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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 Six: Conversations With The Undead

See Disclaimer and Notes in first chapter.

Part Six: Conversations With The Undead

Three weeks – of living in a small Washington town with only two pairs of clothes per person – later, Angel finally arrived. When Angel had called, Adam suggested that he come back to the States and stay with him for a while and Angel evidently thought that was a great idea. He showed up on Adam's doorstep about an hour after sundown. Adam opened the door and he came into the house. We heard Adam suggest that Angel go into the living room, where we were all sitting unknown to him. I was nervous yet again. I had seen this man only once in almost three years and he was going to be walking into the room I was sitting, in a matter of seconds. When he did actually walk into the room he didn't seem surprised over the fact that we were all in there. I realized then that Adam had told him that we were here and he still came. Buffy immediately rushed him to hug him. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed the top of her head while looking at me. It was déjà vu all over again except this time there was no plot to kill B. He acknowledged Gunn with the nod of his head after Buffy stepped away from him. Cordy walked up to him and slapped him across his face hard.

"You have a lot of explaining and groveling to do Mister," Cordelia honestly told Angel. He bowed his head and looked away from her heated gaze.

"I promise that I will fill you in on everything in time ok?" Angel admitted to her.

"Fine," she said to him and walked back over to her seat between Gunn's legs on the floor. That left me. He hadn't moved at all since he first made his presence known in the doorway to the living room. Cordy and Buffy had gone to him. I refused to go. I may have been a wreck on the inside, but he wasn't going to see that. He was going to get to see the Faith that he left behind, the strong and mature woman. His lips turned up slightly at the edges when he realized that I wasn't going to come to him. He moved through the room almost hesitantly, uncertain of how my reaction would be to him. He got about two feet in front of me as I was curled up on the couch. He squatted down so he was eye level with me.

"Hi," he gently said to me.

"Hi," I answered just as softly. He reached forward slowly as if towards an injured and frightened animal. His right hand reached out and cupped the left side of my face gently. I leaned into his touch rubbing my face gently against his hand as he brushed his thumb gently back and forth over my cheekbone. He pulled his hand away after a few moments but not before running his thumb across my lips once. He looked me in the eye.

"We definitely need to talk ok?" Angel said to me and I nodded slowly. He stood back up and walked over to Adam.

"So, what is your game plan? Flee or crash here in the bedroom that I have spent hours sun-proofing?" Adam questioned him. Angel laughed a little.

"If I flee I had better run heart first into a picket fence because if Cordy ever catches me I will wish that I was dead. So, I think that I'll take door number two, the sun-proof room Bob," Angel quipped and everyone in the room was shocked. He had just made fun of Cordy, himself, and Adam. Adam was used to it, however, and just slapped him on the back and then pushed him in the direction of the kitchen.

"I drained some blood for you and bought you some Oreos for you dip with," Adam said and everyone other than the two of them made a disgusted face. They walked into the kitchen and Cordy moved up next to me from the floor.

"You want to tell me what that was?" She asked me and I shook my head, blushed and then hid my head in her shoulder.

"I don't know what that was," I mumbled to her with my head still hiding in her shoulder.

"What was that, Mumbles?" She teased me. I pulled my head out from her shoulder and just rested it on her shoulder.

"I don't know what that was, but I don't think that I mind," I freely answered and she just laughed at me and pulled me into her embrace.

**********

The remainder of that night wasn't very eventful. Buffy and I trained in Adam's basement for an hour before we went out. We had worked out our differences and our opinions in the past three weeks we had spent with Adam in Washington over Angel and my past. She had agreed that I had done nothing to her recently to make her believe that I was going to betray her again. I told her that I was a different person since Angel had convinced me to change. She didn't understand how Cordelia and I were now best friends, but she accepted the fact that I was Cordelia's physical bodyguard and Cordelia was my emotional/mental one. We took care of one another. After we trained we took a break and then told the others that we were going out on the hunt. Cordelia, who still hadn't gotten tact in the years since I first met her, spoke up and suggested that Angel and Adam come with us. There were two motives behind that suggestion that I saw. One was that she thought it would be a good way for Angel and myself to spend time together, and two because she and Gunn wanted to be alone to do things that they generally didn't do with people in the room – there are always exceptions to every rule. So out the four of us went on patrol around the campus and the town. Buffy and I had been making rounds every night usually out of shear boredom. Gunn or Adam usually came with us. Cordelia didn't want to venture out into the night and we didn't make her. She had her part of the team with her visions, I didn't want for her to have to handle anything else on top of that.

"How about we split up? Two and two? We'll cover the town faster and call it a night sooner," Adam suggested to us. I looked at Buffy and threw my arm around her shoulders.

"We'll beat you home," I told them and turned with her to leave.

"How about I take Buffy cause I'm not sure I really want to spend the night with this dead company. You can have that honor Faith. See if you can beat some life into him or something. You and Angel can take from here to the river and Buffy and I'll take the college and shopping centers. Don't hurry back," Adam suggested as B spun us both around. Buffy then slid out from underneath of my arm and linked her arms with Adam. They waved bye at us and walked away.

"That was foul," I said out loud and Angel chuckled.

"Nah that was just Me…Adam's attempt at tact. Like Cordelia, he has none," Angel just supplied for me.

"What were you about to call him?" I asked Angel, catching his slip.

"Another name I know him by. Don't worry about it Faith. We have a race to win," Angel said smiling slightly while his eyes shone with real excitement.

"So you get off on hunting vampires now?" I asked him and his smiled faded and I frowned as well.

"I don't get off on much Faith, especially not killing my own kind. You on the other hand, I have heard many stories about you post-slayage," Angel told me and I had to thank the darkness of the street to cover the blush that quickly spread across my face.

"Who did you hear what from?" I asked him thinking that Buffy had told him about our conversations while we slayed. That was definitely breaking the Slayer code. Conversations on the hunt were supposed to be sacred between Slayers; it was a rule we had shared at one time.

"Buffy didn't tell me so you can stop freaking over that. I lurk Faith. Come on, you should know that by now. I followed you both when you first got to Sunnydale after I came back. Partially because you fascinated me and I didn't understand the draw that I felt to you then and partially because at the time Buffy was my sorta girlfriend so I followed her to protect her. Besides when you get excited you get loud Faith. It makes me wonder about you sometimes," Angel admitted to me. I was shocked that he was being so candid with me. He had never been this forward with me, even in the times we had spent talking while I was in jail. He had come back from his two-year vacation a changed vampire. I wasn't sure if I liked this vampire better or not yet.

"So Angel what did you hear? I call your bluff," I told him, praying he was indeed bluffing. I was getting embarrassed and horny just from the conversations I remembered having with Buffy about post-slayage horniness.

"I distinctly remember you talking about how you get all horny after slaying, all that built up tension or something like that. You definitely brought out a side of Buffy I had never seen before. It definitely didn't make it any easier for either one of us because I couldn't have sex and she wanted it. I mean hell I wanted it too but I couldn't. So, do you still get all horny after slaying?" Angel bluntly asked me finally. I laughed at him and then stole a glance at his face in the light from the streetlight and realized he was grinning like a fool causing me to laugh even more.

"To be honest sure. But I don't get no play. It has been way too long since I got some action from someone…or something," I answered and then walked past him not waiting to see his face and reaction to my answer.

That particular conversation topic was dropped and new ones were discussed. We talked about vague things after that. It wasn't anything earth shattering or particularly personal but it was conversation.
We didn't see any vamp action the entire night, I knew that we wouldn't. The campus and the graveyard behind it were the hot spots and Buffy and Adam had taken them, probably to give Angel and me a chance to talk. I would have to smack Adam later for that. We came back to Adam's house about three hours and found that Buffy and Adam had just gotten back themselves. Cordy and Gunn had finished up shortly before they came home too. The sun would be rising in an hour or so and I was honestly exhausted. This day and night had worn me out emotionally.

"I am headed to bed. I'll see you all in the morning, or afternoon," I told everyone the moment I walked in the door from slaying. Everyone raised an eyebrow and shot a glance at Angel to see what he had done to piss me off. He just shook his head and shrugged a little. I walked up the stairs to the bedroom I was sharing with B.

*************

We sat down with Angel the following evening and discussed the whole 'him coming back to L.A. with us'. He seemed a little resistant to that. A lot of words were said that probably shouldn't have been. Insults were thrown back and forth across the table. Basically his argument was that we didn't need him at Angel Investigations anymore because we had been doing fine without him for the past two plus years. Cordy's argument was that it was Angel Investigations and he was "Angel". She was getting these visions and they were for him from the PTB. She was sick of getting them and almost getting killed by answering them while their warrior was out "finding himself" around the world. I hadn't spoken during the whole argument. When they finally asked for my opinion I had no clue what to say. I told Angel simply that 'I wanted him to come back to L.A. with me' and then I shut up again for the rest of the conversation. The screaming match between the others got them all nowhere. But I think that they all felt better after they got out what they had been feeling for the last few years. The conversation ended when Cordy got a vision of a college kid in distress. We were all out the door minus Gunn and Cordy in a matter of seconds.
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