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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)DemonaFR183381,0290421,9962 Aug 032 Aug 03Yes

Part Nine: A Slayer's Unease

For Disclaimer and Notes see first chapter.

Part Nine: A Slayer's Unease

After Angel and I got done 'ravishing' each other we showered and we headed downstairs. I was in stonewashed low-riding jeans with a yellow midriff baring tank top while he was in black sweatpants and a black wife-beater (tank top) for the time being. Lindsay and Oz were handling a couple at the conference area of the lobby. Wes and Cordy were researching something – Wes the books and Cordy the net. Angel and I immediately looked at them for directions.

"They just came in about fifteen minutes ago. It wasn't an emergency so we let Lindsay and Oz handle the preliminary stuff. Something to do with vampires kidnapping their daughter, " Cordy answered.

"When, where?" Angel asked as I hopped up on the counter.

"No idea – that is what Oz and Lindsay are getting right now from them."

"What can I do?

"Take a seat like Faith and we'll let you know when you get to go out on the hunt," she answered and Angel growled a little at her and then left the lobby heading towards the weapon supply room.

"So are these the people the vision was about?" I asked her. She looked up at me, as did Wes.

"Vision?" Cordy questioned with a raised perfectly shaped eyebrow.

"Yeah the vision you got this morning," I answered looking at her like she was crazy.

"There was no vision this morning. Why did you think I had one?"

"I guess Slayer intuition along with living with you for so long I just get this vibe whenever you get a vision. So no vision then?"

"None."

"I don't get it then. I have one of those feelings though. The something bad is gonna happen kind."

"Perhaps you are tapping into something else all together Faith. Perhaps a delayed feeling from last night or an anxiety over tonight being Friday the 13th," Wesley suggested.

"I don't know Wes. I just have bad tension feeling here. And on top of that I feel like shit. I think I am coming down with something," I replied as the group rose and headed over to us.

"Good you are here," Lindsay said to me and I nodded to him.

"Yep," I answered as I hopped down from the counter.

"Where's Angel?" The woman abruptly asked.

"Weapons room," I answered but stuck out my hand. "I'm Faith. I am also in charge of handling these matters," I introduced myself.

"You are Faith. Lindsay, you said Faith was the best. Look at her. She's all bruised and a girl." The woman ranted.

"A girl? I'm not just a girl. It is my job to kill vampires and demons."

"You are beaten up."

"I got clubbed excessively last night by a group of stone club toting demons. They are dead, I'm alive, think about that," I snapped back at the woman.

"Enough Faith," Angel stated angrily form the doorway.

"Yes Master," I snapped back at Angel as I left the couple and headed around on the other side of the counter to look up the demons from last night and log my encounter. I ignored the conversation from then on as I grabbed a book to look for the demons we had taken out last night.

"Faith, you wanna explain?" Angel asked me in a normal voice, but I could tell he was pissed, after the couple left the hotel.

"No."

"NO? You snapped at clients."

"They mocked me."

"Deal Faith. Most people aren't going to think a girl could do this job. Don't go off on them. Just do your job!" Angel snapped at me. I got beyond angry over that last comment and grabbed a stake off the desk next to me and launched it angrily at him. He caught it an inch before it would have connected with his chest and then his heart.

"You just stopped me from doing my job. Next time you tell me to do it, I will finish it," I hissed and went back to my book. No one said anything even after Angel slammed the door to his office. I found my demons and logged them and the encounter into the daily log we kept. Ten minutes after I got the information in the computer Angel came out of his office with an unreadable face.

"Faith in my office now," Angel calmly stated and I just ignored him.

"Faith…" Cordy started.

"Stay out of this Cordelia!" Angel angrily hissed at her and she lowered her head back to her computer. "Faith stop acting like a three year old and get in my office right now. I don't have the time or patience to deal with your shit," Angel tiredly snapped at me. I set down the books I was looking at and headed silently into Angel's office. He shut the door firmly behind him after he followed me in. I sat down at the chair across from his desk chair. Angel sat down in his chair a few minutes later and played with the stake I had thrown at him earlier. We sat there in silence for a good ten minutes. Finally Angel broke the silence.

"You almost put a stake through my heart," Angel quietly said to me.

"I knew you would catch it," I told him. "You knew I would do it and you were ready for it."

"What if I didn't Faith?"

"I would rather not think about that," I softly admitted.

"Well I did and I still am Faith. You could have killed me because of your anger." I didn't say anything
in defense because nothing I could say would justify what I had done. "Do you even care?"

"Of course I care Angel."

"You have a fucking hilarious way of showing it Faith!" Angel screamed at me. I sat there and took it.
"You were way out of line today Faith. Way! You snapped at clients, Faith, people that have come here for help! You pitched a fit with her, talked back to me in front of them and in front of my crew and you threw a fucking wooden stake at my heart. A wooden stake at my heart! Not only did you try to kill me but you tried to kill your boss." Angel finished yelling for the moment and took a moment to regroup his thoughts. "Do you not care about me as your lover or as your boss? Do you even respect me as your boss at all? You need to learn to respect me and my position as your superior."

"Fuck you. You aren't my superior. Perhaps you are my equal but not my superior in anything Angel. Wesley is my Watcher and as far as I'm concerned he is my boss – my superior!" I angrily shot back at him and hurt crossed his face for a second before he got his face back to an unreadable expression.

"Really? Don't hold back; tell me how you really feel Faith."

"We went into this with the understanding that we were equals…you and me no better or higher than the other. That was not only the deal for the business but for our relationship as well. I don't like feeling like I am the weaker one of the business or the relationship Angel, but you tend to treat me like that without even realizing it. I am the fucking Slayer. It is my duty, my destiny to go out there and fight the darkness. It is my duty to stake all vampires but instead I am in love with one and consider him to be the man of my dreams. I am going against my nature by hunting with you, by not killing you, by dating you, and mostly by loving you. I shouldn't be looking up to you as my boss or my superior Angel you are my equal, nothing more nothing less. Wesley is in charge of Angel Investigations despite you having the founding name. You know that as well as I do. You both have offices and even though you are the muscle of this group you aren't the boss, you aren't the leader, you are just a worker in this place. You need to remember that Wes calls the shots and we just follow orders," I told him with no hostility in my voice. He continued to look at me with no expression on his face. "I am going to go now Angel. When you want to talk on a one on one basis where we are equals not you as trying to be my boss then come and find me. Until then don't try to be boss ever again. I am my own person. I have survived myself for years before you came into my life, even after you came and left my life, and I can survive without you now. Don't try to pull rank with me ever again or I might not be here the next time you wake up Angel," I told him as I rose from the chair. I walked out of his office without him attempting to stop me or call me back. I wasn't sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. I closed his office door behind me and I heard something hit the wall and shatter behind me causing me to jump a little and the gang looked up at me.

"Faith…" Cordy started and then trailed off as something else hit the wall behind me again, shattering and showering down on the floor.

"He'll work it out and clean up his mess," I told her as I moved away from the door.

"What was that all about?"

"He tried to pull rank with me and I wouldn't let him. I know that he is Angel of Angel Investigations but Wesley is our leader here and I'm not going to let him pull rank over me here or in our relationship. It isn't something that I will ever let happen. I am very much my own person and to have been with Angel as long as I have is a feat in itself, but I won't allow myself to slip below him. I just won't," I explained to them and they just nodded to me.

"You up for heading over to the people's house to look for some clues about the abduction of their daughter with Wesley?" Cordelia asked me gently.

"Sounds great. Let me grab my keys to the bike…" I started and then looked back at the office where silence had taken over and then back at Wes. "Perhaps I'll get the keys out of there at another time. Wes, you up for driving?" He nodded and smiled a soft smile to me that I was grateful for.

Wes and I headed out to do a little recon about the missing girl and the vampires that took her. Turns out when we get to the address she gave us that no one is there. So we break in to take a look at the place and we walk into a huge vampire nest. It wasn't anything we were prepared to walk into but we made the best out of the situation and after snooping around and making sure there were no humans in the place we torched it and burned it and all the vampires to the ground. There were way too many for Wes and me to take out by ourselves and by the time back up could get there they would probably be waking up for sunset. So we torched it and guarded the sides to make sure that they didn't get away until the firefighters arrived and attempted to put out a magical fire that wouldn't go out until the house was burned down to the foundation it stood on, promising that the vampires were all dusted properly. We came back to the hotel a little after dark to be greeted by Cordelia alone.

"You are alone here on Friday the 13th? You got balls girl!" I teased her and she just smiled at me.

"I guess I got that vision that you assumed I had this morning and Angel and Gunn went out to get to killing the evil that I saw. So they left like an hour ago and should be back soon. How did the house fire go?" Cordelia informed me. The idea that she had the vision should have been enough for me to calm my nerves but it didn't, as it should have. I just shook off that thought and figured after Angel and Gunn returned safely that I would feel better. I sneezed as I moved aside a pile of books so that I could sit up on the counter.

"The fire was great, warming on a hot L.A. night. As far as Wes and I could tell all the vamps are dead. I think we were set up," I told her and she grinned.

"You think? They wanted Angel to go alone. I don't like the thought that two humans came in here and got to know us and our operation. It bothers me a lot," Cordelia admitted and I nodded in agreement.

"So where are Oz and Linds then?" I asked her.

"Er…" she just said and I smiled brightly and she shook her head. "I don't get those two. Oz hardly ever showed emotion when he was in high school and even with Willow but with Lindsay he is all mushy. It just unnerves me sometimes," she said to me and I just smiled at her. Memories of her high school life I couldn't relate to. She and Oz had a tiny bond over that experience in their lives, but due to the difference circles they ran in their lives hardly ever crossed until Buffy Summers came to Sunnydale.

"They are cute and you know it. They are so cute that it makes you jealous," I teased her.

"They have a great thing going. I would have never pegged either of them together but with someone like the other, but they are great together. They calm the beasts in each other so well," she told me and I nodded.

"I'm hungry," Wesley stated, out of the blue, attempting to change the subject off of the dating couple we were discussing.

"Chinese?" Cordelia asked, smiling.

"Do you even need to ask?" I questioned in return and she smiled.

"I'll get changed and grab some money, Cordelia put in the usual order. We'll go grab it and hopefully
Gunn and Angel will be back before the food," Wes said and headed into the bathroom on the floor to get cleaned up from the fire. Cordy speed dialed our favorite Chinese take out place and told them it was her and she wanted the usual order for Angel Investigations and hung up. We had Chinese at least once a week on a slow week. Wes came out five minutes later ready to go get dinner.

"Cordelia—you coming with me?"

"As always. Faith you don't mind waiting here for Angel and Gunn do you?" Cordelia asked as she grabbed her purse. Cordelia and Wesley always went to get Chinese, just the two of them. It was an old habit left over from the days when Angel left them and it was just Cordelia and Wesley with slight help from Gunn.

"I got it. Go," I told them and Cordelia planted a quick goodbye kiss on my lips before she left and they both threw a haphazard wave over their shoulders as they headed out the back door towards the garage.

**********

Gunn and Angel had gone out through the tunnels so Wes just decided to drive Angel's convertible out to get dinner. I went into the kitchen and drained a fresh pint of blood for dinner for Angel and then placed it in the microwave so all he had to do when he got back was hit the start button to warm it back up for dinner. I then sat down at the front desk to the hotel and played around on Cordy's computer for a good fifteen minutes before I heard someone coming down from upstairs. I looked up over the desk to see Linds walking down the stairs in his flannel night pants.

"Boo!" I called out and he jumped and then flicked me off angrily.

"Fuck you Faith!" He angrily threw at me.

"I'll leave that to Oz…" I teased and he smiled a little despite the fact he was still slightly angry.

"You scared the shit out of me."

"Funny," I answered and stood up and stretched out.

"Where is everyone? I thought that you were out with Wes…where is Cordelia?" Lindsay questioned as he headed into the kitchen, assuming I would follow him, as I did. He was getting some bottled water out of the frig as I entered and leaned up against the doorframe.

"Angel and Gunn are still out fighting evil while Cordy and Wes went to get Chinese. So you and Oz need to get down here and be prepared to dig in. It looks like another fun filled takeout night!" I announced and he smiled a little.

"Oz is out cold. I think I actually wore him out for once!" Lindsay bragged and I caught sight of movement out of the corner of my eye. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be Oz coming down the stairs in just a pair of jeans.

"You keep telling yourself that and one day I might believe you Linds. Until then I'm not buying into it until I don't see Oz within an hour of seeing you," I answered and left the kitchen nodding in greeting to Oz as I headed back to the computer. Angel and Gunn came in a few seconds after I was seated behind the desk. I felt Angel's presence before hearing him come into the building. They stopped at the front desk to see Cordy but raised an eyebrow when they saw me. Angel still had the stoical face going and it was going to piss me off very soon.

"Where Delia?" Gunn asked me and I grinned.

"Dinner," I answered and he smiled.

"Good I was just telling Angel here how I was starving!"

"Yeah we figured you would be hungry. So your food is on the way and Angel there is fresh blood in the microwave ready for you to hit the button for instant dinner," I announced to them both and Angel looked at me for a moment and then walked away completely silent. Gunn looked after him and sighed heavily.

"You hurt him," Gunn told me and then turned back around to face me.

"I know and he hurt me too," I answered and that was the end of the conversation. I stood abruptly as I decided that I would go after Angel and try to straighten out whatever damage there was between the two of us. I hated going to bed angry with him or vice versa; it wasn't a thing we normally let happen. I got around the counter and I was headed toward the kitchen when I saw Angel come out of the bathroom and I locked eyes with him right before my world shattered.
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