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In Pieces

By Ariel Dawn

Summary: Begins at the end of Who are you? When the body switch happens, parts of Buffy and Faith’s get stuck in the each other. AU from there.

Author’s note: Christmas prezzie for Bloodytearsoflife, a great beta, talented graphic artist and wonderful friend. *huggles* Some dialogue taken from ‘Who are You?’

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Chapter 1: Broken

The sun glistened in through the stained glass windows of the church creating a beautiful pattern of light on the stone floor. It was a stark contrast to the life and death fight that was happening on the same floor. Two slayers engaged in combat against each other, both trying to prove something.

Buffy knew instinctly she was going to win this fight. She had to; she wanted her body back. Faith had tried stealing her life the first time around, this time she had succeeded in a way she had never thought possible.

“You can't win this,” noted Buffy, the words passing over Faith’s lips with ease.

Buffy looked at her sister slayer with Faith’s brown eyes, oddly compassionate, even after all she’d done, all she was doing.

Tears coursed down Buffy’s cheeks, it was odd watching your own body cry.

“SHUT UP!” Faith raged. “Do you think I'm afraid of you!?”

Faith grabbed her own body’s shoulders and slammed it down hard on the ground. Inside that body, Buffy felt the pain of the impact and was pretty sure she now had more than just a couple of bruised ribs, or rather Faith had.

Her mind then went to the katra, Willow and Tara’s little conjured trinket that would get her into her own body again. It was in her pocket that was getting quite the tussle today. Unfortunately, Buffy’s concern for the object that resided in her pocket had given her opponent just the opportunity to get the upper hand again. Faith, in Buffy’s body was sitting on her own waist. Buffy focused again. This had to end. Buffy slipped the katra over Faith’s hand and grabbed her own, starting the reaction. The two began to glow.

The pain in her ribs lessened and Buffy found herself on top of Faith. Faith’s face was a mess, bloody and bruised. Faith looked up through the blood, shocked.

One more punch couldn’t hurt, thought Buffy, delivering the blow that knocked her sister slayer unconscious.

As she delivered the blow, the door burst open and Giles, Riley, and Willow rushed in, allowing an extra stream of sunlight to sweep over the two girls.

“Oh my god, Buffy!” yelled Riley staggering towards them.

He pushed Buffy off of Faith, trying to shake the unconscious slayer awake.

“Riley!” Buffy screamed at her boyfriend, looking up off the ground. “What the hell are you doing?” She looked down at herself for a moment to confirm that she had indeed been changed back into her own body. Her hands were her own, her muscles and toes seemed familiar. She couldn’t put her finger on it but something felt not quite right. There wasn’t time to contemplate that though, not right now anyway.

Riley turned back and took one look at her, scowled, and turned back to Faith.

“Riley!” she screamed again.

Standing off to the side, Willow looked from the two girls, one blonde, one brunette, for a moment before speaking.

“Buffy? Are you okay?” started Willow kneeling down next to her friend.

Buffy smiled at the red head, happy that someone recognised her.

“I’m fine, really,” Buffy voice sounded out clear into the church, her eyes focused on the body of her soon to be ex-boyfriend if he didn’t suddenly realise that the girl he was shaking was not her.

The girl with blonde hair.

Buffy closed her eyes and shook her head a moment. She opened her eyes once more hoping that what she had seen would just go away. But Faith still had her hair. Buffy reached up and took a lock of hair in her hand, bringing it before her eyes. It was brown.

Buffy looked up at Willow, her eyes big and worried. “Mirror?” she begged her friend.

Willow nodded sympathetically and turned to search through her bag. Buffy bit her lip in panic as Willow rifled through her bag looking for a mirror. She looked at Giles, who was cleaning his glasses.

He’s helpful, Buffy growled to herself.

“Oooh!” exclaimed Willow finally handing Buffy the mirror.

With a shaky hand, Buffy raised the mirror, and looked on what should have been her own face. A lone tear rolled down her face as she beheld the reason behind Riley’s confusion. Staring back at her were her own green eyes, her own cheeks, forehead and lips, but not her nose, or her hair.

There had been a problem. She was sporting Faith’s nose and hair. With a small whimper, Buffy handed back the mirror to her friend.

“What went wrong?” she asked in a small voice, looking over at the girl who now had her nose and hair.

She listened to the sound her voice made in the church, and at once was confident that it was in fact her own voice.

“Did you drop the Katra?” asked Willow sympathetically.

“It might have gotten a little roughed up,” Buffy conceded. “That shouldn’t have mattered right?”

“The Katra is a delicate piece of conjuring, Buffy,” noted Giles, looking directly at his slayer. “We will have to take Faith back to my flat and ascertain what can be done. Though I must say, I am at a loss.”

“Please tell me that’s code for, ‘every thing is going to be fine, Buffy,’ right?” asked Buffy with wide green eyes. “And that’s not Buffy!” she screamed at Riley, giving him a kick to the rear, hard.

“Hey!” came the soldier’s reply.

His attention from the slayer he held in his hands changed to the slayer that kicked him. Confusion passed over his face.

“Riley you are holding the wrong girl,” Willow added with a grim look. “That’s Buffy!” The red head pointed.

“No, this is Buffy,” he corrected. “She had blond hair last night.”

“Last night?” gulped Buffy. “What did you do last night?” she asked, not really wanting to know the answer but couldn’t’ stand not knowing. “What happened last night?”

“Perhaps this is not the best place to discuss this,” offered Giles. “Riley might have delayed the authorities for now, but they will return.”

“We need to get Buffy to the hospital,” added Riley, looking down at the blond.

“I’m Buffy!” the slayer screamed again in frustration.

Riley picked up Faith’s body and turned towards the others. “Who else has vampire bite scars on her neck?”

Buffy’s hand instantly went to her neck; sure enough the scars on her neck from the Master’s bite were gone. The moment passed and she glared at her ex- all that was missing with the unpleasant conversation- boyfriend. Not that he would believe the conversation.

“What are you a vampire now, noticing necks first?”

“A vampire would have been able to tell the difference between the two of you with no difficulty,” added Giles, disdainfully.

Buffy gave her watcher a smile as she stood up from the ground. The silence between the four was interrupted only occasionally by the footfalls as they walked towards the doors.

“You slept with her, didn’t you?” asked Buffy aloud.

She had to say it out loud to make it real. It didn’t change anything. She and Riley were over. This fact just made her more mad at him.

“Of course I slept with her,” the soldier admitted. “She’s my girlfriend.”

“Well you certainly aren’t my boyfriend,” she muttered as she followed Riley and Giles out the door and into the sunlight.

Willow put her hand on Buffy’s arm tenderly. “He’s confused. I’m sure when he figures it out he’ll be very sorry about it.”

“Spike would have figured it out sooner,” muttered the slayer.

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The front door to Rupert’s apartment was flung open and the group entered, Buffy looking decidedly annoyed. All eyes lighted upon the lone figure inhabiting Giles’ apartment. Sitting on the couch, his legs spread wide, Spike sat, watching the tiny TV that graced Giles’ apartment.

“What the bloody hell are you doing here?” asked the watcher sounding very imposed on.

“As it happens, Rupes, I’ve got news about your Slayer. She’s possessed or under a spell, or some such thing. Thought I’d pass on the info,” Spike informed, still watching the TV. “You’re out of the good stuff, by the way.” Spike raised an empty bottle up to eye level and shook it, demonstrating just how empty it was.

“See! Spike knew!” exclaimed Buffy.

“Oh, there you are slayer.” Spike looked over at the now brunette Slayer, giving her a once over, and catching the stare of Riley before continuing. “Guess all’s back to normal then. I’ll be off.”

Buffy followed Spike’s stare, instantly knowing why he wanted to leave A.S.A.P. She didn’t want him to leave. She couldn’t fathom why. She just didn’t want him to leave.

“Riley, could you put Faith up in my room,” ordered Giles. “I will fetch the sedative. It is best if we keep the rogue slayer unconscious.”

“Mr. Giles, this is Buffy, and I think we need to get her to the hospital,” Riley said, trying to keep his calm.

There was a snort from the direction of the vampire. “You’re a right pillock,” he commented, drawing the attention of the whole room.

“See!” retorted Buffy again. “Spike can tell.” With a thump, she sat down beside the vampire.

Spike looked over at the slayer a little confused, but he decided to stick it out. He wanted to see the soldier boy get booted, and if Captain Cardboard continued he was gonna get just that. He put down the empty bottle and rested his arms along the length of the couch, his right arm just above the slayer.

“Look!” Riley shouted at Buffy. “I don’t know who you are, but this is Buffy Summers. My girlfriend. She needs to go to the hospital. I don’t know who you are, but if you stand in my way, you’ll regret it.”

Buffy clenched her fists at her side, her body tensing. She wanted nothing more than to clock Riley. Giles, Willow, and Spike waited for her reaction. With a deep breath, Buffy calmed herself down.

“What colour are Buffy’s eyes?” she asked calmly.

“Grey,” noted Riley the same time that Spike said, “Hazel.”

Buffy gave the vampire beside her a smile before she spoke again. “So look, check out what colour her eyes are.”

Riley stared back at her.

I have green eyes, you bastard, she thought.

“Do it, prove me wrong,” she dared him.

Riley and Buffy stared at each other, Riley confused, Buffy defiant.

“Oh I’ll do it,” Willow said, breaking the silence. The red head walked up closer to Faith and gently pried open her eyelid, revealing a very brown eye.

Riley nearly dropped Faith. He did let go of her legs, though, causing a groan from the unconscious slayer.

“Take her upstairs and sedate her!” Buffy ordered refusing to meet Riley’s apologetic eyes.

Buffy leaned back against the couch, and crossed her arms. She would wait for Riley to get back downstairs before giving him the heave ho. Willow followed them up the stairs, Giles trailing behind.

The living room was suddenly quiet as the arguing ceased, leaving Buffy and Spike alone, on the couch. Buffy’s mind was thinking rather generous thoughts about the vampire she sat next to. She had this urge to cuddle up against the blond vamp and cry out her frustrations; she couldn’t explain why. It felt like it was the thing to do, the right thing to do. She wanted him to touch her.

Slowly she disengaged one of her arms and dropped it to her side, her hand brushing against Spike’s thigh.

“You knew which one was one which right?” she asked hopefully.

“Now, yeah. Last night it took me a minute or two to know you weren’t in charge in there. She played you good. But, yeah, I knew something was off right away,” he explained.

With a smile she took his hand gently. The feeling of his tepid flesh on hers was heavenly. He leaned in, looking into her hazel eyes.

“There’s a spark behind your eyes that she didn’t have last night. You’ve got it now. Dead give away.”

“See, I knew you were my favourite vampire for a reason,” she said happily, not caring about what the consequences of such an admission would be.

All the vampire could do was look at her with curiosity, because at that moment, Riley, Willow, and Giles descended the stairs.

“Buffy, I’m sorry,” the solider started, looking pathetic. “Whoever that girl is, she needs to get to a hospital.”

“You mean you don’t know who you slept with last night after all?” asked Buffy.

“I slept with you, Buffy,” he countered.

“No, you didn’t,” she said sadly, knowing that he was actually paying attention now. “You slept with Faith, in my body. And the thing is, a whole bunch of people figured it out. Hell, Spike figured it out. You didn’t. You slept with her.”

“You’re comparing me with the vampire again. I don’t even know why you let him hang around with you and your friends. I’m sorry, I thought it was you.”

“I think you should leave,” came her reply.

“Buffy,” he pleaded.

“Leave before I do something we both regret,” she answered, staring him down from her position on the couch. She tightened her grip on Spike’s hand.

“Buffy, please!”

Buffy closed her eyes and refused to look at Riley anymore. “Spike, could you please tell my ex-boyfriend that I don’t want to speak to him ever again and that if he knew what was good for him, he’d leave.”

She could just imagine the vampire’s face. She didn’t want to imagine Riley’s face at all. With a turn, Buffy hid her face in Spike’s shirt and waited for Riley to leave.

Buffy thought she was doing a really good job at managing her temper.

“I think you should go Riley,” came the voice of Willow, the voice of reason.

As the door closed behind her former boyfriend, Buffy let a smile cross her face. It was brief, for the circumstance she was in once again passed through her consciousness.

“So, I want my nose back,” she stated bluntly, looking at Giles.

“Really?” asked Willow.

“It’s funny shaped, but it’s mine,” Buffy explained. “I could deal with brown hair for the rest of my life, but I don’t want Faith’s nose.”

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tbc…

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