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Truths

By: Doc
Rating: Pg13
Notes: This is the result of a challenge I gave to Doc.

Remember when I told you about Manticore Gurl’s Buffy/Highlander challenge? Well, lack of interest forced her to can it, but she did pass on a second Buffy/Mutant X challenge, which I accepted. I was looking over it, when I got the idea of combining the two. The result? A totally AU for both series that brings a hell of lot of known facts into question. How’s that? Read and find out.

Los Angeles, California.

1978.

Amanda moved towards her apartment, keeping an eye out for other Immortals. She was not in the mood for a challenge. Adam was talking about some clue to the mystery of where Immortals come from, something about a hidden ability in the human genome to adapt, like Immortals were the next step in human evolution or something. Amanda had told him he had been reading to many comic books.

She sighed loudly. Maybe it was time to track down Duncan again.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the cry of a baby in the alley nearby.

She moved cautiously, hand inside her large coat, fingering her hidden sword. It wouldn''t be the first time she''d fallen into a trap like this, though last time she''d been hung for stealing an amulet used to summon demons. The only reason she''d survived was that the rope hadn''t cut her neck, thankfully.

She followed the crying, looking around the alley carefully. She walked up to the dumpster and looked within.

Inside was a baby girl, not a month old, wrapped in blankets. She was screaming her lungs out, already red in the face.

Amanda reached in to pick her up, "Now, who''d want to dump such a precious little girl?" She muttered to herself, holding the child close. She looked around, trying to see anyone who might have dumped the girl. Nothing, which meant one of two things: one, the child had been left here a while ago, and the person or persons that had dumped her had already done a runner.

Two, the girl was pre-Immortal, and had mysteriously appeared, as Immortals tend to do.

Amanda took the girl up to the apartment she and Adam had been sharing, placing her gently on the bed. She unwrapped the blankets, finding she had nothing on but a nappy. Amanda checked to girl over, looking for some sign of abuse.

That''s when she saw it.

The Mark of the Order.

"Oh my God," she whispered, reaching for the phone next to the bed and dialling Adam''s office.

"Adam Kane."

"Adam, we have a problem," Amanda said.

"Amanda, what is it?" Adam asked. Amanda took a breath.

"I just found a baby girl in the dumpster next to our building," she explained. She heard a short sharp breath from the other end of the line.

"Is she……?"

"I think so," Amanda, not waiting for him to finish the question, "but that''s nothing to what else I found. A birthmark on her left shoulder. Sound familiar?"

"Oh my God," Adam breathed. He''d had run-ins with Slayers in his thousand plus years of life; he knew what it meant, "A Potential? What are we going to do?"

"I know what we aren''t going to do," Amanda said forcibly, "And we aren''t going to put her where those assholes at the Council can get their filthy paws on her," Adam let out a deep sigh.

"I guess I''d better stop off at a twenty four hour store for some supplies then," he said. He had to pull the phone away from his ear as Amanda squealed in delight.

"Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!" She said. Adam grinned. Damn she was cute when she was happy. She even sounded cute.

"Are you sure we can do this?" Adam asked, "What do either of us know about raising a baby?"

"We were both kids once," Amanda answered, mixing the formula Adam had bought, "It can''t be that hard."

"That was over a thousand years ago," Adam said, "For both of us. Things change, Amanda. Do you really think we''re qualified……?"

"Adam, what are the other options?" Amanda snapped, "We put her into social services, the Watcher''s get a hold of her and before you know, they''re turning her into the perfect weapon. We both know what she is, Adam. We both know she''s pre-Immortal. I won''t let them get their hands on her," Adam looked at his lover for a moment.

"You really care for her, don''t you?" Amanda picked the girl up, rocking her gently.

"I''ve always watched all the mortal women with their children," she said, softly, "I was even a nanny a couple of times. ''Course, I was usually casing the place out, but I always enjoyed it. It sort of…… made up for not being able to have one of my own. Now, I have my chance and I am not letting it slip through my fingers."

"Alright, Amanda," Adam chuckled, "Okay. You win. The girl stays. But she needs a name," Amanda looked down at her new daughter.

"Elizabeth," she whispered softly, "My darling Elizabeth."

On the roof of the building across the road, Whistler watched through the window as the two Immortals decided to keep the kid.

"And you thought Adam wouldn''t go for it," he said to his companion in the shadows.

"So I was wrong," the figure said, "Are you sure this is good idea?"

"Relax, wouldja?" Whistler said, "They''re perfect. Amanda can teach her thievery, which includes being flexible and quick on your feet, Adam can educate her and teach her to think for herself and both of them can teach her to fight. She''ll be better than anything the Council can come up with. Then, there''s the Society of Watcher''s to keep an eye on her. We''ve got a couple of people in their ranks. Nothing can go wrong."

"How long do you think it''ll take for them to figure it out?" The shadow asked.

"That she''s a Slayer at birth?" Whistler said, "Once her sword training starts. You gotta loosen up a bit, Angel. You worry too much," the souled vampire known as Angel looked across the street.

"I think I''ll hang around," he said, "Just in case."

"You do that," Whistler said, "I''ll see ya around." With that he vanished back inside the building, leaving Angel to watch over his charge.

"Nothing will happen to you, my daughter," he whispered, "I promise."

Four years later.

Boston, Masachusetts.

"Elizabeth!" Amanda called her young ward from the stairs of their apartment building, "Get back here."

"Coming, ''Manda," Amanda watched, with some relief, as the young girl came running out of the alley next to there house, a raven haired girl behind her, "Yes?"

"What have I told you about running off like that?" Elizabeth thought a moment.

"Don''t get caught?" She asked, believing that to be the answer.

"Bethy……" Amanda said warningly.

"''Manda……" Elizabeth said just as sternly. Amanda sighed ruefully, giving in to the smile that had been trying to break through.

"I can never stay angry at you," she said. Elizabeth smiled up at her, "And who''s your friend?"

"This is Faith," Elizabeth said, "She lives in the next building over," the girl, Faith looked at her confused.

"Thought your name''s ''Lizabeth," she said, "Why''d she call you Buffy?"

"Bethy," Amanda corrected, "It''s a nickname."

"Oh," Faith said. She looked at Elizabeth, "C''n I call you Buffy too?" The newly renamed Buffy grinned.

"Sure," she said happily.

"Aren''t your parents worried about you?" Amanda asked. Faith shook her head.

"They''s sleeping," the girl said, "They get angry if I wake ''em up, so I spend a lot of time out," Amanda looked down at her in horror.

"You are far to young to be let out by yourself like this," she said. Faith glared at her.

"I''m three," she said, holding up two fingers. Amanda grinned.

"Well, why don''t you come inside?" Amanda said. Faith looked at Buffy, who was grinning.

"Guess so," Faith said. Buffy draped an arm around her friends shoulder.

Six months later.

"''Manda!" Buffy screamed, "Somethin''s wrong with Faith!" Amanda quickly ran into her wards room and looked out the window. She could here screaming from across the alley and it was most certainly Faith. She continued to listen and, to her horror, saw Faith''s small body climb out onto the fire escape.

"Where''re you goin''?" A male voice slurred, a large arm reaching for the girl. Faith moved as fast as she could down the escape, the large drunk after her, "You c''me back here. Show some respect for yer father," by this time, Amanda was shaking.

"Elizabeth, stay here," she said, climbing out onto the fire escape. Elizabeth obeyed, looking down at her friend with fear.

By the time Amanda had reached the bottom, Faith was just climbing down the ladder.

"C''mere," Amanda said, pulling the girl into her arms. Faith sobbed into her shoulder, shaking with fear. Amanda walked to the fire escape to her own building, "I want you to climb up to Elizabeth. Think you can do that?" Faith nodded numbly and started climbing the ladder.

"Hey," Faith''s father yelled, "Waddaya thing yer doin'' with my daughter?"

"I''m taking her to my place until you sober up," Amanda said sternly, "You come near that girl and I make you a head shorter, clear?"

"You can''t do that!" he slurred, "She''s my daughter, an'' I need to teach her useless ass some manners," he took another step and felt cold steel against his throat.

"Still think I can''t do this?" She asked coldly, "People like you make me sick. You don''t deserve children. Now, go back to your little palace and drink yourself into oblivion like you normally do," She turned, sword still in hand and climbed back up the fire escape, as soon as she had, she quickly checked Faith before turning to Buffy, "Elizabeth, find Faith some clothes and get packed. We have to leave by tomorrow morning," Buffy nodded, dragging Faith over to her cupboard. Amanda looked at the two. There was no way in hell she was making that poor girl go back to that.

A year and a half later.

Paris, France.

"''Manda!" Elizabeth screamed, as five year olds tend to do, "Look."

The girl had, tightly clenched in her hands, a small dagger she had found on the floor near where Amanda kept her weapons. Faith was close behind her, eyes wide, looking at the dagger.

"She jus'' picked it up," the four year old said fearfully, "I told her not to……"

"It''s alright, Faith," Amanda said, "I''m not going to yell. Elizabeth, where did you find this?" Elizabeth looked up at her, confused.

"On th'' floor," she said, then added proudly, "I cleaned up."

"Very good," Amanda said, "Now give it to me," Elizabeth handed the dagger over obediently, then looked up at her guardian.

"''Manda," she said, "Where''s Adam?" Amanda gave her a sad look.

"Adam got in trouble," she said, "He had to go," in truth, the experiments that he had been so adamant would show where Immortals come from, had gone awry, and Adam had been forced into hiding. He had, however, given her a contact number.

"If you see anything out of the ordinary," he said, "children with strange abilities, call me," it made no sense to Amanda, but she kept the number anyway, simply because Elizabeth thought of him as her father.

"When''s he comin'' back?" the girl asked. Amanda sighed.

"I don''t think he is," she said sadly.

"He left us?" The girl whispered, "He doesn''t like me?" Faith grabbed Buffy in a huge bear hug.

"I like you, Buffy," the younger girl said. Amanda grinned. The two were inseparable. Good, Elizabeth would need the friends

"No, it''s not you," Amanda said firmly, "It''s, well, it''s partly me, and partly his work," the girl seemed to accept that.

"''Manda?"

"Yes, Elizabeth?"

"What do you do when you go out?"

Five years later

Seacouver.

Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod walked down the street, ever alert. He was hungry and tired, all he wanted to do was……

The sight of the dojo door, wide open, cut off his thoughts.

He examined it quickly, but could find no proof of forced entry. In fact, his keys were still sitting in the lock. A quick examination of his person proved that they were his keys. He groaned softly as he walked in, feeling the Buzz of another Immortal in the kitchen. There was only one Immortal he knew of with the skill to merely lift his keys from his pocket.

"Hello, Amanda," he said as he walked int. Amanda grinned, walking up to give him a kiss.

"Hey," she said, "how''d you know it was me?"

"Who else would pick my keys out of pocket, unlock the door, then have a cup of my coffee while she waited?" He said. Amanda shrugged.

"How many other thieves are you friends with?" Amanda asked, "And should I be jealous?" Duncan chuckled.

"You haven''t changed, Amanda," he said, grabbing a cup from the cupboard.

"You expected me too?" She asked innocently. Duncan merely shook his head.

"I just have one question," he said, "How did you get the keys without my recognising you?" At that moment, ten-year-old girl walked in, carrying one of the short swords from Duncan''s collection.

"Hey, Amanda," she said, "You never told me Duncan……" she stopped, looking at Duncan, "Was already here. Hi, I''m Buffy," Duncan stared, taking the out held hand, "Nice swords you''ve got."

"Uh, thanks," Duncan managed. Amanda grinned at the look on his face.

"Duncan, Elizabeth is my……"

"I prefer ''daughter'', but Amanda tells me that isn''t quite true," Buffy said, "She raised me from birth, she''s ''mom'' to me."

"I found her in a dumpster in LA," Amanda said, "She''s been my ward ever since."

"I still prefer daughter."

"Elizabeth……"

"Amanda," Buffy said just as sternly, "I prefer ''Buffy''."

"It sounds like a something you''d call a pet dog," Amanda said.

"I like that name," Buffy said, "Faith gave me that name."

"Faith?" Duncan asked, amused.

"Yeah?" a second girl walked in, this one carrying a very worn out kilt, "Hey, Amanda, why''s he got a dress?"

"It''s not a dress," Duncan stared sternly. Faith''s head whipped to face him, fear in her eyes. He''s going to hit me, she thought, "It''s a kilt."

"Looks like a dress to me," Buffy said, walking over to Faith "And don''t yell at my friend."

"I didn''t yell," Duncan said, looking at the girl. She''s about to burst into tears, he thought. What he heard next blew his mind.

"Don''t hit me," the girl whispered, "I didn''t mean to make you mad. I didn''t mean it. I''ll be good. Please……"

"Shh," he whispered, drawing her into his arms, "It''s alright, child. I won''t hurt you," he looked up at Amanda as Faith sobbed into his shoulder, "What the hell happened to her?"

"The first three years of her life with abusive alcoholic parents," Amanda said as Buffy put a hand gently on her friends shoulder.

"Easy, Faith," she whispered, "I''m right here. No one''s going to hurt you. Ever."

Just outside, Angel listened to every word. A small tight smile stretched across his face, "That''s my girl," he muttered. Whistler had been right; Amanda was good for her.

He sighed and walked down the street, stopping at a payphone to make a quick call.

"Darla? Yeah I was checking the whelp. I know, soft touch, happens when you get a soul. She''s fine. No, not injured. Yes, she''s still alive. You keep with the questions, I''ll start thinking you give a damn. Yeah, whatever. I''ll see you soon, lover."

A week later,

"Come on, Faith," Buffy taunted, holding her short sword out teasingly, "You can do better than that."

"You stand still for two seconds, I might," Faith grumbled.

"Alright then," Buffy said, "I''ll stand here and block. Promise."

"Five by five," Faith said, charging, sword ready. Buffy blocked, their training swords cracking together. They disengaged for a moment, then clashed again, both of them blocking and parrying each strike.

"Those two are good," Duncan said. Amanda nodded shortly.

"Too good," she said, "Duncan…… I''ve told you what they are. They shouldn''t be exhibiting these abilities, not at this age and not together," Duncan nodded. It had taken some convincing (and an actual vampire) to convince him of the existence of the Slayers.

"So, why are they?"

"I don''t know," Amanda said, "And I don''t trust the Watcher''s Council enough to ask them."

"I have an idea," Duncan said, getting up, "I need to make a phone call."



Change of Scenery



MacLeod''s Antiques.

New York.

"MacLeod''s Antiques," Connor MacLeod answered the phone, slightly annoyed. He had been trying to price an urn that had just arrived, one that had him thoroughly stumped. It looked like a Ming, but it was sealed with, if he understood correctly, very power charms. It was also far older than it looked.

"Hello, Connor."

"Duncan," Connor''s face lit with a smile at the call from his student and clan brother, "How can I help you?"

"Ever heard of the Vampire Slayer, Connor?" The older MacLeod''s face fell, the smile disappearing.

"Some," he said, remembering the twenty two Slayers he had known personally, "Any particular reason.

"Amanda arrived about a week ago," Duncan explained, "She has two girls, one eleven, one ten. Both marked as Potentials, both a exhibiting the powers of a full Slayer," Connor nodded slowly.

"Duncan, I want you to bring Amanda and the girls to New York," Connor said, "This is something best explained in person."

Two weeks later.

"Duncan," Connor said as he embraced the younger MacLeod, "How are you?"

"Trying to keep up with Amanda," Duncan said dryly. Connor chuckled.

"Surely she''s not that difficult."

"That''s what I keep saying," Amanda said from behind him, "He disagrees. Nice piece," in her hands was the ''Ming'' urn he had been trying to figure out.

"I thought so, until I tried to price it," Connor said dryly, "It has me stumped."

"It had one of its previous owners stumped to," Amanda said.

"And how do you know that?" Connor asked.

"I…… relieved him of the pressure," she said evenly. Connor chuckled.

"Duncan, if anything goes missing, you''re paying for it," Connor said.

"Thanks," Duncan said dryly.

"So where are your mystery girls?" Connor asked.

"Yeah?" Buffy said, walking out of Connor''s sanctum, holding a Musketeer sword, "This is nice by the way. Where''d you get it?"

"How did you get in there?" He demanded. Buff shrugged.

"I broke in while you staring at the vase Amanda''s holding, about……" she thought a moment, "two hours ago. The fake book? Way obvious."

"So you got the easy stuff?" Faith said, coming down from the loft, "That bites. I actually had a safe to crack up here."

"You broke into my safe?" Connor exploded. Again, Faith''s eyes went wide with fear.

"Hey!" Buffy yelled, "Don''t yell at her. She was practicing, like Amanda likes us to."

"And why was she upstairs?" Amanda asked. Faith answered, her voice shaking.

"We staked the place out earlier and saw the safe upstairs," she answered, "I''m the better safe cracker so I took that……"

"While I went looking for the sanctum you mentioned," Buffy finished, standing behind her friend, "What''d you find, Faith?" The girl held out a folder, a pile of money, and a large, ornate knife, "Oo, shiny," Buffy reached for the knife.

"Elizabeth," Amanda warned. Buffy groaned.

"I swear, Amanda, if you keep calling me that, I''m going to start calling you ''mom''," Amanda glared at the girl.

"We''re not keeping anything," she said, "This is practice, remember?"

"I know, I know, but he has two of these," Buffy said, holding up the Musketeer sword. Duncan raised an eyebrow.

"I think one may have been mine," he said. Amanda looked at him.

"You were a Musketeer?" She asked, "You really are a boy scout."

"Connor, what was so important that you had to tell us in person?" Duncan said, getting to the reason they were there. Connor shot a look at the girls.

"Elizabeth, Faith, can you two keep yourselves occupied while we talk?" Amanda asked. Buffy grinned.

"Easily," she said, dragging Faith towards Connor''s sanctum, "He has heaps of cool stuff to look at."

"Don''t break anything," Connor warned.

"Got it, C," Faith said, slipping back to her ''normal'' self.

"C?"

"Faith has a tendency to shorten names as much as possible," Amanda said, "Now, what''s so important?" Connor reached for the folders Faith had dumped on the table. The knife, he realised, was gone.

"Tell your girls I want that knife back," he said, handing the folder to her.

"What''s that?" Duncan asked.

"The numbers, addresses and identities of all the active Slayers I know of," Connor said with a tight smile, "The knife is proof if I ever need to contact them. The Watchers aren''t the only ones that guard the Slayers. I like to think we do a better job."

"''We''?" Amanda asked. What the hell was this?

"Perhaps I should explain," Connor said, "I am a founding member of an organisation that, like the Council of Watchers, are charged with guiding and guarding the Slayers.

"Unlike the Watchers, however, we believe it is the girls choice as to whether to enter the war against darkness or not. We do not lie to them, we accept them for themselves and, should they tell us ''no'', we continue to watch over them.

"The legend you know, that there is but one Slayer, is a lie. At any one time there are, at least, one thousand Slayers that we know of. Less than half of those are under our protection. The rest, the ones we don''t find…… well, you can guess where they are."

"A thousand……?" Amanda said quietly, "Why would they lie like that?"

"Who knows?" Connor said sadly, "We help those we can, freeing the ones we find from the Council''s lies, but in the end, it is not enough. You''re girls are two of the ones both organisations missed."

"Someone didn''t," Amanda muttered, "Buffy''s a pre-Immie. I''m not sure about Faith yet, but……"

"Pre-Immortal?" Connor asked, shocked, "A pre-Immortal Slayer? This is unheard of, never even considered. This is……" he looked at Amanda earnestly, "Our resources are yours, as they are those who even know a Slayer. If there is even a hint of a prophecy concerning your girls, the Council will be searching."

"They won''t find them," Amanda said, "I''m hiding them away somewhere where not even God could find them," she looked n the direction Buffy and Faith had disappeared in. Good thing I kept Adam''s number, she thought.

Sanctuary.

"Adam!" Buffy threw herself into the arms of the man she would always think of as her father.

"Elizabeth," Adam wrapped her in his arms. It had been so long since he''d seen her, "You''ve gotten so tall."

"Why''d you leave?" Buffy asked quietly.

"I crossed the wrong people, girl," Adam said, "Nothing more, nothing less. I knew you and Amanda would be safer if I wasn''t there. How have you been?"

"Good," Buffy said, pulling back. She then handed Adam his wallet. The Immortal scientist chuckled.

"You''ve gotten good," he said. He looked over at the raven-haired girl who was eyeing suspiciously, "Who''s this?"

"This is Faith," Buffy said, dragging her friend in front of Adam, "Faith, this is Adam," the girl looked him up and down.

"Trading one A for another," Faith said offhandedly. Adam looked passed the girls, his eyes meeting with Amanda and Duncan.

"I''ll look after them, Amanda," he said.

"You''d better," Duncan said, "Or Amanda will be the least of your worries," he smiled slightly, "I have a message from Connor MacLeod."

"Connor?" Adam hadn''t seen the Highlander in…… centuries, if not more, "What''s he got to do with this?"

"The girls are under his protection," Duncan said, "He adopted them into the Clan," Adam stared at Amanda, who nodded, "That places them under my protection as well."

"Yes, I suppose it does," Adam said lamely, still slightly shocked. Connor and Duncan MacLeod? All I need now is Methos to show at my doorstep and threaten me with decapitation, he thought.

"Ah, cut it out, Duncan," Buffy said, "Adam''ll look after us. I just hope we don''t get too bored," she looked around the large garage, "I get the feeling we won''t be leaving anytime soon."

"How''re we supposed to keep in practice?" Faith muttered. Adam chuckled

"I''m sure we can find something," Adam said. Faith made a face, then handed Duncan his wallet.

"Thanks for not keeping it," he said dryly.

"No prob, D," Faith said with a smile. Buffy squinted at her friend, then elbowed her in the side, "What?"

"Give it back."

"But……"

"We don''t keep it unless the former owner''s slime, remember?" Buffy reminded her, "Give it back," Faith sighed, reached into her pocket and pulled out Duncan''s credit card and gave it to him.

Six months later.

"I have to go out," Adam said.

"Another New Mutant?" Buffy asked. Adam nodded.

"This one''s already in danger," Adam said, "But it''s not the GSA. It''s the Watchers. They think she''s a Slayer," Buffy and Faith stiffened visibly. They both knew what they were, in the Slayer sense at least, and who the Watcher''s were.

"Can we……" Faith began.

"No," Adam said forcibly, "You aren''t coming. It''s too dangerous."

"But you usually let us out," Buffy whined.

"That''s just against the GSA," Adam said, "This is the Watcher''s Council. These people want you two in the worst way. I''m not putting you in that danger."

"Adam," Buffy said calmly, "We can handle ourselves. We''ve proven that. Just let us go this once."

"No," Adam said, "I''m not taking you. All they want are weapons. I won''t let my girls live like that."

"Oh, Adam," Buffy dove at the Immortal, wrapping her arms around his waist, Faith close behind her.

"Thanks, A," Faith whispered. Adam wrapped his arms around them. He knew about Faith''s…… turbulent past. He tried to give her, and Buffy, a stable environment, but with the GSA after him, and the Council after them, it wasn''t easy.

"You know I love you both like my own daughters," he said, "I''d never let anything happen to you. That''s why I need you to stay here. Just this once, alright?" Faith nodded hesitantly. She didn''t want to make him mad, he''d send her away and she didn''t want to leave.

"Alright, we''ll hang here," Buffy said, "But if you don''t come back, we''re calling Amanda."

"That''s a given," Adam said with a grin.



Kendra



Two hours later, the scientist returned with a young blonde maybe two years older than the girls.

"This is Shalimar," Adam said, "She''ll be staying with us."

"Hi. I''m Buffy, and this is Faith."

"Welcome to our humble abode," Faith added. Shalimar looked at the two like they were crazy.

"You call living in a secret base ''humble''?" She asked. Buffy shrugged.

"We like our privacy," she said with a grin.

"Beats the Brit Brigade beatin'' our door down," Faith threw in.

"Yeah, I guess," Shalimar said, "What''s with those guys, anyway? Why''d they keep calling me ''Slayer''?"

"It''s what they think you are," Adam said.

"You got somethin'' special that they think make you theirs," Faith said.

"You mean…… my eyes?"

"Your eyes?" Buffy looked at them body parts in question, "What about your WHOA!" Buffy screamed as Shalimar''s eyes changed temporarily, looking like gold cats eyes, "Let me guess; super agile, really good senses and a little stronger than normal?"

"How''d you know that?" Shalimar demanded.

"A Slayer is stronger than a normal person," Buffy said, "That''s why they were calling you that. You''re not though. Faith and me would know."

"And how''s……" Without warning, Buffy leapt up and over, landing behind Shalimar and grabbing her arms.

Faith, meanwhile, had moved in front of her and quickly swept her legs from underneath her. At that moment, Buffy let her go and the girl found herself on the ground.

"''Cause that''s what we are," Faith said with a grin, "''Course, your powers are so similar, they didn''t make the connection."

"This ''New Mutant'' deal Adam told me about?" Shalimar said, picking herself up, "That''s what this is about? They can''t tell the difference between me and you?"

"You got it," Buffy said, "C''mon. We''ll show you to the rooms, then we''ll start you on some training."

"Why?"

"You could win any gymnastic competition in the world with your powers," Buffy said, "You telling me you don''t want to know how to use them?"

"Would I be able to beat you guys?" Shalimar asked. Faith laughed as they walked out.

"Oh, I like this one, B," she said, "Can we keep her?"

Jamaica, 1995.

"Kendra Morgan?" Sam Zamboto walked up to the girl.

"Yes?" She said, "Can I help you?"

"My name is Mr Zamboto," he said, glad that he had finally found the girl, "I have come to show you your destiny."

Buffy sat bolt upright, fear in her eyes. Fear for the girl, Kendra, her sister Slayer. Zamboto was a Watcher. Kendra would be dead within two years and there wasn''t a damn thing she could do about it.

Or was there?

Connor said that Slayers had prophetic dreams. Maybe Zamboto hadn''t gotten to Kendra yet. Buffy could still save her!

Hope rushing through her, Buffy leapt out of bed and rushed to the door. There may not be much time, she thought as she exited the room……

And ran straight into Faith.

"Buffy!" The younger Slayer was terrified, "I had a dream! There was this Slayer……"

"Kendra?" Buffy asked. This couldn''t be right. Connor said no two Slayers ever had the same dream. What the hell was going on here?

"You too?" Faith seemed relieved, "Do you think we''re too late?"

"Only one way to find out," Buffy said as they ran to the communications room. Connor could help. He had to.

"MacLeod," Connor muttered as he answered the phone, "This had better be good."

"Connor!" Buffy''s voice stormed through his head, waking him instantly, "We had a dream, me and Faith. There was this Slayer and a Watcher and……"

"Buffy, calm down," Connor said soothingly, grabbing pen and paper, "What''s her name?"

"Kendra Morgan," Buffy said, "I think she''s in Jamaica or something. That''s what I got from the dream."

"And you and Faith had the same dream?" Connor asked. This was unheard of. Someone wanted to make sure both girls knew who this Kendra was.

"Word for word," Faith''s voice chimed in, "We gotta hurry, C. There was a feeling of panic on this one."

"Don''t worry," Connor said, "I''ll get someone on it. Thankyou."

"Save her, Connor," Buffy begged, "Please! We can''t let them get her!"

"Buffy, calm yourself," Connor said, "Why are you so desperate?"

"I don''t know," Buffy said, "I just got this dread, like she''s important," now Connor was really paying attention.

"Buffy, can you describe it?" he said, "This may be important."

"Like there''s an eel or something in my gut," the girl said, trying to put her fears into words.

"Yeah," Faith agreed, "Like there''s something really slimy crawling around down there when I even think this girl may be in danger."

"Do you get the same feeling when either of you is in danger?" Connor asked.

"Yeah," Buffy said, slowly, "That night, when Faith started living with Amanda and me. I saw her in trouble and I panicked. When I saw the look on her face……"

"It''s alright," Connor said. He had a Slayer Team on his hands, "I''ve seen this before. The three of you are supposed to work together. I''ll find her and send her your way if possible."

"Hurry Connor," Buffy begged.

"I will," he said. They hung up, then Connor dialled another number, first was to an agent in Jamaica. The second was more local. This was starting to sound very familiar.

"Please be in time," Buffy whispered as they hung up, "Please, let us make it."

"They''ll get her, B," Faith said, holding her sister Slayer close, "Connor won''t let us down."

"What''s going on?" Adam asked, walking in, "What are you two up to?"

"We had a Slayer dream," Buffy said, "We had to tell Connor."

"Bad?" Adam asked.

"The Council getting their claws on another Slayer," Faith said bitterly. Adam made a face.

"Alright," he said, almost knowingly, "Off to bed, both of you."

"Can we……?"

"Go on," Adam said with a nod.

"Thanks, A," Faith said as they both headed to Buffy''s room. Adam made his way to the gym. Damn those Watchers.

One week later.

"They''ve got her?" Buffy breathed.

"I''m afraid so," Connor said sadly over the phone, "We found her parents an hour too late. Zamboto claimed she''d won a scholarship for a school in America."

"Well, that cuts it down anyway," Adam said, "I''ll get my people to watch for her."

"We failed," Buffy whispered.

"Easy there, Buff," Jesse, who had arrived barely a year ago, tried to comfort the two girls, "It''s alright. We''ll find her," he looked up at Adam, "I need to get a message to friend of mine. I think she can help."

"How?" Connor, still on the line, asked. Jesse grinned.

"If the Hackmeister of Sunnydale can''t find her, no one can," the mass morpher said confidently.

Sunnydale.

"Hello?" Willow Rosenberg answered the phone.

"Hey Wills. How''s tricks?"

"Jesse!" The red head shouted down the phone, "How are you? Where are you? I''ve searched everywhere and I couldn''t find a sign of you."

"Adam''s a good hider," Jesse said, "Look, Willow, I wish this were a social call, but I need a favour. The…… sister of some friends of mine has gone missing, and they''re really worried. Think you can find her?"

"I-I can try," Willow said hesitantly, grabbing pen and paper. Everyone said her hacking skills were A grade. In her opinion, they were more C-. Not good enough for her standards, "Name?"

"Kendra Morgan," Jesse said, "Moving from Jamaica to America, probably with a guy named Sam Zamboto sometime within the last the week. No clue where in America……"

"That''s alright," Willow said, "That should be enough, I think. I- I''ll do my best, but……"

"Your ''best'' is usually good enough, Wills," Jesse said with a grin. His childhood friend was still had confidence trouble, but he knew she could do this, "I''ll call in a month, ''kay?"

"I should have something by then," Willow said, "So these friends of yours. Male, female and are they cute?"

And the small talk began.

Sanctuary.

"Willow''s on the case," Jesse said proudly, "I gave her a month. More than enough time, ''specially if this other Slayer gets constructive with the Slayage," everyone within Sanctuary knew about Slayers, vampires and demons.

"We might be able to help with that," Faith said, "C said bonded Slayers can talk to each mentally. Problem is, it takes focus over long distances. We''ll be totally wiped afterwards."

"How about trying those meditation techniques I''ve tried to teach you?" Adam suggested.

"It''s worth a shot," Faith said. Buffy nodded.

"We''ll try now," Buffy said, "Maybe we can convince her to run or something."

"Tell her to head to Sunnydale," Jesse said, "Wills and Xander can watch her until we can pick her up."

Los Angeles.

Kendra sat in the lotus position, breathing calmly. Something was wrong, she didn''t know what. She focused inward, concentrating on her meditation……

""Kendra!" The girl whirled, faced with two girls. Just looking at them, she knew. They were like her. Slayers.

""How did you know my name?" The Slayer demanded. This was either a test, or a trap. Either way, she stood ready, "Who are you?"

""Chill, K," the dark haired one said. For some reason, both girls were smiling, like they were happy to see her, "We''re not here to hurt you. Last thing on our minds."

""We thought we were too late," the blonde said.

""Too late for what?" Kendra demanded, though her voice had softened somewhat. For some reason she couldn''t understand, she couldn''t stay mad at these two, "Who are you?"

""Oh, right," the dark haired one said, "I''m Faith. Blondie here''s Buffy. We''re Slayers, like you."

""How……?" Kendra began, "Are you dead?"

""Not last we checked," the blonde, Buffy, said with a grin, "Let me guess, the whole ''there is one Slayer'' spiel?"

""It''s a fake," Faith said, "Zambioni was lyin'' through his teeth. There''s a thousand that we know of, probably some that kept under the radar like B an'' me."

""But……" Kendra began. Buffy moved closer to her, placing a hand on her shoulder.

""Right now, Faith and me are meditating," Buffy said, "The only way we could get through to you. I''m guessing you are too, right?" Kendra nodded, confused, "First things first, you can''t tell the Watcher."

""Why not?" Kendra asked suspiciously.

""He''d tell the Council," Faith said, deadpan, "If they found us, they''d kill us, and you. This link we have is proof there''s more than one Slay-gal. They want to keep that fact secret," for some reason, Kendra found the chance of these two dying more horrifying than her own death, "Number two, we''re trying to find you, but Sir Pain in the Ass is keeping his head down."

""That, I can help with," Kendra said. This was insane. Why did she trust them? "I''m in LA. I start at Hemery High tomorrow," Buffy looked relieved.

""We can tell Connor," she said, "He''ll send someone to keep an eye on you, keep you safe."

""Don''t worry," Faith said, "You can trust C. He''s cool."

""If anyone comes to you and shows you a knife like this," an image of the knife Faith had found in Connor''s safe appeared behind her, "they''re with us. You can trust them."

""Hey, cool, B," Faith said, "How''d you do that?" Buffy shrugged.

""Beats me," she said. She looked back at Kendra, "Your other option is to run. We''ve got some friends of friends in Sunnydale, maybe two hours from you, if you want to do that. They can look after you until we get there."

""I can''t run," Kendra said, "There''s a vampire in the area, a Master named Lothos."

""He''s sending you against a Master vampire, right after bringing you in?" Faith demanded, "I''m with Connor on this one, B. This guy''s scum."

""Easy, Faith," Buffy said. She took a ''breath'' and looked at Kendra, "Do you want us to come in to help?"

""Not yet," Kendra said, "I can handle things for now. I''ll call if I need you though."

""We''ll be there," Faith said, "And if we can''t, someone else will be. We got lots of friends," Buffy wrapped her arms around Kendra.

""Take care, sis," she whispered.

"You too," Kendra muttered.

Sanctuary.

"Oh wow," Buffy muttered, opening her eyes.

"That was cool," Faith agreed. Buffy looked over at her.

"I really wish she didn''t have to take on this Lothos guy, though," she whispered.

"I know B," Faith said, cuddling the girl she would always think of as her sister, "Come on. We''d better tell C," Buffy nodded. Please, Kendra, she thought. Stay safe.

""Buffy?" Buffy and Faith looked at each other in shock.

"Kendra?" Faith said out loud.

""Ow!" The word boomed through their minds.

""Kendra. Think the words," Buffy sent, hoping that worked.

"Can you hear me?" Kendra''s words were quieter this time, more focused.

""OK, this is cool," Faith sent, ""How''d this happen?"

""We''ll ask Connor," Buffy suggested

"She actually heard your thoughts?" Connor asked.

"Yep, and we hear hers," Buffy said, "It''s better than a phone."

"Gets a bit loud when you talk though," Faith said.

"Amazing," Adam muttered.

"Man, this is cool," Jesse said.

"Has potential," Shalimar agreed.

"This is a first," Connor admitted, "Though it does give us an edge the Watchers probably won''t expect. Keep in practice with it."

"Got it," Buffy said, "Have you got someone on the way to watch her?"

"Actually, a friend of mine''s already there," Connor said. They could hear him smiling.

"Alright, C," Faith asked, "What''s the sitch. Who is this guy?"

Blade

Los Angeles.

Six months later.

Kendra ran through the cavern, not daring to look back. She didn''t want to see Lothos'' face as he came towards her. Buffy, she thought desperately, Faith. I need you.

""Just keep running, K," Faith''s voice sounded through her head, ""Help''s on the way," the feeling of the other Slayer in her mind calmed her, allowing her concentrate on running.

""Keep running, Kendra," Buffy sent, ""You''re almost there."

""Where?" Her question was answered as a black figure leapt down, landing between Lothos and herself.

"Catch you at a bad time, suck head?" The figure asked.

"Get out of the way, mortal," Lothos ordered, "and I''ll make your death as painless as possible."

"I don''t make deals with parasites," he said, pulling out a gun.

"Your weapon won''t hurt me," Lothos chuckled. The figure grinned.

"Let''s find out," he said, pulling the trigger. The last facial expression on the Master vampires face was shock as he exploded into dust.

"Vampires," the man muttered, "Always so fucking arrogant."

"Who are you?" Kendra asked. The man turned to her. He was dark, moderately handsome, wearing completely black, with a rather large assortment of hardware on his person, including a sword.

"Name''s Blade," he said, "Let''s get you topside."

""Holy shit," was Faith''s whispered reply.

********

Sanctuary.

""Holy shit," Faith thought.

"Yeah," Buffy muttered out loud, "When Connor said this Whistler guy had called the cavalry, he wasn''t kidding. Did you see the amount of weapons that guy was carrying?"

"He''s a one man army," Faith agreed as they walked towards the kitchen, "Man had it goin'' on."

"And Lothos just went," Buffy said with a laugh.

"What happened?" Shalimar asked.

"Rambo," Faith said with a grin.

"In black," Buffy added, "Called himself Blade. He was smooth, and he had guns that actually killed the vamp!"

"Vamp killers?" Jesse asked, "Now I''ve heard everything."

"So Kendra survived?" Adam asked.

"Thankfully," Buffy said, "Maybe I can get some sleep now."

*******

LA.

"Come on," Blade said, walking over to a bike, "Let''s move."

"What are you talking about?" Kendra demanded, "Where are you taking me?"

"Away from Zamboto," Blade said, "He''ll try and fulfil the prophecy that brought you here, the one that says the Slayer dies."

"What?" Kendra demanded as Blade got on the bike.

"Get on," he said.

"You still haven''t told me where we''re going," Kendra said.

"I''m taking you to Whistler," Blade said, gunning the bike, "He''ll get you to safety."

"If I get to Sunnydale, I can find somewhere to hide," Kendra said. Blade looked over his shoulder.

"Sunnydale?" He asked, "Fuck, kid. I''d hardly call that safe."

"Why?" Kendra asked.

"Boca del Inferno," he said, "The Mouth of Hell," before she could answer, he took off, forcing her to grab a tight hold.

********

"What are you doing telling her to go to Sunnydale?" Whistler demanded over the phone.

"One of Buffy and Faith''s friends are from there," Connor said, "He has friends that can take care of her until they could pick her up."

"Do you have any fucking idea what''s down there?" Whistler demanded, "The Hellmouth. That''s hardly a safe place, especially for a Slayer."

"The Hellmouth?" Connor demanded, "I had no clue."

"I could tell," Whistler scoffed, "Look, we''ll keep the girl here for a while. Send someone to pick her up."

"Alright, I will," Connor agreed, "Thankyou my friend."

"Don''t mention it," Whistler said.

*********

In transit.

"What''s a Hellmouth?" Buffy said.

"From what Connor told me, it''s a mystical convergence opening into a dimensional gatway," Adam explained, "Literally, a gate to Hell."

"That explains the ''gangs on PCP''," Jesse muttered, "I''ve gotta pass the info along to Wills and Xander."

"Man," Faith muttered, "That bites. And we told Kendra to run there. What if she had and got killed?"

"Then whoever did it would have had no place to hide," Buffy said darkly. Faith nodded her agreement.

"We''re here," Adam said. As soon as they touched down, Buffy and Faith rushed into the abandoned warehouse complex.

"Kendra?" Buffy called. The Jamaican Slayer appeared around the corner, "Hey!" Buffy rushed up to her.

"Hey, K," Faith said, close behind her, "Nice to meet ya face to face finally."

"Faith, Buffy," Kendra said. She wrapped her arms around the two who had become as close as her sisters, "Thankyou."

"Don''t mention it," Buffy said.

"Yeah, K," Faith agreed, "Our pleasure."

"So, you''re Fluffy and Faith?" Blade said, walking out.

"Buffy," the blonde corrected darkly, "Thanks for bailing Kendra out."

"As long as I don''t have to do it again," the hunter said.

"Oh he''s just a ray of sunshine," Faith said darkly.

"He''s like that," Kendra said, "I don''t think he knows how to smile."

"Waste of energy," Blade grunted.

"Like manners?" Buffy asked sweetly. Blade stared at her a second.

"Come on," he said, turning around, "Whistler''s waiting."

"Broody much?" Buffy muttered.

"He makes a thunder storm look bright an'' sunny," Faith agreed, "But he did save K, so we should cut him some slack, I guess."

"A very small amount," Buffy said. Kendra laughed.

"I missed you two," she admitted.

"And we never met besides while meditatin''," Faith said, "Damn we''re good."

*******

"Ah, the mystery girls," Whistler said as they walked in, "I''m Whistler."

"Hey," Buffy waved.

"What happened to your legs?" Faith asked. Her reward was a wack over the head, "Ow! What was that for, B?"

"Trying to teach you tact," Buffy said.

"What?" Faith asked, smiling wildly. Whistler chuckled.

"Them, I like," he said.

"He likes us," Faith said, "My life is complete," Whistler laughed at the girl.

"So, names?" Whistler asked.

"Oh, right," Buffy said, "I''m Buffy, the loudmouth''s Faith……"

"Hey!" Faith said defensively.

"……These three," she said, pointing at Mutant X, "are Adam, Jesse and Shalimar."

"Hiya," Jesse said.

"Hi," Shalimar.

"Nice to meet you," Adam. Whistler looked at the other man.

"How''d you get saddled with the kiddy patrol?" He asked. Adam pointed to Jesse and Shalimar.

"Need my help," he said, moving to Buffy and Faith, "Mine," Buffy and Faith smiled proudly at that comment.

"Then why''d she call you ''Adam'' instead of ''dad''?" Blade asked. Buffy poked her tongue out at him.

"Ruin my moment of triumph, why don''t you," she muttered, "I''ve been trying to get him and Amanda to call me their daughter for years."

"They may as well as be our parents," Faith agreed, "They found Buffy in a dumpster and raised her since. Me……" the Slayer bowed her head, trying to hide her tears, "Amanda pulled me out of an abusive house, with parents that spent whatever time they weren''t beatin'' or rapin'' me drunk an'' unconscious," Buffy wrapped an arm around her sister Slayer''s shoulder, Kendra on the other side. Blade looked at the two, fuming.

"The guy''s still alive?" He asked. Faith shrugged.

"Don''t know, don''t care," she said. She looked at the two Slayers beside her, "These guys are my family now. That''s all that counts."

"We love you too, sis," Buffy said, tightening her hug.

"Same here," Kendra said. Faith smiled. Life didn''t get much better than this.

"Hey, you guys got a gym or somethin'' around here?" She asked, "I gotta work out the kinks," Blade nodded, leading the younger ones away and leaving the older to talk.

"So," Whistler said, "How do you want to do this?"

"I don''t play the Game," Adam said with conviction, "And you saved Kendra''s life. So you won''t need the sword you have under the desk," Whistler chuckled.

"Not bad," the Immortal demon hunter said, "Not bad at all," he turned back to his workbench, "So, are any of them……?"

"Buffy and Faith," Adam said, "Shalimar and Jesse aren''t. I''m not sure about Kendra."

"She is," Whistler stated, "Looks like you''ve got you''re hands full. Three pre-Immortal Slayers."

"There''s never even been one," Adam muttered, "Something must be going down. Something big."

"And whatever it is, its in Sunnydale," Whistler said, "We''ve got a girl there now, but I don''t think she''ll last another year. Something''s coming. The ''Mouth''s stronger, too strong for one Slayer," Adam shook his head.

"They aren''t ready," he said.

"I know," Whistler nodded. He pointed to a pile of boxes, "There''s some guns in there, loaded with the two different types of vamp killers we got, plus extra ammo. The two types will handle most of the different bloodlines. The clips with blue tape are silver hollow points filled with garlic, good for the ones we normally handle. The red are holy bullets, standard hollow points, blessed by priests. There''s some extra spells engraved on the casings, and the hollows are filled with holy water. Green is Dutch loaded, garlic and holy," Adam looked at the small pile.

"Thanks," he said. Whistler nodded, then pulled a tarp of one of the tables, revealing three swords.

"When MacLeod told me what was happening, I thought they could use these," he said, "They''re the same as Blade''s sword. Titanium, acid etched with protection spells. There''s also an…… anti-theft device."

"Anti-theft?" Adam asked. Whistler grabbed the hilt of one, then dropped it. Seconds later, three spike spikes flashed out, then in again.

"There''s a switch hidden on the hilt to keep it from popping," Whistler said with a grin, "The spikes come out with enough force to remove the hand that''s holding it."

"Thank you," Adam said. Whistler shrugged.

"We gotta take care of our girls, don''t we?" The Immortal said with a grin, "I''ll organize a shipment of ammo every so often. Make sure they know how to use it."

"I will," Adam said.

Stay tuned.

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