Faith’s Traveling North, A Fresh Start.
Title: Faith’s Traveling North, A Fresh Start.
Rating: PG-13 to be on the save side
Pairing: Faith/Phoebe eventually my goal, for now all Faith
Summary: Faith gets released from prison and leaves LA and runs into the Charmed Ones. I rewrote the starting piece of a RPG.
Spoilers: None I can think of.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse & Buffyverse & Charmedverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt & Spelling. No infringement is intended, no profit to be made. The story idea belongs to me.
Distribution: www.fanfiction.net, Twisting the hellmouth, otherwise inform me where my fic goes so I can look it up.
Notes: Not really a writer, but I have some idea’s about things I would like to happen on the show, what could have happened and no one wanted to take such detailed challenges I made out of the idea’s, so I started to write them myself. Rewrote the Faith part of a RPG “abc” starting piece by Kit that I never got the chance to post before the group simple disappeared. Had prepared some written pieces to use, and liked what I had written and possible directions I came up to move Faith in the game so I made it into my own Fic.
Thanks: Thanks to Sigma, who offered to Beta my fic, the results where awesome.
Feedback: Send them to me.
Faith was bored out of her skull. As usual, she was stuck in her cell. There was absolutely nothing to do there except sit, looking at the walls and wishing that she would be let out of her cell for the day.
She was a quick learner and had figured out early in her stay that kicking the crap out the other inmates just wasn't worth it. It was bad enough being locked up in her cell all day, and solitary confinement was way worse.
It simply wasn’t worth the hassle.
But, the time she'd spent there did help her get in touch with her Slayer senses. She could now make 3-D pictures in her head of the surrounding areas. If she wanted to, she could probably go anywhere with her eyes closed and still not walk into anything. Kinda like that Daredevil guy in those comic books she loved to read as a child.
Since she was so bored, she'd practiced a lot, too. By now, she could locate any inmate and guard in the whole complex and was even able to identify who they were.
With one glance, Faith could identify if they were a threat, how strong they were, and what kind of human or demon or whatever they were. It had only taken six months of pretty much 24/7 training to develop it. Well, she did take breaks for sleep and food, but she still had tons of time on her hands.
She'd made quite a reputation for herself, and most inmates preferred to stay away from her. Around her hung an air of power, danger, certain death, and madness that was palpable to any sane person that looked at her. Not that anyone sane messed with her anyway...not after she put a bunch of them in the infirmary. None of them ended up dead, although, after she had finished with them, some wished they were.
That little skirmish had put her in solitary for a couple of weeks.
After that, Faith had behaved. As much as she ever could be said to behave.
She established a certain pattern that she followed every day, working out to the limits of her endurance. It was her only way let off steam about the stress, boredom, and tension of being cooped-up 24/7.
Channelling all that excess energy into working out also gave her a lot of relief from the tedium of prison life. Here, every day was the same: wake up, eat, work, eat, work, eat, sleep then start over again. There was the occasional riot, but those were few and far between.
Faith could only bide her time until she'd finally be released and leave this place for good.
At first, she'd really enjoyed Angel's visits, thinking she finally had someone who cared about her...thinking she could finally trust someone. Then he stopped coming. No explanation, not even a half-hearted apology.
For weeks, she thought something had to have happened to him. He wouldn't just stop coming to see her; he'd promised. Even after he missed another visit...and yet another, she still made up excuses. He couldn't have just left like all the other people who had "cared" about her...could he?
One of the things she missed most about his weekly visits was the way they broke up the monotony of her life. Angel would always have something funny to tell her, and he'd listen to whatever she had to say. Even if it was the same tales over and over--nothing ever happened here--he still listened to her spinning her stories.
After six months, though, she gave up on him. All the brownie points he'd earned with her just evaporated. She knew he wouldn't come back.
For that reason, Faith was rather surprised when the guard showed up and informed her that she had a visitor.
Not that she was complaining, but 24 weeks late was a bit excessive. Maybe he'd come to explain why he hadn't come.
She followed the guard to the visiting room, mentally preparing the speech she was going to give to Angel.
When she entered the room, though, she saw someone she definitely hadn't expected: Lilah, the lawyer-bitch from Wolfram and Hart!
There was no Angel anywhere, just the evil woman who'd hired her to kill him.
Faith almost spun around and left. However, her curiosity was just too strong. She stared at Lilah, trying to figure out why she was here. She really did need something to break-up the tedium.
And, hey, if Faith hadn't been hired to kill Angel, he probably wouldn't have been able to help her get her life on the right track. She would have been consumed by her darkness and ended up dead in next to no time taking a lot of innocent with her.
Maybe she did deserve to at least give the bitch a chance. Shrugging to herself, she made her way over toward the table and sat down. It was something to keep her out of her cell for a while.
She'd listen. For now. After all, she could always smash the lawyer's head in.
"Hello Faith. Enjoying prison life?" Lilah purred.
Faith gritted her teeth, choking down an overwhelming desire to throttle her. Lilah was soooo close to being killed, just for opening her stupid mouth. Now she knew what the Bossman--the Mayor, that is--meant when he said that lawyers were minor demons. Real pests to have to deal with, but necessary pests.
"What do you want?" She growled, silently repeating her mantra over and over in her mind: Don't kill her, don't kill her. The satisfaction wasn't worth solitary.
Lilah just kept smiling perfectly, annoying Faith even more. "Don't worry, Faith dear. All your problems are over now...well, the ones here at least." She pulled a piece of paper out of her briefcase and slid it over to her. "The warden is processing your paperwork as we speak. You're a free woman, Faith."
She was prepared for just about anything but that. She just stared at the paper in disbelief. The lawyer chick must be playing a joke on her.
But, just then, one of the guards came in, looking furious. "You're out of here, Wilkins. Seems like there was some kind of misunderstanding or something. The judge has dropped all charges against you. Now get out of here before I throw you in solitary." The guard told her, not being very happy about it, considering the way he was grinding his teeth.
Still not believing it, Faith kept looking from Lilah to the guard and back again.
The lawyer pulled a sheaf of papers out of her briefcase and handed them to Faith, who silently took them.
"We were instructed by the former Mayor of Sunnydale--a very good client of Wolfram and Hart--to take care of any and all problems regarding a certain Faith Aisling Wilkins, who would be you. Furthermore, we were told to give you these papers and a box, which you will receive when the paperwork is completed. I think it would be best for everybody involved if you left LA as soon as possible and never came back. Here's some money so you can get going, buy some new clothes, and something to eat. Do try to dress like something other than trailer trash." She swept out of the room, not even deigning to give the newly ex-convict another glance.
Faith stared at the papers in her hand, while the guard glanced at his watch impatiently.
What should she do next?
Lilah was right about one thing: there wasn't anything keeping her here. Angel hadn't contacted her for months. He hadn't even bothered to reply to her letters.
There certainly wasn't anything in the prison to hold her there. After all, her personal stuff had been confiscated when she'd arrived. Shrugging, she followed the guard toward the reception area, where the mysterious box was waiting. She really was curious about that. As she'd discover later, the Bossman had left her quite a bit more than that.
When they arrived, Faith almost laughed out loud. The guards had been trying to lift the backpack with the Bossman's box. It didn't want to be moved.
She just watched as four guards helplessly struggled to lift it even a centimeter off the floor. It was really quite funny watching their faces become redder and redder with strain and embarrassment.
She bit her lip hard to keep from bursting into laughter. They just kept trying, and more guards kept coming over to help...but it just wouldn't budge.
Finally having enough of the show, she called in her sweetest voice, "Would you mind if I pick it up, so I can finally leave?"
The guards took a good look at her and smiled. There was no way the slim girl would be able to lift it.
Faith leaned over the counter and lifted it one-handed. Glancing inside, she saw the box as she put her papers inside. She wasn't going to look at either of them right now. She left that for another day.
Meanwhile, the guards were staring at her, as if really seeing her for the first time. They seemed almost fearful, finally realizing how much power and strength really was inside her slim frame. Some of the guards went pale when they thought back at their treatment of her.
Her release was one of the fastest in the prison's history. Within an hour, she was walking out the door, wearing the trademark black she had arrived in.
Faith stood silently as the door swung shut behind her with a loud bang. She was actually free. What was she going to do now?
She glanced around, then spotted exactly what she was looking for: a fast food joint. It was only a mile or so away, and she was starving.
Food first, anything else she could take care of later.
She started walking toward the joint.
She strolled into the joint and licked her lips as the smell of greasy food wafted by. Her mouth started to water at the smell.
The waitress at the register smiled at her. "So, honey, what'll it be?"
"Give me ten quarter-pound burgers with everything, ten large fries, and three large colas."
The waitress looked a bit startled by the amount of food Faith ordered, but hurried off to fill the order.
About fifteen minutes later, Faith got her food. She started to inhale her food, six burgers, six fries, and one coke disappearing like magic as her slayer hunger kicked in. Faith missed dinner yesterday and, because of Lilah’s little visit and her release she'd missed breakfast, too. It was some time ago that she'd eaten last.
Once she wasn't starving, she slowed down and began to enjoy the rest of her food. In another thirty minutes, she was done, made a finale pit stop and left, heading down the LA streets.
Faith had begun to hate this place. From the moment she had arrived, she'd gotten nothing but grief from it. Sometimes she wished she'd run the other direction when she was fleeing from Kaskistos.
Trying to make sure no one she know saw her, she headed for nearest railroad tracks, although she stopped at a convenience store to stock up on some junk food. She then walked along the tracks, looking for a crossing.
At last finding one, Faith stayed low to the ground, watching for trains heading away from LA. Pretty soon, a cargo train rattled by, and she jumped onto one of the cars and pulled herself onto the top.
“Yes! I finally left!” She whispered exultantly to herself.
Thanks for the reviews
Although Faith didn't know it, her escape from LA had come at exactly the right point. The city was deluged with rain, destroying any trace of her scent or tracks she had left behind on her way out of the city.
She had jumped the train without any clue where she was headed, but it was definitely a good pick. It headed north, through Oxnard, Santa Barbara, Obispo, San Luis, Salinas, San Jose, and Oakland following the coastline before finally stopping in San Francisco.
Perhaps northern California would bring her better luck than the south had.
Faith had forced open one of compartments of the train and sat, quite comfortably, surrounded by hay. She could watch, through a crack, the ocean flashing by. It was gorgeous and relaxing.
She'd really done it. She had really left.
Watching the night-blackened countryside flash by, Faith felt at peace. There was barely any sound. The sky was clear, and so many stars could be seen. A warm breeze gently ruffled her hair.
She could hear only the train...Click-clack click-clack click-clack click-clack click-clack click-clack. It soothed her.
As the breeze caressed her, she smelled the ocean. She could finally relax.
She had enough money to eat and live for a while. Life was good. However, eating sounded good. She grabbed a chocolate bar and began to nibble.
The day had been so hectic...getting out of jail...out of LA...away from all her bad memories.
She wasn't going to sit around looking back, if she could help it. She would just look at the future. It had to be better than her past.
Finishing her candybar, she found a comfortable place to lie down. As the train gently shook, she slipped of into a deep, dreamless sleep--the first she'd had since her watcher died at the hands of Kakistos.
The train came to an abrupt halt, and Faith jumped to her feet. There was a feral, wild look in her eyes that would have terrified anyone who saw it. But, when she realized where she was, she began to relax a little bit.
Still a bit on edge though, she scanned the compartment, almost expecting to find a demon about to jump out at her. Not seeing anything dangerous, she allowed herself to fully relax.
Now, she just needed to find out where she was. Making her way to the side of the cargo train, she took a look out at her new home. As far as she could see, there was no one in sight, just trains and tracks.
No one to see her. Perfect. She quietly slipped out of the train and made her way out of there, securing her backpack on her shoulders.
The sun had just set over the big city that she'd arrived in. She had no clue where she was, but it looked pretty normal on first sight.
She carefully watched for people as she picked her way across the tracks, but it didn't seem as if anyone was around. Reaching a tall fence, she jumped it and headed into the city.
“Watch out people, Faith has arrived.” She grinned, cockily.
She glanced around, trying to figure where on Earth she was. Finally giving up on trying to guess, she followed the tracks toward civilization.
In a couple minutes, she'd reached a train station. The building was huge! It was sort of pretty, too, and seemed to be made of granite.
Walking into the station, Faith saw only a couple of other people waiting for their train. Sort of puzzled, she finally realized that the majority of the people were sitting on benches off to the side. That made a lot more sense.
Finally seeing what she was looking for, she headed for the rest room. The train-ride was kinda nice, but it didn't have all the necessities. The lady's room was actually rather clean, and she had it all to herself.
Standing in front of the mirror, she took a look at herself. Except for the straw in her hair, she actually looked pretty good. The day she slept inside the cargo train did her good, recharging her batteries and centering her being.
Half an hour later, she was ready to face the world.
Not having eaten much for a whole day, her Slayer stomach was growling noisily as she walked. Rolling her eyes, she muttered to herself, “All right, already! I’ll get you some real food soon.”
Stepping out of the station, Faith shivered slightly. Considering the chill in the air and the salty-tang, she must be pretty far north in California.
She hunched deeper into her jacket, trying to keep herself warm. She'd lived in Boston all her life, so she was used to the cold, but that didn't stop her wishing that it was a bit warmer.
She took in her surroundings, and, at last, figured out where she was. There was a sign reading: "Welcome to San Francisco. Enjoy your stay."
"San Fran! All right! I can get some food and action around here...other than the staking kind." Faith almost yelled, drawing curious stares.
The moment Faith uttered those words out loud, she'd realized that she might not be getting the break she thought. She immediately had felt the twinge warning her that a vampire was close by.
"Oh man, I can’t get a fucking break for once in my life! I just got here and already you're ruining my first night here! What is with you bloodsuckers?!" She shouted, attracting some more odd looks.
She just ignored them, concentrating on reaching out with her senses. She really needed to figure out how many of the bastards there were, where they were, and how strong they were.
It didn’t take her long to locate them; they were getting closer and heading her way. Scanning around, she quickly saw about six vamps walking down the boardwalk.
“Damn, why did I train my senses so that I couldn’t miss them even if I wanted to? I guess I'll have to wait to get that food.” Faith grumbled to herself. “Let’s get this over with.” As she went after them.
She trailed the pack of vampires as they moseyed through what seemed like half the city. She was constantly alert, watching for opportunities to get them. However, they just kept walking, not giving Faith an opportunity to get close enough to them to launch a surprise attack.
It was almost like they were on some kind of mission...
Someone--or something--was definitely controlling these vamps. There was no way they'd go this long without a snack unless they were ordered not to.
For a very brief moment, Faith wished she still had a watcher--like her first one, not like the weasel or psychopath she got latter on--to tell her what was going on...someone she could tell her thoughts about the vamps to.
At last, it appeared that the six had reached their destination. She carefully watched from the shadows across the street, keeping out of sight, as they milled around in front of a stairway going up to an old-looking house. She supposed that it was probably Victorian, or Tudor, or one of those fancy old things.
It was obvious the vamps were trying to figure out how to gain entry to the house. It was almost funny, actually. They'd marched across the city, and they didn't have a real plan.
They began to bicker. Listening to them was quite amusing. Luckily for them, the streets were deserted, or they would have drawn a lot of attention.
Having listened to them for a moment, she began to focus on the mansion, trying to figure out what was so important about it.
Before she could really think about it, one of the vampires grew tired of arguing and just knocked on the door.
That was a new one. Most vamps were too stupid to try the indirect approach. They usually just thought with their fangs and stomachs.
The three Charmed ones were all at home, along with Leo, their Whitelighter.
Phoebe was studying hard in the kitchen, trying to catch up on her homework. With all the demon problems they had been having, she'd fallen behind. Somehow, she didn't think that the "a demon ate my homework" excuse would work on her teachers.
The Manor was actually quiet, for once. Prue was downstairs in her basement darkroom, developing her pictures. Phoebe couldn't understand how Prue could stand it down there. Even though they'd banished Woogly, she got the wiggins every time she went down there.
And she did have a good reason to be afraid. After all, Woogly had been banished before, by Grams, and he'd managed to come back. What was to say he wouldn't come back another time? They said the third time was the charm.
As she thought about, she realized that Prue might actually have set up her darkroom down there in order to have some quiet time. A place of her own, she knew for certain Phoebe would stay out of.
Piper and Leo were upstairs doing God knows what, and Phoebe so did not need find out what they were up to. Her sister had given her a look that told her to stay away.
She was a bit worried though. Every time they got together or the Manor was this quiet, some demon decided to come after all of them.
Her mind was everywhere...except for her studies. She'd re-read the same page three times now. She began squinting her eyes at it.
Phoebe really needed a break. The words were starting to blur before her eyes, and she couldn't concentrate.
With a sigh, she put her book down and went to get a drink and stretch her legs a little, maybe it'd help focus her mind back on her homework.
She'd just poured herself a glass of ice tea Piper had made. She just took her first sip when she heard a knock at the front door. Quietly grumbling to herself, she went to see who it was.
It was probably either Darryl with information about a demon or some salesguy. She really hoped it someone selling something. She wanted a break from demons.
At least it wouldn't be a bad guy. They *never* knocked...ok, that wasn’t completely true. Those shape shifters and that guy that brought those flowers for Grams every year had knocked.
When Phoebe opened the door, she found a rather cute guy, with a couple of nice-looking friends behind him.
It didn't seem to be Jehovah's Witnesses, at least. Piper had gotten really mad when she'd truthfully told the last ones that she was a witch. It wasn't her fault that they had absolutely no sense of humour! Besides, she told them the truth.
Coming back to the present, she smiled flirtatiously. "Hello, handsome. What can I do for you?"
He smiled charmingly. "Um, hi. We were told to report to this address." He waved a cell-phone. "But it was a bit hard to hear the details."
"Oh! You must be here for Prue's photo shoot. Figures she didn't bother to tell us. C'mon in." she told him with a smile as she invited them into the Manor.
She turned her back to them, intending to call Prue. That's why she missed the vampires slipping into their game faces.
Fortunately, Faith had been paying attention. She couldn't believe how easily the vamps had gotten into the house with that dumb story.
Racing across the street, using her Slayer speed, she dusted one of them before they even saw her. She snapped, “Watch out!”
Phoebe spun around, hearing someone yelling “Watch out!”, then gaped as she stared at the once-cute guy. His eyes gleamed yellow as he grinned, showing his fangs. "What's the matter? Aren't I still handsome?"
Hesitating for only a second, she leapt into action. With a karate yell, she snapped a high kick to his face, knocking him back a step. Unfortunately, it didn't take him long to recover.
With a growl, he launched himself towards her. Trying to avoid his attack, she levitated out of his reach, yelling for her sisters. "Piper! Prue! We got company!"
Upstairs, Piper didn't even hear her call. In her mind, nothing existed outside of Leo...
Faith didn't waste time looking at the girl, who was now floating just out of reach of the vamps...well, ok, she *did* take a second look. N-o-t bad she smirked to herself...but one of the vampires interrupted her by swinging at her. A very dumb move on his part.
Phoebe had just noticed the girl. And first, she'd thought she was with the bumpy-faced demons, but, when Faith made the things go poof leaving only dust in its place, she changed her mind. She carefully maneuvered herself so she was behind Faith, hoping the other female could keep her breathing and alive through this battle and tell her what the things were later on.
For her part, Faith was concentrating on staking vamps after being blind sided by one of them while she was looking at Phoebe. In the back of her mind, she thought about keeping one of them alive...uh, undusted. But, after the cheap shot, the rage had begun to take over.
Parts of Faith that have laid dormant for ages started to wake up, her blood started to sing the slayer began to emerge. After her long time of inactivity, the exhilaration of slaying was on. Faith lost herself in the fight like in the old days: nothing else mattered but the kill.
It had been a very long time since she'd had an opportunity to go full out and not hold back. In prison, she'd always needed to keep her strength a secret. There was a good point to that, though. Her control was now excellent.
However, she had a lot of energy pent up from her eight-month coma and six-month stay in jail; she just was itching for a good fight.
Faith was so involved in the fighting that she'd forgotten she was in a nice house.
She threw around the vamps without thinking about the lamps and tables they were smashing into noisily. Soon, the ruckus started attracting the others...
"Honey, did you hear that?" Piper shook Leo, trying to wake him up.
"Hmm?" Leo was very comfortable, and he really didn't have much energy left.
"I could have sworn I heard a crash." Piper was quite familiar with the sound of furniture breaking downstairs; it, along with huge repair bills, seemed like a daily event.
"Huh, well, if you're going downstairs, could you bring me a glass of milk?" Leo shifted wearily and was soon sound asleep.
"What is *with* guys? Is it genetic that they always fall asleep that fast? Or is it just their way of getting out of everything else?" Piper grumbled as she slipped on a robe and headed downstairs.
Walking down the stairs, she could hear the fighting that was going on clearly now, a battle was fought in the hall. Surely her sisters would have called her if demons were attacking...wouldn't they? Almost reaching the ground floor she watched in horror as a guy was tossed toward the grandfather clock.
"Oh, NO you don’t!" Piper yelled, freezing everything except her sister. "Phoebe! What's going on? Why didn't you call for help?" she walked toward her sister.
Phoebe just looked around, surprised to see the dark-haired fighter was frozen along with the bumpy guys. "Hmm, guess that means she isn't a witch. Nuts." Turning back to her sister, she frowned. "What do you mean why didn't I call for help? I screamed!”
Piper ignored her, scanning the room. There was broken furniture everywhere, two bumpy-forehead guys with yellow eyes were snarling, and a girl was driving a stake into what looked like a man-shaped cloud of dust. "Just what is going on? What are those things, and why is there dust all over the place?"
Phoebe just shrugged, before whirling around when she heard Prue's voice. "Hey! Get out of here!"
Exchanging glances, Piper and Phoebe raced off to help their sister. As soon as they'd left, the vamps and Faith unfroze, Faith dusting the rest of them, having forgotten that she wanted to keep one of them around to question it about who send them.
"What the hell? What on earth happened to the blonde? She was here a minute ago watching my back..." Hearing a crash coming from the back of the house, Faith decided to check it out, she had dusted five of them, that left one of them still around.
Phoebe and Piper had yanked open the basement door and almost fell down into it. The staircase was in ruins, a small pile of dust at the bottom showing where a lone vamp had been. It was a bit of overkill, really. Using all that wood for one vamp.
Standing near the rubble of their former staircase was a very angry-looking Prue. "What the hell is going on?" she demanded, unconsciously echoing her sister's words.
Faith sauntered into the kitchen and peeked over the sisters shoulders to make sure there weren't any more demons around. Not seeing any threats, she causally dropped onto one of their chairs. "It was just some vamps."
Phoebe jumped hearing Faith voice from behind her telling them that it was just some vamps.
Faith, comfortably seated, pulled off her back pack, placing it against the counter, and threw her coat over the chair next to her while she took a look around the kitchen.
It was a very nice kitchen, from what she could see. There were racks full of many different kinds fresh herbs and charms hung on the walls and above the doors. She was definitely in some witches' house.
Faith was certain about the witchiness of the gorgeous blonde; she'd seen her fly in the hall when the vamps attacked her. The other one she wasn’t as certain about. Something had happened back there, though. In one moment, the blond had disappeared. Looking down at the destruction in the basement, it was quite obvious that the third was also a witch.
Moving on to completely different thought, she took an appreciative look at the blonde. She was one good looking...
Before Faith could finish her thought, she was interrupted.
“Get me out of here!” Prue finally had enough as she screamed at her sisters.
Phoebe and Piper were trying to help Prue out of the cellar, but were getting nowhere. Considering Prue's angry comments, she was definitely not very happy with the situation.
After watching the spectacle for a while, Faith stood up and walked over to them.
“So who did you piss off enough to have six vamps send after you?” She asked them while she assessed the situation.
Glancing down into the basement, she could see Prue, standing in the rubble of the former staircase, looking up at her with a scowl on her face. She was definitely not a very happy camper. Bracing herself against the doorway, she got ready to get Prue out of her predicament.
“Need a hand to get out?” Faith grinned at her, not expecting an answer.
She quickly saw that a lot of rubble needed to be moved if she was going to help Prue. Faith began to tear the remains of the staircase to pieces, while Prue took a couple cautious steps back.
“Hey, sweetie, can you extend your hand so I can get you out of there, or would you just like to stay there?”
Prue didn't look happy at the idea, but she held out her hand anyway. In one smooth, startling move, Faith grabbed her hand and lifted her out of the cellar and into the kitchen, taking her completely by surprise.
Almost ignoring the super-human feat, the witches began to argue about whose fault the whole mess was. Faith listened half-heartedly, not really caring, but at that exact moment, her stomach decided to make its presence known by growling fiercely. The argument halted suddenly as everybody suddenly remembered she was there.
“Who are you, anyway?” Prue seemed a little suspicious of the stranger.
“I’m Faith.” She answered, staring at Phoebe now that she wasn’t distracted by having to fight the vamps. They asked her another question, but she had begun fantasizing about a certain blonde and didn't even hear them.
“Uh Huh.” Faith completely missed her second question because of this. Reluctantly taking her eyes off Phoebe, she looked at Prue. “You said something?” She said absently, still dividing her attention between both of them.
“I said, what are you doing here and who were those guys?”
Faith jerked herself back to the present. “Um, I've got no idea who they were; I just arrived in town, and the first thing I did was run into those guys. I simply followed them to your house. Like I already said, they’re vamps...and don’t give me the speech about how vampires don’t exist. I mean, who are you to talk? You're, like, witches or something equally supernatural.”
The expression on the oldest of the three was priceless. Faith could see a lot of emotions playing over her face: shock, anger, confusion, mistrust, denial, curiosity, fear, then finally settling into mistrust and anger.
Faith looked impatient. “So, what, now you're going to tell me you're not witches?”
For a moment, none of them could think of what to say. Finally, Phoebe took charge, marching over to Faith. Forgetting everything else, Faith could only stare at her gorgeous body, before her words snapped her out of it. “Thank you for coming to my rescue. I’m Phoebe, that’s Piper, and the one you rescued out of the basement is Prue. Why did you follow those...things, and how did you know how to take them out?”
Oh, she had a nice voice...Faith shook the thought away, smiling slightly at her. “Let's just say that I've had some bad encounters with them. When I saw them marching across the city, ignoring all those happy meals on their way, I got curious about what could be so important to them to pass up all that fresh blood. So what makes you three important enough to get six vamps send after you? Who did you piss off?”
“Who didn’t we.” Phoebe muttered under her breath, quietly enough that Faith, even with her slayer hearing, almost missed it.
It sounded to her like they had some really powerful enemies. She felt herself becoming very protective of the witches...especially the blonde one.
Before they could ask her anymore questions, her empty belly began to rumble again, and they looked at her, amused.
“Would you like to eat something?” Piper asked politely.
At the mention of food, Faith's eyes lit up. She was only able to nod at the glorious prospect of getting something to eat...
“Lets see what leftovers we have...” When Piper opened the fridge, Faith stared inside in astonishment. There was so much food! “There are all kinds of leftovers, any preference?”
Faith just stared at that delicious food. She shook her head slightly.
Grabbing a large container of food, Piper popped it into the microwave to heat it up while she quickly got a plate, knife, and fork for Faith.
As she handed them to her, the microwave dinged and Piper set the steaming food in front of Faith.
Faith took a deep breath, savouring its aroma...it was heavenly.
“Take as much as you like. There’s plenty more where that came from.” Piper smiled when she realized that Faith was hesitating, trying to reassure her that it was ok.
Hearing the encouragement, Faith dug into the food with a relish.
Piper decided that the mystery girl certainly had a healthy appetite, judging by the amount of food she put on her plate. The food was disappearing at an alarming rate, and Faith showed no signs of getting full.
Piper started to get other foods out the fridge, placing them in front of Faith as soon as she'd heated them up.
Faith, meanwhile, couldn’t believe how incredible the food was! She had never has tasted such good grub in all her life; in fact, she began to wonder if she'd died and had gone to heaven.
“I've never had anything this good before!” She grinned at Piper between bites.
“Finally, someone who appreciates my cooking, and the effort and care I put into it. I was a chef in a restaurant, and I love to cook. However, most of the time, we don’t get to eat it because some demon or warlock decides to come after us. It’s lovely to see someone enjoy it.” Piper smiled at Faith, who had slowed down the speed of her eating somewhat. “I can always make some more, so don’t worry about it. Eat as much as you like.”
By this point, the fridge had been about half-emptied, with almost all the leftovers gone at this point, but Faith was still eating.
Shaking her head slightly in amazement, Piper pulled out some bacon and eggs and started cooking.
While Faith was eating, Prue dragged Phoebe the living room with her. “What happened? How did they get in the house? And what’s she doing here?”
“I let them in; I thought they were coming for one of your photo shoots. She rescued me from them.” As Phoebe spoke, she looked toward the kitchen where Faith sat. She definitely felt attracted toward the dark-haired girl and began speaking quietly, almost like she was thinking aloud. “She knows about vamps, and she knows how to take them out. She really could help us. We could ask her to stay...”
“We don’t know a thing about her, Phoebe!”
“Hey, she didn’t need to save me or fight those vamps, but she did it anyway. Besides, she’s new in town, and I’ve got a feeling that she needs us as much as we need her.” She drifted off again into her own thoughts.
Prue still wasn't convinced, but looking at Phoebe, she could tell she wasn't going to get her to change her mind or leave it alone. It looked like Manor Halliwell had acquired a new resident.
They could figure it out in the morning.
Faith, having finally filled her stomach, helped Piper to clear the kitchen and clean up. As they finished, Phoebe walked into the kitchen.
“You can stay with us, if you'd like. We could use the help. Say yes, Faith!” Phoebe smiled hopefully at the girl and grabbing her hand excitedly. “Even Prue agrees with me that it’s for the best if you stay with us.”
Faith glanced at Prue, who just nodded in agreement.
“I agree as well.” Piper added, smiling slightly.
Faith's first reaction to Phoebe's offer was to say no and leave, but the moment Phoebe touched her, she forgot everything else. Once both her sisters backed her, Faith made up her mind quickly as she stared at Phoebe. “I'll stay.” She utters those words with great difficulty, all resistance evaporated to the idea of not staying.
“For tonight you can sleep on the couch. It’s not a bed, but...”
“Don’t worry. I've slept in worst places; the couch will do.” She found that she instinctively need to reassure the blonde. That was new.
Grabbing a blanket and a pillow from the closet, the witches made sure that Faith had everything before they headed upstairs to their respective bedrooms, Phoebe going somewhat reluctantly.
Sitting on the couch, Faith began to scan her immediate area. The place gave off a weird vibe, kind of like the Hellmouth did. There was a major difference, though. The Hellmouth was cold, radiating darkness, evil, and death; this place was warm, spreading light, life, and goodness.
No wonder the demons and warlocks were all after this place. The havoc they could wreck with this much power would be unbelievable.
The house was nearly silent and she could hear the breathing of the sisters slow down and even out as they all fell asleep. The sheer quiet of this place was a drastic change from the constant noise of the prison. This was so relaxing and peaceful.
This living room which radiated warmth and joy was such a sudden change of scenery for her first day out of prison. Her first day free in a new city with a new chance and a place to live.
Seeing her backpack, she grabbed it and out of it fell the nearly forgotten papers she'd gotten from Wolfram & Hart.
Picking them up, Faith finally took a look at them. One envelope in particular caught her eye: it has her full name on it, written in the mayor's handwriting.
She could very clearly remember the last time she'd gotten a parcel from the mayor.
Faith let her mind wander back to that time when she had received a parcel from the Bossman.
She was lying in her hospital bed, oblivious to the outside world. Her hospital room was bare, without anything personal in sight. There wasn't one get-well card, or teddy bear, or something similar that would signify that someone cared about her.
The only sound that could be heard were the rhythmic beeps, keeping time with her heart. Suddenly, a loud screech sounded and the monitor flat lined. Faith had disappeared from the bed.
When she had woken up from her coma, she was a little disorientated, although she knew enough to get out of the hospital.
A little later, she walked through the streets of Sunnydale, until she came across a shop selling weapons. Keeping an eye out for the police or any of the Scoobies, she looked at the display of knives in the shop window. Faith almost entered the shop, but she suddenly saw a police car headed her way.
Trying to avoid being recognized by Sunnydale's finest, she mingled with a group of students that were just crossing the street in front of her. Most of the time, Sunnydale had the most inept police force in the world, but even the dumbest can get lucky. Better safe than sorry.
Once she'd crossed the street, Faith slipped away from the group and ducked into a corner street, putting as much distance as possible between her and the police car.
Some kind of demon came up to her, oddly not attacking her, just talking. “Faith! Your friend sent me. I've got a little something for you to remember him by.”
Faith was in no mood for talking so, before he could give her the case he was holding, Faith beat the demon up and took it from him just as another police car came around the corner. Spooked, she made her way quickly up a fire-escape, dodging his searchlight just in time. Once up the ladder and out of immediate danger, she opened the case and found a videocassette inside.
Not having a VCR of her own, she broke into a pawn store to find one. Quickly hooking an old VCR to a TV, she stuck the tape in and the Mayor's face appeared on the screen.
"Hello, Faith.” The first kind words she heard since she woke up.
"If you are watching this tape, it can only mean one thing. I'm dead. And our noble campaign to bring order to the town of Sunnydale has failed. Utterly and completely. But, on the other hand, heck, maybe we won. And right now, I'm on the Richard Wilkins show surrounded by a bunch of kids sitting Indian style and looking up at my face filled with fear and wonder."
He laughed. " 'Hi kids!' "
Faith grinned at the idea, but became serious as his face lost its levity.
"But the realist in me tends to doubt it.
"Now, Faith, as I record this message, you're sleeping. The doctors tell me you might never wake up. I do not believe that. Sooner or later, you will wake up, and when you do, you'll find the world has gone and changed on you. I wish I could make the world a better place for you to wake up in. But, tough as it is to accept, we both have to understand that even my power to protect and watch over you has its limits. See, the hard pill to swallow is that once I'm gone, your days are just plain numbered.
"I know, you're a smart and capable young woman in charge of her own life, but the problem, Faith, is that there won't be a place in the world for you anymore. By now I bet you're feeling very much alone. But you're never alone. You'll always have me."
On the screen, she saw him pick up a box and hold it near the camera. "And you'll always have this. Go ahead. Open the box."
Faith took the box from the case and looked at it closely.
"Don't worry. It's not gonna bite. That's my job!" He laughed at his own joke. "Go ahead. Open it."
She did so.
"Surprise! You won't find these in any gumball machine! See, when you've been around as long as I have, you make friends. And some of them forge neat little gizmos. Just like the one you're holding right now."
She stared at the device she held in her hand.
"And here's the good news. Just because it's over for my Faith, doesn't mean she can't go out with a bang." He glanced away from the camera for a moment and laughed sadly before turning the camera off.
Faith just stared at the device.
Snapping back to the present, Faith slowly turned over the envelope she was holding and carefully opened it. Inside were three, crisp white sheets of paper with the mayor's writing on them. She quickly found a personal letter and began to read.
If you're reading this, it means my Ascension failed and I'm dead. Damn, I had such high hopes about it; I guess nothing can't be done about it now. Also, our plan regarding Buffy must have failed. Too bad. Don't be sad: you did survive both plans.
Forget everything I told you on the tape; it's a new ball game now. If there isn't a place in the world for you anymore, then my Faith simply has to make one for herself. And I've got all the faith in the world that you'll succeed.
To do that you'll need to leave the past behind and make a fresh start somewhere else. You'll also need three things to succeed: money, weapons and knowledge. Those, I'll provide for you.
As you well know, I made a lot of acquaintances in my line of work and most of them owe me favours. I called all of them in, each and every favour that I had.
And a job that was, I can tell you! Trying to get a hold of them and get them to do the things I wanted...Lets say the Ascension will be a piece of cake compared to it.
An LA law firm--which has been in my service for over a century--helped me make sure that all legal or other troubles will be taken care by them. They are also to deliver these papers and a box to you.
The box contains everything you'll need to make your place in the world. The box, like the gizmo, has special qualities when you touch it and will it to grow, it will shape itself into a large trunk. Only you can open it and use the box safely.
I had special weapons, gadgets and gizmos fashioned for you and placed within the box; you'll soon figure out what they can do and how to use them.
Inside, you'll also find a few hundred grand, jewels, precious metals, and precious artefacts plus papers which grant you access to a couple of bank accounts that contain millions of dollars. You put the money to good use. Have fun with it Faith, understand?.
Also "The Slayer Sword," which was created about five millennia back, is now yours. If it has to be handled by a slayer again, it will be by you. I only know that it’s very, very powerful and can only be safely wielded by a slayer. You’ll have to figure it out by yourself what it can do.
In addition, I got you a new blade to replace the one you lost; this one's called "Dragon Blade" and has all kinds of special features. It can create shields, enhance your Slayer abilities, and increase the sharpness of the blade in order to cut through anything and everything. And the best part? It's powered by the essence of demons and vamps you slay with it. Knowing my Fay, you'll love this new blade and put it to good use.
Another item you'll love is the "Twin Braces." They're blessed and cause vamps excruciating pain if they are within half a feet of the braces. However, if you break the braces up, you’ll actually have to touch the vamps for it to work.
Now listen very carefully: the next item is the most valuable and powerful of all the items in the box. It’s called the BOOK OF SLAYERS, and only Slayers can handle and use it safely. It contains all the knowledge of the ancient Slayers--those who went before you. It’s meant to guide and train the next slayer.
Faith, you'll need to do two things when you use the box:
The first thing is to take the "BOOK OF SLAYERS" out of the box, open it, and read the first page out loud. This will signify that you're taking possession of the book. When that's done, only you can open and read the book. Take good care of it, Faith. It contains a lot of knowledge and powers that only can be used by you. I know my Faith doesn't like to read old, musty books, but this book shows where you came from. The actual roots of the Slayer, not the myth the Watcher believe and preach nowadays. It contains your heritage.
And now to the second thing: to make sure that your Dragon Blade can never be used against you, I included an incantation, with the letters, that you'll have to perform. When you follow it to the letter, the blade will become bonded to you and can never be used against you. The Blade, like the Book, will be a part of you, a living extension of yourself.
This is all I could do in the short time before my Ascension. I hope you'll never have to read it, and I'll hand it to you in person. Make yourself a nice place in the world.
Your Loving Bossmann
(PS. Do me favour and kick Buffy’s and Angel's butt for me, for messing up my Ascension and putting my Faith in a coma.)"
As she slowly lowered the pages, her tears start to drip onto them. All her bottled-up emotions were finally being released. She wasn't alone anymore; she had two people who loved her: Mel, her first watcher who represented good/light, and the Mayor, who represented evil/darkness. Both of them were the extremes of the spectrum, complete opposites of each other but connected through Faith. She walked both ends of the spectrum, was part of both worlds, and now had to find her own way.
She felt as if she had lost both of her parents.
Clutching the letter and box to her chest--her final gifts from the Mayor--she fell asleep on the couch.
Slowly, Faith woke up as the warm sun shone through the window. Confused about where she was for a moment, she recalled that she finally had a place to stay. Scanning her immediate vicinity for threats, she registered 5 signatures--Prue, Piper, Phoebe and Leo she recognized from last night, but the fifth was unknown. However, since he was only human, so she knew he was no real threat to her, so she didn’t dwell on it any further.
She took one last look at the letter from the Mayor then put it aside resolutely while she grabbed the box and set it gently on the floor. Taking a couple of deep breaths to calm her nerves, she reached out and gently brushed the surface of the box, looking for any imperfections, marks, or openings, but found none. Next, she focused her heightened senses on the box which gave off powerful vibes of power and actually felt warm to her touch.
Putting both her hands on the box, she concentrated the word "grow" at it, and the box began to expend segment by segment, with intricate patterns emerging on the surface of the box. [A/N: Imagine the cubes in movie Hellraiser that open gateways to hell. Same principle, like some kind of lever was flipped and the box grew in a big chest.] Placing her hands on the now full-sized chest, she concentrated again. "Open."
Smoothly, it obeyed. Looking inside, Faith wanted to examine everything in the box, but the Mayor had made it very clear to her that it was of the utmost urgency that she take the book and read the incantation on the first page. Lifting the book carefully out of the chest, she examined it. The covers seemed to be made from a lot of things fused together, including demon hides, scales, nails, claws, metals like gold and silver, and some other things she wasn't able to recognize.
Sitting down on the ground, she put the book in her lap and opened it to the first page where, written in amalgam of silver, gold and jade, were the words of the incantation she had to read--it was called "The Slayer's Claim Spell," according to the Mayor. Concentrating for a moment on the spell and calming herself down, Faith started to read spell out loud.
The Slayer's Claim Spell
Through Darkness we Walk
In Darkness we Live
Through the Darkness we Hunt
In Darkness we Slay
Through Light we stand Guard
In Light we Live
Through the Light we Battle
In Light we Protect
Both Light and Dark
Touched by Both
Belong to None
Standing as One
Standing as Many
The Slayer charts her own Path
The Slayer owns her own Destiny
The Slayer am I, protector of Innocence
As Slayer, I claim the Book of Slayers
For Now and Ever
Having recited the last line of the incantation, the book and Faith became joined. Faith's name was added to the book; it was the first name in over two millennia.
The book was finally home again, where it belonged.
While Faith had read the Incantation, the air began to feel heavy and full of energy while a wind started to pick up. Growing strength and speed--and knocking down plenty of furniture in the process--a wall of moving wind slowly formed around Faith.
The house vibrated and trembled under the barrage. Slowly reaching its climax at the end of the spell, a powerful wave of energy was released, travelling at lightning speed in an expanding ring. It signalled the return of the Slayer and her guide to the World and, in particular, to San Francisco. A new, and yet ancient, player at last returned to the playing field.
The white, crackling ring surrounding Faith and her book had expanded slowly at first, but began picking up pace as it slid through the walls of the House and touched its occupants before expanding beyond the Manor.
From the sky, five points, equal distant from the Manor, lit up in five different bright colours: Blue, Green, Yellow, Red, and Brown, which represented the five elements, and formed a Wicca and spiritual nexus with the Manor--which was also inside of a pentagram--at its centre.
Blue, signifying water, was in East Harbor/The Bay. Green, representing wood, was in Kenwood Park--a former park that was now a residential neighbourhood. Yellow, representing metal, was at Mountain Park--a former gold mine which now was a golf course close by at Presidio. Red, representing fire, ended up at Hot Springs--close to Rhode/Carolina--which, as the name suggested, contained natural hot springs. And lastly Brown, representing earth, was at Twin Peak, a mountain that was the highest point in San Francisco.
It was the signal that the first step in the battle for control of the Manor and the nexus had started at last.