Willow's Child

The Runaway

Disclaimer:I own nothing, except Sophie.

"Faith, come on, please!" Buffy yelled, shaking the younger slayer. Faith's face was scratched and bruised, and blood trickled from her nose and the corner of her mouth. It occurred to Buffy that if the dark slayer died she could use her wish to... No, she shook these thoughts from her mind. Faith was not going to die. She couldn't. "Damn it, Faith! If you don't wake the hell up right freaking now I swear I'll.." she was cut off when the brunette's eyes fluttered open. Buffy let out a sigh of relief.

"B?" Faith groaned, "Did you get 'em?"

"Get who?" Buffy asked, helping the younger girl to a sitting position. "Faith, what happened?"

"Demons" said Faith, "Like the ones we rescued Little Red from. There were only three of 'em at first, but they just kept comin', and soon there were too many, even for me." At that moment, Dawn ran into the graveyard, puffing.

"Buffy, why do you always have to leave me.." she paused, eyes widening as they fell on the battered dark slayer. "Oh my god! Faith, are you okay?" she cried, running to help Buffy pull Faith to her feet.

"I'm fine, Pipsqueak. Should be good as new in no time, that good ol' slayer healin' works wonders."

Back at the house, Sophie was sitting on Giles knee while she, Andrew, and Willow sang along to various cartoon theme songs. Then Buffy and Dawn entered the house, supporting Faith who had a slight limp.

"Good Lord!" cried Giles, passing Sophie to Willow and leaping from the couch. "Girls, what happened?"

"Demons, the ones who'd kidnapped our little house guest, who I'm sure you've met by now" said Buffy.

"Yeah" said Faith, "They wanted to know where she was, but of course I didn't tell 'em." Sophie heard this, and her eyes filled with tears. She ran to the dark slayer, wrapping her small arms around her leg.

"I'm sorry!" she wailed. "I'm sorry you got hurted because of me!" Willow leapt up to comfort the little girl, but this time, Faith beat her to it.

"Whoa there, Little Red" she said, wincing as she crouched to meet the girl's eye level. "Now you listen, and you listen good. This is not your fault, okay kid? The only ones we have to blame for this are those demonic bast.. "

"Faith!" Willow hissed.

"Bad guys" Faith corrected herself. "Those demonic bad guys. It's their fault, so don't go blamin' yourself, okay?" Sophie nodded, although she didn't look completely convinced.

"Right" said Buffy, "Well, now that that's sorted, we better get Faith upstairs so she can rest."

A few hours later, Buffy walked into Faith's room, carrying two plates loaded with pizza. "Hey" she smiled, "Nobody felt like cooking, so we ordered pizza." Buffy handed a plate to Faith, and was relieved to see that her cuts and bruises were already beginning to fade.

"Thanks B" said Faith, taking a bite of the pizza. Buffy sat on the edge of the bed, looking deep in thought, a fact that did not go unnoticed by her sister slayer. "B?" said Faith, reaching to wave a hand in the blonde's face when she didn't respond. "Hey, Earth to B!"

"What? Oh, sorry" said Buffy, turning to the younger woman, "I was just thinking."

"About what?" Faith asked. "The wish?" Buffy shook her head.

"No. You, actually."

"Me? What about about me?" asked Faith, her eyes widening in surprise.

"Well, I was kinda wondering why you're still here. I mean, with Dawn asking you about the singing, because that type of thing usually sends you running for the hills, so.. why'd you stay?"

"Oh" said Faith, shifting a little uncomfortably. "Well it's kinda 'cause of the wish thing. I mean, ya still need my help workin' out what to do with that right? Any ideas?"

"Not one" Buffy grumbled. "You?"

"Nope" said Faith, smirking slightly, "But I think we should seriously reconsider world peace because..." she was cut off as a certain blonde slayer threw a pillow into her face.

Late that night, Sophie lay wide awake beside the sleeping Willow. The scary demon guys had hurt Faith because she wouldn't tell them where she was. What if they hurt Willow too? "I don't wants anybody to hurt Willow" the little girl thought to herself, "She's my bestest friend in the whole world. But if she gets hurted, it'll be all my fault." There was only one thing to do. She had to get away from Willow, far away where nobody could find her. Sophie wriggled out from under Willow's arm, careful not to wake the sleeping witch. She took Willow's shoulder bag from where it hung on the door and emptied the contents, re-packing the bag with her few meagre belongings. One set of clothes, the pencils Willow had given her, and a few of her drawings. The little girl's eyes then fell on the framed photograph that sat on the bedside table. A photograph of Willow and Tara. It would be nice to have a photo of Willow, and even though she had never met Tara, for some reason she wanted a picture of her too. Sophie took the photograph, stuffing it into the bag, and replaced it with the picture of herself, Tara, and Willow that she had drawn two days before. Grabbing the bag and heading for the door, Sophie took one last look at the sleeping red-head wicca.

"Goodbye, Willow. I'll never forgets you."

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