So this is it. The last chapter. Is it just me, or has it gone by really quickly? I almost can't believe it's over. No new chapter tomorrow... :(
For those of you who've temporarily dropped out of Slayers in Space to read this, I want to say a huge thank you. If it wasn't for you guys nudging and inspiring me through the years, this never would have been written... and I don't know about you, but I had fun!
With regard to the next update, I'm still hoping to get it out before I fly on the 25th. But unless a miracle occurs and the rain falling outside turns into six inches of snow overnight (which actually happened this time last week so hey, who knows? *crosses fingers*) college resumes tomorrow and that'll put a big drain on my time.
New readers! *hugs* Thank you too! I really appreciate your support for this story, and if you graduate on to Visions of Vampires and Slayers in Space, be sure to drop me a line to let me know what you think. :)
Gratitude also goes to Marcel and Mikerich for Recommending Lost. :D Thanks guys!
I very much hope that you enjoy...14/14 ~ Loose Ends
Jack and General Hammond flew to Washington DC while Sam watched the tapes. They gave her nightmares. Daniel made it halfway through the first one. Teal’c watched them all. Repeatedly.
It was a good thing that Faith had a chance to shower, sleep and eat during the surprisingly short flight back to Scotland because the second she stepped over the threshold of B’s castle Dawn informed her that the other Scoobies were holed up with Giles in the library, interrogating him about LA. Handing Major Hottie, as she’d mentally termed Davis, over to Dawn’s care, Faith went straight to the library, walking right into the middle of a Scooby meeting filled with anger and hurt.
While she’d been flying back to Scotland, B and the others had been busy prying secrets out of Giles. Now that she was here, they fell over each other to tell her what they’d discovered while Giles sat slumped in his favourite armchair, looking up at her with a look that was both guilty and contrite, as he cleaned his glasses on autopilot.
Turned out, Angel had tried to contact them. He’d called Giles twice. The first time was when Cordy had died, and you could see that that news had ripped Xander’s barely healed heart right back out of his chest. The other time, he’d been trying to get hold of Willow, because an Old One was killing Fred. The G-man had told him she was unavailable. Faith didn’t think she’d ever seen Red so mad.
Mad as Red was, B had her beat hands down. In her eyes, Giles had betrayed her twice, and talked Andrew into helping him. Angel had been to see her, one of the decoys who he'd been told was her, in Rome. He hadn’t been alone. Spike had been with him. Somehow, Spike was alive. Or rather, still undead. And Giles hadn’t told her.
Truth was, her return was just another excuse for them to vent their anger at Giles. Normally, Faith would have been more than happy to let them have their fill, on the basis that they were saying it better than she could right now, in her shell-shocked state of mind. But she had news of her own to tell them. Wesley was dead.
Davis had filled her in on the events in LA after she’d been pulled onboard the Prometheus during their flight on Air Force One. The Prometheus had been monitoring an energy build-up at the time, centered on the Hyperion’s block. Shortly afterwards, it had peaked and disappeared entirely, along with every lifesign in LA. Military forces sent in afterwards had reported that everyone in LA seemed to have vanished, leaving a deserted city and a few bodies behind. The White House was spinning it as a “biological terror attack”. Wes’ name had been on the list of the identified bodies. There was no word on Angel or the others.
That news was the straw that broke Buffy’s back. Angrily informing her Watcher just what she thought of him, she ordered him out of her castle and sight, flouncing from the room. Casting angry and reproachful looks at Giles, Willow and Xander followed her. Giles turned to Faith, looking lost.
“Faith...” he sighed.
“I’ll walk you out,” Faith told him implacably, her arms folded beneath her bosom.
Giles nodded, looking resigned. Putting his glasses back on, he pushed himself out of his chair, patting down his pockets as he glanced around the room for anything he might have missed. Finding nothing, he looked back at Faith.
“How are you?” he asked, walking to the door. “Did this SGC mistreat you in any way?”
“Me?” Faith asked, following him. “I’m five by five. Not the one who’s been eaten.” Red had filled her in on the mystical explanation for events in LA and Giles winced at the reminder. “SGC was actually kinda cool. Nothing for us to worry about,” Faith told him as they entered the hall of the castle. “No history of demonic dabbling at all. In fact,” Faith grinned as she thought of the large Jaffa she’d met. “You could call it a first encounter for both of us.”
Giles frowned down at her in puzzlement as they left the castle, heading for the helicopter he’d arrived in. “You like them,” he said slowly.
A frown briefly crossed Faith’s face as she considered. “Guess I do,” she shrugged. “They’re good people. Got each other’s backs.” Giles flinched.
As they approached the helicopter, Giles’ pilot appeared around the corner of the castle, headed in their direction. Faith opened the passenger door for Giles, holding it while he climbed in.
“Faith,” Giles said as she started to close the door, stopping her. “Thank you.”
“For what?” Faith frowned, confused.
“For not saying I told you so,” Giles told her. “Of all of us, you were the only one who was wholly convinced that Angel would use his position at Wolfram and Hart to do some good, and you were right.”
“Figured the last thing you needed was me saying I told you so,” Faith told him, her face somber. “‘Cause Cordy? Fred? Wes? Their deaths are on your hands. And Angel and the rest? They’re gone too. An’ you’re the one that’s gotta live with that, Giles.”
Closing the door on him before he could reply, Faith walked away. Behind her the rotors of the helicopter clattered into life and her hands clenched into fists. The foundations she had built her life on were crumbling beneath her feet. Aliens were real. Giles had blood on his hands. Angel and the rest of LA were gone...
Faith had a horrible feeling that reality hadn’t fully hit her yet. She was dreading the fall-out when it did. Getting Giles far away was definitely a good idea. Already she was aching to slay something to deal with the turmoil inside her. Was it really only yesterday that she’d been happily snuggling with Robin when the call had come in about a seer gone catatonic or had more time passed?
Why hadn’t Angel called her? Didn’t he know that she’d have dropped everything, cut her ties with the Scoobies if necessary to stand with him in his fight? She owed her life to him. He’d believed in her when no-one else had. Given her the strength to start believing in herself and to fight for her redemption
Buffy’s shout broke into her thoughts and Faith realized that she was sitting on the steps of the castle brooding. Angel would be proud. Getting up, she pushed the heavy door of the castle open with ease just as Buffy yelled her name again.
“What?” Faith asked her, entering the hall behind the blonde slayer and her two best friends.
Buffy whirled around to face her, “There you are. Why is there an Air Force Major being pummeled in my gym?”
“Wondered what happened to Major Hottie,” Faith sighed. “Damn. Thought Little D’d take better care of him.”
“Good name,” Willow approved.
“She’s hitting on him,” Buffy told Faith wryly. “Somehow I don’t think I have anything to worry about. Who is he?”
“Paul Davis,” Faith explained. “He was gonna tell me ‘bout the SGC but they gave me a tour while I was there. Figured he could explain it better than me so I kidnapped him.”
“You kidnapped him?” Xander exclaimed incredulously. “Why?”
Faith shrugged, “Eye for an eye?”
“But we already kidnapped Soldier Guy,” Buffy pointed out.
“General Jack?” Faith said with a grin. “That was karma, B. Sweet karma...”
When the briefing that followed was over at last, Willow dropped Faith off in Cleveland where the Dark Slayer went on a forty-eight hour one-woman rampage that left the local demon population decimated and quivering with fear in their lairs. Returning to Rio, Willow threw herself into researching demons that might be capable of swallowing an entire city, reluctantly coordinating with Giles. It took a major apocalypse before the Scoobies eventually began to forgive their Watcher, and there was no chance that they could forget what he had done. As Andrew never learned about the SGC, Faith decided that paying him was probably a bad idea. Yeah, he’d helped Giles conceal the fact that Spike had returned, but could he really be trusted with the news that Wormhole X-Treme was real?
President Henry Hayes declared that Los Angeles would be maintained as a lasting memorial to those who’d lost their lives in the attack. When Major Paul Davis finally managed to return to Washington DC, he brought with him the news that the New Watchers Council had appointed Faith Lehane as their official liaison to the SGC and his resignation, effective if he was ever asked to work with them again. Faith never picked up her pardon.
Within a month of Faith’s visit, Sam transferred to Area 51 to be closer to Cassie, who was having difficulty adjusting to college, and Teal’c had left the SGC for Dakara and the Jaffa Free Nation. Daniel began to make plans to move to the Pegasus galaxy. It took a very determined Colonel called Cameron Mitchell to bring them back together again. And Jack? Major
General Jack O’Neill, two l’s, never came back from Washington DC, although he made sure to drop by for the occasional guest appearance.
What happened next is another story. Or even a couple...