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  • Sever

    Title: "Sever."
    Written by: Yosso
    Rating: PG - 13
    Feedback: Always appreciated, positive or negative, though constructive if you don't mind? .
    Word Count: 1,394.
    Characters: Tara, Faith.
    Setting: During BtVS 4.16 "Who Are You?"
    Challenge: KAX Challenge Three "What could have been?" from Ververka.
    Summary: The Bronze wasn't the only place Tara and Faith had a brief encounter.

    ~+~

    She craned her neck slowly. The blackening shadows were clouding Tara's view. God?god? What am I going to do? The gripping anticipation tightened in her chest while Tara peered around the corner of the back alley.

    Remember the plan, Tara recalled to herself. Stay hidden, see what she really is, then tell Willow. Tara just needed to make sure, to be certain her suspicions were correct. Surely that was really Willow's friend in that body?

    "Goddess Diana reveal to me the answers I seek. Set them free," Tara whispered the tiny incantation with tentative haste. And with that, a tiny array of blue shimmers floated across to whoever Tara thought was housed in Buffy's body.

    Faith turned. Tara froze. She ducked behind a corner in her terror struck haste, a flash of dirty blonde burning the night with light. Tara breathed heavily, hard, her head and her body shook with tension. At least I'm safe. Tara didn't think she noticed her. She was safe, for now.

    "Well lookie here," a sly voice set her heart on fire. Or so she thought. A piercing panic widened Tara's eyes. "It's Little Miss girl on girl."

    "I?" Tara managed to utter, just barely.

    "So what are ya doin'?" Faith demanded, her words sharp and quick.

    "I? I?" Tara continued, the sounds caught in her throat, sliced away viciously by her quaking terror.

    "Were you spyin' on me?" Faith questioned. Tara felt the words piercing into her.

    "No?" Tara gasped. Her skin tightened. Her skin froze into ice as this woman approached her, growing closer and closer with each casually smooth step. Her hips swayed almost hypnotically confident.

    "Oh convincing," Faith grimaced, smirking with sarcasm.

    Tara took a few tiny steps backwards, trying to be subtle, but slipping clumsily into a heap, her skirt spilled around her on the floor. Tara looked up, this woman's eyes were boring down at her. With a rough tug she pulled Tara up and slammed her into the brick wall of the alley with swift ease.

    "Looks like Hermione here's been caught in the act." Faith leaned closer, her mouth inches away from Tara's ear, her breath ice cold against her. "What d'you think I'm gonna do with ya now?" she whispered, her words hard and jagged.

    "I should?" Tara turned, trying to simply walk away. Just walk away. It couldn't be that hard, could it? Yet she was torn back with a brutal force, the back of her head crashing into the brick wall again.

    "Not the right answer." Faith spoke with a sharp finality in her voice, her bulging eyes large. They shook Tara, freezing her to the spot. She crowded Tara against the wall an incredible claustrophobia took her. Polluted fear pounded through her veins. Her head throbbed with agony, she could feel ice cold blood trickling down her forehead. Tara's face was whitening, growing gaunter. "Please?"

    Faith grinned with satisfaction, unsheathing a knife smoothly from her leather trousers. The very blade slashed a gash of terror into her heart. What was this woman going to do to her?

    "So where should we begin? The face?" Faith contemplated with a delicately ghostly whisper. "Those cute cheeks ?o yours won't be lookin' so pretty once I'm done with them sweetheart. Once they're cut up like a trout."

    Tara looked down, avoiding the woman's gaze, her soul scathing eyes. She forced Tara's head up, yanking her dirty blonde locks. "How about these locks, make you look even more butch? Huh? Would that teach you not to follow people around?" Her tough, grinding voice burrowed its way into Tara's head.

    There was so much terror trampling, stampeding, buzzing, shooting, ramming through Tara's head. It was too much, it was all too much. The terror gripped her. Tara didn't know what would happen. What if she didn't get out of here alive? What if this insane woman was doing this to people all over town? What if she'd never see the stars again? What if she'd never go back to Willow? Or know if what they have is real? Tara needed to know, she couldn't die without knowing. What if?

    The knife edge started to scrape dangerously down her left cheek. Tara could see the droplets of shining red, each droplet glistening ominously in the moonlight. The pain was irrelevant, it was at the moment. Tara tried to stay strong, keep focused like Willow does, but she couldn't help but tremble. Tremble and simply cry.

    Tears like liquid silk welled in her soft eyes. Yet Faith continued to cut and sever. Shallow cuts, just at the surface. Just enough to make it last. The knife blade scraped roughly against her. "And I can do a lot more than this," Faith whispered, her voice transpiring eerily into the icy night. "I can make you feel things you haven't thought possible, take you places you haven't imagined."

    Her tone was a ghost, cold in Tara's ears, yet slick. Seductive. Faith scraped, she cut slightly deeper, Tara whined in silent agony. "We could get closer than we've got already. I could do better than red bitch ever could."

    Somehow Tara's hands burnt white hot, she instinctively gripped Faith's arm ? hard. Hiss. The sound cracked the night air.

    "G-get off me," Tara heaved.

    Faith laughed. Her cackle penetrated worlds. "You really think you can stop me?" she jeered. Every possible ounce of malice whipped out with every word. "I'm powerful. I'm free. I'm Buffy." Tara saw her place her hands on her hips in smug triumph. "And there's nothing you can do ?bout it."

    Tara knew this girl wasn't who she said she was. Tara could feel it, she could sense the effects, remnants of the spell that had forced this unnatural transference. Whoever she was, this was not Buffy. Tara wanted to speak up and oppose this woman, but she trusted her instincts, they told her not to. Big scary knife add crazy homicidal girl, that didn't come out to anything good. She wasn't stupid. But she had to stay something, anything to avoid another encounter with the psycho woman and her pet knife.

    Willow. Think Willow, Tara imagined she was by her side, guiding her, encouraging her with those big eyes, holding her hands and rubbing her palms the soothing way she always did. So comforting. So warm. For a split moment, some of the terror slipped away. Tara felt vibrant, a new confidence.

    "You- you may think that," the witch began slowly, trying not to let her words tumble over one another. "But there's something else you don't know."

    "And what's that?" the woman questioned with superiority.

    "You're not going to get away with this. What you've done, this isn't right." She had done it. Tara had actually done it. She glowed warmly inside.

    "So you know Miss Sherlock." Faith's voice snapped like thunder. Faith's eyes burned like fire. Tara could see her power didn't only lie in her strength, but it was corrupted, tainted and abused. Tara could see the power, and she feared it.

    "I?" Tara was back to square one, the terror eliminating any words that could emerge.

    "You and your lesbian witch gonna stop me?" Tara could see the woman's voice waver, crack a little. This encouraged Tara, spurred her on. And with finality she said:

    "We're going to try."

    "I'll kill her before you could try, cut her up and put her on a platter in front of you," Faith jeered. "Now let's finish off what we started, heh?"

    "Fractus."

    Tara had surprised herself. She fought back. She'd actually fought back, her spell slashing a shockingly violent rip on this woman's cheek.

    "You stay away from her," Tara warned. Now her voice was like thunder, her eyes burned. "You stay away or you'll have hell to pay."

    "Ooh. Scary." Faith grinned, apparently not intimidated, the shining moonlight took over her eyes, illuminating them with a psychotic gleam. And with that she turned, her hair whipping Tara one final time. Faith walked away, bathing herself in the darkness of the shadows. Away from the light.

    Those gleaming eyes stayed in Tara's mind just as Faith began to laugh while she walked away. Her form vanished in blackness but the callous cackle remained, tearing through the air, through souls. Tara stared ahead, cold, the cackle reverberating in her ears. And shivered.

    The End.
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