They had a couple hours before they needed to meet with the demons so Buffy and Faith decided to go to Buffy's house instead of back to Giles'. The need to unwind a little was obvious since there was so much extra pressure with the battle. Not only did they need to defeat Devon but they needed to make sure their friends were okay.
"That was kinda trippy seeing all those demons in one little apartment," Faith commented as she sat down on the couch and pulled Buffy down with her. "Kind of like a clown car."
"I guess it was." Buffy sat down and smiled at how Faith immediately leaned against her. She knew they needed to talk about last night and what it meant but didn't know if that was a good distraction right now. The focus still needed to be on Devon. "At least we have some help."
"They'll be good backup." Faith let her hand rest on Buffy's thigh. "They can clean up the vamps while we go after Devon."
Buffy didn't respond, only closed her eyes and let herself enjoy the feel of Faith against her. Even though they were fully clothed, she could feel a sense of closeness with Faith. It felt intimate and she really wanted what they had to continue after the battle was done.
"How do you feel today?"
Buffy turned her head to look at Faith but noticed she was looking down away from her. "What do you mean?"
Faith let out a little sigh. "Any regrets yet?"
"No," Buffy said easily. "There's a lot of thoughts going through my head but no regrets. I told you that this morning."
"I know. I kinda thought since we were hooking up while your friends were being kidnapped that you might wanna take it back now."
Buffy noticed Faith still wasn't looking at her and she didn't like it. She didn't want Faith to think she blamed what they did for the kidnappings. "Faith, it wouldn't have mattered what we did. They only needed to make sure we wouldn't try to meet up with any of them." She paused and thought about how Faith had worded her comment. "And they're not my friends, they're our friends. You really need to think of yourself as one of us."
Faith shrugged. "Yeah, I guess."
They stayed silent for a minute. Buffy tried to think of a way to show Faith that even though she wasn't sure what her feelings were telling her she didn't regret anything. Apart from actually stripping and having a repeat performance of the previous night she couldn't think of a good way to prove it.
"What do you think about last night?"
"I don't know," Buffy said honestly. "There's a lot going on in here." She pointed to her head as Faith finally looked at her. "I really like you, Faith. Everything's just moving so fast right now. I want to get the gang back."
Buffy knew she wasn't giving the correct answers or even wording what she wanted to say correctly so she pulled Faith up so she could better look into her eyes. She didn't like that she saw doubt in them, like Faith doubted that she was telling her the truth. That wasn't what she wanted at all so she carefully leaned in and lightly kissed her.
"I don't want you thinking whatever it is you're thinking right now."
Faith raised an eyebrow. "How do you know what I'm thinking?"
"Because you look like I'm going to break up with you before we've even got started. That's not what this is. At most, we're being temporarily stopped by some very bad timing."
"Temporarily?" Faith asked, eyebrow still raised. "Does that mean once we've taken this asshole down we can keep with getting naked?"
Buffy laughed. "Something like that."
Some of the tension between them seemed lift and they relaxed against each other once again. Faith pulled at Buffy until they were more lying on the couch together. They didn't say anything for a few minutes, only basked in the fact that once the battle was over they might be a couple. Buffy had to admit she liked the thought of it, especially given a whole different side of Faith she'd seen. If the other girl's mind was any indication, she wanted a relationship and not just sex. Buffy thought that's what she might want as well.
"I wonder how they knew to look for Xander," Faith commented as she held Buffy close. "He would have to have been around when the Mayor was still planning everything."
"I thought the Mayor tried to have control of all the big vamp players while he was around." Buffy furrowed her brow. "He would have needed to keep a pretty low profile."
"Yeah, he must have waited to see how the ascension played out before starting his operation." Faith slowly moved her hand over Buffy's stomach as she began to lie more against her. "Coward."
Buffy nodded lightly but didn't respond, becoming increasingly comfortable as Faith put her arms around her. She realized how tired she was, dealing with the deadline Devon had set for them and coming up with a plan to stop him had drained her mentally and emotionally. Before she knew it she was falling asleep in Faith's arms.
"Ready to do this?"
Buffy looked at Faith as they walked from her house to Giles'. They had both dozed for about an hour before waking up and preparing for the upcoming battle. After eating and making some light small talk with Buffy's mother, they went to Buffy's room and got supplies. Some of Buffy's favorite and most useful weapons were put in a duffle bag which she had slung over her shoulder.
"Have to be," Buffy responded. "Can't exactly lose this one."
"I know and that's why we won't lose."
"Losing isn't part of the plan."
Faith only nodded and they walked the rest of the way in silence. Buffy didn't have it in her to make small talk as they walked and even though there was so much she wanted to talk about her mind wasn't in it. She was solely focused on the upcoming battle.
Giles was ready for them when they got to his place, organizing what weapons he had. Buffy looked at them and wondered how much they needed. The demons they were working with likely wouldn't need the weapons they did. She had a feeling they could do a lot of damage with simply their bare hands.
"Buffy, Faith, I was expecting you sooner," Giles said as Faith shut the front door and Buffy placed the weapons bag on the floor.
"Gotta keep up appearances with my mom, Giles," Buffy responded. "I don't want her thinking we're doing anything other than a normal patrol. I don't want her worrying."
"What did she say about the extra weapons?"
"That you wanted to inspect them, make sure that they were in good condition."
Giles nodded but Faith spoke up before he could say anything else. "Let's get the weapons we need and go. We should meet up with Galen as soon as we can."
Buffy looked at Faith and noticed she had her game face on. She wondered if she was nervous about the upcoming battle and if she blamed herself for Willow, Oz and Xander being kidnapped. The thought that if they hadn't hooked up no one would've been taken had never crossed her mind until Faith brought it. She really hoped that she had been able to convince Faith that wasn't the case. Her thought was that she wanted their first night together to only be a happy memory.
"Yes," Giles agreed. "I don't think we need to arm Galen or his brothers. It was my impression that anyone one he would be gathering would be bringing their own."
"Might as well pack anything we might think we need just in case," Buffy said. "Load of the weapons bags and make our way to the diner."
"Don't worry about time." Giles grabbed his keys off the coffee table. "We'll be driving to the diner at least. I can't exactly fit any of the demons in there but the three of us and the weapons will fit comfortably."
Faith smiled but Buffy noticed the smile didn't reach her eyes. It made her think Faith was as nervous as she was. The thought that this was a must win kept repeating in her head and it wouldn't go away.
"Let's load the car then."
Devon said that the meet up time was midnight and he thought that Buffy would be handing Faith over in return for her friends being released. The whole plan was to take most of the vampires working with Devon out well before the midnight meet. In fact, they planned to have dusted the leader before then, too.
Giles hadn't been able to find out what spell Devon had planned to use on such short notice, instead finding five different versions, so if the time was significant they wanted to make sure he couldn't get any slayer blood. The amount he needed wasn't really specified either so both Buffy and Faith wanted to keep their fighting injuries to a minimum.
When they arrived at the diner it was dark enough for the demons to easily assemble outside Galen's front door without getting any unwanted attention. Along with Galen and his brothers there were three other demons. Two of them were the same kind, yellow, scaly and about six feet tall. They were skinny and had bows with them. Buffy figured they would be most helpful shooting from a distance.
The other demon was more of an orange color and more built than the other two but Buffy also thought he looked a little less intelligent than the other two. His eyes were black and his face lacked any expression. He carried a large ax with him and it looked like he wanted to use it on the slayers as much as the vampires they were about to take down.
"Okay," Buffy started, "here's what we know. Devon is at a warehouse. The windows were all boarded up or blacked out until today when Faith and I shot most of them out."
"We can position ourselves at the neighboring rooftops and shoot from the outside if that's the case," one of the yellow demons said.
"How well can you shoot that thing?" Faith asked.
"Our training begins at birth," the other one said.
Buffy looked at Faith, who only shrugged, before continuing. "Okay, we'll go with that then. The only door they use is a side door. The front doors are boarded and padlocked but they didn't look very sturdy when we looked at them earlier."
"My brothers have told me the door is not blocked from the inside. We'll be able to break it open," Galen said. "We can go in from the front and assist you through the side entrance."
Faith nodded. "We need a couple of you with Giles. He's in charge of finding and freeing our friends."
"I will go with Mr. Giles and protect him," Galen said. "Bren will go with me."
The demon to the right of Galen nodded and Buffy had to remind herself not to stare. The sight of all of them together was still almost comical and Galen wasn't lying when he said he was the leader. It looked like none of them would be talking at the meeting without him agreeing to it first which was fine by her. It meant they could agree on everything faster.
"Okay, we'll need to stake every vamp outside of the warehouse then Faith and I will enter through the side entrance with two of you. The rest will storm the front. Giles, Galen and Bren will go through last and look for the gang."
"Sounds like a plan, B," Faith said quickly, a serious expression on her face. "Let's stake some vamps."
There were around a dozen vampires surrounding the warehouse as they approached it but all of them either ran or put up almost zero fight for the group. The fact that some of them ran didn't surprise Buffy at all. Vamps weren't exactly known for their courage and many of them tried to run when she was on patrol, too.
Two of Galen's brothers joined Buffy and Faith as they walked around to the alley and the side door. It was open and unguarded but most of the guards had already run so Buffy didn't think that seemed out of place. There also seemed to be a lot of activity inside.
Buffy looked at Faith before they walked through the doorway and met her eyes. Neither of them said anything, not wanting the two demons with them to overhear their moment, but Buffy hoped the look she was giving her said everything. She wanted Faith to know that she didn't want anything to happen to her and didn't want her to do anything stupid, mostly attempt to sacrifice herself. Buffy wanted time with Faith, time to figure out what their budding relationship meant.
Faith winked and nodded before walking into the warehouse, Buffy following close behind and the two demons entering after her. Their eyes went wide as they saw more vamps than they could possibly count gathered in the warehouse. She looked around and noticed all of them were talking amongst themselves, obviously not ready for them.
"B, over there," Faith whispered as she nudged her.
Buffy looked and saw there were a couple rooms in the back corner of the warehouse and three vamps stood guard. It looked to be the best place where Willow, Oz and Xander would be held. She also noticed only vamps were in the warehouse now, too. That definitely helped them.
Looking back at the two demons, Buffy said, "Ready to back us up?"
Both of them nodded and one of them leaned down toward them. "You should get their attention. Our brothers will be breaking through the door soon and your timing will be off."
"Got it," Buffy said, smirking as she looked to Faith. "You wanna take this or should I?"
Faith waved her arm in front of her. "Go ahead, B. You do it so well."
She grinned before turning her attention to the crowd of vamps, really hoping most of them were terrible fighters. "Hey!" She waited a moment for all conversation to stop and most of the vamps looked at her. "Are you waiting for us? Sorry, we're a little early."
No one moved for a few seconds but Buffy's voice carried very well in the warehouse because Devon walked out of the back rooms.
"A little ahead of schedule, I see," he said. His demeanor looked calm but Buffy could tell he was far from happy with their early arrival nor with who they were with. "I also see you've hijacked my security team."
"They realized which side is the right side," Buffy responded, "and we won't treat them like you would."
"No matter, the end result will be the same." He looked around. "Take them. I need only one slayer alive. Do whatever you want with the other."
Buffy and Faith prepared themselves for the rush of vampires as they began to run toward them, stakes in hand and a couple extra weapons hidden in their jackets. Buffy felt the two demons move to their sides in an effort to protect them and looking at the vampires in front of them she was glad they were there.
As if on cue, there was a large crash in the front of the warehouse. The front doors all but exploded as three of Galen's brothers stormed through them followed by the rest of the clan, Galen, the orange demon and Giles. Arrows began to reign in through the broken windows, dusting a few vampires instantly.
Buffy looked at Devon and noticed that not only was he furious that they'd managed to get some muscle on their side he also looked a little worried. That gave her hope that even though there were more vampires than she ever wanted to face they might have the upper hand. The element of surprise looked to have worked.
"Get them and kill those disgusting traitors!"
The vampires rushed at the demons and slayers, trying their best to take out the beings that were about triple their size. Buffy and Faith separated, each moving in opposite directions as they fought and staked vamps. Buffy could feel one of Galen's brothers near her the entire time and she wondered if it was his job to protect her. It made it seem like Galen had a soft spot for Faith and therefore Buffy, too.
What surprised her right away was that some of the vampires on Devon's team had obviously been training to fight them. They had better skills than the average vampire and seemed to want to coordinate attacks with some of the others. Buffy felt like she needed more hands and stakes so she could dust more than one at a time. The only thing helping was that they were focusing more of the organized fighting to the demons. Galen has been right: they were proving very hard to kill.
After getting a hard kick to the ribs and a punch to the jaw because she was trying to locate Faith in the madness, Buffy decided it would be best to work on autopilot and concentrated on staking anything in front of her. She knew Faith could take care of herself and would be concentrating on the fight, something she needed to do. Once they staked most of the vamps she knew the rest would probably try to run and save themselves. Brave vampires were the exception and not the rule in her experience.
An arrow hit a vamp to the right of her and one of the demons practically ripped the head off another to her left, giving her a path toward her watcher. Giles was fighting off a vampire with an ax, using the moves he'd taught Buffy to not only defend himself but behead the vamp in front of him.
"Buffy," he said as he let out a breath, "do you know where they are?"
She punched a vamp hard as he ran toward her, making him stagger backwards. The demon backing her up immediately picked up him and threw him, giving her a little space to talk to Giles. "There are some rooms in the back. That has to be where they are. It's where Devon walked out of, too."
"Do you see him in the crowd?"
Buffy looked as she continued to fight the vamps that continued to move toward her. The demons kept it so she didn't have to take them all on at once but some still got to her. "No, I don't think so. He might be back there with them."
"She was making her way toward the rooms."
"Then we need to move that way."
"You hear that guys?" Buffy yelled at the demons around her, hoping she could be heard over all the fighting. "Let's move to the back!"
"Stay with us, Buffy," Galen said as he appeared on the other side of Giles. He had a wound in his side, a dark liquid oozing out of it. "We will make sure none of them get away. Where is Faith?"
"Already back there will one of your brothers."
He nodded and they moved forward, continuing to fight all the vamps in the warehouse. Arrows continued to fly into the warehouse and Buffy knew the pair were much better shots than she would ever be. She would've easily taken someone out with friendly fire by now but all the shots were right on target. Between them and the demons, they were creating a path for her and Giles to get to the back unharmed.
When they reached the back rooms, what looked to be offices when the warehouse was actually used for its intended purpose, they were met with Faith fighting two vamps and her bodyguard demon on the ground. It looked like he came up against vampires with knives, suffering from multiple stab wounds. Faith looked like she'd been roughed up a bit but there weren't any obvious wounds on her body.
"B, about time you showed up," Faith almost grunted out as she managed to stake one of the pair she was fighting.
Buffy pulled the other vamp away from Faith and staked him quickly as she had caught him off guard. The pair quickly looked each other over, looking for any injuries, before running over to a closed door and kicking it in.
"Shit," Faith muttered as they ran in.
Devon and five of his inner circle, all dressed in suits, stood there as though they were waiting for them. Willow, Oz and Xander were being held by three of them, each one struggling to get away. All three of them looked like they weren't captured without a fight either. Their clothes were dirty and Buffy could see some dried blood.
"Okay, slayers," Devon said. "Time to deal."
"Our people are in the process of staking all your followers," Faith said. "You're not in much position to deal."
"I disagree," Devon responded and looked right at Buffy. "I still have your friends and you can still trade me a slayer. Followers are easy to come by."
Buffy looked at Faith and she knew the other slayer would hand herself over without a second thought. Now it looked like they were going to have to at least fake them out a little as they could hear the demons finishing off the rest of the vampires.
"I'll go," Faith said slowly, "but you need to let them go. Now."
Devon smirked. "See? We can all be reasonable here."
One of the suited vamps began to reach out to grab Faith but before he could another one cried out as Xander slammed his head backward, breaking the vamp's nose. He let go and Xander moved out of the way as Giles reached for the crossbow strapped to his back and dusted him.
Faith used the distraction to pull the vamp trying to reach her to instead pull him closer and staking him easily. Buffy took the fact there was now two less vampires on Devon's side there would be no more dealing. She saw Giles toss a stake to Xander and they moved after the pair of vamps who had death grips on Willow and Oz, using them like personal shields.
Buffy watched as the other vamp by Devon turned and ran, attempting to escape but not getting very far. He was stopped by Galen and one of his brothers, both looking as upset as she thought they probably could. They grabbed him and pulled him out of the room as he cried out.
The pair finally came face to face with Devon without any of his followers throwing themselves in front of him and Buffy almost laughed. He looked so small and unable to defend himself. It made her wonder how he had gotten anyone to follow him.
"You really thought you could beat us?" Faith said as they cornered him. "We're the Chosen Two. We stopped the fucking Mayor."
"And you are nothing like the Mayor," Buffy added.
Devon looked at the two of them defiantly, almost as if he was trying to size them up. Finally, he focused on Buffy. "I've been around Sunnydale for awhile, waiting for the right moment. I've seen what's happened. She will betray you one day. She'll kill again."
Buffy could feel Faith tense up, not needing to even look her way to tell. "You don't know anything and you know how I know that? You thought you'd win."
"You still have doubts. You both do. I can . . ."
An arrow shot him in the chest and he was dust, making him unable to finish his thought. Buffy turned around and saw Giles holding his crossbow, a determined look on his face. She smiled and nodded to him, silently thanking him for cutting Devon off. Faith didn't need to hear any of that.
"I think we've heard enough." Giles nodded his head toward the door. "We need to go. Xander might have some broken ribs."
Buffy took Faith's hand and smiled warmly at her, hoping she could see how much Buffy didn't believe anything Devon said. She looked into her eyes and saw the doubt there, something she knew she would need to get rid of later.
Now they needed to make sure everyone was okay and maybe, just maybe, do a little celebrating.
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