November 2008 -- Seacouver/London
“Good morning, Watcher's Council.” The clipped British voice sounded on the other end of the phone line. Faith rolled her eyes, it wasn't Rachel, Giles' usual secretary, but, rather, a fill-in.
“It's Faith, I need to speak to Rupes, please.”
“And why would you need to speak to the head watcher, Rupert Giles?” The 'you' was pointed, as if Faith had no business calling Giles. And his name was said very slowly and clearly, as if Faith were too ignorant to know his name.
“I have some questions about a demon, or something, I've run into here.” Faith answered. She groaned internally, hating to be grilled to reach Giles. Rachel always put her through without questions, but any one else, and Faith was treated like a pariah with no business calling the Watcher's Council.
“Then you should be calling the research pool, not the head watcher.” Faith knew what would happen if they put her through to the research pool – they'd “take a message” and then “lose” it twenty or more times. “So sorry,” they'd say. Meanwhile, Larisa, her twelve year old slayer in San Francisco, had been beaten to a bloody pulp – eighty stitches, a concussion, three cracked ribs, and a broken arm by some obscure human-appearing sect of Bracken demons who were upset by the influx of new slayers and had taken to attacking and roughing up any that they could find alone. As if beating a twelve year old slayer to a bloody pulp would change the fact that she was a slayer. They weren't killing though, just breaking bones and slicing their faces, horribly. Robin had tried to have Faith brought up on charges. There was no record of the messages that Faith had left with the research pool. Luckily, Faith had called Giles and recorded, in writing, her difficulty with the researchers. It didn't change how the research watchers treated her, but it kept her out of trouble. Roger Price and Robin had wanted her tried for negligence anyway. Never mind that Faith had been training the two slayers in Edmonton, and not in San Francisco at the time of the attack. She had asked for a ticket to San Francisco to check on Larisa prior to the attack, but Robin had refused to approve it, and Roger Price, of course, had not even read her written appeal. Roger and Robin were the reason Blue had a 114 thousand miles on her in two years. Faith hated Roger Price.
“I asked to speak to Rupert Giles,” Faith answered her, “my watcher. If you can't put me through, I'll just phone his emergency line. Then you can explain to him why you wouldn't put me through.”
“Watcher Giles cannot be bothered to talk to someone who is not a real slayer. I will put you through to research.”
“Not a real slayer?”
“You are a prostitute and a murderer. You are a disgrace to all slayers.” The woman's voice held contempt. “You have gotten two of your watchers killed and walked away from a third.”
“How do you figure that? I found Robin fucking Olivia in our bed!”
The woman's voice was cool. “It is quite normal for a slayer to be jealous of her watcher's spouse. But it is not generally permitted for a slayer to walk away from her watcher.”
“I didn't walk away from him because he was my watcher! He was my husband! He was cheating on me.”
The woman sighed and clucked her tongue. “Robin was never married to you. There was no marriage. He couldn't have cheated. You cannot cheat on a whore. You know that.” Roger had managed to pay a judge to annul the marriage within four days of Faith walking out. Since that day her marriage to Robin had been erased from most Council minds as if were some sort of sham. It hadn't been a sham to Faith, even though it had obviously been one to Robin.
Faith heard Giles' voice cut through as the secretary drew a breath to continue her lecture. “Sarah Gilliam, please put Faith through. And call Timothy Addams to take your place as my secretary today.”
“But...” the secretary, Sarah, continued. “You cannot possibly want to be bothered with her.”
“It is always a pleasure to talk to Faith, Sarah.” Giles voice was firm. “It is never an inconvenience, or a bother. Her calls are always to be put through immediately. I would remind you that she was the last active slayer of the Slayer line before the Calling, and, as such, should be treated with the utmost respect and courtesy at all times.”
“I would never...”
“I would advise you to listen less to idle gossip and more to me.”
“But Roger Price said Faith was not to be assisted. That you were not to be bothered with her calls.”
“He said what?” Faith heard Ripper's voice through the line and grinned. Maybe Roger would meet with some come-uppance.
“She was a whore, I've seen pictures of her. And she has never denied murdering those men.” Sarah huffed.
“Faith is responsible for no less than eighteen young slayers whose lives depend on her. She has my personal line, my home, and cell phone numbers to use as she sees fit. She doesn't have to use the Council line at all. If this is typical of her treatment when she calls here, I wonder why she bothers. Pack your bags and leave, you are dismissed from your service to the Watcher's Council.”
“I've worked for the Watcher's Council for fifteen years!”
“And now you don't. Out!” Giles' voice came on the line, soothing. “Faith, I'm so sorry you had to hear those things. I don't know why Roger is spreading such vicious lies about you.”
“They aren't lies. It's true. I was a whore. Hell, I made movies. It wouldn't surprise me if old Roger got his hands on a few of them. He's a right perverted bastard.” Faith answered, snorting. “But about these demons I've run into....”