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Pictures: Girlfriends

by Davids21
Rating: PG-13

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 the finale of the Pictures story. I am working on a sequel for this story. Anybody want to see it?
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.

Buffy slowly opened her eyes. She couldn't really remember anything that had happened before she blacked out. Her thoughts were all jumbled like when she had came back from the Ghostroads. She looked around to figure out where she was. It was rather a ratty looking place. There were open beer bottles and garbage everywhere she turned.

Buffy cautiously made her way through the room looking for some clue as to where she was. Then she saw a brown haired girl sitting in a corner crying. There was a very familiar about the girl. Buffy kneeled beside the girl.

"What's wrong, sweetheart? Why are you crying?" she asked. But the little girl didn't answer her.

"My name's Buffy. What's yours?" The little girl held her head up just enough for Buffy to see her eyes. They were brown.

"What kind of name is 'Buffy'?" the little girl shot back.

"It's the kind of name of my mom gave me. What does your mom call you?"

"Nothin'. She's too drunk to call me anything."

"Ok. You don't want to tell me your name. Then why are you crying?"

Then from outside, she heard a car motor shut off.

The little girl started to panic. "You gotta leave, Buffy. If he finds you here he'll…"

Suddenly, the door swung open. A man wearing a dirty mechanic uniform stumbled inside. He had a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

"Hey, you little bitch where are you?"

The girl rolled herself into a little ball hoping that the man wouldn't notice her. "Buffy, please you gotta leave." She whispered as the man stalked closer. Buffy shot up and stood directly in front the man's path.

"You are not touching this girl. Not while I'm here." She crossed her arms as the man continued stumbling towards the two of them. "I'm warning you." Again he didn't respond. Buffy stepped back and threw a punch at the man.

To her surprise, she passed right through him. Buffy fell to the ground. She flipped back to her feet and threw a kick that passed through him as well. It was like she was a ghost.

The girl started screaming for help and as much as she wanted to there was nothing Buffy could do. She watched in horror as the man grabbed the girl by her hair and dragged her into the next room. There was nothing she could do. Buffy dropped to her knees and tears slowly rolled down her face.

"No need to cry, B. There wasn't anything you could have done. You can take responsibility for things that are out of your control."

The slayer turned and saw Faith standing next to her. "It's not fair. Why did it happen?"

"Why does anything happen? No matter how hard you try something just happen."

Buffy stood up. The tears continued falling. "Then why does everything I love always get taken away from?"

Faith gently took Buffy's hand. "Not everything." She gently squeezed the blonde's hand and smiled.

Buffy shook her head. "I'm tired of it. Of losing and fighting. There's no point."

"Come on." Faith gently pulled her towards the door. "I want to show you something."

The small slayer took another look back at the room. "I'm sorry."

Faith looked back at the room. "Yeah. Me too." She opened the door and the two stepped outside.

*****

Angel stood silently as he watched the massive sphere of energy that built up slowly begin shrinking. Whatever Faith was trying to do it was working.

The vampire squinted and saw the girls standing there holding each other hands. Wesley soon walked up beside him.

"What's going on?" he asked he stared at the sphere.

"Faith is trying to help Buffy contain the energy she released. So, it looks like it's working."

Wesley continued studying the globe. "If she doesn't succeed, a blast like that would surely kill every living and non-living in the world."

Angel continued looking the slayers. *You can do it, Buffy. Don't give up.*

*****

"Where are we now?" Buffy asked as they walked into fog filled area.

Faith shrugged her shoulders. "This your deal. I can't figure it out for you."

"Is this my dream or yours? Haven't I asked you this before?"

The dark haired slayer laughed. "Yeah but there's someone who wanted to talk to you."

Buffy turned and saw a figure standing off in the distance. She thought it was Lucy and began walking towards the figure. As she got closer, her eyes began to make out some features. It was a woman. A woman with blonde hair. She had on a white gown and her presence felt like something that Buffy had felt before.

Everything inside of her screamed out the identity of the person to her. But it couldn't be true. It was a trick. This couldn't be real. Buffy stopped walking, shut her eyes and balled her fists up as hard as she could. Then she felt a hand gently rest on her shoulder. The touch was so right and reminded of so many things. Only one person had touched her like that.

"Mommy." She whispered as she opened her eyes.

Joyce Summers smiled at her daughter. "Hello, Buffy."

"Is this real?"

"Yes. Apparently the powers that be owe you several favors and they wanted say thank you for stopping Kendra. And my being here is the 'thank you'."

Buffy grabbed her mother and hugged her tightly. "I miss you so much. I miss you so much." Joyce slid her arms around her daughter.

"Buffy, I miss you too. But this had to happen this way."

Buffy continued crying into her mother's chest. "But, why? If they owe me so much then why did they take you from me?"

"It was my time to go. I didn't want to go either but, I had to."

"It's not fair they let me come back, why not you too?"

"You know the answer just as well as I do honey. There are people that need you to be on earth. And I know right now things seem like they won't be okay and that there is no good in the world but there is. Your sister, your friends they need you. Don't be afraid if someone you love is taken away from you. It's life's way of making room for the next big thing in your life."

Buffy stepped back from the embrace and looked into her mother's eyes. "Really?"

"Yes. I watched you grow from my little girl into the woman who is standing in front of me. And whether you believe it or not, good things are coming your way. Just remember that I will always love you and I will always be right here with you."

Joyce smiled at her daughter and saw Faith slowly walk up behind her. "Promise me that you'll take good care of my girls?"

Faith put her arm around Buffy. "I promise."

"Good. Then I guess I better get going." Joyce kissed both girls on the forehead. "I love you." She turned and disappeared.

Buffy and Faith stood next to each other in silence for a couple of minutes. Buffy turned and looked at the girl standing next to her.

"I guess we should go back now."

Faith nodded. "Yeah, we kinda need to stop that explosion. You ok?"

Buffy pulled Faith in close to her and gave the raven-haired girl a kiss "As long as you don't go anywhere."

*****

Gunn walked up to where Angel and Wesley were standing. He looked the sphere and summed up the situation as best he could.

"Oh shit. We're gonna die aren't we?"

Angel smirked and turned to look at Gunn. "No. Last minute saves are what Buffy does best."

As the words left Angel's mouth, the wind picked up and lightening crackled overhead. The sphere then nearly tripled in size. Gunn started to respond but Angel gave him a 'don't say I told you so' look and started running.

The sphere continued expanding as the three men did their best to get away from it.

Wesley looked back at the glowing sphere. "I don't think we'll be able to out run this. At rate it is growing…"

"Shut up, Wes. The last thing I want to hear before I died is you telling us about how we're gonna die." Gunn looked to his right and saw a stack of boxes. "Let's get behind those."

"Good plan. So then not only will we be dead but we will have splinters in our behinds for all eternity."

Angel stopped and looked back at the sphere to see that the sphere had disappeared and there was big cloud of smoke billowing into the night sky. He looked over at Gunn. "I told you so."

*****

Faith and Buffy crashed to the ground. They had managed to absorb most of the energy back into themselves but the experience left them horribly exhausted. Buffy crawled over to Faith and took her hand.

The brunette's eyes opened and looked at Buffy. "Hey, B."

"Hey."

"What just happened?"

Buffy flashed a half smiled at the other girl. "We stopped an evil super slayer and kept me from blowing civilization as we know it."

"Good just wanted to be sure."

"Are you guys ok?" The slayers looked up and saw Angel climbing down into the hole that had been made from the blast.

"What took you so long deadboy?" Faith grinned as the vampire helped her from the ground.

"Wanted to wait until the last minute."

"Ha. Ha." Gunn said as he climbed down to help Buffy up.

By the time they climbed back out of the hole, Wesley had brought Angel's car around. The weary group climbed in the car. The slayers sat in the back while the guys sat up front. Angel turned back and looked at Buffy. Faith curled up against her and the elder slayer was gently stroking her hair. She stopped looking at Faith long enough to see that her ex-boyfriend was looking at her.

Angel didn't say a word and neither did Buffy. They smiled at each other and nodded. He turned back around.

Buffy looked up at the sky. The stars had come out. One star shined brightly overhead. She smiled and remembered what her mother told her.

'Whether you believe it or not, good things are coming your way.'

Faith moaned slightly from her spot on Buffy's lap. The slayer smiled at Faith and whispered "I believe you, Mom. Thank you."

One week later…

"Come on, B. It'll be like a graduation picture."

Buffy smirked at her girlfriend. "Are you sure you wanna say graduation?"

"Whatever let's just take the thing." Faith grabbed Buffy by the arm and dragged her to the photo booth.

"I thought you hated these." Buffy said as they got inside.

"Yeah well, let's take it anyway. Besides I'm pretty sure that in a few years, I'll recognize the girl in it."

Buffy smiled. "Good. Did I tell you I love you yet?"

"Yeah, but I could always hear it again."

"I love you."

"I love you too. Now smile."

There was a flash and a few minutes later, a picture slid out of the side of the booth. There were hearts going all around the edges of the paper and two little angels holding a banner that read 'Girlfriends'.

...continued in Find Yourself...

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