Chapter 18: Haves and Havenots

A/N: I know you've all given up on this story, but I haven't…entirely.

Warning: I don't know; maybe language and innuendo somewhere along the way.

Challenges: #1599 'Queen of Slayers' by Claddagh; #4372 ''Death is your gift' Challenge' by ChaosCarlos; and inspired by #2324 'New Occupation' by raynee.

Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. Highlander characters belong to Davis-Panzer Productions. M*A*S*H characters belong to H. Richard Hornberger, Larry Gelbart and 20th Century Fox Television. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.

Ursagga Headquarters

By the time Phoenix, Tara and Cassandra had come back with their meeting with the former spies, the need for a decision to strip the powers increased dramatically. Faith had to sneak away from the others to call Buffy (Phoenix) about Kennedy's latest act of stupidity. She had actually bullied Dawn in order to use one of the Council's cars for a frivolous errand, despite the rule that the cars only be used for actually slayage-related stuff. When Faith saw the bruise on Dawn's wrist from where Kennedy grabbed her, she knew the bitch's time was up.

"You gotta do something about her, B," Faith insisted. "Next time it might not just be a bruise."

Phoenix sounded like an angry mother bear growling into the phone. "I don't care if my decision is biased anymore. She isn't keeping her powers! Be ready for the fallout tomorrow."

"Dawnie and I will be prepared," Faith assured her. In fact, Faith would insist on Dawn staying by her side in case any of the de-powered girls got any crazy ideas.

Since she had to cover girls all over the world, Buffy opted to go into a meditative state rather than trying to sleep for 24 hours. She wanted to be sure that the girls didn't lose their powers during a fight with a vamp, so she'd do it while they slept.

Scooby Council (Hyperion Hotel)

Faith and Dawn knew that Buffy had done her thing the next day when they were woken up by a harpy's scream. Faith turned to Dawn and said, "Guess Ken didn't make the cut."

Dawn just rolled her eyes. "Like that was even in question," she retorted.

It didn't take very long for the court Council to have an emergency meeting. Dozens of girls have lost their powers overnight, and even more were calling in to say the same thing had happened to them. To better understand who or what was behind this attack they decided to interview each of the girls about everything they could remember concerning the loss of their powers if there is anything that led up to it eye contact with a demon or the feeling of the pinprick. The only thing that all of the girls had in common, though was that they were all asleep when it happened.

"At least we can be grateful for that."

"Do you mean? How is that a good thing?"

"It's better to lose your powers when you are asleep than when you're in the middle of fighting the vampire," Giles pointed out reasonably. "However, just because we were fortunate this time does not mean that if they choose to strike again that there won't be casualties."

Andrew, who had been manning the phones to talk to the Slayers away from headquarters, raised his hand to bring up something he noticed during those interviews, "I don't know what this means, but a lot of the Slayers mentioned feeling like the person speaking to them in their dreams was a benevolent being."

Giles appeared intrigued at that. "Really? Perhaps there's something significant about that. Let's gather the girls who lost their powers and poll them as well."

A few minutes later, they were in the lobby with the girls in question. "Did all of you feel like a being was speaking to you in your dreams?" Giles got an affirmative answer from all of them. "How many of you felt the being that spoke to you was kind?" This time a majority of them nodded. "Please move to the right side of the room. The rest of you felt the being was mean?"

"Well, duh, Giles," Kennedy answered for them. "It took our powers. You can't get much meaner than that!"

Already knowing the response of most, Faith still commanded the girls, "Raise your hand if you want to be a Slayer."

All of the girls on the left side of the room raised their hands and muttered things like, "Of course we do? Who wouldn't?"

On the right side, only a third of the girls did. Faith addressed the ones who didn't next, "So you're relieved that you aren't Slayers anymore?"

One of the girls stepped forward to speak for them, "It's kind of cool to have the powers, but it's too much. I had plans to go to Julliard and when I got these powers, it felt like my future was ruined. I know that it's selfish of me, but that's the way I feel."

"I get it," Faith assured her. "B felt like that most of the time, too, except she never had the chance to give it up permanently."

Dawn picked up where Faith left off, "After a while, I think she was too used to it to feel whole without her powers. It's probably better that this happened before you grew too dependent on them."

"Of the rest of you on the right side, I just want to be sure that I got this right. You still want to be Slayers, but the voice didn't seem mean as he/she/it told you that you would lose your powers? Do you know why?" Giles inquired.

"I don't know about the others, but while I wouldn't mind being a Slayer someday, I'd rather wait until I'm a little older," one of the younger girls said. A bunch of the girls nodded in agreement with her.

"Alright, if that doesn't apply to you, please step forward," Giles ordered them. Only a couple girls moved in response. "We'll have to research why you aren't on the left side of the room."

Faith recognized the two as girls who tended to be moderately arrogant without being abusive. She wondered why B was nice to them, unless she thought they could be reactivated after proving themselves.

Kennedy, who clearly had lost patience with all the talking, demanded, "Why can't Willow just do the spell again to give us our powers back?"

"The main reason would be that we don't have the Scythe anymore," Giles said. "It was buried in the crater with Buffy. Now with the water filling the crater, I'm not certain we could even locate it again."

"Well, we should at least try!" Kennedy insisted.

"It might not be a bad idea to retrieve it, if only to ensure nobody else gets their hands on it," Willow pointed out.

Dawn and Faith fought to keep from smirking or laughing since they knew it didn't matter how much searching they did; Buffy possessed the Scythe now and she wasn't in the crater.

A/N: Not sure about where I left this, but figured that something was better than nothing after all this time. I've been fighting myself on this story (and several others) for the longest time, causing some serious writer's block on the WIP stories. Maybe posting this will spur Musie into continuing.