IV. the Reunion
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =IV. the Reunion
FAITH, KYLE AND TOBY LANDED AT LAX airport shortly after one in the afternoon California time. They took a direct flight and in the five hours and forty minutes flight from DC to LA, Faith and Kyle hardly spoke to one another. Toby was keeping track of every snarl, hiss or grunt that came from either party.
Having Agent Kyle Steele with them on this mission was something Toby wasn’t so sure about. Usually on missions they only send their rogue agent first, then he’ll follow with the gadgets their agent will need. Gibbons would make an appearance, but only when it was absolutely necessary. Their prior Triple Xs never traveled with a fed agent before. This new setup caught Toby by surprise.
They were picked up in a slick, black and chrome with tinted windows stretch limo and driven straight to Wolfram & Hart. Faith and Kyle did some shop talk while in the car. Toby listened in on what the two were discussing and found out why Kyle was with them.
“Gibbons set us up as what?” Faith looked aghast after Kyle told her what they were posing as. “You’re trippin’ me here, man. There’s no way they’d believe an ex-con like me would suddenly land a rich hubby.”
“They don’t know yet that it’s you that is coming to meet with them,” Kyle explained to her. “Gibbons made sure to fabricate your identity. Your name’s Serenity Williams and I’m your husband, Chester. We’ve been married for six and a half months and now we’re getting a divorce. The reason for that is I think you’re a witch who did something to make me marry you when all you’re really after is my money to run whatever kind of shady business with one of their clients.”
Faith sat back, an eyebrow cocked and her arms crossed over her midriff. She looked at the other male occupant of the car then back at Kyle who seemed to have grown two heads with the way she was looking at him right now.
“Serenity?” she echoed then turned to Toby. “What’s G doing to me, Tobe? That name’s like an oxymoron or something when compared to my
persona!” she complained.
Kyle and Toby looked aghast at what Faith was complaining about. Both men thought she’d be so hard-up on the whole undercover guises were, but no, she was having a hissy fit over the name Gibbons chose for her.
“Are you serious?” Kyle asked in stunned disbelief.
“Damn right I am,” she answered smugly, thrusting her chin to the air.
Kyle looked at Toby, asking the other man for some help. But all the gadgets agent could do was lift his shoulders in a shrug and look back at the pissed off brunette in fascination.
“I don’t want to go all Cordelia here, but remind me to have a very long and serious talk with G once we get back to DC, ya hear me?” she huffed.
Kyle stared at Faith for a while longer before sitting back, resting his elbow on the window’s ledge and shook his head. “Unbelievable,” he muttered under his breath and decided to look outside instead.~ * ~
-believable!” Faith said in unison with the pale skinned, Billy Idol look-alike looking at her the moment she entered the head honcho’s office of Wolfram & Hart.
Kyle and Toby fell back, shoulders tensed and discreetly looking at each other all the while watching Faith and the peroxide haired man with pasty white skin stand a foot away from each other, their jaws dropped as they stared at one another.
“Faith?” said a third man, this one a tall, broody type dark haired male who was seated behind the large semi-circular work table. He got up as soon as they entered and walked around his desk to stand beside Billy Idol – whose name they assumed was Spike since that was what Faith called him.
Faith looked past Spike and zeroed in on Angel. Her eyes became wide as saucers as she slowly pieced together the presence of her two trusted allies. Okay, so Angel was more her friend than Spike, but she fought alongside these two for the better part of her rehabilitated life; what in the name of Willow’s goddess were they doing inside Wolfram & Hart?
“Angel?” Disbelief marred Faith’s tone when she was finally able to put two and two together. “What the fuck is going on here?” She spun around and glared at the agent accompanying her who was supposed to be her undercover husband. “What kind of sick joke is this, Steele? Did you dredge up anymore stuff about my life and decided to bring me face to face with two of the only other beings on this planet that I feel comfortable hanging around with?”
Spike looked pleased and stared at the brunette. “You like hanging out with me?” He looked so damn pleased then tossed the other man standing behind the desk a smug look. “See mate, you’re not the only vamp in town that both
powerful slayers like.”
Angel made a face at the smug SOB. “Shut up, Spike.”
Faith ignored the banter between the two vampires and continued to glare at Steele, her hands itching to wrap themselves around his neck and choke the life out of the arrogant son of a bitch.
Kyle raised his hands up in defense. “I have nothing to do with this. And…you know these people?”
” Faith nodded.
“How?” Toby asked cocking his head to the side and trying to figure out how the blond and the dark haired man – who also looked pasty white – are friends.
“One saved my soul. The other saved my life,” was Faith’s vague reply.
“Huh?” Both Kyle and Toby looked confused.
Faith made a face at the two agents and was about to explain when another familiar face walked in to the room.
The tall, lanky looking dark haired man sporting silver rimmed glasses and his nose stuck in a rather large and equally thick book stopped mid-stride and looked up to where the person who called his name stood. He dropped the book and missed his toes by mere inches as he stared at the once rogue slayer.
“Faith?” He too couldn’t believe what he was seeing. “What are you doing here?”
“I should ask the same about you.” Faith nodded at him then turned to look at the two vampires, “All
of you,” she reiterated and looked pointedly at Angel.
Angel stepped from around Spike and closed the distance between him and Faith. He looked as though he was having a hard time believing what he was seeing. When his two-thirty appointment was lodged in to his schedule book, Harmony wrote a certain Mr. and Mrs. Williams – Chester and Serenity
Williams in fact – wanting to discuss divorce proceedings with their firm. But Spike was quick on the uptake and spoke before Angel could open his mouth.
“Do you have an appointment, Slayer, because we are expecting a couple who are getting a divorce because the nutter married a witch,” he explained and walked up to stop right where Angel stopped in front of the brunette undercover FBI agent.
Angel rolled his eyes at his sidekick’s lack of finesse and hissed, “Spike.”
But the blond ignored his superior and continued to stare at Faith waiting for an answer.
Kyle and Toby hung back, both a bit confused and befuddled at the obvious air of familiarity amongst the other people present in the large and obviously fancy office room with a line of wide and high walls giving a slick view of downtown LA.
“Slayer?” they echoed and looked at Faith then to the blond man wearing a black leather duster then back to Faith. Either it was a pet name or an actually title neither agent could comprehend.
Faith didn’t look the least bit chagrined or miffed at being addressed as such though. And neither one of the three other males present in the room looked inclined to answer their question.
the married bitch witch that my nasty SOB of a husband’s trying to divorce,” Faith answered without much qualm just like Spike.
” Kyle and Toby scolded the brunette for revealing their cover.
Faith turned to look at her two surprised and alarmed cohorts, a sly smirk on her pretty face. “Relax, dudes. It’s all cool. I know these people,” she told them reassuringly.
Kyle cocked an eyebrow. “I thought you said Wolfram & Hart people are nasty SOBs?”
Spike took offense at being thought as someone less intimidating. He puffed up his chest and took a step forward ready to lunge at Steele, but Faith blocked his path and gave the blond Billy Idol look-alike a stern look. It was a warning not to mess with her crew.
“What? This damn git don’t find me – us
,” he jerked his head at Angel’s direction to include him, “intimidating? Well I can easily change their minds about that,” he said haughtily.
“Look, they don’t know, alright?” She looked at the blond Brit then to the dark haired Irishman, both of whom has lived past two centuries and still counting. “Neither one of them knows
,” she made sure they understood what she was trying not to say out loud.
“Know about what?” asked the ever curious Toby.
Kyle, however, looked displeased about something. His overactive mind went to overdrive and jumped to the wrong – but the only possible – conclusion he could think of.
“Holy fuck, Lehane! You went rogue!” he accused and reached for his backup tucked behind his pants hidden under his shirt.
Kyle didn’t get the chance to extract the gun from its holster before he was shoved up against the wood wall paneling by the two men who moved in light speed. Spike had him pushed up against the wall, his hand around his neck was tight, cutting off his oxygen intake, while the other man, Angel, loomed nearby and the look he had on was close to sinister that warned him both men knew Faith well and were reacting to protect her.
” Faith yelled at the two men and without breaking a sweat pulled both men away from him without as much as straining a muscle; their weight didn’t even matter to Faith as she nimbly grabbed the two men by their shirts and pulled them back. Kyle fell on the carpeted flooring and Toby rushed to his side.
“What the hell’s wrong with you two?” Faith was yelling at the two men. Her eyes were shooting daggers at the dynamic duo and didn’t bother to give them a chance to explain their actions before she went on with her tirade. “You two acted like a pair of hungry wolves ready to pounce on their next prey!”
“He was about to shoot you,” Angel pointed out.
Faith cocked an eyebrow at that. “Do you honestly think he’ll have a hell’s chance of shooting me before I break his arm or neck?”
Angel considered what she said and agreed with her. The human’s bones would be broken in at least three places before he could fire his first shot, not to mention his neck would be broken in record time as well if he ever did as much as do anything to harm the spunky brunette slayer.~ * ~
Kyle and Toby sat inside the conference room just off Angel’s main office on the top floor of Wolfram & Hart where the pale skinned, dark haired man was head of operations. From what the three men – Angel, Spike and Wesley – explained to them thus far, they took over the running of the place a couple of years back after it was just offered
to Angel Investigations – a detective company run by Angel his ragtag crew minus the blond haired Briton, Wolfram & Hart’s owners decided that if they can’t beat Angel, they might as well surrender while they were still ahead offered him to have full control of the goings-on of the firm based in LA.
“So you aren’t the ones who hired Faith as your freelance assassin?” Toby didn’t bother with tact or finesse and asked his question straightaway.
Faith gave an unlady-like grunt from where she stationed herself and looked away. Angel answered Toby’s question and explained to them that that point in Faith’s life – when she worked for Wolfram & Hart – was a low point of her life before she surrendered herself to the cops and did her time.
Kyle leaned forward in his seat, his gaze watching and reading the three men’s body language while assessing the whole situation. Their cover was blown, but neither on of them was in deep shit at the moment. Faith told him these guys could be trusted, but he begged to differ.
“If what you say is true, why did you even consider their offer to have full control of Wolfram & Hart?” he questioned.
That question caught Faith’s attention and she turned to look at Angel whose back was presented to her. She watched the nearly three centuries old vampire’s body tense. It had to be something related to their
kind of work that propelled the brooding vampire to accept being in charge of this conglomerate, but it was something neither Shavers nor Steele would understand when explained to them.
When Angel took longer to give them an answer, Faith decided to hazard a guess.
“Let me guess, they bargained with you. They promised to help you with Connor in exchange of taking over from whoever was in charge of this dump before, am I right?”
“Connor?” Kyle cocked an eyebrow and looked across the room at Faith and waited for an explanation, but none was given to him.
Angel turned to look at the feisty dark haired woman, his shoulders sagged a bit.
“I know you hate my guts right now. You think I sided with the enemy when I really didn’t,” he explained to her. He owed Faith so much and knew that by taking over Wolfram & Hart he offended her somehow; disappointed her even.
“Oh really?” she taunted. “And exactly how are you not siding with the enemy by dealing with the likes of human-guzzling freaks and the likes, huh? You represent
these people and actually let them go to roam free and do their usual maiming and torturing of the poor, unfortunate human
sacrifices this whole damn city has to offer!”
“We keep those creatures off
the streets as much as we possibly can,” answered Wesley.
Faith cocked an eyebrow and turned her attention to her former Watcher. “Oh really?”
“Yes, really,” Wesley reassured her with a firm nod of his head.
“I don’t believe this,” she threw her arms in the air and walked away from her post by the window. “You are doing your best to apprehend these nasty buggers, and the Senior Partners aren’t angered by you running interference?”
“They gave me
full power to do whatever I want with the company, Faith,” Angel reassured her. “And so far I think we’re doing a helluva good job keeping those demons off the streets.”
Faith still didn’t believe him. She was having a hard time taking in this new information. When the Scoobies left California and headed east to Cleveland, none of them remained in touch with Angel and crew back here in LA. Or if they did, Faith didn’t know about it. She split shortly after spending three months with Buffy and the Potentials. She and Robin worked out, but soon she grew tired and took off to ‘find herself’ as she told them.
“Look, why don’t you tell us why
you are here? And why in bloody hell were you using a ridiculous alias?” Spike demanded, curling his nose when he remembered Faith’s supposed married
“Ask my superior,” she snorted and rolled her eyes skyward. “G’s got some warped sense of humour or something.”
“G?” Wesley echoed.
Faith met his gaze and answered, “Gibbons. Agent Augustus Gibbons.”
” it was Angel who questioned her.
,” she nodded then looked at Steele and Shavers. “Those two are feds as well,” she gestured at the two men.
“Faith,” growled Kyle.
“What? I told you these guys are cool. They’re practically close to what I’d call a family
, so chillax, okay?” she cocked an eyebrow and waited for the stick-up-his-rear agent to argue with her.
The three men looked startled and pleased by Faith’s announcement. Having Faith say she consider them family was something big of her. She wasn’t the type to stick around and be all Brady Bunch or Little House on the Prairie with just anyone.
“I can’t,” answered Kyle and got up. “I need to call Gibbons and update him on the sudden change of plans,” he announced then looked at Angel, “Mind if I use your phone in your office? My cell phone died and since we went straight from the airport to here, I didn’t have the chance to recharge the battery,” he explained.
“Sure. Go right ahead. Dial 9 to get an outside line,” Angel said and gestured for the blond federal agent to his office.
“Thanks,” Kyle stepped out of the conference room and into Angel’s office, leaving Toby behind to keep an eye out on Faith.
Once Kyle was out of the room the three men whom Faith claimed to be family came down on her all at once. They weren’t threatening her, just suffocating her with big brotherly concern.
“FBI?” demanded Angel.
“You got yourself into some serious shit since Sunnydale, Faith?” it was Spike who wanted to know.
“What kind of law did you break this time? Are you working off some kind of deal with the FBI hence why you’re with these men?” Wesley demanded to know as well.
Faith backed up from her three Big Brothers as they closed in on her. She raised her hands to fend the three men off, her gaze slicing through them, warning them not to crowd her.
“First of all, you’re looking at a reformed
Faith, alright? I don’t go looking for more trouble other than dusting some vamp asses or ripping demon hearts out, alright?” she reassured them before they started to think of the worse case scenario she could’ve landed herself in to.
“Actually the FBI hired her as our new Triple X,” it was Toby who answered from where he sat on the opposite end of the table.
“What?” Spike’s jaw dropped and looked from the meek-looking agent then back to Faith. “You got yourself a job as a porn star now?”
” Faith looked scandalized and punched the blond vampire’s arm hard.
” Spike yelped and took a step back. “That hurts!” he whined.
Faith cocked an eyebrow and gave him a you-deserve-it look.
Toby hid his amused chuckle as he watched the foursome interact. Faith’s claim that these men here were family to her, she wasn’t really lying. Right now the way she and the blond haired Briton were arguing indicates a familial connection.
“Actually Triple X is a civilian operative hired by the FBI to infiltrate certain situations that any regular federal agents won’t normally infiltrate,” Toby explained to the group.
“What?” The three men turned to frown at Toby’s explanation.
“What Shavers mean is the role of a Triple X agent is something close to what a slayer does – puts their lives on the line and do ridiculously high-octane, adrenaline pumpin’ ass kicking all for the love of country,” explained Faith.
Three brows cocked and turned to look at the spunky rogue slayer.
did you become patriotic, Faith?” Angel questioned.
“Who says I am?” She broke into a wide, sultry smile. Her eyes filled with mischief before adding, “Besides, I needed to stay fit, and by being this Triple X character keeps me in shape – plus
I get to drive my very own top of the line Escalade,” she boasted.
“You’re bluffing,” snorted Spike.
“I’m afraid she’s not,” answered Toby. The blond turned and gave him a wide-eyed stare. Toby managed to send the other man a nervous smile and quickly added, “She nearly gave Gibbons a heart attack when she demanded for one, but she got it in the end because I guess it was less expensive than the other vehicle she asked for.”
was this vehicle that was not approved of?” Wesley asked.
“A Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 Roadster,” Faith answered smugly.
” Spike and Angel turned to face Faith, their jaws wagging at her choice of car.
“Yep,” Toby nodded from where he was seated. “That
was Gibbons’ reaction. Exactly like that.”
Wesley had a clear view of the two vampires’ faces and covered up his chuckle with a cough.
“Good thing they aren’t likely to die of a heart attack,” he muttered so only Faith could hear what he said as well as the two vampires whose sense of hearing was very keen.
Angel and Spike glared at the Englishman while Faith let out a deep bellied laugh at the duo’s reaction. It has been a while since she last had a good, no restraints laugh. And she had to thank these two people from her past to give her that much needed laugh she’d been missing for quite some time now.
Kyle heard the ruckus and came running to the conference room with his gun drawn. He skidded to a stop when he saw Faith clutching her belly and practically falling on the floor and rolling, probably dying from laughing way too much. He screwed his forehead together and looked at Toby.
“What’s going on?”
Toby rose from his seat and rounded the table to stand where Kyle stood. He was quite enthralled to see Faith laugh without restraint. Since she came on board the Triple X project he has yet to see Faith Lehane kick back and be herself. This was a rare treat as far as Toby Shavers was concerned.
“Faith told Spike and Angel what she asked Gibbons for her first choice of company provided vehicle.”
“Ah,” Kyle nodded and tucked his gun back in its holder. He didn’t need further explanation. He was present when Faith told Agent Gibbons what kind of car she wanted to drive around in. He cast a quick look at the two men and knew that they just about had a heart attack when Faith told them she was asking for a worth north of three hundred thousand dollars car once it becomes available in the market.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =PhoenixRae’s Notes:
Just to clarify (in case you’re confused), this is set post season 7 of BtVS and post season 5 of AtS. Sunnydale is still demolished, but the ‘apocalypse’ in the Angel series finale didn’t happen. This fic’s timeline is set in late 2006 and early 2007. Just thought I’d clear this out before ya’ll get confused.