Title : Dream a little dream.
Author : Kiwikatipo
Rating : F18 (Possible one off F21 chapter might be included later on)
Disclaimer : The BtVS folks belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Faith's bio from ‘Go Ask Malice’ by Robert Joseph Levy. Medium was created by Glenn Gordon Caron.
Summary: Ariel Dubois parents do so well in helping her being a slayer that when she is finally discovered by the Watchers Council, they don't feel they need Kate Lockley to be her watcher. Faith and Wesley are called in to help sort the mess out.
Timeline: Post Chosen and Not Fade Away. Late season three of Medium.
Pairings: Kate and Lee Scanlon, Faith and Wesley (Luke and Laura though it is). Allison and Joe shall point the way forwards to normality for all.
Warning: People screw, swear and slaughter in this story.
Prologue – For you’ll still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not.
5th November 2006
Faith wore her underwear and a plastic bin liner with arm and neck holes cut out of it.
The old bastard was running late, but traffic had been chaos apparently this evening. What with it being Guy Fawkes Night and all. Her fairly newish boyfriend kept calling her and leaving drunken messages on her answer phone, telling her she was missing out on a great bonfire party.
Faith’s apartment or ‘flat’ as it was called in London, was small, shabby and cold. She gathered by the disapproving sniff Roger Wyndam Pryce gave, as she showed him into it, that he wasn’t impressed by her dwelling’s substandard, renovated, Edwardian charms.
“Paperwork, the boy will need it.” Mr. Wyndam Pryce handed her over a black briefcase with unsteady hands. He placed a full shopping bag bearing the logo of an up-market men’s clothing chain store on top of her kitchen table.
Faith suspected correctly the shaking hands had more to do with Wyndam Pryce’s advancing motor neuron disease than any chickening out on his part.
Faith walked into the bathroom, she pulled back the white plastic shower curtain from around the clawed bathtub. It needed to be performed on Wesley's birthday, this spell. Would Wesley come back as a thirty-two year old, the age at which he died, or thirty-five, the age he was meant to be if he lived?
“So Wes was born at ten:fifteen?”
“I told you that previously, I believe.” Wyndam Pryce followed her into the black and white tiled room, observed the peeling paint on the windowsill and sniffed once more.
“Are you about to start wittering on, Ms. Lehane? Lost your nerve?” He was feeling resolute personally, he’d failed the boy in every damn way, but he could achieve this for him at least.
Faith had cleaned the freaking bathroom before Wyndam Pryce arrived. Okay, her place was kind of a dump. Even with the reasonable salary she got from the New Watchers Council how could she afford anything else in London? She didn’t spend much time in it, thank god.
Faith rolled her eyes, scoffing at the idea she’d back out after the lengths they had both gone to so far. Ever since she finally got hold of the letter Wesley wrote to her in May 2004.
Wesley was one of the few people on the planet Faith owed. Her sins against him far outweighed the sins he committed against her.
Oh fuck, she so didn’t want to do this next part. She turned her back and scrubbed with her finger at a splash of toothpaste on the bathroom mirror she’d missed in her late afternoon clean up.
Wyndam Pryce removed his clothes and placed them tidily in the plastic bag he’d brought along with him for the purpose. He coughed significantly.
Faith assisted the naked old man into the bathtub carefully. They didn’t want him to skid on the scattered ashes that lay on the white painted, cast-iron tub.
“Righty o then.” Wyndam Pryce put on his reading glasses and read out loud from the heavy spell book he brought with him. Faith needed to help him support the weight of it.
The room grew dark despite the bright electric light bulb hanging unshaded in the middle of the bathroom ceiling.
“Now.” Wyndam Pryce threw the book away from him with Herculean effort. It landed with a thump on the bathroom floor, squashing vellum pages. It annoyed him to treat a valuable book in that careless manner but it couldn’t be helped.
Faith picked up the silver dagger from the shampoo and soap rack, she plunged the blade into Wyndam Pryce's torso and ripped it down from sternum to groin, whilst supporting his weight with her left arm. He didn’t wince or cry out; the Wyndam Pryces’ possessed balls as a clan obviously. His blood poured forth on his son’s ashes.
The bathroom grew pitch black. Christ, what they were doing was wrong.
Wyndam Pryce’s body shimmered in and out of Faith’s vision. Wesley’s body appeared, skeleton, flesh, blood, skin, hair.
Wyndam Pryce disappeared out of sight forever and a nude, panting Wesley remained in the blood spattered bathtub.
A shower cap wearing Faith - a truly gruesome sight - the plastic bag she wore spattered with gore, her hands covered in Wyndam Pryce’s blood, leaned over the bathtub, still holding the dagger.
She needed to double check. “Were you in a Heavenly dimension?”
“No.” Wesley caught his breath and stared up at her impassively.
Wesley had a faded scar on his neck. Faith had never noticed it before, odd. He was splashed in various places with his father’s blood. Wesley looked thirty-two, and hot naked. There were faint silvery scars on his chest from where she had tortured him.
“Thank fuck for that.” Faith tossed the dagger carelessly into the bathroom sink with customary excellent aim. She pointed out a newly purchased towel for him, hanging in fluffy splendor on the towel rack. “Uh, you might want to have a shower first, Wes, and then I’ll fill you in on the crap that’s gone down since you’ve been dead.”
“Mum’s alive, Lorne’s alive, Father’s dead, Angel’s dead, Gunn’s dead, Illyria’s dead, Spike’s shanshued and the price of gas is even more exorbitant than before.” Wesley sipped his whiskey on Faith’s couch, digesting the current status of world affairs.
His father had purchased blue jeans, a white t-shirt and a grey jersey for him to wear. They were completely normal looking, his father must have asked a shop assistant's advice in selecting them for him. Y-front briefs unfortunately, the white undergarment would undoubtedly be his father’s brainwave.
“Yeah. Bush and Major, still head honchos of our respective countries, and Buffy’s engaged.” Faith sat on the floor, wearing her black jeans and black sweater. It had been easier to fill him in on two and a half years worth of events, than she thought it would be.
“Spike?” Wesley supposed he should be glad Spike made it out alive, but he would have preferred Gunn to be the sole survivor, in spite of everything that happened between them at the end.
“You’re not serious?” Wesley showed the first sign of animation on his face since he’d been bought back to life.
“Course not – it’s this Parisian architect she met in Rome, cool guy according to Andrew Wells. So I have no idea what the dude’s like, apart from being French obviously” Faith poured him more whiskey and lit herself another cigarette. To her great relief, Wesley seemed quite sane.
But the insider, the New Watcher’s Council had in Wolfram and Hart, Rutherford Sirk, relayed the information that Wesley had gone around murdering cyborg clones of his father, shooting employees’ in the leg and stabbing Gunn in the gut during his time at Wolfram and Hart. Faith was holding off on releasing Wesley loose on the general public for the time being.
She had thought when she met him briefly again in London, three years ago, when she was there for the first time, at the start of her new actual career path, that he was acting slightly weird. He had been back in the United Kingdom visiting his parents and she could see he was nice guy, if uptight, Wes as always, with these flashes of another person poking out in his personality. A scary as fuck, person.
The fact that Angel had arranged with Evil Inc. to wipe everyone’s mind including, hello, hers, explained it. Yet another betrayal by a male, Faith felt bitter for the length of time it took her to smoke one cigarette and moved on. Her original memories must have been in place when she first screwed Wood sadly, so she still had no one to blame for that waste of one whole year of her life, living with control freak in Cleveland, Ohio, except for herself.
The control freak who was probably the love of her life and she had completely screwed their relationship up.
Her answer phone machine clicked on again.
A young male voice wheedled through the living room. “Faith mate, turn on your bloody mobile, are you still sulking about that misunderstanding in the pub last night? I’m at Garry’s, come on, Faith, this chick called Rona’s here. Says she’d love to catch up.”
Sulk? Faith did not sulk! She pouted, thinking about it.
“Who was that?” Wesley glanced around taking in his surroundings in a more alert fashion, calculating things. “You live in London, permanently now?”
“That was a friend of mine, Travis… Weatherby.” Faith guessed Wesley would know who she was talking about. The whole of the New Watchers Council ran on Nepotism. She got her own job through head honcho Giles recommendation. “And I’m based in London.”
“You’re dating a Weatherby?” Wesley supposed Council special operative Weatherby’s nephew would be twenty-two by now, and Faith must be, god, nearly twenty-six. Wesley regarded Faith more closely, noting the maturity in her features.
Both Faith and Buffy made it to twenty-five, a miracle. They couldn’t both be slaying still surely, could they? Like an Eastern European gymnast Faith would be long past her physical prime by now, as far as slaying went.
She was still as attractive as ever, didn’t seem to be displaying her physical wares as overtly as before. Although, it was a cool evening and he doubted even Faith would dress to seduce when half an hour past raising the dead.
“Yeah, kinda.” Faith shrugged dismissively. She hooked up with Travis for his dick mainly. He wasn’t Robin, no one was.
“So just what exactly do you do with yourself these days, Faith?”
Chapter One: I just climbed aboard the dreamweaver train.
4th February 2007
Joe Dubois padded out into the kitchen in his bare feet and bathrobe. He poured two glasses of milk, one for his wife sitting staring into space on the couch in the living room, and one for himself. He zapped them both in the microwave for forty seconds.
“Thanks.” Allison accepted the warm milk gratefully. “I had a weird dream.”
“A weird dream. You? Does today have a 'y' in it?” Joe teased her, snuggling up beside her.
“Droll, so droll. It was about Ariel.” Allison sipped her milk. “She was on Sesame Street. And the Count was there, and he said. “Six hours and counting, ha ha ha.” Then Ariel picked up a wooden stick and plunged it into his heart and he evaporated into dust. Our daughter killed a muppet.”
“And you’re finding that more disturbing than dreaming about serial killers?” Joe drank down his milk, unperturbed. “She should have killed Big Bird, he always got on my nerves.”
Kate Lockley sat down in the shiny modern building’s examination room. A view of the Millennium Dome could be seen out the window. There wasn’t meant to be an exam. The Watcher’s diploma was all meant to be coursework accessed, with a final interview. And why was she in her pajamas, no one else was wearing pajamas?
The examination paper lay before her.
What year was the Cruciamentum abolished?
Kate knew this one, she wrote down the date, 2003.
What year did Watchers positions begin to be advertised for, around the world?
How many slayers are in current activation, globally?
In what year was the New Watchers Council formed?
This was too easy, it must be a trick. Kate looked around worried, every one else in her class was writing pages and pages of hieroglyphics.
Kate turned over her question sheet. ‘Translate the revised watcher's handbook into Ancient Sumerian.’
No… she had brushed up on Latin, fricking Latin.
She’d fail, she would fail this exam, like she failed in the police force, like she failed to save her father. Like she’d mysteriously failed to get married and breed by the time she turned thirty three.
Kate jerked awake, she’d spent a sleepless night tossing and turning with nervousness and had dozed off in the overheated waiting room outside Rupert Giles office, the time on her watch showed it to be eleven o’clock.
Her final interview was in ten minutes. No wonder she was having bad dreams. Next week she could be anywhere in the world, helping a teenage girl survive to twenty.
Ariel stood up in front of her English class. She had been dreading this oral presentation all week. The topic sucked. Her family and their TV viewing habits.
“My name is Ariel Dubois, I’m fifteen, and live with my parents and two little sisters, Bridgette whose nine and Marie whose five, in a one story house in Phoenix. My sisters and I are all blond like my Mom.” ‘And we’re all psychic like my Mom. My youngest sister can receive a TV channel that no one else can by the sheer power of her mind. She sees messages in the static.’ Ariel could hardly share that with Mrs. Peabody and the rest of her grade. “I have my own bedroom but my sisters’ share; none of us have a television set in our bedrooms. My Dad is an aerospace engineer and my Mom works for the D.A.’s office. They only let us watch ten hours of TV a week.” Ariel stopped, feeling giddy.
Ariel was a seventeen year old Asian teenager, dying in a car crash beside a shaven headed black man in his thirties, at night time in an Asian city. She was a fifteen year old Hispanic girl, dying in an underground cavern, a monster sucking out her blood in the middle of a battle. She was a seventeen year old black girl, in a school library, dying from a black haired woman snapping her neck. She was a sixteen year old short blond girl in a prom dress, being drowned in a pool by a monster, in yet another underground cavern. Ariel was an eighteen year old white girl, being killed by a mummy in San Diego?
The horrible visions went on and on. Ariel was lying on the classroom floor by now. She was going backwards in time, being one young teenage girl after another, dying painful death after painful death. Oh god, she was twenty one and dying of a botched abortion in some slum in the fifties, people were speaking in French, the deaths flashed quicker and quicker before her eyes.
“She’s having an epileptic fit!” Mrs. Peabody sat on the floor beside her. “Get the school nurse!”
By the time Ariel stopped shaking and having her visions, she’d lost count of the times she’d died being killed by monsters. The five times she died in childbirth and once having her throat slit by a jealous lover (in medieval Germany?) were the stands out by this stage. Her very last vision was of an African tribal woman killed by a vampire. Ariel had worked out by now that most of the girls' deaths were caused by vampires.
5th February Wednesday
New South Wales
Faith squatted on her haunches in the derelict building. It was midday, humid, and she was sweating profusely in spite of the dark green, cotton, Thai fishermen’s trousers she was wearing and her red singlet top.
Her red haired, ripped sun-dress wearing quarry was hiding under a broken door leaning in the corner of the room they were in.
The floor was littered with discarded needles from junkies and other decaying objects Faith really didn’t want to know about.
“So you’re a werewolf now. It’s not the end of the world, kid.” Faith reasoned with the seventeen year old slayer sniveling in her hidey hole. “Ya folks just want you to come home.”
“How can I do that? Mum wants me to be doing my deb this year, not bloody shedding on the carpet during a full moon.”
“What’s doing a deb?” Faith pushed her lank hair off her neck.
“Coming out at a debutante ball.” The girl was shocked at Faith’s ignorance. “I had my evening dress picked out, and my corsage, and Dylan was going to be my partner and my watcher murdered him!” The slayer burst into fresh tears.
“Yeah, Nigel-baby over-reacted, but you don’t have to work with him anymore. We can find you a new watcher, a woman, an Australian even, maybe.” Faith could see why Nigel McLeod killed the teenage surfer that made no attempt to control his werewolfism and managed to create the first ever slayer-werewolf, but knew it wisest not to state this out loud.
“True? Because I hate that Scottish bastard’s guts.” The girl sounded hopeful.
“Yeah, we’ve contacted the other Australian slayer Zena, and her watcher Fatima, in Melbourne, they’ll come over and stay with you, until you get sent your new watcher.” Faith explained. Faith understood from personal experience how a teenager needed their very own watcher.
“Aren’t they bloody Lebbos?” The girl sounded horrified. Wogs in her house?
“Yeah.” Deal with it you little bitch! Faith wanted to scream at the North Shore private school girl, she and her four New Watchers Council work associates spent the past week searching for in the stinking heat. “They sounded real nice over the phone. It shouldn’t take long until you get your own watcher.”
“Are they going to be staying in our home?” The girl edged out into the open. “Mum and Dad don’t mind?”
“No.” The girl’s parents were incredibly reasonable people, pity they’d spoiled their brat daughter to death.
Faith’s cell phone alarm went off in her traveling pack tied around her perspiring waist. She unzipped a side pocket and popped a contraceptive pill down her throat.
“I hafta do that, because I keep changing time zones.” Faith explained to the girl’s puzzled look.
“So you have a boyfriend, yeah?” The girl crawled fully out into the room.
“Sorta… it’s complicated.” Faith couldn’t see her and Travis lasting much longer. She couldn’t last long with anyone.
5th February Tuesday
Ariel raised the dresser in her bedroom one more disbelieving time. She had turned into a superhero or something.
She stood on her hands experimentally. She threw a teddy bear from a shelf on her wall into the trash can by her desk. Perfect shot. She could do those two things before ten o’clock this morning and her fit and her visions. But not so easily as now.
“Ariel, dinner, honey.” Allison knocked on her door. “What are you doing?”
Ariel grabbed her bear out of the trash can. “Uh, nothing, Mom. Studying.”
“You should be resting, sweetie.” Allison came into her room. “I know Dr. Nile said there seems to be nothing wrong with you, but you gave your Dad and me a big scare today. Now come and have dinner, it’s pot roast.”
6th February Wednesday
It was a wonderful, farewell dinner. All of Kate’s remaining eight classmates, from her six month intensive watchers training course, were standing in the icy street waiting for a taxi cab, outside the Indian restaurant they’d finally been kicked out of by the tired proprietors.
Kate hadn’t been the only American to start with, but she was the only one left. Who would have guessed Nancy from Kentucky was evil?
Kate thanked her lucky stars she had found the advertisement online recruiting people with experience in the supernatural with a law enforcement or military background.
Kate felt completely ready to start her new career. She excelled at teenage psychology and adolescent development. Her combat skills were off the charts, she hadn’t been so physically fit in years.
Somewhere a little girl waited.
“That’s because you’re a retard sometimes, Wes. Admit it.” Faith smiled jovially, passing the jug of beer to him, across the wobbly table.
“All watchers are gits,” Wendy Collins - tech support, slurred, failing to connect her cigarette to her lighter. She set her hair on fire. “Even ex-watchers, especially ex-bloody-watchers."
With great presence of mind, Wesley threw his glass of beer on her hair.
“Thanks, mate,” Wendy said with drunken dignity. She tried to relight her sodden cigarette.
“Christ, have mine, girlfriend.” Faith passed her over Faith's own freshly lit cigarette.
“Thanks to you too, Faith.” Wendy hiccuped. A slightly built woman in her late twenties, she lacked the ability to process alcohol well.
“Are you gonna puke?” Faith checked, drawing back safely from where she was perched in Travis’s lap.
“Yeah,” Wendy got up and lurched towards the ladies room, of the public house, around the corner from their hotel, the five New Watchers Council members had found for their celebratory drink session.
“Should we perhaps tell Marc, he’s chatting up a transsexual?” Wesley suggested, indicating their remaining team member snuggling up to a red head on a bar stool.
“Nah,” Faith and Travis both shook their heads firmly.
Wesley raised an eyebrow at them. “I was merely concerned he’d miss the flight to Manila, tomorrow afternoon.”
Sorting out the problems between ‘rogue slayers’ and their watchers. It was natural, Wesley's destiny to end up back in the Watcher’s Council’s bosom, the prodigal son, Giles welcomed Wesley’s return. This situation in Australia had been his first assignment.
Once he managed to successfully convinced everyone he was mentally stable.
Brooke Anderson hardly deserved the term ‘rogue slayer’. ‘Frightened teen runaway’ would be more apt or ‘pathetic little princess’, if you asked Faith. Nigel McLeod had been an utter twit about the whole situation. Just like Wesley had been, out of his depth suddenly expected to co-ordinate both Faith and Buffy back in 1999.
Faith’s cell phone beeped. “It’s Robin.” She stared at the message on her screen as if she had forgotten how to read.
“What does your stalker ex-boyfriend want now?” Travis groaned, nimbly finishing his beer with his arm still wrapped around Faith’s waist.
“He’s dead. It’s a message from Giles.” Faith slid off his lap in shock. “He died yesterday in a car crash in Bangkok. I’m going to bed. I’m tired.” She had always hoped secretly that one day they’d get back together, they’d remained friends, broken up amicably.
She walked out of the bar, her head held high.
“Aren’t you going after her?” Wesley stubbed out the cigarette properly; Wendy had left burning in the ashtray.
“I just sleep with her, Pryce.” Travis shrugged. “She won’t want to see me at the moment. God forbid, I witness her being bloody human. I tell you even the sexual perks of screwing a slayer, doesn’t make up for her prima donna mood swings sometimes.”
Wesley heard them fighting in the room next door to his as he went to sleep that night.
“You punched a fucking hole in the wall, Faith! What are you? Some supernatural rock star? Why not throw the bloody telly out the window and have done with it?”
“Because then the air-conditioning wouldn’t freaking work!”
“Let me look at your hand.”
“I said I’m fine! What are ‘you’, deaf?”
Wesley next heard the muffled thumps of their bed moving against the wall, followed by loud moans.
God, going out with Faith must be like being in a relationship with Lilah. Worse. Faith was superhumanly strong.
Giles had asked them both if they could handle working together. This assignment in Sydney had been a trial run. No one knew Faith tortured him in L.A. No one left alive.
Wesley missed Cordelia the most, when he didn’t miss Gunn. If he could turn back the clock. If Fred was still alive … he didn’t want to think about Fred. That someone so sweet and dear, should be dead and unresurrectable, and he had been given this second chance on Earth. Hell for him had been lonely and cold, and that’s all he could remember thankfully.
He knew he was destined for a hell dimension and he knew he could rely on Faith to get him out of it. As he told Illyria at the time, he never intended to die in May 2004. But he never expected his father to commit suicide to save him either.
That’s what Faith had told him had happened. He’d never trust her to tell the truth - save his life, but not tell the truth.
Wesley drifted off to sleep, mentally exhausted.