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This story is No. 3 in the series "Resist or Serve". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Krycek wants to propose to Faith but Bringers, two Apocalypses, an aspiring James Bond ex-watcher and the coolest Sunnydale High principal ever, keep getting in his way. And what's up with Marita and Oz?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > X-Files, The(Past Donor)KiwikatipoFR181573,4935305,2462 Oct 0620 Nov 06Yes

NOTE: This chapter is rated FR15

So soon you'll take me

Sunday 3rd March 2003

Part One
Alex and Faith’s apartment
South Boston

Faith curled up on the couch, nursing a cup of breakfast coffee. Faith’s cat purred at her feet, happy to have her home.

It was frickin’ unbelievable Faith reflected.

All the laws Faith had ever broken for real. Starting with shoplifting at nine, going onto underage smoking, drinking and sex. Then there were all the times Faith had purchased Marijuana, Ketamine and MDMA for their mind altering entertainment factor. Her breaking, entering and vandalizing days with O’Malley brothers. Her little murder spree in California. Why a few months ago she had murdered Mrs Finnegan who had lived down the street. The witch bitch had it coming, but still.

But now after 200 grams of Heroin had been discovered in her luggage, Faith could face up to ten years in MCI Framingham Women’s Prison for something she hadn’t actually done. Faith was sure that must be ironic or a simile or something, it was definitely fucked. Faith dreaded being incarcerated in the country’s oldest still running prison. It was the thought of maybe having to share a cell with one of her cousins, from her mother’s side of Faith’s family. The Malones' had never liked Faith much, the feeling was mutual.

Even if Faith only got the minimum thousand dollar fine she’d have a criminal conviction, she’d never be able to get a good job, travel overseas again. Her life was frickin' ruined.

At least she had Alex thank god. He’d come through her yet again, arranging everything unflappably for her, bail, lawyer. Correction she had Alex for now.

Faith had secretly wished Alex was going to ask for something more permanent from her. Ever since they had found out Alien colonization was no longer on Earth’s menu, Faith had been as hopeful as a child on Christmas Eve for the past three months. She didn’t get why else he had wanted her to meet his family. Faith must have misread him, or failed some mystery test he had set for her in St Petersburg.

Faith had thought she’d behaved pretty well in St Petersburg. All Alex's family liked her. Faith had got on extremely well with his sister in law. The two young women had gone ice skating together on their own one day, and were planning to keep in touch by e-mail. Faith’d got on okay with his friends from his college days too. What had she done wrong for crying out loud?

Maybe it was being attacked by those Bringer dudes. But that was obviously some Russian thing. Alex loved her not her supernatural world. Faith knew that, but she'd got involved in his fricking Alien conspiracies and coped.

The hell with it. Her court case wasn’t happening anytime soon. There was nothing she could do about her trial or Alex.

Faith decided to go see a friend cheer herself up. If no one was home she’d take it as a sign from god to go to church with her grandmother this afternoon. Molly Lehane was always nagging her to attend.

Bracing herself against the cold, she walked over to Marie, Brad and Karen’s place. Karen was dashing out the door to do an unexpected shift at work. Brad was home and informed her Marie had left minutes ago to see Oz.

“Come join me.” Brad offered in his normal friendly way. "I was just on my way over there myself."

Faith walked down his apartment buildings steps with him. “To see Oz about band stuff, or bring Marie back to cheat on Karen again?”

“Marie.” Brad didn’t bother to deny it.

“Why don’t you just break up with Karen and frickin’ go out with Marie?” Faith said impatiently.

“Marie’s in love with Oz.” Brad explained unashamed. “I’ve got a good thing going with Karen.”

“God youse guys are mental. I’d never get myself involved in a beat situation like that.” Faith shook her head in disgust. “The two of youse are pathetic.”

“You don’t get how hard it is to be a freaking werewolf.”

“Brad I’m a frickin’ slayer.” Faith brought out a packet of cigarettes. “You don’t see me in some retarded mystic love triangle.”

“Hey, you smoking again Faithie?” Brad commented in surprise, as they walked along the street. “I bet your Ruskie boyfriend hates that.”

“I’m pisser stressed okay? I’m looking at ten years in the big house here.”

“You won’t go to jail.” Brad consoled her. “You got Wolfram and Hart lawyers working for you.”

“They were Alex’s idea, seeing they specialize in supernatural clients.” Faith inhaled her cigarette in blissful re-addiction. “The Boston branch is far less evil than the L.A one.”

“If you say so,” Brad appeared unconvinced. “Weird the news from L.A. huh? The sun being blocked out like that?”

“Weird crap indeed lover.” Faith and Brad paused outside the entrance to Oz’s apartment building. Faith hurriedly finished her cigarette. It was beginning to snow again.

Part Two

Daniel Osbourne’s Apartment
South Boston

Oz and Marita had woken up late together that Sunday morning. Marita had been up in Boston for a WHO conference that week. It was the first time she had ever stayed the weekend at Oz’s apartment.

“What do you wanna do today?” Oz asked her as they cleaned up after their breakfast together. “Keep in mind it’s kinda freezing.”

“Let’s get DVDs and watch them in bed.” Marita suggested. She found Oz’s apartment an ice box. “I want to see that movie Pearl Harbor, you choose another one.”

“I’ll get them huh? You look kinda tired after that conference.” Oz offered considerately, as he wiped down the kitchen bench.

“It’s not the conference. It’s remnants of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I had five years ago.” Marita was embarrassed at how haggard she must appear to him sometimes. She didn’t see how she could explain being a test subject for an alien virus vaccine to Oz. “I get tired easily now as you know. It makes me a boring companion doesn’t it?”

“Jeez, I don’t think you’re boring.” Oz leaned over and hugged her. “Time spent with you is always of the good.”

Marita leaned her head down and kissed him on his mouth. She’d never been with anyone shorter than her before Oz. She’d never quite understand how she ended up in his bed three hours after meeting him.

She had been brought round to his place by Alex at eight o’clock on a Sunday evening. After being stuck in Alex’s apartment hiding from Aliens for twelve days in a row, Marita was rested and bored. Oz the first outsider she had seen in over a week had seemed the most laconically witty man she had ever met. Also very sexy in his own bohemian way.

Oz had been showing Marita how to play the guitar, he tutored children part time to pay his way through college. As Marita had sat on a kitchen chair Oz had leaned over her, putting his arms around her to correct her hand movements holding the guitar.

Taking her by surprise a wave of arousal had coursed through her body at his touch. It was as if Oz had been able to sense it somehow, even though he couldn’t possibly have seen her face. He had placed his hand on the small of her back deliberately on the pretext of correcting her position. Marita had felt even more turned on. Oz had rubbed his hand slowly over her back, putting the guitar on the table. Marita had leaned her head back inviting him unspoken to kiss her. His mouth had descended inevitably on hers.

And now here they were ten months later, kissing in his kitchen once more.

Oz deepened their kiss. He hadn’t intended to get involved with a human, hadn’t intended to get involved with anyone, and here he was slowly but surely falling in love with Marita. In fact he suspected he already had fallen in love with her. He’d been in New York much more than normal the past two months and correspondingly had spent more time with the sophisticated World Health Organization worker.

There was nothing goofy or flaky about Marita. She wasn’t overtly sexual, she was the most serious woman he had ever met and yet she had a quiet sense of humor. Maybe that was what he liked about her she was so reserved and quiet.

He didn’t know why she smelled so sick sometimes, so wrong. He didn’t know why when his senses were especially acute near full moon time he could catch the minutest trace of the same smell in Krycek and Faith.

He slid his hand down the back of her sweater, running his hand along her smooth back. Damn, it was no use, he couldn’t make love to her when she smelled the way she did. Chronic fatigue his ass.

He broke away apologetically. “I’ll get those DVD’s Marita.”

Marita knew Oz had his own secrets. Marita couldn’t think of another way to have a relationship. Her one previous serious relationship had been so screwed.

Alex and Marita had both loved each other but put their work first. She had betrayed him. It was one of the worst things she had ever done. Marita had thought she’d been saving the world. Not realizing Alex had being playing the Consortium as well, so complicated.

Alex had said and done the strangest thing when they had run into each other in a Nightclub last November.

She had offered to do a line of coke with him for old time’s sake (the only thing that could give her enough energy to get through the night). Alex had regretfully refused because he was with Faith. Faith would pretend to be blasé about it but Alex knew it would hurt her.

Alex had reached into his pocket and brought out a silver Russian Orthodox cross. “Listen up Covarrubias for a free piece of advice. Every second you’re not screwing Osbourne but you’re around him, keep this on your person or better yet wear it, understand?”

“No, we’re both atheists Krycek. I find your little gift odd to say the least.” Marita had commented to her ex lover, wondering how he knew about Oz’s silver allergy.

“Just take it.” Alex pressed the cross into her hand. They didn’t love each other anymore but they’d always have a connection. “Silver crosses Covarrubias, wear them alright?”

Now alone in Oz’s apartment, Marita pulled her grandmother’s cross out of her jeans pocket and pulled it over her head. Marita could never work out why Alex warned her to do this. But she had believed him.

A knock came at the door. Marita went over to answer it. Faith’s friend Marie was standing outside.

“Oh good morning, Marie isn’t it?” Marita said. “Oz has gone to the video store, he said he’d be back in ten minutes.”

“Why are you here?” Marie demanded bluntly. She walked into the apartment uninvited. “Are ya in Boston to see Krycek?”

“No, I’m here to see Oz.” Marita tried to clarify uncomfortably. Why was the younger woman staring at her so intently? Why were her nostrils twitching in that peculiar way? Oz sometimes did that with his nose as well.

“Would you care for some coffee while you wait? There’s some still hot.” Marita offered politely.

“What do you wanna see Oz for?” Marie had a growing suspicion, but she didn’t want to believe the evidence of her own heightened sense of smell.

Oz always accused Marita of being reluctant to be public about their relationship in New York. Yet clearly this girl knew nothing of Marita’s status in his life. There were drawbacks to being private people Marita supposed and this was one of them. The girl seemed jealous.

“I’m ‘seeing’ him Marie.” Marita disclosed awkwardly. “We’ve been seeing each other since last May. I thought you must know by now.”

“But you’re old. “ Marie wailed. “You’re sick, I can smell how unhealthy you are at the moment.’

“I smell?” Marita was mortified. She hadn’t had a shower yet. But why did Marie have the audacity to be so rude? Was the girl on drugs?

“You smell of him.” Marie was bearing down on Marita, she was taller, younger and much stronger. Using her arms all day to wash and cut peoples hair had given Marie serious muscle power.

“He’s screwed you last night. You! You’re so cold, what does he see in you?” Marie was genuinely puzzled.

“Manners perhaps?” Marita retaliated stiffly. “Please leave, I think you’ve said quite enough.”

Marie pushed her. “You can’t tell me what to do you Euro tramp. You have no right to act like his fucking girlfriend.”

Marita wished her gun wasn’t in her suitcase. “Leave now or I’m calling the police.” She threatened coolly.

Marie ripped the phone off the wall. “Try now.”

“You think a posturing little bitch like you Marie, could possibly intimidate me?” Marita laughed sarcastically, thinking of the war zones she’d seen with the UN. Not to mention her up close and personal encounters with Aliens. “I’ve been involved in things you couldn’t begin to dream of.”

“I’m one of the things you can only dream of in your nightmares.” Marie’s eyes were feral like an animal’s. Even her teeth looked longer to Marita. Impossible. Was it Marita’s imagination or was Marie more hirsute as well?

“Leave now.” Marita demanded coldly. Inside Marita was starting to feel stabbing fear. Her gut instinct was telling her to run. Marie’s teeth were definitely longer. Marita sprinted for her bedroom.

Marie blocked her path. The werewolf lunged at Marita's neck still in half human form. Marita twisted away and Marie made contact with her flesh and silver chain.

Marie and Marita shrieked in simultaneous pain. Tearing the silver necklace off, Marie spat it and Marita's blood out of her burnt mouth.

Marita used the two seconds reprieve to scramble to the bedroom. Slamming the door shut. She dived for her suitcase, retrieving her gun.

The door opened, Marita fired off two rounds.

Faith and Brad just outside Oz’s apartment heard the gunshots and looked at each other startled. They tried the door and found it unlocked.

They fell into Oz’s living room. Brad could smell what had happened instantly.

“Marie’s turning!”

“Oz keeps a tranq rifle!” Faith remembered. “Where’s the fucking rifle?”

A bloodcurdling scream from Marita came from the bedroom.

“In there.” Brad started to Morph. “Don’t worry.” he growled at Faith. “I’ll handle Marie, the rifle’s under the bed.”

Brad and Faith dashed into the bedroom.

A bleeding Marie was ripping Marita’s belly skin open with her claws. She still hadn’t turned fully into a wolf.

Brad dragged his clandestine lover off Marita. His nose assaulted by the smell of Marita’s blood. The blood was too appealing to him. He was only lupine. “Shoot us both!” Brad yelled at Faith desperately, struggling heroically with Marie.

Faith crawled under the bed and found the rifle. She loaded it frantically, rolling out and aiming at the two werewolves.

Brad and Marie both went down, turning into human form as soon as they were unconscious because it was daylight.

Marita was also unconscious. Faith looked down at the woman's wounds dispassionately. That was interesting, Marita would probably live.

5th March 2002
Part Three

Boston Council of Trade Unions Headquarters.

Faith banged the photocopier machine. She had removed the paper where the display diagram light had said it was jammed. What was the hold up? Stupid piece of crap! Faith knelt down opened the door and looked at the infernal machine’s inner workings once more.

A co-worker put his head round the door, “Hey Faithie, your lawyer’s here to see you. He’s in reception.

“Thanks lover. Tell Joe I’ll take my lunch break now.” Faith got up and wiped the toner off her hands with a paper towel. Damn thing. She put the document she was trying to copy away, found her leather overcoat and walked into reception.

Wesley was sitting there, looking ruggedly handsome in a camel suede jacket and a week’s worth of stubble. Faith was astonished she could find the bastard looked good after what he had done to her.

“Hello, Faith. How are you?” Wesley greeted her in an expressionless monotone. He stood up.

“Well you must know what’s up with me Wes.” Faith told her ex-watcher coldly. She beckoned him out the door and walked down the stairs with him. “I’m being charged with possession and trafficking of a class A drug, isn’t that’s why you’re here pretending to be my lawyer?”

“You know what’s going on in L.A.?” Wesley checked with her,

“No, I live in a frickin' cave.” Faith rolled her eyes sarcastically. He still obviously had no respect for her intelligence. Faith recited what the news on TV had said, “Never-ending night, rain of fire…youse guys at Angel Investigations must be run off your feet.”

“You don’t know the half of it.” Wesley sighed. He automatically held the door open for her, as they walked into the street.

Faith stared at him with hatred. Last time they’d spoken he’d called her ‘a useless fucking slut’ as she’d limped out his front door.

“But you’re here to fill in the blanks for me. Why?” Faith wanted to know.

“We need you.” Wesley told her simply.

“Well, I hate to rain on the St Paddy’s Day Parade Wes, but I’m kinda unavailable right now due to my bail conditions. Maybe you wanna check back later when my trial is over and I’m hopefully found innocent, otherwise my personal organizer might be booked solid for the next two to ten years.”

Wesley shook his head. “You need to know…”

“It’s Armageddon again. I get that.” Faith sighed, lighting a cigarette. “But I have my own problems’ to deal with here, mostly of the lupine caused kind. Besides, Angel will come shining through in the end like he always does.”

“Angel’s gone, Faith.” Wesley told her flatly. “Angelus is back. I’ve booked you a ticket on the next plane back to L.A. it leaves in an hour.”

“You gotta car here?” Faith asked him. Wesley shook his head. Throwing her cigarette in the gutter. Faith stepped recklessly into the middle of the road to flag down a passing taxi.

Part four

St Eligus Hospital
South Boston

Oz sat in the waiting room outside Marita’s ward. Alex came out and sat beside him. “She’s going to recover.”

“Thank god.” Oz unclenched his hands. “I still don’t understand what that black slime was coming out of her eyes.”

“A reaction to a vaccine Marita had once.” Alex said simply. Alex had been shaken also to see the Alien black oil that must have been remaining in Marita’s body from the Consortium's tests on her, pour out of Marita’s tear ducts.

“Will she see me now Krycek?” Oz asked wearily. He really wanted to make things right with her.

“She hasn’t changed her mind. She hasn’t taken calmly the fact that you and now she are werewolves.” Alex informed Oz. “You’re still persona non grata as far as she’s concerned.”

“Crap, I never thought this would happen.” Oz shook his head.

Alex’s phone rang. He retrieved it from his jacket, checking to see who was calling.


Part Five

Logan Airport

Wesley looked on impassively as Faith fought over the phone with Alex.

“Angel’s one of the few people in my life who’s never given up on me. There’s no way I’m giving up on him Alex. I’m real sorry for the massive amount of inconvenience I’m gonna cause you on this.”

Faith turned her phone off angrily as Alex hung up on her in disgust. He’d calm down, she hoped.

“Trouble in paradise?” Wesley inquired dryly, as they shuffled forward in the boarding queue.

“Shut the hell up.” Faith ordered him in a low voice. “If you think that sick shit we did together in May, gives you some strange right to comment on my relationship with Alex you’re off your meds.”

“Faith I deeply regret what happened between us last May...” Wesley began.

“For real Wes? ‘Cause I thought you got off on it all.” Faith hissed, handing her boarding pass to the flight attendant.

“I thought you did too,” Wesley handed over his boarding pass in turn. “You could have left at any time.”

“I needed to stick round to help you build your cage remember? Did that get used in the end?” Faith stalked into the airplane cabin, searching for their seats.

“Unfortunately, yes.” Wesley removed his jacket placing it in the overhead locker, helping Faith stow her overcoat away as well.

They sat down stiffly together.

“I’m here for Angel.” Faith informed him coldly.

“I know. Let me fill you in on what’s been happening in LaLa land in your absence.” Wesley said.

Part Six

6th March 2002
Los Angeles

Finally in L.A. Faith struggled in the back seat of Wesley’s car. Removing her work skirt, pantyhose and heels, pulling on the jeans, socks, boots and sweater she had hastily looted from an abandoned store. L.A. was a supernatural battleground at the moment.

“So let me get this straight one more time.” Faith frowned at Wesley, the bastard had automatically checked his driving mirror for a second to watch her undress. He’d seen her naked before, it wasn’t like she had grown an extra breast in the ten months since they’d seen each other.

“Gunn’s pissed off at you again, because you kissed Fred. That chick is weirdly annoyed at Gunn, because her boyfriend sent her professor to the same hell dimension that Fred was sent to. That the singing demon host at Caritas comes from whose best buds with youse all now.” Faith pulled her overcoat back on. “Gotta stake handy?”

“Correct, that’s Lorne.” Wesley opened his glove box and passed her back a spare stake.

“Yeah, and you were doing the nasty with Lilah Morgan for Christ’s sake. No surprise there Wes, I could see the writing on the wall with that one. When I was nursing you she was always coming round dropping you off little get well gifts, like that musty heavy book.”

‘That you threw at my face’ were her unspoken words finishing the sentence. Faith and Wesley were hideously aware of what throwing that book had caused to happen between them.

“Faith I said I regret the whole sordid affair. I’m not looking for an encore I assure you.”

“Yeah, I guess we’re better off letting the dead bury the dead on that one.” Faith was prepared to not dwell on the past for her own sake as much as Angel’s. "So anyways, you volunteered to cut the head off your lover’s corpse because Connor thought his Dad might have turned her. I’d do the same for Alex, I get that.”

“You’re the only one who does.” Wesley was incredibly grateful Faith had not been cruel about his necessary decapitation of Lilah.

“And Connor sent Angel to the bottom of the ocean for three months and Princess Cordelia’s been a frickin’ divine being. It explains why I never got my e-mails replied to last summer. I just gave up in the end. And Cordelia and Angel had some mysterious falling out? Just before he went soulless.”

“Caught us off guard. We all thought he’d fallen in love with her.” Wesley reminded Faith of the other torrid part of the supernatural soap opera that was Angel Investigations recently.

“And may I just ask what the hell are youse all doing?” Faith scrambled back in the front seat. She fastened her seat belt.

Wesley raised his eyebrows in surprise at her prudent travel habit. “Leading complicated lives obviously.”

“No, I mean releasing Angel’s soul to get Angelus to catch the Beast. That’s just gas to the flame huh? Thank god you contacted me. I’m never giving up on Angel. He never gave up on me. He gets reinsouled not dusted.”

“That’s why it had to be you not Buffy.” Wesley slowed down the car as he approached traffic lights. “It doesn’t sound like you’ve got a handle on things in Boston Faith. Oz is a werewolf. You’re best friend is a werewolf who has turned Oz’s girlfriend, your boyfriends ex-girlfriend into a werewolf. And your friend’s still alive. You’re a soft touch as a slayer. You’ve lacked a Watcher’s guidance the past three years. I’m just wondering if you’re up to this task.”

“Excuse me?” Faith gasped indignantly.

“You’ve no idea what it’s like out there. It’s a vampire-demon-free-for-all, all the time. Maybe you haven’t got what it takes.”

“I doubt that.” Faith sneered.

“Let’s find out.”

“How do you frickin' propose to...”

Faith felt a painful tug on her hair as a vampire suddenly yanked her out the passenger window. He dropped her painfully onto the sidewalk.

A second vampire attacked from Wesley’s side of the car, the undead monster was immediately flattened as Wesley slammed the door open into its head. The creature got back up, only to be sent back down by a vicious kick by Wesley.

On the other side of the car, a third vampire joined the fight. Faith efficiently dusted them both in quick succession with the stake she had in her overcoat.

The vampire on Wesley’s side got to his feet again to charge Wesley once more.

Wesley held up his hand to halt him and pointed to Faith. “No, she’s the one you want.”

The vampire took one look at Faith silhouetted in a cloud of his companions dust and realized what she was.

“Slayer…” The vampire found being undead a valid life choice that he wanted to continue experiencing. He ran off into the inky blackness surrounding Los Angeles.

“Happy now Pryce?” Faith demanded to know, getting back in the car.

“You’ll do.” Wesley smiled satisfied.

Part seven

Hyperion Hotel Lobby

Connor practiced with a sword on the upper balcony while Gunn paced
nervously in front of Fred and Lorne, checking his crossbow.

“Oh, relax, boys,” Lorne advised. “The spell is working and I still got the slight migraine to prove it.”

“Yeah, maybe so but if Angelus shows up, I want to be ready.” Gunn said grimly.

“We are. Now.” Wesley’s voice tone was calmly triumphant, as he came in the front door.

Everyone turned to look at Wesley entering the lobby with Faith.

Faith took in the opulence of the hotel lobby with approval. She had never been here before. “Sweet crib.”

“Fred and Connor, this is Faith, the Vampire Slayer.”

“Hello, Faith. I’m…” Fred began to introduce herself.

“Fred. Yeah, Wes kinda gave me the skinny on you.” Faith said tactlessly. God, so was Wesley in love with this stick insect? He must be into brunettes. Cordelia, Virginia (Faith had seen a photo) that Russian interpreter, Lilah and her.

“Oh…” Fred said taken aback.

“Faith? What the hell are you doing here?” Cordelia exclaimed in astonishment.

From the top of the lobby stairs Cordelia looked down at Wesley and Faith in open surprise.

Faith waved in greeting. “Nice to see you, too, Cor.”

“Faith’s flown in from Boston to help with the damage control.” Wesley explained.

“My god,” Cordelia was stunned. She had never expected this. “That’s great I guess.” Cordelia nodded approval. “You’re still sane right?” Cordelia checked with Faith. “You haven’t gone back to being a psycho killer?”

“Still got a lid on the id. You’re looking well.” Faith lied. She couldn’t believe the weight Cordelia had put on. Being a divine being obviously did not burn enough calories.

“Nothing personal Faith, but wouldn’t Buffy have been the better bet Wes?” Cordelia said worriedly. “If you’d talked it over with us instead of going AWOL today that’s who I would have recommended every time." Cordelia smirked wryly at Wesley. "Bottled their angst afterward and used it as alternative energy source.”

Wesley snorted amused, it had been a while since Cordelia had shared a joke with him.

“Thanks for the vote of confidence Cordelia, but Buffy hasn’t got the greatest track record with capturing Angelus quickly.” Faith pointed out, trying not to feel hurt. Buffy, always frickin' Buffy with the Sunnydale crowd. Faith told herself sternly to get over it.

Cordelia folded her arms disapprovingly but remained silent.

Faith looked around and attempted to take stock of the situation.“Okay, let’s get down to it. We’re gonna keep this hunting party tight."

“Hey Faith,” Gunn greeted her casually, images of their drug fueled sexual encounter flooding his mind for ten seconds.

"Hey Gunn.” Faith had almost screwed the guy apparently. She didn't personally remember it, but in a fit of honesty Alex had told her all about it once. It wasn't the first time she hadn't known how far she'd gone with a guy because of something she had been on. Thankfully Gunn had been the last.

“You’re a kick ass fighter.” Faith complimented him sincerely. She remembered that at least.

“I hold my own as you know.” Gun grinned modestly.

“Yeah, so you get the short straw. You’re with me, Wes and the kid.” Faith decided. Christ she was making everything up as she went along here. It must be so obvious.

“The kid has a name.” Connor pouted.

“Connor.” Faith smiled sexily at him out of habit. The young man didn’t look much like Angel, maybe he resembled his mother.

Faith returned to Gunn. “Arm yourself how you like, but I want you to carry the tranq gun. If I can’t take him down, I want you to be ready to take the shot, yeah?”

Gunn nodded, willing to go along with her at present. Gunn had been impressed with her fighting skills when she had helped his crew take out a nest of vamps. Faith was a loner, not a natural leader he would have thought however.

“In case anyone has any other ideas, this is a salvage mission, not search and destroy. Okay?” Faith made clear. She was aiming this last remark at Connor.

Cordelia looked dubiously at Faith but kept her silence. Faith didn’t get what was eating her. She would think Cordelia would be glad to have a slayer here to capture Angelus.

“No! Not okay.” Connor contradicted Faith hotly. “You think you can just breeze in here, telling everyone what to do? You’re not a part of this. If you think I’m not going to kill Angelus if he comes at me, then…”

“Listen up, junior.” God that was Alex’s phrase, three years together had made some of his mannerisms rub off on her. “When I need a bloodhound, I’ll call you. If Angelus needs putting down, I’ll be the one to do it, not you.” Faith didn’t see how anyone could live with killing their father down the track. “So is there anything else you’re not okay with?” She stared Connor down. “Good.”

Faith resumed her conversation with Gunn. “Show me the weapons?”

As she and Gunn walked over to the weapons cabinet, Connor watched Faith, impressed in spite of himself. His slight smile of admiration didn’t escape Cordelia’s notice and her gaze grew even more cold.

What the hell was up with Cordelia these days?
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