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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)DemonaFR183381,0290421,9382 Aug 032 Aug 03Yes

Part Eleven: The World Doesn't Stop To Mourn

For Disclaimer and Notes see first chapter.

Part Eleven: The World Doesn't Stop To Mourn

We made it through that night and Cordelia made it through the surgery. The next few days were very trying for all of us involved in Angel Investigations. Cordelia wavered in and out of consciousness for the next week before she finally regained full consciousness. Lindsay and Oz took care of the office of Angel Investigations and they also arranged the funeral and service for Wesley. I was still getting visions and Angel and I were taking care of them. Gunn remained by Cordy's side twenty four seven tending to her every need while she was awake and conscious. The funeral was for a small private group of people that knew Wes intimately only and it was held three nights after the car accident. Buffy and Giles were the only two to come up from Sunnydale to attend the funeral. We didn't expect the others to come but it still hurt that only two people from the Sunnydale crew came up to show their regards to a fallen ally. Gunn was there for the service and then he left to go back to Cordelia's side in the hospital.

The service ended midway through when I got my fifth mind-numbing vision since I mysteriously attained Cordelia's powers. This one was of a teenage group of college kids that accidentally invoked a powerful demon that was hell bent on eating them in payment for setting him free.

"Damn frat boys. They are trying to invoke some sort of demon troupe and the demons are going to show their gratitude for resurrecting them by eating them," I muttered once I could concentrate enough to get the words out.

I immediately grabbed some Tylenol and my sword and looked around naturally for Wesley to tell us what to do. My face fell and only Angel caught the change.

"Oz is on it," Angel stated and I nodded to him. Lindsay tossed me my vest and I pulled it on and slid the sword down the back. Oz grabbed a few books and came out of the library area.

"I think I got them," he answered and Giles immediately looked the books over.

"These will do," he answered and they divided them up as the front door opened to the hotel. Kate stood there silently with a single white rose in her hands. I smiled gratefully to her.

"I couldn't make it to the funeral or the burial but I made it here to pay my respects," she softly said and then walked into towards us. We were still getting ready to move out when she got closer. "Where are you going?"

"Faith got a vision," Linds answered and she stopped.

"Faith got it? Why am I confused here? Since when did Faith get the visions?"

"Since the PTB transferred them to me before Cordy's accident. She wouldn't have been able to handle them so I got them," I answered and she nodded to me slowly.

"Need help?"

"No, we are good. If you sit with Linds we will be back…"

"Oh no I'm not staying when everyone else goes."

"Someone needs to be here in case Gunn calls," Angel argued. "Oz is needed now as are Faith and I."

"Then let the old man stay. I'm in this group," was Lindsay's counter argument.

"Giles is needed in replacement of Wesley," I answered quietly. "He has been doing this Watcher job for years longer than Wes did it for," I added gently and Linds nodded to me.

"Yeah, yeah I'm here if you need backup."

"Good Lindsay," I smiled at him and then turned to the group. "B, you are with me and Angel. Oz and Giles get the privilege of identifying the demons once we get there and reversing the spell," I quickly announced and we headed out in the van quickly to the frat house. We got there just as the demons were coming forth. Giles and Oz immediately found the spell to reverse the first one and then did it as B, Angel and I attempted to defend the frat boys and keep us alive too. The spell basically allowed us to decapitate the demons, which sent their souls back to the dimension they originally came from. We got back into Oz's van covered in demon blood and guts for the return trip back to the hotel.

"What would Gunn say here?" Angel asked quietly.

"Me and English here kicked some ugly, nasty smelling, foul tasting ass," Oz stated, doing an excellent impression of Gunn, from the driver's seat of the van.

"He calls Wesley 'English'?" Giles quietly questioned and Angel nodded smiling.

"He hardly ever called him Wesley except when he was serious. English was his nickname for him," Angel told Giles softly from his position on the floor in the back of the van. Giles was sitting shotgun while B, Angel and I were subjected to either the couch or the floor in the back of Oz's van. Angel had allowed B and I to share the couch and he leaned up against the opposite wall from the couch, our feet were barely touching as we were sprawled out.

"He is going to miss him perhaps the most out of all of us. Those two were damn near inseparable at times. They fought together side by side for years," I quietly admitted and to my surprise B reached over and took my hand.

"People die everyday. Be thankful you got to know him for as long as you did. Cherish those memories that you have that bring that smile to your face. I know that you thought very highly of him just by the look on your face when you were talking about him and Gunn. I'm glad he didn't die unknown and unloved in this world. He will live on as long as you remember him," B told me gently and tears silently spilled down my cheeks. She held my hand the entire ride home that was made in complete silence.

**********

Buffy and Giles headed back to Sunnydale the next morning and we were left to deal with the repercussions of the events that taken place recently. Our team was severely understaffed and we weren't keeping up with the visions that I was getting. I had to not only get the visions but fight the battles that went along with them as well and it was starting to take its toll on me physically and emotionally. Gunn was out of the field as well since he was spending every moment with Cordy, not that we didn't agree with him doing that, it was just taking away from the team. All of us, including Kate, came back to the hotel one night a little over a week after Wesley's funeral totally exhausted, badly injured, and overall severely beaten. I had ended up with a broken wrist and a very badly beaten body. Oz, despite his internal injuries and external cuts, had to carry Lindsay out because he ended up shattering his knee and breaking one of his arms. Kate was bleeding from a cut across her forehead and other minor cuts all over her body. Angel was the worst out of all of us. He was covered in his own blood from head to toe. He had gotten his chest impaled and was then almost gutted; he was going to have to have his stomach stapled shut to keep his insides inside. His left shoulder was completely out of socket and that arm broken in at least two places. He had severely sprained his ankle when he was tossed off a huge loft and landed on uneven ground below and yet he still stood again to fight. We got to the hotel somehow through the sewers and managed to get all of us into the lobby area where we all collapsed for a moment.

"Kate, you need medical attention soon," I mumbled as I attempted to sit up straight from my lying position on the floor.

"We all do Faith," Lindsay's voice weakly put in.

"You thinking we call the paramedics?" I asked in general.

"I'll get on it," Kate said and grabbed her radio out of her bag. "This is Lockley. I need an ambulance to the Hyperion hotel. I'm requesting medical attention for myself and three civilians," she said into her radio.

"Copy that Kate we are dispatching the medical team now," a male voice said over the radio and she set it down next to her on the couch. Angel was slowly limping into the kitchen and I stole a glance at him right before he collapsed in the doorway.

"Angel?" I asked him and he grunted in reply. "You going to be ok?" I called out but was in too much pain to move unless it was a life or death situation. Another grunt was my answer. I pulled my cell phone out of my vest and dialed Cordelia's hospital room number.

"Hello?" Gunn's familiar voice asked after the second ring.

"We need you here at the hotel," I got out and then had to move the phone aside as I started coughing up blood.

"Faith what happened? What is going on? Is everyone alive?"

"I got a nasty vision of this serpent looking demon and some of his flunkies trying to raise something. So we head to the ritual site and got our asses kicked. It was a royal party down there, I'm surprised we are all alive at this point," I answered weakly.

"I'm on my way. I gotta let the nurse know that I am stepping out of the room. How long do you need me for?" Gunn informed me.

"Three hours tops. Enough time for us to get medical attention and someone to come back to the hotel to watch Angel. I need you to fix him. He needs surgery and we can't take him to the hospital," I instructed him.

"Ok, I'm on my way. Where is Angel?"

"Passed out on the floor in the kitchen," I answered and he chuckled.

"Later," he said and hung up with me. I hated to call him away from Cordelia especially with all of the surgeries she was going through lately to rebuild her face, from the damage she had gotten with the accident, and the surgeries to make sure that her internal organs were all ok and functioning properly. She was going to be in the hospital for a long time and then doing rehabilitation for much longer after she was released.

"Angel—Gunn is on his way. Is there any way you could get into the kitchen out of sight from the door?" I called to him and didn't reply. "Angel?" I called again and I saw Oz limp by me slowly towards Angel.

"He's not breathing," Oz deadpanned and I groaned. "Not funny Oz," I called back as I pushed myself up to a sitting position with my good arm despite my body screaming at me not to do it. I coughed up some more blood and then managed to get to my feet. I helped Oz pull Angel none too gently into the kitchen out of sight from the doorway and as we were headed back out of the kitchen the medical staff came in through the front door.

"Detective Lockley?" He called out and I pointed to her on the couch.

"I'm over here," she called back and they headed over to her first. They managed to get her onto a stretcher and were headed out with her when I started coughing up more blood and Oz grabbed me right before I collapsed. They came back immediately to get me. They put me on a stretcher and I looked at them.

"You need to get Oz and Lindsay too. They are injured just as badly as I am," I informed them and they looked over at the guys.

"The second ambulance is just pulling up and we are going to put them on that one and take you with Detective Lockley," one of the men told me and I just nodded to him.

"Make sure you get them medical attention too—they are in bad shape," I told him and coughed up more blood and then passed out on the stretcher before it made it out of the hotel lobby.

**********

I was treated at the hospital and then I signed myself out against the recommendation of my doctor. The cast on my wrist was restricting most of my movements. I had put my street clothes, despite them being in shreds, back on and as I was pulling on my shoes Gunn came into my room.
"What are you doing?" A male voice questioned me.

"Why are you even here? Did you go to the Hyperion and take care of Angel?" I asked him without pausing from tying my boots.

"I went, fixed him and put him in your bed," Gunn answered.

"I called you an hour and forty-five minutes ago Gunn. That means you spent about an hour with him. I wanted you with him for a few hours to make sure he was ok."

"He's Angel – a vampire – he's fine," Gunn answered.

"He is my lover," I answered. "We haven't called you, except for tonight, away from your lover for anything at all Gunn! We all almost died tonight. As it is we are all injured and unable to fight due to the battle we fought tonight. If I get another vision you are the only one who will be able to stop whatever it is and I refuse to send you out there alone because if you die then Cordy will never be the same and never forgive me."

"I made sure Angel was ok. I stitched him up, made him feed, etc. I did my job. All the other members of my crew are here Faith."

"Angel is at the Hyperion alone Gunn."

"So?"

"We didn't kill the serpent. We just injured it and hopefully trapped it until we can go back down there and kill it. We just had to make a run for it or we were going to all die," I answered and I slowly pulled on my jacket despite my body's obvious discomfort with movement of any kind.

"It doesn't know where you live."

"We left a trail of blood through the sewers up to the hotel. If it wants to track us it will," I answered angrily. "I have to go now," I told him.

"I'll come," he volunteered now.

"I asked you to stay there before I don't want your help now," I snapped at him. "You've done enough helping for one day." I grabbed my cell phone and keys off the bed and headed towards the door.

"What are you gonna do? You can barely support your own weight how are you gonna carry him?"

"I'll do it because I have to," I told Gunn. "I'll do it because I love him," I answered quietly. He nodded silently and averted his eyes.

I left the hospital and caught a cab back to the hotel. I told the cab driver to wait for me for fifteen minutes and I would be out again. I walked as quickly as possible into the hotel and up the stairs. Angel was on the bed safe but sloppily stitched up. I growled low in my throat in frustration at Gunn. I threw some clothes in a duffel bag, grabbed my wallet and put it in there as well. I grabbed an outfit for Angel and grabbed a thousand dollars cash and put it in my bag as well. I slung the bag over my body and headed to Angel. Fortunately he was still in his pants and I pulled a tee shirt over his head. I managed somehow to put him over my shoulder and I headed slowly and painfully down the stairs. I took him out to the cab and put him carefully in the backseat.

"Whoa – whoa – is he dead?" The cabbie freaked.

"No, he's out from pain medicine I swear. I need to take him to a friend's house to watch over him. I need to grab another bag, give me five more minutes, " I told him and he looked scared but nodded. I went back into the hotel and grabbed my vest and made sure the compartments were refilled and my sword was attached. I slid the bag off my shoulders and put on the vest, complete with sword. I grabbed some ingredients out of a sealed tub and chanted a few words as I sprinkled them over my body. The spell I cast made my vest and sword invisible to other people as well as metal detectors so I could get through the airport with it. I grabbed my bag once again and headed back out to the cab.

"Where to now Miss?" He asked. I gave him directions to Cordelia and Gunn's apartment. We pulled up and he looked at me.

"I'll be back in fifteen minutes ok? I have to drop him off and then I'll be back," I told him and put the bag back over my body and hoisted Angel out of the cab and then over my shoulder so I could carry him. I got to the door to the apartment and it opened for me automatically.

"Thanks Dennis," I called out as I slowly made my way to my old bedroom. I put Angel down on the bed and settled him in. He started violently coughing up blood right after I set him down. I grabbed the closest towels to clean up the mess a little but I didn't bother cleaning it all up. I knew he would puke some more before he woke up. I felt horrible about leaving him like that but I had to go. "Dennis, I need you to watch him and don't let anything happen to him. If you understand me turn on the TV," I instructed and the TV turned on. "Thank you so much Dennis. I owe you when I get back," I informed him and then kissed Angel's forehead and left the apartment. I got back in the cab and told the driver to take me to the airport. He took me there silently and stopped at the main entrance.

"Here you are Miss…that'll be forty-five dollars and seventy-five cents," the driver told me. I slid a hundred dollar bill through the glass to him.

"Keep the change. Thank you for the ride Sir – I appreciate it." He looked back at me shocked.

"You can't be serious," he told me. I smiled slightly.

"You have helped me more than you have realized," I told him and got out of the cab and walked into the terminal.
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