Disclaimer: I own neither Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Sons of Anarchy; I’m just borrowing them for a little while.
A/N: A little shout out to FaithWinchester, without whom I would have never written this story, mostly because I would have never been inspired to watch Sons of Anarchy, thank you for introducing me to a wonderful show and for a wonderful story that made this all possible! Please enjoy, everyone.
Cleveland to Northern Cali wasn’t a particularly easy ride, but Willow had to be crazy if she thought that she could talk Faith into leaving her bike. The trip was two hard days on the road and the fact that it was still the tail end of winter in the Mid West added the additional difficulty of icy cold winds and possible snow in the mountains. These were all valid reasons to leave the bike and just make a trip with it in a few months, but Faith was far too stubborn to listen, which was how she found herself pulling into a repair shop in a tiny town on her way to her final destination of Lodi, California. Willow pulled her Honda, which was packed full of the things they would need to set up house near Lodi, in behind Faith.
Faith pulled her bike up to the shop doors, kicked down the stand and pulled off her helmet, her one concession to the trip across the Rockies was to trade her normal helmet for a full face one, it might have been a little sporty, but it had been nice in the snow they had hit just outside of Denver. She unzipped her isolated leather jacket and strode over to the shops office. Her legs and back were stiff from the two and a half day ride; she put her hands on her hips and leaned back feeling each vertebra pop back into alignment.
“I told you it would be easier on you to just drive with me,” Willow called. Her long red hair in a tight pony tail high on her head bobbed around as she shook her head. “But you had to be stubborn.”
“It’s just the way of things, Red.” Faith straightened and walked the rest of the way to the office. Normally she would just pull the bike into the garage back at Slayer Central and clean it herself, but she hadn’t brought any of her tools with her, they were all being shipped, and she didn’t really want to leave the road salt caked into the crevices of her motorcycle any longer then was absolutely necessary, it would eat away at the metal and rubber seals, plus after a long ride, a tone up was always a smart idea. Faith had gotten the name for the shop at a gas station just this side of Nevada and held a small business card that had a skull logo and “The Tribe” printed on the front and the address for the shop under the name Teller-Marrow and the message ‘Go See Sam Crow’ underneath, hand written on the back. The Tribe was a Motorcycle Club, not a very well known one, but known enough that Faith had caught wind of them. If a club was recommending a shop, she knew they were either very good or somehow affiliated. A quick look around showed the club house, which she had passed on the way in and hadn’t paid any attention to, now she looked. The Sons of Anarchy, yep, they were affiliated.
The office was small and spare, just a desk and a few chairs and filling cabinets. A pretty woman in her fifties sat behind the desk and gave Faith a once over, then a good business smile. “What can I do for you, Sweetheart?” She had a pleasant voice, but years of smoking gave it a husky edge.
“I hit a snow storm coming over the Rockies, I just need the salt cleaned out, and a tune up, I wouldn’t say no to an oil change.” Faith handed over the card, “I got a recommendation just over the border.”
The woman looked at the card and smiled for real. “Tig, bring this lady’s bike into the bay,” she shouted, then turned back to Faith, hand extended. “I’m Gemma Teller.”
“Faith Lehane,” they shook.
Willow popped her head in the door, looking restless, despite nearly three days on the road. “Faith, we need to get going, we’re supposed to meet the realtor in half an hour.” Faith nodded and filled out the paper work for the bike.
“You girls moving around here?” Gemma asked with an edge of more then just curiosity.
“Yeah, we have some business in the area,” Willow said before turning back to her car to wait for Faith.
“Well, welcome to Charming, Faith.” Gemma smiled at the slayer, liking her already.
“Thank you, Gemma. I’ll be back in the morning for my bike.” A scruffy looking biker was walking her bike into the bay; ‘Tig’ was stitched into his shirt.
“This is a fine looking bike, Sweetheart, but its just plain wrong for it to be pink.”
Faith laughed then licked her finger and ran it across the tank, leaving a smudge of deep lipstick red paint visible under the grime. “Just dirty, I wouldn’t paint a nice bike like this, such a prissy color.”
“Faith isn’t a pink kind of girl,” Willow said almost under her breath. In the past few years they had come a long way towards mending fences, but they still had a long way to go and Faith still left Willow a little uneasy at times.
“No, that’s your gig, Red,” Faith leered playfully at the other girl. “Pink and fuzzy.”
“I haven’t worn anything fuzzy in years.” Faith just raised her eyebrows at Willow, who turned crimson. “That doesn’t count,” Willow slid into the driver’s seat.
“Take care of my girl,” Faith said to the mechanic.
“Oh, I will,” he leered openly at Faith, who just shook her head and climbed into the passenger’s seat.
Faith hated driving in cars, maybe it had to do with her time in jail and having the feeling of confinement, or maybe they just felt wrong, moving at high speeds without the feel of the wind. Whatever it was, Willow’s driving didn’t make it any better.
The realtor was a dumpy older woman who took one look at Faith in her red leather halter vest and black jeans, motorcycle boots and tattoos, and put her safely in the ‘Crow Eater’ category, one of those girls who hung out with the local bike club. Willow on the other hand, looked like a slightly hippy post-grad, and the realtor couldn’t help but wonder what they were doing looking at houses together, but since it was a bad idea to piss off Sam Crow, she let it go.
At the end of the day the girls put in a bid on a nice two story with a pool on a big tract of land, about five miles from the Lodi border, well within Sam Crow territory. The realtor hoped they wouldn’t bring too much trouble to the area, though she couldn’t help but notice that the land they wanted butted up to the land that the Cara Cara Warehouse was on.
Willow drove them to a near by hotel, and they checked into two rooms, waiting to hear back fro, the realtor. Faith flopped down on the bed, “well all that Watcher money went a long way.” Faith wasn’t sure how much they were getting a month fro, the council, since they weren’t on an active Hellmouth, at least they didn’t think so, the intel was inconclusive. There had been a rise in demon activity in the area, and a local witch noticed a rise in dark energy, but this could be a result of the tension between some of the local gangs or the early stages of a burgeoning Hellmouth.
“The realtor said it was going cheep because the land next door was all Sam Crow, and he built a warehouse on it, apparently its being used as an adult movie studio.” Willow said, putting her suit case on the other bed. “Owner wants to sell the land fast before it looses all its value, apparently.”
“Perfect for us, no nosy neighbors, lots of space, and secluded,” Faith said, heaving her sore body off the bed. “Well, I’m spent. I’ll see you in a few hours, Red.”
“Yeah, we need to do a quick patrol tonight, head out toward Lodi, see what we’re working with.”
Faith thought that a quick sweep though the local cemetery was a good idea. The town they were staying in was called Charming, and after the years in Sunnydale, they both knew names could be deceiving. It wasn’t like patrolling in Sunnydale, where all the smart residence were at home by dark, here they were people on the street, shops that were still doing business, and the local bar was packed. Though that wasn’t really new, bars had always been packed in Sunnydale, the better to forget the Chaos demon you just saw if you drink yourself blind.
Willow parked at the cemetery and they both got out. Faith checked her few stakes she had tucked into her clothes and her custom hunting knife, the tip and half the blade was made of steel, with a high silver content, the other half of the blade was made of hard wood, which held no edge, but was great for staking vamps. Willow locked the door and took a quick survey of the cemetery, which wasn’t as empty as she would have liked. “There’s a group of about five or six off to the north, I say we head in the other direction and loop around.”
“What are they doing out in a cemetery this late?” Faith produced a stake from nowhere and started twirling it in her fingers.
“How should I know?”
“I don’t know,” Faith tossed the stake in the air and caught it, testing the weight and balance. “You knew they were there, I just figured you’d know what they were doing, also.”
“Yeah, my magic doesn’t work that way,” Willow ran her hands through her hair. Ever since the spell to call all of the potentials, her magic had fallen to slightly more manageable levels, that wasn’t to say that she wasn’t still one of the most powerful witches in the world, but it was a bit less overwhelming. She also felt a bit less omnipresent, she could feel the life in the area, she just couldn’t see them the way she once could. “It just says ‘humans that way.’ Most of the time I can get an accurate count, too.” Faith just nodded and took of in the direction away from the group.
The cemetery was small, barely seven full acres, filled with headstones and mausoleums and trees. They made a wide circle around the perimeter, which was mostly tree lined. Not even a hundred yards fro, the group Willow had senses earlier, Willow felt a change in the air, then the two of them heard shouting. Faith took off, running as silently as possible, while Willow pushed her senses to the limit, feeling out the presence in the graveyard.
She still felt the five humans, and two or three vampires, they were harder to count because they registered like voids to her magic. She dropped the threads of magic she was holding, and ran after Faith. She knew that the Slayer could easily take on three vamps, but humans who were spooked tended not to be Faith’s specialty.