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the vulnerability of faith

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This story is No. 1 in the series "The Vulnerability of Faith". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: She was chosen for a reason. To protect and save the world from evil. She shunned her calling & welcomed the darkness. Who knew she was the one that could save the world from the evil that actually could end it; evil that had a face of a friend.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Highlander > Faith-Centered(Moderator)DemonaFR183381,0290421,7812 Aug 032 Aug 03Yes

Part Eight: Friday, the 13th

For Disclaimer and Notes see first chapter.

Part Eight: Friday, the 13th

Over the next two years…

Angel and I both were happy working together. I had moved out of Cordelia's place about a month after we all returned to L.A. with Angel. Gunn had moved in with her long ago and it was only fair that the two lovers had their own place without me in the room next to their bedroom. When I initially moved into Angel's hotel I moved into my own room and bed. After living in the hotel, with Angel a few rooms down the hall, for a month we just gave up and I moved all my possessions that I had collected over the past few years into his room. I joined him in his bed as well. We found that the closer we got the better our slaying got as well. We moved as one when we fought in battle. We didn't have to ask the other what the next move was, we just acted knowing the other one would know what we were doing and why. We had it down to a science. Fighting side by side every night against the forces of darkness and then we came back to the hotel and would relax in each other's company. Sex with Angel was my favorite way to relax after hard night of fighting. Angel and I became pretty much inseparable about four months after Angel moved back to L.A. It took me awhile to trust him again and to completely believe that he wasn't going to abandon me again. But once that trust issue was secured on both of our sides we were side by side all the time practically. The only time that we weren't together, which wasn't often as more clientele came in, was when Cordy and I went shopping. We had a blast shopping with each other. And we were both fond of spending Angel's money. Oz and Lindsay had moved into the hotel in an extra room about five months after I did. It was good to have live company.

**********

Friday, August 13th, 2004

I awoke that morning with a groan as the first rays of sunlight came into the bedroom in the far corner. I tried to roll over but I was trapped underneath Angel's arm that was thrown haphazardly over my body in a vague attempt at security and possession even when we were both asleep. Angel and I had just gotten in roughly three hours ago from fighting a group of demons on the East Dock that were threatening the dock crew and watermen there. We had to take them all down and then take care of the disposal of their dead bodies. It wasn't a fun night overall. I had gotten a royal ass kicking from some of them because I had gone in there unprepared for the damage they could do to me. I slid out from underneath of Angel and gracelessly got out of the bed and stretched. I looked up at my arms while I stretched out and saw multiple bruises covering both my arms and then I looked down further to see bruises along my upper torso. I had no idea last night when I headed out with Angel that I would encountering demons that liked to fight with ancient wooden – but felt like stone – clubs. I can only dodge so much as the Slayer and with multiple demons swinging clubs it equaled a bruised Faith. I would heal, in a day or so the bruises would all be gone, but until then I was going to look like a beat up rag doll. I stretched again trying to get the tension out of my body. It wasn't a muscle tension, but one of those 'Cordy had a vision something is going to happen' tensions. I wanted to make sure to talk to Cordelia when she came to get me this morning about her vision. I pulled off the shirt I had l pulled on to sleep in and walked into the bathroom to shower. As I washed off my body the water pooling at the bottom turned different colors as the blood, dirt, and demon residue washed off my body. I washed my hair really well and made sure to scrub all of my body to get whatever still was on there off. I shut off the shower and wrung out my hair before reaching blindly to get the towel on the other side of the shower curtain. I grabbed the towel and dried off as I headed out of the steamy bathroom and into the bedroom. It still never failed to amuse me as to how Angel could sleep through all of my morning routine. I pulled on training sweats and a tank top and continued to dry my hair as I walked back to the bathroom. I hung my towel over the drying rack in there and pulled my hair haphazardly into a ponytail. As I checked my watch I noticed Cordy would be here any minute to pick me up. I grabbed my set of keys to the hotel, my cell and my wallet and stuffed them all into my bag. I dropped a quick kiss on Angel's lips before I headed out of the bedroom and down to the main lobby to meet Cordy. She was coming in through the garage door as I came down the main staircase. She immediately went to her computer and turned it on and started checking messages on the answering machine while I headed into the kitchen to grab a couple breakfast bars for the two of us. I walked back out to the lobby and addressed her finally.

"Hey," I said to her.

"Hey yourself…your mocha is on the counter," She said to me and I nodded more to myself then to her since she hadn't looked up from her desk. "On the left," she added before I even thought about which one was mine.

"Thanks Cordy," I responded as I grabbed my cup and took a tentative sip to test the temperature.
"No problem Faith. You ready?" She asked me finally looking up at me once she was done with the answering machine.

"Yeah," I mutter distracted as I look over the newspaper. Fortunately there was no mention of the fight Angel and I had been in last night.

"You look like shit," she suddenly said and I realized this must have been the first time she looked at me this morning.

"Well…um…basically I got clubbed excessively last night by an angry assortment of demons. I didn't even look at my face – that bad?" I grin sheepishly.

"Here," she said and pulled the compact out of her bag and handed it to me. I looked at my face and frowned deeply.

"Bad isn't really a good descriptive word for my face."

"No shit. Let’s roll though, no need to be late and cause even more attention to you."

"Thanks," I teased as I tossed the compact at her and grabbed my coffee. We locked the garage door behind us and got into Cordelia's car. She drove us to the gym where we went every Friday morning for our Tae-Bo and Yoga classes.

After the classes we headed out to lunch. We always went to Wittingham's and it was no surprise they had a table reserved and waiting for us even during the busy lunch hour. Provided there were no mind-numbing visions, Cordelia and I had off every Friday to do our girl thing together. We walked in past the line of people waiting to get their name on the waiting list and get seated. Ronald – the usual Friday day host – was waiting at the podium taking names and seating people as tables were available. He smiled to us, immediately ignoring the people before him.

"Ahh Ms. Cordelia and Ms. Faith your table awaits you. Please seat yourselves and excuse my rudeness for not seating you myself," Ronald greeted us.

"Thanks Ronald. It's no problem,” I answered and we headed to our normal table while complaints were heard from the people in line. We sat down and looked out the window at passing people and waiting customers. We ended up with a new waitress who didn't automatically know our order. It was amusing to say the least at how she was edgy around us. Mr. Wittingham came up to us mid-meal.

"Hello ladies," a deep male voice jerked us out of our conversation.

"Hi Mr. Witt," we both said simultaneously.

"How are you? How was the gym this morning?"

"We are good; the gym was great," Cordy answered and I smiled.

"And you?" I added – our usual pattern.

"I'm still here thankfully," he answered and cast us a knowing smile.

"Always good to know," I commented.

"How is the meal? Is Rebecca treating you well?"

"The food is exceptional as always and Rebecca is doing great. She seems nervous," Cordy answered.

"She is terrified. When she asked why the two top in her section wasn't sat with all these people Melizza explained it to her. She almost freaked and didn't want to have to the position to wait on you. So treat her well," he explained and we laughed at that one.

"We will, don't worry," Cordy assured him.

"Well take care of yourselves ladies. I'll see you next week," he told us and we said our goodbyes and he left our table. When the bill came we signed our names and left her a fifty percent cash tip. She came back for the check and looked at it, confused.

"Mr. Wittingham pays for our lunch. We just sign it and leave your tip. You can ask him and we'll hang out to make sure you feel comfortable," Cordelia suggested. She hesitated but left and came back a little later.

"I'm sorry, I didn't know about that," she apologized.

"No worries Rebecca. Take your tip and have an amazing day!" I suggested to her as we rose from our seats.

"This tip is too much."

"No – it’s right. Have a good day Rebecca. Perhaps we'll see you next Friday."

"Could you answer me one question before you leave?"

"Yeah what?"

"Why do you two get free meals and a special table?"

"Faith and I have been coming here for a little over a year. We teach a couple classes at the gym ever Friday morning. So, one morning on the way over here, it was our first time here, and this guy comes in the place and tries to rob Mr. Witt. So Faith jumps him, kicks the shit out of him, saves the restaurant, and holds onto him until the police get here. Since we have been invited to come whenever, but we always come on Friday for lunch after our classes. So we have been back ever since then and it’s like a weekly routine. Without my weekly fix of Wittingham's I get a little cranky," Cordelia rehashed the story to the waitress. There was a picture of us with Mr. Witt right after the police hauled the kid away. Cordy and I were all scruffy from our class, like we usually are when we come here, and he was dressed all nice…it was quite the difference.

"Really?"

"Really," I answered and smiled at her. "See you later Rebecca," I told her and took Cordy's hand as we headed out of the restaurant. We walked down the street back towards the parking garage where we had parked the car, still holding hands, window-shopping as we went. We headed back to the hotel to shower and change into normal street clothes. Cordelia headed to her bedroom at the hotel to shower and get dressed for work, while I headed into kitchen to warm up a mug of blood to take up to Angel. Lindsay was cooking lunch in there when I entered.

"Hey," I said to him and he smiled.

"How was the workout session and lunch?" Lindsay asked me.

"Great as always. What are you making?" I asked him as I grabbed a container of blood out of the refrigerator and poured some of it into a microwave-safe tall mug.

"Lunch for Wes, Oz, and myself. Angel is still asleep from what I know and Gunn is coming over after he takes care of some errands, probably around four or so," Lindsay updated me. The microwave dinged, signaling it was done with Angel's blood.

"Thanks for the rundown Linds…I'll catch up with you all later. If you really need me or Angel and I do mean *really need* either of us you know where to find us," I told him as I grabbed the mug out of the microwave and a bottle of water out of the refrigerator and headed up the stairs to my room.

"Later Faith. Have fun," I heard him call after me as I exited the kitchen. I only smiled. This was also a Friday ritual for me as well. I would come up here every Friday afternoon and wake Angel up for breakfast, for him, in bed. I opened the door to my bedroom and quietly snuck in and locked it behind me. I headed over to the bed and set my water bottle down on a coaster on the nightstand and then dipped my fingers into the blood in the mug and then went to rub them over Angel's lips. He surprised me, like he often does cause usually I can't tell when he's asleep and when he's awake, and latched onto my fingers with his lips and reached out with him arms to grab me and yanked me onto the bed with him. I had filled the mug pretty full and when he yanked me some of it sloshed over the side of the mug and onto the sheets, onto me and onto Angel. It wasn't hot but it was definitely warm and did burn a little.

"Shit, I didn't realize it was that full. You ok?" He asked me as he looked at my now bloody hands and arm.

"I'm fine, it just was a little warm, but I'm fine. Morning sleepy," I answered and bent down to kiss him.

"Morning Faith," he replied after the kiss and then took the mug from my hands and set it on another coaster on the stand and then licked the blood off my hands and arm. He still had blood on his chest and it was starting to congeal and it was icky. I took off my tank top, leaving me in my sports bra, and wiped off his chest and then tossed my top to the end of the bed carelessly.

"How was work and lunch?"

"Good."

"You are hurt," he said after he took a better look at my face and my arms.

"Yeah well, what else is new? You don't look so hot yourself."

"Thanks; really, you make my ego sail here."

"It should've. I enjoy making fun of you Angel."

"Glad to hear it," he answered. "All this from last night?"

"Yeah," I answered quietly as I looked over my bruised arms.

"I noticed you weren't exactly on your game last night. Any reason why?"

"No real reason. I just didn't kick ass like I normally do. I haven't been feeling that well since yesterday morning. I think I might have the flu or a cold. I'll go get looked at tomorrow."

"Tomorrow is Saturday."

"My clinic is open twenty four seven. I'll be ok till tomorrow." I told him honestly.

"Swear?"

"I swear," I replied and grabbed his mug off the stand. "Drink up. It'll help fix your face," I teased him. He sat up and drank his blood while I laid back relaxing on the bed in his presence.

"All done Mom," Angel teased me and got up out of the bed.

"Good now go brush your teeth and get your ass back into bed and ravish me," I instructed him. He mouthed 'ravish me' to me and laughed a little but headed straight to the bathroom.
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