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In Pieces

By Ariel Dawn

Summary: Explaining the plan to Faith

Disclaimer: Joss owns Buffy and Spike, they are pawns in his plans for plans for world domination. (That was a little over the top wasn’t it?)

Author’s note: Fantastic huggles to Bloodytearsoflife who is a GREAT beta and a wonderful friend.

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Chapter 5: Hatchet-y Murder-y girl

When her alarm sounded the next morning, Buffy cracked open an eye and sighed. Today she would start acting like Faith. Today she was going to freak out all her friends. Today she was going to embarrass herself.

Hey, maybe I can act like Faith and stay in my room, avoiding everyone I know, she pondered.

Willow was still asleep in her bed, but beginning the first movements the indicated that she wouldn’t be sleep for long. Buffy grabbed her toiletry bag and headed out to the communal bathrooms. She started brushing her teeth only to be distracted by one of the girls on her floor looking at her strangely.

Where as once upon a time Buffy would have ignored the girl, Buffy decided to test out her ability to act like Faith.

“What are you looking at?” Buffy barked at the girl, causing her to drop the bottle of moisturizer she held in her hands.

“Nothing,” muttered the girl, turning to face her reflection, fear colouring her features.

Yep, Buffy thought to herself, I could have been an actress.

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Clad in black jeans, a tank, and a jean jacket, the Faithiest clothes she had in her closet, Buffy waited patiently for Willow to return from the bathroom. Until she realised that Faith wasn’t patient. It was hard to anticipate just what she should be doing. Buffy decided to fidget with one of her stakes. That seemed Faith like enough. She had by her foot a bag containing a collection of Faith-like clothes that she might need for the next few days. She was all ready to go.

Willow entered the room, put down her toiletries case and forced a smile.

“You ready?”

Buffy’s green eyes looked up at her friend, worry etched on her face. “Ready as I’ll ever be,” Buffy answered, putting the stake down. She stood up. “Let’s go already. I bet Faith is having a fun time. She’s probably awake by now.”

Willow’s eyes went wide. “Oh, goddess.”

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Giles opened the door to his home, the lack of sleep evident in his actions.

“She woke up at five am,” he said as way of greeting. “She likes to pass the time by yelling.”

“Hello, Giles,” greeted Buffy, a smile on her face. “How are you this fine day? Very well, thank you Giles,” Buffy continued on to herself.

The surprised looks from Giles and Willow made her cringe. “See what I did there?” Buffy asked. “Faith crazy.”

“I am not crazy!” Faith screamed from upstairs. “Let me out!”

“I thought Faith was the murdery kind of crazy,” observed Willow, ignoring the yelling from upstairs.

“Giles, if you don’t let me out I’m gonna start telling the girlies down there about your stash of porn!”

“Can we please get this spell done, so that Willow can take Faith out of here, and I can get some sleep?” moaned Giles, pinching the bridge of his nose.

“I guess I should tell hatchet-y murder-y girl what’s going on,” sighed Buffy. “Anyone care to come with?”

“I’ve got things to do down here,” responded Willow, gathering up candles and heading to the kitchen.

Buffy looked in vain at Giles, who was shaking his head. “Not even for a lorry full of Jaffa cakes.“

“Well, you’re no help,” the slayer muttered, turning to head up the stairs. “Just for that, I may let her show me your pile of porn. And what the hell is a Jaffa cake?”

Upstairs, Buffy paused at the doorway, finding not only no Faith, but that the room looked like it had been uninhabited for days.

“Well, look who it is,” came Faith’s voice. “Come to finish the job you started with my gut?”

Buffy peered into the room a second time. Still there was nothing or no one there.

“Faith?” asked Buffy quietly, hoping that she wasn’t going psycho.

“Are you blind?” came Faith’s voice again.

“Giles!” Buffy screamed.

On cue, Giles came thundering up the stairs, obviously panicked.

“Careful, B, you almost gave grandpa a heart attack,” noted Faith’s disembodied voice.

“Giles!” Buffy hissed, waving her hand at the direction of the doorway.

“Oh,” Giles panted, “right. Of course that needs to be taken care of before the spell.”

“Spell? What spell?” Faith asked worried. “What are you going to do to me?”

“Can we do something about it before? I can’t talk to her like this,” Buffy stated, completely ignoring Faith’s voice.

“Of course,” Giles complied nodding and turning to head down the stairs again.

“You aren’t staying?” Buffy asked, more than slightly disappointed.

“I don’t fancy being up here when she shows you the… er… yes I’ll be right down stairs if you need me,” he finished before making a quick dash down the stairs.

Buffy rolled her eyes and sat down in front of the doorway, willing to be patient for the glamour to be removed from the room. Within a few minutes, Faith glimmered into view.

Buffy gave a smile to her sister slayer. Faith wasn’t so kind. Behind her, the room had been torn up, sheets and papers everywhere. Faith apparently hadn’t been too happy when she woke up.

“How’s it going?” Buffy started off, looking at the irate Faith on Giles’ bed.

“How do you think it’s going?” Faith responded. “I’m stuck in this room, ignored, itchin’ to get out and kick some ass, yours actually, and I think I’m kinda drugged or something.” Faith lifted up her right hand and showed Buffy her bloody knuckles. “I did this right after I woke up, didn’t even put a dent in Giles’ wall. It should have at least scabbed over by now.”

“You are drugged,” Buffy admitted.

“Mind telling me why?” asked Faith.

Buffy pointed to the nose on her face, earning her a quizzical look from the trapped slayer.

“Have you looked in a mirror since you woke up?” Buffy asked. “You might want to check the nose you currently have.”

Faith looked around the room for a mirror, finding the one she had broken earlier in the morning. She stepped off the bed and stood in front of it for a moment.

“Holy shit!” Faith shouted, stepping back from the cracked mirror.

“Ya, I’d really like that back,” continued Buffy.

“The do dad, when you tried to change back, it didn’t work? Willow’s work not up to snuff?” Faith chuckled.

“Hey!” protested Buffy. “If you hadn’t been so set on kicking my ass, the katra thingy wouldn’t have gotten broken.”

“So you got my nose, and I got yours?” asked Faith looking Buffy up and down. “And the hair,” she continued fingering her own newly blond curls. “Obviously the hair.”

“I also have your tattoo,” Buffy mentioned. “And you’ve got my vampire bite scars.”

Faith’s hand flew to the scars on her neck, fingering them gently.

“I suppose you want those back too,” commented Faith.

“Actually, you can keep those,” Buffy said, laughing. “The nose is the big thing. Giles and Willow have been looking into a way to get us back to normal…”

“And why are you telling me this? You could have just kept me all drugged up, make me go reliving my coma, the coma you put me in, and changed it all back. Why talk to me?”

“We need your help,” stated Buffy bluntly. “The spell can’t work until we, both of us, want it to work.”

“Ya? What if I don’t want it to work?” Faith countered.

“Then we’ll be stuck like this forever, and I’ll have to resort to plastic surgery.”

“Boo, fucking, hoo,” countered Faith. “You’ll still be all out there living your miserable excuse for a life, I’ll probably get stuck in jail. Or maybe you’ll feel all goody two shoes and send me to England to be rehabilitated by the Council.”

“Miserable life? You mean the life you tried to take from me?” exclaimed Buffy, her anger getting the better of her.

“It might be miserable but it’s friggin’ better than what I’ve got. I just spent the last eight months in a coma Buffy. I’ve got no friends, the law on my tail, why would I want to go back to the way I was?”

“’Cause it would be really unselfish of you, and maybe I wouldn’t hate you anymore.”

“Like I care about that.”

Buffy looked back through the doorway at Faith, her eyebrow raised, not believing the words that were coming out of her mouth.

“I…I could convince Giles to give you some sort of amnesty, if you help. I wouldn’t be on your case…”

“I’d still have the cops on my ass, and the Council…”

“Yes, but two is better than three.”

“And I won’t get picked up by the cops while I’m out helping?” asked Faith sceptically.

“Nope,” responded Buffy with half a smile. “Willow and Giles are all over the cloaking spell.”

Fait sat down on Giles’ bed and cracked her knuckles. “Fine, whatever. I’ve got your word though right? It’s a deal, you’ll leave me the fuck alone?”

Buffy nodded.

“What do I have to do?” Faith asked.

“The same thing you were prepared to do when you stole my body: act like me.”

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The scent of incense invaded Buffy’s nostrils as Willow performed yet another spell. This time to bind Faith to the red head. They weren’t taking any chances.

As the smoke cleared, Buffy looked up hopefully at Giles, as if he would tell her that she could start.

“How long am I bound to witch girl…uh…Willow here?” asked Faith standing up from the floor.

“Until Willow breaks the binding,” responded Giles.

“Oh, and if I die, you will be bound to my corpse for all eternity!” added Willow, proud that she’d included that particular clause in the spell.

“Guess you can’t off the witch then,” noted Buffy in her best Faith impression. “Can I get started? I’d like to have my whole body back before finals.”

Giles nodded. “Just remember, I want you both back every night to check in, see what progress has been made.”

“Just call me check in girl,” interjected Faith, clearly working on the Buffyness.

“That’s really good, Faith,” Willow complemented.

“Ugh, I’m out!” Buffy groaned. The feeling that this was a very, very bad idea was just getting worse. “Catch you later!” Buffy pulled the front door of Giles’ home open and headed out into the street.

Problem was, what would Faith be doing in the middle of the day? And where does she do it? The dorms were off limits; Faith was going to be acting all Buffy there. Home was off limits, ‘cause her mom would freak if she saw her. Buffy pulled out her wallet to inspect her stash of cash. Faith needed a dingy motel to hang in.

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Buffy rolled over as the slam of a car door outside woke her up. She’d been very Faithy all day long. Vegged in front of the TV, ate cheetos, and had a nice long nap. Buffy had decided that was going to train for a couple of hours, eat greasy take out, and then start patrolling.

The prospect of patrolling brought up the hope that she would see Spike. She had to push that hope back down though. She couldn’t act like she usually would if she saw him. And he had told her what had happened the last time he’d bumped into Faith.

Her heart started to pound a bit harder as she remember what he had told her.

She was terrified of what was happening between her and Spike, but what was more, she was afraid of ruining it while she had to act like Faith. Sure, she’d given him ample warning, but would it matter? Spike was so… he seemed to have such a gooey soft core, covered by a hard candy shell…He was a tootsie pop. She didn’t want to let all the toostie goodness get all hard and yucky. He wouldn’t be a toostie pop anymore.

Candy analogy firmly in place, Buffy started her breathing exercises as she began her training routine.

God, my analogies suck.

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Tbc…

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