Damned If I Don't, Damned If I Do
Part Three of The Damned Series


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PART TEN: 24th to 25th September 2004
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Chapter Five: Like A Tortoise Out Of Hell

Two thirds of the way across the Arena, Toni suddenly wrenched her hand from Buffy's tight grip to run behind her. Buffy looked around wildly as the booing and stamping of feet from the spectators increased, trying to figure out what was happening now but she couldn't see anything with the way Toni was shielding her view.

Not just her view, she realized, as Toni literally shrieked through tightly clenched teeth as her body jerked in spasms. Her fingers clawed at empty air to her sides and her long hair was awash with static for a few seconds.

"What the hell was that?" Faith yelled, running on the other side of her.

"Oh my God." Buffy knew without needing to see the actual lightning bolt strike her girlfriend's back.

"Just keep going," Toni growled, barging her along when she tried to stop.

"But..."

She desperately wanted to stop and make sure Toni was okay but considering that would probably lead to none of them being okay for much longer, she accepted her girlfriend's wisdom and kept running. They were almost at the exit to the Arena, one more burst of speed and they'd be out of range of the God's Golden Blaster Staff. Sure that still left the Gods themselves, a bunch of red demons and plenty of Goran servants too, and several penguins if they felt the urge... but all of them would be a lot easier to dodge than thunder bolts.

"At least take my hand again, I can run faster than you."

"Not as fast as He can strike," Toni grunted, in obvious pain. "Stay in front of me. We are nearly..." Her body jolted as she was struck again but, gritting her teeth, she yelled through it. "F...Faith! Clear the... the exit!"

Wondering 'why Faith?' she soon got it. Faith ran at the row of red demons and lion-birds, ready to force her way through, but it wasn't necessary. They danced about a bit, trying to keep her contained with spread arms, but wouldn't be drawn into a fight with her. By the time Buffy and Toni - jerking about from yet another bolt of pure electricity - were there, the demons had flowed inadvertently to either side of the passage to avoid Faith and Buffy and Toni ran through the gap without slowing down.

Neat trick.

"Okay, let me check your back," Buffy insisted once they were in the long gallery.

"No, I am fine. We must get you out of here."

"How can you be fine?" Faith asked suspiciously. "I saw your back get fried. How are you even still running? And he had a clear shot at me? How am I even still running?"

Buffy glanced at Toni as they ran. Her mouth was a hard line, she wasn't planning on answering and despite her assurances, she still looked like she was in a lot of pain.

As soon as they made it the length of the gallery and up the steps into the wide corridor beyond, she caught Toni's arm and dragged her to a halt.

"Okay, stop!"

"No!" Toni tried to keep going.

"Yes!" She slammed the door, locking the faint sounds of pursuit inside the gallery. "Faith, make sure that stays shut."

She led Toni a little further up the corridor away from Faith before making her turn around.

"Fuck," she said under her breath at the ripped, scorched back of her shirt.

"I'm fine!" but Toni hissed through her teeth as Buffy gingerly pulled the material away from her burnt skin, pushing it up for a better look.

Even in the dim light it was easy to see the angry ruby blisters covering her usually beautiful smooth skin. Buffy ran her fingers lightly around the edges of the marred flesh, wincing when even that made Toni hiss and flinch. Faith had a point though, considering she'd been zapped by lightning, what, four times? She really was doing well just to be standing. She didn't like it, but she knew there wasn't a lot she could do to ease Toni's pain here and as Faith ran down the corridor to catch up with them, she realized they had no choice but to get moving again or lose their small head start completely.

Gently she eased Toni's shirt back down, murmuring soothing words about finding some maximum strength burn cream once they were somewhere safe. Out the corner of her eye she saw Faith rolling her eyes at the caring action.

"Not now," she begged quietly.

Faith shrugged all together too innocently. "What?"

Buffy shook her head; she wasn't getting pulled into this discussion. "Let's just get out of here."

Faith eyed her for a second, obviously expecting more than that, but then shrugged again. "Yeah, come on, Tone. Let's get you to a..."

Buffy caught her wrist just as she was about to give Toni a hearty slap on her blistered back. Glaring at her, she squeezed painfully tight to make her point as she pushed the hand down to Faith's side.

"...hospital," Faith finished, grinning as she twisted her hand around to entwine their fingers.

The gesture was new, and actually nice. Faith wasn't exactly a hand-holdy person unless there was an ulterior motive for it. Unfortunately, Buffy knew exactly what the ulterior motive was right now, and snatched her hand away touchily just as Toni turned to face them.

"I cannot go with you."

"Why not?"

"Hey, if she can't come, B, she can't come."

Toni started to lead them down the corridor again. "My place is here. For now at least."

"No, you have to come with us."

"Don't push the chick into something she doesn't wanna do, B."

Buffy ignored Faith. "Troy is really mad at you!"

"And my running away will not calm his temper down. I must stay and make amends for my actions."

"Amends?" Buffy shouted, before remembering to lower her voice again. "He hit you, he tried to kill me! Why would you want to...?"

"B, seriously, she sounds like she's made up her mind," Faith said easily.

Buffy spun to her, pointing a finger. "I know your future just flipped upside down and you're seriously freaking out right now. I get it, really I do... but would you just zip it for one minute, please?"

Faith backed off a little, still grinning and Buffy took a deep breath and turned back to Toni.

Toni spoke first. "Staying, appealing to his better nature, is the only way I can stop him from killing you with a snap of his fingers. I must convince him it is more honorable and more satisfying, to kill you personally."

"Gee, what a girlfriend, huh?" Faith said, with a sarcastic shake of her head.

This time Buffy didn't chastise her because she was kind of thinking the same thing, but Toni gave Faith a hostile look before explaining.

"If he wants to kill you personally he has to catch you first and the longer it takes him to catch you the more opportunity I have to make him see it would be unwise to kill you at all."

That made sense, if... "Do you think you can?"

Toni nodded. "He is not an unreasonable man, Buffy, only very angry. However, that will be irrelevant if he catches you tonight. We are almost at the side door."

"Do we still go to Nonni's?" she asked doubtfully.

Nonni had helped her in the Arena but she had still been there. Obviously she knew everything, begging the question of whether her place would be a safe haven or a dead end.

"No. You must get out of the country as soon as possible."

"How? It's not like I can get Angel to turn his plane around and then parachute back up into it."

Faith and Toni both gave her an odd look.

"Walking to the airport isn't what I call a fast getaway," she clarified.

"Hang on," Faith said as she realized the problem. "My car keys are in the kitchen. I'll meet you by the door." She sprinted down a cross passage.

"Be careful," Buffy called after her, but Faith was already out of sight.

She hurried along with Toni, hoping Faith wouldn't get knocked over the head and kidnapped while they waited for her.

"How are you doing?" she asked softly, her hand tucked under Toni's arm to help her along.

Not that she seemed to need much help. With every step she was walking less laboriously, her shoulders not so hunched, her stance less rigid with soreness. Maybe she was just pushing through the pain, but Buffy had a feeling it was more than that.

"I told you, I am fine."

"Yeah, but..." The 'how' to finish that sentence wouldn't quite come out. It would raise too many questions they didn't have time for, or maybe she was just... chicken. "You... you got zapped by... by..."

"I am aware." They had reached the door now and Toni looked both ways along the corridor before bundling her out of it. "It tickled."

They were in a small, mostly enclosed porch now. Light even dimmer than in the corridor was provided by a glass globe hanging from the roof with one fat candle burning inside. Faith wasn't there yet which was worrying, but then Buffy wasn't sure how far the kitchen was from this little door. If it was the other side of the castle even at a sprint it might take her ten minutes or more to get there and back.

"Tickled!" Buffy leaned wearily back against the wall, exhaustion pummeling her from all sides

"It, ah, smarted a little?" Toni smiled, standing just in front of her.

"Okay, baby, let's be honest here - you were smited. Smited! Right in front of me! I'm pretty sure most people don't walk away from that, let alone run away while making jokes!"

Toni's tone went darker than the dim porch. "I've experienced Zeus's wrath before."

"And what doesn't kill you makes you stronger?" Buffy looked down at her girlfriend's hands, fidgeting in front of her. "Or perhaps... just can't kill you?"

"I am not immortal, Buffy." Toni looked away, out into the night. "Just..." she smiled grimly. "...protected."

"I see."

Toni turned back to her. "You do?"

"Not really," she admitted apologetically. "I'm just glad right now that you are protected. By whatever... or whoever it... Wait, its not Troy is it?"

Toni chuckled, shaking her head. "No, not Troy."

"Good. Not that... I mean, protected is protected, but I don't really wanna be thankful to him for anything... ever, so knowing I don't have to... thank him that is... for you being here right now, that's good. Well, better than good obviously, way better than good... naturally... no matter what I, uh, I mean, we think we should, uh... what I mean is, things are obviously, um, kinda... well, things are... and stuffs sort of... and I'm not saying I want anything to..."

Buffy gave a huge mental sigh of relief when Toni kissed her. It might not have helped her get out what she was trying to say but, hey, at least it stopped her from saying the nonsense that she was actually saying. She relaxed into it, tugging on Toni's hands to pull her closer so she could keep her almost-comfortable spot against the stone wall; letting her hands travel up Toni's arms to her shoulders before hooking behind her neck and pulling her even closer. It was nice; her tired, aching muscles welcomed the comforting warmth of her girlfriend's body and her brain was certainly welcoming the break from thinking about anything more taxing than the mocha-tastiness of Toni's kisses.

It was Toni who pulled gently away first. Buffy mumbled protests about returning to reality but when Toni was adamant she settled for burying her nose in the dip below her neck.

"New perfume?" she murmured, keeping her eyes closed as she breathed in deeply.

"No. Do you not remember it?"

Buffy's eyes slammed open and there came the splash of reality. Not new, just not Faith's - the one she'd grown used to recently.

She forced herself to remain relaxed against Toni as she said, "No, now I do. It's just... been a while."

She felt Toni nod. "About Faith..."

Buffy straighten up sharply. "I never mentioned Faith!"

Toni looked amused for a moment but then a little sad. "But perhaps we should. Before she is here."

She delicately pushed a strand of hair from Buffy's face. Buffy returned the gesture with two handfuls. Toni's hair was still a little frizzy and out of control thanks to the lightning bolt treatment. It made her smile despite the conversation they seemed about to have.

She smoothed Toni's hair down, conscious of the fact that she was using her palms as hair straighteners so she didn't have to look her girlfriend in the eye while they talked about her other girlfriend.

"What about her?"

"What happened in the Arena..."

"Stays in the Arena?" she asked hopefully.

"Buffy."

"Sorry. Look if this is about her calling my name out during sex, I didn't know she was going to do that! It was stupid..." she geared up for another babble-fest.

"No. I was referring to her leaving Troy for you."

"Oh!" she said brightly, embarrassed but relieved to be stopped before she dug herself too big a hole. Then it sunk in. "Oh." Then it really sunk in "Ohhhh."

"Si. Oh."

"That didn't mean... I mean, that doesn't mean..."

Buffy sank back against the wall again absently playing with Toni's hair. What did it mean?

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine," she said automatically. There was a short pause before she asked, "Are you okay?"

"I do not know yet."

Buffy nodded distantly, feeling the extra pressure of Toni's softly spoken words.

"This is..." she shook her head, feeling dazed and in a world of her own all of a sudden. "Now what...I mean, who do I...? How am I supposed to deal with this?!"

"Ah, the words every girl dreams of hearing."

Buffy came back to the situation indignantly. "Yeah, well, let's not forget your part in making this harder. If you'd been upfront with me in the beginning instead of doing Troy's dirty work we wouldn't be here now."

"And if I had been upfront about my motivations we most certainly wouldn't be here now," Toni countered.

Buffy huffed irritably. "I'm just saying that if you want me to weigh up the pros and cons you're probably not going to come out shiny with pro's."

Toni tried to pull away. "Then you have made your decision."

Buffy wouldn't let her. "I'm not weighing pros and cons! That was my point!"

"Then what are you doing?" Toni asked impatiently.

"Probably dying of internal bleeding." She took the little distance between them to rub at her aching ribs before putting her arm back around Toni's neck and drawing her closer again. "Look, we don't even know if that's really what Faith has done. It might just have been heat of the moment talk. Or maybe she was just saying it to get him to let me go. She might already be back with him in there."

Was she really trying to make Toni feel better or was she just shielding herself from disappointment down the line? Probably both.

Toni hugged her back again but she was tense now where before she had been comfortable. "And if it turns out that she meant it exactly as you wish?"

Buffy shrugged a little beneath her arms as she whispered. "I don't know."

Toni sighed sadly. "And I am just supposed to accept this?"

"I'm not saying it's fair but... yes please?" Buffy hugged her tighter and felt it returned as Toni's chin came to rest against her hair. Her nose tucked itself back between the open collar of Toni's shirt. "Because I really don't like the alternative."

"Which is?" Toni murmured, sounding almost mellow again now they were holding each other close.

Buffy gave a dry chuckle, snuggling in deeper. "You yell at me some more and I dump you right now for being a pain in the ass."

"Sounds like a plan, B."

She banged faces with Toni as her head shot up and around to the doorway. Faith was standing there with a messenger bag across her shoulder, a less-than-impressed look on her face countering her cocky tone.

"Everything alright?" she added, her voice now betraying her displeasure at the scene.

"Yeah, everything's cool."

Buffy slowly eased away from Toni, watching her closely. Did Toni expect her to clear things up with Faith right now? 'Cause that'd be awkward. If Faith said she was still with Troy - embarrassing. If she said she wasn't - yep, awkward. She wanted to wait, preferably for another year or two, but at least until she had Faith alone. Toni's eyes gave nothing away, but she gave a barely perceptible shake of her head which Buffy chose to take as a reprieve. As Toni stepped back, Buffy gave her sides a tender caress before turning her attention to Faith again.

"Did you get your keys?"

Faith held up her bag. "In here. I'm ready to motor when you are."

Buffy looked from her to Toni again. Stalling was stupid but just walking away seemed heartless. Toni made the decision for her anyway and gave Buffy's shoulder a little push towards the court yard.

"We do not have time for any more delays. You must go now. Get as far from here as possible. Troy has people everywhere. You will not be safe while you remain in the country."

"I thought you could talk him down?" Buffy said.

"And I will, but I can not guarantee I can do it overnight. Be especially wary in Rome. I will do my best to divert his attention but he will try to inform people of your infraction. The other Gods will not involve themselves now they feel he has failed, but his employees will stop at nothing to fulfill his wishes."

"Uh, okay." Buffy looked from Toni to Faith. "I guess we better go then."

"Sure sounds like it," Faith agreed while still managing to sound dubious about the whole thing.

Buffy nodded, grinning nervously. Was this ever going to be over? She was running into the sunset, okay, the pitch black but still, with Faith. That was supposed to be the... what had Mapanos called it? 'The big curtain kiss' moment? Now it looked as if the adventure - that she was so beyond ready to be over - was going to go on for at least another twenty-four hours, longer if Toni couldn't calm Troy down in that time.

As she turned away, ready to run, she had an abrupt reminder of the other reason this wasn't over yet. Toni caught her arm, pulled her back around and kissed her movie-style breathless.

"Uh, B?" Faith muttered from the sidelines.

Buffy's eyes fluttered open again as Toni pulled away. "We don't have time for delays but we have time for that?" she asked, smiling.

Toni grinned. "In case I am never able to see you again, si."

"What do you mean 'never see me...'" she began, worried.

Toni didn't let her finish. "Go now. Quickly."

Frowning, she turned away again, this time Toni caught Faith's arm.

"Don't start kissin' me!" Faith warned as she was spun back around.

Toni gave her a sarcastic grimace before getting serious again. "Look after Buffy. Troy will not take this graciously. He will come after you tonight and he has no cause to spare Buffy from harm."

Faith nodded. "I'll do my best."

"Do better than that!" Toni released her arm. "Now go!"

Faith grabbed her hand, and with one last look back at her Toni, Buffy ran out of the porch with her.

"This way."

Faith led them across the courtyard. There were cars parked haphazardly everywhere but Faith went further around the castle walls.

"I have my own parking spot," she explained. "Just around..." The two slayers stopped, eyes wide. "...here. What the hell?"

Faith's Mini was there alright. In about a hundred and fifty different pieces. Close to fifteen demons stopped in the act of dismantling it to eye them warily.

"Did you crash it again?" Buffy whispered sotto voce.

"You crashed it. And it was fine when I got back from Nonni's."

The demons all stood and started to advance. "Just a leetle light-a maintenance work," said the one in front.

"Really?" Faith said angrily.

"Think we're going anywhere in it tonight?" Buffy joked as they backed up a little.

"Well, maybe, but seeing as the ignition is over there and some of the engine is over there it might take a while to get it started."

"Then let's just get out of here," Buffy suggested and they turned and ran as the demons gave chase. As they tore at top speed back across the courtyard, she griped, "We can't run all the way to Rome though!"

"We don't have to, look!"

Buffy did. She saw a scooter. Her nose scrunched in aversion. "Is that yours too?"

"Hell no. Must be Tone's."

"What makes you think that?"

"No one else here is gonna own a pathetic girly pink bike like that."

"It's not pathetic." She changed her tune to defend her girlfriend. "And I like the color."

"That's 'cause you're girly too."

"You like girly!"

"I like it on you, not on Tone."

"We can't just steal Toni's scooter!" Buffy said as they reached it.

"Wanna bet?" Faith asked, opening up the luggage box at the back and pulling out a pink crash helmet. She shook her head at it in distaste before handing it to Buffy. "Put it on."

"We don't have the keys."

"Never stopped me before."

Faith reached under the handlebars and tugged on something and suddenly had a bunch of loose wires in her hand.

"Faith!" Buffy watched as she twisted some of the wires together. "That looks expensive."

"So what? We ain't gonna be paying for it." The scooter roared to life - okay, roar was kind of inaccurate. "Hop on."

Red demons and pale Gorans seemed to be coming from every direction now. Buffy looked around helplessly before getting on the thing with a big, disapproving sigh. Faith jumped on in front of her and as the scooter went from naught to thirty rapidly, Buffy flailed back against the luggage box.

Then her eyes went wide. "They're closing the portcutlessy thing," she yelled as they sort of sped towards it.

"Then duck!" Faith yelled back, taking her own advice.

Buffy draped herself over her back, keeping her head as low as possible. Even so she was pretty sure she left some hair, and possibly some scalp, on one of the spiky metal bits at the bottom of the descending iron gate.

She let out a relieved breath once they cleared the drawbridge and were heading away from the castle. Faith handled the scooter like she'd done it plenty of times before, making her think the 'pathetic' insult had been aimed more at Toni herself than her bike.

"You should put the helmet on," Faith said as they zipped around the bendy, sloping, narrow streets.

"No, you're driving, you should wear it." She tried to pass it to her.

Faith swatted it gently out of her vision. "I've been riding motorcycles since I was fourteen, B."

"Okay, that's a hot image." Buffy grinned. "But I don't see how it saves your brains if we crash."

"Well, you have more brains than me anyway, so you got more to protect, right?"

"We have the same amount of brains, Faith. I just use mine more," Buffy added, digging her fingers teasingly into Faith's sides.

"Don't fuckin' tickle me when I'm trying to concentrate!"

"Okay." She wrapped an arm around Faith's waist instead. "Is this better?"

Faith smirked over her shoulder. "No, but I'll deal. Now put the helmet on."

Grumbling about her bossiness, Buffy did so and then put both arms around her.

She resisted the urge to keep looking behind them. If they were being pursued on foot, hopefully they'd be able to stay ahead, and if they were being pursued in a motor vehicle, they'd soon hear the engine over the buzz of the scooter. Chances were, if Troy did get himself together in time to stop them before they reached Rome, it would be in the form of an ambush, so it made more sense to keep looking ahead anyway.

Faith got them safely through the narrower streets and onto the main road out of the village. She tried to open the bike up then, to get up a little speed, but it continued to do not much more than put-put-put along the road.

"On second thought, you might as well just toss the helmet, B. Neither of us are gonna die at this speed. Some getaway vehicle this is."

Buffy laughed. She was happy to just hang on here for a few hours. Or pretend she had to hang on anyway. The down time was certainly welcome and there was rarely a bad side to hugging Faith. So while Faith fell silent, trying everything she could think of to make the scooter go faster, Buffy took the opportunity to relax her muscles, count her aches and pains and let herself think about stuff.

Okay, that might have a bad side.

First of all, had it really all happened? She'd had dreams almost similar to this chain of events more than once in the past few months. Faith leaving Troy and whisking her away to freedom. Or sometimes she'd whisked Faith. She supposed at the moment they were kinda whisking each other.

The part with Toni didn't usually occur in her dreams though.

Toni rarely turned up in her Faith-dreams, which didn't seem fair because Faith always seemed to be hanging around somewhere in her Toni-dreams. Was that her answer then? No, it didn't feel like it. It just meant that Faith was as bad as the cheese man, invading every dream whether she was welcome or not.

Was Faith ever unwelcome, though, really?

She smiled inside the helmet but it soon faded more to a smirk of confusion. Had Faith just chosen her? Is that why they were... whisking each other? Did this mean they could be together now, for real?

Could they be a proper couple? Tell their friends about them? Hold hands in public? Get a place together that was more than a sex-nest and make abstract plans about their future that didn't have to factor in sneaking around?

She wouldn't be a mistress or a cheater anymore. The mistress part may have held a certain element of hotness thanks to the whole forbidden, secret love thing, but the cheater part... She'd never liked having that label, even if she was the only one who used it. She wouldn't be sorry to lose it, but losing it also meant losing Toni... for good.

Was she ready for that?

She wouldn't have to ask herself if she was.

But... No! She shook her head, causing Faith to say "Ow!" as the helmet bumped the back of her head. Surely Faith was the right choice. She'd wanted Faith all along. She'd never have even met Toni if she hadn't been in love with Faith in the first place. Toni would have never needed to meet her if she hadn't been in love with Faith. Besides, if Faith had chosen her then she was giving up a whole lot more than Buffy was.

Buffy put her bulky head over Faith's shoulder. "So... you and Troy?"

It wasn't the greatest start to what could be the most important conversation of her life but asking anything more made her feel too vulnerable.

"What?" Buffy couldn't see, but Faith sounded like she was frowning anxiously.

"Well, we're running away together - and can I just inject a yay into that sentence - but I'm not really sure where that puts you and me as a you and me or where it leaves you and Troy."

"Do we have to talk about this now?"

"Well, neither of us is going anywhere, figuratively speaking. We might as well get the hard conversations over while we can't do anything but talk."

"I guess then... I don't know."

"Well..." Buffy sighed, now she knew exactly how Toni felt. "...that makes me feel special."

Faith chuckled. "B, I really don't know, alright? If tonight hadn't happened I'd probably be happily married this time next week, but thanks to you tonight did happen, so I don't know what the hell I'm doing."

"Don't blame me; you're the one who screamed my name out."

"I wouldn't have done that if you hadn't been standin' at the door. Why were you there anyway?"

Buffy shrugged against her. "I just happened to be in the area. Why'd ya shout my name just 'cause you saw me?"

"I guess you were on my mind."

"When you were having sex with him? Cool."

"No, before."

"Oh. How come? I thought you two were having an uber-romantic night? Surely I should have been the last thing on your mind?"

Faith shrugged now and another field had gone by before she answered.

"Shoulda been, yeah, but I guess I just realized at some point tonight that I missed you more in the last twenty-four hours than I missed him in the whole month he was away."

Buffy hugged her tighter. "Okay."

"That's all you gotta say about it?"

"What else is there to say?"

Another couple of fields went by.

"So, you and Toni?"

Buffy tensed up all over again and took her time answering. "What about us?"

"You looked pretty cosy when I came outta that door."

"I suppose."

"And?"

She didn't answer at all this time. After a minute had passed she heard Faith sigh deeply.

"Fine."

"Don't say it like that!"

"I didn't say it like anything."

"Yes you did."

"Whatever."

With a clear road they made it back to the outskirts of Rome in just over an hour. Buffy was relieved to see the city lights even if she had no idea what happened next. Hanging on to Faith was less fun when they didn't seem to be speaking to each other again.

"Think we should head straight to the airport?" Faith asked, breaking the long silence without any frostiness.

"Good plan in theory," Buffy agreed, voice muffled by the helmet. "But we have no money, do we?"

She knew she didn't. She couldn't even remember when she'd last seen her purse and her oh-so-gross outfit didn't come with pockets.

"They'd probably want passports too," Faith said. "Plus we should give your sister and Andy a heads up."

With that, Buffy realized they hadn't really talked about anything yet at all. It was to be expected, considering, but they should get on it soon, like now.

"Dawn and Andrew went back to LA this morning with Angel and Spike."

"Really? Why?"

"Well, after Andrew got kidnapped I didn't really want them hanging around on their own while I came to rescue you from your evil boyfriend."

"They got sick of spaghetti, huh?" Faith laughed cluelessly.

Buffy sighed; or soon like later was fine too. "Something like that."

"So, we get passports, money and then we hit the airport?"

"Yep."

"You seeing the problem with this plan?"

Buffy didn't until she thought about it. Faith had money in her 'running away' fund and Giles could book them flights if there wasn't quite enough, but neither of their passports were exactly readily available.

"I have to get into Toni's."

"Then you got it easy: I have to get into Palazzo Immortale."

"Oh, boy." Buffy sighed. "This is gonna be fun."


Chapter Six

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