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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)DemonaFR183381,0290421,6802 Aug 032 Aug 03Yes

Part Twenty-Five: Sometimes Blood Ties Are More Important Than Unsubstantiated Jealousy

For Disclaimer and Notes see first chapter.

Part Twenty-Five: Sometimes Blood Ties Are More Important Than Unsubstantiated Jealousy

I awoke around noon to the smell of food cooking floating through the house. People were awake and milling around the house conversing in different groups. This wasn't the same tense group that I had witnessed last night. I got up off the couch and headed out of the living room to join everyone else. Angel and Spike were laughing about something as they stood in the dining room area. I was in complete shock because when I had gone to bed I was pretty sure that Spike and Angel were not talking. I paused in the doorway and blinked a few times to make sure that I was really awake and not dreaming.

"We were wondering when the Slayer who is supposed to catnap was going to wake up. You were about to miss out on brunch," Cordy teased me and motioned for me to sit down next to her on the couch a few feet from where Angel and Spike were standing. I did.

"What is the deal here? Last night Angel was about to rip Spike's head off and today they are laughing together? Even Willow, Dawn, and Giles are ok," I told her and motioned with my head towards the people as I was talking about them.

"When you are about to go into a fight where you aren't sure if you are going to walk away from you make amends quickly. That is something that you need to learn and understand. Spike and Angel have been friends for centuries. They both understand that things are going to change tomorrow night. Being friends again was very important to Angel. He went to Spike and apologized this morning and Spike apologized too for lying and sneaking around behind his back. He took the blame for it all this morning leaving you to be nothing but innocent. He made sure Angel saw that there was nothing there between the two of you."

"He is a good guy," I answered and yawned. Spike caught my eye and smiled a little as Angel was talking to Gunn who had just joined them.

"A great guy," Cordelia corrected me.

"What is for brunch?" I asked, changing the topic totally. Cordelia took the hint and went with it.

"Who knows? Willow and Kate are in there cooking, which is a random combination of people. Amanda and Dawn are helping get things ready for everyone to eat with and such. You ready to face everyone after that monster blowout last night?"

"I did nothing wrong. If I had done something wrong I would have admitted it. You know that," I told her and she smirked a little.

"You are just as hardheaded as they come. You might not have done anything wrong but you need to understand that some people think that you did."

"Screw them," I snapped back and ran my hands over my face.

"I don't think that will go over well," she told me and I smiled at her a little. "You weren't wrong Faith," she admitted "But it wasn't right either," she added.

"I know." I answered and looked back up at Spike, Angel and Gunn to find that they had all moved to somewhere else probably to the kitchen.

"You need to fix things with Angel before tomorrow night. I don't want anything to happen to the two of you before you are back together and happy," she told me and I just laughed at her.

"One day isn't going to be enough time to repair months worth of damage," I told her honestly and she placed her hand on my knee gently.

"You need to make it," she said as she got up off the couch and walked out towards the kitchen. I sat there for a few minutes later until Oz and Lindsay came into the room.

"You ok Faith? That stuff last night was pretty rough," Lindsay asked me and I gratefully smiled at him and Oz.

"I'm fine. I didn't want it to come out like that about Spike and my um…. relationship I suppose. But it did and now I have to deal with the repercussions of that."

"Everyone is a lot more mellow this morning. After sleeping on it and rethinking it a lot of the people regret what they said or thought," Lindsay told me.

"Me too," I told him and he nodded to me. Oz sat down in a plush chair and yanked Lindsay down on the chair into his lap. The two of them laughed and then shared a lingering kiss. I got uncomfortable immediately and stood up causing the two of them to break apart.

"Sorry about that," Lindsay apologized.

"Never apologize for loving someone Lindsay," I told him as I walked out of the room and towards the kitchen where everyone else was gathered. Spike walked up behind me and said hi.
"You should really check yourself out before you walk out into a group to be made fun of Faith," he advised and my hands immediately went to my hair, which was evidently sticking up in some places. I attempted to straighten it out the best I could without a mirror but I had no idea whether I was helping my hair or hurting it.

"Thanks for the advice Spike," I told him and he nodded to me, smiling evilly. Angel noticed me and made eye contact. I smiled tentatively at him. He came over and stood next to me.

"He lied to you. There is nothing wrong with your hair. He is just being his typical wiseass self," Angel confessed to me and I blushed a little.

"Thanks for the truth there," I told him a little and then pulled my hair up into a haphazard ponytail.

"How is your arm?" He asked me and I looked down at my arm and noticed the bandage needed to be changed again.

"Um…good. I didn't remember it until you said something, so good," I told him honestly and he gently brushed his fingers across the bandage gently.

"I'm glad you are ok," he whispered to me.

"Me too," I answered gently back. I cleared my throat and looked around away from Angel's eyes.

"So um…"

"Why are you and Spike best friends again?" I asked him and he just looked at me slightly amused.

"Jealous?" He asked me, his eyes clearly showing his amusement.

"No, not at all. You beat the shit out of him last night. Accused us both of cheating with each other and vocalized your hatred for him. This morning you are buddy-buddy…closer than I have seen the two of you in well…ever and I don't understand!" I asked him.

"He is my childe. He says he didn't cheat on Buffy and that you didn't cheat on me. I believe him."

"But you doubt me," I softly said to him and he looked at me with sad eyes.

"Faith, you and I have a lot in common and a lot not. I'm content with making sure that everything is safe before we go into a fight whereas you make sure you know nothing before jumping into the darkness ready to take on whatever is there. I try to walk the straight and narrow whereas you don't try at all. Those are differences that I didn't think would affect our relationship but they did. He made me understand why you chose him at times over me. I understand it all now. However, you could have explained that to me."

"You wouldn't have understood though," I told him honestly and he nodded to me.

"You are right, but you could have told me and told me I had no choice but to understand. That would have made a difference with it Faith."

"Would it have?" I asked him looking him right in the eye, daring him to lie when I knew he had no other choice.

"It could have made a difference."

"I doubt that," I told him and his eyes dropped away from mine.

"Not everyone is out to screw you over Faith. I thought that you would have learned that by now."

"Not everyone is out to screw me Angel, but some are. You would have overreacted to what I had to tell you about Spike. You probably would have gone to Sunnydale to beat him up. I didn't want for anything to happen to him. He means a lot to me Angel."

"And what, lying to me means nothing? I mean nothing?" Angel snapped at me suddenly angry and upset.

"You mean everything to me," I barely got out to him and walked away from him. I headed for the front door of the house stopping only to slip on my tennis shoes.

"Where are you going Faith?" Willow asked me as I had my hand on the doorknob.

"To get away. I'll be back later," I told her as tears were threatening to spill down my face.

"You can't go out there alone. It isn't safe," she argued with me.

"Nothing is ever safe," I answered and opened the door and shut it firmly behind me. I stood in the sunlight letting it heat my face and body. The tears ran unnoticed down my face. He didn't seem to realize that he was everything to me and it hurt. It hurt to think that he thought that he meant nothing to me. The door opened and closed behind me and I was relieved to know it couldn't be Spike or Angel.

"You want someone to run with?" Cordelia asked me as she came up next to me.

"Not really," I answered. "I'm not sure I was going to go running," I told her honestly and she laughed.

"Let’s go for a jog Faith. It's bound to help somehow with something. If nothing else it'll keep our figures looking good," she suggested to me with a teasing smile and I looked over at her.

"Ok," I nodded in agreement and she smiled at me again and headed down the walkway towards the street. We went jogging for a few hours and came back tired and sweaty but I felt like a hundred pounds had been lifted off my back and that all the stress and tension that had been there before that jog was almost completely gone. Cordelia and I headed to separate showers after we came back in. On the way down the hall Giles stopped me.

"You didn't have any problems out there did you?" Giles asked me as I headed down the hallway to the bedroom where Spike was residing.

"No. We just jogged for awhile, a long while," I told him honestly.

"I was just wondering because you both came in looking completely exhausted."

"I gave her a run for her money. She suggested we run till I felt better. I bet she is kicking herself now because it took me like two hours and many, many miles to feel better," I laughed and Giles smiled at me.

"So you worked things out within yourself?"

"Within myself isn't the problem Giles. Things between Angel and me are the problem. I don't want it to be a problem but I can't talk to him right now. I have too much on my mind concerning the Buffy situation and that isn't helping our relationship either."

"I hope that you work things out for you both because you two make an amazing couple."

"I don't know if it will or not Giles, I just don't know," I told him honestly and then headed past him to the shower. I grabbed a towel out of the closet on the way to the shower and locked myself in the bathroom. I took a long hot relaxing shower, toweled off and then headed out of the bathroom with the towel wrapped precariously around my body to find clothes to wear. I got the expected catcalls from everyone as I headed out to find something to wear and I just flipped everyone off as I looked around. I headed out of the laundry room after not finding anything to wear. I saw Cordy wandering around in a towel too.

"Hey…is it just me or are all of the girlie clothes gone?" I asked her and she nodded to me.

"I am noticing that all of the clothes are gone. I think the guys hid the clothes while we were in the shower so that we would have to wander around naked through the house until they decided to give them back," she answered and I nodded in agreement.

"Bastards!" I said and she smiled nodding in agreement.

"So, what are we going to do?" She asked me like I really had a clue what to do.

"Find the clothes. Go convince your boyfriend!" I suggested to her. She frowned at me but turned around to go find Gunn. I followed a few steps behind her. We walked into the den area to find all the people down there laughing their asses off because they had all the clothes and we were naked under our towels.

"You know this is really cute. We go for a run and you all take it upon yourselves to steal our underwear and clothes and leave us just in our towels. Let me just state that I am not amused in the least," I told them angrily. "I went on that run to get all my anger and aggression out and now after my relaxing shower I have to deal with this shit. You L.A. crew should know that I have no problems kicking peoples' asses in the buff so give me back the clothes before I have to get physical," I tiredly threatened them.

"Do you promise you will kick our asses' naked?" I heard a smartass British voice quip from somewhere in the room.

"I'd make sure to keep the towel on for you Spike. Now give me back my fucking clothes!" I yelled the last sentence. Everyone still found it amusing but I didn't. "Fine, screw you all," I stated angrily and left the den in a pissed off mood yet again. I heard calls for me to come back but I chose to ignore them all and kept heading towards the bedroom. Spike caught up to me as I tossed the towel into the bathroom to the tile floor and walked back to the bed nude. He stood there motionless when he saw me climb into the bed.

"You going to stare at me or do something constructive like find me clothes?"

"Stare for awhile first pet," he said to me and I just laughed harshly.

"You do that Spike," I got out and he snapped out of it.

"It was my idea ok? I knew that you were pissy over something to do with Peaches so I suggested to everyone in the house that we hide all the clothes from you and Cordy when you came back. She has her clothes right now, yours are on their way here," Spike admitted to me.

"So you think that making me angry because I'm naked in front of my friends will make everything all better?" I asked him, as I got comfortable on the bed. The sheet covered me completely but it did nothing to hide the fact I was very naked underneath it.

"I'll um…I'll send someone in with those clothes right away Faith. I'm sorry, I just thought that you would find it amusing cause you normally don't mind being naked and I'll be going now," Spike rambled and took off out of the door of the bedroom in a hurry and I just laughed lightly at his obvious discomfort. Cassandra came in with my clothes a few minutes later.

"You were in on this too Cassandra?" I asked as she set the clothes down on the bed.

"He thought you would laugh Faith. He didn't know that you were going to bite everyone's head off. He is really, really worried about you because you are so stressed out. I know Spike fairly well, we speak because neither of us have reason to judge each other, but he has never been this antsy. Never. It bothers me to know that he is this worried over you because that means that if he is showing his fear then this could be a pretty big and valid concern," Cassandra answered me honestly as she sat down on the other side of the bed from me.

"Don't worry Cassandra. Everything will work out the way that Fate has planned for it to," I told her knowing I was speaking a vague truth.

"That is a lovely thought Faith. I think you just summed up the whole reason of life in general in that statement too. I know that you know what you are doing. I just hope that you live past Spike because if you die before him he will never forgive himself for failing you too," Cassandra admitted to me and then left me alone in the room. I sat up and pulled on the clothes that she left for me on the bed. They weren't the original clothes that we brought to Sunnydale from L.A. They were actual girls clothing. I recognized the tank top as I pulled it on; it was B's. The pants must have been Cassandra's because I am much taller than B. I took a deep breath before I left the safety of the bedroom and headed out to join the land of the living. I had a lot of groveling to do with Spike to make sure that he knew that I wasn't mad at him, just upset and stressed in general.
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