Walls of Jericho Disclaimer:
Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, 20th Century Fox, UPN and WB Television Networks own the television shows, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel". Resident Evil is property of Capcom and Screen Gems. Not copyright infrigement is intended and certainly money is not earned by publishing or writing this story. Rating:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Resident Evil (moviverse and videogames) Summary:
She was leaving B and the others behind. She was going to deal with what she had done in her own time. And she was going to make it right in her own terms. Author's Note:
This is my first Buffy and Resident Evil fanfic ever. I would love to hear your comments, critics and advises about it as long as you do so in a kind and non-aggresive way. This crossover plays with both the game and the movies of the Resident Evil world and has canon and non-canon events from both shows Angel and Buffy. English is not my native language so I apologize beforehand for any grammar or spelling mistake. I'm looking for a beta if someone out there is interested.
Walls of Jericho
-Prologue-June 20th, 1998
South Boston, Massachusetts
The cool air of the early hour of the morning was brushing past her warm skin; she could even felt the tears falling from her eyes drying right away. There was an even colder and unpleasant tingling crawling up her back to the nape of her neck warning her about her pursuers and just how close were they of catching her up.
The way her body was moving, even through the physical and mental pain, was just a primal reaction. An action fueled by instinct and adrenaline cause by the moment and sudden need of survival; but she felt those sensations getting to their limit and her strength was fading away. Her hand closed tightly around the hilt of the sword with which she had marked the face of her enemy. A lump formed on her throat as the dead of her Watcher tried to overwhelm her again and she put those thoughts aside. It wasn’t the right time to mourn. First she had to live.
But she was getting to her limit and her enhance senses could already tell the group of vamps was getting closer.
“There she is!” a deep amuse voice screamed behind her and Faith knew only a miracle could save her now. She couldn’t fight anymore, she had failed. And if she had to be honest with herself, then she had to say she was scared.
“It seems to me you need a ride.” She looked up sharply as a black SUV stopped in front of her, the door open to reveal a young man with sandy blond hair and a soft, cynic smile on his face. “Get inside.”
It was a strange moment, all of her Slayer senses were telling her there was danger, her instincts were telling her she shouldn’t go inside a car with a stranger, even more so if they appeared out of nowhere when you were being followed by the minions of an enemy. But then again, this man and the SUV seemed the only thing between her being alive or dead.
Clenching her hand around the sword and ignoring the piercing pain from her ribs and right ankle she jumped in. The door closed and the SUV drove away at a fast speed, getting away from the group of vamps that were growling in frustration and anger.
She could only rest for half a minute before the voice of the man sitting beside her reached her ears, “That was quite interesting. But, then again, everything about you seem always interesting, Miss Lehane.”
Even in her numb state Faith acted fast, in less than a second after her last name left the guys’ mouth she had the sword press tightly on his neck; however her eyes were focus on the man pointing the gun to her face. It was a tensed moment in which, with narrowed eyes, the dark-haired Slayer tried to determine if the guy pointing the gun would put the trigger.
He had short and neat blond hair, his face showed no expression and his eyes were hidden behind dark aviator glasses. Which Faith thought look ridiculous in the middle of the night or dawn. There were still a few hours before the sunrise. But, what had Faith impressed was the calmness he was exuding, even in the middle of an obvious tense moment.
Yes, the man in front of her would without any doubt shoot her in the head and turn around as if nothing had happened. Faith made sure to put more pressure on the other man’s neck, just for precaution.
“Who the fuck are you people?” she asked in what she expected was a firm and menacing voice. Her eyes firm on the man in front of her but alert to what the man beside her may say.
“I think we’re the ones who just saved your life.” Faith could hear the smooth, calm voice of the man who had her sword against his neck. Even if she didn’t feel fine, if the pain was killing her and the emotional whirlwind inside her was trying to overwhelm her, Faith could notice the man wasn’t worried. Or at least was good at pretending.
This only made Faith frown in distaste and exasperation. She hated not knowing what she was getting into. More so when she could distinguish an accent coming from him.
“I didn’t need saving.” Her words only made the man chuckle which made Faith’s frown deepen. “What the fuck are you laughing at? If I were you I’ll be very careful. I’m not the one with a sharp blade on my neck.”
“No, you’re the one with a gun pointing at your head.” This time Faith did turn to glare at the man.
“Ya think Goggles over there is faster than me?” said Faith smirking in an unpleasant manner. “Care to see if he can shoot to kill before I take your fucking head off?”
The man turned his head careful not to rub his neck against the blade, “I’m Major Timothy Cain.” At Faith’s confused stare he elaborated. “You ask me who I was, I’m merely answering.”
“Major? So you’re what? Military or some wacko from the Council?”
“The council?” Faith narrowed her eyes at the confused and curious glance Cain sent her way. She looked at the man for a long time trying to determine if he was being honest in his lack of knowledge about the Watcher’s Council. But there was nothing giving him away, he actually seemed just confused and openly curious.
Damn, if her Watcher was alive she would chastise her for talking so hastily. A pang of sorrow went through her and Faith swallowed the lump in her throat. She couldn’t cry, not yet.
“Never mind,” Cain raised a single eyebrow in wonder but decided not to press the matter. There wasn’t any information in the world he couldn’t get his hands on. She did mention a council, well he would look over this council. Maybe it would lead to the answer he was looking ever since the last month. Who or what exactly was the girl in front of him and how she was capable of fighting against vampires and other…creatures in such a magnificent way.
Neither he nor Faith noticed how Wesker’s muscles tensed up for a brief moment only to relax once again. The driver, a black-skinned man, returned his eyes to the road with a light scowl on his face.
Faith winced in pain when she tried to move forward. Her abdomen and ribs were killing her and she was starting to feel a growing headache and in general, all the wounds she had received while in Kakisto’s hands were finally catching up to her.
The Major Timothy Cain moved his hand towards his pocket, Faith turned to him glaring at the man. The sword was still on his neck and the other man up front was still pointing his gun to her. “Please, I couldn’t help but noticed you seem to be in pain. I merely want to offer a painkiller.”
“You’re really an idiot if you think I’m gonna take anything from you much less some pill.” Cain sent her a half smile as he, slowly, put a small bottle with a brand mark with the form of an octagon white and red.
“I’m more interest in talking to you than killing you.” Said Cain letting the bottle rest on the back seat beside Faith. “Why would I kill you before I get the information I want from you, Miss Lehane?”
The dark-haired Slayer scowled at that question, “so this means you want me dead after you get some info from me?” Major Cain sent her a half smirked before shaking his head.
“Not at all, Miss Lehane.”
“Excuse me?” Faith looked irritated and repeated herself before taking the small bottle with her free hand.
“My name is Faith, cut the Miss Lehane crap if you don’t want a nice deep slash on your neck.”
She glanced at Cain, then at the other man holding the gun. What the hell, it wasn’t as if she could lose anything else. In the end, she was beyond caring what happen next. With a resigned sigh she lowered her sword, almost immediately the blond man lowered his gun and turned to look ahead. The Slayer eyed the blond man in front of her before opening the bottle and taking a single pill out. Making a disgust face she swallowed the pills down without any liquid helping her.
Cain was watching the girl with curiosity and interest. She was certainly something else. Young, good looking, probably not too smart, an orphan and with no money. Yet, she had attitude, she knew how to manipulate things so they would work her way or at least benefit her in some way. She was dangerous, with little if not any regard about laws or morals. Wild and out of control, yet struggling with herself with the pretence of control. Yes, a formidable creature ready to be molded into someone else. Stronger and deathly.
And then, there was her fighting style, her healing rate. He was sure the cut on her forehead had been bleeding minutes ago and now the cut was almost close and there weren’t any signs of blood pouring out of it.
“So, you say you wanna talk,” Faith shifted on the seat taking a quick glance at the SUV, her body tensing up and moving ever so slightly to help her get out of the car if the situation demanded it. “ Talk. How do you know my last name? Why were you near those warehouses? How did you find me and why were you looking for me?”
Timothy smirked as he put a laptop from under the seat, “I think all of those questions can be answered if I just show you.”
Faith couldn’t help but moved forward in wonder, “You see, I month ago there was an…incident down the Arkley Mountains near Raccoon City.” Faith tensed up, she knew she should be remembering the name of the city, but why?
Her dark eyes followed every movement the man did while he bent over and picked up a laptop until he turned it on. There was something strange about them, the way they appeared out of nowhere, their clothes, their smell…even Cain’s eyes and expression. Faith’s primal instincts were on high alert, ready to react and save her life if need it. The rush of her early battle against Kakisto’s and his minions was still there, keeping her alert and forgetful of the pain and fear. Or maybe it was the pill she just took.
Faith was tempted to ask if maybe this guys work for the vampire but if that were the case, why not take her directly to the warehouse instead of driving into the city and taking the main street? She could sense morning approaching quickly as the man finally put on some kind of video. Timothy raised his head looking out of the window before turning his face to Faith, smiling smoothly at her as he nodded behind her.
“I believe this is the place you’ve been staying at.” Perplexed she turned around and realized the man was correct. The car had stopped just outside her Watcher’s, and in a sense, her apartment.
When Faith turned, ready to point her blade against the man’s neck once again he lifted a hand and stopped her with an apologetic smile, “Please, this is only to let you know you have an option.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, you may stay here and hear what I have to say and how I know those things or,” once again he nodded towards the building behind Faith. “You can leave and forget all about me and what happen tonight.” At this Faith flinched which only made Cain cracked a smile, “At least you can forget this part of your night.”
Not waiting for a real answer from Faith, Timothy put play and let the video run. The video had been edited and now show in detail at least what seven different cameras positioned around the forest area had taped. Faith’s eyes focused on the monitor, her heart beating fast as she slowly but surely recognized the place. About a month ago, her Watcher had received a call from the council. Apparently there had been some troubles in a city near New York, Raccoon City. Now she knew why the name was so familiar. They had arrived to the place only to be directed by a stranger in a suit into a forested area. Faith didn’t remember what was it called but she could never forget what happened there.
And she was just about to see it all over again.
There they were two people or maybe not people once you got a close look at them. It took Faith a little while, and almost her life, to figure it out. This ‘things’ were dragging their feet on the ground making strangle sounds, almost as if they were too hurt to walk or merely waiting for help.
Suddenly she was there, Faith was running directly to one of the figures. She remembered how crude and rude she had been when trying to get the man to answer her questions. And almost immediately he lifted his face, he didn’t have half of his cheek, he had dried blood on his face and shirt and his eyes were white, completely devoid of life. It took Faith a few seconds to disentangle from him, she fought against him and then its partner who seemed to notice her presence and decided to have a bite at her. Oh, yes, a bite. Because that’s what they were trying to do and that’s what they did to a man dress up as a police that appeared out of nowhere to help her.
She could still hear the panic tone of the officer as he treated her as a mere child, pain crossing his face as he put his gun out and started firing. But even then those things kept moving and Faith remembered how different the tingling she got around vamps or demons felt. A minute or so later she was fighting not only two but three of those things. The cop didn’t even react when she tried to talk to him. It had been one crazy mission and neither her nor Diana could identify the source of the strange behavior. She still remembered the feelings of dread and helplessness that went through her at the end of the mission at having failed to obtain more info about the events.
But she knew that wasn’t what Cain was showing her. No, it wasn’t at all. It was more the way Faith had moved, how she had handled the creatures, evaded their attacks, almost lifted a man twice her size and weight and had run at a fast speed down a hill without breaking a sweat. They brought this video to show her they knew there was something not completely normal in her. She almost smiled as she saw herself jumping up and throwing a kick directly to one of the creatures head and she could see as the neck broke at the impact of her boot.
“But of course, this is all you do. Am I right?” asked Cain with his eyes glued to her. Faith didn’t say anything she just kept watching the scenes unfolding in front of her eyes, remembering those fights.
She remembered something happen to her, someone hit her hard and left her unconscious but the video was over before they could get to that part. How convenient.
The next thing she knew she was in the hotel room with Diana tending to some of her bruises. There weren’t any explanations only words of encouragement and pride at a job well-done. The rest of Faith’s questions were ushered hastily and Faith decided this was one of the things about being a Slayer she could forget happily. Still at night, she dreamt and those dreams were filled with the undead, and not exactly the vampire kind of undead.
Her eyebrows rose in surprise as she saw herself in a park down her apartment fighting with some vamps. That had been a week or so after the Arkley incident. This one was more impressive and it brought a half smirk to Faith’s face. She had kicked those vamps where it hurt the most. She had always enjoyed the wildness of the kill, why killed them before you could make sure they feel pain?
One, two, three, four. A punch here, a kick there, a round-house here and then poof. The group was dust in the wind.
“They way you disposed of the vampires was also impressive.” Commented Cain. This time when Faith lifted her eyes she found the man looking directly at her, his expression almost blank but his eyes showing a gleam of interest that made Faith felt uncomfortable.
“You’re magnificent.” He said to Faith who tilted her head and frown not really knowing what to make out of the comment. Was he hitting on her? Did he mean her body was magnificent? What the hell was the man talking about?
Seeing the expression on her face Timothy decided to elaborate his comment, “You are a magnificent fighter. Those movements, how quickly you react to the situation the power and the strength. I have never seen someone as deathly and impressive as you.”
Faith wasn’t used to anyone praising her for anything. She fidgeted uncomfortable in the seat and merely shrugged making her winced in pain. “It’s nothing. Just doing my job.” She said in a flat tone.
“Your job? Interesting, I have many people under my command doing their jobs and I most certainly can say they don’t do it as good as you.” Again Faith moved in her seat but returned Cain’s stare. “And believed me when I say they are the best of the best. We do not hire anyone who isn’t extraordinary in their own way.”
Faith’s mind felt overwhelmed with the amount of information she was receiving that night. With the memories of what had happened a month, a few weeks and a few hours ago. She felt exhausted and refused to keep thinking of anything else. But this…She sighed tiredly.
“I’m tired, I smell and I’m so fucking hungry,” not mentioning also horny as hell
, she thought but this guys didn’t need to know that. “What do you want? Why exactly did you help me back there? Who the fuck are you? And I mean you, not just the names.”
“Fair enough, I guess it was a really agitated night.” Cain closed the laptop and put out an envelope he handed to the brunette. Eyeing it suspiciously Faith took it after a moment’s hesitation.
“You will found all the information I have on you in that envelope.” Faith tensed up but kept on listening. “We couldn’t come to you without knowing something about you, but apart from the general records and your juvenile record there isn’t anything else remarkable. Or at least that could point at me where did you get your abilities.”
There was a moment of silence, Faith was still trying to put some kind of order to her thoughts when Cain’s voice reached her ears once more, “Tell me, every night you go out to hunt this vampires or other creatures. Does it pay off? Do you felt some kind of satisfaction? Do you get any remuneration?”
“Remuneration?” the word felt alien on her lips.
“Yes, money. A place to stay, a medal of honor for your services, food and clothing.” Cain waved a hand at the car. “Transportation.”
Faith shrugged but her face reveled to Cain enough. She was fighting as a part of a job with no remuneration, without any honor or glory. Not that Cain was concerned about those things; after all, he knew life was cheap. There was nothing honorable in killing or being killed while fighting absurd wars or simple crime. Not even in fighting the supernatural. But some people do believe in some kind of honor and glory doing those things, and it was in those thoughts, in those dreams and expectation where human weakness and ambitions lie. It was what Cain knew how to explode correctly.
It was obvious to him the girl in front of him hadn’t had a perfect, not even a good life. He knew what had happened to her mother, where her father was, what she was doing before the woman, Professor Diana Domer, adopted her into her home. The why was still unclear but if he were to theorize he would link it with the girls’ ability as a fighter. And maybe her mention of that ‘council’.
What was the reason behind her fighting these creatures? Major Timothy Cain was really curious as to what changed. Maybe some friend got bitten? Maybe she just had a near dead experience with one of these creatures? Cain didn’t know and frankly didn’t care. He only wanted to know was how a girl barely 16 years old got those fighting skills, those reflects and her enhance healing. He could barely see the deep cut she had a few minutes ago on her right eyebrow.
Cain watched as the girl in front of him reflected her real age in the form of confusion, pain and tiredness. It had been a real challenged to find the right moment to present her the proposal. The woman who was always by her side, Diana, took over the guardianship thus making their approached of the girl almost impossible. But the night’s events presented them with the perfect opportunity. Destiny, if such a thing existed. Cain would appeal to the girl’s lack of…well, of everything to lure her into accepting the job. And the physical pain and tiredness was just a plus, a weaken state was always a good moment to present someone with the right proposal. It always put into perspective your personal priorities.
“What is it to you?” she replied in a tired voice, Cain tilted his head and a gleam of triumph appeared in his eyes without Faith’s notice.
“I have a job proposal for you.” His words made Faith look at him with some interest.
As he nodded his head, Cain thought about how much he could reveal to the girl in front of him. His blue eyes glanced over the two men sitting on the front of the SUV. On the rearview mirror he could see the brief stared from One and he was
guessing Wesker was also directing him some kind of look from behind his dark glasses.
“Major Cain is the head of Umbrella’s Corporation Security Division.” Faith turned to the source of the deep, strong voice she noticed was coming from the driver. The man was looking directly at her, his voice demanding complete attention.
Faith felt a wave of dizziness as she let her hand grab the handle of the car’s door. “So what? You guys want me to work in the private sector?”
She said trying to sound casual an amused but was slightly throw at the smirks in each men. “That’s exactly what we pretend.” This time it was the man with the dark glasses.
“So, what would you want with me? What kind of job do you want me to do?”
Cain leant forward, “You have to understand, Faith, that we only hired the best of the best and usually we approached future employees.” Said Cain in a serious tone. “Overall, if they are going to be part of one of the three security branches inside the company.”
“Well, lucky me.” Said Faith, her voice dripping with sarcasm. “Still, I don’t understand. And I don’t think I can accept the deal.”
This last part made Timothy tilted his head. Faith had said ‘can’ instead of ‘want’. Morning was approaching at a fast pace and traces of tiredness and confusion were more than evident by now. Cain was satisfied with what he had done, he knew it was just a matter of time and patience and that was something Cain could do. With a nodded of approval he signaled Wesker to continue with the talk.
“In other words, we are interest in you and your abilities.” Faith turned to Wesker who was speaking for the second time. His voice was deep and hard, not at all unpleasant to hear and with a hint of smoothness in it. “We’re offering you a position inside one of these corps.”
Wesker signaled with his thumb the envelope Faith still had in her hands. “You will find a way to contact either of us when you have an answer. Wear in mind there is an expiration date for this proposal.”
“I guess this has been a long night for all of us,” said Cain looking directly into Faith’s eyes. “Along with the contact numbers you will find some basic information as to what we are offering you.”
“What happened if I say no?” Faith said with interest, she turned her eyes from Cain to Wesker and then to One, the men were wearing amuse smiles in their faces. Feeling slightly irritated she continued, “What happened if I decided this is all bullshit and I turn your offer down? That I may want that video back and you to shut your mouths?”
“What happen?” Cain sound genuinely surprise, his eyebrows lifted as Faith watched him closely. “Nothing of course, though, I would say you would have turn down the best offer ever given to you. And the video, well that can be easily arranged.”
Faith didn’t believe it would be that easy, she knew there must be something else, there was always something else. But, these guys were right; it had been a long night. Opening the door of the SUV she hopped off and turned around, “you don’t know anything at all about what you’re getting into.”
“That’s why I thought it prudent to recruit you.” Faith cracked a smile shaking her head. “You may think fighting Vampires and other creatures is your job, but you’re not the only one doing this job.”
“Oh, I know I’m not the only one.” She said, this time please to know something these guys apparently ignored. Of course Faith wasn’t the only one; once again, she was second best to someone. But these guys…they were offering an opportunity to be ‘magnificent’. To be unique.
“You’re sure of yourself, thinking this is a good offer.” Faith shook her head, “I can’t say this had been a pleasant meeting but thanks for the ride.”
She closed the door and walked with strong steps towards the entry of the building never once looking behind her. She could hear the SUV driving away as she made her way to her Watcher’s and her apartment.
The place was dark and empty, there were traces of the early arrangements they had done before going out to try and fight Kakistos’s minions. To try and find more about the vampire so Faith would be more prepare for the fight. It never happened as they had planned it.
She felt the coldness of the dawn and the situation sinking in, the confusion and pain was starting to overwhelmed her just as fast as the fear she had felt early in the afternoon. The situation she was in finally catching up to her and just like that she rested her back to the door. Faith closed her eyes and slid down shaking as the tears made their way down her cheeks. For the first time ever since she became a slayer she let the tears fall, bringing her knees to her chest and wrapping her arms around her legs. Hiding her face between her arms.
She was alone again. She was scare and tired. She felt weak and a loser.
The night’s events, the memories of what had happened finally getting to her.
Faith let the envelope fell to her side as she cried silently, wondering what she should do now that she didn’t have anyone telling her what to do and a very powerful and pissed off vampire out to get her.
Inside the SUV Wesker kept his eyes on the road his thoughts going over the small reunion they just had with the girl. “This reunion was unexpected. It’s difficult to think of her as a fighter when she looked so wounded and young.”
“But, aren’t the best of our men the ones who look young and stupid?” asked Cain and Wesker had to grin at those words. He knew who Cain was referring to. That woman Jill Valentine and the new one Kaplan were certainly a surprise. Of course one of them was a great technician and the other one was the daughter of a famous thief. But Wesker knew there was more than meet the eye with Faith, after all, she was a Slayer. Wesker’s lips lift slightly in a satisfied smile that was an information Timothy Cain didn’t need to know.
“I think we made the right decision and in time she would take the right desicion as well.”
March 16th, 1999
The sun was raising in the horizon as Faith rested her back to the wall and let the early breeze caress her face. She was sitting in the rooftop of the apartment the Mayor had given to her after she decided to work for him. It had been a week ever since she had presented to him and the man had gone out his way to show her with gifts and something akin to affection.
Or so it seemed to Faith.
By this point she was so screw up, so fucking confused she couldn’t tell the difference.
Things in her life had been like a rollercoaster after a heavy breakfast and lunch. Unpleasant, fill with dizziness and regrets.
After having a second unpleasant encounter with Kakistos, Faith had decided to leave Boston and run away. She wasn’t counting with the path in front of her taking her to Sunnydale, hometown of the Slayer. The blonde who was just like her and apparently was the favorite Slayer of the Council.
Faith closed her hands into tight fits, her nails digging into her palm drawing blood as the mixed feeling she had towards her sister Slayer tried to overwhelm her once more.
The blond woman did have something on her that made Faith crazy. There wasn’t another word for the turmoil of feelings inside her. She knew she felt attraction and lust, the petite blonde was beautiful and cute. And she had a smile that could light up the darkest of nights. Faith also knew she felt jealous. Buffy had everything she had ever dreamt about. She had the loving family, the loyal and loving Watcher, the friends, the school and the boyfriend. She was one hell of a Slayer and her name stir conflicted emotions of fear and hatred among the demonic population of Sunnydale and other places around the States.
Faith had been around enough to know it was so damn annoying to hear B’s name or title whispered as if Faith didn’t even excited.
It angered her but she had learnt to deal the moment B and her started hanging out and she started lowering her walls.
Faith hadn’t meant to trust in her, hadn’t meant to get attached or to develop feelings, any kind of feelings towards B. But it had happened and what hurt the most was the fact Faith was tossed around like an used toy in favor of a souled vampire and (a non-existent) reputation from Buffy's part.
Just when everything seemed to take into a new turn, when B finally seemed to be accepting the developing relationship between the two of them Faith had made a mistake.
The rouge Slayer clenched her teeth and there was a sharp pain moving from the palms of her hands up her arm. She didn’t need to think about it. Faith didn’t want to think about it, it would be easier if she just run away again. If she ignored the mistake.“But I know what it's like to take a life. To feel a future, a world of possibilities, snuffed out by your own hand. I know the power in it. The exhilaration. It was like a drug for me.”Stupid, Soulboy. Messing with my head.
She thought as the first rays of sun started lightning the sky.
Faith knew she had never been a good person, far from it. Even the slaying wasn’t about saving people but about the power. The satisfaction she got every time she fought and let her victims bloodied and begging for mercy. Of course all her victims were vampires or demons; the code of the Slayer was to never hurt a human. Well, that was one of the rules at least.You should never use your abilities as a Slayer to take a high position in these organizations, Faith. They were made for humans, by humans. You, you are more than a simple human; you were born to exterminate another kind of evil.
That’s what her Watcher had told her once and Faith had decided it was fair enough. As long as the humans didn’t hurt her she wouldn’t hurt them and instead she would protect them of the darkness they didn’t know anything about.
But the thing was, she had heard what Angel had said to her the other day. She couldn’t run away from his words even if she tried. And she had tried to do it. Every time his stupid, annoying voice would reach her mind she would go out for a fight, a fuck or a drink. Not in that order. But those words were there and the look in his eyes hunted her at night.
And it wasn’t only Angel’s eyes, oh no. Faith had to do things right or they wouldn’t be done. She could also see B’s horrified stare and Finch’s dead eyes.
Faith wasn’t a good person, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t human. That didn’t mean she didn’t feel deep in her heart and mind what had happened that day.
Faith stretched her hand to pick up the bottle of Jack Daniels she had bought early or late into the night. She took a long sip from the drink as her eyes went to the little card she had carried with her ever since she accepted her work with the Mayor. She had done the call the day before and today…today she was setting things right.
Faith emptied the bottle and stood up, entering her place she finished her packing sweeping with her eyes the room before letting her brown eyes fall on the picture on top of her pillow.
Faith picked the picture with hesitation, her eyes taking into every detail of her and Buffy smiling at the camera. She remembered the day, it had been after Buffy’s birthday.Faith had arrived on time to hear the whole story about the Cruciamentum and Giles betrayal as well as Buffy’s dad being a complete ass. The brunette didn’t know what made her do it but she had taken Buffy by the hand and convinced her to follow.
Buffy had been reluctant at first, what with her not being at full strength yet. But, Faith being Faith, threatened to drag her if she didn’t comply. Buffy had merely smiled, before going along with whatever Faith had planned. It took them some time
but by mid-day they were in L.A. They had laughed and shared significant moments and Faith finally could see a relax Buffy. They had taken the picture outside the Chinese theatre. Buffy was behind her with her arm around Faith’s collarbone and her chin resting on the brunette’s shoulder. Both of them were wearing soft and genuine smiles.
It had been a good day.
Shaking her head and refusing any kind of tears slip, not when she had taken a decision and was determined to carry away with her plan.
Faith put the picture in her pocket, put her leather jacket on and moved towards the door. She had some Books of Ascension to steal and then…then she had to say good-bye.
The Californian weather wasn’t doing any wonders to her mood and the dark suit they made her wear was just making things worse. She could feel sweat trailing down her back and she swore to never ever again tell her commander where was she spending her holidays or else she would have to go with them in another stupid surprised mission.
“I think this is all you and your men came looking for,” said the old woman with a white coat handing One a small, silver suitcase. Beside them Kaplan, the new geek guy, was eying the case with interest. “I hope you understand the importance of those samples and the state they should get to their destiny.”
“I’m completely aware of that, Professor Walsh.” Said One without a hint of emotion on his face or voice. Rain Ocampo was really tempted to snort at the woman’s comment. They were the best of the best in Umbrella’s security, the woman’s comment was really offensive and unnecessary; but Rain knew if she ever open her mouth she would spend at least a week training the rookies and that was something she didn’t want to do. Ever again.
“Then I guess your business here is done,” said Maggie Walsh extending her hand to shake it, out of politeness, with One's. The man shook the hand and turned around without any other word.
Rain and Kaplan fell in line behind One and the young woman couldn’t help but give one last glance to the underground labs. She could see some of the soldiers down there, all young and some really handsome, following the three of them with their stares. Rain had to smirk as she remembered some of them on the tryouts to enter S.T.A.R.S and the private security sector of Umbrella. The lot of them had failed and that’s one of the reasons why they were sent to the Initiative, a sort of organization under Umbrella’s protection but with the US Government involvement and approval.
Once outside Rain let out a cursed as the warm air of the afternoon hit her full in the face, she could see their transport waiting for them down the road of a desert street. At least these guys knew how to do the whole secret organization thing.
“We have on last stop before we return to Raccoon City’s Headquarters.” Said One. “Another recruit.”
“Perfect, not only we have to be fucking messengers but also we have to be babysitters.” Mumbled Rain, she raised an eyebrow at Kaplan and growled as the man tried to go for the driver’s seat. “Not a chance in hell, Kaplan. You drive like my grandma and the faster we leave this fucking town the better. Move.”
Kaplan scowled at Rain’s comment, but didn’t contradict her. He had learnt in the few months he had been part of the team that it was better if he didn’t engage in a verbal battle against Rain. She was used to winning those.
James Shade, more widely known by his nickname One, got inside the car and put the case he was giving in a security panel on the dashboard. His mind had moved forward to the new person they were about to pick up. It had been Cain who contacted him, telling him of the importance of this new person who was soon to become part of their team. One had agreed of course, but he did have his reservations. The rookies should usually start in the lower levels, more often than not with the Bravo Team in S.T.A.R.S before they even considered them to be part of the private security unit of
Umbrella’s. But once Cain told him the name of the new recruit One knew who exactly they were picking up. It had surprised him to find the girl at the other side of the country. It didn’t surprise him she had called, as Cain had said, it was just a matter of time.
While One was ready to pick Lehane and take her back to Raccoon City, it didn’t mean he would go easy on her. He wasn’t about to let anyone in his team only to have a whining influencing person that thought he or she could do the job just fine. They were in charge of so many things, have to fight so others that normal people had never seen or thought possible before. He wasn’t about to let his team being hurt or worse, some of them kill by an inexperienced marksman.
“This is the address.” Said One handing Rain a piece of paper, the woman looked down, nodding her head she turn the engine on driving down the street to their destination.
Angel looked up from his pacing and taking an unnecessary breath he fixated his eyes on the woman in front of him. Tilting his head and letting himself to really look at her he noticed there was something different.
“Faith.” He said her name as a way of greeting but the woman simply entered his place and started pacing around with something in her hands. Angel could smell the faint traces of blood in there.
The vampire tensed up as Faith made her way towards him; he knew what his part was in the next play. He had learnt the script and was ready to act it up just fine. But, there was something different in how Faith was supposed to play because it means she was unpredictable and in the state she was in, unpredictable was dangerous.
“I know I’m not a good person.” She said suddenly and Angel couldn’t help the traces of shock forming in his face. Faith was looking at him out of the corner of her eye, but her expression was blank and devoid of any emotion.
“Faith, that’s not…” she lift her arm and this time she stopped pacing and turned to lock her eyes with his.
“Please, I…this isn’t easy for me. I’m not big with the heart to heart talks or any shit like that.” Faith said. “The thing is I…I’m not a good person, right? I don’t slay because it’s my sacred duty, I’ll do it because I enjoy it and that’s it.”
Angel eyes were looking for any kind of expression, emotion that would rebeal to him what was happening in the young woman’s head in front of him. Faith moved forward but stop as soon as she saw Angel tensed up and act alert. She blinked a few times before nodding her head and showing the vampire the bottle in her hand.
“The Mayor wants me and some wizard he sent to me to bring Angelus out.” She said.
Angel furrowed his brows and narrowed his eyes as he kept them on Faith, “what do you mean the Mayor want you to bring Angelus back?”
Angel had to stop himself for reacting. However, his mind was working at an incredible speed sorting out different theories or explanations as to why Faith would start a conversation like that. She didn’t seem the type to play for too long.
There was a tensed silence after she finished and Angel was now more perplexed than anxious. He looked at Faith and saw clearly the girl nervous movements, the way she would passed her hand through her hair or chew on her lower lip. He also noticed now she was trying to evade any eye contact with him.
“He thought if Angelus is back then maybe killing B would be easier.” Faith smiled bitterly and this time she did make eye contact with Angel. “He thought it would be better if I have back up to do the job.” Then as an afterthought, “And of course, having a maniac psychotic vampire on his side wouldn’t be a bad idea either.”
Another tensed silence in which the souled vampire was weighing his options. Why was Faith telling him all of this? There was something hiding behind her stare that Angel was having difficulty to read.
“So, you came here to bring Angelus back?”
Faith moved closer to Angel but stopped as soon as she saw his muscles tensed up, his body ready for an attack. She gulped and shrugged her shoulders putting the container with blood down on the floor.
“Like I said, I’m not a good person.” Faith took a deep breath and with great effort let her eyes do the talk along with her words. She owned Angel (and the Scoobs) that much.
“I…I joined the Mayor.” Angel tilted his head as he watched the turmoil of emotions in Faith’s eyes. “I killed the demon who was going to sell the Books of Ascension to B and took them to the Mayor.”
There was a silence after she spoke. She lifted her hand and put the bottle over the closest table. “I was supposed to get this on you later tonight, but…well; I’m obviously not doing it.”
“I can see that.” said Angel, carefully nearing the girl, “Faith, why are you doing all of this? Why…why are you telling me this?”
“I…can’t take it anymore.” She said hating the faltering in her voice. The trembling of her hands and the tears forming in her eyes. “I’m so tired. I…I can see it every time I try to slay.”
Angel didn’t move from his spot and didn’t relax at all. Faith had proven that she was dangerous, she had sided to the Mayor and she could really be a good actress. Right? But he couldn’t see any deception in her, even if she was a good actress Faith had always carried with her some kind of arrogance and pride that would never allow her to show the weakness and the tears she was shedding now.
Nevertheless, he waited. Better safe than sorry or something like that.
“I know you didn’t believe me last night.” Said Faith fidgeting, “I don’t blame you, hey I don’t even trust myself. But…the thing is I…I really felt it. He was a demon, you know? A demon who would sell anything if he get some money. Who didn’t care those books would be the end of this town. He would kill thousands, millions of innocent people.”
Faith let out a mirthless chuckled and something inside Angel stirred, “I killed him and…and then I saw his blood and…and I remembered the power, the rush the adrenaline of taking someone’s life.” Faith gulped and hugged herself as she, after a moment hesitation, lifted her eyes to look directly into Angel’s “I saw him, I…I remembered his last breath, the light leaving his eyes, the coldness that was taking him after he had shared his last breath. And …fuck Angel I kill a human!”
Tears fall freely down her cheeks and Angel could only hear her, only see her. The real Faith. The little girl who never allowed herself to be weak to feel guilty because it would mean everything anyone has ever said about her was true. It would mean she had failed herself. It would mean she was weak.
“I can’t…I feel it and…fuck, it hurts so much Angel.” It happened so fast, in a moment she felt strong and cold arms around her. Holding her as she let the first sob escape her mouth and just like that, she broke down, holding Angel weakly as the vampire hold her securely in his arms letting her cried without saying a word.
It was different this time, their conversation and the way she had expressed herself was different as to how she had done it the day before when she had tried to kiss him. A part of him still thought of it as a trap, a way to get him; another part, the one looking for redemption, believe in her.
It felt strange to hold someone who wasn’t Buffy, but it felt even stranger to feel something for the person he was holding. Not that he wasn’t able to feel sympathy or affection. It was just unusual for him to get attached enough to people. He could say, for example, that Willow and Oz were accounted into those few people he had some friendly affection towards, he had mixed feeling regarding Cordelia and Xander while he was completely sure he felt respect towards Giles. He was overcoming his annoyance towards Wesley, overall seeing as Faith had at least being feeling guilty over the whole incident. It means Wesley hadn’t screw up completely.
And now holding the dark-haired Slayer in his arms he felt as if he was holding a little girl. A hurt and very confused little girl who had done something wrong and was looking for forgiveness from her father. Angel scowled at the thought, Father? No, maybe a big brother? Yes, that felt a little more right. He was finally seeing Faith for who she really was behind the many layers she had hidden herself. And if he was to believe everything Buffy said, well, Angel could say he and Faith had a lot more in common that they thought. Booze, sex and fight. Not that different from Liam. Not that different from Angelus. Okay, maybe the part with ‘psychotic killer’ was different. Well, maybe they still have time to stop Faith for taking a dangerous path from which it would be very difficult to come back.
A few minutes later Faith’s sobs stopped and the young woman moved away from Angel, wiping her tears away and looking everywhere but at him. She was obviously embarrassed for what had happened and Angel decided it would be wise not to mention it. She was in a very critical point; he would need to act wisely if he wanted to help her. If he wanted to protect and even save her.
“Do you want anything to drink?” he asked casually and was pleasantly surprise when Faith snickered while nodding her head.
The vampire stood up and turned around to look for something to drink while Faith followed him close behind. “For a vampire you’re really a good guy.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment.” Angel said giving Faith a half smile.
“It is.” Faith moved behind Angel her expression changing a little. “I just…you’re really decent, you know? The first person in this town who has been honest with me.”
Angel turned around, ignoring their closeness, as he mused over Faith’s words, “that’s not true, Faith. You have Giles and Buffy. You have the rest of them, they are your friends.”
Faith snorted and shook her head passing her hand through her hair, “No, they’re not. Xander is still to distract with the fact I fucked him and fucked him good. Red is too jealous of me because I seemed to have B’s and Xander’s attention on me. Giles has B and B…”
Angel narrowed his eyes staring down at Faith as the girls whole body language changed. Talking about the Scoobies was one thing but when she got to Buffy her whole body tensed up, her jaw clenched and her eyes revealed a myriad of emotions that she almost immediately hid away. But Angel was fast and he almost choked at the realization his scrutiny had done. He had seen pain, hurt, sadness, anger, betrayal and…love. Pure and simple love.
Was it possible? Angel tried to dismiss the thought but the signs were there, he had seen them but ignored them. Mainly because Buffy always came to him.
“Like I said you’re the only one who has show real interest. Who was honest.” Said Faith and her whole demeanor changed. She looked older and tired the heavy weight of guilty present in her eyes. “I know what they think of me, I know what they say. I’m not stupid and it’s my own cleverness what has kept me alive until now. That and the fact I know when to run away before things go out of control.”
The last part made Angel furrowed his brows in confusion, “what do you mean?”
“Sorry, Soulboy. I really am.” Said Faith giving Angel a half smile. “I guess I’m not strong enough, but I do want you to know that what you say to me that day, what you say to me today did stay. That I did hear you. I’ll…I’ll work on it. But if I stay here I’m afraid I will lose what little sanity is still left in me.”
“Faith…” Angel didn’t have the time to finish as Faith knocked him out with a right hook directly to his face.
Faith stood emotionless for a moment looking at the fallen vampire at her feet. She put the pages she had taken from the Ascension books and put them inside Angel’s hands.
She had meant every word she said to Angel. The vampire had been honest to her, he had seemed concern for her not because she was a Slayer and they need the second string one but because she was…well, she was she. It was more about her as a person than as a Slayer.
Faith turned around and picked up the duffel bag she had left early outside the mansion. Without looking back she made her way to Restfield cemetery where Umbrella’s men were waiting for her.
One let his eyes fell on the young woman in front of him. She was dressed in black leather pants, a white tube tope with an equally black leather jacket and biker’s boots. Not someone you would hire to be part of the security unit in one of the most important corporations in the world.
The girl was eyeing him suspiciously, her posture indicate she was ready to either attack or run away. One was impressed, he stretched out his hand, “We never were formally introduce. You may call me One.”
“One? As in the number one?” she asked with a hint of amusement and wonder in her voice, she said while taking his hand. This time One did let a small smile appeared on his face.
“That is correct.” He said before signaling the door. “Let’s go.”
Faith nodded her head opening the door of the SUV and entering at the same time as One, a moment later the car took off.
Once inside she eyed the rest of the occupants. A nervous looking guy was sitting at the other side of the back seat and on the driver’s seat was a woman a few years older than Faith. She had on a deep frown and her eyes would switch between the road and Faith.
“Fucking perfect, I knew we have to act as babysitters.” Mumbled Rain speeding up once they arrive to the highway.
“I don’t need a babysitter, but maybe you need someone to fix your shitty attitude.” Said Faith glaring at the woman. “Overall if you’re insulting someone who could kick your ass.”
Rain snickered at the response her eyes showing nothing but contempt and amusement. “We’ll see, Biker-Gil. Maybe after I’m done with you, you can come back to mummy and tell her you aren’t as bad ass as you think you are.”
Faiths’ eyes turned cold and serious, her glared changed of intensity but before she could say anything One spoke, “We’re going to L.A where an chopper is waiting for us.”
With reluctance she took her eyes from Rain and turned them to One, “Where are we going?”
“we’re going to start your training and deem if you’re worthy of forming part of the main security corps, or if you should go to the S.T.A.R.S unit or maybe you’ll end up in the Initiative.”
“What are those?” asked Faith and Rain chuckled again.
“I’m betting you’ll end up in the Initiative.”
“Those are the three different branches from Umbrella’s Security Unit.” Said One.
Faith nodded her head; she let her eyes travel to Rain who smirked at her before letting them fall on the man beside her. He was looking at her with a mixture of curiosity and interest. Kaplan blushed slightly at being caught watching, Faith merely smirked knowingly.
“I’m…I’m Kaplan” he said stretching his hand to Faith who took it without a second thought.
“Faith.” Another snorted form Rain. “What? Have something to say?”
“No, not at all, Faith.
” Said Rain in a teasing tone.
“Fucking bitch,” mumbled Faith. “What’s your name anyway?”
This time it was Kaplan’s turn to smirk, somehow he knew the new girl Faith would know how to use Rain’s name to her advantage. “She is Rain Ocampo.”
Faith lifted a single eyebrow, her eyes sparkling with amusement. “Rain?”
Rain scowled and was about to reply when she caught One’s eyes and shut her mouth. She wasn’t in any hurry, sooner or later she would have the girl and get her back for mocking her name. Faith sighed and rest her back against the back seat, her eyes watching for the last time the city of Sunnydale. She was leaving for good and never coming back.
She was leaving B and the others behind. She was going to deal with what she had done in her own time. And she was going to make it right in her own terms.
She watched as the car moved out of the highway and directly into the outskirts of town. She was thinking of Sunnydale as something of the past. She would never go back. Ever again.
Boy was she wrong about that one.
It took Angel a few moments to realize what had happened. He was holding the pages Faith had left on his hand and his eyes weren’t really focused on them. Faith had come to the mansion and told him she felt sorry. She had cried and seemed genuine. She even left proofs of her change. This were part of the book of the Ascension it mentioned some important facts. But she had knocked him down, she …But if I stay here I’m afraid I will lose what little sanity is still left in me.
Faith was gone.
Taking advantage of his super speed Angel stood up, picked up his coat and left his mansion in search from the dark-haired Slayer.
Buffy and Giles turned to look at Angel who had a blank expression and his eyes seem regretful.
“Angel?” Buffy asked making her way towards her boyfriend she stopped deadly in her tracks as Angel gave her an empty stare.
“She left.” He said still trying to process.
“Faith.” Giles took off his glasses and frown at this piece of information. “Faith was early at the mansion like we thought she will. She…” Angel trailed off not knowing if it was wise to unclose the whole conversation and the specifics of it with
Buffy and Giles. Angel felt as if Faith had trust him with something important and it would be wrong to share it with them
“She left this.” Said Angel taking a step forward and putting the pages out of his pocket handling them to Giles. “I think some of those papers were notes Faith took, I guess she couldn’t take all the pages so it wouldn’t be suspicious.”
Giles took the pages and his eyes opened wide as he read through them every single one of them holding some important piece regarding the oncoming Ascension of the Mayor. Buffy for her part was still processing Angel’s words.
“Angel, what happen to Faith?” Angel turned to look at Buffy, this time paying close attention to her reactions.
“She said she was sorry.” He said, Buffy tensed up and Giles was hearing with interest. “She was really sorry and everything she did was to obtain what I just give you.”
“You mean…she never betrayed us?” asked Buffy trying to sound neutral but Angel picked up the hopeful tone hidden behind the flat tone of voice.
The vampire didn’t know how to answer the question and Buffy sat down as she looked over the pages of the Book of Ascension. It was so suddenly; she could only feel loneliness and an huge, empty space where Faith used to be.