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Pictures: The Road Less Traveled

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 part two of the Pictures story.
Thanks To: Sasha Chase, Pat Kelly and Kirsten for the kick ass stories. And thanks to my girlfriend Dacia. Without her I would have no life at all. I would but it would be pretty lame.

Buffy watched Faith run down the street. She didn't know what to do. Should she go after her? Then once she caught up with her then what? Buffy sat on the stairs and watched the rain fall silently to the ground. She closed her eyes and replayed what Faith had said to her before she ran out of the house.

'I felt like this energy had come over me. I closed my eyes and I saw everything. You fighting Glory.'

Suddenly, Buffy felt a force surround her. She tried to open her eyes but she couldn't. She heard breathing. Like someone was running and crying at the same time.

It was as if she was looking through someone else's eyes. Buffy did her best to stay focused on what she was seeing. Trying to remember each detail of the vision she was having.

Then she heard someone speaking. It was like trying to hear under water.

'….leave…don't ….anymore…'

Buffy concentrated as hard as she could. Hoping that would help her better understand what she was hearing. But just like that it was over. Her eyes fluttered open. Buffy stood up slowly. What the hell had just happened?

'I felt like this energy come over me.'

Could it be true? *Was Faith right?* Buffy thought. Giles always told her that she or Faith might develop abilities that the other Slayers never had access to. The connection could have always been there. Buffy walked over to her front door again.

*I don't understand this at all.* Buffy looked at the picture that she was still holding. She had forgotten the most important thing that Faith had said.

'Buffy, I have always loved you.' It had been so long since she had heard those words. It had been forever since she heard her last boyfriend Riley say those words. But did she ever really love him? Did she ever get close to Riley? Why did she stay with him for so long? It wasn't that he was a bad guy. He was normal. A nice normal guy who she could spend the rest her life with. Which was why she kept him around. All Buffy ever wanted was to be normal. No vampires, no demons, no weekly apocalypses. Just a normal existence.

But as much she tried to convince herself, the connection wasn't there with Riley. There was no spark. Towards the end of their relationship it was like she was just with him because he was there.

Then there was Angel. There was no comparing Angel to Riley. Angel was the embodiment of how her life was never going to be normal. Riley had the hardest time when came to dealing with the fact that Buffy was the slayer. Angel accepted it. She loved that most about him. The way that he understood all of the aspects her world and accepted them. He never past judgement on any of her decisions and he trusted her.

Buffy sighed to herself as a tear slid down her cheek. The memories were resurfacing. Angel was vampire with a soul. It was his curse. He was to live the rest of his days in misery and sadness. Then he met Buffy and it all changed. They fell in love. They had their problems like any couple but they stayed together. Then came her birthday and that was when it all changed. She and Angel made love for the first time and Angel experienced true happiness.

That was the problem. The terms of his curse said should he ever have any moment of happiness or he would lose his soul and revert back to his old ways. He would become the vampire called Angelus. Buffy spent weeks blaming herself for every violent act committed by Angelus. Knowing that one act of love had brought about all this suffering and pain for all those she held dear.

The time came for her to face Angelus once and for all. He had found a way to send the Earth to hell by using his blood and a statue of a demon called Acathla. Buffy had to stop him. As they battled the gateway slowly opened when suddenly (thanks to a spell cast by Willow) Angel got his soul back. It was what Buffy had been hoping for all along. She kissed him gently because she knew what she had to do. His blood opened the portal so; his blood would close it. Buffy whispered an 'I love you' to Angel and drove a sword straight through him sending the demon and him to hell.

She knew that she could never ever be the man that she truly loved. If she did she would unleash Angelus onto the world again. So, when Angel came back from hell, she said goodbye to him forever. No matter how much she loved him, Buffy and Angel could never be together again.

*That was depressing* she thought as looked at the picture of Faith again.

Did she love Faith? Buffy had never asked herself that. Suddenly, the force that had overcome her struck again. The first time it had scared her. This time Buffy relaxed allowed the vision to come freely.

She saw Faith's hand turning the pages of the bus schedule. Faith looked at her watch. The time read 4:30. Then she heard "leaving terminal 15 at 4:50pm." Buffy tried to speak. She wanted to tell Faith not to go. She panicked. She had to break free from this force and get to Faith before she could leave. Buffy concentrated as hard as she could. Focusing all her energy on Faith. Trying as hard as she could to reach her. Then everything went white and Buffy fell to the floor unconscious.

*****

Faith stood in line waiting to get her ticket.

She didn't want to stay and see how things would turn out with Buffy. She had said what was in heart and ran away. The new Faith turning out to be just like the old Faith. She got scared. Scared of what Buffy would say and scared that Buffy would reject her feelings.

*I know that she doesn't care about me in that way. But at least I had the guts to admit how I feel.* Faith thought to herself. She was hoping that thought would make the idea of her leaving easier. It didn't. She didn't even give Buffy a chance to answer. Faith did drop a bombshell on her. What did she want Buffy to say?

Faith got to the window and bought herself a ticket to LA. As she took her seat and waited for her bus to be called something happened. The same energy that had taken over her while she was in jail had returned again. Faith had experienced this before and relaxed. There was a reason this was happening and she wanted to know why. Faith closed her eyes and slid down in her chair fast asleep.

*****

Buffy sat up from the floor and looked around. She knew this place. There was a slight fog and chill to the air and roads that seemed to stretch on forever. As she stood up, Buffy noticed a woman dressed in clothing from the 1800's. Her hair was in a bun and her hands were clasped in front of her.

The woman glided over to Buffy and spoke. "Hello, Buffy. It has been awhile."

Buffy's eyes widen as she realized who was speaking to and where she was. Buffy had returned to the Ghostroads. It was where the slayers went they died and the woman who stood before her would take the souls of the slayers to their final resting-place.

"Oh, great. Did I die again?" Buffy asked the woman.

The woman smiled back at Buffy. "No. There is much to explain but for now come with me. There is one other who we must get."

Faith sprung up onto her feet. She looked around at her surroundings. All she saw was fog and roads that seemed to go on forever.

"Son of a bitch. I'm on the Ghostroads." Faith grumbled to herself. Buffy had told her about the Ghostroads. She also made the mental connection that if you were on the Ghostroads you were dead.

"Do not worry Faith. You are not dead." A voice from behind her said. She turned around to see who was talking. It was lady dressed like someone off of Little house on Prairie and Buffy. Faith looked at Buffy who was smiling at her.

"Who are you and why the hell am I here?" Faith asked as she folded her arms. She tried to focus on the woman but her eyes continued looking at Buffy. There she was in all her Buffyness. Faith knew the reason she and Buffy had been brought here. It was so they could be away from the world's noise. It so that they could finally finish their talk somewhere the old Faith couldn't run from. They were to fix their problems and moved on with lives together like they always should have.

"We have need of the two slayers of this era. There is a force threatening not only the Ghostroads but your very existence on Earth."

Faith sighed. "Of course."

...continued in Pawns...

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