SERIES: It’s All About Faith
TITLE: A Graveyard Introduction
SUMMARY: Faith rescues John in a cemetery, introducing him to the Slayer and indirectly to the Council.
” for Buffy
Pre-Supernatural Season 1 for Supernatural
"A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend." - I do not own any of the characters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and/or Angel the Series, they belong to Fox, the WB/UPN, Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, etc. The characters of Supernatural belong to Eric Kripke, The WB, The CW, etc. The ideas and concepts in this story are mine entirely. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Reviews are happily welcome :)
It had only taken a few months since the destruction of Sunnydale for Faith to get bored with the role model Slayer gig she had been given. Hunting down the new girls, explaining what they now were and starting their training all while getting the new Council set up wasn’t her idea of a good time. Sure, it had its appeal at first, but it had quickly faded as the number of new Slayers in her presence increased and too many lives hung in the balance.
After a couple of serious conversations with Buffy, Faith had left with every intention of coming back. Buffy had surprisingly understood and agreed that perhaps it was best for Faith to be the active agent in the field. If she ran across any new Slayers she gave them the speech and pointed them in the direction of Giles and Willow and the Council.
Robin had remained behind to help Giles set up the new Council. He’d tried to explain to her the good of many outweighed the good of one. She hadn’t been too surprised after all.
And so she was wandering through the Mid-West killing anything that needed killing and making a few contacts along the way. Her last patrol of the evening had started out completely normal. There weren’t many vampires or any other nasties in Omaha that she’d seen so far. She was itching for a good fight but hadn’t happened upon one until her last graveyard. The sounds of a struggle drifted through the darkness and Faith honestly didn’t care whether it was human or monster related. She picked up her pace, heading in the direction of the fight. About three hundred feet in front of her, she noticed a group of demons circled around someone.
She threw herself into the fight taking on two of the demons at once. A quick glance confirmed that the man was doing a decent job of fending off the demons. Neither side was gaining any footing but it would only take a wrong step or an overextended punch for the demons to gain the upper hand. And she needed to kill them before that happened.
The last demon threw the man across the cemetery as if he was weightless. She heard him crash into a gravestone and his groan of pain. At least he was okay enough to make noise. It said a lot of him given the beating he had just taken.
“Hey!” Faith yelled at the demon as it started after the guy. It stopped and turned to look back at her. “That’s right, we both know I taste better,” she added and made her way toward it. It snarled, bared its rows of jagged teeth, and attacked.
She finished it off with a little more violence than was probably necessary. It had done some serious damage to her ribs and she just wanted it dead like yesterday
. The demon’s head fell out of her hands as pain shot through her midsection, making her clutch at her ribs in an attempt to stop the pain. The demon’s body had collapsed on the ground and was leaking goo. The blinding pain subsided and all she could smell was demon’s remains. The smell was beyond awful, and she wasn’t sure she would be able to salvage any of her outfit. Her ribs were still throbbing and she groaned slightly at the pain; she probably would need to be checked out.
She slowly made her way over to where the guy had been tossed. She scanned the area but didn’t see him. The gravestone before her was covered in a wet slickness so she reached down with one hand and her fingertips came away red. So, he had been tossed here. Hopefully he had run home and chalked the whole evening up to a drunken bender.
She’d made it a couple of steps through the cemetery, in the general direction of her hotel, when felt more than saw movement behind her. She tried to jerk back away from whatever was approaching her, but the pain in her ribs hampered her just enough to slow her down. Something hard slammed into the side of her head and down she blacked out complete with stars.
Faith came to face down in the grass. She groaned as the wound on the back of her head began to throb in time with her heartbeat. She pushed herself up with one hand, ignoring her ribs reminding her of her earlier beating, and used the other hand to touch her head. Her hair was already matted with blood and her fingers came away covered in it.
“Don’t get up,” the man’s gruff voice interrupted her assessment of herself.
Faith slowly turned around, coming up onto her knees, to face him. He took a step back putting a little more distance between them and readjusted the shotgun in his hands. He was in his forties, tall and well built, dark hair just starting to gray, a couple days worth of stubble, and lines on his face that showed he had lived life. Those demons had given him on hell of a beating and she was impressed he was still standing. His left hand was probably broken as he carefully cradled it underneath his shotgun. She could see the slight tremors in it from where she sat several feet away. This certainly wasn’t what she’d expected after killing those demons.
“What are you?” he asked as he looked her over.
What, not who, he had asked. Faith couldn’t contain the sharp, bitter laugh at that question. “Last time the doctor checked I was female,” she replied as she kept her eyes on the gun and its owner.
“You aren’t human,” he calmly told her, no waver in his voice. He truly believed the words he spoke.
“Do you always go around pointing guns at girls you meet in the cemetery?” she asked.
“A normal girl wouldn’t have been able to do any of the things you just did. So, again, what are you?” he pressed.
So she was dealing with someone that knew what went bump in the night and those creepy critters that crawled around under everyone else’s radar. “I’m a Slayer. Who are you?” she responded, causing him to blink and take a better look at her.
“You are the Slayer? The Slayer is a myth about the boogeyman of the supernatural.”
“Well I hate to be a disappointment, but I’m the Slayer,” Faith repeated herself. “Now who are you? And if you aren’t gonna shoot me you’d be best to put that gun away so I can stand up.”
“How’d you rip that thing’s head off?”
“Demon – it was a demon, not a very apocalyptic bringing one, but a demon regardless. And I twisted and pulled. It’s one of the perks of being me. So, I’m gonna stand up, either shoot me or put away your gun,” she warned him as she slowly pushed herself to her feet. She wrapped her left arm around her ribs in an attempt to keep them from shifting too much. He kept the gun trained on her while she rose to her feet and for a few seconds afterwards. He finally lowered it to point away from her but kept both hands on it – smart man.
He looked her over one more time before answering her question, “My name is John,” he quietly answered.
Faith offered him a reasonably friendly smile, “I’m Faith. So John what were you doing out here before you tried to finish off your evening as dinner?” she asked as she looked down at where she’d been laying to make sure she hadn’t left anything behind. The movement sent a jolt of pain through her skull, increasing the dull pounding to a solid roar. She reached up and touched the back of her head again and was relieved to see that the bleeding had slowed, but it was going to sting for awhile.
“I came here to stop a murderous spirit,” he finally answered and cast a quick glance over at a grave. There was a fresh pile of dirt off to the side and a decent size hole already dug.
“You do this regularly?” she pressed and took her chance to really study him while the gun wasn’t trained on her. He offered her only a shrug; apparently he wasn’t the sharing type. “Well I’ll let you get back to your bones then. You should get that hand checked out,” she announced and his eyes widened at her comment and his hand shook just a little more before he could stop it.
“It isn’t broke.”
“It’s hurt. Broken hand’ll do you no good.”
“Thanks for the concern but I’m good,” he dismissed her concern. He shot her one more look before making his way over to the grave to resume his digging. Faith watched him struggle with the shovel with his injured hand before she dug a rumpled and demon goo covered business card out of her pants pocket. She approached him as he tossed more dirt out of the grave.
“Here John,” she said and held out her card. The guy hunted things out of his league. The least she could do was offer him help from an organization designed for such hunts.
“I don’t need help from…” he trailed off rather than voicing that thought out loud.
“From a girl? Well I hate to break it to you but this girl
just saved your life tonight so don’t start thinking that I’m not capable of helping,” she snapped.
“Slayers have business cards?” he asked and took the card from her hand before she could rescind her offer. “What’s ICW?”
“International Council of Watchers. Hunting down demons and other nasties is what we do. If you need help give us a call. My cell number is on the back if you want to reach me directly. If I’m not available call the number on the front and anyone that answers the phone, except Andrew, can help you with whatever you need. Tell them that Faith gave you the number,” she explained.
He flipped the card over a couple of times, watching it bend in his hand, before he looked back up at her. “I don’t work with others, it’s a family business,” he told her.
“Keep the card John. There just might come a time when you need it,” she urged him. He grunted and stuffed the card into his pants’ pocket. “Make sure you salt and burn everything in the coffin. You don’t want to miss anything,” she added.
He glared at her from inside the grave. “This isn’t the first time I’ve done this!” he snapped at her.
She just offered him a small smirk and a shrug, “Just saying is all.”
“That it?” he asked as he leaned on his shovel and looked up at her.
“Yeah,” she answered. She had done all she could do for him. Hopefully he would call before getting himself killed. She turned back in the direction of her hotel and started walking, quickly putting some distance between them.
“Thanks,” his voice carried over the still air. She wasn’t sure she would have heard it if she wasn’t a Slayer, or whether he would’ve wanted her to or not. She kept walking without acknowledging she had heard him. She knew how hard it was to say thanks and how much it must have cost him to utter that one little word. The sounds of John resuming his digging faded into the background as she left him alone with his ghosts.