43 epilogue

The incessant pounding on her head is what wakes her. She glowers at the ground- full leafy, lush green and extremely wet. That pounding is only drops of water from the leaf over her head. She moves carefully, slowly, taking inventory of her body before she tries to sit up or move too quickly. Her hand feels stiff, fingers curled around something smooth and … 'Mine.'

She frowns. There's only one other time she'd ever felt anything like it.

She sits, carefully. Her fingers curl around the handle and she pulls it from under the vines and leaves. She gasps.

"… black…" she runs her fingers over the black handle and up the sharp edge of the onyx blade- every detail exactly like the scythe she knows is red.

'What does this mean?'

The crunch of leaves snaps her eyes away from the scythe and she in a crouch, ready to defend herself.

"Faith." Willow breathes a sigh of relief, tears trailing down her cheeks. "I'm glad I found you."

"Where are we?" Faith stands up, water dripping from her head and clothes in the light drizzle of rain. Its darkened Willows cherry blond curls a deeper shade buts it not nearly as red as Faith remembers.

"Indonesia." Willow answers. "It was the closest I could manage…"

Faith holds up the Scythe. Willows eyes go wide but she doesn't move to take it when Faith holds it out.

"What does it mean?"

"I don't know." Willow whispers.

O0O0O0O0O

She coughs and splutters, shaking her head and rolls onto her side, out of the puddle. She blinks the water out of her eyes and tries to focus but it's all green. Sunlight peeks through the canopy of branches above her and the soft squishy 'bed' is loaded with bugs, she just knows it is.

"Gross." Her voice is hoarse and she coughs, sitting up. She grips the Scythe in her hand and by now its pure reflex. When she gets to her feet they sink at least an inch in mud, the heels poking holes in the soft mush.

"You should've worn flats."

She looks up, green eyes focusing on the slim figure in a flowy skirt and bandeau top. "You're going blond?"

Willow shrugs a pale shoulder peppered with freckles. "It's getting darker slowly." Her eyes drop to the Scythe and she points. "What happened to it?"

"Is it broken?" Buffy frowns and notices the Scythe has darkened, the blood red color bleeding into the blade and the stake.

Willow runs a tentative finger over the handle quickly pulling her hand away as if it burned. "It's them."

"Who?" Buffy doesn't understand.

"It's their blood." Willow says in a soft voice.

O0O0O0O0O

She's alone, gently rocked back and forth. She thought she heard him, but that was only the sound of the waterfall feeding the pool she was in. The rough stump of wood caught on something and sent her into a lazy spin.

'They're all dead.'

She can't feel the tears on her face from the water spraying onto her. She's weighed down by it and what she's helped to do.

"Get up."

She ignores the whisper like she's ignore the soft voices-

"Vala?"

She recognizes that voice. The splash of water draws her attention and Willow is hip deep in the pool, her pale hands grabbing the floating stump.

She gasps. "Vala, the Scythe."

Vala's hand spasms, her fingers closing around the handle and the voices she's been ignoring get louder. She sits up, the Scythe held between her and Willow.

"Its… why did it change? Why is it silver?" Vala frowns, her eyes looking to Willow for the answer.

Willow shakes her head, red hair bounding on her shoulders, the humidity making it curl gently.

O0O0O0O0O

Willow chose to save us.

I think she picked Buffy over Kennedy…

They're all dead, the Actives… sucked into the HellMouth, trapped there and I wonder whats going to happen when the HellMouth is opened again.

Are they still alive?

Will they be the same girls we left to die?

I don't know if what we did was worth the sacrifice those girl made. They never had a choice… because we never told them everything.

We aren't any different than the Powers That Be are we?

.

She found us, each one on a different island in Indonesia. That's where she was able to bring us back and she paid… It took her a while to put herself together.

We hiked to the same point, the tallest mountain on the island- our respective islands, I should say.

Willow never let go of us, we were the ones pulling her apart. A different piece of her for each one, each Slayer.

That was weird.

But not as strange as seeing the Scythes.

Faith's is black.

Buffy's is a deep red.

Mine is silver.

… I can hear them.

We don't know why but Willow thinks it's the same as what happened to her. We held onto each other and the Scythe and Willow too. We were pulled apart by the magic and it split the Scythe in three- one for each of us.

But unlike Willow, who managed to unite her three selves … the Scythes won't become one anymore.

We tried.

We stood atop that mountain and put the Scythes together…

She spoke to us. The maker.

She quoted the full prophecy and left us … but she told us about The Seed of Magic.

O0O0O0O0O

AN: And this is where the comic book can take over for season8 of Buffy.

I am done.