Part 1 of 7
Faith and the God Wolf (Episode 2 of “Slayer No More”)
by Philip S.
Summary: Faith is stuck in a world not her own and going through some very strange changes. Fortunately some people are more than willing to help her if they get her help in return.
Disclaimer: All things Anita Blake belong to Laurell K. Hamilton, all things Buffy belong to Joss Whedon. Only the plot is mine.
Part 1 of 7:
The young woman’s name was Faith Lehane and until about ten hours ago she had had a pretty good idea of who she was, what she was, and what her purpose in life was. She’d been a Vampire Slayer, one of many girls chosen to battle against the vampires, demons, and forces of darkness. It had been a destiny she’d had a lot of trouble with at the start, but one she had finally managed to accept and live up to.
Now everything seemed to have changed.
Ten hours ago Faith had stepped through a portal generated by the magical entity called the Key (better known to her as Dawn Summers, baby sister of Buffy Summers). It had led her to a new world. One where all the vampires had souls, one where the public knew about the existence of the supernatural, one where she needed to stop a dangerous demon that had crossed over from her own world into this one.
She had managed that much. By the time she had, though, the way back home had closed. She was stuck here for however long it took her friends to find her again and open a new portal. Being a visitor from another universe should have meant that no one here knew her, that she had no place in this world. Strangely enough that didn’t seem to be the case.
The police had been kind enough to give her a ride to her hotel, the Hilton, where she was currently staying. A short inquiry with the concierge had revealed that she had indeed rented a room here. The guy distinctly remembered her, had even greeted her by name. According to him she had rented the place yesterday. Meaning more than ten hours ago. Meaning she had rented it before she ever came to this world.
Now that was a wicked trick.
“Serious mind fuck,” she mumbled.
Faith was currently busy going through a suitcase full of stuff she didn’t remember having, yet apparently did. Leather pants, tops, Jeans, shirts, boots, everything in her size. It was the kind of clothing she would have bought and all of it looked worn, not brand-new off the rack. If someone was pulling a scam here, it was a damn good one.
Sitting down on the bed, she took out her wallet. She had brought it from her own world, that much was certain. Her clothes hadn’t survived the battle against the Eater of the Dead, but she had managed to save the wallet and one other item from the remains. Trouble was while her wallet looked exactly like she remembered it, its contents were another matter entirely.
For one thing there was a lot more cash in it than there used to be. Faith had never had much in the way of money and even though the new Council under Giles’ direction made sure its Slayers weren’t lacking in cash, she’d never carried more than a few dollars and a single Council credit card to pay for Slayer-related expenses.
Right now, though, her wallet contained several hundred dollars in cash as well as three different credit cards, all made out in her name. Not to mention an ID that gave an address in Cleveland she wasn’t familiar with and a Bounty Hunter license with a rather nicely shot photograph of her on it and her signature at the bottom.
She almost laughed. Some gentle prodding of the police officer, Zebrowski, had revealed some interesting facts about this new world. Not only did they know about the supernatural here, they had lots of laws regulating it. And if the critters broke the law, then they usually found themselves victim of either a licensed vampire executioner or a bounty hunter specialising in the supernatural.
Apparently whoever or whatever had set up her identity in this world had made her one of the latter.
Getting paid for hunting down monsters, she mused. Sounded like Slayer’s paradise. Do what she was born to do and get money in return. Faith had the experience, though, that things that sounded too good to be true (or even halfway good for that matter) usually turned out to be bogus or worse.
Okay, she told herself, time to get some priorities down. She had a place to sleep for at least a week and clothes to put on, even though she wasn’t sure where either had come from. She also had money for food, same deal. That took care of the immediate needs. Considering that she had expected to end up here with nothing but the (borrowed) clothes on her back, that was already quite a bit.
The mystery of how exactly she ended up with an entire custom-made life waiting for her here on this world aside, that put her in the perfect position to take a crack at the less-immediate but no less pressing needs: Mainly how to get back home.
The jacket she had been given by the vampire Damian was lying on the bed and she took the only other thing she had rescued from her ruined clothes out of the pocket. It was a small vial of blood, drawn from the aforementioned Key entity, better known as Dawn Summers. It was this blood that had opened the portal to this place, so chances were it could somehow be used to get her back home.
Only problem was, of course, that Faith didn’t know thing one about witchcraft or how to make portals out of blood. And that didn’t even take the possibility into account that the blood might also have undergone some kind of change.
Sitting down on the bed, Faith sighed deeply. Odds were her best bet of getting home was Red figuring out how to do it. Willow Rosenburg wasn’t the most powerful witch in the western hemisphere for nothing. Well, the western hemisphere of her own world, that was. If anyone could figure out how to get her back, it was she. It was just a matter of time. Hopefully.
What to do until then?
Faith spent the next few hours engaged in various mundane activities. She took a long hot bath, trying out the entire range of the hotel’s personal hygiene products. She got some shut-eye on the very comfortable bed. She spent an hour flipping through news channels, hoping to learn more about this world. She ordered a meal from the outrageously expensive room service. She picked out some clothes from the mysterious suitcase that wasn’t hers and wasn’t all that surprised that they all fit like gloves.
The sun was going down outside and Faith was feeling anxious to go out. Faith had always been a hyperactive girl and becoming the Slayer had only enhanced that, especially come nightfall. Problem was, though, the buzz in the back of her head felt... different. Not like that of the Slayer who was anxious to go out and slaughter demons. No, it felt... different. She could think of no better word right now. Just different.
Going through the portal had done something to her, she didn’t need to be a genius or a witch (or both) to figure that out. Transforming into a giant wolf had clued her in just fine. So far she hadn’t tried to repeat that little trick, more than a bit anxious about what it might say about her new state of being. Would going back to her own world undo this change?
Did she want to have it undone? Hey, where had that thought come from?
She needed to get out of here. Do something. Unfortunately beating up on vampires was kind of frowned upon in this world, seeing as they were all legal citizens and, more importantly, had souls. Still, there was bound to be some place around here a girl could get into trouble.
Grabbing her keys and wallet she headed for the door. Only to stop about two feet in front of it when she realised that someone was standing on the other side. Her senses stretched out. They, too, were somewhat different then before, though she couldn’t really say how. Slayer senses were a lot better than merely human ones and whatever she had now seemed to be about the same calibre. Someone was standing outside in the corridor. Someone who was obviously fidgeting from foot to foot and exuding a smell that spoke of... fear.
Faith was and always had been a very straight-forward kind of girl, so without further ado she ripped open the door to confront whoever was waiting on the other side.
“You wanna stand there all day, wolf-boy?” she asked, recognising the guy in the corridor. She didn’t remember his name, but he had been the first person she had met in this new world courtesy of bumping into him when she stumbled through the portal.
“Uh, hi,” the young man she would learn was called Jason said. “I don’t suppose I can come in, can I?”
TO BE CONTINUED