December 2007 -- Cleveland
“Hello. Watcher's Council, Cleveland Office.” The voice was polite.
“Is there a Faith Giles there?”
“There's no Faith Giles, but Faith Wood is here.”
“May I speak with her, please?”
“Did you fuck her?”
“I'm not supposed to take phone calls from Faith's johns. Did you fuck her?”
“I've never even met her.” The man sounded shocked.
The teenager's voice returned to its natural whine. “Oh, that's okay then. Whom may I say is calling?”
“Faith! Phone!” The ear-splitting teenage screech went out. It was Sophie, Robin's eldest slayer, who was fourteen. She had been Faith's slayer when they were married, but Robin had received her from the Council when she'd left. Giles, to his credit, had objected vigorously, but enough of the old guard had survived the First to give Robin the upper hand and strip Faith of her slayers. By the time Olivia gave birth to a pair of seven-pound three-month-early “preemie” twins, the damage had been done, and Faith had been removed to Cornwall for her six-month “rehabilitation.”
As Faith brushed past Sophie for the phone, Robin walked by. Sophie announced, “Some man named Jack is calling for Faith.”
Robin turned angry eyes towards Faith. “Faith, I told you I don't want your crackhead johns calling my house.”
“I would remind you whose name is on the title of this house. Would you like to explain to your girls why you had to move when you haven't paid a dime of rent in four years?”
“They know what a selfish whoring bitch you are, I've already told them.” Robin smiled sweetly at her. “Besides, you know the Council won't let you kick us out.”
Faith groaned. “I don't know anyone named Jack.”
“Is that a surprise, I doubt you know half the names of the men you sleep around with. All you care about is money.”
Faith slid past her ex to reach the phone. “Faith speaking.”
“This is Jack O'Neill. Is this Faith Giles?”
“You know Daniel Jackson.”
“Yes. I know him.” Faith told him. “You're Danny's Jack. I've heard of you. Is he all right?”
“Faith, Daniel was killed two days ago.”
“Oh, God.” Faith slid down the wall. “Just a minute.” Faith took some deep breaths. She looked up to see Robin smirking at her. Giles passed by the room and started when he saw Faith's white face. “What happened?”
“There was an accident at one of our sites. He was exposed to toxic levels of some dangerous chemicals. He died two days later. Faith.” Faith heard the man's voice breaking. He must have liked Danny too. “I'm so sorry.”
“Oh.” Faith said. She felt like she should say something, well anything. But she couldn't.
“The memorial service is Friday.”
“Oh, okay.” Faith's voice sounded distant, even to her.
“Do you have somewhere to stay?”
“I can make reservations somewhere. Or, I have my tent and sleeping bag at Danny's.” Faith told him.
“There's no need for that. You can stay with me if you like.” Jack told her. “Any friend of Danny's is a friend of mine.”
“I... I can't. I'll... I'll stay at the hotel. I have to be in New York by Sunday morning. Let me go so I can make arrangements.” Was she stuttering? Why?
Giles stepped into the office. “What happened?”
“Danny's dead.” Faith's face was white with shock.
“Drive by shooting? Drug deal gone bad?” Robin snarled at her. “Your pimp get mad at him?”
“Good God man, shut up!” Giles snapped at him. “Danny?”
“Daniel Jackson. An archaeologist friend in Colorado Springs. He helps with my translations for the mini-mes out west. At least the Sumerian and Akkadian ones. He's an expert on Egyptian heiroglyphs.”
“Oh.” Giles pulled off his glasses. “Wait. You mean Daniel Jackson – he went to Cambridge, didn't he?”
“Yes. You know him?”
“I know of him. The Council tried to recruit him a few years ago. He had some cockamamie theory about the pyramids being built by aliens. It ended his career as an archaeologist, but made him an obvious target for Council recruiting. He had already found another position and was not interested.”
“We were getting married.” Faith pulled out her engagement ring, which was hanging on a heavy chain under her blouse. “In New York next week. I was going to tell you and Xander at dinner tonight.”