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v.3 Simple Twist of Fate...
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F I V E  B Y  F I V E
v.2 Five By Five
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C H A O S  B L E E D S
v.1 Chaos Bleeds
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     Buffy nodded. “Everybody grab their weapons! Will, can I talk to you for a sec?”
      Willow stood up and followed Buffy out of the room. “Have you talked to Kennedy yet?”
      Willow was quiet. “Well, I-I was going to then…then I didn’t. And…and…I don’t think I can do this. I have to and I can’t because she’s so young and she doesn’t deserve what I’m going to say to her, it’s not her fault it’s all mine, and….” Willow took a breath. “What am I gonna do Buffy?”
      “You’re going to tell her the truth. And you’re going do it right now.”
      “Now?” Willow squeaked.
“Yes, now. An angry slayer is a better slayer. Well, an angry could-one-day-be a slayer is a better could-one-day-be a slayer in this case.”
      Willow gulped. “Okay,” she managed to get out. She tromped slowly up the stairs, wasting as much time as possible while she went through in her head what she was going to say.
      Willow stepped into her room, where Kennedy was grabbing supplies for that night’s training.
      “Hey, Kennedy, can I, uh, can I talk to you before you go?”
      Kennedy smiled. “Of course.”
      Oh, Goddess…help! Major, major help! I can’t do this…nope…definitely cannot do this.
      “You might wanna sit down.” Willow looked towards the bed.
      “Will, is everything okay?” Kennedy asked, concerned. She sat on the bed and looked up at Willow, who was pacing back and forth.
      "Kennedy, I have no idea how to say this, and I have it all planned out in my head but I know that when I say it it's not going to make any sense, and I hope that you can understand me and forgive me for what I'm about to say and," Willow took a breath, then continued. "And...you know how much I care about you, a-and I would never do anything to hurt you, but I think I have, even though you don't know about it, but I can't forget what happened and so I'm telling you now."
      Kennedy looked confused. "Willow, what happened? You know you can tell me anything."
      Willow sat down beside Kennedy. "Well, um, you know the new slayer, Sidney? Well, you see, she kinda had, well, actually has, this thing for me and I-I think I kinda feel the same way. She..came onto me...strongly, and the thing is..I didn't stop her. Something took ahold of me and I couldn't stop her. And it's not fair to you to not know about this and I felt I really needed to tell you, and I'm obviously not helping my going on like this."
      Kennedy looked as if she had just been slapped. "What're you saying Willow? That what we have means nothing? That we're through all because of this new little slut of a slayer?" Rage was boiling up inside Kennedy as she couldn't contain it anymore.
      Willow seemed ready to cry. "I...I can't explain it. I don't understand these feelings I have, but I want to try to tell you what I feel. There's some sort of strong connection between us and it's getting harder and harder not to give into those feelings again. I couldn't go on any longer without telling you and you have to understand that I would never want to put you in any harm."
      "Too late," Kennedy said, storming out of the room, tears pooling in the corners of her eyes.
      Willow's bottom lip began to tremble. "I'm sorry," she whispered.

     Kennedy led the other potentials along with Buffy. She couldn’t understand what Willow saw in that new slayer. All she is a not-so-pretty face in skin-tight clothing. I thought Will was better than that. The night wasn’t full of action, but they had staked a vamp or two already, so the group wasn’t being particularly careful at the moment. Kennedy was using the break to vent her anger with Buffy, who also hated the new addition to the Scooby gang.
     “I mean, who does she think she is walking in here like she owns Sunnydale? I’ve been slaying for 7 years now and she’s only here ‘coz I died!”
     “Exactly! She looks all power-happy. Not to mention she dresses like she shops at Sluts ‘R’ Us.”
     “That look is so over. Who would ever fall for that ‘I’m a rebel give me love’ ploy? Honestly!”
     Kennedy was silent. “Willow, obviously.”
     “Aw, Kennedy, I’m sorry. But, I bet you anything that they won’t last longer than tonight. If that! And then, she will come crawling back to you for forgiveness. And you, being such the nice person you are, will take her back.”
     “I don’t know if I want to take her back. She said she felt a connection with Sidney that was stronger than anything she’s felt before. And I thought that we had something special. I never expected this from her…and that’s what hurts so much.”
     Buffy’s heart went out to the young girl. She frowned a little, remembering her own losses with love. “I know what you’re going through. It hurts, but-”
     Spike cut her off. “Sorry to end your little ‘I’ve lost the love of my life so pity me’ rant, but there’s a vamp over there you might want to worry about, pet,” he said, pointing just beyond a small mausoleum.
     “He looks strong,” Buffy said more to herself than the group. “Xander, Wood…hang back with the girls for now, he looks like major trouble. I can’t stand to have any of you hurt. Not now, not like this. Spike, you’re with me.”
     Buffy moved stealthily towards the tomb. Peeking around the corner she charged the unsuspecting vampire, landing a snap-kick to his back, pressing him up against the cold stone of the tomb. Buffy dropped her foot as Spike gripped his neck with supernatural strength. The vamp choked on air he didn’t even need to survive.
     The vampire turned his head to the right, scraping his face on the cement in order to face Buffy. “It knows, Slayer. It knows everything you do, everything you’ve ever done. And that new girl,” he growled with a passionate hunger, “he knows who that new Slayer is. What she hides.”
     “Who knows?” Spike snarled.
     “It. It knows.”
     Buffy punched the vamp in the nose. “Play time’s over. Tell me everything you know, or you’ll get to know Mr. Pointy in a very personal way.”
     The vamp laughed. “And if I tell you…?”
     Buffy was incredulous but didn’t show it. “I’ll let you go.”
     “Let me go first.” Spike did.
     The vamp laughed. “I outsmarted the slayer. Ha! Just wait ‘til the-” He stopped, staring at the crooked wood protruding from his chest.
     “Bitch!,” he said.
     “Oops! Did I forget the ‘I promise’ part? Hmm, I’ve being doing that so much lately,” Buffy mocked, playing the dumb blonde.
     The vamp turned to ashes, scattering away in the wind.

     Back at the Summers’ residence, Giles was lost in his books. Anya was researching the massive volumes of text along with Giles, but every few minutes she would sigh loudly, throw a book down and complain. “There’s nothing here. We’re all gonna die, anyway.”
     “Anya, please. If you’re not willing to help research, then by all means, go help Buffy fight.”
     She frowned and mumbled incoherently, something about a grumpy, old Brit.
     Reluctantly, however, she picked up another dusty tome.
     In the foyer, Sidney and Willow sat on the stairs, preparing for a possible attack. Willow’s hand was resting on Sidney’s upper thigh and Sidney was running her hand slowly down Willow’s back, swirling her fingers lightly as she did so.
     “D-Do you think Kennedy’s ok? I mean, of course, look how strong she is, but after what I did to her, what if she ran away and got herself bitten? It would be all my fault! I’d be a murderer.”
     Sidney put a finger to the red-head’s mouth, silencing her right away. “Willow, Kennedy’s fine. What you did was only something you had to do. If you hadn’t, she would had found out before you could tell her. It could’ve been a lot worse.”
     Willow nodded, still not entirely convinced.
     In an attempt to cheer her up, Sidney kissed the witch, softly at first, almost cautiously, before Willow responded and the kiss flamed with a super-natural passion. Willow pulled back against her will.
     “Giles and Anya are in the next room. We can’t do this…”
     Sidney’s eyes twinkled with deviousness. “Well, not here we can’t,” she purred. The slayer grabbed Willow’s hand to help her up and lead her upstairs.
     “B-but Buffy said to be ready for an attack and then it’ll be our faults and I’m guilty enough already and…”
     “You know, I love it when you babble. Very sexy,” she coaxed.
     Willow smiled shyly, her cheeks turning pink and her eyes blazing with a renewed curisoity.
     Suddenly, the lights flickered and dimmed, allowing as little light through them as possible. An inaudible whisper whipped through the house. The words flew together creating a muddled sentence.
     “Slayer, witch. Secrets and lies. By the end of the night I hope one of you dies.” Giles and Anya had put down their books and had started listening to what was happening in the other part of the house. Willow and Sidney were entranced and holding each other’s hands for moral support. “Untold stories revealed in dreams, a supernatural love ripped at the seams. Chaos erupts and disorder ensues, the deceitful one will pay her dues.”
     Anya broke the anxiety that had filled the room. “In case you haven’t noticed, the whole speaking in rhyme is way overdone. Nobody ever takes that seriously,” she shouted.
     The house went silent. Sidney and Willow collapsed onto the stairs, sleep winning over their bodies. Giles and Anya both fell asleep on the couch, but their heads were filled with nothing but a deep slumber.
     However, on the stairs, Sidney and Willow were thrown into horrifying dream world that was filled with panic and a terrifying truth. And Sidney couldn’t do anything to stop what was being projected into Willow’s mind from her own conscience.

     Scenes swirled in a frenzy around Willow, creating a mess of sounds and colors. There was someone sitting on a porch, her back turned to Willow. She was intently watching a young redhead running around the yard, yelling, “Watch me! Look!!” The older girl’s shining blonde hair, partly shaded by the roof and the rest glinting in the sunlight stirred recognition inside of Willow. She tried to speak out, tried to touch the girl, but the image dissolved and turned into a dark bedroom at night.
     Inside the room, moonbeams threw shadows into the corners of the walls and bathed the same two girls in an eerie, ghostly glow. The red-headed girl appeared to be a few years older now, making the older girl, apparently her sister, much more mature.
     “I’m scared, Tar. What does it mean…that I’m chosen? I don’t want to leave here. I can’t leave you behind.”
     “Shh,” she tried to calm the young girl. “It’s not that far from here. And you wouldn’t want to stay here anyway.”
     “You don’t know that. I want to stay with you…I’m not safe without you.”
     “You can’t. And Boston’s only a few hours drive away. I’ll visit you whenever I can.”
     “B-but, you said you were leaving. You told me you were leaving for college. A college very far away. Sunnydale or something.”
     “We’ll talk about this in the morning.”

     The older girl stood up and left, ignoring the protests of her sister, and Willow got a good glimpse of her face. Tara. Tara, baby… Willow tried to call out but her voice was nothing but a breath of air which twisted into smoke as more scenes zoomed around her. Willow felt like she was being sucked back into a darkness that was soon being cascaded by bright light.
     Tableaux of Tara in Sunnydale and the red-head, who Willow figured was Sidney, with a middle-aged man on a dark street. The Scooby gang protecting Tara from her family, Sidney alone in a dark room, writing furiously, as if afraid someone would find what she was doing. Images of Sidney dusting a vampire and her watcher being taken away and Sidney collapsing on a dusty floor, weeping. Tara reading papers in her dorm-room, writing on a new piece and sealing an envelope. Tara being shot, Sidney standing on the Summers’ doorstep.

     Willow awoke with a gasp, confused and trying to catch her breath. It felt…so real. I couldn’t have imagined that…could I? No…the First…it has something to do with this. Willow looked around her, the house still dark. She could see the faint outline of Sidney’s body, her face scrunched in a look of sheer terror and of sorrow. Giles and Anya’s bodies were black outlines on the couch, their frames calm and relaxed.
     Willow stood up slowly and quietly and wishing the stairs not to creak. The witch made it to the top of the stairs, pausing before turning towards her bedroom. It appeared before Willow causing her to gasp and almost tumble backwards down the stairs.
     “Y-You’re not real,” Willow whispered self-consciously.

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