We Can Be Heroes
by Briar

Buffy wasn't looking to die again. She gathered her people, and told them that in all likelyhood they would all die. She took Dawn by the hand and asked her to go with Giles, back to England, far away from Sunnydale. Every body chose to stay.

Willow thought up a spell to make the First Evil corporeal, and when this gambit succeeded the First Evil turned into a five-headed dragon which ate two potentials and trampled a few others before it was killed.

It probably wasn't used to having a body of its own.

By then, the Hellmouth had ruptured wide, and when the amulet Spike bore began to glow, Buffy knew it was time to get her people out of there. The trouble was that most everyone was dead by then. All the potentials were lying in bloody pieces around the cavern. The earth began to shake.

"Buffy," Faith cried. Hearing her name called by the familiar voice, she ran to follow it at the urging of Spike's final nod.

There was no more time for speeches.

In the hallway, she (and Faith) passed through the rest of the contingent: Anya, Andrew, and Xander over by the trophy cases; Dawn and Willow near a skylight; Giles and Robin in another corner with the biggest slough of dead Bringers surrounding them.

Obviously, Willow's attempt at giving the Potentials their share of undiluted Slayer power hadn't worked. Turning the First Evil into a five-headed corporeal hellbeast must have taken too much out of her.

"I think the Hellmouth's caving in," Faith said, when another massive shakeup began to crack the ceiling and the walls. They ran.


As she cranked the motorcycle to the fastest it could go, Faith could think of nothing but the desire to beat the crumbling pavement beneath her. She wanted to live. She figured she could think of a couple of reasons why, if pressed.

As the roar behind them grew louder, Buffy tightened her arms around Faith's waist.

They did not stop to look at the crater, fearing it would continue to grow larger faster than they could get away.

They stopped by a nameless little inn that had a sign which simply read "ROOMS." The manager, a short, mostly bald man with white tufts of hair above his ears, was sitting in a lawn chair smoking a cigar. He greeted them with a "Howdy."

"I've got credit," Buffy said. "But I've lost my wallet. Can I use your phone?"

"My name's Ed. What's your name?" They entered the inn. It was only a one-story. faith was putting the bike out back.


"Well, Buffy, I reckon you're coming from Sunnydale?"

She nodded. He looked through a corner of his desk and came up with a business card. "Here's the number of the branch you're looking for," Ed said.

"I want to call the California headquarters." He gave her the phone book, and gestured at the phone.

They got a single. Ed offered them the microwave and TV dinners at five bucks a pop, but neither was hungry.

Faith took a shower first. When she came out of the bathroom she realized that she had no fresh change of clothes, so she decided to stay naked. There was no TV in the room. There was a radio, but Faith didn't want to bother getting up. She was suddenly very tired.

Buffy stepped out of the shower, wringing her hair and then towelling dry before coming to the same realization that Faith had come upon fifteen minutes before her. She, too, decided to stay naked because it was the most sensical, comfortable solution.

At first Buffy thought Faith was asleep. She wasn't. She kept her arms open for Buffy to crawl into. Faith didn't cry, because she couldn't (yet), and anyway this way Buffy could cry first, which she did, and Faith was very glad about that, that Buffy could.

Buffy cried for a very long time.

They slept for many hours, and then they put their messed up clothes back on, dirty underwear, bloodstains and everything.

Ed offered them pancakes free of charge, which they ate gratefully with maple syrup and drank down with tap water.

Buffy made a quick phone call to L. A. It was also free.

Faith took the bike from around the back and nodded at the manager. She was glad he didn't turn out to be another demon she'd have to kill.

Buffy pursed her lips into an almost-smile. She got on the bike behind Faith, who kick-started the engine.

"Glad to have you girls drop by." Smiling, Ed waved them off.

"You know, the both of you really ought to get some helmets."


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