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Thank God You Were Here

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Resist or Serve". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Faith and Krycek now a couple, have sociopathic adventures together.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > X-Files, The(Moderator)KiwikatipoFR181254,9445355,36713 Sep 0628 Sep 06Yes

NOTE: This chapter is rated FR15

Lies, damn lies and statistics

Part One

May 18th 2002
Faith and Alex's apartment
South Boston

Curled up on her bed Faith checked the time difference between her and L.A. It should be okay if she called Angel now.

“Hey Cordy it’s me Faith, can I speak to Angel?”

“Yeah he’s busy right now give him five. You got my e-mail?”

“Yeah, Connor back as a teenager that’s kinda wicked huh? I mean at least he’s alive. Even if he does hate Angel’s guts.”

“Have you heard from that traitor Wesley recently?”

“No. Cordelia like I said, I didn’t realize what Wes had done huh? Until I got to L.A. and by then I’d promised his Mom I’d take care of him…” Faith shook her head, stopping as she realized Cordelia couldn’t see her performing that action. “I haven’t heard and don’t want to hear anything from him since I left last week. Seriously Cor, Wes has kinda wigged out.”

“Yeah? Well he helped us out anyway when our friend Fred (you’ve never met her have you?) got possessed by slugs.”

“Wicked gross.”

“Hey, I’ve seen and experienced worse Faith, benefits of a Sunnydale upbringing. Hold on here’s Angel now.”

“Hey Faith.” Angel sounded unusually upbeat.

“Hey you, glad you to hear you have Junior back. Look on the bright side. You missed the having to fork out for braces stage.” Faith said tactlessly. “I’m just checking there were no hard feelings over my nursing Wes. And to say sorry I didn’t get a chance to see you in L.A.”

“Been a while.” Angel strived for small talk. “So how you doing?”

“Pretty good I guess.” Faith paused. “Alex and it turns out my family and friends too…they want me to see some couch quack to talk about stuff.”

“Gonna hurt Faith?”

“Yeah.”

“Faith redemption is meant to hurt.” Angle reminded her gently but firmly. “You’ve stayed on the straight and narrow so far, but until you fix what causes you to snap in the first place. You’re always going to be a loaded weapon to innocents.”

“I know but…”

“Faith you do this counseling or whatever and you’ve got a shot at being free from all the crap you carry round inside you.”

“Yeah but what if… I dunno it doesn’t work? How can I find a frickin’ shrink that will believe I’m a vampire slayer anyhow? Maybe I’m incurable?”

“I’ve never given up on you, don’t you give up on yourself. Find a shrink who’s a demon and be picky Faith. I had a close encounter with a fake swami once.”

“Yeah I’ll try that. Redemption's a rocky path huh?”

“Always.”

Part two

May 21st 2002
Hilton Hotel
Quantico
Virginia

“You look like Alice in Wonderland in that blue suit.” Oz whistled admiringly to Marita as she emerged from their hotel bedroom.

Marita flicked back her loose blond hair falling in a heavenly halo around her shoulders.

“Alice in Wonderland wouldn’t still have week knees from her early morning congress with a student musician.” Marita played with her silver neck chain. She had had to remove it last night. Oz had told her silver gave him a rash. “You’re very talented with your fingers.”

“Many guitar solos.” Oz looked up at her. Tall leggy blonds did it for him every time.

It was why Oz found Marie pretty damn appealing frequently. An attraction Oz had no intention on acting on. Not after what had happened with Veruca. His uncontrollable animal passion with werewolf Veruca had almost gotten his human girlfriend killed. Oz had had to kill Veruca to defend Willow. The berserker rage upon him, he had illogically nearly killed Willow immediately afterward.

Oz had got his werewolf side under control in Tibet he thought. Upon returning to Sunnydale to reclaim his supposed true love, Oz almost killed Willow’s new girlfriend in a jealous rage. This unfortunate development made Oz realize he was not as under control as he had optimistically deluded himself.

Deciding to waste his time no longer with human monks’ methods of control, Oz went to Paris France. Paris was the Mecca of the world’s lycanthropes. Gradually Oz had realized that he had got everything completely the wrong way round. If Oz had admitted to himself and Veruca that she was his mate from the beginning Veruca wouldn’t have tried to kill Willow. Werewolves were very jealous creatures particularly the females.

Oz had decided to try the Eastern Seaboard for a fresh start. Small world, he had run into an apparently reformed Faith and on the same night her newly turned werewolf friend Marie O’Grady. Tall, blond, slender, flat chested, and gray eyed Marie. The music loving hairdresser had the mouth of a sailor, the drinking capacity of a dehydrated camel and the evidently unfulfilled libido of a tom cat on Viagra.

Oz wasn’t prepared to mate with a werewolf who couldn’t control her wolf side every full moon. It was asking for a lot of corpses down the track.

Oz had come down to Virginia last night at Faith’s request. Just in case Marita was attacked by a super soldier to prevent her testimony in Mulder’s trial. Faith had told Oz there was a non human threat to Marita, and not to ask any more questions than that.

“So you can smell if someone’s not a human and I can’t ask you how that works.” Marita complained teasingly, stroking her temporary lover’s face. “Always secrets, even with someone as uncomplicated as you seem to be.”

“I’m not playing twenty questions with what the three of you are doing in court today.” Oz opened the door for her. “Ready for your ‘A Few Good Men’ gig?”

Marita looked guilty. “They can’t handle the truth.”

Part three

USMC Military base
Quantico
Virginia

The three witnesses sat along a hard wooden bench outside the military tribunal courtroom.

“I can’t believe Skinner's alive.” Alex said shaken. “I must have been out of range when I pressed my nanobot control back in the FBI garage last year.”

“Relax Krycek.” Marita soothed. Advice she needed to take herself.

“I’m no expert but this seems frickin strange to me.” Faith commented restlessly. “How can you have an FBI trial in a Marine Corp base with Mulder’s boss as his defense lawyer? And his boss's boss as the judge. With no jury either huh?”

“It’s a show trial.” Alex assured Faith. “Nothing we say will amount to a damn thing in the end. We just have to cover our own asses. Someone inside that room is only pretending to be human you can count on it.”

“Ms Covarrubias?” a marine guard called for her.

“Give ‘em hell Marita.” Alex encouraged her.

In the Military courtroom Mulder sat in a seat next to Skinner. Marita approached the witness chair and sat in it nervously.

“State your full name for the court.” Skinner told her.

“Marita Covarrubias.”

“And your former government title?” Skinner went on.

“Special Representative to the Secretary General of the U.N.”

“The United Nations.” Skinner went on repeating the obvious. He was completely out of his depth. “A position giving you unrestricted access to countries and leaders around the world. Isn't that right?

“Yes.” Maria agreed.

Skinner relaxed, it seemed to going on track so far, now for the nitty gritty. “How did you use this power?"

“Basically, to further the interests of a secretive philanthropic group of men who called themselves The Syndicate.” Marita answered.

Philanthropic? “What were their interests?”

Marita spoke clearly. “Developing a common cold vaccine before the Russians developed one."

“And how'd they go about that?” Skinner read aloud from his notes. Mulder kicked him. “No hold on, don’t you mean a vaccine for an alien virus?”

“No, the common cold,” Marita insisted unblushingly. “By testing fortunate civilians all over the world, test subjects were tracked through DNA identifiers in their small pox vaccination scars.”

“Without subject's knowledge?”

“We didn’t want them to develop false hope. Some developed suspicions. I saw Russians who cut off their arms to prevent being tracked. They were a completely inbred community, paranoid, so sad."

“As they did to a male Russian agent that you worked quite intimately with.”

“Who Alex Krycek?” Marita answered. "He hasn't lost his arm. I don't know what you are talking about."

“Did you believe in the syndicate? In their international conspiracy?”

“No. I was paid for my access.” Marita said. “A cure for the common cold how far fetched. Not as ridiculous as your claim about an Alien virus vaccine of course.”

“In fact, you came to hate them.”

“No. But I helped Agent Mulder when he approached me. So everyone could find out where their tax dollars were being wasted.”

“But you were found out. And the syndicate punished you for this.” Skinner continued hoping to catch her out in her lies.

For a brief second, Marita faltered. Her composure wavered at the memory of her experiences of being a test subject. “No I got T.B. and the Consortium very kindly paid for a sanitarium for me to recuperate in, in Switzerland.” Marita recovered and lied once more.

“Who destroyed the conspiracy?" Skinner plugged on tenaciously. "A group of renegade aliens who had avoided infection with the virus through self-disfigurement?”

“They're all dead now.” Evil bastards, Marita hoped they were burning in hell. “I heard it was a house fire at a retirement party they were having for one of their members.”

“Then what are you afraid of now?” Skinner demanded desperately. “Because the conspiracy continues just in another form by other men?”

“Objection.” Snapped the prosecuting attorney, an FBI agent named Kallenbrunner. “Mr. Skinner can't ask questions and give the answers.”

“Sustained.” Said FBI assistant director Kersh, enjoying his Judge Judy moment.

“Fox Mulder's on trial for murder here.” Skinner appealed to Marita. “The man he's accused of killing is one of these new conspirators. An alien replacement for a human being. What they're calling a super soldier. You can prove this, can't you?”

Marita remained silent. Her face betrayed her fear of death if she said the wrong thing.

“You know who these men are, don't you? Ms. Covarrubias?” Skinner insisted.

“I have no idea. You are obviously as mad as Fox Mulder.” Marita said defiantly. She felt sorry for Mulder but what else could she do?

“It's okay. Let her go.” Mulder whispered to Skinner.

“What the hell are you doing, Mulder?” Skinner argued. “She's the best witness that we have.”

“Doesn't matter.” Mulder shook his head defeated.

Marita still felt frightened of being made to talk. Skinner turned to her.

“Thank you, Ms. Covarrubias. I got nothing else.”

Marita glanced apologetically to Mulder and left the courtroom.

“I call upon Faith Lehane.” Skinner said next. He had been surprised to be given her name along with Alex’s contact details by an anonymous tipster inside the FSB. After reading about Faith's experiences in the Russian vaccine program, Skinner realized what a great witness Faith would be, but he knew nothing about her personally. He had only met her once.

Faith walked nervously into the courtroom. Her brown cowboy boot heels on the floor sounding over-loud. She sat down in the seat indicated to her by the guard. Alex had assured her she would not be made to take an oath on the bible. Faith could live with herself. Faith had spent years looking after number one by necessity.

“State your full name for the court.” Skinner told Faith. What the hell had happened to the young leather wearing babe he had met last year?

Alex had assured her the demure outfit Faith had pieced together from her wardrobe, screamed sincerity and trustworthiness. Faith would make a superb con artist Alex had praised her.

“Faith Clare Lehane.” Faith said shyly.

“In March 2000 you began working as a driver for Alex Krycek did you not?”

“Yes.”

“You drove him round North and South America as he gave Russian agents and later their families’ vaccinations against an alien virus.” Skinner stated, reading out loud his information.

“I don’t know. I stayed in the car.” Faith replied. “Alex Krycek went in and did the needle stuff. I was told the Russians were testing out a secret vaccine to cure the common cold.”

“Weren’t you in fact attacked by alien bounty hunters with super human strength and shape shifting abilities while you stayed in the car? Personally killing thirty two of them?” Skinner knew this sounded preposterous, but this was what he had been informed.

“No, not me,” Faith was wide eyed. “Aliens don’t exist and if they did how could I fight against something with super strength? I mean look at me. I’m hardly WWF material.”

“Don’t you have an intimate relationship with Alex Krycek?”

“Huh?”

“Aren’t you lovers? Don’t you live together?” Skinner spelled it out for her.

“Objection!” Kallenbrunner called out. “What has this got to with the case?”

“A lot, I’m trying to show how this young woman is being coerced into silence by an older manipulative lover.” Skinner explained frantically.

“I’ll allow it.” Kersh shook his head. How the hell should he know if it should be allowed or not? He wasn’t a real judge.

“Well he’s my boyfriend yeah.” Faith shrugged. “But Alex hasn’t coerced me into saying anything. Like I said, I stayed in the car the whole time. I never saw any Aliens.”

“What about the time agent Dana Scully was being pursued by a super soldier. You were in the car when Krycek ran over one chasing her and Mulder. You witnessed this super soldier get up unscathed.”

“If Alex had done a hit and run I would have reported it to the police immediately.” Faith sounded shocked at the idea. “Alex just told me we needed to pick up some old FBI acquaintances and take them to see you sir.”

“No further questions.” Skinner gave up on her.

“Should we even bother asking Krycek questions?” Mulder sighed to Skinner.

“State your full name for the court.” Skinner instructed Alex wearily as he was seated. He couldn’t believe the murdering son of a bitch had got his left arm back. How had that happened, magic?

“Alexis Krycek.” Alex tried hard to seem serious. Difficult when he kept wanting to burst out laughing at Mulder’s predicament.

“You are an FSB agent is that not so?”

“Yes. I’m being awarded full diplomatic immunity at this trial. As my reassignment as an anti- terrorist criminal investigation agent in Massachusetts, is being carried out under the approval of the Homeland Security Department. What I do is of vital importance to your national defense.”

“Lucky you.” Skinner couldn’t help himself. “Your reassignment from working for the Consortium as an undercover operative for the FSB correct?”

“Correct.”

“Who were you working for the Consortium or the FSB at the end of the day?” Skinner had always been curious about this.

Some days he hadn’t been sure himself Alex mused, “The FSB.”

“To help the Russians develop their anti alien virus vaccine.”

“My government was searching for a cure for the common cold.”

“You killed Agent Scully’s sister, Fox Mulder’s father and infected me with a nanobot virus, to cover up the traces of the Consortium's collaboration with the aliens.”

“No, no and no but the latter sounds a blast Walter.” Alex smirked.

“Be serious Mr Krycek.” Kersh reprimanded.

“Why? The whole thing is hysterical, little green men, your government hiding the truth. It’s a paranoid schizophrenic’s dream world.” Krycek looked over at Mulder sympathetically. “It’s this unfortunate man’s dream world. He saw his sister abducted in front of him by a serial killer as a child and never recovered from the trauma. Will he get meds?”

“I’m asking the questions Krycek.” Skinner snapped.

“I’m waiting Assistant Director Skinner.” Alex put his hands behind his head, offensively casual.

“I have no more questions.” Skinner admitted in defeat. It was obvious Krycek was going to lie over everything.

“Do I get financially reimbursed by the U.S. Government for giving up my valuable time here today? Who do I get a form from?” Alex mocked as he got up.

Part four

As soon as Krycek had been called into testify. Faith went out to have a cigarette in a smoking area courtyard. Presently she was joined by Monica Reyes, pushing a child in stroller.

Because Agent Mulder had been shot in the leg by Krycek, he had had to abandon his original plans to go on the run. He had been a contented house husband looking after baby William Mulder while Dana Scully lectured at the local FBI academy. Mulder had foolishly gone after a super soldier in March and been wrongfully arrested for his murder.

Monica placed the toddler in the shade and took out her own packet. She was out of matches.
Faith leaned over and lit her cigarette.

The two women ignored each other. They knew who each other was.

Faith threw her butt in the ash can and noticed the toddler make his dropped rattle float back up to him.

“My god!” Faith cried amazed. “Is that kid possessed? Because I can put you in touch with a great agency in Los Angeles that specialize in problems like his.”

Monica glanced startled at baby William. “No, your eyes were playing tricks in the sun Ms Lehane.” Dear Lord, it was hard baby sitting William sometimes.

“He’s frickin’ adorable. He’s Scully and Mulder’s baby right?” Monica nodded. Faith knelt down by the stroller. “Hey little guy, aren’t you cute? Yes you are pal.”

William like all babies recognized a fan, he smiled enchantingly at her.

Alex came out to tell Monica she was up next, after Doggett who was presently testifying.

He saw Faith cooing over the stroller. Alex suddenly wondered what would have happened if Faith hadn’t miscarried two years ago. They could have had a child around the same age as the Mulder brat. Scary thought.

“Agent Reyes you’re up next.” Alex told Monica.

Faith looked after Reyes as she pushed the stroller away. “It’s kinda sad that kid will grow up with out a Dad. That’s always frickin’ hard.”

“It’s not like you to be soft.” Alex put his arm round her. “Mulder’s X-files pals will bust him out tonight.” Alex assured her, “I’d lay down twenty bucks on it.”

“I guess we better go check on Oz and Marita.” Faith covetously took a last peep at the contents of the stroller Reyes was pushing.

Part Five.

May 23rd 2002
Ludwig Frap’s Clinic
South Boston

“Where’s the couch?” Faith asked immediately, as she walked into the half demon psychologist’s office.

“I find comfy armchairs work better.” The bespectacled middle aged psychologist beckoned her to have a seat. The man was grey haired and extremely hirsute, bushy eyebrows, tufts of hair sticking out of his ears. His eyes had a third eyelid like a lizards.

“Right,” Faith folded her arms stiffly. She noted a huge box of tissues on the table beside the chair. Faith didn’t like the look of those.

The psychologist asked Faith probing questions about her current situation and past, making notes.

“So what brings you here? You’re a slayer, Twenty-one, attractive, handsome older boyfriend, close knit family on your father's side, good friends and you're going to college this semester part time. Interesting part time job with career prospects for the future. What is preventing the world being your oyster Ms Lehane?”

Faith let out a deep breath. “I can’t kill humans using knives without cracking up. Occasionally I need to be able to take humans out. Without wallowing and having nightmares afterward or worse I think, getting off on stabbing them. That's real sick when I do that. I don’t like knives period even at home, and a lotta my calling requires using enchanted daggers or mystical knives.”

Dr Fraps put his fingers together. “So why’s that do you think Faith?”

Faith shuffled her feet. “I dunno, magic shit you know the drill.”

“No, why the blade aversion?” The psychologist persisted.

“Maybe because another slayer stabbed me in the stomach once, maybe because the first human I deliberately murdered I killed with a knife.”

“You never had an issue with knives before that?”

“Maybe. My mother…” Faith trailed off. She was not using the tissue box. Faith was not.

“Your dead mother, who was an alcoholic, unsettling to grow up in that environment.”

“Yeah, understatement of the year, she tried to kill herself once with a knife.” Faith looked straight ahead. “It was messy.”

“Did you witness this?” the psychologist asked neutrally.

“Yeah, she cut her self twice in the left arm downwards, the real deal. Mom didn’t fuck around. I had to call an ambulance. I was eight.” Faith kept resolutely ignoring the tissue box. Faith had been prepared for this to come up.

“Hmm.” The psychologist sucked his pen. Your hour’s almost up. I’m giving you a few homework exercises to do. I want you to keep a journal and then I’ll see you again this week. Get my receptionist to pencil you in. Four or five more sessions for you should do it.”

“What is that it?” Faith said surprised. “Is that all?”

“Do you want to give me more money?” the psychologist teased. ”Don’t you need books for school?”

“I… no but aren’t I incurable?” A worthless, evil, promiscuous, sociopathic mistake? Faith thought to herself.

“Not at all Faith. Everything you do is quite a logical response to what has happened to you previously.” The psychologist smiled kindly. “We can make you mentally well. You’re a slayer you’re meant to be a killer. You only need to find a way to stop feeling guilty about it.”

Part Six

June 15th 2002
Bunker hill Monument
Boston

“No Mrs Finnegan, I don’t believe you’re gonna stop and go back to making love potions.” Faith backed the middle aged witch up against the wall of Bunker Hill monument. Faith spat blood out of her mouth. Damn the bitch’s spells could pack a whammy.

“All your witchy power is quite drained at the moment huh?” Faith commented coldly.

“Yes, I’m helpless.” Mrs Finnegan looked pleadingly at her.

“Wicked good.” Faith slid her knife along the witch’s throat firmly. Arterial blood sprayed everywhere.

Faith stood back out of range, waiting until the witch collapsed. Taking her denim jacket off. Faith removed rubber gloves (Alex had suggested she bring them along) from her pocket. Faith slipped the gloves on. Securing them with elastic. This was the gory part coming up. Faith gave a deep breath. Aware of her friends eyes upon her, willing her to succeed.

Faith bent down and cut the witch's heart out. Faith placed the still beating heart on the ground carefully. Stamping her boot on the heart repeatedly till it stopped pumping.

It served Mrs Finnegan right for trying to take over the Eastern Seaboard.

Faith turned to her panting bleeding friends calmly. “Youse guys okay?”

“Yeah,” The oldest O’Malley brother supported a broken legged Brad round his shoulders. “But what about you Faithie? You feel okay after having just preformed fucking open heart surgery on Mrs F?”

“Yeah I’m cool.” Faith broke into a brilliant smile. She felt fine, not ecstatic, not catatonic, kinda satisfied she had done the right thing. It had been no more difficult or easy than killing a rat. “I’m not even going to hit you up for a cigarette O’Malley. I feel so wicked fine right now.”

Marie threw Faith a water bottle to rinse the blood off her hands.

“Wasn’t that your first semi apocalypse Faith?” Oz pointed out. “I say we all go back to my place get elegantly wasted, while Karen drops off Brad at the hospital.”

“Gee thanks guys you’re all heart.” Brad looked down at Mrs Finnegan’s squashed organ. “Maybe an unfortunate choice of words.”

“There’s always heaps of vodka in my liquor cubbid. Rager’s on at my place.” Faith grinned.

Part Seven

June 15th 2002
Alex and Faith's apartment
South Boston

Alex was reading a book when Faith and her friends arrived back at their apartment. “Take out the wicked witch I take it?” he smiled warmly at Faith, thankful to see she was still breathing.

His welcoming expression changed, as he took in horrified the dried blood splashes on her arm. “Wash your arms in antiseptic Faith! That’s hepatitis B or worse waiting to happen.” Alex ordered aghast.

Next Alex regarded appraisingly her comrades’ wounds. “I’ll go get the first aid box.”

“We did good.” Faith yelled after him, as Alex disappeared into the bathroom. “We rocked!”

Alex came back with his well stocked first aid box. Listening to the Oz and Marie praise a cool headed Faith’s skill at cutting Mrs Finnegan’s heart out, as he tended an O’Malley. Alex was proud of Faith. Pleased to see Faith’s sessions with the psychologist had clearly paid off.

Faith went to the refrigerator, her arms sanitary clean and threw beers to everyone.

“You need stitches Oz.” Marie hovered over him.

“I’m fine Marie thanks anyway.” Oz waved her away gently. “Go tend the younger O’Malley, he’s looking worse than me.”

“He always looks worse.” One of O’Malley’s brothers chuckled callously. “He’s been butt ugly since birth.” Everyone laughed uproariously.

Only Faith saw Marie’s hurt look at Oz’s mild rebuff.

Faith beckoned her into the spare bedroom for a private word later in the evening. Karen and Brad had arrived back and people were getting seriously hammered. Alex tactfully prevented an O’Malley brother from dancing on the coffee table.

“What is the deal with youse werewolves Marie?” Faith demanded to know, closing the bedroom door behind her.

“What?” Marie had a nice buzz going. She drank her white wine defiantly.

“Oh don’t frickin be coy.” Faith ordered her best friend crossly. “I know you’ve done the dirty with Brad behind Karen’s back." Faith had been noticing the way Brad and Marie were deliberately not looking at each other. "It was when youse went out on your field trip last full moon huh?”

Marie had begged Brad to take her out into the countryside last full moon, she couldn’t bear being cooped up in a cage in Summer. It had been the first time Marie had been free as a werewolf. Marie was never going back in a cage again. Marie could almost control her turning now… almost.

“So what if I did? It’s just a full moon thing with Brad and me. We don’t love each other.” Marie looked guilty. “Not every one finds true love like you Faithie.” Marie said nastily.

“Don’t give me that shit, this is me here Marie.” Faith retorted. “Alls I know is there’ll be hell to pay when Karen finds out Marie, and she will. Youse are all room mates, you're crapping in your own frickin nest Marie! You clearly have the hots for Oz as well.”

“Shit is it that frickin obvious?” Marie looked down embarrassed. “I’m crazy about him Faithie, I’ve never felt this way before about a guy.”

“I don’t think he feels the same about you Marie sorry. I mean the guy’s obviously mentally deficient but I don’t think he’s into you.” Faith tried to let her friend down gently.

“I’m starting to think I’ll die, if I can’t make him love me back.” Marie told Faith truthfully.

“You won’t die Marie.” Faith contradicted her uncomfortably. She had no idea her friend’s crush on Oz had turned into an obsession. It must be a werewolf thing. Marie had changed slightly when it came to men since she had become one. Her one night stand tally had shot through the roof since Marie had broken up with Nick. And Marie didn’t seem to be able to date anyone more than once.

What could Faith do about it?

June 16th 2002

Alex came into the living room sweaty from his morning run. His eyes widened to see Faith clad only in mismatching designer briefs and bra, tidying up after her impromptu soiree the previous evening. It wasn’t her lingerie that gave him pause, it was the fact she was doing any form of housework. Alex hadn't wanted Faith to bother about housework but had been surprised to find out she didn't seem to know how to actually do it.

“You’re way sexier than the cleaning lady.” he told her encouragingly, on his way straight to the refrigerator to gulp back a bottle of chilled water.

“I don’t get love triangles do you Alex?” Faith picked up a beer can from under the couch. “I mean I could never be in one huh?” Faith had been thinking over Marie, Brad and Oz since she had woken up.

“You might get the chance.” Alex called from the kitchen. “Head office called yesterday evening. They think I need a sleazier persona and want me to start display dating some of those desperate gangster groupies that hang round the mob. I should be able to avoid sex, but if not I’ll use condoms, sorry baby.”

Faith dropped the plastic bag full of party debris on the floor, storming furiously into the kitchen.

“Are you out of your fucking mind Krycek? Do you think I’d put up with that crap for a second? You can tell any little Hoodsies hanging round you to scram pal. I’m not frickin’ sharing and if you cheat on me…what the hell is so funny?” Faith broke off her tirade at the sight of Alex’s smirk

“You. I was pulling your chain Faithya. Head Office would never ask B.S. like that of me in this job. They approve of the arrangement I have with you, it’s uncomplicated.” Alex pulled her to him firmly, smirking again as she made a face at his sweatiness. She struggled with token resistance, and then relaxed against him.

“You’ve never spontaneously put your foot down over anything with me before.” He commented amused, his face buried in her hair. Alex had been more relieved than Faith would ever know, to see her walking alive through the door last night.

“Haven’t I?” Faith looked back on the past two years. She had tended to go along with whatever Alex had wanted before. It had seemed easier and always sensible to do whatever Alex wanted.

“You’ve finally grown up.” Alex smoothed her hair back. He looked wistful. “You’ll be moving on soon.” He tried to make it a light hearted quip but they both felt it fall flat.

“I’m yours for as long as you’re in Boston Alex.” Faith put her hand on his stubbled cheek in reassurance. “I love you.”

“I love you back.” Alex kissed her gently, then released her. Faith walked back to the living room.

He looked round at the shambles that was their kitchen. “Christ, what a mess. I’ll do in here. You finish the living room. Then as my sexual reward I want you to join me in the shower.’

“I’m just a frickin’ sex object to you huh?” Faith snickered, happily picking up the plastic bag again.

Alex started to load the dishwasher cheerfully. “Yep, all there is to our relationship Faith.”

The End

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