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One Step Closer

by Davids21
Rating: R

Disclaimer: Joss owns the characters. I am merely taking them for a spin.
Spoilers: End of season 5 and wild speculation.
Author's Notes: This is the sequel to my first story 'Pictures'. You should really read that first because this will make no sense. The song is 'All you wanted' by Michelle Branch. < > = means that Buffy and Faith are using their connection. ** = means regular thoughts. >< = means flashback.
Thanks: Once again to Sasha for making Slayer Pride and writing 'A whole new Scene'. Without that story I never would have wrote this. Thanks to Sway for giving crazy support and being my biggest cheerleader. Thanks to Nikita for the detailed feedback and the support. Dacia, sorry I left you name out. You have helped in ways you can't imagine.

The club was unusually crowded for a weekday. The music was blasting and all eyes were on a girl who was dancing. The people on the dance floor had surrounded her. It was hypnotic the way she moved. From partner to partner she moved. Teasing each guy she danced with. She was the center of attention and she loved it.

As the music changed to a song that was very familiar to her.

	//I wanted to be like you
	I wanted everything
	So I tried to be like you
	And I got swept away//

The club goers began to pair off. The girl walked over to the bar and watched the couples dance. She saw a blonde girl dancing with a guy. At first glance, you would assume that she was staring at the guy but her eyes were locked onto the blonde. There was something about the girl that seemed familiar.

	//If you want to
	I can save you
	I can take you away from here
	So lonely inside
	So busy out there
	And all you wanted
	was somebody who cares//

A tear slid down her face and then she whispered a name.

	//Please can you tell me
	So I can finally see
	Where you go when you're gone//

But as soon as she said it, the music changed and the feeling she had was gone.

She grabbed the closest guy to her and dragged him out to the dance floor.


Buffy woke up to a banging sound. At first she thought that there was a tiny little man hitting her on the skull. She pulled herself onto the bed and wiped the blood from her nose. Her head felt like she had been hit in the face with a sledgehammer. The banging noise grew louder. It was coming from the door.

"Buffy? Are you ok?"

It was Angel. Buffy opened the door and collapsed into the vampire's arms.

"She's gone, Angel." Buffy said as buried her face into his chest.

"What happened?"

"Faith. I can't really explain it but there is something wrong with her."

"Then we'll find her."

"No, you don't understand…she's changed. I'm the only who can stop her." Buffy pulled herself away from the vampire. She moved towards the hallway and fell to her knees. This was too much. Even if she found Faith, what would she do? Kill her?

Angel walked up and kneeled next to the slayer. He put his arm around her and held her. He had never seen her like this. She was falling apart. The last couple of hours had been so tough on her that he wasn't too sure that he could hold her together.

"I'm the only one." She said.

"No. I am right here with you. Whatever you need me to do. I promise." Angel put his hand underneath Buffy's chin and lifted her head so he could look into her eyes.

Buffy smiled weakly. "Ok."

The former lovers stood up and walked down the hallway.


Faith had been dancing at the club for hours. It had been so long since she had a reason to. Things were back to normal. No more of that whiny ass redemption crap that Angel had been telling her about. There was only one thing on her mind.

Revenge. Revenge against the Powers for trying to lock her away in her own mind. Revenge against Angel for trying to make her into something she's not. And revenge against Buffy. The slayer smiled to herself as she walked out of the club and onto the street. She took a drag off of her cigarette and blew the smoke into the night sky. Slowly over the horizon she saw the sun rising. Then suddenly she remembered something from her past.

>She looked into Buffy's eyes. Things had changed between them. They were no longer enemies. They were no longer friends either. All she knew was that everything she ever wanted was standing in front of her. The blonde leaned and pressed her lips against hers. The kiss was amazing. Then, when they pulled apart, Buffy whispered the four most amazing words she had ever heard.

"I love you, Faith."<

The slayer shook her head. She may have taken over Faith's mind, her soul was fighting for control. Still trying to hold onto the fact that she loved Buffy. Faith put her hands on her head and shut her eyes tightly. This was her body now. She didn't love Buffy. Buffy was the reason she was like this.

Faith opened her eyes and her reflection in the window of the bakery she stopped in front of. Instead of seeing herself standing with her hands on her head, she saw herself as a little girl. The reflection smiled at her.

"You can't keep me here. You found a way out. So have I." The little girl in the reflection smiled and changed into her older self.

"It's just a matter of time."

"Shut the fuck up!" Faith screamed as she threw a punch into the window. It shattered on impact. The alarm of the bakery went off and the slayer stood there staring her blood-covered hand. She was losing control. There was only one way to fix this. One way to stop the war in her mind.

Her bloody hand tightened into a fist. And as the blood dripped from her hand, she spoke.

"Time to finish this, B."


Cordelia sat nervously in her chair. This was so unfair. She didn't do anything wrong. Ok she did fuck Buffy's girlfriend but it wasn't her fault. Her girlfriend had gone psycho. How was she supposed to know? She looked over at Buffy. She was talking to Angel and she had never seen Buffy look so worn out. Why was everything always about her? Angel told her what happened with Faith and why she acted the way she did.

This was so unfair. For the first time in awhile she felt something for someone and now as it turns out, none of it was true.

Cordelia leaned back in her chair. "How could this day get any worse?"

Then, she felt a very familiar and unpleasant pain attack her mind. She screamed loudly and fell to the floor. Her eyes instinctively shut as the visions came.

Angel, Wesley and Buffy came running to her side. Soon the pain left her. Angel helped her up from the floor.

"What did you see?" Angel said.

Cordelia began crying. "You gotta go before…"

"Before what?"

"Before Faith kills Dawn."


Dawn walked down the hall to her locker. She was a good 15 minutes late for class. The hallway was deserted. Which didn't bother her at all. Less chance of a teacher asking her why she was late. Then she would have to make up an excuse.

*Sorry I was late today. I was up late last night learning spells from my sister's best friend who just happens to be a witch.* She thought to herself.

The funny thing was that the truth sounded more like an excuse than any lie she could tell. Dawn opened up her locker and pulled out her books. Then suddenly she felt a tapping on her shoulder.

Dawn turned around and saw who it was. "Faith!"

The slayer smiled as the younger girl grabbed her in a tight embrace.

"Hey, D. How are you?"

Dawn turned around and took the rest of her books out of the locker. "I'm ok, I guess. Buffy's been acting weird lately but now that you're back, I'm sure she'll be happy again."

Dawn closed her locker and turned back around to see Faith's fist heading straight for her face. As the punch hit, Dawn's head slammed against the locker and she dropped to the floor. Faith picked the girl up and slung her over her shoulder.

"Actually, little sis I don't think Buffy is going to be ok ever again."

...continued in Who You Are...