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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)DemonaFR183381,0290422,0012 Aug 032 Aug 03Yes

Part Twenty-Two: Knowledge Is Power -- But So Is An Amulet

For Disclaimer and Notes see first chapter.

Part Twenty-Two: Knowledge Is Power -- But So Is An Amulet

I fell blindly into the dark. I had no idea where I was falling to but I landed with an unpleasant thud on the rock bottom below me. As I looked around I recognized the place fortunately. It was where Buffy and I had fought a few of Balthazar's crew over his amulet back when I had first come to Sunnydale. I looked around as I pushed myself off the ground with my uninjured arm for Xander but he was gone without a trace. I heard the Watchers yelling above me and I decided it was time to vacate the area. I exited the underground area through a manhole several hundred yards away from the mausoleum. I checked around for signs of vampires or the Council and saw neither. I drug myself out of the manhole with one arm, recovered it so they wouldn't know where I came out of and booked ass back to Giles’ house. I knocked out our code on the front door so they wouldn't accidentally shoot me when they opened the door to let me in.

"What happened to you?" Cordelia asked me as I walked in, shut the door, and relocked it.

"Robin happened." I stated bluntly as I walked past her and into the kitchen area. Angel caught my eye as I walked by him but he refrained himself from jumping up to help me and I was thankful for that.

"She shot you with a crossbow bolt? Doesn't she realize that you are human and one of the good guys?" Cordelia asked as she followed me into the kitchen.

"I'm not sure and I didn't really have the time to argue with her."

"Why did she shoot you in the first place?" Giles asked as he joined me in the kitchen with the medical kit. Spike hung out in the doorway, looking on silently.

"She shot me in the arm because I was about ready to stake Xander," I told them quietly.

"You had a run in with him? Why? I thought that you were supposed to go out solely on reconnaissance missions," Giles reprimanded me anger evident in his voice.

"Hey! It isn't like I went out screaming his name looking for him. I found a random vampire searching through a mausoleum and I stopped him. Found out that B is going to make her move in two nights, when the moon is right, and sent him on his way to let her know that I was going to rain on her parade. Xander intercepted the vampire on the way back to Buffy and came looking for me. He wanted to kill me…he's stronger than a new fledging should be, something about being of B's blood since she was a Slayer or something. But anyhow, I kicked his ass and as I was about to stake him I got shot in the arm. Neither Xander nor I knew that they were there. So, Quentin yells something about not killing a key element in getting to Buffy and Xander gets to his feet, whispers in my ear about a back exit to the place and as he breaks through the gate he yanks me through with him. I landed in an underground hole thing, a place I fortunately recognized, and managed to find a manhole to get out of after I escaped. I don't get it though Giles. I was ready to stake him, ready to kill him, and he helped me escape."

"Perhaps he had a moment of clarity," Spike offered and we all turned to look at him. "He just put everything into perspective. Hell if the Council was willing to shoot their own Slayer what would they do to a vampire without a soul working for a new Master vampire hell-bent on bringing Hell to Earth. You know, you just choose the lesser of two evils. Perhaps he figured if he helped you escape then you wouldn't consider turning him over to the Council. Smart boy if you ask me," Spike suggested with a casual shrug of his shoulders.

"Thanks for the insight into the vampire mind there Spike," I teased him.

"Not the vampire mind luv, any mind. Would you choose a possibly gruesome and painful death or an escape from death…? Escape is always the easiest choice," Spike told us and then exited the kitchen doorway and wandered back to wherever he was before he had joined our conversation.

"So anyone want to help me get this chunk of wood out of my arm, please?" I asked Giles and Cordy.

"If you quit your whining perhaps," Cordy said and took my injured arm in her hands. She looked at the wound for a second and then at the other side where the head of the bolt had gone through. "We are going to have to stitch you up. This side looks bad."

"Yeah well it hurts like hell. How about you just grab it and rip it out. Giles can play doctor and stitch me up or something," I told her and they both nodded to me. She handed me a rag and I cocked an eyebrow.

"Bite into it," she suggested and I put in my mouth and nodded for her to go ahead. Just as I turned my head away from that arm she pushed the bolt through my arm completely. A second later she pulled the whole thing out of my arm completely and immediately Giles applied another towel to soak up the blood. I spit the rag out of my mouth and looked over at my arm. Blood was running down my arm as Giles tried to stop the bleeding.

"Give it a couple minutes Giles. Slayer healing should kick in soon," I told him. Spike reappeared in the doorway a few seconds later.

"Peaches took a walk. I'm guessing it had something to do with the fact he could smell your blood," Spike informed me.

"Outside?" I asked, concerned instantly.

"He said he would stay close."

"He doesn't know that I had a run-in with Xander and that B could possibly be out to seek revenge on me for taking her amulet. Speaking of which, I need to talk to Methos."

"Amulet? What kind of Amulet?" Giles asked me.

"Some random amulet that B sent a vamp on a retrieval mission for. Who knows…it's not in any language I recognize. I'll have to see what Methos thinks," I told Giles. I didn't catch the hurt look on his face. Giles quickly stitched me up as soon as the bleeding slowed down.

"There Faith. That should do for now. Just be careful with it for the next twenty-four hours or so," Giles said and put down the needle and thread. I nodded to him.

"Thanks Giles," I returned to him and then headed out of the kitchen. I pulled off my slaying equipment vest and set it down on the back of one the dining room chairs. I walked into the living room where most of the group was sitting.

"Catch Old Man," I said as I pulled the amulet out of my pants and tossed it at Methos. "You get to see what the decoder ring has to say. Recognize the dialect?" I informed him and everyone else's attention centered on the amulet Methos now possessed. Giles and Cordy entered the living room a few moments later.

"It’s not a 'decoder ring' Faith. But damn this language looks familiar," Methos told me and flipped it over. His face changed from curious to concerned instantly.

"What do you have for me Methos? You can't make a face like that and not say anything," I told him and he ignored me.

"Methos? What is it?" Mac asked him and gently nudged him with his knee.

"Oh…um…well I recognize the dialect now. It isn't a demon language like I originally thought that it would be. It is a language that has been dead for centuries, perhaps a millennium or so. It wasn't a well-used language even then, just used for religious purposes only. Where did you get this amulet Faith?" He asked me and finally looked up at me.

"Found a random vamp of B's digging through a tomb in a mausoleum in the cemetery down at the end of this street. He was supposed to get this for her but obviously I beat him to it. What exactly is it?"

"It's a very powerful piece of property. I'm going to assume you found this in Mellick's tomb. He was believed to be a vampire of sorts in his time. People saw him out in the daytime but they swore that he was possessed by a demon at night and that he exhibited vampire-like qualities. I didn't actually get a chance to meet this guy, but this is what I was told. He spent his whole entire life attempting to find a way to bring a dead vampire back to life."

"Like back to human life? A cure for vampirism?" Willow asked.

"No. A way to return a vampire that had been killed either by staking, sun, etc. back into their vampire state pre-final death. People speculated about whether or not he was able to accomplish it and find the right incantation and everything that was needed to get the vampire back in completely the same form. Now I know that he did. He has the complete ritual here. Everything you need is right here," he said to us and we were all in shock.

"That little amulet? That thing is cheap. It doesn't even look like real gold or anything," Amanda commented and we all shot her a dirty look.

"Now is not a time to talk about such trivial things Amanda," Giles said as he pulled off his glasses and began cleaning them.

"So why would B want it?" I asked the obvious question. "Who is there that she would want to raise from the dead in the vampire community? Why vampires?" I kept firing questions out.

"Who isn't there that she wouldn't want? Think about it Faith if she had a whole army of vampires that had been killed in the past then she would have an immense undead army waiting to serve her every command. She would be their leader and she would have an army behind her to ensure that the Hellmouth is properly opened, whenever she plans to open it."

"Two nights from now, when the moon is right," I answered and they all raised an eyebrow or two at me. "What? I beat up the vampire that I found and he told me."

"An army of vampires would be pretty hard to beat. Considering the fact that if she brought back all of them then they would easily overpower us even if they were all shitty vamps and all fledglings when they died. But some of them were old, like the Master old." Willow said and scratched her head while deep in thought. "She is going to want this amulet back. We are going to be prepared for a pissed off Buffy to come looking for the amulet."

"Why would she send a fledging vampire out to get it when she could have gotten herself without anyone taking her down?" Oz finally asked.

"She thought it would be a simple mission," Spike said, scaring us all as he piped up from the doorway to the living room. "Faith hasn't run into any of the other vampires in Sunnydale during her patrols over the past few nights and after the destruction that she caused at the Magic Box I seriously doubt that she thought that you would come out after her again. She was sure that you wouldn't be out…and therefore allowed a fledgling to try to make his way up the ladder of hierarchy with this important mission. Why get up and get something yourself when you feel that someone else is perfectly capable of getting it for you?" Spike asked as he walked into the room and plopped down on the couch next to Dawn. She immediately slid under his arm and rested her head on his chest as one arm wrapped around his stomach. His arm wrapped protectively around her shoulder and I knew right then that Buffy wasn't the only Summers that he loved and that loved him back.
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