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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-Three: Secrets Exposed

For Disclaimer and Notes see first chapter.

Part Twenty-Three: Secrets Exposed

"So, she is going to come for the amulet. Then we need to be prepared," Gunn said and looked around the room waiting for someone to suggest a plan or something. He wasn't usually plan guy, more like action guy.

"We need to set up a protection wall around the house then," Cassandra suggested looking around and I saw Willow, Oz and Lindsay nodding. "We'll get right on that while the rest of you decide what we need to do in case she comes before we get the wall up and secured," Cassandra said and rose to her feet from her position in one of the Lazy boys. Willow, Oz, and Lindsay followed suit and the four of them walked out of the room and towards the foyer area.

"Plan of action anyone?" Gunn asked again and Cordelia laughed a little.

"Calm down Gunn. A plan is in the works somewhere," she assured him as she went to sit in his lap on the couch next to Amanda and Kate.

"We need weapons and need to spread out around the house guarding all windows and entrances to the house in case Buffy decides to come in with force." MacLeod said and stood up. "I suggest that we stay in pairs. Guard a door and the nearby windows. Keep your eyes and ears open. Lights are to be kept to a minimum in the house so that we are able to see out as they see in. Pair up guys. Man a station. Make sure the entire house is covered," he said and everyone rose.

"Richie you are with Dawn. Take her into the basement and lock the basement door behind you. Don't come out until Mac comes to get you," I said to him and he growled in frustration.

"How come I get stuck babysitting the kid?" He yelled at me.

"Because that *kid* is important to me. You are a good fighter Richie. I trust you with her," I angrily snapped him but he was still pissed and refused to back down.

"I'll take Dawn sitting Faith. I won't let anything happen to her," Spike said and I saw pain flash across Dawn's eyes momentarily after Spike said he would watch her. She played it off well though as she rolled her eyes and punched him playfully in the arm.

"Good then, we'll go have fun in the basement with all the gym equipment and such. I'm good with Spike, Faith. Let Richie stay up here," Dawn told me and I frowned.

"You sure Spike?" I asked him.

"I'm positive luv. You go do your thing. Don't forget that Peaches is still outside. Make sure that he is in before you close down the fort," Spike said and I cocked an eyebrow at this.

"You displaying concern for your Sire…are you delusional now Spike? You running a fever or something?" I playfully teased.

"Nah…I just am looking out for you."

"Looking out for me?"

"Yeah because if Buffy gets a hold of Peaches then she will surely cut off his little bits and then you will be sexually deprived for the rest of your life because he won't have anything to make love to you with," Spike reasoned with a straight face. It was Mac who started laughing first and then everyone else joined in.

"What did I miss and why do I feel like that it was about me?" Angel suddenly asked. No one had heard or felt him come back into the house. I whipped around at the sound of a voice and almost staked him. My hand and stake came to a halt on the outside of his shirt, up against his chest. He looked down at it and then looked back at me.

"Sorry…thought you were B or Xander," I told him and lowered the stake, blushing a little.

"All right Peaches is inside let’s shut this place down," Spike said and headed out of the living room with Dawn tagging along behind him, casting a longing glance at Richie as she disappeared out of the living room. Methos and Mac, Cordelia and Gunn, Amanda and Kate, Giles and Richie headed off to guard different areas of the house leaving Angel and I alone together to be a pair.

"What is going on? Why did everyone leave and why did the lights just go off?" Angel asked.

"Mac was that you?" I called out loudly.

"Yeah," came the Scotsman's reply.

"Ok," I called back and then let my eyes adjust to the darkness. "I got the vampire with night vision though, good deal," I said more to myself than to Angel. "We are preparing for B to attack. I stole this amulet from her that would have allowed her to bring any dead vampires back to their vampire lives. Some guy named Mellick or something like that…who knows. We are just making sure that we have everything covered in case she attacks and gets into the house before our little Wiccan group can put up a protection wall around the house," I explained to him.

"Oh I see," he told me and then I felt him step closer to me. "How is your arm? I wanted to check on you when you came in but the look that was on your face told me not to come near you."

"I'm good to go. Giles stitched me up and played doctor."

"Why did you have a crossbow bolt in your arm?"

"Robin, the newest Slayer, she shot me in the arm to prevent me from staking Xander."

"You had a run-in with Xander? Are you ok?"

"Yeah I did and yes Dad I'm fine. He came back for me when he found out that the other vampire had ratted to me about the date that B was going to open the Hellmouth, which by the way is in two nights. He claimed that he was going to kill me, but at the end of the fight he was on the pointy end of the stake not me."

"I didn't mean to offend you Faith. I know that you can take care of yourself. I just worry about you. Worrying about you comes with the territory of loving you," Angel softly said to me.

"Let’s not go there now. We have a mission right now and I don't want to get my emotions into this right now. I can't function straight when I have this situation between you and me on my mind."

"I didn't realize that I had suddenly become a distraction to you Faith. If you really don't want me around then I would be more than happy to switch with someone." Angel snapped at me and started to walk away when a blinding white light burst through the house and then it stopped several yards outside the house and it stayed there illuminating the yard. I looked out the window and saw a wall of light outside surrounding the house but no one or nothing was out there fortunately. Angel froze and looked at me.

"Oz?" I called out and people gathered back in the living room where Angel and I were standing.

"We did it. Now we just have to wait," Oz informed me and I just smiled and nodded in response.

"Good. Then I suggest that people go back to their positions, get something to entertain you there and we'll wait her out. She still might come before the night is through. If you want a new partner now is the time to grab them. I suggest that we take turns with two pairs ready to relieve a team pair after like half an hour or so. Sound good to everyone?"

"I want a new partner," Angel's voice loudly stated and I looked over at him in surprise.

"Well then find one," I snapped at him. Spike and Dawn had come back upstairs when the light had taken its run through the house and out into the yard.

"I'll take Dawn duty so Giles and Cassandra can be together," Richie said and I was shocked, but then I saw the look on Dawn's face and that secret smile that she didn't expect anyone to see. I realized then that something was going on between Richie and Dawn and I wasn't sure if I approved of the relationship or not, but if she was somewhat happy at this moment then that was all that I could ask for.

"Goodie then I get to be Faith's partner," Spike said immediately after Richie's declaration over Dawn.

"Like fucking hell you will," Angel growled and before I could even process Angel's angry voice he was vamped out and tackling Spike. He landed punch after punch to Spike's face and upper body. Spike was beating him with his arms, trying to dislodge him from atop of him but it was no use. Angel was the bigger of the two and he clearly had the physical advantage over Spike.

"Angel!" I yelled and headed over to them to get Angel off of Spike. "Get off of him Angel!" I yelled at him as I attempted to pull or push Angel off Spike's body. Angel shoved me away and continued to punch him. Spike was cussing at him the whole time.

"Everything was fine until you came along and fucked it all up. You are an insolent Childe and have absolutely no respect for your Sire!" Angel yelled at Spike and punched him once more in the face before getting off of him.

"What the bloody hell are you talking about?" Spike managed to yell back at Angel and then he licked the blood off his lip.

"I know about your fucking little *visits* to L.A. to see her. I KNOW! I could smell you on her when she came back. I could smell your cigarettes that you supposedly quit smoking for Buffy but smoked around Faith. I smelled you on her. I'm not a fucking idiot Spike. I knew that you were coming but there was nothing that I could do about it because she denied it was ever happening and when I tried to get it out of you, you lied too! Did Buffy know that you were cheating on her with Faith?" Angel yelled back at him and then glared at me. I looked at him in complete shock. My eyes widened and suddenly everything made sense.

"Oh my god. You were cheating on my sister?" Dawn yelled at Spike and then she centered her gaze on me. She walked up to me and slapped me hard across the face and went to punch me but Richie grabbed her. "You BITCH!" She screamed at me with total contempt in her voice.

"Oh no Peaches it was never like that. You have got this whole thing backwards. I came to see Faith, yes, but I never cheated on Buffy and Faith never cheated on you. We are just friends mate, nothing more," Spike said as he managed to get himself up from the floor. Blood was trailing down his face and staining his white shirt and I was slightly worried about him at this point, but I remained still because any movement towards Spike would just cause further doubt among everyone at the house.

"Oh no? You wanna explain to me why then you would come to L.A. to see her and she would lie to me to my face about where she was going? You wanna explain why you lied to Buffy's face about where you were? Explain why Faith came home different than she left and why your scent was all over her!" Angel yelled at him. "I won't let you have her right in front of my face and I won't let you disgrace Buffy like that either."

"You didn't tell her that I was in L.A. with Faith did you?" Spike asked and turned white as a ghost, paler than he normally was.

"No, I didn't have the strength to break her heart by telling her that you were cheating on her with Faith of all people," Angel said and I saw Spike visibly relax and then he sat back down in the floor.

"Me of all people? What the fuck is that supposed to mean Angel?" I yelled at him but I didn't wait for his reply. "You have it all wrong Angel. Yes, I lied to you and would sneak out to see Spike. I won't deny that. But if I was to tell you that I was going to see Spike then you wouldn't have believed that it was a strictly platonic relationship and that there was nothing going on there. Spike called me when he had problems with Buffy and their relationship. He called because I was the only person he knew and trusted enough to give him advice when it came to B. I called him when I had problems with you because you are his Sire and he was the only vampire that knew you and that I didn't have the desire to stake. We would get together somewhere once a month and just hang out. We'd take some time to ourselves, away from our significant others and just relax. Spike and I are a lot alike Angel. We have the same taste in music; we both have a passion for violence and mayhem; we are both very temperamental, irrational, and high-strung and we have similar fighting techniques, more street than actual technique. I found a lot of myself in him and vice versa. He just helped me adjust to living with you, being with you, and I helped him with B and their relationship. You and I have been through some rough times Angel and I will admit if I hadn't been able to talk to Spike and have him explain to me where you were coming from on some situations then we might not be together today. I would never hook up with Spike, Angel. I would never cheat on you either. I love you and only you Liam," I told him and he still glared at me.

"You were gone for the whole night though. You slept over wherever you were with him. You came back with his smell all over you."

"I didn't do anything with him. We have an apartment in L.A. that we both go to when things get out of hand for either of us. We meet there. It isn't anything spectacular but it is something that we both decided would be a good idea to get. I won't lie and say one of us slept on the floor or couch because we both slept in the bed. He would hold me in his arms and hold me as I slept, but that was the most that ever happened between us."

"You let him see and know parts of you that you didn't or won't share with me."

"Some things you don't need to hear. You don't need to hear me bitching to you about you. I needed someone to vent some things to and he was that person. I was the same thing to him. We were just friends, very good friends, but nothing more. I don't need to defend myself to anyone. I didn't cheat on you Angel. Spike didn't cheat on B."

"You lied to me Faith. When I would ask you where you were you lied right to my face."

"I had to."

"No, you didn't."

"Would you have let me go to him and spend the night if I had told you about him? Would you honestly?"

"No because you don't belong with him at all. He is a soulless vampire. He isn't worthy of you or Buffy."

"Don't pull that card Angel. I have a soul and I have killed innocent humans before. I have changed but at times I want to kill people and at times I don't regret what I did. Spike changed for the woman he loves. I changed everything for the vampire I love. He might not technically have a soul but most of the time I believe that he has more of one than I do, or than some of the humans wandering around this world. You know that he loves her, you know that Angel," I told him anger seeping into my voice even though I tried to keep it out.

"Who else knew about this? Did you know Cordy? Gunn? Did you two lie for her? Because as I remember she always said that she was out with you two." Angel asked, staring at the two of them.

"I had more to do with it than Gunn. He just would hand the phone to me when you called Angel. She asked a favor of me and I did what I felt was the best thing at the time. I don't regret lying for her even now. I'm not sorry for lying for her Angel. I'm sorry that I had to lie to you and that you probably don't trust me right now but it had to be done. She needed to talk to him, she needed him and I knew that," Cordy said as Gunn wrapped his arms around her waist from behind.

"I lied too man. Cordy and Faith let me know one day and I understood where Faith was coming from and why she was lying. We lied to keep you from getting hurt and from thinking that she was cheating on you. We never knew that you knew," Gunn finished.

"And you…who lied for you Spike?" Dawn asked, tears rolling down her face, her voice soft and gentle.

"I did," a male voice said and I knew that Giles was going to stand up for us. I didn't think that he was the best person for Spike to go to when he needed a cover for coming to see me but he proved to be a reliable and solid one. "I was his cover here in Sunnydale," Giles finished and everyone looked over at him in shock.

"You lied to Buffy about Spike's whereabouts?" Willow asked completely shocked.

"I was looking out for Buffy. If Spike came to me and told me that he really needed to go see Faith then I would come up with something that I needed from somewhere and he would bring it back for me after he was done with meeting with Faith. He came to me with problems that I couldn't answer. Not just female problems but Slayer problems. I couldn't answer them for him and then he moved onto Faith, which was the best and most logical choice. I didn't realize that their relationship would be so good for both of them. Faith would call me when she had problems with stuff in L.A. at times and again I couldn't answer any of those questions. But Spike could answer almost anything that I relayed to him. They helped each other out tremendously. I never saw it as lying to Buffy about where Spike was going because he always came back with something useful that I needed and he always came back much better for Buffy. I understood that dating a Slayer when you were a vampire was not an easy relationship. The relationship between Buffy and Angel didn't work out and I knew that a relationship between Buffy and any mortal would not work out. When she first admitted to dating Spike I was totally against it but then I saw how well it worked out and how good it was for her. I realized then that I would do everything in my power to make sure that Buffy was happy and that meant keeping her and Spike happy together," Giles admitted to the group.
"How did you know that he wasn't going to L.A. to cheat on Buffy?" Willow asked him, anger in her voice.

"I didn't. Well… that isn't entirely true. Faith and Spike are a lot a like. But I looked at it from an outside perspective. Spike had been with Drusilla for over a hundred years and been faithful to her the entire time. I saw that same love and devotion in Spike when he looked at Buffy. I knew that he was in it for the long haul. He had promised her he would be there to hold her when she was old and gray and carry her when she couldn't walk anymore. I knew, a gut feeling perhaps, that he wasn't cheating on her when he went to L.A., but getting help with the relationship and coming back to her with more love and devotion."

"You allowed this to go on? For how long?" Willow asked Giles.

"Two years," Spike softly said and then licked the blood off his lip. I finally couldn't stand the blood on his face anymore. I walked over to him, pulled his shirt over his head, and started to wipe off his face.

"Two years? You two look a little too friendly for just friends," Willow threw at us.

"Spike and I would go out to a vampire bar in Long Beach and start shit. We usually barely made it out of there alive and we would patch each other up when we got back to L.A. Me cleaning him up is nothing," I told her. Cordelia walked up to me a few seconds later with a bowl of warm water and a rag. She silently helped me clean off Spike while Willow verbally attacked Giles in the background.

"Enough!" Methos finally yelled and everyone shut up. "I suggest that we get back to our original goal here which is watching the house for a possible attack from Buffy. Spike and Faith are not going to be partners. Anyone want dibs on Spike?" Methos said once everyone was quiet.

"I'll go with him. Faith can go with Gunn," Cordelia said softly and Methos nodded a grateful nod to Cordy.

"Good plan Cordy. Faith and Gunn will stay here. Angel, you are with Willow. Spike and Cordelia will go to the position Cordy and Gunn were at earlier. Everyone is dismissed. This topic is hereby dropped for the night. When we are sure that Buffy is no longer a threat then perhaps the topic will be reopened, but not until then," Methos said and everyone left with their partner to their earlier designated positions.
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