...I think she thought I was talking about Faith. Which I kind of was..." Giles replied.

"She has been kind of stubborn lately. A lot has been going on. So do you think that's also why I am getting memories from her?" Willow asked sitting up on the counter as Faith entered.

"I don't know. I don't think so. Maybe it's some kind of magic effect that The First maybe used to communicate with her. I still don't understand why The First would bother her in the first place..." Giles said puzzled.

"This all probably fits together some how," Willow said thinking.

"Maybe. I'll look into it. Has Dawn found anything?" Giles asked.

"No not yet," Willow answered. "This is serious Giles. We can't have The First talking to a potential. You should have told me," Willow stated.

"I'm sorry Willow. Buffy kind of shewed me away," Giles stated. Willow thought a moment.

The day before....

"Do be careful with this one Buffy. She's a bit different then the rest. She's strong but she has been through...much. We don't want the same thing..." Giles started. Buffy nodded cutting him off.

"Yeah...I understand."

The Present

Giles tried to tell Buffy that Christine was different for The First had contact with her. But she also had been through things similar to Faith. Giles couldn't help thinking that if maybe they had treated Faith differently, things would have came out better.

Christine was so similar to Faith and Giles didn't want the same things happening to Christine that happened with Faith.

"I'll keep an eye on things here Giles. No sense causing a big deal if nothing major has happened. I'll speak with Christine and we'll see if there is anything we can do. We'll keep things up other here," Willow told Giles.

"Yes, that seems to be a good plan. I'll call you if I find anything and you do the same with me?" Giles asked.

"Of course," Willow answered.

"Do be careful," Giles stated.

"You too, bye," Willow said hanging up the phone. Faith stood in front of Willow at a loss. She heard the conversation just from what Willow was saying. What was going on?


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